Joining the Conversation: How to get our voices heard from the Middle East (2/2)

I must admit this second part of a two part report has been somewhat delayed. But September bring back to school and a return to beloved projects.

Part of the caucus was also a discussion of ways and means scholars working in and on the under-studied MENA region could get our voices/research heard by the Academy of Management and the wider scholarly community.

We were blessed with the presence of senior scholars from the region and working in the region - long time members of the Academy and greatly respected for their research and non-academic work. They provided some useful advice which I will share with you here.

The journey, not the destination

Publishing is not the only goal of scholars (although in a publish or perish world it has got to be in the top two at least) - the research process and relevance to regional problems also need to be addressed.

For young scholars and scholars looking to break into the "community" there are many ways to get "noticed" and improve our craft at the same time. Write to the editors of journals you want you publish in and offer to be a reviewer - and then work at writing good reviews when articles are sent to you. Volunteer to review at the AOM Annual Meeting - and at other conferences you would like to attend, and might not have the budget to actually go to. Membership in any community is earned... this is the best way to "earn" it.

Regional problems make for interesting stories

As management scholars (I believe) we have a duty to address the real issues faced by organisations in our community, country and region. These challenges though also offer up some interesting questions that need to be answered, and through relevancy part of the "so what?" of research is covered. As well, these regional problems can offer interesting new angles on existing theories.

Joining, not starting the conversation

Scientific articles can usually only have about 20% "new" - so issues that seem inherently local such as "wasta" and Emiritisation/Saudisation/Qatarisation need to be framed in the language and framework of existing theory. For example wasta as compared to the Chinese concept of influence "guanxi" or social capital and Emiritisation as an example of affirmative action. 

Be proactive!

To be heard at the AOM Meeting means being on the program - and getting on the program is not always easy. However, there are many divisions looking to internationalize (e.g. have more members from outside of North America), so contact them about your PDW and symposium ideas - become a member of different divisions, volunteer at the meeting... attend functions. 

It was a great caucus, and I hope we are able to follow-up on our enthusiasm last month with submissions for the 2014 Annual Meeting. After another photo of the group I will list some links to websites of divisions I know are looking for more international members and divisions that are quite suited to our needs.

Have a great year!

The Management, Spirituality, and Religion (MSR) Interest Group of the Academy of Management (AOM)

The International Management Division of the Academy of Management 

Management History Division of the Academy of Management

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