OMT WebOrganization and Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management
In late 2013 Christine Beckman conducted a survey with past OMT attendees of the doctoral consortium. We had the opportunity to ask her some questions about the results to find out what it says about careers opportunities for OMT doctoral students and the community at large.
1. What motivated you to conduct a survey with OMT members who had recently attended the OMT doctoral consortium?
At our 2012 Fall Executive Committee Meetings, we decided that we wanted to know what happened to our OMT doctoral students – where do they go and what kinds of jobs do they get? We thought this knowledge would help us better serve our members and particularly our youngest faculty members. As Division Chair, I conducted a survey of past doctoral consortium participants between 2009- 2012. We sent the survey to 157 participants and received 108 responses over the summer (of 2013). It was a very short survey, and we wanted to find out where the doctoral students had ended up and what they were teaching. We were able to find email addresses for almost all of the past participants (through the Academy and the web), and 97.5% of them still have emails affiliated with educational institutions. Clearly, the most serious students are coming to the doctoral consortium and it seems they are finding jobs.
2. Could you tell us a little bit about your basic findings surrounding student placement and teaching focus?
Of the students who responded to the survey, 64% were been hired as assistant professors, 12% were post-docs, 10% were on the market, 3% were lecturers, 2% had taken industry jobs, and another 9% are still in the PhD program. So there is no question that these doctoral students are getting jobs! But we wanted to know what kind of jobs they are getting.
Over half of the doctoral students are employed in the US, another 27% in Europe, 9% in Canada, and 7% in Asia. They work in departments of Management, Business, Organizations, Strategy and Entrepreneurship. The positions they hold were advertised broadly – in organization theory (18%), strategy (26%), management (25%), organizational behavior (17%), entrepreneurship, (10%) and HR (4%). What does this tell us? I think it says that if you look for “OMT” jobs, you can’t look just at jobs in organization theory – you need to understand that OMT scholars have relevance and legitimacy in a number of areas. I see that as a key strength of OMT. OMTers are versatile and have relevance from everything to HR to Strategy. That means that OMT doctoral students, like you, should feel incredibly positive about the future!
On the teaching front, we see incredible variety. OMTers are versatile. The most common course taught is Strategy (30%) but OB (17%), Entrepreneurship (10%), OT (8%), Leadership (6%), Introduction to Management (6%), and Corporate Social Responsibility (6%) were also well represented. But there is a wide variety of courses being taught (in order of frequency): Organizational Change, Research Methods, Innovation and Technology, HR, Power and Politics, International Business, Networks, and Social Entrepreneurship.
3. What was the most surprising element[s] of the survey results for you?
I was surprised, and intrigued, by the regional variation. We have known for a while that OMT membership is increasingly global. Roughly half of our membership and of our submissions to the Academy are from people outside the US. I think it’s interesting to note that in Europe, Management, Organization Theory, and Strategy each accounted for about 20% of the jobs. In the US, jobs were evenly divided between Management, Organizational Behavior, and Strategy (25% each). In Canada, half of the jobs were strategy jobs. In Asia, the jobs were more likely to be Management or OB. Now these are small numbers (especially in Canada and Asia) but it does suggest that the labels vary across region. To me, that means we shouldn’t get too hung up on the labels. It may mean that what OMT looks like may vary by country.
You see similar variation in teaching. The majority of OT and Research Methods classes taught by the respondents are being taught in Europe (even thought Strategy and OB are also taught frequently in Europe). In the US, OB and Strategy are the most common classes taught (21% and 27%, respectively). This makes sense given the structure of the various programs, but I hadn’t anticipated seeing that.
I was also surprised that Networks courses were not more popular because that’s a very popular area within OMT. However, there is a new Networks Teaching PDW being offered this year, so those numbers may increase.
4. Why do you think PhD students in OMT are doing well overall?
In many departments, OMT offers the glue that holds departments together. Mirroring the Academy, OMT is the bridge between OB and Strategy. The very smartest departments understand that OMT is critical area within management because of this ability to connect with those in multiple areas (and don’t forget OMT as part of entrepreneurship and HR as well). Our research topics bridge multiple domains, and it means we can talk with and understand our colleagues. You can see this in the types of positions that these newest faculty members hold and in the classes they teach. We are also very versatile in the classroom, and we can teach a variety of classes. This makes new OMTers very attractive on the job market because they can ‘fit’ in a number of different ways. This makes OMTers attractive scholars, teachers and colleagues.
5. What do you think the results say about the trajectory of the OMT community?
The trajectory of OMT community is very positive, and our membership is strong and increasingly global. OMT members are a diverse bunch, and I think (and hope) this continues to be true. When smaller communities within OMT develop, we sometimes see those communities break off and form their own interest groups or divisions. We can see this a challenge - because we lose members - or we can see this as a sign of intellectual vibrancy and development, - where OMT helps develop and nurture new ideas and new communities. I obviously think it’s the latter, and it is one of the facets of OMT that I find most appealing Although there are some strong research areas within OMT (institutional, network and learning approaches being three of them), we are not driven by a single point of view. We continue to see new topics emerge and flourish. In fact, Mike Lounsbury and I wrote an article highlighting many of the vibrant developments in organization theory. It will be coming out in Journal of Management Studies around Academy. We will have to revisit that topic in the fall! I think it’s safe to say that, given the diversity of our membership, we should continue to have spirited and engaging discussions going forward.
6. After completing the survey, do you have any advice for new or current PhD students interested in OMT?
I encourage you to get to know OMT scholars and engage in OMT research. You can get to know us at Academy. We try to help doctoral students at the Academy meetings – through the dissertation proposal workshop and doctoral consortium – but also through a range of PDWs in areas you may be interested in. These are great opportunities to build relationships with other OMT members. And don’t forget to come to the OMT Business Meeting on Monday night at Academy and to receive your very own OMT Artifact – an eagerly awaited OMT tradition.
We are also trying to engage with people outside of the Academy meetings. We have the OMT Blog (and Facebook). And I also encourage you to look for the paper development workshops we have been holding around the world (we have had 10 so far!). These workshops are for doctoral students and junior faculty, and we bring mentors in to really focus on helping people develop their work. We have been offering small travel stipends for doctoral students. OMT scholars publish some of the highest quality work – winning more than our fair share of Academy and Best Paper awards – and our goal is to help younger scholars develop the tools to continue that tradition long into the future!
Tags: jobs | OMT | PhD students | teaching
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