AOM Caucus preview: Emerging Research Directions in the Middle East - Developing Meaningful and Relevant Research Topics

The Academy of Management Annual Meeting is fast approaching! As I catch up reading some super interesting papers that are going to be presented, preparing my own presentation on Emirati Leadership Development, first author a wonderfully brilliant Zayed University Alumni Sarah Al Haj (blog post to follow in the coming days), and sending out email invitations to the caucus we have organised - I thought it would be a good idea to actually write about what the caucus is about!

First, if you are interested in attending and you are registered for the AOM Meeting, we will see you on Tuesday, Aug 13 2013 1:15PM - 2:45PM at WDW Swan Resort in Teal.

Second, we organised this session to talk about (and raise interest in) management research in, on and about the Middle East, where we work and where our students will be future leaders (en'shallah). We would also like to be a catalyst for new research collaborations - across institutions and internationally.

The Middle East is one of world’s fastest-growing regions and perhaps no other region has attracted so much attention and caused so much concern. For AOM members the ongoing economic and social transformations and changes provide research opportunities for scholars based and interested in the region, additionally, in line with the theme of the Conference “Capitalism in Question”, the Middle East provides a rich research context in which capitalism has always been in question by governments and the general population.

(Please note we define Middle East as a cluster of countries including:  (in alphabetical order): Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.)

This first caucus project aims at promoting interest within the AOM for management research within the Middle East and to foster collaborations across regions and universities. It is hoped that this interest will grow and eventually lead to the formation of the AOM Middle East Initiative.

The sheer intensity of changes occurring in the Middle East underline the importance of the complex intersection of history, culture, politics, and religion as they relate to economic development and technological progress in this strategically vital region, such transitions offer management scholars an unprecedented quasi-experimental setting in which to examine theories and frameworks (Zahra, 2011). As recently scholars began to acknowledge the segregation of knowledge created outside the mainstream and the possible contributions of newcomers to existing theory (Barney & Zhang, 2009; Tsui, 2009). DeNisi (2010) suggests that management as a discipline may be on the verge of an important transformation. This is due in part to the rapidly increasing complexity of the field. Most of this complexity, he argues, comes from the increasing globalization and diversity of the Academy of Management.

The caucus will provide a gathering place for concerned AOM members to meet, discuss common research interests and discuss future collaborations. The caucus will be organised as follows:

1. Interested AOM members in research in the Middle East will be invited to provide a one slide research idea “pitch” to be circulated amongst caucus attendees prior to the AOM 2013 Meeting

a. Ideas can come from researchers in the regions with unique data opportunities or from researchers looking to test their theories in a new and dynamic context

2. The Caucus will begin with a brief presentation of the “AOM Middle East” initiative and the current streams of research most popular in the region

3. Following, interested researchers will “pitch” their ideas in maximum five minute presentation

4. Following the “pitches” researchers will then begin informal discussions

It is hoped that this caucus will be the first in a yearly series of such events to build and nurture a research community in the Middle East – one based on rich and dynamic collaborations with other regions and the growth of a vibrant research community based in this dynamic, turbulent and understudied region.

Of course I will be writing a blog post with some of the conclusions... and if you are interested in the presentation and are unable to attend please email and I will send it after the conference.

Hope to see you in Orlando!

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