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Symposium announcement: How Organization Theorists can address Grand Challenges

  • 1.  Symposium announcement: How Organization Theorists can address Grand Challenges

    Posted 06-14-2019 09:28

    We would like to draw your attention to the following panel symposium at the upcoming AOM annual meeting:


    Taking on the Challenge:

    How Organization Theorists can address Grand Challenges


    Tuesday, Aug 13 2019, 11:30AM - 1:00PM

    Boston Hynes Convention Center, Room: 313



    Gerald (Jerry) Davis, University of Michigan

    Joel Gehman, University of Alberta

    Johanna Mair, Hertie School of Governance

    Gail Whiteman, Lancaster University


    Discussant and Moderator:

    Jennifer Howard-Grenville, University of Cambridge



    Helen Etchanchu, Montpellier Business School

    Suhaib Riaz, University of Ottawa


    Panel symposium summary:

    In a time of increased attention to grand challenges (e.g. Ferraro et al., 2015; George et al., 2016), such as inequality, poverty, climate change, ecological imbalances, and socioeconomic and political crises along with their extended impacts, organization theorists face an important choice. We can continue developing theory in our traditionally existing streams with occasional and peripheral links to grand challenges, such as through bringing those challenges in as part of our empirical contexts, or in our managerial implications. Or we can address head-on the importance of grand challenges, make them a core aspect of our research, and accordingly develop theoretical and empirical approaches that may be seen as a 'grand challenges turn' in our field.

    Several special issues at journals (e.g., AMJ, AMD, Organization Studies) and workshops/organizing themes at conferences (e.g. EGOS) now point to organization theorists engaging with grand challenges. In doing this, organization theorists have received a mix of mild to moderate applause on one hand, and a number of gentle to harsh criticisms on the other hand. We believe it is time to consolidate the early learning from work in this area by having an honest discussion on the most inspiring as well as most contentious issues around such research.


    Dr. Helen ETCHANCHU

    Assistant Professor I Entrepreneurship and Strategy Department

    Montpellier Business School

    +33 (0)4 67 10 60 54



    2300, Avenue des Moulins

    34185 Montpellier Cedex 4 – France

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