This Year in Review: The Top 5 Management INK Posts from 2015

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As the year comes to an end, we’d like to celebrate by taking a look back at some of the most popular posts this year. Over the past year, Management INK has created 178 new posts, for a total of 1,469 published posts since Management INK started in 2010. Here is a countdown of this years most popular 2015 posts:

5. Pedro Monteiro and Davide Nicolini on Material Elements in Institutional Work

The abstract from the featured Journal of Management Inquiry article, “Recovering Materiality in Institutional Work: Prizes as an Assemblage of Human and Material Entities”:

In this article we utilize a (posthumanist) practice theory orientation to foreground the neglected role of material elements (e.g., objects JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointand spaces) in institutional work. The paper builds on the results of an empirical study of two prizes in the Italian public sector for best practices in public administration and healthcare respectively. Our discussion centres on the critical role played by materiality in the legitimizing work performed by the two prizes. More specifically, we show that humans and material elements share the institutional work of mimicry, theorizing, educating, and reconfiguring normative networks. The article expands and enriches the notion of institutional work by foregrounding its inherent heterogeneous nature. It also shows the capacity of post-humanist and practice oriented approaches to shed new light on fundamental questions regarding the nature of situated action and distributed effort in institutional analysis.

4. What Do Students Think of Social Media in the Classroom?

The abstract from the featured Journal of Marketing Education article, “Students’ Perceptions and Experiences of Social Media in Higher Education”:

Recent research has discussed the opportunities associated with the use of social media tools in the classroom, but has JME(D)_72ppiRGB_powerpointnot examined the perceptions students themselves hold about its usefulness in enhancing their educational experience. This research explores students’ perceptions of social media as an effective pedagogical tool. Undergraduate students in a midsized, private university taking a marketing course were surveyed about their social media usage and preferences as well as their perceptions regarding the use of social media in higher education. Additional qualitative data collection with students probed into motivations for social media use in education as well as instructor and university perceptions. Findings reveal openness to using social media in education, uncover interactive and information motives for its use, and offer theoretical and pedagogical implications. Importantly, we offer insights into how educators can strategically incorporate social media tools into the classroom as well as how the use of social media can potentially affect students’ views of the instructor and the university.

3. Reflections on Academic Research and Writing: The Ecstasy and the Agony

From the featured Administrative Science Quarterly article, “What is Organizational Research For?”:

Organizational research is guided by standards of what journals will publish and what gets rewarded in ASQ_v60n2_Jun2014_cover.inddscholarly careers. This system can promote novelty rather than truth and impact rather than coherence. The advent of big data, combined with our current system of scholarly career incentives, is likely to yield a high volume of novel papers with sophisticated econometrics and no obvious prospect of cumulative knowledge development. Moreover, changes in the world of organizations are not being met with changes in how and for whom organizational research is done. It is time for a dialogue on who and what organizational research is for and how that should shape our practice.

2. John Paul Stephens on Aesthetics in Design Thinking

From the interview for the Journal of Management Inquiry article, “The Aesthetic Knowledge Problem of Problem-Solving With Design Thinking”:

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointIn attending the 2010 “Convergence: Managing + Designing” workshop at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, we were struck with a particular question. Isn’t “managing as designing” (or “design thinking” for some folks) simply all about aesthetics? If so, what does this mean for managers and their organizations?

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

In researching for this essay, we were struck by the mix of opinions and research on how well managers and organizational systems could rely on “design” and using non-rational forms of problem-solving. More recent thinking has suggested that organizations today really need to incorporate novel, less-familiar ways of defining and generating solutions for problems.

But there are also arguments that the management education and the reward systems in organizations are all set up to focus on rationally getting to the bottom-line through selecting from pre-determined options. Also, even though design thinking seems to be a pretty popular way to approach problems in organizations these days, it still hasn’t been defined clearly, and is still limited to only a few key adopters. We tried to take in all perspectives saying that 1) we agree that new ways of seeing problems and their impacts are needed 2) using art-based forms of defining problems and generating solutions provides insight into things that are usually hard to see and talk about 3) this relies on aesthetic knowledge – or the ‘feel’ of a problem for the people involved – and therefore on engaging our bodily senses and 4) not very many organizations are set up to draw on this kind of knowledge based in what we see, hear, touch, smell, and even taste.

1. The Art of Referencing in Scholarly Articles

From the Family Business Review editorial, “Referencing in Scholarly Articles: What is Just Right?”:

The scholarly reference (1) gives credit to the original source of materials used and (2) provides FBR_C1_revised authors color.inddevidence of the depth and breadth of scholarly work, via the materials reviewed, integrated, and synthesized to form the basis of the research. The reference list of a manuscript reflects the authors’ due diligence in exploring and understanding the research topic. To situate its contribution, a scientific text must establish a context and convey to readers the extent and nature of its relationship to the existing literature. References are the means to establish this context and the nature of contribution (Locke & Golden-Biddle, 1997).

References, then, serve as a critical component of the scholarly article, worthy of careful time and attention by authors, and careful review and evaluation by reviewers and readers. The goal of this editorial is to provide a thought-provoking discussion of references in the scholarly manuscript and identifying key points to be considered in selecting and presenting references for publication in family business and other areas in management and organizational research.

To celebrate the new year, all five articles will be open for the next two weeks. Happy New Year from Management INK!

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