Events About History and/or Memory at the Academy of Management Conference

22 07 2015

PDWs on History and/or Memory at the Academy of Management Conference in Vancouver

As readers of this blog know, recent years have seen a “historic turn” that has witnessed the integration of historical themes into management research and teaching. Additional evidence of the historic turn can be seen in the programme of the upcoming Academy of Management Conference in Vancouver.

This year there are a number of PDWs at the AoM directly related to history and/or memory. Several of them offer opportunities to discuss abstracts of work in progress. So if you are going to the AoM, consider attending these PDWs. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dan Wadhwani (dwadhwani at

  1. The Uses of the Past: History and Memory in Organizations. Saturday, August 8th. 11:15-1:15p. Presenters include Majken Schultz, Bill Foster, Tor Hernes, Natalya Vinokurova, Gabie Durepos, Mads Mordhorst, and Alan Meyer. UBC Robson Square, Room C180. Contact Dan Wadhwani if you’d like to have your “research in progress” discussed as part of the workshop.
  1. When History Meets Theory: Historically Oriented Research in Strategy and Organization Theory. Friday, August, 7th. 2p-4:30pm. Presenters include Mary Tripsas, Dan Wadhwani, Giovanni Gavetti, Andy Hargadon, Marcelo Bucheli, and Zur Shapira. Vancouver Convention Centre, Room 8. Contact Dan Wadhwani if you’d like to have your “research in progress” discussed as part of the workshop.
  1. History Matters! Path Dependence, Imprinting, Process. Friday, August 7th, 2:45-5:15pm. Vancouver Convention Center, Room 220. Presenters include Matthias Kipping, Chris Marquis, Georg Schreyogg, and Behlul Usdiken. Contact Matthias Kipping or Behlul Üsdiken if you’re interested in finding out more.
  1. Connections between Organizational Identity and Memory. Presenters include Bill Foster, Michael Heller, Mick Rowlinson, and Roy Suddaby. Friday, August 7th, 1pm-4pm. Fairmount Hotel, Vancouver.
  1. Entrepreneurship and/in Context. Vancouver Convention Centre. Saturday, August 8, 9:45am-12:15am. Rooms 217-219.

New Book by Mark Kuhlberg

22 07 2015

AS: My former colleague Mark Kuhlberg has published an important new book in the field of Canadian business history.

For forty years, historians have argued that early twentieth-century provincial governments in Canada were easily manipulated by the industrialists who developed Canada’s natural resources, such as pulpwood, water power, and minerals. With In the Power of the Government, Mark Kuhlberg uses the case of the Ontario pulp and paper industry to challenge that interpretation of Canadian provincial politics.

Examining the relationship between the corporations which ran the province’s pulp and paper mills and the politicians at Queen’s Park, Kuhlberg concludes that the Ontario government frequently rebuffed the demands of the industrialists who wanted to tap Ontario’s spruce timber and hydro-electric potential. A sophisticated empirical challenge to the orthodox literature on this issue, In the Power of the Government will be essential reading for historians and political scientists interested in the history of Canadian industrial development.

Capitalist Peace Theory and the Iran Deal

21 07 2015

Jeff Sachs

One of my research interests is capitalist peace theory, the view that cross-border economic interdependence reduces the probability, frequency, and intensity of war (see here, here, and here). I was, therefore, struck by how Jeffrey Sachs closed his recent op-ed piece on the Iran nuclear deal.

The new treaty will verifiably prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon for at least a decade — and keep it bound to nuclear non-proliferation thereafter. This is the time to begin a broader U.S.-Iran rapprochement and build a new security regime in the Middle East and the world that leads toward full global nuclear disarmament. To get there requires, above all, replacing war (including the CIA’s secret wars) with commerce and other forms of peaceful exchange.

P.S. Adam Tooze has published an interesting essay assessing capitalist peace theory in light of the First World War.  “Capitalist peace or capitalist war? The July Crisis revisited.”Cataclysm 1914: The First World War and the Making of Modern World Politics(2015): 66. I’ll post about Tooze’s essay soon.

Entrepreneurial Opportunity: The Oxygen or Phlogiston of Entrepreneurship Research?

16 07 2015


I’m certainly planning to attend this PDW at the Academy of Management Conference in Vancouver. Looks like a great learning opportunity!

Originally posted on Organizations and Markets:

| Peter Klein |

PhlogistoncollectorDon’t miss this PDW at the upcoming Academy of Management conference in Vancouver. From organizer Per Davidssson:

I just wanted to bring your attention to a PDW I am organizing for the upcoming AoM meeting, where we will engage in frank and in-depth discussions about the problems and merits of the popular notion of “entrepreneurial opportunity”. We have been fortunate to gather a collection of very strong scholars and independent thinkers as presenters and discussants in this PDW: Richard J. Arend, Dimo Dimov, Denis Grégoire, Peter G. Klein, Moren Lévesque, Saras Sarasvathy, and Matthew Wood. . This illustrious group of colleagues will make sure the deliberations do not focus on a “beauty contest” between “discovery” and “creation” views but instead reach beyond limitations of both.  

I encourage you to join us for this session, and to make absolutely sure I won’t send you to…

View original 2,241 more words

The Chinese Macroeconomy and Financial System: a US Perspective

16 07 2015

My employer, the University of Liverpool. has a joint-venture university called the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. The academics there are our colleagues and one of them, Professor Ron Schramm, has just published an important new book The Chinese Macroeconomy and Financial System: a US Perspective (Routledge, April 2015)


Another book to put on my summer reading pile!

Interesting New Theoretical Framework in International Business Research

6 07 2015

The impact of political risk on multinational corporations is an important theme in the literature in the fields of International Business and Strategic Management. Traditionally, academic researchers examined the management of political risk by MNEs through either the bargaining power approach (BPA) or the political institutions approach (PIA). The BPA approach, which derives from Vernon (1971), focuses on the relative bargaining power of a MNE and a given host country government. The PIA approach, in contrast, examines the mechanisms by which public policy in a host country is determined. Authors who use the PIA approach suggest that it is easier for MNEs to manage political risk in host countries in which decision-making authority is dispersed among a variety of individuals (e.g., through the US-style separation of powers) than in host countries in which authority is concentrated is concentrated in fewer individuals.

Both of these approaches have some value, but I’ve never been happy with them, not least because they tend to exclude the analysis of the cultural and intellectual contexts in which firms operate. That’s why I was intrigued by a new piece in the Strategic Management Journal by Charles E Stevens, En Xie, Mike W Peng.

Stevens, Charles E., En Xie, and Mike W. Peng. “Toward a legitimacy‐based view of political risk: The case of Google and Yahoo in China.” Strategic Management Journal (2015).

As the authors point out, the BPA and PIA lens is applied most frequently the forms of political risk confronted by MNEs who operate in the “asset-intensive extractive and infrastructure sectors” in developing countries. While recognizing that these approaches often provide the best way of understanding political risk, they argue persuasively that these approaches are less suitable for understanding political risk in the home country  (i.e., the country where the multinational has its headquarters) and in relatively “complex and interconnected” sectors in industries such services or the high-tech sector. S

Citing such scholarly articles as  Marquis and Quin (2014), Bucheli and Salvaj (2013), Kostova and Zaheer (1999), and Bitektine (2011),  Steven et al. identify an emerging approach to writing about political risk in multinationals that they call the Legitimacy-Based View (LBV). They then proceed to develop a formal conceptual model for the LBV. The LBV recognizes that corporations are granted legitimacy by a range of actors rather than simply the state. Such actors can withhold a corporation’s “social licence” to operate. Moreover, they break down the broad term “the government”  by recognizing that each national government is a far from monolithic entity: rather than being a single actor, the government is a collection of individuals, some of whom may have  very different ideas about the legitimacy of a given MNE. [This approach will be music to the ears of most political scientists, along with all methodological individualists].

The empirical information about Google and Yahoo in the paper is interesting to me, especially since I followed the saga of Google in China, but I am most interested in the theoretical framework the authors develop as it could be applied by a wide variety of IB, strategy, and business history scholars.

About the authors: Charles Stevens teaches at Lehigh University.  En Xie teaches at Xi’an Jiaotong University. Mike W. Peng is the Jindal Chair of Global Strategy Head, Organizations, Strategy, and International Management, University of Texas Dallas.

My Panel at AOM 2015 Vancouver: Entrepreneurship Research Methods

6 07 2015

Here are the details of my paper session panel at the Academy of Management.
Program Session #: 987 | Submission: 19863 | Sponsor(s): (ENT)
Scheduled: Monday, Aug 10 2015 9:45AM – 11:15AM at Vancouver Convention Centre in Room 219

Chair: Martine HLADY RISPAL; U. of Bordeaux;
Discussant: Wadid Lamine; Toulouse Business School;
ENT: Investigating the usefulness of qualitative methods for entrepreneurship research Research-oriented
Author: Martine HLADY RISPAL; U. of Bordeaux;
Author: Estèle Jouison-Laffitte; U. of Bordeaux;
Author: Kathleen Randerson; EDC Paris;

Whereas today the vast majority of entrepreneurship research adopts quantitative methods, the aim of this paper is to demonstrate how qualitative research can clearly and distinctly contribute to the field. More specifically, this study systematically reviews 160 qualitative articles published in three journals: the Journal of Business Venturing (JBV), Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice (ET&P) and Entrepreneurship and Regional Development (E&RD), between January 2007- December 2014.We reveal the specificities of each method, the way researchers leverage on them and the distinct contribution of each to the development of the field of entrepreneurship.

Search Terms: Entrepreneurship , qualitative methods

ENT: English-language Debates About Entrepreneurship in China, 1842-1911 Research-oriented
Author: Andrew David Allan Smith; U. of Liverpool;
This paper will examine the debates about the nature of Chinese entrepreneurship that people who wrote in English had between 1842 and 1911. These debates took place through the media of books, newspapers, and learned journals. The paper will show that these debates were informed by competing theories of culture, political institutions, and human nature. This paper will show that while some Westerners viewed Chinese entrepreneurs through Orientalist or racialist lenses, other contemporary authors depicted Chinese entrepreneurs in a fashion that drew on more universalitistic theory of human nature and which therefore tended to undermine the Us-and-Them dichotomy between the West and the non-West that underpinned Orientalist thought. Scholars of present-day entrepreneurship should draw three main lessons from this study of historical debates about entrepreneurship in late Qing China. First, it is important to remain conscious that one’s cultural biases are particularly likely to affect perceptions of entrepreneurship in other cultures. Second, observers must always be on their guard to ensure they do not unconsciously slip into Orientalist modes of thought when thinking about entrepreneurs in non-Western countries. Third, we must recognize that all lenses for viewing entrepreneurship have historical roots and philosophical foundations of which the scholar may be unconscious. By historicizing present-day theoretical debates about entrepreneurship, this paper should encourage greater scholarly reflexivity.

Search Terms: China , Colonialism , Postcolonial Thought

Selected as a Best Paper ENT: Risk, Uncertainty and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment
Author: Martin van Koudstaal; U. of Amsterdam;
Author: Randolph Sloof; U. of Amsterdam;
Author: Mirjam Van Praag; CBS;

Theory predicts that entrepreneurs have distinct attitudes towards risk and uncertainty, but empirical evidence is mixed. To better understand the unique behavioral characteristics of entrepreneurs and the causes of these mixed results, we perform a large ‘lab-in- the-field’ experiment comparing entrepreneurs to managers – a suitable comparison group – and employees (n=2288) . The results indicate that entrepreneurs perceive themselves as less risk averse than managers and employees, in line with common wisdom. However, when using experimental incentivized measures, the differences are subtler. Entrepreneurs are only found to be unique in their lower degree of loss aversion, and not in their risk or ambiguity aversion. This combination of results might be explained by our finding that perceived risk attitude is not only correlated to risk aversion but also to loss aversion. Overall, we therefore suggest using a broader definition of risk that captures this unique feature of entrepreneurs; their willingness to risk losses.

Search Terms: Entrepreneur , Manager , Behavior

ENT: Seeing Entrepreneurs in Action: Using Video-based Gesture Analysis in Entrepreneurship
Author: Jean Siobhan Clarke; U. of Leeds;
Author: Joep Cornelissen; Erasmus U. Rotterdam;
Author: Rowena Viney; Leeds U. Business School;

In this paper, we elaborate on the potential of using video-based data as part of multi-modal research in entrepreneurship. We first demonstrate how such data record in detail the nature of entrepreneurial interactions, and then go on to illustrate how analysing such interactions multi-modally helps explain the content and effectiveness of an entrepreneur’s efforts to communicate meaning and convince stakeholders to support a venture. We particularly focus on the role of gesture as part of such behavioural displays and interactions, given that gesture is an under-researched but significant aspect of communication in most social settings, including entrepreneurship. Drawing on data collected as part of a larger study on entrepreneurship, we analyse gestures in different contexts of communication (an informal conversation and a formal pitch presentation) and compare two analytical protocols for gesture research drawn from cognitive linguistics and conversation analysis. The comparison of these protocols highlights the role of theoretical assumptions and different units of analysis in video-based gesture research. One of the most noticeable differences between the two approaches to gesture analysis is the way in which gestures are interpreted and analysed as part of communication and social interaction; i.e., as conveyors of meaning, or as pragmatic ways of managing interactions. We discuss these findings, and draw out the methodological implications for further research on entrepreneurship and new venture creation.

Search Terms: Entrepreneurship , Video , Gesture


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