Developing a Research Agenda to Advance Perspectives on Performativity

Developing a Research Agenda to Advance Perspectives on Performativity
Friday, August 7, 2015 from 3:15 PM – 5:15 PM
Sponsored by OMT, TIM, SAP, CMS

This PDW offers participants an opportunity to develop in-depth exposure to current research developing theories of performativity that highlight the constitutive effects of theorization. Research on performativity has been conducted from a variety of perspectives, including organization theory, strategy, and technology studies.

Part 1: The first part of this PDW (3:15-4:15) is open to all participants. In the first part of the PDW, three senior scholars will present a perspective on performativity.

  • Raghu Garud (Pennsylvania State U.) will describe how the notion of performativity applies to management thought;
  • Jean-Pascal Gond and Laure Cabantous (both of Cass Business School, City U. London) will discuss the performativity of strategic knowledge; and
  • Wanda Orlikowski (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) will explore the generative possibilities a performativity perspective offers to our understanding of technology in organizations.

Part 2: In the second part of the PDW, we offer participants the opportunity to submit research proposals and receive feedback in a roundtable format. In addition to the presenters named above, Susan Scott and Daniel Beunza (both of the London School of Economics) will participate as roundtable discussion leaders.

To participate in the second part of the PDW, send a 1500 word research proposal or extended abstract to the PDW organizers: Joel Gehman (jgehman@ualberta.ca) and Vern Glaser (vglaser@ualberta.ca). The submission deadline is July 15, 2015.

Once you submit your proposal we will provide you with a code to register for Part 2 of the PDW at https://secure.aom.org/PDWReg.

Best, Joel and Vern

Emerging Technology Disrupters in Oil, Gas and Data

O'Reilly Report Cover

Last week I learned that WellWiki.org was profiled in O’Reilly’s Oil, Gas and Data report. Written by Daniel Cowles, the O’Reilly report covers a variety of emerging technology disruptors. The report was handed out to attendees at the Strata + Hadoop World big data conference in London.  Below is an excerpt…

O'Reilly Report Page 16

Upcoming Talks

I and my co-authors (denoted ## below) will be presenting a variety of research projects over the coming months. Hope to see you at one or more of these events…

“Category Promotion: How B Corporations Respond to the Competing Demands of Fitting In and Standing Out” (with Matthew Grimes)

  • Smith Entrepreneurship Research Conference, University of Maryland, USA, May 8-9, 2015.
  • Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability Conference. Northwestern University, USA, May 14, 2015.
  • Center for Social Impact Workshop. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, USA, May 15, 2015.##
  • Industry Studies Association Conference. Kansas City, MO, USA, May 26-29, 2015.

“An Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing Well Siting in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Boom” (with Dror Etzion) 

  • ESSEC Business School (École Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales), France, May 2015.##

“Patently Secret? The Use of Hydraulic Fracturing Patents to Contain Public Risk Information” (with Zhen Lei, Dan Cahoy & Siavash Varasteh)

  • Wharton Technology & Innovation Conference. University of Pennsylvania, USA, April 17-18, 2015.

“Conflicting Institutional Logics and Organizational Identities: How Spinouts Handle Parent Affiliation” (with Daniela Bolzani, Ricardo Fini and Antonio Giuliani)

  • Fourth Triennial Alberta Institutions Conference. Banff Springs Hotel. Banff, AB, Canada, June 12-14, 2015.
  • European Group for Organization Studies Colloquium. ALBA Graduate Business School, Greece, July 2-4, 2015.##

“Betwixt and Between: The Problematic Emergence and Bounding of the Nanotoxicology Field” (with M. Paola Ometto and Michael Lounsbury)

  • Fourth Triennial Alberta Institutions Conference. Banff Springs Hotel. Banff, AB, Canada, June 12-14, 2015.##
  • European Group for Organization Studies Colloquium. ALBA Graduate Business School, Greece, July 2-4, 2015.##
  • Academy of Management Annual Meeting. Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 2015.##

Other events:

  • Panelist. Where Are Values? A Relational Perspective. Macro Perspectives on Behavioral (Macro) Ethics Symposium. Academy of Management Annual Meeting. Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 2015.
  • Panelist. OMT New and Returning Member Networking and Research Forum Professional Development Workshop. Academy of Management Annual Meeting. Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 2015.
  • Organizer. Cultural Entrepreneurship in Action: Innovative Methods and Research Designs Professional Development Workshop (with Vern Glaser & Jochem Kroezen). Presenters included Joep Cornelissen, Peer Fiss, Matthew Grimes, Mark Kennedy, Hovig Tchalian. Academy of Management Annual Meeting. Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 2015.
  • Organizer. Developing a Research Agenda to Advance Perspectives on Performativity. Professional Development Workshop (with Vern Glaser). Presenters included Daniel Beunza, Laure Cabantous, Raghu Garud, Jean-Pascal Gond, Wanda Orlikowski, and Susan Scott. Academy of Management Annual Meeting. Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 2015.

When Does “No” Mean “No”?

Note: This article was published in The Globe and Mail on March 3, 2015. The version below includes additional hyperlink references not published in the original.

gam-masthead

On big resource projects, when does ‘no’ mean ‘no’?

By Joel Gehman and Michael Lounsbury
March 3, 2015

A recent column lamented that getting to “yes” on energy projects in Canada has never been tougher: Fossil-fuel developments, pipelines, mines, dams, transmission lines, and even wind turbines “are frequently contested, delayed or blocked.” But do such outcomes mean there is a problem? And if so, what kind of problem is it?

The argument – ‘Getting to Yes’ – assumes that “yes” is somehow on the side of angels. But a critical element of any great strategy is saying “no.” It’s Strategy 101. No organization – whether a corporation, a nation-state or a non-profit – can say “yes” to everything. Choices must be made. In his classic article “What Is Strategy?,” Harvard professor Michael Porter put it bluntly: “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”

Clearly then, “no” is often the better strategic choice. And yet, organizations often fall into a “yes” trap. This is because, once set in motion, strategies are hard to reverse. There are sunk costs, learning effects, organizational inertia and network externalities, among other issues. And so, an organization can easily escalate its commitment to a losing course of action. But in real-time, as these strategic decisions are unfolding, the folly is often hard to stop.

One famous example is New York’s Shoreham Nuclear Plant. First proposed in April, 1966, the plant was expected to cost $75-million and come online by 1973. The plant was eventually completed in October, 1985, only to be decommissioned in March, 1989, having never sold any electricity. By that point total costs had ballooned to $5.5-billion. Predictably, the plant’s owner, Long Island Lighting Company, was unable to survive as an independent company. All because it refused to take “no” for an answer.

On the heels of President Obama’s recent veto, some advocates of the Keystone XL pipeline have proudly proclaimed they won’t take “no” for an answer. Perhaps their persistence in the face of “no” will prove prescient. Or perhaps Keystone XL is another Shoreham Nuclear Plant in the making. Only time will tell. But all of this suggests that perhaps Canada doesn’t have a “yes” problem; perhaps Canada has a “no” problem.

Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley have a saying: “If you’re going to fail, fail fast.” By comparison, getting to “no” on Canadian energy projects has been taking longer and longer. That prompts some interesting questions. Why has Canada been taking so long to get to “no”? How can we get to “no” faster? Why do so many organizations keep chasing “yes” in the face of “no”? And, perhaps most importantly, what are the costs to Canada of not taking “no” for an answer?

Joel Gehman (@joelgehman) is assistant professor of strategic management and organization and Southam faculty fellow at the Alberta School of Business. Michael Lounsbury is associate dean of research, professor of strategic management and organization and Thornton A. Graham chair at the Alberta School of Business.

Grand Challenges and Robust Action

Tackling Grand Challenges Pragmatically: Robust Action Revisited

My latest paper — Tackling Grand Challenges Pragmatically: Robust Action Revisited — is now available online. Co-authored with Fabrizio Ferraro (IESE Business School in Bacelona) and Dror Etzion (McGill University in Montreal), in the paper we theorize a novel approach to addressing the world’s grand challenges based on the philosophical tradition of American pragmatism and the sociological concept of robust action. Grounded in prior empirical organizational research, we identify three robust strategies that organizations can employ in tackling issues such as climate change and poverty alleviation: participatory architecture, multivocal inscriptions and distributed experimentation. We demonstrate how these strategies operate, the manner in which they are linked, the outcomes they generate, and why they are applicable for resolving grand challenges. We conclude by discussing our contributions to research on robust action and grand challenges, as well as some implications for research on stakeholder theory, institutional theory and theories of valuation.

For those without access to a university library, the paper is available through ResearchGate.