Message from the STR Division Chair

We look forward to seeing many of you at the annual Academy of Management conference in Boston in August! As always, the program is packed with great sessions—the depth and breadth of sessions represent the vibrant scholarship and teaching interests of our diverse membership. It is my pleasure and honor to chair our Division as the Academy comes back to Boston, always an exciting venue for the AoM conference. The Division is preparing more opportunities than ever to indulge intellectual curiosity, contribute to our field, meet new and old friends and colleagues, engage in lively discussions, and – yes –have some fun!

An Overview of the Annual Conference Program

The pre-conference program starts with the highly popular Professional Development Workshops (PDWs) and various consortia on Friday and Saturday (August 9 and 10). These events provide terrific opportunities for members to learn from panelists and from each other across various research areas, theories, methods, teaching tool and overall professional skills. Some PDWs, especially the paper development workshops that match authors with expert scholars, require pre-registration. Therefore, please be sure to identify and register for the sessions that interest you before they are fully subscribed, by perusing the program when it becomes available and by noting those PDWs that will be announced via our listserv and other social media. In addition, the STR Division continues to offer a strong line-up of consortia designed to bring scholars together at various stages of their career. Ranging from the “Managing your Dissertation workshop” led by finalists from last year’s Best Dissertation Award through to the Mid-Career Consortium, these activities provide focused conversations with peers and mentors on issues that are most relevant to you. In addition, thanks to our Teaching Committee’s hard work, in just two years the Teaching Consortium has proven to be very well attended and noted for how helpful it is to those who aim to develop their teaching skills. The Division also offers several teaching PDWs, including a walk-in “clinic” for those who have specific teaching questions for experts to answer. Make sure to consult the STR website (www.strdiv.org) as well as the various calls for participation throughout this newsletter to learn more about the objectives and target audiences of research and teaching PDWs. Many thanks to Assistant Program Chair Heather Berry and to all the PDW, consortia, and workshop organizers for their investment of time and energy and for creating an outstanding pre-conference program.

Our Program Chair Tim Folta has assembled an excellent conference program (Monday August 12 and Tuesday August 13, with a few featured events on Sunday August 11). The record number of submissions allowed the assembly of a selective program that is both large and high-quality. Once again, the program will mostly consist of competitive paper sessions, where the best individual paper submissions are assembled into tracks. There will also be some developmental Discussion Paper sessions, and structured symposia where multiple presentations are pre-assembled by organizers. Sessions will be organized around eight tracks (e.g., Cooperative Strategy or Strategic Entrepreneurship) to foster a “conference within a conference” feel and promote dialogue and community building around particular research domains. A huge thank you goes to the more than 1,300 reviewers who have given their time and provided developmental feedback on the many submissions in a short time frame, including emergency reviewers who worked overtime. Thanks also to the track chairs who have helped organize sessions.

Thank you for assembling such a great program for Boston, Tim and Heather!

To make the best of this program, plan to stay at or near the Boston Park Plaza, which will serve as “STR central” for the whole conference. In addition to being the place to be with STR in 2019, it is located very close to the beautiful Boston Common and Public Garden and near both the Charles River and Downtown Boston with its CBD and tourist attractions.

Highlights from the Program

As you plan your conference schedule, I’d like to draw your attention to the following activities—some of which represent mainstay favorites, while others represent recent efforts that respond to member feedback.

Irwin Award Ceremony in Honor of David Mowery (Sunday, 6:00-8:00 p.m., Boston Park Plaza Statler Room): See Honors and Awards below for more details!

STR Plenary Session (Monday 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Boston Park Plaza Room TBA) This year’s plenary is titled “The next 50 years of STR scholarship: Looking back to see forward”. A terrific panel including Jay Barney, Don Hambrick, Anita McGahan (and another guest to be announced) will reflect on the past, present and future of Strategic Management. We will consider the main accomplishments and lessons of the first 50 years of our Division – whose founding started with a planning meeting in 1969! – and how they inform us about the opportunities and priorities to make our discipline and field of practice even more vibrant and impactful for the future. The above-mentioned panelists, as scholars and as experienced leaders of the Division and other AoM institutions, will provide a memorable take on the issues close to their heart.

STR Dissertation Award Finalists (Monday 3:00-4:30 p.m., Boston Park Plaza Grand Ballroom B):  Listen and interact with this year’s finalists for the Wiley-Blackwell Outstanding Dissertation Award, as they present a synopsis of their dissertation research.

STR Business Meeting and Social (Monday 6:30-7:30 p.m., Boston Park Plaza Grand Ballroom AB, and 7:30-9:00 p.m. Boston Park Plaza Grand Ballroom AB): Join us as we discuss STR business, announce award winners, introduce new division leaders, and thank those who have held various positions of STR service. Then, connect with colleagues at the STR Social immediately following.

Updates on New/Continuing Initiatives

(Almost) new awards: This will be just the second year that the Division honors recipients of two biennial awards that were introduced in 2017. Thanks to the initiative of John Mezias and former students, colleagues and friends of the late Bill Guth, our service award has been endowed as the STR William D. Guth Distinguished Service Award. This is all the more appropriate as Bill Guth led the above-mentioned 1969 meeting where STR was conceived, and served as our Division’s first chair. Come to the business meeting to congratulate this year’s winner, Ed Zajac, for his multiple and generous service contributions to our field. We will also announce the winner of the Emerging Scholar Award, which rewards a highly successful recent scholar whose research represents the best of the present and future of the Division. Special thanks to the STR Awards Committee and to the past Division Chairs who helped select the awardees (see the end of this Newsletter for the committee names).

Membership engagement initiatives: To complement the many scholarly events – and indeed to facilitate and extend the academic as well as social conversation, the Division has been working for the last two years to provide a menu of social and cultural events during the conference. Last year, we offered our first New Member Breakfast, an opportunity for new members to meet each other and the Division leaders and friends. Look for future announcements of this year’s event. To formalize other efforts on behalf of members, the Division has named a new officer who will work year-round with the Executive Committee. Our first Membership Engagement Chair is Bilgehan Uzunca – for a while yet, a fellow Dutch resident. In addition to offering versions of the events of the last two years with past volunteers, Bil is looking to assemble a larger committee that will arrange a broader set of events at the conference. See his announcement elsewhere on the website.

And this is just the beginning. Although the annual conference is the main focus of the Division’s efforts and of this newsletter, many members do not get to attend it. Furthermore, among the AoM’s “moonshots”, its overarching ambitions, is “to provide to a diverse membership indispensable value characterized by extensive professional services, vibrant volunteerism, interactive communities, and re-imagined governance” – something that include but goes well beyond the annual conference. Thus, we have started a reflection about what activities and services members would like the Division to undertake and offer outside the conference. Our first goal is to come up with ideas whereby scholars – regardless of rank, location, research and/or teaching mandate, professional status etc. – benefit from their membership throughout the year. If you have ideas about such initiatives that will add value to being part of the STR Division and community year-round, contact me at STRdivision@tilburguniversity.edu. I look forward to hearing from you.

A heartfelt thank you!

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my special thanks to all the people who are engaged within the STR division in advancing all these exciting and important initiatives. I would especially like to thank Michael Holmes, our secretary, Paul Drnevich, our treasurer, and Paolo Aversa, our communications director, for their excellent service to the division – and again, welcome to the team Bilgehan (Uzunca)! I would also like to thank all members of the STR Executive Committee, Awards Committee, Global Representatives Committee, Research Committee and Teaching Committee. Each member has made special contributions to our strategic management community during the past year and towards the annual conference.

I also wish to acknowledge the less formal and yet invaluable contributions of many others. During my past four years of service as an officer of your Division, and before that as a member of its Research and Executive committee, I have been very fortunate to witness and work with deeply committed (and often unnamed) members, session and event organizers, and sundry volunteers who have generously contributed, year after year. Thank you all! It is a great pleasure to work with you all – your commitment, energy and willingness to contribute time to the division is truly an inspiration, and as mentioned above I look forward to hearing your ideas for other activities yet!

Last but not least, I would like to thank our Past Division Chair Mary Benner as her five years of service as an officer of the division near their end. Mary, you have provided wisdom, a structured and effective approach to the task – Mary gets things done! – and some invaluable patience and encouragement as I followed your steps during the last four years. To all of you who are reading this message: Please do stop and thank Mary for her superb effort when you see her in Boston.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Boston, and to hear from others!

Xavier Martin
STR Division Chair
Tilburg University
STRdivision@tilburguniversity.edu

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