OMT WebOrganization and Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management
Call for Applications: 2015 OMT Junior Faculty Consortium(Application deadline: May 18, 2015)
The OMT Division is pleased to invite applications for the 2015 OMT Junior Faculty workshop. If you have started a faculty position in the last few years, this workshop is for you! The workshop focuses on three areas: First, on developing your research for publication with the help of seasoned scholars in your area; second, on strategies for impact and growth as a scholar and teacher, and third, on navigating the early years of building a successful faculty career in diverse institutional settings. You will have a chance to interact with an exciting team of Faculty Fellows and diverse peers through developmental feedback on your research, panels, roundtable discussions and informal conversations.
For further details visit the Junior Faculty Consortium Workshop page.
5th KIN Summer School to be held in Amsterdam, July 6 - July 9, 2015.
The Summer School will address the growing need among scholars to understand in more detail what and how to study work practices and processes resulting from an interplay between (new) technologies and new ways of working as well as the management thereof. With the increasing number of journals welcoming interpretive and process based research on these topics, there is a growing need to learn how to study and publish research on such phenomena. Building on the successes of previous four editions, the summer school is designed to help develop the insights and skills of doctoral and post-doctoral students, pre-tenure faculty and early career researchers in theory development and methodologies within this multi-disciplinary field of knowledge, information and innovation (KIN).
The Summer School is organized by the KIN Research Group of the VU University Amsterdam (www.kinresearch.nl). In small groups we will also discuss participants’ own work in progress together with a faculty member. Confirmed teaching faculty present during the full 4 days are: Michael Barrett (Cambridge Judge Business School, UK), Samer Faraj (McGill University, Canada), Raghu Garud (Penn State University, USA), Ulrike Schultze (Cox Business School SMU USA), and Marleen Huysman (VU University Amsterdam).
For further information please visit the ABRI website: www.abri.vu.nl/en/events/courses-and-workshops/kin/index.asp
Call for Nominations: 13th Annual OMT Dissertation Proposal Workshop
11:30 – 2:30 pm, Saturday, August 8th, 2015
What It Is:
The Dissertation Proposal Workshop is a chance for students at the pre-proposal stage to draw on the wisdom and expertise of a group of established OMT scholars to develop a defensible dissertation proposal. Classes and preliminary exams usually have clear structures and guidelines, but we often get little sense of how to turn our vague good ideas into dissertation proposals that will intrigue potential committee members, pass a defense, and grow into a high-quality dissertation. This workshop aims to address this gap by improving the focus and framing of research questions, identifying and addressing methodological issues, and/or constructively critiquing conceptual foundations. As well as these important content issues, discussions may also address process issues like managing your dissertation committee, and completing the dissertation. The workshop consists of small roundtable discussions between faculty panelists and doctoral students working on dissertation proposals in the panelist’s area of expertise.
Who Should Attend:
The Dissertation Proposal Workshop is aimed at students who have completed preliminaries and have selected a dissertation topic but have not yet defended their dissertation proposal. If you have a 50-page proposal with data, well-defined hypotheses, and a committee, you are probably too advanced. On the other hand, if you have not narrowed your ideas beyond a broad theoretical or phenomenological space, you are probably too early.
How to Apply:
Doctoral students interested in participating in the workshop should have a faculty member send a short nominating email to Candace Jones (
). Nominees should also provide a 5-page abstract outlining a research area, methodological approach, and potential contributions. These abstracts will form the basis of discussions during the workshop and will be shared with the group at the participant’s table.
Deadline for Nominations:
May 31, 2015. Attendance is limited to 20 students so early application is advised.
Candace Jones, Boston College
Elites on Trial, the latest volume in Research in the Sociology of Organizations, has just been published.
Series: Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Volume 43
Editors: Glenn Morgan, Paul Hirsch and Sigrid Quack
Publication date: 2 February 2015
In 2008, the world entered a new period of turmoil. Financial markets collapsed, banks and other financial institutions went in to crisis; credit dried up, consumption reduced and firms started to cut back and reduce investment in the light of uncertainty. Unemployment increased and welfare payments increased. States that borrowed to save their banks and to maintain their spending found the financial markets and the international institutions condemning their profligacy and urging austerity policies.
This book is concerned with what happens when elites are challenged by such a crisis; in our terms, elites are 'on trial' firstly for their role in the past and shaping the context for the crisis, secondly in terms of how they responded to the crisis and finally in terms of what role they are playing in the aftermath. Can they reestablish their legitimacy or will they fail this trial and find themselves replaced by other groups with different objectives? This collection draws together a variety of studies and approaches to these issues from a group of international authors which helps us understand 'elites on trial' in the contemporary period.
Elites, Varieties of Capitalism and the Crisis of Neo-Liberalism
Fighting the Financial Crisis: The Social Construction and Deconstruction of the Financial Crisis in Denmark
View the full table of contents
2015 OMT Doctoral Student Consortium Academy of Management Annual Meeting Vancouver, Canada August 7, 2015
Call for Applications -- Revised Deadline: April 30, 2015
We are pleased to announce that the Organization and Management Theory (OMT) division will once again hold a Doctoral Student Consortium as part of the pre-conference activities at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting. Designed just for OMT members, the goal of this consortium is to help doctoral students who are broadly interested in organizations and management as they enter the final phase of their doctoral programs and prepare for the job market and future careers. We aim to help you make the most of your doctoral program, advance your research, consider how best to publish your dissertation or parts thereof, find a job in the academic or professional world, and, perhaps most importantly, establish professional networks with colleagues who share similar research interests.
For further details visit the Doctoral Consortium Workshop page.
2015 Doctoral Consortium Sponsors:
Tags: AOM Annual Meeting | call for applications | doctoral student consortium
The second Emotions and Institutions Workshop was held at Schulich School of Business in Toronto this December, organized by Charlene Zietsma and Madeline Toubiana. Participants from across North America and Europe came together to investigate the relationships among emotions and core institutional processes and phenomena. We began with an energizing emotion-directed improv game in which participants tested their creative skills as they imagined interactions between camels, dogs and Tom Cruise! An opening panel featuring Doug Creed, Maxim Voronov and Bryant Hudson outlined the field and the work on emotions and institutions to date.
In addition to a variety of papers, which showcased emotions as ubiquitous, relational, used strategically, motivators of institutional activity, and constituted andconstitutors of institutional life, participants were treated to a stimulating keynote address by Roger Friedland of the University of California, Santa Barbara and NYU. “The Institutional Logics of Love: The Order of Passion in an Intimate Field”, explored how the emotional love lives of college students were impacted by their institutional beliefs. The workshop ended with a closing panel featuring Roy Suddaby, Mike Lounsbury, Roger Friedland and Charlene Zietsma.
Charlene Zietsma and Madeline Toubiana also will be the guest editors for a special themed section ofOrganization Studies on “Beyond the Gap: Discovering the impact and importance of studying Emotions and Institutions.” The deadline for submission is March 31, 2015. For more information, please see the call for papers posting: http://omtweb.org/omt-blog/53-main/581-organization-studies-call-for-papers. Plans are underway for a follow-up workshop next year. If you missed the workshop and want to be included in future communications, contact Charlene Zietsma (
), Madeline Toubiana (
), or Anna Roberts (
). Pictures from the event can be found on OMT's Facebook page.
In a recent paper entitled “Accounting, Organizing and Economizing: Connecting Accounting Research and Organization Theory”, published in The Academy of Management Annals, 2013, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 557-605, Peter Miller and Michael Power – two pioneers of the discipline of accounting – have summarized the history of accounting and outlined some avenues for further research between accounting research and organization theory.
Peter and Michael accepted to explain to us what motivated them to write this major piece and what they believe to be a fruitful intellectual path for organization theorists and accountants in the future.
What were your motivations for writing your paper on ‘Accounting, Organizing and Economizing’ in the Academy of Management Annals?
Our motives for writing this paper were multiple, and no doubt some of them unconscious. Perhaps the most important motivation, though, is that we were asked to do it. Or rather, Michael Lounsbury invited us to do a review of the accounting literature for an organizations and management audience, and we interpreted this request in our own particular way.
As we started putting the paper together, we realised it was an opportunity to take stock of an agenda in accounting research that had emerged around the journal Accounting, Organizations and Society (as well as several other accounting journals, subsequently), and where numerous points of contact between accounting and other fields have been made. The founder of that journal, the late Anthony Hopwood, played a central role in establishing and promoting that agenda, and his work made it possible to see accounting systems not only as the contingent outcomes of other variables, but as mechanisms of change in their own right, not least in constituting organizations as economic entities. This is of course now widely accepted in accounting research, economic sociology, and organization studies. But, in the mid-1980s when these arguments started to appear within accounting, they were not widely accepted or even prevalent in adjacent disciplines.
One of the challenges in reviewing such an agenda was to do justice to the many and changing faces of what counts as accounting, and what counts as accounting research. In the end, our essay became a kind of stylised history of two voices in the development of accounting practice and thought - the managerial and the financial. The former began with, and is close to the intellectual history of management and organization studies, between which there are now significant exchanges. The latter took a different path, emerging from practice to become what is effectively a sub-branch of economics, although here the reciprocity and exchange with the parent discipline is less evident. So, in part, the essay is a sort of historical sociology of accounting thought and practice. Or, to put it in a manner of which Foucault might have approved, it is a ‘history of systems of accounting thought’. From such a point of view, specific accounting practices are manifestations of calculation in general. More interesting still, there is a continuous dance between the spheres of academia and practice, not least in mutual constructions of ideas about what makes accounting useful. Our review echoes Hopwood’s insight that accounting does not itself have a purpose, but it can be made purposeful. In other words, a proper history of accounting must include a history of the objectives for accounting which have been attached to it and articulated through it.
So, our history may well irritate or discomfort some accounting historians, but it is a device to bring out the four key themes which we suggest define the contribution of a body of work stretching over three decades, and which connect accounting to organization studies in a variety of ways. We speak in the paper first of territorialising, the constitution of spaces, often economic, and which may be abstract or physical; second, we focus on mediating, the linking of those spaces and people to aspirations, programmes and markets; third, we consider adjudicating, the use of accounting in both the defining and evaluating of performance; fourth, we identify subjectivising, the roles of accounting in constituting subjects, subjectivities and identities.
We realise that many of these features of accounting have been written about before, including by ourselves. But what we thought was novel, or at least hopefully of use to both organization and accounting scholars, was to bring these four themes together, so as to help understand further what it is that accounting does, and how it does what it does. In so far as the focus of our paper is on the links between accounting, organizing, and economizing, we suggest that attention to the interconnectedness of territorializing, mediating, adjudicating, and subjectivizing can help us to address such questions. Of course, the choice of these four themes is a reflection of our own partial conception of what might be called a sociology of accounting, and our predilection for examining those practices that, in all their richness and variety, exist in the ‘epistemological twilight’ which so fascinated thinkers like Foucault.
A second and derived motive of the essay was to take stock of the touch points between accounting and influential currents in management and organization studies. For example, a great deal of research in accounting has been influenced by institutional theory. Equally, it has drawn also on a diverse range of theoretical perspectives and traditions, some of which complement each other, some of which sit awkwardly but still productively alongside each other. Today, in addition to institutional theory, accounting researchers deploy and develop concepts drawn from actor network theory, ethnography, governmentality, political economy, and much else besides, just as earlier research drew on notions of contingency, bounded rationality, and behavioural analyses of organisation design. [i]
However, while the accounting field draws on theories such as these, and seeks to digest them for its own purposes, we wanted to highlight the important role that accounting research is increasingly playing as a source of theory building itself. As we suggest in our article, we see accounting as residing at the centre of organizing, by virtue of its ability to constitute entities, define and act on agents, while also linking aspirations and arenas, and articulating and operationalising concepts of performance. In doing so, accounting helps promote particular conceptions of value at the expense of others, hence our emphasis on the triptych of accounting, organising, and economising. This is not to suggest, however, that there is some sort of ‘accounting logic’ that grounds all forms of accounting, such as a market logic. Accounting is too varied for that, too labile, too adaptable. But we do find a sort of reciprocity between certain accounting practices and particular processes of institutionalising and modes of organising. Likewise, to use different terminology, we identify a type of mutuality between specific accounting practices and particular modalities of governing, whether of individuals, organisations, or populations. And, to advert to yet a further stream of research, we see accounting playing important roles in the forming and stabilising of particular types of agents and particular types of networks that form among them. Irrespective of the precise theoretical framing or terminology deployed, and while mindful that some traditions may complement each other while others may clash, our interest is in this rich imbroglio of emergence, stabilisation, and modification at the margins. We want to understand and analyse how accounting systems change, how new practices emerge and come to form part of the accepted accounting repertoire. We want to know how new performance objects are brought into existence. We want to explore what happens when accounting practices and accounting ideals come into contact with other bodies of expertise, a process that has been termed hybridising, and we are interested in how this takes place in fields as diverse as healthcare, social care, and microelectronics. We think that such questions should concern all students of organizations, regardless of whether they are a priori interested in accounting. As Weber knew only too well, but which was somehow forgotten for half a century, accounting is at the very heart of some of the most classic sociological questions. These remain as pressing today as they were in his day, and we wanted in some small part to bring them to the attention of a wider community.
The third and final motive for writing the essay is perhaps more defensive, or possibly offensive. As we write, there are on-going pressures to economise and financialise the academic accounting field, to see accounting as nothing other than a sub-branch of economics, and to downgrade field studies and related forms of enquiry which draw instead on organisational and sociological theory, as well as anthropology, history, and philosophy. We know from a century and more of social scientific enquiry that struggles between methodologically reductionist and non-reductionist approaches are all too rife in many fields and disciplines. But the global pressures for normalisation in the field of accounting seem particularly acute, linked as they often are to attempts to quantify output in the name of quality. At stake is the risk of losing a sociological sense of the deeply constitutive role that accounting plays in society, for such an understanding typically escapes investigators who presume rational agents operating in stylised ways with accounting information sets which are more or less taken at face value. The issue is not just the tired old question of qualitative versus quantitative methods. It is more fundamentally to do with a kind of open-ended curiosity about the multiple roles of accounting in society. If that curiosity is diminished or denigrated by those eager to trumpet the virtues of rigour and rationality, social scientific analysis of what makes contemporary societies tick will be seriously undermined. So, in writing our piece we were keen to protect our fragile sub-field and its defining sensibilities. Seeking connections with likeminded scholars in adjacent areas seemed like a good way to achieve this.
According to you, what are the main commonalities and differences between accounting and organizational theory research?
We have already outlined some of these commonalities above, and in our paper, notably but not exclusively with institutional theory. Once it is accepted that accounting is not just a functional specialism but plays a key role in defining what organizations are, where their boundaries reside, and how the actions and activities of its constituent parts can themselves be acted upon, then the commonalities seem obvious to us, even if that is not always so evident to others. Another point of contact with organization theory relates to what Barley and Kunda have called the ‘turn to work’ and the micro-sociological agenda entailed by that. The turn to work inevitably, for us, involves a turn towards accounting in the shape of the performance management systems, the audit and financial reporting practices, together with related valuation practices, which pervade organizational life, which generate new communities of practice, and which subjectivise in so many ways.
For us, though, the implications of a turn to work are also in line, very broadly speaking, with another ‘turn’, this time the ‘practice turn’. Interpreted very broadly, and in line with Power’s work on audit as both idea and instrument, and Miller and Rose’s work on programmes and technologies, this turn to both work and practice needs to herald new sensibilities about the material bases for organization. A long and diverse tradition of enquiry, which includes institutional theorists such as John Meyer, philosophers such as Michel Foucault and Ian Hacking, economic historians such as Mary Morgan, and historians such as Ted Porter, has spoken of the need to attend to the devices and instruments through which actorhood is enacted and activities enabled and directed, and objectivity attributed to the outcomes of such processes.[ii] The resurgence of economic sociology, and particularly the work of Michel Callon and his colleagues on processes of economisation, the many contributions from science and technology studies, especially the writings of Donald Mackenzie and his co-authors, notions of sociomateriality, performativity, and techno-economic networks, and more recently the highly productive social studies of finance tradition with its emphasis on market devices have, in their somewhat different ways, given heighted prominence and relevance to the importance of material devices, even if the focus of such studies has not always included notions of personhood or subjectivity and the related concerns with power.[iii] Organization studies has played an important part too, albeit in a particular manner as we discuss elsewhere.[iv] Overall, these diverse but complementary traditions show conclusively that calculative practices and infrastructures are indissociable from the making up of actors and agents of varying types, which in turn is at the very heart of organizing and management.
Yet, for all these multiple points of contact, there has been a rather puzzling and lengthy non-encounter, or at best a belated encounter, between accounting research and organization studies. This may be to overstate things somewhat, as there are clearly important exceptions.[v] Regardless, it is fair to say that the encounter could have been more extensive and productive than it has been to date. We are curious for the reasons, and can only speculate. Perhaps, like science or finance, where the encounter and exchange with adjacent disciplines has also not been as extensive as it could have been, you need to know quite a bit about the domain in technical terms before one can do its organizational sociology. So it is possible that some organization theorists lack the confidence to take it head on. Or perhaps, dominant approaches, such as network analysis, have tended to define accounting out of the organizational problem. Put differently, the world of organizing looks different depending on whether you see accounting as a dependent or constitutive phenomenon. Or, to put it yet another way, and without overselling the constructivist bandwagon, it may be that one cannot make much sense of accounting without a constructivist sensibility. Regardless, we hope our essay might help change this state of affairs, or rather give greater confidence and encouragement to those organization theorists that do find accounting interesting and important. For much of our contemporary world of organizing and managing is unthinkable and inoperable without accounting. And we need to know much more about it.
What do you think are some fruitful avenues for future scholarship on connecting accounting research and organization theory?
We have already noted some of the possible connections between organization theory and accounting scholarship above. One relates to the field of valuation broadly considered, a field that now has its own journal.[vi] Forms of economic valuation, of the kind routinely found in accounting reports, are not the outcomes of isolated and punctuated moments of rational calculation. They result from an often invisible myriad of organizationally situated actions, the outcome of micro-practice dynamics extended in space and time. Furthermore, the so-called objectivity of such valuations, an issue which has plagued accounting theory for decades, can be reconceptualised as the contingent stability of networks sustained by the combination of organizational actors, measuring instruments and, importantly, ideas. So, in place of idealised notions of practitioner consensus supporting statements of value, they can be seen as the outcome of materially and organizationally embedded activities. While organization theorists have been very concerned with values and normativity over many decades, valuation work itself has received much less attention and we think this is an exciting avenue for the future, involving nothing less than the recovery of the study of valuation from the economic sciences which abstract away the very thing of interest. Some of this work has begun and we would encourage organization scholars to engage with it.
Equally, and relatedly, we see much potential for extending the ‘economizing’ agenda in new directions, or into areas that to date have been little explored. One such field is to do with the limit point of economizing, the moment of failure or exit from the market game, and the moments that may precede or possibly prevent it.
[vii] It is here that processes of economizing reach their culmination. Yet, organization scholars and economic sociologists have largely neglected the phenomenon, with notable exceptions, while accounting researchers have typically confined themselves to seeking to develop and refine ‘predictive’ models, albeit with little success. We see considerable potential for attending to the ways in which relatively orderly processes for exit from the market game have been designed and put in place, and how the category of failure has been economised and made calculable, whether in the corporate sphere or the social field more generally. Here, once again, accounting takes centre stage, both in terms of the calculative infrastructure it provides, but also in terms of how accounting practices help co-construct the entities to be regulated and the regulatory apparatus itself. Yet again, the importance of viewing accounting practices as constitutive rather than dependent is so clear, at least to us. Instead of taking failure as something given and self-evident, and seeking to ‘predict’ it ex-post, we are interested in how failure has been made calculable, and how accounting practices contribute to defining and pronouncing on the moment of failure itself.
A further area where there might be greater connection between organizational theory and accounting is in the micro-anlaysis of organizational routines. Pentland and Feldman’s path breaking work on routines is largely unknown to accounting scholars who appeal to the idea of routine in an undeveloped way. A more analytic and empirically informed approach to routines could provide greater depth to the analysis of the ‘grammar’ of accounting practices in Pentland’s sense, while providing further insights into what we have called processes of subjectification in our essay. These are just some suggestions, but there are many other possible points of contact, not least political economy approaches.
One way of putting our aim in furthering the engagements between organization scholars and accounting researchers is to say that accounting should be studied from both the inside and the outside, as our recently and prematurely deceased friend, colleague and co-author Ted O’Leary demonstrated so admirably. Instead of only analysing accounting from the outside, at a distance, and by reference to contextual or institutional pressures, and instead of only seeking to understand managerial routines and practices from the point of view of the actors themselves, we would do well to combine such analyses. Ted was genuinely interested in managers and management. He focused on how things worked and were made operational in managerial worlds. From the outside though, he was far from being merely descriptive and a slave to the categories and discourses of those he studied. He had a keen sense of organizational and practical complexity. He was, it might be said, the exemplary empiricist, and we would do well to learn from his example.
As organizations, both in the corporate world and in the social sphere, become increasingly permeated by yet more metrics and measures of performance of many different kinds, we think it is impossible to imagine a future for organization studies without taking account of accounting, and of the dreams of control which it transmits into organizational life. Perhaps we are biased in this view, but the variety and power of accounting in and around the activity of organizing seems to us endlessly fascinating. Abstracting accounting from organizational context as a practice sui generis, or as an environmentally dependent variable, greatly impoverishes our grasp of this seemingly mundane but often hidden force which governs and shapes organizations of all varieties. We hope that our article goes some way to illustrating how we might get to grips with the constitutive power of accounting, and its multiple roles in organizing.
Thank you very much.
For more information:
[i] We have written about some of these traditions elsewhere, and it was not our intention in the AMA paper to attempt a comprehensive literature review. See for instance, Chapman, C.S., Cooper, D.J., and Miller, P.B. (eds), Accounting, Organizations, and Institutions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). See also Hopwood, A.G. and Miller, ,P. (eds), Accounting as Social and Institutional Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).
[ii] This list is not intended to be exhaustive, and it does not include the earlier post-Marxist writings on the effectivity of calculative practices. On this, see Miller (1994). But it gives some indication of what might be called the pre-history of performativity.
[iii] See for instance, very selectively: M. Callon (ed), The Laws of the Markets, Oxford: Blackwell, 1998; K. Caliskan and M. Callon, “Economization, part 1: shifting attention from the economy towards processes of economization”, Economy and Society Vol. 38, No. 3, August 2009, pp. 369-398; also K. Caliskan and M. Callon, “Economization, part 2: a research programme for the study of markets”, Economy and Society Vol. 39, No. 1, Feb 2010, pp. 1-32; M. Callon et al (eds), Market Devices, Oxford: Blackwell, 2007; D. MacKenzie, An Engine, Not a Camera, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006; D. MacKenzie and Y. Millo, “Constructing a Market, performing Theory: The Historical Sociology of a Financial Derivatives Exchange”, American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 109, No. 1, July 2003, pp. 107-145.
[iv] Cf A. Mennicken & P. Miller,”Michel Foucault and the Administering of Lives”, in P. Adler et al (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Sociology, Social Theory, and Organization Studies: Contemporary Currents, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014..
[v] An important exception is the writings of Covaleski and Dirsmith, which have impressively spanned accounting and organization theory. See, for instance: Covaleski, M. A., & Dirsmith, M. W. (1988), “An Institutional Perspective on the Rise, Social Transformation, and Fall of a University Budget Category”, Administrative Science Quarterly, 33(3), 562-587; Covaleski, M. A., Dirsmith, M. W., Heian, J. B., & Samuel, S. (1998), “The Calculated and the Avowed: Techniques of Discipline and Struggles over Identity in Big Six Public Accounting Firms”, Administrative Science Quarterly, 43(2), 293-327.
[vii] See for instance: L. Kurunmäki and P. Miller, “Calculating Failure: The making of a calculative infrastructure for forgiving and forecasting failure”, Business History, 2013, Vol. 55, No. 7, pp. 1100-1118. See also: Carruthers, B.G. & Halliday, T.C. (1998), Rescuing Business: The Making of Corporate Bankruptcy Law in England and the United States. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
New book series at Stanford University Press: Culture and Economic Life:
CULTURE AND ECONOMIC LIFEFREDERICK WHERRY, JENNIFER C. LENA, GRETA HSU, SERIES EDITORSJENNY GAVACS, SUP EDITOR
Please join us for the 5th Annual Arizona Methods Workshops!
January 8-10, 2015
These 3-day workshops are open to everyone and are hosted by the School of Sociology at the University of Arizona, where all workshops are held. The goal is to share the methodological expertise of our school and college with the wider community of social scientists. The workshop topics and instructors vary from year to year; this year we are offering seven workshops, including:
~ Qualitative Data Analysis in ATLAS.ti
~ Data Management and Programming in Stata
~ Managing Academic Pressure
~ Introduction to Comparative Participant Observation
~ Getting Funded for Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Research
~ Causal Inference in the Social Sciences – Potential Outcomes Analysis
~ Qualitative Comparative Analysis
Faculty and graduate students have found these seminars to be helpful in prior years. We hope you will join us this year. Please note that students receive a 50% discount on their registration. Plus, you could tack on a few days to enjoy a January vacation in sunny Tucson!
Downloadable flyer:http://sociology.arizona.edu/amw/flyerDetails, registration, and links to housing:http://sociology.arizona.edu/methods
Please direct questions to:
Let me begin by thanking all of the organizers, chairs, discussants, presenters, reviewers and attendees whose hard work made the 2014 OMT Division Program such a success. Without the commitment and enthusiasm of the members of the division, the program would not have been the amazing success that it was. Hats off to all of you!
I also believe that the quality and diversity of the program in Philadelphia once again highlighted that the OMT Division is the place for doctoral students, new faculty, and established scholars to share new ideas, meet new colleagues and make lifelong friends. And, in addition, with some of the best social events and a supportive and positive culture, OMT was once again the fun place to be!
The event that is in many ways the most noteworthy for the division is the Distinguished Scholar Breakfast. Royston Greenwood was our Distinguished Scholar this year and he gave a particularly thought-provoking and engaging Distinguished Scholar presentation. He provided a great tour through his own intellectual journey and provided a riveting analysis of the changes in our field since he joined as a young scholar. The event took place first thing on Monday morning and the excellent breakfast was sponsored by the Carroll School at Boston College and Oxford University Press, so a big thank you to them.
In addition to the Disintinguished Scholar award, OMT gave out six awards to recognize the quality and depth of the papers submitted to the division: Best Published Paper, Best Paper submitted to the conference, Best International Paper (sponsored by Organization Studies), Best Symposium, Best Paper by a Student, and Best Paper from a Dissertation (Lou Pondy Award). Please click here to see the winners and the runners up. Congratulations to all of them for their hard work and stellar scholarship!
At the OMT Business Meeting, I presented highlights of the program to an enthusiastic group of OMT members:
Nelson PhillipsDivision Chair ElectImperial College London
At this year’s Academy of Management meeting in Philadelphia, Royston Greenwood received our division’s Distinguished Scholar Award and delivered an engaging talk on the past, present, and future of OMT research (and his research in OMT). Royston is the Telus Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Alberta School of Business. You can read Royston's presentation here. This interview was conducted by Laura Singleton, winner of this year's Pondy Award.
LS: In preparing for this interview, I looked over your CV and noticed that you'd initially done your research on British municipalities. How did you get from there to the big accounting firms that you've studied more recently?
RG: Well, as an undergraduate student in political science, I had done a thesis on the socioeconomic status of members of the Bradford city council over the previous 75 years and how it was changing. At that time, in political science, municipal (or ‘community’) politics were viewed as microcosms of the state, though we don't think of it that way now. Because of that study, I was invited to be research assistant at the Institute of Local Government Studies. They had seen my thesis and gave me a salary of 680 pounds a year, which wasn't much, even then, but it allowed me to indulge myself by doing higher degrees.
Back then, the Institute did executive education for public officials – which, of course, included various professions – lawyers, social workers, engineers, as well as accountants. So my start was in public administration and in particular I was exposed to the professions. Because local government was undergoing significant reforms I became interested in the intra-organizational dynamics of organizational change - and in particular, how the different professions within municipalities were responding.
Then in 1982 I went to the University of Alberta. An MBA student told me of the planned merger (which actually didn’t happen) of two very large accounting firms and it seemed an interesting change process to study. So, partly by accident again, I got drawn into the arena of professional firms as an empirical context of organizational change.
LS: I know it's a stereotype, but I have to ask: Doesn't it get boring talking to all those accountants?
RG: People do think accountants would be boring, but why would they be? They're the gatekeepers of the capital markets and part of what keeps the system running. (Today, I'm particularly interested in their role in corruption and how it's been able to happen – you can’t say that’s not interesting!) Accounting is also actually quite like higher education in that they theoretically have to combine quite a few institutional logics such as professionalism, making money, and the like. So, although we have stereotypes of accountants wearing green eyeshades and such, they're not boring at all. What they do matters. Moreover, they're often ego-driven, yet they have to work together. Does that sound like a university, or what? But seriously, when I began to study professional service firms they were a very different – and important - type of organizational form (they are now often referred to as ‘knowledge-intensive firms’) and we (Bob Hinings and myself) thought we could learn from them and develop interesting theory.
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