Topic Thread

PDW for Scientists and Engineers in Management Research

  • 1.  PDW for Scientists and Engineers in Management Research

    Posted 16 days ago

    Are you a scientist/engineer in management research?

    Excited to share our professional development workshop From Lab to Business School: Leveraging STEM Experience in Management this coming AOM. It would be held in-person in Seattle on Aug 6, 2022 (2:00 pm to 3:30 pm).

    Please pre-register through this link. 

    Benjamin Hallen (PhD Stanford University; MS Computer Science, University of Virginia; Associate Professor, Foster School of Business, University of Washington)
    Christopher Liu (PhD Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Associate Professor, Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon)
    Janet Bercovitz (BS Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley; Professor, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder)
    Jay Anand (BTech Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology; Professor, Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University)
    Johan Chu (PhD Physics, California Institute of Technology; Assistant Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management)
    John Eklund (PhD Physical Chemistry, University of Oxford; Assistant Professor, USC Marshall School of Business)
    Matthew Bidwell (MChem, University of Oxford; Associate Professor, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

    Angelo Romasanta (MSc Chemistry, Univ. of Bologna / Barcelona / Algarve; Postdoc, ESADE Business School)
    Raquel Pruna  (PhD Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Barcelona; PhD Candidate, ESADE Business School)


    Scholars from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) backgrounds are increasingly entering the field of management. Yet, an undergrad, master's, or PhD training in STEM is currently underutilized in the management field, and even at worst, seen as a liability. Transitioning to management often demands that these scholars unlearn their previous habits and ways of thinking. Indeed, their previous field may require a different way of asking questions, employ different methodologies, use different styles of writing and conceptualize research impact differently. Apart from these paradigmatic differences, the skills needed to navigate the social landscape in management academia may be challenging to newcomers. In this PDW, we explore how scholars with previous science experience can overcome the challenges in transitioning to management. More importantly, we explore how they can leverage their unique STEM background to thrive in their new field. With the current crisis surrounding the value and impact of management research, this PDW will also serve as an avenue to discuss the impact of management research in comparison to the tangible outcomes from laboratory work.  Finally, this PDW will also explore whether these individuals with scientific backgrounds can serve as a bridge to the wider scientific community to promote inter-disciplinary collaborations.

    This PDW will address the unique needs of the growing community of management scholars with STEM backgrounds. The PDW will help both early-stage and experienced researchers reflect on how they can leverage their previous background to thrive and create larger impacts in the academy.

    Scientists and engineers transitioning to management face distinct challenges that the CAR division can lead in addressing: First, these scholars may often see themselves as outsiders, relative to scholars with lifelong training in related fields such as economics and sociology. Establishing their identity in management requires managing the tension between bringing or unlearning their previous experiences to fit in the field. Second, scholars with STEM backgrounds need to adapt to the radically different scientific practices in the social sciences. Paradigms may be less established in management, making it difficult to understand what contributing to theory means. Management may also require scholars to change their way of asking questions, use methods they may have not heard of before and write with a different style. Third, the social landscape in management can be challenging to navigate with its own peculiar norms in collaboration and co-authorship. To address these psychological, technical and social barriers, scholars who overcame these challenges will share their experiences.

    Beyond addressing transitional challenges, this PDW will explore how scholars can leverage their STEM backgrounds to contribute to management research. Instead of merely being conversation-starters, their skills can be used to demystify complex industries and provide unique perspectives to management puzzles. With AOM 2022's theme of "Creating a Better World Together," this PDW will also discuss how management can contribute larger societal value, with the help of our panelists who have contributed significantly to the hard sciences. Finally, we also explore how interdisciplinary research can be promoted.

    Raquel Pruna
    ESADE Business School
    Sant Cugat Del Valles