Administrative Science Quarterly and the Sonoco International Business Department at the USC Darla Moore School of Business Hosts Conference and Paper Development Workshop on Globalizing Organization Theory

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Hosted by Administrative Science Quarterly and the Sonoco International Business Department at the Univ. of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business (DMSB)

January 8-11, 2020
Columbia, South Carolina

Organization theory developed its key theoretical tenets through scholarship on organizations in North America and other Western, developed contexts. As a result, organization theory is rooted in a relatively small subset of the world’s many possible organizational forms and institutional environments. Nonetheless, a growing number of organizational scholars are responding to social and economic globalization with increased interest in organizations outside these traditional contexts, particularly in developing countries. This international expansion of organizational scholarship represents an overdue and valuable opportunity for expanding organization theory, both by leveraging the strengths of organization theory to provide a new perspective on organizations in non-traditional settings and by using findings from new contexts to highlight previously underexplored organizational processes in traditional contexts.

The fastest way to expand into new contexts is to apply existing theories developed in Western contexts to explain outcomes in developing regions such as Asia, Africa, Latin America, and others. But this strategy runs the risk of forcing a set of potentially poor-fitting theoretical perspectives on a new and unique set of outcomes. Organizational scholars who follow this strategy are at risk of proposing incomplete or inaccurate explanations, leading to the development of an isolated, lower-quality literature relative to political science, economics, public health, and related fields that have developed mature research streams on similar topics.

This event provides a forum where international and traditional organizational scholars can discuss productive ways to extend organizational scholarship into new contexts. We seek a collective understanding of how organization theory can contribute to and be enriched by research in new contexts. To achieve these goals, we must consider a range of questions. What existing tenets of organizational theory can be applied or adapted to new contexts? Should we look to novel contexts as laboratories for developing novel theory? How much emphasis should be placed on theory development versus empirical exploration in this international expansion? Do international organization scholars have an obligation to engage with existing work from other fields that study their context? Is the international move in organization theory expected to yield a more diverse set of explanatory mechanisms, or should we move toward a unifying theoretical framework that connects diverse contexts? What unanswered questions in international contexts might organization theorists have a competitive advantage in answering? How can lessons learned from international scholarship contribute to mainstream scholarship?

This event is divided into two components. First, a one-and-a-half-day conference organized into thematic panels will address the above questions with both presentations and group debate.

Second, we will have a one-day paper development workshop where authors can receive feedback from leading scholars that helps manuscripts have greater impact in the development of international organizational scholarship. The paper development workshop is open to scholars at all career stages. Qualitative and quantitative papers are similarly welcome. PhD candidates and junior faculty are particularly encouraged to submit.

Confirmed conference speakers include:

  • Ruth Aguilera (Northeastern)
  • Jerry Davis (Michigan)
  • Henrich Greve (INSEAD)
  • Heather Haveman (UC-Berkeley)
  • Vit Henisz (Wharton)
  • Bruce Kogut (Columbia)
  • Johanna Mair (Hertie/Stanford)
  • Chris Marquis (Cornell)
  • Mark Mizruchi (Michigan)
  • Kendall Roth (South Carolina)
  • Andrew Schrank (Brown)

Confirmed paper development workshop faculty mentors include:

  • Christina Ahmadjian (Hitotsubashi)
  • Henrich Greve (INSEAD)
  • Sharique Hassan (Duke)
  • Heather Haveman (UC-Berkeley)
  • Vit Henisz (Wharton)
  • Chris Marquis (Cornell)
  • Sun Hyun Park (Seoul National)
  • Andrew Schrank (Brown)
  • Chris Yenkey (South Carolina)
  • Lori Yue (USC)

Submission Guidelines:

Submissions are invited for both the conference and paper development workshop components. Selection of participants will be done through a committee that includes members of the ASQ editorial board and conference organizers. Three types of submissions are invited:

Conference presentations: Because this conference is focused on addressing meta-issues around international organization research, this track does not seek traditional research papers for presentation. Instead, scholars currently working on international topics should present their approach to doing so. Submissions can productively use research projects or papers as examples, but the value for the conference audience lies in how papers or projects exemplify an approach to organizational scholarship in an international space. Submissions should be extended abstracts of no more than five (5) double-spaced pages all inclusive.

Attending the conference without presentation: We welcome applications from scholars who wish to attend the conference and contribute to the discussion without presentation. Applicants should summarize their interest in international research in no more than two (2) double-spaced pages.

Paper development workshop: The PDW is designed to help authors develop international research not already under review at a journal. Submissions should be extended abstracts of no more than five (5) double-spaced pages, excluding references, tables, and figures. Papers will be selected for the workshop on the basis of their potential to contribute to the international expansion of organizational scholarship. Accepted papers will be organized into groups of four papers matched with two faculty discussants. Accepted authors are required to submit a complete paper no later than two weeks before the event.

All submissions should be sent to OrgTheoryConf2020@moore.sc.edu. Please indicate the type of submission in the subject line.

Registration and logistics:

To facilitate an active discussion, conference registration is limited to no more than 60 participants. There is no set limit on authors accepted to the paper development workshop. Organizers will work to accommodate all submitted papers that fit the theme and stage of development. Co-authored papers are welcome, but space constraints may require authors to select one representative to attend.

A registration fee of $300 applies. The registration fee includes a welcome reception, lunch each day, and a conference dinner. Discounted hotel rooms will be available at the Downtown Columbia-USC Hilton. Hotel reservation details will be sent to accepted participants.

Scholarships and Awards:

Scholarships in the form of waived registration fees are available for those with demonstrated financial need, with priority given to PhD students and scholars from outside the United States. Please describe your financial constraints, including other possible sources of funding, in a separate letter sent with your submission.

The Organization and Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management is sponsoring two scholarships of $500 each to pay for costs of participation (e.g. transportation and housing) in the paper development workshop. PhD students and junior faculty are eligible for these awards. The registration fee will be waived for OMT scholarship winners. The conference committee will select two winners based on the authors’ potential to contribute to international organization theory.

We will award two Most Promising Paper awards from the paper development workshop. Faculty mentors will nominate and select authors during the workshop, and award winners will be announced in the closing panel.

The deadline for all submissions is August 30, 2019. Notification of accepted submissions will be sent by September 27, 2019.

For questions about the conference, the paper development workshop, and submissions, contact Chris Yenkey: cyenkey@moore.sc.edu

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