I recently attended a conference at the University of Warwick that had been organized by the Journal of Management Studies. It was an excellent conference on many levels. Administratively, it was very well executed and I think that organisers of other conferences could learn a great deal from the attention to detail paid by the planners of this event. I really like how seating at meals was arranged in such a way as to bring participants of various levels of seniority, disciplinary background, and nationality together at the same table.
As the theme of the conference was connecting Eastern and Western Perspectives on Management, I had the chance to listen to a wide range of excellent papers that deal with differences between “the east” and the so-called “west.” Many of the papers were culturally-informed and explored cultural and religious variables that influence innovation, boundary spanning, and other business phenomena. I was especially pleased to see that a number of the attendees, including the journal editors who were present, were conscious of the dangers of essentializing the imagined differences between the West and Asia.
The chair or my session was Li-Qun Wei of Hong Kong Baptist University. My co-panelists were Ossi Pesämaa, Martin Svensson “A Critical Theoretical Review and Empirical Comparison between the West and Asia” Runtian Jing, Andrew H. Van de Ven “Managing Organizational Momentum for Change: Connecting Chinese and Western Perspectives.” I presented the paper I had co-authored with Miriam Kaminishi “Recurring Debates in English-Language Analysis of Chinese Entrepreneurship: Towards A Genealogy of Theoretical Frameworks.” I got good feedback on this paper that will be helpful during the revision process.
The conference concluded with a sort of roundtable session with journal editors in which the journal’s openness to qualitative research was highlighted.