The new Academy of Management Annals 2010 came out with more than one promising article! In the first one, I spot one of the most beautiful comments on scientific debates I’ve read: “While integration may not bring resolution, it can bring transcendence” (Leonardi and Barley, 2010: 3). The last article in this issue by Alvarez and Barney picks up the debate on entrepreneurship mentioned in a recent blog post about the underpinnings of opportunities (discovered or created?). Can’t wait to read them fully.
Teaching note: the social construction of technology and the complex, reciprocal, multi-layered impacts on organizations and users, as discussed in the User Innovation class this week, may just have received a further important spin with the Leonardi and Barley article! Related is the Orlikowski and Scott article on sociomateriality from 2008 in the same journal.
My good friend and mentor (in becoming an editor) Charles Baden-Fuller of Cass Business School speaks in a video about business models, what they are, how they operate as models, and why two thirds of businesses have not articulated their business model!
After a crash of our server at ETH we took the opportunity to upgrade and move away from the ETH domain with this blog. To be precise: Sebastian moved and helped me again with this. Thanks a lot for this!
Nobody else in our research team blogs for now and aggregating it into the planet at SMI makes only limited sense. Plus, the old domain was designed to be used by the team, not me only. We keep the planet for now. Some new forms of communication may take a very long time to catch on and maybe they’re doomed because nobody bothers to write more than 140 characters anymore. I’ve become lazy too but that’s merely a sign of deadlines for finishing research papers. Keep tuned for updates, such as yesterday’s news about a new and exciting opportunity to revise our paper on motivation of Open Source software developers!
A sharp column in my favorite morning paper today made me painfully aware of my conservative media consumption behavior. Worst, professionally, I’m reading journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly and just downloaded an article that was published in the year I was born. Anyhoo, the author points to hipper outlets such as “O.M.G.”, a corporate governance review, “Indie Dude”, apparently A-listed in financial management, and “IT-Girl”, an up-and-coming information systems journal. I am clueless.
Few Japanese offices (none I have visited) feature espresso machines though the consumers are warming to the small cup. For the European working in Japan this might amount to somewhat of a challenge in the slump of mid morning or mid afternoon. In the spirit of friendly advice, here a small ranking of the ubiquitous chains that offer a wide range of quality when it comes to espresso. Prices vary between Â¥200 – 300 or about CHF 2.5 – 4. Their outlets are virtually at every corner in Tokyo and careful scrutiny pays off.
The neighborhood Italian trattoria might offer great espresso but usually theyâ€™re not prepared for the quick visitor. At any location, enjoying your cup standing at the bar is unheard of: when seating is not available, the staff will awkwardly shuffle you out the front door or smilingly not serve you until a seat is available.
First place comes Starbucks, I hate to advertise a global chain but their coffee beats the other chains. Itâ€™s also the most expensive and you pay virtually the same for a single shot espresso as for a small cappuccino. Tied on second place are Veloce and Pronto, the latter being the best value (Â¥ 200 across town). Then comes Tullyâ€™s (not a pub but an exact Starbucks copy), which is acceptable, and last Doutor, which is clearly sub-standard and to be avoided. When you order an espresso at a local, “independent”, specialized coffee shop, and I’ve tried many, they usually go: “ooohhh, only drip type coffee”.
After a first, very friendly and productive meeting with Dr. Takayama of Eisai Co. and Prof. Nonaka, my host here at Hitotsubashi, we went out for business lunch to a traditional noodle soup place in the neighborhood. I’m impressed by their long-term collaboration and the practitioner’s deep appreciation of the theoretical work on knowledge creation. The business school occupies five stories of a tall building housing all kinds of scientific institutions and labs and it’s located only blocks from the imperial gardens in central Tokyo. I feel very fortunate to be able to work here.
A walk to the electonics store to find an adapter plug last night took me by small side streets hidden behind the tall buildings, restaurants with their entire menu rebuilt in plastic at the front door, beautiful facades of small houses mimicking rural settings, colorful spheres of light on car roofs instead of plain taxi signs and, of course, the grocery stores where buying milk is pure guess work. Luckily, it tastes like milk.
for strategy and management science:
- a capacity for attaining direct knowledge or understanding without the apparent intrusion of rational thought or logical inference;
- neither the opposite of rationality, nor a random process of guessing, intuition corresponds to thoughts, conclusions and choices produced largely or in part through non-conscious mental processes;
- affectively charged judgments that arise through rapid, non-conscious and holistic associations.
quoted from the article by Hodgkinson, Sadler-Smith, Burke, Claxton, and Sparrow in the current issue of Long Range Planning: Intuition in Organizations: Implications for Strategic Management. Long Range Planning, 42(2009), 277-297: 280.
Preview for those interested: on September 29, Marta Sinclair will visit our group at ETH and give a talk on intuition in organizations. Let me know if you wish to join the seminar.
From the same article:
In recent decades, the possibility that much of human thought, including a number of higher-level cognitive operations, is non-conscious has become a centrally important precept of modern cognitive science. Reasoning is seen no longer as an exclusively conscious or deliberative process. Rather, consciousness, as well as being, ï¬guratively speaking, the â€˜â€˜workshopâ€™â€™ of the mind, is also the â€˜â€˜control panelâ€™â€™ upon which signals from the â€˜â€˜interiorâ€™â€™ appear to offer potential guidance for individual judgment and decision making. One such signal, intuition, is an important faculty of the so-called â€˜â€˜intelligent-unconsciousâ€™â€™. It is a judgment for a given course of action that comes to mind with an aura or conviction of rightness or plausibility, but without clearly articulated reasons or justiï¬cations e essentially â€˜â€˜knowingâ€™â€™ but without knowing why. (Hodgkinson et al., 2009: 279)
The SMI team gathers for a research retreat in GruyÃ¨res, the city of great cheese and meringues. For some reason, tonight’s Eurovision song contest dominates discussions because this seems to be the biggest event of the year in Norway. We never stop learning.
View of GruyÃ¨res from the terrace this morning, photo by Peter Jaeger.
We’re in the UK for the European Academy of Management conference. We had a great track run by Alessandro Rossi and Lorenzo Benussi, who were great hosts! Thanks to both of you! I’m missing a few people whom I hoped to meet here but I guess that’s the usual fluctuation in participation from year to year.
Liverpool is a wonderful city and we’re being entertained by many cultural confusions. Being a continental pedestrian is hazardous because cars appear from everywhere. People in cars are not really looking where they’re going. Upon closer inspection, however, it turns out they’re not driving. The person next to them is. Hahaha. Local recommendations include our hotel, the Staybridge Suite, which is just great, and 60 Hope Street, a fine bistro in town serving “contemporary British” fare. The deep fried jam sandwich with milk ice cream for dessert was a blast! No, I should say: “brilliant”!
Alessandro Narduzzo wielding a fancy gadget
Martin Wallin anticipating dessert
Most social network sites suffer from lack of focus, Facebook dramatically so. Flickr is all about images and great for its light appearance, Twitter fun for the mid to weak social links best followed through references and moods, Linkedin useful for professional references and informal relationships with competitors, and now: Blip.fm is fantastic for musical surprises and DJ talents, known and unknown. Thanks to Joao for being my first DJ, or do you really become a one-man radio station there? Somehow that’s the fun part, it’s not preference matching like Last.fm but susceptible to the mood swings of people listening to songs throughout the day. Lunch time is when the US crowd really kicks in with wake-up songs…
While the social network sites improve, add features and gadgets, their focus can get lost and content dilutes. From limited experience I think it advisable to limit the number of connections per network to under 50 out-degree links (fetching content from more individuals creates overload otherwise). Hopefully, the networks become compatible allowing Twitter updates, e.g., to feed Facebook automatically. That’s helpful. However, I chose not to feed Twitter from Blip.fm simply because it’s unrelated. Maybe I change my mind as more channels appear and I can’t keep up anymore. Professionally, my favorite social network site, although it’s much more, is Rooster Teeth with its strong gaming and video culture that reflects the humor, irony and enthusiasm of the creators of RT, a small, vibrant, madly creative entertainment company in Austin, TX.