AOM PhD Consortia and Professional Development Workshops

The Academy of Management Conference in Boston is just around the corner. It’s taking place from August 3-7, 2012. I had the privilege to attend the conference for the first time last year and wrote several blog posts about the experience. First of all, I’d like to say that the conference is great value for money. Students pay 90 USD for the annual membership and another 90 USD to sign up for the conference. In return, they get five days of high quality symposia, paper sessions, roundtable discussions, and much more.

If you’re a PhD student like myself, you should definitely consider applying for one of the several doctoral consortia. Last year, I attended a session hosted by the Organizational Development and Change (ODC) division. This year, I found another one that suits my research interests even better. It is the PhD consortium organized by the Organizational Communication and Information Systems. The organizer, Professor Yoo, even managed to secure a research grant, which helps most of the attendants finance their stay. 

The second most outstanding offer next to the PhD consortia is probably what is called, in AOM speak, a PDW, i.e. a Professional Development Workshop. This type of workshop is targeted at established researchers who want to familiarize themselves with methods they haven’t used before or with emerging fields of research. I’ve listed my favorites below.

  1. Researching the Informal Economy: Opportunities and Challenges of Social Media Research
  2. Sociomateriality in Practice: Considering Consequences in Organizational Life and Research
  3. Advanced Networks PDW: Cutting-Edge Social Network Theoretical Work and ERGM

To my mind, these workshops are a great way to get in touch with the people whose work I’m reading on a daily basis. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Steve Borgatti, Ann Majchrzak, Samer Faraj, Sirkka Jarvenpaa, Wanda Orlikowski, Jerry Kane, as well as Martin Kilduff present and discuss their recent research projects.

Social Software, Strategic Management & Dynamic Capabilities

The doctoral program I’m in right now is called Dynamic Capabilities and Relationships, in short DCR. I’ve been trying for a while to make connections between the phenomenon I’m interested in, i.e. social software use in organizations, and strategic management. With publications like the one below from Haefliger and colleagues, bridges are being built and the path from the former to the latter is being made visible. I did not come across any work to date, however, that would explicity address the link between social software use and its implications on (the strategic management concept of) Dynamic Capabilities. Reading the below passage in a MISQ comment by Ann Majchrzak got me really excited:

Yet many contributors to organizational wikis […] organize others’ contributions not for social exchange or social capital motives, but instead because they are genuinely concerned about the organization’s ability to adapt to the needs of a volatile environment (Majchrzak et al. 2006). Not only should findings like this encourage us as researchers to rethink social exchange and social capital theories, but they also should encourage researchers in other domains, such as dynamic capabilities models (Eisenhardt and Martin 2000) to modify their theories to include information shaping as an important dynamic capability of a firm.

We’ll have Jeff Martin, the second author of the latter paper quoted my Majchrzak, over in Berlin in a couple of weeks and I’ll make sure to bring this issue up while he’s here. In case you’re interested, here’s an interview with him about the paper mentioned above and the idea behind Dynamic Capabilities: Jeffrey Martin on competing in fast-moving dynamic environments.


Eisenhardt Kathleen, M., & Martin Jeffrey, A. (2000). Dynamic capabilities: What are they. Strategic Management Journal, 21(10/11), 1105–1121.

Haefliger, S., Monteiro, E., Foray, D., & von Krogh, G. (2011). Social Software and Strategy. Long Range Planning, 44(5-6), 297–316. doi:10.1016/j.lrp.2011.08.001

Majchrzak, A., Wagner, C., & Yates, D. (2006). Corporate wiki users: results of a survey. Proceedings of the 2006 international symposium on Wikis, WikiSym  ’06 (pp. 99–104). New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/1149453.1149472

Majchrzak, A. (2009). Comment: Where is the Theory in Wikis? Management Information Systems Quarterly, 33(1), 18–20.