Track on “ORGANISING FOR RESILIENCE IN EXTREME CONTEXTS” accepted for EURAM 2019

The track address a major gap in our understanding – organising for resilience in contexts that are abnormal, exceptional, or extreme. This can involve the processes of anticipating, preparing for, responding to and learning from disruptive events in order to survive and prosper.

Our specific focus is on in extreme contexts where risks of severe physical, psychological harm or material consequences threaten the viability of an organisation and the safety and well-being of its organisational members. We will explore the theoretical, methodological and practical dimensions of the topic.

Track organizers: Professor David Denyer (Cranfield University); Professor Markus Hällgren (Umeå university); Professor Martina Linnenluecke (Macquarie University); Doctor Elmar Kutsch (Cranfield University); Dr Mark Hall (Birmingham University); Doctor Hugo Marynissen (Antwerp Management School)

The EGOS SWG on Organizing in and for extreme contexts is accepted!

We just received the happy news that the EGOS Standing Working Group on “Organizing in and for Extreme Contexts” was accepted! Starting in 2020, there will be (at least) four consecutive years with themes related to Extreme contexts! There was 99 supporters that responded to the request of support of the SWG. Without you this could not have happened! Thank you so much for the support to develop the research agenda even further! Hope to see you at a (EGOS) conference!! THANK YOU!!

Markus (Hällgren) on behalf of the organizing team; Anja Danner-Schröder, Mark de Rond, Samer Faraj, Daniel Geiger, Linda Rouleau, Kathleen Sutcliffe

AoM: ‘Not another survey’: Unconventional methodology in organization and management research

Saturday 11 August 2018, 10.15 to 12.45,

Sheraton Grand Chicago, Chicago Ballroom X: sponsoring Divisions: RM, OMT

Are you interested in using novel methodologies in your research?  Or do you think that journal editors will reject your papers if you ‘break the rules’?

This PDW has three aims:

  1. to assess the case for using unconventional methodologies
  2. to explore a range of non-traditional approaches
  3. to advise researchers planning to use unconventional methods.

Most researchers stick to two or three traditional methods for data collection, like surveys and interviews.  Is novelty dangerous?  Using the same old methods runs the risk of generating the same old findings.  The formulaic, template-based nature of our publications is attracting criticism.  There have been calls for more diverse, ‘polymorphic’ approaches.  Also, our participants see our methods as boring, and we have accounts of ‘survey fatigue’.

Who should attend?  This Workshop is designed for both new and experienced researchers who want to explore fresh possibilities in methodology, as well as researchers who are actively engaged in developing non-traditional approaches to their work.  We will explore unconventional research settings, data sources, designs, and data collection methods:

radio programme archives: Laurie Cohen (Nottingham U) and Joanne Duberley (Birmingham U)

innovation in unobtrusive methods: Andrew Knight (Washington U in St Louis)

using fiction, and research in extreme contexts: David Buchanan (Cranfield U)

netnography: Manuela Nocker (Essex U)

experiments in institutional theory: Alex Bitektine (HEC Montreal)

inter-organizational ethnography: Olivier Berthod (Jacobs U Bremen)

participant-led video diaries: David Buchanan (Cranfield U)

We have designed a participative ‘presentation – buzz group – plenary’ format, ending with a Q&A panel session.  There are three take-aways:

  1. you will learn about the uses, strengths and limitations of innovative methodologies, and how these can be adapted for use in your own research
  2. you will learn how journal editors judge research using unconventional methodology
  3. based on editorial advice, you will find out how best to present work relying on unconventional methods

There is no preregistration required for this Workshop.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago in August!

For further information about this workshop, contact the organizers:

David Buchanan         david.buchanan@cranfield.ac.uk

Olivier Berthod           o.berthod@jacobs-university.de

Andrew Knight            knightap@wustl.edu

EGOS sub-plenary on “Institutions in troubled times and places”

Please observe that there is a sub-plenary dedicated to “Institutions in troubled times and places” organized at @EGOS in Tallinn that is very relevant to our research interests! Please find the description below, the full flier at the bottom.

WHEN: Thursday, July 5th; 14:00-15:30
WHERE: TBA

Chair panelists are Renate E. Meyer (WU Vienna, Austria), Mark de Rond (University of Cambridge, UK), Charlotte Karam (American University of Beirut, Lebanon) & Marc Ventresca (University of Oxford, UK)

Description

In troubled times and places, such as war, refugee crisis, terrorist or cyber-attacks, or other conflicts, our standard forms of organizing and institutionalized patterns of coordination are challenged, our cultural tool kit seems outdated and limited in offering swift response, and our learned roles and identities fail to provide appropriate scripts. In this sub-plenary we question the meaning and role of institutions in such troubled times and places, and discuss whether our organization theories, and institutional theory in particular, ‘work’ in these unstable contexts, allowing to comprehend and address their needs. We ask what an institutional lens can contribute to studying such contexts and also to engaging with the concerns of those involved in them on a practical level. The sub-plenary panel will discuss challenges of conducting research, such as difficulties of data collection and ethical dilemmas, implications for theorizing, e.g. its boundary conditions and possibilities for practical relevance, and potential for mitigating practical concerns of people immersed in such contexts.

To start and frame the debate, Mark de Rond will talk about practical and ethical issues of doing fieldwork in difficult contexts and the ‘usefulness’ of an institutional perspective. Charlotte Karam will talk about the challenges of doing research on emergent crises in the context of protracted instability, emphasizing the need to better theorize the salience of informality, and, from a more practical perspective, the need to more closely consider the ethical considerations of “research waste”. Marc Ventresca will consider complex institutional contexts as settings for research activity and how these contexts both change research practice and conduce to the focus on inhabited institutions.

Flyer

Link to EGOS page

SWG for EGOS submitted

Thank you everyone that have supported the initiate to make #extremecontexts to a Standing Working Group at EGOS. We are overwhelmed by the support, 99 researchers from all the world took the time to help out! Really appreciate your help! Now we can only but trust the process, keep your fingers crossed!

REPORT:: Organizational Resilience: A summary of academic evidence, business insights and new thinking

A new global study by BSI (British Standards Institution) and Cranfield School of Management, finds that business leaders are struggling to balance risk with opportunity, threatening the long-term survival of their firms. The report, “Organizational Resilience: A summary of academic evidence, business insights and new thinking”, assesses half a century’s accepted wisdom on best-practice management, identifying an acute need for firms to embrace risk if they are to survive and thrive.

https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/som/case-studies/organizational-resilience-a-summary-of-academic-evidence-business-insights-and-new-thinking

TEACHING RESOURCE: K2 – against all odds

A simulation on mindful leadership, based on the Events on K2 in 2008 developed at Cranfield University by the Leading Complex Change group and TripleEd at Umeå university.

K2, sometimes called Savage Mountain, is located on the Pakistan-China border.  It has the highest fatality rate of any mountain in the world, with approximately one in four climbers not making it back alive. One of the challenges of K2 is its sustained technical difficulty; its face is characterised by more than 45 degree angles with a rocky and icy surface, combined with sudden life-threatening changes in weather conditions. Climbers assemble at the base camp to attempt to summit this majestic mountain each year, typically between June and August.

Clearly most managers do not face challenges of this magnitude in their day-to-day work. However, by looking at such extremes we can identify concepts that can be applied valuably in more benign environments.

https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/som/case-studies/k2-against-all-odds

Johansson et al (2018) – At the external boundary of a disaster response operation: The dynamics of volunteer inclusion

In the present article, practices of inclusion of different types of volunteers in the response to a large-scale forest fire in Sweden are studied. Semi- structured interviews were conducted with three types of voluntary actors. The volunteers were organized to different degrees, from members of organizations and participants in emergent groups to organizationally unaffiliated individuals. Organized volunteers were the most easily included, particularly if they were members of voluntary emergency organizations. It was difficult for volunteers lack- ing relevant organizational affiliation to be included. Disaster response operations are dynamic, conditions change over time, and tensions between different modes, degrees, and levels of inclusion may arise. However, irrespective of changing con- ditions, practices of inclusion of highly organized volunteers work best.

Free access here

Kutsch – The Art of Organisational Resilience – revisiting the Fall of France in 1940

On 10 May 1940, Hitler’s Germany commenced their offensive in the West with the invasion of Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. Just three days later, the Nazis crossed the River Meuse, triggering the collapse of the Allied Forces. The Fall of France in May-June 1940 at the hands of Nazi Germany was one of the great surprises of the 20th century. The reason for this overwhelming and shock military defeat lends itself to renewed analysis from a management perspective.

Key Facts

  • It is commonly believed that the application of armoured “Blitzkrieg” decided this military encounter. However, this is widely a held but false belief.

Impact of our research

It is not uncommon to learn from cases that are unusual, special or extreme in some way. The context of this specific military campaign offers an extreme background to develop leadership and strategic thinking.

The defeat of France by Nazi Germany in May 1940 can be considered as a real-life David versus Goliath story. The inferior party prevails in a stunning, puzzling manner over a force that was considered ‘invincible’ at that time. However, it is less a question of what resources are at your disposal, but whether you can out-manage or out-smart your opponent. In management speak, how to intelligently manage an environment characterised by Uncertainty, Volatility, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA).

Why the research was commissioned

The study of history should be, as Clausewitz suggested, “meant to educate the mind of the future commander, or, more accurately, to guide him in his self-education, not to accompany him to the battlefield; just as a wise teacher guides and stimulates a young man’s intellectual development, but is careful not to lead him by the hand for the rest of his life.” Military encounters can give insight into major management issues not because they are directly relevant to day-to-day organisational issues, but because they offer managers the chance to explore extreme examples and identify key points that they can take back to their own work. Each one may find different points that are relevant to their own context, but dealing with uncertainty and working out how to deal with strong competitors in a fast-moving environment are issues that most organisations can identify with. It is a thought-provoking case that resonates with many of today’s challenges.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Organisational-Resilience-Revisiting-France/dp/1138058769