Monday, July 28, 2008

MED Practice PDW in Anaheim!! We look forward to seeing you there!!

Thank you for visiting this site! The following Professional Development Workshop (PDW) is the result of the efforts put forth by the "Practice Committee:"

Does our work matter? Has your research made an impact? What about your teaching? Are you confident that your classes are providing your students with relevant, evidence-based tools for their professional careers? What do businesses expect of us to consider our work more relevant?

If you are willing to give some serious thought to these questions, please join us in “Questioning for Relevance, A Dialogue of Scholarship and Practice;” a PDW that will take place on Sunday, August 10 from 9:00AM to 12:00PM at Anaheim Convention Center in the 210B room (pre-registration is NOT required but strongly encouraged; please email to pre-register).

We will critically reflect on the recent initiatives to bridge the research-practice gap, and to inspire extensions of current efforts to increase the relevance of academic work. Presenters have volunteered based on their work, recent experience and research interests. We approach the research-practice gap from several perspectives, including those of the CEO of NSHMBA (a non-profit that has recently sponsored a journal and increased its focus on business research), researcher, teacher, and practitioner perspectives. We seek to interactively explore with participants how each role contributes to the creation, translation, and dissemination of research that achieves relevance. Reports from founding participants in the Evidence Based Management Collaborative will be included. The panelists include the following:

Lourdes Hassler, Chief Executive Officer of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA). The organization is increasingly focusing on business research partly as a reaction to the dearth of research on Hispanics and businesses. Since 2007, the Business Journal of Hispanic Research has been sponsored by NSHMBA in response to this gap. Lourdes will share her perspective on relevant research for the business community.

David Denyer (Cranfield U, School of Management) is also a Scholar of the Advanced Institute for Management (AIM); he will discuss the ways that evidence-informed management bridges the gap. He is an associate of the Research Methods Group of the Evidence Network (funded by ESRC and based at Queen Mary College, University of London), a multi-disciplinary community of senior scholars from the natural sciences (medicine) and social sciences to promote and investigate Evidence-based policy and practice in the UK. David was one of only two management scholars invited to attend a series of seminars funded by the health development agency (HDA) and delivered under the auspices of the Evidence Network Research Methods Group.

Melanie P. Cohen spans the boundary of the academic and practitioner worlds, in her roles as the Information Technology Strategist for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and as an adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland (University College Graduate School of Management and Technology). Previously, she was the Chief of the Strategic Planning Unit at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Her experience includes organizational restructuring, change, and culture and her research focuses on public management and the 21st century organization. She will share her observations on the connection between theory and practice, specifically how theory informs practice and practice implements theory.

Joy Beatty (U of Michigan – Dearborn) reflects on the relationship between our research questions and teaching. If we are looking at having direct impact on practice, how does teaching serve that in relation to discipline-based research? Are we there to translate or transmit the “real” work from other areas into plain English? Or are we preparing the students to receive new ideas by opening their minds and teaching topics like critical thinking? And whose needs do we serve when we form our research questions?

Chad Smith (Clarion U of Pennsylvania) sold his manufacturing company –a firm in ten industries with annual sales of ten million dollars that employed eighty individuals within three different internal divisions and two distributorships in Florida and Texas. Chad has been in the manufacturing industry for the past fourteen years and owned his business throughout the latter twelve years. Simultaneously, he earned his Doctorate of Science in Information Systems and Communications and entered academia as a member of the Business Faculty at Clarion’s College of Business Administration. His presentation will highlight differences that these worlds present.

Josetta Mclaughlin (Roosevelt U) addresses the problem of translating research, based on her work with journalists. She has studied how psycho-metricians are presenting the data associated with standardized testing and the problems the journalists face in interpreting the numbers. Her perspective about these professionals will encourage the audience to ask the questions that make their work more translatable for non-specialists.

Miguel R Olivas-Luján (Clarion U of Pennsylvania and Tecnológico de Monterrey –Mexico) is Liaison to Practice for the MED division in 2007-08 and organizer of this session. He represents MED in the Evidence-Based Management Collaborative (EBMC) convened by Denise Rousseau since 2007. Miguel’s contribution is twofold: report on the progress of the EBMC and make a presentation on “Holographic writing,” a writing style suitable for reporting research to non-technical audiences in layers of gradual and increasing complexity.

After a first set of presentations, a 45-min discussion period has been scheduled to allow exercises facilitated by the presenters to engage the audience through discussions in round tables. The second set of presentations is scheduled to think about concrete ways in which our research can be made more accessible and relevant to practitioners.

This Professional Development Workshop was organized on behalf of the MED division and is sponsored by PTC, OB, TIM, MOC, PNP, MEN, and CM.

For more information and to pre-register, contact Miguel R. Olivas-Luján (

Saturday, August 18, 2007

August report -now from your Liaison to Practice, no longer "elect"

Let's continue this blogging experiment... The highlights in this report are:

- We have a "Practitioner Liaison Committee" for 2008 -volunteers, suggestions, etc. are still welcome!
- The EBMgmt Collaborative keeps making progress -please help us find sponsors and exemplars of "systematic reviews"

I am now writing this report for all members of the MED division in my capacity as the new "Liaison to Practice" (last year I was elected "Liaison to Practice Elect," a position that MED's constitution contemplates to "learn the ropes" so that the following year the incumbent may replicate or improve what was done previously). Well, as all MED members that attended either this or last year's MED business meeting know, not much has been done at MED to fulfill this role, partially because there are no funds earmarked to support its activities...

I guess that the first thing I thought of when I was elected was to organize a panel with executives, but my predecessor and I learned that we had no means to bring them to Philadelphia; in fact, according to AOM regulations, they would even have to pay their own registration (unless, I recently found out, we use the five complementary registrations that the annual conference organizers provide for each division). Still, when I have invited executives to academic conferences in the past, they have not had to pay their accommodations; either the event budget or a sponsor covers their expenses as a token of appreciation for their investment of time and effort. Quite frankly, it seems that I was not doing things in the most efficient manner, as our newly elected Liaison to Practice Elect, Joel Harmon, from Farleigh Dickinson University suggested after the business meeting in Philadelphia that there are ways to bring managers to the Academy without having sponsors secured. I am certainly thankful for his volunteering for this position, I believe that I will be the one learning from his experience, instead of the other way around!

In addition to Joel, V. Seshan (from Pepperdine U.) and Joy Beatty (from U of Michigan - Dearborn) have contacted me to volunteer for the Practitioner Liaison Committee. And, lastly (certainly not least!) Elena Antonacopoulou from the U of Liverpool (UK) has a similar position but at the Academy level and I am trying to coordinate with her so that our divisional efforts to coordinate with practitioners have a larger and more efficient impact. Gayle Porter (from Rutgers U.; she represented the Careers division before the EBM Collaborative in Pittsburgh) and Darlene Alexander-Houle (from the U of Phoenix and Hewlett-Packard) also expressed their interest in joining efforts, so... it looks like we are moving in the right direction! As I stated above, volunteers, suggestions, ideas are still quite welcome. I hope that we can create a most interesting program for the meeting in 2008, and maybe have an even larger impact in our future work...

Now, with respect to the Evidence-Based Management collaborative for which I originally titled this "blog," there is not much to report at this point. We are still looking for sponsors to help us cover the expense of bringing as many AOM division representatives as possible to the meetings of the Collaborative that are scheduled for January and June of 2008 (please contact me at your earliest convenience if you are have any leads to share) and there is a sub-committee that is currently looking for "systematic reviews" that would help us design a review format for the EBMgmt effort. If you have suggestions for the new review format, please contact David Denyer (I am not posting his email address to prevent spammers' "web-bots" from adding his email to the zillion lists that we all get so bothered about; if you cannot find his email in the Academy website or in his institutional page, please email me and I will gladly forward your message).

This is all for now! I look forward to your suggestions, ideas, and participation now and during our meeting in Anaheim for 2008. Best regards,


Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Report from your Liaison to Practice Elect

A Report from your Liaison to Practice Elect

On June 28-30, 2007, about thirty researchers from at least twenty-five universities in five countries met at Carnegie Mellon University, convened by former Academy of Management President, Denise Rousseau. Also present were former AOM Presidents, Jean Bartunek and Jone Pearce (for a more detailed, yet incomplete list of attendants, click here). The main purpose of this meeting was to form:

"...a community-of-practice to make evidence-informed management a reality. [Its] mission is to close the gap between management research and the ways practitioners make managerial and organizational decisions and educators teach organizational behavior, theory, strategy and human resources management. The Collaborative’s primary task is to design the architecture and support practices for on-line access to best evidence summarized in ways practitioners and educators can readily use" (source: CMU's webpage for the EBMgt conference).

Evidence-Based Management (EBMgt) is a concept that we can already find in a variety of well-respected sources. Essentially, EBMgt could be defined as executing management practice in a manner that is informed by the best available scientific evidence. A combination of a Harvard Business Review article (Pfeffer & Sutton, Evidence-based Management. Harvard Business Review, 84:1, January 2006), HBSP book and website by Jeff Pfeffer & Bob Sutton (Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths and Total Nonsense, 2006) is among the best-known sources. Our own Ben Arbaugh recently led a special section of AMLE reviewing the Hard Facts... book (Academy of Management Learning & Education, 6:1, March 2007). Rousseau & McCarthy also published an AMLE article (Educating Managers from an Evidence-Based Perspective. 6:1, March 2007, pp. 84-101), and Rousseau spoke about EBMgt during her AoM presidential address, later published as "Is There Such a Thing as 'Evidence-Based Management'?" (Academy of Management Review, 31:2, pp. 256-269, 2006). In short, influential voices from our colleagues have been insisting in the need to make the most robust research findings available to practitioners so that their decision process is better informed, as it has been occurring in Medicine, Education, Nursing, Library Science, Conservation, Government, Social Work, Software Engineering, and Criminology (at least!).

During those two-and-a-half working days (program details can be found here), attendants worked on understanding what "Evidence-Based Management" is. We heard presentations from managers that have been exposed to the concept of EBMgt and have been internalizing it in their practice. A representative from Wiley & Sons (the publisher) showed us what they have been doing for the "Cochrane collaboration," and the "Campbell collaboration;" two online evidence-based databases dedicated to document and make research findings available for practitioners in Medicine and Education, respectively.

Possibly the main result of this meeting has been the formation of a "core" group of academics that has invested considerable energy in learning about and possibly starting a "Management Collaboration" that might jump-start a variety of services geared toward making scientific research findings more readily available for practitioners. Of special interest is the fact that the above mentioned "collaborations" seem to be based around "Systematic Reviews" (akin to our "Literature reviews" but adding certain parameters that seem to be more or less accepted) and "Protocols" (a blueprint that spells out in some detail who and how will carry out a Systematic Review on a specific area).

Current plans include two more meetings in January and June of 2008. Your MED Liaison to Practice will gladly represent you again (unless the following meetings get out of hand in terms of their cost; this time I only had to drive less than two hours but my travel budget will be exceeded by the AoM meeting in Anaheim).

As a participant in this EBMgt Collaborative, I have been trying to find sponsors to fund expenses for the EBMgt meetings in 2008. Another objective of my participation is to organize "something" during the 2008 AoM Conference to provide the service for which I was elected last year. For both, please send me any suggestions that you might have by submitting a comment in the blog version of this document, via email, phone (+1-814-393-2641) or in person. Thanks in advance!!!