Research Prospects at the Intersection of Robust Action Strategies and Power

On August 7, I gave a talk at the 2017 Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA as part of a symposium on “Addressing Grand Challenges with Institutional Research: The Critical Role of Power.” My talk was entitled: “Tackling Grand Challenges: Research Prospects at the Intersection of Robust Action Strategies and Power.” The slides of my talk are accessible through SlideShare below.

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2017 Roland Calori Prize

On July 6, 2017, the Roland Calori Prize was awarded for the eighth time at the 33rd EGOS Colloquium in Copenhagen, Denmark. Professors Fabrizio Ferraro (IESE Business School), Dror Etzion (McGill University), and Joel Gehman (Alberta School of Business) won the award for their paper, “Tackling Grand Challenges Pragmatically: Robust Action Revisited.” Read the paper here.

The Roland Calori Prize is awarded bi-annually by the European Group for Organization Studies (EGOS) for the best article published in the journal Organization Studies over the previous two years. Awarded in tribute to professor Roland Calori for his contributions to EGOS, Organization Studies, and EMLYON Business School, the prize recognizes papers that display methodological quality and theoretical innovation, reflecting the diverse perspectives of social sciences as they relate to organizational studies. In the spirit of Roland Calori’s own work, the prize reflects pluralism in research traditions and diversity of paradigms. The prize of €2,000 is sponsored by EMLyon.

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How Institutions Matter!

Nice to find these waiting in my mailbox this morning. This double volume presents a collection of 23 papers on how institutions matter to socio-economic life. The papers delve deeply into the practical impact an institutional approach enables, as well as how such research has the potential to influence policies relevant to critical institutional changes unfolding in the world today. In Volume 48A, the focus is on the micro foundations of institutional impacts. In Volume 48B, the focus is on the macro consequences of institutional arrangements. Our introduction provides an overview to the two volumes, identifies points of contact between the papers, and briefly summarizes each contribution. We close by noting avenues for future research on how institutions matter. Overall, the volumes provide a cross-section of cutting edge institutional thought and empirical research, highlighting a variety of fruitful directions for knowledge accumulation and development.

Gehman, J., Lounsbury, M. & Greenwood, R. (eds). 2017. How Institutions Matter! Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Volume 48A. ISBN 978-1-78635-430-3.

Gehman, J., Lounsbury, M. & Greenwood, R. (eds). 2017. How Institutions Matter! Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Volume 48B. ISBN 978-1-78635-432-7.

Tackling the World’s Biggest Problems With Robust Action

Today, IESE Insight published a managerial summary of our Organization Studies article “Tackling Grand Challenges Pragmatically: Robust Action Revisited.” The summary is available here: Tackling the World’s Biggest Problems With Robust Action.

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Grand Challenges and Robust Action

My latest paper — Tackling Grand Challenges Pragmatically: Robust Action Revisited — is now available online. Co-authored with Fabrizio Ferraro (IESE Business School in Barcelona) 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.

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