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Journal of Management Studies Conference Call for Papers: Interdisciplinarity in Management Research: Premises, Pitfalls, and Promises

  • 1.  Journal of Management Studies Conference Call for Papers: Interdisciplinarity in Management Research: Premises, Pitfalls, and Promises

    Posted 11-18-2023 17:35

    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 Studies
    How 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 and
    there 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 its
    promises 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. We
    call 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 
    • 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 
    • 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 

    Keynote speakers:
    Professor Pratima (Tima) Bansal - Ivey Business School, Canada and Professor Marcus Gomes - Cardiff University, UK

    Call for Developmental Proposals
    Due 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 

    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 
    • 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 December
    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 Participation
    There 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 Support
    The 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 Committee
    The 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.

    Joanne Cheseldine
    Journal of Management Studies