Messiness is generative

I’m going to write for a bit on innovation and design and research and a few other topics. It fits with some work I’m doing on innovation in complex learning organizations, but I won’t focus on the specifics much at all in these entries. These are just sketches of some ideas I’m enjoying reading about.

For instance, I’ve been reading about ethnographic studies of graphic designers. One item that struck a note is the idea that they work in teams, and the social nature of the design practice is a big part of what makes for success. The groups brief each other in open studios where people can hear and see conversations, often carried out in open conflict. The detritus of design is left scattered about the room – drawing boards, sketches, all kinds of papers. Nothing is hidden – things carved in foam are jumbled together on desks along with forgotten prototypes.

The point is that messiness is generative. Seeing a forgotten prototype for an early stage in a project may remind a designer of an important tradeoff made at that point; maybe it even helps get around a newly-discovered juncture.

What if research was carried out in the same environment? If we left our solo offices to sit in bullpens surrounded by other researchers and grad students? If we published (if only electronically, as a working paper on a server like the arXiv) every failed analysis? Every conjecture or hypothesis we considered worth extended consideration?

Certainly it would be messy. It would open us up to enhanced criticism. But it would also be generative.

RFA: 2017 Doctoral Student Consortium

The Technology and Innovation Management Division is now accepting applications from Ph.D. students for its 2017 Doctoral Student Consortium to be held at the Academy of Management meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, US. The consortium is held on Friday, August 4 and Saturday, August 5 (A reception will be held for doctoral students and faculty on the Friday night.)
The TIM doctoral consortium is most valuable to Ph.D. candidates interested in conducting leading-edge research and teaching in technology and innovation management, entrepreneurship, strategy and organization.
The consortium will be led by a panel of faculty members with proven research and teaching records who will address key issues in academic life such as publishing in top journals, managing your time for research, meeting teaching and institutional demands, managing research collaborations, and promoting your research.
The coordinators of the 2017 consortium are Cristina Rossi Lamastra (Politecnico di Milano School of Management, Milan) and Matt Marx (MIT, Boston). Faculty members come from a range of stages in career and research institutions. Confirmed to date are the following: Evila Piva (Politecnico di Milano School of Management), Christopher Tucci (EPFL), Henry Sauermann (Georgia Tech), Alfredo De Massis (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano and Lancaster University), Fernando Suarez (Northeastern University), Larissa Rabbiosi (Copenhagen Business School), Marcel Bogers (University of Copenhagen), Gloria Barzak (Northeastern University), Rita Katila (Stanford University), Alex Oettl (Georgia Tech), Olenka Kacperczyk (London Business School), Chuck Ensley (Stanford University), David Hsu (Wharton School). The application deadline is May 8th, 2017. Only electronic applications will be considered. To apply, please complete the survey on the following link: (please, complete the whole survey). Preference is given to doctoral candidates at later stages of their PhD program – those beyond or close to the thesis proposal stage. For any questions please contact Cristina Rossi Lamastra or Matt Marx at

CFP: Strategic Management Education: Navigating Between Different Approaches and Learning Impacts

Academy of Management Learning & Education

Call for Papers

Strategic Management Education:

Navigating Between Different Approaches and Learning Impacts

*Special Issue*


*We anticipate publishing the special issue in September 2018*

*Guest Editors: **Greg Bell, University of Dallas*

*Igor Filatotchev, City University of London and WU, Vienna*

*Ryan Krause, Texas Christian University*

*Advisory Editor:*

*Michael Hitt, Texas A&M University*

*For more information:*


CFP: The 2017 Ronald Coase Best Dissertation Award

From the mailbag:

Call for Nominations: The 2017 Ronald Coase Best Dissertation Award

The Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics (SIOE) currently awards prizes in institutional and organizational economics, named after the four Nobel Prize winners closely linked to our society. The details of the nomination and selection procedures are available on the SIOE website

The call for nominations for The Ronald Coase Best Dissertation Award is now open.

The Ronald H. Coase Dissertation Award:

* Anyone may nominate a dissertation.

* Candidates will be asked to submit a 5 page abstract and have sent (under separate cover) a letter from an advisor or Ph.D. committee member explaining the contribution of the dissertation.

* The Award Committee will review entries and choose a shortlist of finalists. Finalists will be required to submit their full dissertation, from which the Committee will choose a winner

* To be eligible, the PhD would have to be awarded in the calendar years 2015 or 2016

* The result will be announced at the SIOE meeting in June

* Deadline for submission is April 30th.

* Submissions should be sent to the chair of the Coase Award committee, Joanne Oxley, at