Caste and Organization Studies: Our Silence Makes Us Complicit

Snehanjali Chrispal, Hari Bapuji, Charlene Zietsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The caste system has received scant attention in organization studies, despite persisting over thousands of years, influencing the socioeconomic lives of over a billion people around the world and subjecting over 300 million people to severe socioeconomic discrimination. By overlooking caste, scholars risk conforming subaltern empirics to imperialist knowledge and miss the nuance and complexity that caste can bring to organization studies. We argue that the caste system is an institution that affects the workplace, yet it is difficult to dismantle because of its rooting in bodies and the sacred, which strips away agency. As an institution that is deeply embodied, caste has implications for institutional work, precarious work and modern slavery. We conclude with a call for scholarly engagement with caste to study its implications in the pursuit of grand challenges and inclusive organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1501-1515
Number of pages15
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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