OMT WebOrganization and Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management
Interview by Dahlia Mani, Assistant Professor, HEC Paris
Editor's note: First awarded in 2010, the Best Published Paper Award recognizes a journal paper published in the previous year that advances our theoretical understanding of organizations, organizing, and management. The 2014 winner was: Emily C. Bianchi (Emory University), for her paper "The Bright Side of Bad Times: The Affective Advantages of Entering the Workforce in a Recession" published in Administrative Science Quarterly, 58(4): 587-623.
First, Congratulations on winning the OMT Best Published Paper Award! Can you briefly describe what the paper is about?
Thank you. The paper is about the bright side of graduating during a recession. Recent work has shown that graduating during recession negatively influences earnings and career outcomes for decades to come. I found that despite these negative outcomes, recession graduates tend to be more satisfied with their jobs, even long after they entered the workforce.
What was the genesis of this paper? How did you come to this particular question?
During the height of the Great Recession, a paper came out that showed that recession graduates earn less even decades after entering the workforce. Like many others, I was surprised by how long these effects persisted. It was striking that an experience in the distant past could continue to affect outcomes so many years later. But I also wondered if there could be a bright side to this otherwise bleak picture. Psychologists have repeatedly shown that people can be happier with worse results depending on how they think about what they have. When I read first person accounts from Great Recession graduates, I was surprised how frequently they expressed gratitude for whatever jobs they could find. This was much different than when I was in college during the dot.com bubble. During that time, college students seemed consumed with optimizing their job choice and ensuring that they secured the very best job they could find. This mentality often undermines satisfaction and makes even a great job seem lacking. Gratitude, on the other hand, can help people focus on what is good about their jobs rather than on what could be better. Thus, I wondered if these recession graduates might actually be happier with their jobs, even though these jobs might pay less and be less prestigious.
Tags: ASQ | Best Published Paper Award | Emily Bianchi
Call for Papers for a special themed section on:
Beyond the Gap: Discovering the impact and importance of studying Emotions and Institutions
Charlene Zietsma (Schulich School of Business, York University)
Madeline Toubiana (Schulich School of Business, York University)
Deadline for Submission: March 31, 2015
The relationship between emotions and institutions is an emerging area of inquiry beginning to attract significant interest. Extant work in institutional theory has a cognitive and rational bias that masks both the emotional impact that institutions have on individuals’ lives (Creed, Dejordy & Lok, 2010; Creed, Hudson, Olkhuysen & Smith-Crowe, 2014), and the motivational force that emotions have for stimulating institutional work (Voronov & Vince, 2012; Toubiana, Zietsma & Bradshaw, 2013). As Friedland (2013: 44) described: “institutional life…demands myriad moments of located passion”. Related areas have also explored the effects of emotions on social outcomes and processes, identifying how anger can be used to mobilize social movement members to action (Goodwin & Jasper, 2006; Jasper 2011), how emotions can be “managed” in the service of organizational outcomes (Hochschild, 1983; Rafaeli & Sutton, 1987), and how emotions can be amplified in social settings (Collins, 2004; Hallett, 2003).
Early studies examining emotions in institutional theory have shown that emotions have important impacts such as: stimulating institutional work (Toubiana, Zietsma, & Bradshaw, 2013; Voronov & Vince, 2012), institutional conformity, disruption and recreation (Creed, Hudson, Okhuysen, & Smith-Crowe, 2014), energizing and constituting institutional logics (Friedland, Mohr, Roose, & Gardinali, 2014); influencing actor involvement in emerging fields (Grodal & Granqvist, 2014), and legitimacy and network spillovers (Haack, Pfarrer, & Scherer, 2014).
Yet, while there is a growing acknowledgement that emotions have been understudied and undertheorized in institutional theory (Creed, Dejordy, & Lok, 2010; Creed, et al., 2014; Voronov, forthcoming; Voronov & Vince, 2012), we have little understanding of why such study is important. What role do emotions play in key institutional processes like change, persistence and agency? How are institutional phenomena like reflexivity, identity and logics shaped or altered by emotion? Are emotions constituted by or constitutors of institutional dynamics? How – and why – do emotions matter? In this special themed section of Organization Studies, we are seeking to move “beyond the gap” to identify how and why emotions matter to core institutional processes and phenomena. Our goal is to consider the diverse ways in which emotions may play a role in the enactment, management, persistence and change of institutions to determine whether there is, or should be, a place for emotions in the study of institutions.
Key Questions and Themes:
We encourage contributions that adopt a wide variety of perspectives on institutional dynamics, such as: institutional work, institutional logics, institutional complexity, legitimacy and microfoundations. We are open to multiple levels of analysis individual, organizational and field as well as to diverse methodological approaches. The following questions highlight potential areas of interest, but we welcome submissions that go beyond these issues.
Organization Studies is hosted on SAGE track a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/orgstudies to login and submit your article online. Once you have created your account and you are ready to submit your paper you need to choose this particular special themed section from the drop down menu that is provided for the type of submission.
IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.
All papers will be double-blindly reviewed following the journal’s normal review process and criteria. Any papers which may be accepted but will not be included in the special themed section will be published in an ordinary issue at a later point in time.
For further information please contact one of the Guest Editors for this special themed section: Charlene Zietsma (
); or Madeline Toubiana (
Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Creed, W. E. D., Dejordy, R., & Lok, J. (2010). Being the change: Resolving institutional contradiction through identity work. Academy of Management Journal, 53(6), 1336-1364.
Creed, W. E. D., Hudson, B. A., Okhuysen, G. A., & Smith-Crowe, K. (2014). Swimming in a sea of shame: incorporating emotion into explanations of institutional reproduction and change. Academy of Management Review.
Friedland, R. 2013. God, love and other good reasons for practice: Thinking through institutional logics. In M. Lounsbury, & E. Boxenbaum (Eds.), Institutional Logics in Action: Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 39A: 25-50: Emerald.
Friedland, R., Mohr, J., Roose, H., & Gardinali, P. (2014). The institutional logics of love: Measuring intimate life. Theory and Society.
Goodrick, E., & Reay, T. (2011). Constellations of institutional logics: Changes in the professional work of pharmacists. Work & Occupations, 38(3), 372-416.
Goodwin, J., & Jasper, J. M. (2006). Emotions and social movements. In J. E. Stets & J. H. Turner (Eds.), Handbook of the sociology of emotions (pp. 611-636). New York: Springer.
Grodal, S., & Granqvist, N. (2014). Great expectations: Discourse and affect during field emergence. In N. M. Ashkanasy, W. J. Zerbe & C. E. J. Härtel (Eds.), Emotions and the Organizational Fabric, Research on Emotion in Organizations (Vol. 10): Emerald Group, 10, 139-166.
Haack, P., Pfarrer, M. D., & Scherer, A. G. (2014). Legitimacy-as-Feeling: How Affect Leads to Vertical Legitimacy Spillovers in Transnational Governance. Journal of Management Studies, 51(4), 634-666.
Hallett, T. (2003). Emotional Feedback and Amplification in Social Interaction. The Sociological Quarterly, 44(4), 705-726.
Hochschild, A. (1983). The managed heart: Communication of human feeling. Berkeley and LosAngeles: University of California Press.
Jasper, J. M. (2011). Emotions and social movements: twenty years of theory and research. Annual Review of Sociology, 37, 285-303.
Lawrence, T. B., and Suddaby, R. (2006). Institutions and institutional work. In S. R. Clegg, C. Hardy, T. B. Lawrence, and W. R. Nord (eds.), Handbook of Organization Studies, 2nd ed.: 215–254. London: Sage.
Maguire, S., and Hardy, C. (2009). Discourse and deinstitutionalization: The decline of DDT. Academy of Management Journal, 52: 148–178.
Pache, A.-C., & Santos, F. (2012). Inside the hybrid organization: Selective coupling as a reponse to conflicting institutional logics. Academy of Management Journal, 56(4), 972-1001.
Rafaeli, A., & Sutton, R. I. (1987). Expression of emotion as part of the work role. Academy of Management Review, 12(1), 23-37.
Toubiana, M., Zietsma, C., & Bradshaw, P. (2013). Why won’t you advocate for us? Exploring the disruptive institutional work of marginalized stakeholders. Presented at EGOS, Montreal.
Voronov, M. (Ed.). (2014). Towards a toolkit for emotionalizing institutional theory. In N. M. Ashkanasy, W. J. Zerbe & C. E. J. Härtel (Eds.), Emotions and the Organizational Fabric (Research on Emotion in Organizations, Vol. 10): Emerald Group, 10, 167-196.
Voronov, M., & Vince, R. (2012). Integrating emotions into the analysis of institutional work. Academy of Management Review, 37(1), 58-81.
Special Issue of Organization Studies
The Material and Visual Turn in Organization Theory:
Objectifying and (Re)acting to Novel Ideas
Eva Boxenbaum (Mines ParisTech & Copenhagen Business School).
Candace Jones (Boston College)
Renate Meyer (WU Vienna & Copenhagen Business School)
Silviya Svejenova (Copenhagen Business School & Esade Business School)
Organization Studies, the official journal of the European Group for Organization Studies (EGOS), invites submissions for a Special Issue on “The Material and Visual Turn in Organization Theory: Objectifying and (Re)acting to Novel Ideas”.
Deadline for paper submissions: February 28th 2015
Contemporary organizations increasingly rely on images, logos, videos, building and office design, building materials, physical product design and a range of other material and visual expressions to form identity, communicate, organize their activities, and compete. For example, organizations build consumer awareness through websites and twitter feeds, express corporate values and shape employee interactions through building designs, and reformulate the way we interact with technologies and one another through products like Apple’s Macintosh and i-phone.
Visual and material artefacts can travel as fast and as far as complex, abstract ideas expressed in words, and they are as open to interpretation as is text. They capture the imagination of audiences in new and substantially different ways, triggering a range of cognitive, emotional and other responses that transform audiences into active co-creators and communicators of symbolic meaning. Yet, our theories of organizations are ill equipped to capture the significance of the visual and material turn, and the ways in which organizations and other actors objectify novel ideas and engage (with) their members as well as various audiences in the (re)active co-creation, contestation, stabilization, diffusion, and deinstitutionalization of innovations. In fact, the social sciences have paid attention to materiality and visuality in the past (e.g. Gilles Deleuze, Emile Durkheim, Michel Foucault, Richard Rorty, and Michel Serres, among others) but these elements have perhaps been lost or distorted in their translation into organization theory. It is only recently that organizational scholars have begun to take interest in either integrating these two inter-related aspects of organizing within existing organizational theories or formulating entirely new theories and methodologies that are adapted to their empirical study.
In the late 20th century, social scientists have tended to emphasize the primacy of the linguistic and cultural dimensions of organizational life. Indeed, we have experienced a “linguistic turn” (Rorty, 1967, 1991) and a “cultural turn” where scholars examine cognitive and shared cultural frameworks constructed through language (e.g., Berger & Luckmann, 1967; Meyer & Rowan, 1977; Searle, 1997) that direct practices (e.g. Alexander, Giesen & Mast 2006; Bourdieu, 1977; Lounsbury & Crumley, 2007). As a consequence of how these works have been employed in or applied to organizational theory, material and visual dimensions of organizing tend to be absent or immaterial in the cognitive and cultural frameworks that dominate organizational theories, even those that emphasize material practices (Jones, Boxenbaum & Anthony, 2013).
Although many social and organizational theories do not attend to material and visual expressions, scholars do acknowledge material and visual artefacts as critical elements, which populate, express and construct our social worlds and organizational experiences. For instance, forms, images, visualizations, and assemblages are found essential for processes of organizing (Quattrone, Puyou, McLean & Thrift, 2012). Artefacts are considered central to collective processes such as sensemaking (Stigliani & Ravasi, 2012) and semiotic processes through signification (Friedland, 2001), as well as conduits for expression of occupational jurisdictions, identity, and legitimacy (Bechky, 2003; Fiol & O’Conner, 2006; Rafaeli & Pratt, 2006; Rafaeli & Vilnai-Yavetz, 2004). Design, texture and color, and new technologies excite consumer responses and stabilize new markets (Eisenman, 2013). When advertising materials decay or are misplaced, an intended message to prevent AIDS and improve public health goes awry or falls silent (McDonnell, 2010). Meaning and boundaries of novel managerial ideas are defined and translated through their visual representation (Höllerer, Jancsary, Meyer & Vettori, 2013). Buildings direct our social interactions (Gieryn, 2002), materialize our ideas (Jones & Massa, 2013) and shift cultural understandings and social relations (Jones, Maoret, Massa & Svejenova, 2012).
In fact, some of the organizational theories, perspectives, and analytical approaches that have emerged in recent decades engage more directly with the study of artefacts. For instance, science and technology studies (STS) have developed significant insight into how material objects instantiate ideas, shape collective knowledge, streamline organizational practice, and assign value to a variety of phenomena (e.g., Callon, 1986; Latour, 1987; Pinch & Bijker, 1984). Actor-network theory (ANT) scholars have investigated the acts of experimenting, measuring, calculating, writing, and communicating as constitutive of scientific facts (Muniesa, forthcoming), whereas social construction of technology (SCOT) researchers have examined material objects as arenas of negotiation among actor groups with divergent interests (Pinch & Trocco, 2002). Activity theory scholars have explored the intersection of human consciousness, activity, and interaction design, focusing on the human engagement with digital artefacts in the totality of their potentials (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2006). Another line of research on materiality has developed around management tools as an element that fundamentally structure and shape organizational practice (Chiapello & Gilbert, 2013; Labatut, Aggeri & Girard, 2012). Finally, research related to institutional work has explored not only the dynamic relationship between organizational practice and artefacts but also the institutional conditions and effects of these dynamics (e.g., Blanc & Huault, 2014; Gond & Boxenbaum, 2013; Lawrence, Leca & Zilber, 2013; Raviola & Norbäck, 2013).
Scholars engaging with materiality and visuality tend however to focus on associated social understandings and social processes rather than on the material and visual artefacts themselves (e.g., see Leonardi & Barley, 2008; Orlikowski & Scott, 2010 for reviews). For instance, theoretical work has defined material practices as organizational structures known through symbolic processes (Thornton, Ocasio & Lounsbury, 2012). Further, there has been a growing interest in the “turn to things” (Geiryn, 2002; Preda, 1999), the material basis of organizing (Leonardi, Nardi & Kalinikos, 2012), “how matter matters” (Carlile, Nicolini, Langley & Tsoukas, 2013), and the visual dimension of organizations, organizing and organizational research (Bell, Warren & Schroeder, 2014; Meyer, Höllerer, Jancsary & van Leeuwen, 2013). Responses to these calls are scattered and infrequent and contained within distinct academic communities, which prevents a dialogue on the emergent material and visual turn in social and organizational theories across different ‘epistemic communities’ (Holt & den Hond, 2013).
This special issue seeks to advance the study of organizations and organizing by exploring how organizations, organizational members and audiences experience and engage with materiality and visuality in the course of objectifying and responding to new ideas. It brings into focus the material and visual artefacts themselves, and aims to involve a diverse range of scholars and scholarly traditions in a debate about their significance in organizational life. We welcome submissions that address materiality and visuality from different epistemological vantage points, in different contexts, through different methodologies, and in both textual and visual form. We are also open to work that seeks to juxtapose, connect or explore the limits of the visual and the material dimensions in ways that advance the study of organizations. In particular, we invite submissions that address the following three major questions and provide novel insights on them:
1. How do ideas take form through visual and material representation?
We invite articles that examine the nature and role of objectification in organizations. Processes of objectifying refer to the act of giving expression to abstract ideas, ideals, or feelings in a form that can be experienced by others through touch and/or vision. What ideas get objectified and which ones remain in the realm of the abstract? Through which types of objects and artefacts are new ideas objectified? Who objectifies novel ideas in organizations and what form can that objectification take (e.g. sketches, models, reports)? Are some forms of objectification better at focusing the attention of employees, investors, or other stakeholders, and at evoking response in them? Which practices and processes facilitate or hamper such objectification (e.g. prototyping, designing workplaces for play)?
2. How do audiences experience visual and material artefacts and how do they enact those experiences?
Although material and visual artefacts underpin our individual and collective experience, we rarely examine the reactions they provoke in audiences. In the contemporary hyper-objectified organizational realities, audiences play a more active and ambivalent role as both producers and consumers of innovative ideas. They may have larger margins for interpreting and reacting emotionally to new ideas when they are expressed visually and materially rather than textually. How do objectified novel ideas become noticed/selected (or unnoticed/deselected) through visual/material expression? How do visual and material artefacts entice interpretations and provoke emotional responses in individuals, and how do such individual responses consolidate into shared definitions and/or emotive reactions to objectified ideas? And finally, how do these collective responses manifest in behavioural patterns within organizations?
3. How do visual and material artefacts (and the ideas they represent) take on a collective form?
Through visual and material objectification, innovative ideas can further impact the field level as local (re)actions crystallize into patterns of action, thought or interaction that other organizations can imitate. We invite papers on the following questions: How do audience (re)actions at the organizational level crystallize into collective patterns, such as established aesthetic styles and best practices that inspire other actors to adopt and reinterpret visual and material artefacts in their own organizational context? How do objectifications become arenas for competing interpretations of material and visual artefacts? And when do actors stop noticing taken-for-granted links between new ideas and their representation in material/ visual artefacts?
Deadline: Papers must be received by February 28th 2015.
Please submit papers through the journal’s online submission system, SAGE track. To do so, please visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/orgstudies, create your user account (if you have not done so already), and for “Manuscript Type” choose the corresponding Special Issue. All papers that enter the reviewing process will be double-blind reviewed following the journal’s normal review process and criteria. You will be able to submit your paper for this Special Issue through SAGETrack between the 1st and the 28th of February 2015.
For further information please contact one of the Guest Editors for this Special Issue:
Eva Boxenbaum (
), Candace Jones (
), Renate Meyer (
) or Silviya Svejenova (
For administrative support and general queries, please contact Sophia Tzagaraki, Managing Editor of Organization Studies:
This year’s OMT Doctoral Consortium in Philadelphia, co-organized by Forrest Briscoe (Penn State University) and Mark Ebers (University of Cologne), saw a large number of applications and a strong pool of nominees. We were able to include 48 diverse doctoral students from around the world. In addition, more than 20 faculty members generously donated their time and expertise to make the consortium a success.
The event started Thursday night with cocktails and dinner at Zahav restaurant in Society Hill, followed by a full day of activity on Friday that included keynote addresses from Woody Powell (Stanford) and Andy Van de Ven (University of Minnesota). Two scholarly panels focused on the topics of getting published and managing your career (including the job market). In addition, due to popularity last year, we allocated two full hours for small-group research roundtables organized using project proposals that participants submitted in advance. These roundtables provided an opportunity for detailed feedback and close dialogue with established scholars and other participants sharing common interests. The program also included a welcome message from Candy Jones (Boston College), upcoming OMT Division Chair, who highlighted our division’s inclusiveness, developmental orientation, and intellectual vibrancy. The following faculty served as panelists and mentors:
In mid-afternoon, the Doctoral Consortium joined the OMT Junior Faculty Consortium for teaching roundtables, organized by David Touve (Washington and Lee U.), Chair of the OMT Teaching Committee.
This event was generously sponsored by Emerald and Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business.
This year’s OMT Junior Faculty Consortium was co-organized by Chris Marquis (Cornell) and Brayden King (Kellogg), and included 42 junior faculty from the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United States. In addition, 20 senior faculty members generously donated their time and expertise serving as mentors and panelists.
The event started Thursday night with a cocktail hour and dinner at the restaurant Supper. The morning on Friday's included two Research Roundtables, where the faculty mentors engaged in intensive discussion of junior faculty members’ research in progress, with a ratio of one faculty mentor to three junior faculty participants. A unique feature of the program this year was a keynote talk on writing for top journals by Linda Johanson, Managing Editor of Administrative Science Quarterly. The morning closed with a panel on “Early Career Success”, that included Rodolphe Durand (HEC Paris), Greta Hsu (UC Davis) and Siobhan O’Mahony (Boston University).
In the afternoon, there was a working lunch were participants were able to have an informal discussions with the senior faculty mentors. The final formal activity of the Consortium was a panel discussion on “The Present and Future of OMT”, featuring three former OMT Distinguished Scholars: Linda Argote (Carnegie Mellon), Dan Levinthal (Wharton), and Ed Zajac (Kellogg).
In the mid-afternoon, many of the participants in the JFC joined the OMT Teaching Roundtables, co-organized by Chris Quinn Trank (Vanderbilt) and David Touve (Washington and Lee).
This year’s OMT Dissertation Proposal Workshop, organized by Division Chair Michael Lounsbury (Alberta School of Business), saw an exceptionally strong pool of applications from around the world. Twenty doctoral students at the conceptualization stage of their dissertation gathered with prominent faculty mentors over lunch (at Fork Restaurant in Philadelphia) to get advice and suggestions for developing their dissertation research. This was a tremendous opportunity for students to network with and get feedback from each other as well as established scholars in an informal and congenial atmosphere. I want to especially thank the following mentors for sharing their time and expertise: Mary Ann Glynn (Boston College), Royston Greenwood (Alberta School of Business), Sarah Kaplan (University of Toronto), Willie Ocasio (Northwestern University), Don Palmer (University of California-Davis), Violina Rindova (University of Texas-Austin), Klaus Weber (Northwestern University), Jim Westphal (University of Michigan), and Dave Whetten (Brigham Young University).
This event was generously sponsored by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
Bright and early at 8 am on Friday, August 1, I was already double-booked (in attendance, not presentation!) for the first PDW slot of this year’s Academy Meeting. I was caught between two promising OMT–sponsored sessions: Navigating Institutional Complexity and Cultural Design and Designing Culture. Starbucks in hand, I selected the latter because its subtitle (Institutions, Values, and Entrepreneurs) offered to link PDW conversations to my recent dissertation focus on cultural production and competing values via Boltanski and Thévenot’s orders of worth. Plus, I had other “institutional complexity” opportunities in the program, as well as a recent visit to Rome at the New Institutionalism Workshop.
Though not focused on the orders of worth literature specifically, this PDW produced a number of useful insights, illuminating research opportunities when connecting the notion of design to investigations of culture, innovation, and entrepreneurship. After a brief introduction by organizers Joel Gehman, Matthew Grimes, Tyler Wry, and Jean Clarke, the esteemed panel provided diverse considerations in developing a research program focused on the PDW theme. Below, I outline a few of the PDW deliberations and corresponding conclusions:
Siobhan O’Mahony opened the panel suggesting that “cultural design” implies intentionality that can be strategic, but not necessarily coordinated. As culture precedes markets, cultural work helps to define what is valued by markets. There is, however, an empirical and theoretical challenge—how do we nail down the “cultural work” that precedes markets? This open question merits future methodological development.
Violina Rindova asked how to bring the cultural side to entrepreneurship, possibly through ideas of cultural competence. In reaction to one of her recent paper submissions, a reviewer asked, “What is this, Bourdieu meets HBR?” This question highlights the legitimizing work ahead for scholars who see a clear connection between entrepreneurs and cultural influences. Violina sees a promising avenue by using culture as toolkits, investigating systematic processes at the organizational level that engage this toolkit, possibly through as-yet-undertheorized collective (rather than individual) schemas.
Klaus Weber stated that he was initially “befuddled” at the PDW’s conceptual connection since he saw design as a situated social practice, user-centric and distributed. To him, the concept of design is more overtly cultural when it involves more than a single designer and becomes a collective process, where culture *is* the designer (or shapes the designs). In other words, cultural resources and communities matter because they structure meaning and share identity. Alternatively, the product of the design process is the shaping of culture—the object becoming the materiality of morality. Material objects or practices embed morality and prompt people to act in a certain way, and in this way culture and design connect through the materials of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Alan Meyer described his project with Jennifer Howard-Grenville and Matthew Metzger that investigated “collective identity resurrection,” not through the “cool” strategic process, but through hot emotions and lived experience. Though this experience (“the most fun I’ve every had collecting data”), Alan described the immediate and quasi–spiritual quality of the community’s active design of their cultural identity.
Majken Schultz described how every present or future corporate identity design demands a new past that illustrates the inevitability of the present and future. In other words, the past’s cultural location provides narrative resources that identity designers use for entrepreneurship and innovation activities. Through these statements, Majken demonstrated issues of temporality in any cultural design investigation. She invoked the pragmatist philosophers’ suggestion that a new future requires a new past.
Mary Ann Glynn focused on culture as an embodied meaning system enacted by a collective. Design is a cultural resource like any other resource—human, financial, etc—one that can be both produced and consumed. Given a choice, which resources do we pull down & use? Mary Ann emphasized culture as a collective property, and one that methodologically needs more studies with mixed methods to follow cultural traces through symbols, language, and stories.
Raghu Garud extended the idea of culture as a collective resource by noting that at 3M, culture was distributed through stories. However, these stories are not linear—context matters, especially as it relates to temporality and intertemporality, as Majken described. Raghu highlighted the problem with publication standards in management, where authors linearize both research and empirical processes in order for the editors to understand and accept the work. However, this linearization does not accurately represent the ongoing structuration and complexity of reality.
Ted Baker noted how few entrepreneurs have an identity as an entrepreneur. Instead, their entrepreneurship lies in strategically constructing an organizational identity among myriad cultural categories. This activity involves “vicious contestation” to define the culture and structure of organizations, using culture as a resource that entrepreneurs fracture in order to use the pieces and construct narratives.
At the conclusion of the panel’s remarks, Mike Lounsbury pushed the panelists on the idea of intentionality, and how to engage methodologically with culture. To this, Mary Ann noted that not all cultural tools are available to everyone at the same time, so scholars can monitor the control of cultural tool use (i.e., When will you be outed as a fraud? Is that the determination of tool use?).
Raghu suggested that the use of language is intentional, and though we aim not to stumble, at times we do. This theme emerged later at the break-out table I joined with Siobhan, Violina, Howard Aldrich, Joel Gehman, and other attendees. We discussed the recent situation of Mozilla and their CEO Brendan Eich, who contributed $1,000 in 2008 to California’s Prop 8, which sought to ban same-sex marriage. As Mozilla’s mission “is to promote openness, innovation & opportunity on the Web,” Eich’s donation was seen by many stakeholders as conflicting with the mission of the company, and therefore improper behavior for the firm’s CEO, resulting in significant negative press and boycotts. Our table’s conversation examined how the mismatch between Eich’s behavior and “Silicon Valley, a region of the business world where social liberalism is close to a universal ideology”* exemplifies the sensitivity firms must show to widely-held cultural values. In other words, culturally astute companies take culture seriously as a strategic action, and understand cultural shifts in advance rather than being “culturally lucky”.
Howard Aldrich noted how changes in the selection environment can influence available resources. Customers can forget, and therefore, customers play a role in both the enactment of the good or service (e.g., “tall skinny half-caff”) as well as provide expectations for the good or service. As an example, cloud computing relies completely on cultural acceptance of the model.
Referencing her dissertation work with Starbucks, Violina stressed the need for better theories of engaging strategically with culture. In her example, every strategic analysis of the commodity coffee industry would have indicated that there was no potential for growth or entrepreneurship. Instead, Starbucks became a designer of experiences, its creation “a cultural project.” Further, Starbucks intentionally invested ahead of a growth curve, showing what actors can do when they understand cultural resources available for capitalization. This form of cultural investment extends beyond coffee, as Starbucks became early founders of the USGBC’s green building certification product for chains/prototype stores, and more recently supports social sustainability by promising full tuition reimbursement for their employees pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
With the Starbucks example, the table’s conversation turned to developing design thinking in executive training, emphasizing the value of culture as an exploitable resource. The emergence of IDEO & Apple both provide exemplars for increasing the face validity of studying the transformation of strategically “unattractive” industries by leveraging a cultural project.
The break-out session was quite lively, reducing the “reporting back” plenary time. In keeping to the schedule, the organizers invited participants to the 4th Alberta Institutions Conference titled “How Do Institutions Matter?” in June 2015. This call for abstracts highlighted how little of the morning’s conversations engaged notions of institutions, though we relied heavily on the related constructs of values and culture.
In summary, this session explored a number of promising new research directions to develop more robust theories of engaging strategically with culture. In many ways, this phrase “engaging strategically with culture” encompasses the intentionality Siobhan referred to at the start of the PDW when discussing the role of design in innovation and entrepreneurship. As a result, scholars’ engagement with culture inevitably capture values that guide institutions and enacted institutional logics. I look forward to future work in this area from the scholars gathered at the PDW. Many thanks to the organizers for providing an invigorating start to my morning and to the conference!
Tags: Academy of Management | AOM Annual Meeting | PDW
The Meet OMT at EGOS Reception has been, once again, wildly successful! This great event was sponsored by Nijmegen School of Management at Radboud University and Research in the Sociology of Organizations (Emerald Publishing).
The reception offered a wonderful opportunity to meet colleagues from the OMT community for the first time or catch up with old friends, all while enjoying a refreshing drink and the beautiful weather Rotterdam blessed us with. As Michael Lounsbury, OMT Division Chair, enthusiastically noted: "The estimate was 500 attendees, well beyond expectations. It was a great event. OMT is blossoming in Europe as our European membership is approximately half of the OMT division. The collaboration with EGOS is especially important to us."
See you next year in Athens!
- Posted on behalf of Chris Marquis -
OMT held a paper development workshop in Beijing, China as part of the International Association for Chinese Management Research (IACMR) bi-annual meeting on June 22, 2014. Faculty mentors that made the trip to China included Phil Anderson, Forrest Briscoe, Chris Marquis and Klaus Weber. OMT also co-hosted (with Shanghai Jiaotong University) a Meet OMT Reception at the IACMR on June 20.
We had a number of generous sponsors. Shanghai Jiaotong Univeristy sponsored cost of the venue and refreshments at the reception and Peking University, Renmin University, and Tsinghua University all sponsored some of the mentors travel costs.
Demand for the workshop was relatively strong as we received 35 submissions. However, with just 4 faculty mentors, we could only accept 16 papers. Four of the participants were doctoral students; 12 were junior faculty. The following universities were represented:
Our sense from this trip and interacting with participants at the broader conference and at the workshop is that there is a lot of interest in OMT topics and research!
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Posted on behalf of Verena Girschik and Luda Svystunova
Call for Submissions
NEW INSTITUTIONALISM ACROSS BORDERS:
Workshop on Recent Developments in Institutional Theory and the MNC Research Context
Copenhagen Business School, 30-31 October 2014
We invite submissions for a 2-day workshop on recent developments in New (Organizational) Institutionalism and research on multinational firms (MNCs). The aim of this workshop is to offer a supportive setting for participants to receive feedback on papers at various stages of development, and to provide opportunities for meeting others interested in organizational institutionalism and the MNC research context.
International business and management scholars have only recently started to incorporate the developments in institutional theory that address agency and change, for instance by considering the role of MNCs as institutional entrepreneurs (Kostova, Roth and Dacin 2008; Regner and Edman, forthcoming). At the same time, organizational scholars interested in these phenomena have only occasionally used the MNC as a context to explore their ideas, despite the many characteristics that make MNCs particularly suitable for such research (eg. Thornton, Ocasio and Lounsbury 2012). Since MNCs operate across borders, the MNC research context make theoretical issues such as institutional complexity, translation, and change particularly salient (see also Roth and Kostova 2003). We therefore hope that this workshop will serve as a forum to identify and discuss the ways in which recent developments in organizational institutionalism can inform MNC research, and in how, in turn, the MNC context could be used to develop and challenge institutional ideas.
We invite all conceptual and empirical papers on different aspects of new institutionalism and the MNC, and are particularly interested in papers advancing synergies between the two literatures. For example, they may address the following themes:
- How can we usefully apply institutional concepts and insights to the MNC?
- How does the MNC research context challenge institutional explanations? What are the limitations of institutional explanations of MNC phenomena?
- How can the MNC research context advance institutional theory?
- What are the qualitative, quantitative or mixed method strategies for capturing institutional phenomena in the MNC context?
Key note speakers: Tatiana Kostova (Darla Moore School of Business) and tba.
Please submit an extended abstract (3000 words) or a full paper to
by no later than September 8. We will notify you by September 19, and you will have the opportunity to update your contribution until October 10.
Fees, travel and accommodation:
There is no participation fee, but we do ask you to pay for your own travel and accommodation.
If you have any questions regarding the workshop, please contact:
Verena Girschik (
) or Luda Svystunova (
Kostova, T., Roth, K., & Dacin, M. T. (2008). Institutional theory in the study of multinational corporations: A critique and new directions. Academy of Management Review, 33(4), 994-1006.
Regnér, P., & Edman, J. (forthcoming). MNE institutional advantage: How subunits shape, transpose and evade host country institutions. Journal of International Business Studies.
Roth, K., & Kostova, T. (2003). The use of the multinational corporation as a research context. Journal of management, 29(6), 883-902.
Thornton, P. H., Ocasio, W., & Lounsbury, M. (2012). The institutional logics perspective: A new approach to culture, structure, and process. Oxford University Press.
We are pleased to announce the 2nd Emotions and Institution Workshop, which is planned for December 15 and 16th, 2014, at the Schulich School of Business, York University, in Toronto, Canada. The theme is “Beyond the gap: Discovering the impact and importance of studying emotions and institutions”. High quality papers will be encouraged to submit to a special topic forum at Organization Studies, for which a separate call for papers will be issued. Deadline for full papers for the workshop is September 1st, 2014. More information is below. There will be no fee for the workshop, but we do ask you to cover your own travel and accommodation expenses. Please submit papers or questions to workshop organizers Charlene Zietsma (
) or Madeline Toubiana (
), and join our linkedin group “Emotions and Institutions” where we will have relevant resources, papers, and information on upcoming events.
Background on the Emotions and Institutions Workshop There is a growing acknowledgement that emotions have been understudied and undertheorized in institutional theory (Creed, Dejordy, & Lok, 2010; Creed, Hudson, Okhuysen, & Smith-Crowe, forthcoming; Voronov, forthcoming; Voronov & Vince, 2012), yet we have little understanding of why such study is important, and what role emotions play in key institutional phenomena like change, persistence, agency, reflexivity, identity and logics. As Friedland (2013: 44) described: “institutional life…demands myriad moments of located passion”. But how – and why – do emotions matter? In this conference we are seeking to move “beyond the gap” to look at the ways in which an empirical and theoretical focus on emotions may improve our understanding of core institutional phenomena.
Early efforts show that emotions have important impacts such as: stimulating institutional work (Toubiana, Zietsma, & Bradshaw, 2012; Voronov & Vince, 2012), institutional conformity, disruption and recreation (Creed, et al., forthcoming), energizing and constituting institutional logics (Friedland, Mohr, Roose, & Gardinali, forthcoming); influencing actor involvement in emerging fields (Grodal & Granqvist, forthcoming), and legitimacy and network spillovers (Haack, Pfarrer, & Scherer, 2014). Related areas have also explored how emotions can be amplified in social settings (Collins, 2004; Hallett, 2003), and examined the effects of emotions on social outcomes and processes (Goodwin & Jasper, 2006; Jasper, 2011). In this workshop, we will bring together scholars leading the charge in the emerging area of emotions and institutions to further the conversation and galvanize their efforts to develop meaningful contributions to institutional theory. Roger Friedland will provide a keynote presentation, and other leading scholars will present a closing panel.
Dr. Charlene ZietsmaAssociate Professor and Ann Brown Chair in Organization StudiesSchulich School of BusinessYork University
Madeline Toubiana B.Com, M.EdPhD CandidateOrganization StudiesSchulich School of BusinessYork University
Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Creed, W. E. D., Dejordy, R., & Lok, J. (2010). Being the change: Resolving institutional contradiction through identity work. Academy of Management Journal, 53(6), 1336-1364.
Creed, W. E. D., Hudson, B. A., Okhuysen, G. A., & Smith-Crowe, K. (forthcoming). Swimming in a sea of shame: incorporating emotion into explanations of institutional reproduction and change. Academy of Management Review.
Friedland, R. (2013). God, love and other good reasons for practice: Thinking through institutional logics. In M. Lounsbury & E. Boxenbaum (Eds.), Institutional Logics in Action: Research in the Sociology of Organizations (Vol. 39A, pp. 25-50): Emerald Group Publishing.
Friedland, R., Mohr, J., Roose, H., & Gardinali, P. (forthcoming). The institutional logics of love: measuring intimate life. Theory and Society.
Goodwin, J., & Jasper, J. M. (2006). Emotions and social movements. In J. E. Stets & J. H. Turner (Eds.), Handbook of the sociology ofemotions (pp. 611-636). New York: Springer.
Grodal, S., & Granqvist, N. (forthcoming). Great expectations: Discourse and affect during field emergence. In N. M. Ashkanasy, W. J. Zerbe & C. E. J. Härtel (Eds.), Research on emotions in organizations (Vol. 10): Emerald. Haack, P., Pfarrer, M. D., & Scherer, A. G. (2014). Legitimacy-as-Feeling: How Affect Leads to Vertical Legitimacy Spillovers in Transnational Governance. Journal of Management Studies, 51(4), 634-666. Hallett, T. (2003). Emotional Feedback and Amplification in Social Interaction. The Sociological Quarterly, 44(4), 705-726. doi: 10.2307/4120729 Jasper, J. M. (2011). Emotions and social movements: twenty years of theory and research. Annual Review of Sociology, 37, 285-303. Toubiana, M., Zietsma, C., & Bradshaw, P. (2012). Why won’t you advocate for us? Exploring the disruptive institutional work of marginalized stakeholders. Academy of Management Proceedings. Voronov, M. (Ed.). (forthcoming). Towards a toolkit for emotionalizing institutional theory (Vol. 10): Emerald. Voronov, M., & Vince, R. (2012). Integrating emotions into the analysis of institutional work. Academy of Management Review, 37(1), 58-81. doi: 10.5465/armr.2010.0247
Tags: emotions and institutions | institutional theory | toronto | workshops
Building on a record number of paper and symposia submissions by OMT members, we have put together an exciting and diverse program for the upcoming meeting in Philadelphia. In total, the program includes 75 paper sessions and 75 symposia with something for everyone! In addition, there are a number of social events and other activities to round out your conference experience.
OMT had 610 paper submissions for 2014 AOM program. Of these, 301 papers were accepted (49% acceptance rate) and organized into 75 paper sessions. The resulting sessions explore exciting issues such as:
In addition to being very diverse and encompassing the full range of topics in OMT, the paper submissions are of particularly high quality and inclusion in the program was very competitive. More than 50% of the accepted papers were rated by reviewers as a 4.0 or higher out of 5.0. The papers included in the Best Paper Proceedings required an incredible rating of 4.67 or higher out of 5.0 for inclusion! It is clear that the OMT Division has a program of extremely high quality papers. Congratulations to the authors!
As has been the case in prior years, the program this year very much reflects the diverse theoretical and empirical perspectives of the OMT community. It bridges micro and macro theoretical perspectives and phenomena; employs diverse methodologies; and focuses inside, on, and around organizations. I will briefly summarize the most common keywords chosen by authors to describe their paper submissions to provide a view of this diversity:
OMT had 92 symposia submitted to the division for solo or co-sponsorship. In total, 75 symposia were accepted with the great majority co-sponsored with other division. OMT’s co-sponsorships reflect its boundary-spanning role in AOM. OMT is lead division on 31 of the symposia and a co-sponsor on the other 44. The primary divisions with which OMT is co-sponsoring symposia are: BPS (29), OB (19), TIM (15), ENT (10) and MOC (10). The 75 accepted symposia provide an intellectual feast for OMT members. I look forward to seeing you at some of these provocative and intellectually stimulating events.
To give a small sample of the variety of symposia that we have included in this year’s program:
I would like to thank the 907 reviewers who volunteered to review for OMT and who made selecting the papers and symposia for the program possible. We were able to provide three reviews for almost all of the papers (averaging 3.04 reviews per submission). OMT could not function without this vital and selfless task. Reviewers are the unsung heroes of the program and profession! I also particularly want to thank the reviewers who helped with last minute emergency reviewing. Your efforts are very much appreciated!
We particularly hope you can join us for the Meet OMT Social on Friday at 6:00 pm where the OMT Executive will be on hand and happy to meet you and discuss why “OMT is the place to be!” In addition, we hope you will join us for the OMT Business Meeting at 6:00 pm Monday (when this year’s artefact will be revealed!) followed by the OMT Social Hour. And, of course, not to be missed is the Distinguished Scholar Breakfast on Monday at 8:00 am where the Distinguished Scholar will receive his award and deliver the OMT Distinguished Scholar Address.
We hope you will be able attend the exceptional program that we are offering this year. We are sure you will enjoy it! As a reminder, the OMT events will be located in the Philadelphia Convention Center. I look forward to seeing you all at AoM 2014!
Nelson PhillipsOMT Division Program ChairImperial College London
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