Journal of Management Studies Conference Call for Papers:Interdisciplinarity in Management Research: Premises, Pitfalls, and Promises
5-6 March 2024
John McIntyre Conference Centre, The University of Edinburgh, Pollock Halls, 18 Holyrood Park Rd, Edinburgh, EH16 5AY,Scotland, UK
A Conference Sponsored by the Journal of Management Studies and the Society for the Advancement of Management StudiesHow can a view to other disciplines help further our goal of theory development in management studies so as to create more impactful scholarship? Despite having its roots in multiple fields – including, among others, psychology, economics, and sociology – there are continued calls for management research to become more interdisciplinary (e.g., Baudoin, et al., 2023; Budhwar & Cumming, 2020; Dunning, 1989; Ogbonnaya & Brown, 2023).
Yet, our field continues to struggle in producing creative and interdisciplinary research that mobilizes methods and theories from other fields and which would truly deliver groundbreaking insights to management studies (Cheng, et al., 2009; Kniffin & Hanks, 2017). Whether and how management research can learn about and better understand phenomena by drawing on knowledge from other disciplines, or viceversa how other disciplines can learn from "our" field, remains a contested question (Markóczy & Deeds, 2009). Often, interdisciplinarity is praised for its premises andthere is generally strong agreement about its benefits for the societal and scientific enterprise (de Bakker, et al., 2019). Yet, it seems many management scholars struggle to fully draw on the repertoire of other scientific disciplines and cross the boundaries of our own knowledge frontier. The idea of undertaking interdisciplinary research is enticing yet the practice of actually doing interdisciplinary management research – and getting this published in leading management journals – can be fraught with difficulties. Its premises are challenging, its pitfalls are many, yet itspromises are far-reaching.
Here, as we develop our ideas for the Journal of Management Studies conference, we understand interdisciplinarity in a broad sense. It can start from within our home terrain which is typically the business and management school (or, for instance, a social science or psychology department) and could stretch to business school departments typically less engaged in studying management and organizations such as finance, accounting, marketing, and, of course, economics. Even crafting interdisciplinary research based on collaborations among groups within a business school is often a challenge, as we frequently do not seem to speak the same language, or share the same aspirations to develop novel and original theory. Yet, the aim of truly interdisciplinary research is to reach outside our comfort zones, drawing on narratives that are novel to management studies and to enter what are effectively 'uncharted waters' (Breslin & Gatrell, 2020) including both arts and humanities (e.g., Aguilera, et al., 2022; Cornelissen, 2008), as well as natural sciences like physics and chemistry (Padgett & Powell, 2012) in order to bring in new perspectives and insights.
Against this backdrop, at the 2024 Journal of Management Studies conference, we seek to rejuvenate the debate about interdisciplinarity in management studies. Wecall for developmental proposals that offer ideas for interdisciplinary research, as well as those that investigate the craft of how this can be achieved more effectively. Our call is for proposals that explore how to mobilize the theoretical and methodological repertoire of other disciplines. Our purpose is to better understand and theorize contemporary management phenomena in a light that is different from how we would typically see these, based on the theories and methods familiar to us.For this conference, we call for three broad types of submissions whose boundaries are fluid:
First, developmental proposals that examine phenomena interesting to management scholars by mobilizing theories or methods from another discipline. Here, we are particularly curious to hear how we as management scholars can learn from those disciplines and how such research can offer insights that we would struggle to generate via our familiar theories and methods alone.
Second, papers that examine the craft of doing interdisciplinary research and its associated premises, pitfalls and promises, in order to trigger a debate about what would ultimately facilitate interdisciplinarity in and beyond our field.Third, while we do not seek papers that are purely methodological in approach, we are interested in interdisciplinary research that draws upon new and creative methods, introducing new ways of thinking and understanding social phenomena from a management perspective and thus would show how other disciplines can gain inspiration from theoretical and methodological repertoires within the management studies field.
Possible questions are not limited to, but include:• Are interdisciplinary studies actually more impactful than mono-disciplinary approaches and in what way? What design characteristics yield more influential articles? Does interdisciplinarity help us communicate and influence practice more effectively?• How might different philosophical approaches impact interdisciplinary research? • How and why could interdisciplinary studies be better suited to study grand societal challenges such as climate change and inequality?• How to balance different disciplines' varying priorities regarding theoretical contribution, practical implication and policy or societal impact when doing such research for a management (or other) audience?• How can studies that cross within-management silos (e.g., Organizational Behaviour vs. Organization and Management Theory) be used to inform work that spans entire disciplines? • What is the lifecycle of an interdisciplinary innovation, both theoretically and methodologically, from genesis to obsolescence?• What have been the greatest management 'exports' to other disciplines and how can this inform future research?• How can bibliometrics and big data tools be used to identify the next big external influences on management research?• How are similar topics studied differently across different fields and what can be learned from such cross-disciplinary reviews?• How are theoretical assumptions across disciplines different from each other and how does that translate to different methods, research questions … what can we learn from "looking over the fence"? One example of this could be studies that look at and analyze how language differs across disciplines -language directs how we think and research a topic. For instance, the word management control means something completely different in Organizational Behaviour versus Accounting.• Are there universal truths across disciplines? Are there things we can agree on or are we confronted with subjective truths? How does interdisciplinarity deal with the accumulation and convergence of scientific knowledge?• How might conventions considered pitfalls and/or weaknesses in other disciplines be a source of inspiration or support for navigating tensions in management?• How to address the problem of incommensurability when different disciplines work based on different epistemological and ontological positions?• How are professions and professional boundaries affected by a multidisciplinary approach to management education?• Innovation thrives from creative, multi-disciplinary endeavors content wise. How can multidisciplinarity in methodological approaches shape the nature of innovation?
Keynote speakers:Professor Pratima (Tima) Bansal - Ivey Business School, Canada and Professor Marcus Gomes - Cardiff University, UK
Call for Developmental ProposalsDue to the interdisciplinary nature of this JMS conference, we are not asking participants to submit a full paper but rather to submit a developmental proposal for presentation and discussion at the conference. This allows for a full discussion from differing perspectives regarding how the proposed interdisciplinary research might in future be shaped for publication in a management context.
To apply for the conference, please complete this Online Registration Form (JMS Conference 2024 Interdisciplinarity in Management Research (office.com) ). In addition, you will be asked to supply a 5-page developmental proposal of your interdisciplinary research idea that you will present at the JMS conference in the form of a developmental paper for discussion. All references and tables should be included within the 5 pages that may be single spaced and must be in 12-point type throughout.
This developmental proposal should specify:• Why, how and in what way your idea is interdisciplinary• The originality and significance of your intended topic• The proposed contribution of the research, giving consideration to which research conversations you propose to join within a management studies context. • Your intended methodological perspectives or epistemological positions.
Contributions should be submitted no later than midnight (British Summer Time) on 30th November 2023.Confirmation of acceptance (or not) of proposals will be notified by 15th December2023. Presentations will be due 19th February 2024.
Authors of papers presented at the conference will be invited to develop their papers for possible publication in a follow-up special issue of the Journal of Management Studies related to the topic of the conference. A formal call for papers for this JMS special issue on interdisciplinary research will appear within the twelve months following the conference. Presentation at the conference does not guarantee publication of the proposed article nor will submissions to the special issue be limited to those that present at the conference.
Call for ParticipationThere is no conference fee, and we encourage a variety of modes of participation, from presentation of research to the contribution of debate by taking on the role of discussant. We specifically encourage early career scholars to submit their work, as a special PDW will immediately precede the conference on 4th March 2024, for which a separate call will be circulated.
Financial SupportThe Karen Legge Bursary Scheme operated by the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies (SAMS) offers financial support to attend in-person events organized by the Journal of Management Studies (JMS) through the provision of a limited number of bursaries. This is a needs-based scheme; recognising that limited financial means can be the result of many factors, we therefore encourage in particular applications from PhD students, Early Career Researchers, and those from under-represented groups (including but not limited to, gender, identity, ethnicity, etc.), and/or geographic areas. Details of the bursary and the application form will be made available to successful applicants.
Conference Organizing CommitteeThe conveners of the conference are Caroline Gatrell (University of Liverpool), Hannes Leroy (Rotterdam School of Management), Mark Healey (University of Manchester), Johann Fortwengel (King's College London), Brian Boyd (University of Northern Arizona), Mirko Benischke (Rotterdam School of Management), Beatrice D'Ippolito (University of York), Christopher Wickert (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and the editorial management team of Margaret Turner, Joanne Cheseldine, Aleksandra Zolczynska, Gemma Parkinson, and Alice Williams.