Dr Mira Slavova holds a PhD from the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. She works on topics linking the fields of Information Systems and Organisation Theory. The prevailing focus of her research is on the sociomateriality of information and communication technologies. Mira's work spans the boundary between academic and applied research, pursuing not only intellectual rigor but also meaningful impact.
Mira is passionate about exploring digitisation and organisations in African settings (e.g. Liberia, Ghana, South Africa). She has held positions at the International Food Policy Research Institute (Washington, DC), SAP Africa Innovation Center (South Africa) and Gordon Institute of Business Science (University of Pretoria). Prior to joining WBS, Mira has taught at ESSEC Business School (Paris) and London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
Research InterestsINTELLECTUAL AGENDA
Difference is not the absence of sameness. My intellectual agenda stems from a positive view of difference. Rather than constituting difference negatively, as lack, as foreignness or as an impenetrable otherness, in my research difference is viewed as generative. Difference diffracts patterns observed elsewhere and by doing so generates new ones. In a world where lived experiences are shaped through material intra-actions, constituting directional social processes; I am interested in the diffractions of those processes produced by material differences. I explore how people intra-act with the diverse materiality of their world in ways that produce multiplicity of becomings. Conversely, I am also concerned with acts that reproduce sameness or produce marginality.
The site of differences for my research is the African continent. Using notions from sociomateriality, feminist theory, practice and process studies I look to cast light on digital phenomena as they unfold in Africa. Whereas digital phenomena are studied extensively in resource rich and high-tech settings, I look to expand our understanding of such phenomena by positioning them in Africa. I study how patterns observed elsewhere are diffracted locally. Due to a range of reasons such as climate (e.g. humidity, dust, etc.), infrastructure, skills, security; technologies tend to materialize differently in Africa. Consequently, material differences are diffracted into unfamiliar manifestations of digital processes (e.g. digital transformation, innovation, future of work, or energy transition). My empirical agenda is concerned with documenting those manifestations and expanding theoretical understandings so that they encompass the empirical realities encountered in Africa.
In a world faced with multiple global challenges, stemming from a severe environmental crisis, we are tempted to look for radical and unconventional material solutions. By studying the diffractions of organizational phenomena within the African setting, I seek out global lessons about enduring local sociomaterial approaches to challenges. Conversely, the translation of established global best practices to African settings is also within the scope of the impact generated through my research.
Last but not least, through my work I look to strengthen plurality within the management discipline and positive views of difference. Anchored strongly within Western ways of organizing and led by academics from Western universities, the management discipline can overlook the fact that for the most part organizing in the contemporary world happens in non-Western settings. I believe that our theories and our curriculums need to reflect this. Through my scholarship I look to legitimize findings from African settings as theory-building and to re-construct them as non-marginal for the discipline.