Appreciating the Soul: Reflecting on Leadership

2017-10-19 10_30_31-1056492617710758.pngWe are pleased to feature authors Nancy J. Adler and Andre Delbecq and their innovative article on leadership. Recently Drs. Adler and Delbecq published an article titled “Twenty-First Century Leadership: A Return to Beauty” in the Journal of Management Inquiry. In their article, Adler and Delbecq take the unique approach of combining beautiful artwork with profound writing that invites readers to reflect on themselves and their aspirations for leadership. The article is free to read for a limited amount of time. Read the abstract below:

Adler portraitHighlighting Aristotle’s appreciation that “The soul . . . never thinks without a picture,” this article weaves together art and ideas into an aesthetic encounter with beauty, leadership, and our humanity. It invites reflection based on long-established wisdom traditions as well as drawing on insights from everyday sacred traditions. You are invited not only to engage in reading the words presented on each page but also to stop and to reflect on their meaning. You are offered the power of art to intensify your experience and understanding. The article invites you to enter into a contemplative silence designed to increase your appreciation of your own and others’ humanity while deepening the beauty of your own leadership. Such encounters with art and deep reflection have the power to guide us in rediscovering and creating beauty in our fractured world. Encountering art and wisdom through a deeply reflective process does not dismiss science but, rather, partners with all ways of knowing to go beyond what any one approach can produce on its own. Thus, the overall invitation of the article is to heighten your understanding of yourself, your role, and your aspirations as a 21st-century leader.

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Studying Organization Theory “As If Matter Mattered”

[We’re pleased to welcome Bruno Dyck of University of Manitoba. Bruno recently published an article with co-author Nathan S. Greidanus in Journal of Management Inquiry entitled “Quantum Sustainable Organizing Theory: A Study of Organization Theory as if Matter Mattered.” From Bruno:]

From environmental concerns like climate change to social issues like economic inequality, sustainable development presents this century’s greatest challenges and opportunities for businesses.  Yet, businesses remain trapped by old paradigms and approaches to the business-society-environment interface. To break free of these chains, we start with a simple question: what would a theory of business look like if matter mattered?  In answering this question, we turned to the field that is focused on the fundamental building blocks of all matter, quantum physics.

Do you remember the first time you heard about the unbelievable findings coming Current Issue Coverfrom quantum mechanics? Maybe it was research on entanglement, which shows that two quantum particles (e.g., two electrons) are interconnected in such a way that a change in one will have an instantaneous change in another, even if it is light years away. Or do you remember hearing about the results from the double slit experiments—perhaps the most famous experiment in all of physics—which shows that observing a photon changes it from acting like a wave into acting like a particle (If you want to watch a simple video about this, check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc). Perhaps the most amazing variation of the double slit experiment shows that information is being sent backward in time. It has taken a century, but quantum physics has today become a dominant paradigm in the world of physics, even if we in the social sciences remain “stuck” in a Newtonian space-time box.

As co-authors we were fascinated by quantum research, and were curious about its implications for organization theory, and especially for sustainability. We believe that the ideas of entanglement and indeterminism provide a welcome and necessary framework to develop organizing theory that addresses key socio-ecological issues facing humankind, and which break free from the constraints associated with (Newtonian) notions of separateness, determinism and externalities. Moreover, a quantum perspective, which suggests that matter matters, provides a welcome counterpoint to the problematic fixation on socio-material well-being (e.g., money) that characterizes conventional theorizing.

We were pleasantly surprised by how readily the fundamental principles associated with the quantum world can serve as the basis to develop sustainable organization theory, As the sustainability issues facing humankind grow in urgency, we expect such non-Newtonian thinking to become as dominant in our field as it is in physics, but if this takes a century to happen then it may be too late.

The abstract for the paper:

We draw on quantum physics ideas of “entanglement” and “indeterminism” to introduce and develop “Quantum Sustainable Organizing Theory” (QSOT). Quantum entanglement points to the interconnectedness of matter in ways that defy Newtonian physics and commonsense assumptions that underlay conventional organizing theory. Quantum indeterminism suggests that uncertainty is an inherent feature of reality and not simply a lack of information that impedes rational decision making. Taken together, these quantum ideas challenge the assumptions of conventional organizational theorizing about the boundaries between a firm and its natural and social environment, the importance of self-interested individualism and (sociomaterial) financial measures of performance, the emphasis on competitiveness, and the hallmarks of rational theory and practice. We discuss implications for sustainable organizing in particular and for organization theory more generally.

You can read “Quantum Sustainable Organizing Theory: A Study of Organization Theory as if Matter Mattered” from Journal of Management Inquiry free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research from Journal of Management InquiryClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

Introducing Journal of Management Inquiry’s New Section: Generative Curiosity!

4601859272_4228421089_zWe are pleased to highlight the introduction of a new section in Journal of Management InquiryDedicated to ideas and curiosity, the new Generative Curiosity section will provide a platform for content that identifies new or ignored facts, phenomenons, patterns, events or other issues of interest. Richard W. Stackman and David R. Hannah elaborate in the latest Editor’s Introduction that the new section is meant to “(a) improve our understanding of how organizations work and how they can be made more effective (Ashforth, 2005); (b) develop and disseminate knowledge that matters to organizations and society (Alvesson & Sandberg, 2013); and (c) address the human condition (van Aken & Romme, 2009).”

Interested in submitting to the new Generative Curiosity section? Richard and David discuss what they’re looking for–

First, the submission should be novel. It may alert readers to something that has received little to no attention, or breathe new life into something seemingly tired or Current Issue Coveroutdated or insufficiently studied. The ideas therein should surprise and motivate readers to engage in sense making (Louis, 1980).

Second, the submission should be consequential, in the sense that it contains, explicitly or implicitly, a call to action to improve the human condition within organizations and society. To paraphrase Donald Hambrick’s 1993 Academy of Management Presidential address, these submissions should lead to work that actually matters (Hambrick, 1994) for the researcher and the practitioner.

Finally, submissions should be fertile. To use a musical metaphor, we are not looking for submissions that are “one-hit-wonders,” that people enjoy reading once, then forget. Instead, we are seeking ideas that birth other ideas, submissions that inspire later submissions. It is our sincere hope that Generative Curiosity submissions will become precursors to better theory and practice.

You can read the full editorial by clicking here, and you can find out more about submitting manuscripts to Journal of Management Inquiry by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research published by Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Light bulb image attributed to Matt Wynn (CC) 

Pushing the Boundaries: Studying the Boundaryless Creative Careers of Film Directors

Oscars Awards

Creative careers can differ quite a bit from the average 9-to-5 desk job, but only some go so far as to defy boundaries in the way that boundaryless careers do. Individuals in boundaryless careers enjoy organizational mobility, geographical mobility, occupational mobility, the ability to work outside of organizational boundaries based on preference, and the ability to reject career opportunities for personal reasons. But how do these factors impact the path of a boundaryless career? In their article, “Surviving a Boundaryless Creative Career: The Case of Oscar-Nominated Film Directors, 1967-2014,” published in Journal of Management Inquiry, authors Charalampos Mainemelis of The American College of Greece, Sevasti-Melissa Nolas of University of Sussex, and Stavroula Tsirogianni of Canterbury Christ Church University studied the success and failures of Oscar-nominated film directors over their careers to determine how a boundaryless career might look in comparison with traditional office jobs.

The abstract from their paper:

Previous research has examined how mobility and career competencies influence JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointsuccess in boundaryless careers. In this study, we flip the direction of those relationships and we explore how the interplay between success and failure relates to subsequent mobility, career competencies, and career evolution through the life span. Using a biographical design, we conceptualize success and failure as critical moments that influence the unfolding of the boundaryless careers of Oscar-nominated film directors. While the dominant metaphors of boundaryless careers are those of “paths,” “ladders,” “trajectories,” and “plateaus,” our findings suggest a new metaphor: the roller coaster.

You can read  “Surviving a Boundaryless Creative Career: The Case of Oscar-Nominated Film Directors, 1967-2014” from Journal of Management Inquiry by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Oscars award picture credited to Global Panorama (CC)

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

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!

The January 2016 Issue of Journal of Management Inquiry is Now Online!

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The January 2016 issue of Journal of Management Inquiry is now available and free to read for the next 30 days. This issue offers a range of interesting topics, including articles that delve into corruption, the future of organizational learning research, and writing practices of academics.

Also included in the January issue is an article by Royston Greenwood, entitled “OMT, Then and Now,” which delves into the evolution of organization and management theory (OMT) practices from the 1970s to current practices. The article highlights the positive growth OMT has seen over the past 40 years, as well as the increasingly formulaic presentation of OMT research. The abstract:

This paper provides an overview comparison of how organization and management theory was practised 40 years ago with how it is done today. We are a much larger and more international community and our work has advanced in many excellent ways. However, an important difference is the nature of expectations placed upon scholars – which has led to narrow lines of research and overly formulaic ways of presenting results.

Click here to access the Table of Contents of the January 2016 issue of Journal of Management Inquiry. Want to know about all the latest from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

An Interview With the Internationally Acclaimed Film Director Shekhar Kapur

video-camera-1412649-mWe’re pleased to feature Journal of Management Inquiry‘s “Meet the Person.” Sonal Minocha, George Stonehouse and Martin Reynolds interviewed film director Shekhar Kapur, asking questions regarding his background, his thoughts on creativity, the role of education, and more.

This interview and literature review serve our purpose of providing a deeper understanding of the concept of creativity and extend its literature base through the creative practitioner lens of a film director. Driven by past research we have conducted into Bollywood (Minocha & Stonehouse, 2006), we felt that a natural progression for that work was to interview a leading creative professional from the world’s largest film industry. This has been used to develop our understanding of creativity through the perspectives developedJMI_72ppiRGB_powerpoint through his experience of one of the most creative of all industries, filmmaking. This follows the tradition of Essex and Mainemelis in Journal of Management Inquiry (JMI) in 2002, when they interviewed David Whyte and presented their views on what lessons could be learnt from art, his work including his poetry. Our objective was to contribute to the understanding of creativity and innovation in business by employing Shekhar Kapur as a representative of that “different lens” through his experiences in filmmaking, made even more pertinent by Shekhar’s ability to transcend the cultural nuances of creativity in Eastern and Western contexts.