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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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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2015 Research Internships

For the second year, I have hired research interns through the University of Alberta Research Experience. In 2013, I supervised Christopher Lee from McGill University. This summer, I am supervising Chloe Prosser from the University of Wisconsin, Kailun Hong from Technische Universität München, and Songjingyi Liang from Fudan University. Hard to believe, but it is already time to begin recruiting for summer 2015! I will be recruiting students for the following positions.

  • MySQL Database Assistant
  • Social Media Programmer
  • Mediawiki Programmer
  • Stata Research Assistant
  • Legal Research Assistant
  • Sustainability Research Assistant
  • Literature Review Assistant
  • WellWiki Content Writer

Institutions participating in the University of Alberta Research Experience include: UNICAMP, USP, UFRJ, Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU), Technische Universität München (TUM), Seoul National University (SNU), ITESM Guadalajara, University of Western Australia (UWA), Auckland University, Penn State University, University of Wisconsin, University of Texas Austin, IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur, University of Hyderabad, Fudan University, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang Univeristy, Sichuan Univeristy, East China Normal University (ECNU), and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST).

2014 Peoples Choice Award

On May 9, my paper with Dror Etzion — An Exploratory Analysis of Cultural Vulnerability and Opportunity Exploitation in Marcellus Shale Drilling — won the 2014 Peoples Choice Award from the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS). This year’s conference was hosted at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management from May 7-9, 2014.

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Oil and Gas Well Facility Siting

This week I’ll be giving an invited talk to the University of Alberta’s Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology (REES) in the Faculty of Agriculture, Life & Environmental Sciences (ALES). The talk will be on Thursday, March 20 at 3:30 pm in 550 General Services Building. For more details, visit the REES Seminars and Lectures website. The title of my talk is: “Community Vulnerability and Facility Siting: The Case of Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling, 2004-2012.” This work is joint with Dror Etzion of McGill University.

Abstract: Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has rapidly emerged as an ubiquitous technology for extracting oil and gas from previously inaccessible geological formations. Due to the nature of the technology and its relatively small surface footprint, wells can be sited virtually anywhere, including in close proximity to homes, schools and other sensitive locations. With many uncertainties about the technology still unresolved, critics point to the potential for unequally distributed negative health outcomes among those in regular proximity to drilling sites. Accordingly, for oil and gas companies, deciding upon well sites can be a contentious activity, incorporating not only economic and geological factors but social and community ones as well. In this study, we examine all hydraulically fractured wells in the Marcellus shale play from 2004-2012 in the state of Pennsylvania and assess whether community vulnerabilities played a role in well siting decisions. We find that indicators of socio-demographics, social cohesion and municipal governance are predictors of well siting decisions, beyond the traditional attributes of race and income usually highlighted in the environmental justice literature. Our findings suggest that research on community health should not be limited to phenomena like nuclear power plants and hazardous waste facilities, but should expand to include routine, commonplace and autonomous organizational siting decisions characterized by minimal regulatory involvement.

We are scheduled to present subsequent iterations of this research at the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability, in May 2014 at Cornell University, and again at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, in August 2014 in Philadelphia.

Marcellus Shale Drilling Talk

This week I was invited to give a talk to the University of Alberta’s Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology (REES) in the Faculty of Agriculture, Life & Environmental Sciences (ALES), and I am really looking forward to it. The talk is scheduled for March. I’ll be presenting research related to Marcellus Shale Drilling that I have been working on with Dror Etzion from McGill University.

For more details, check back here, or visit the REES Seminars and Lectures website: http://www.rees.ualberta.ca/SeminarsandLectures.aspx