Availability, and accessibility of organizational and public space represents one of the central concerns of these turbulent times. An ideal organizational or public space should be open and accessible to individuals irrespective of their background or identity. In practice, public space almost always entails limitations and exclusions based on law, public policy and local norms. However, in practice, organizational and social spaces are often neither inclusive nor neutral. Instead, while some modes of expression, identities and bodies are treated as normal – even ideal – others deemed deviant are either denied access or marked for surveillance and subsequent marginalization and invisibility.
Management plays a central role in maintaining the system of permissions and prohibitions that sustain the particular socially constructed nature of space in an organization or polity. For example, material and social management of space within organizations leads to unequal distribution of status and power; factors that in turn lead to suboptimal individual and organizational performance. Similarly, as the Black Lives Matter movement highlights, government officials can be inadvertently responsible for extra surveillance and selective implementation of the law on different minorities hindering their presence in the public space.
On the other hand, inclusive leadership and management of organizations and public spaces can play a critical role in creating more inclusive, equitable and accessible societies. All this makes management of space as an important site of governance and management. This conference brings together academics and practitioners to engage with these important debates that are of critical significance for the future of Pakistan.