Tag Archives: Management

Early career researchers in Management receive expert feedback at Birkbeck’s Paper Development Workshop

The workshop invited delegates from universities across the globe to present their work-in-progress research papers to well-published academics from Birkbeck’s Department of Management.

The Department of Management’s Paper Development Workshop welcomed students from institutions across the globe to share their research and receive feedback from well-published academics.

The Workshop was organised by Dr Konstantinos Chalkias, Director of the PhD Management Programme; Dr Muthu De Silva, Assistant Dean (Research) in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics; Dr Neil Pyper, Assistant Dean (Learning and Teaching) in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics; and Mark Thurgood, PhD student in Birkbeck’s Department of Management.

In total, 27 papers were accepted for the event, with submissions from the UK, Germany, India, Spain and the Netherlands.

The workshop began with a keynote address from Professor Yehuda Baruch, Southampton Business School, on ‘Transforming PhD research into publishable papers’. Yehuda advised delegates on how to produce a strong paper and how to capitalise on their PhD research in further publications, reminding students that this is “probably the only time in your career when you’re able to devote a full three years of your life to a big project without competing demands on your time.”

Yehuda encouraged students to think ahead to the kind of role they would like to have after their PhD, contrasting the benefits of teaching vs research-oriented institutions and academic roles vs postdoctoral research positions.

Following the keynote, participants were divided into groups based on their research interests, where they presented their papers to an expert reviewer from Birkbeck.

Prizes were awarded for the best full paper and best developmental paper and all accepted attendees were offered a year of British Academy of Management membership. Congratulations to our prizewinners:

Saurabh Jain, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad

Best Developmental Paper Award for ‘Impact of Service Innovation on Social Media Entrepreneur’s Performance’.

Thanos Fragkandreas, Leo Leitzinger and Marius Liebald, Goethe University Frankfurt

Best Full Paper Award for ‘Is the Linear Model of Innovation Actually Dead? A ‘Topic-Sentiment Analysis’ of Policy Documents.’

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How to become and thrive as an impactful scholar 

Birkbeck’s School of Business, Economics and Informatics welcomed Professor Morten Huse for the first in a series of talks on how to conduct rigorous, impactful research.

At a time when academics face increasing and competing demands on their time, how can researchers ensure that they are conducting theoretically rigorous and practically impactful research? 

On Monday 15 November, the School of Business, Economics and Informatics welcomed Professor Morten HuseProfessor Emeritus at BI Norwegian Business School (Oslo) to deliver the first in a series of talks entitled ‘How to become and thrive as an impactful scholar’. The talks draw on reflections from Morten’s award-winning book: ‘Resolving the Crisis in Research by Changing the Game’. 

The session was chaired by Dr Muthu De Silva, Assistant Dean (Research) in the School, who welcomed Professor Huse and colleagues to the event. 

Morten began by sharing his motivations for writing the book that forms the basis of this series, which he described as an “introspective journey”. The book began as part of an ERC Advanced Research Grant Application exploring a sharing philosophy in academia and the concept of engaged scholarship. 

Morten introduced the idea of a “scholarly ecosystem”; a holistic view of academia that encompasses the institution, the community, its audience, messages and communication channels. In particular, he highlighted the importance of the community and transferring from a “publish or perish culture into true scholarship”. 

The key elements in the sharing philosophy are:  

  • Caring for each other 
  • Open innovation 
  • Impact driven 
  • “Life is too short to drink bad wine” 

Open innovation 

Morten argued that open innovation is a holistic process, in which individuals’ scholarly lives cannot be separated from their private identity. It is about the integration of head, heart and hands. 

He explained: “I think we all agree that scholarship goes beyond learning the tricks of the trade. Still, I’m seeing that the most popular sessions in conferences are about how to learn to publish, how to learn the tricks of the trade, more than really getting into the research.” 

Reflecting on his experience at Witten/Herdecke University from Chapter 7 of the book, Morten discussed the importance of open dialogue and contributions from across the academic community to create a communal experience. 

During his time at Witten, Morten began to define himself as a mentor and to use a policy of “starting with the heart”, discovering that the head and the hands would soon follow. 

An impact-driven approach 

Morten shared some examples from Chapter 8 of his book to show the importance of an impact-driven approach. 

Referencing his work on the ‘getting women on boards’ research agenda during the 1980s and 1990s, he explained: “We wanted to be open and share, in that way learning so much more than when we were just protecting things for our own credit. We could risk that somebody worked faster than us in publishing and getting credit: what mattered was that the important things were understood. In that period, we were not afraid of sharing with each other what we were doing, because we were learning so much more and so much faster. “ 

Polymorphic research 

Morten defines polymorphic research as “alternative ways of thinking and doing research.” This involves avoiding formulaic methods as shortcuts to publication and instead pursuing impactful research by challenging assumptions, methods, interpretations and how research is communicated beyond publications to make a change in business and society. 

An example of this type of research is the ‘champagne method’: action research featuring interaction and co-creation between the actor and the researcher. The champagne method involves a holistic approach and requires trust, positive energy and continuous reflection. It represents the integration of research, teaching and action. 

“Life is too short to drink bad wine” 

Throughout the event, the talk returned to the catchphrase “Life is too short to drink bad wine”, which embodies Morten’s philosophy that researchers should spend their time on the projects that will be truly meaningful, with colleagues who share their passion. How to achieve this type of research and the scholarly journey will be explored in-depth in upcoming sessions in this series. 

The presentation was followed by discussion from delegates, which further explored the impact of individualistic vs communal cultures and how to scale-up an open innovation and communal approach. 

Places on session two of this series on thriving in different stages of an academic career are available to book now. 

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Department of Management Meets the Editor with Professor Geoffrey Wood

The Editor of Academy of Management Perspectives and Human Resource Management Journal shared advice with researchers looking to publish in highly-ranked journals.

The Department of Management’s popular ‘Meet the Editor’ series has returned for the 2021/22 academic year, welcoming Professor Geoffrey Wood as its first guest.

Professor Wood is Editor in Chief of Academy of Management Perspectives (ABS 4*) and Human Resource Management Journal (ABS 4*, World Elite), Professor and DanCap Private Equity Chair of Innovation and Department Chair and DAN Management at Western University in Canada.

Opening the session, Chair Dr Muthu De Silva, Assistant Dean for Research in Birkbeck’s School of Business, Economics and Informatics said: “We are really grateful to Professor Geoff Wood for offering to speak to us. As you all know, our key aim is to bring all of you together to meet eminent editors which will help us to together thrive in our research journey. Geoff has published over 220 articles in peer-reviewed journals, so we are very much looking forward to hearing his advice today.”

Advice for researchers aspiring to publish in highly ranked journals

Professor Wood began his presentation with some key advice for researchers:

Editors love novelty, provided that it is within the scope of the journal.

For example, the Journal of Finance is more conservative in terms of theory and methods, but open in terms of choice of topic, while the Academy of Management Journal prefers novelty in terms of theorizing.

Highly ranked journals care about how you calibrate your data.

This includes the scale of the study, for example how in-depth a survey goes, the number of interviews conducted and the quality of data sets.

It pays to do your homework: a journal’s purpose may not be obvious from its title.

In a message echoed from previous Meet the Editor events, Professor Wood gave the example of the Journal of Human Resources, which takes economics papers, to illustrate that it is worth doing some research to ensure your study is right for a particular journal.

The chance of publishing in a four-star journal may be higher than you think.

It is often assumed that a highly ranked journal receives thousands of submissions each year, but the Academy of Management Review receives just 400. The chances of publishing a high-quality paper in this journal are therefore higher than you might expect, but at the same time, leading journals expect papers with scholarly depth, inttrenal rigour, and, when appropriate, a sufficient weight of empirical evidence.

First impressions matter

Professor Wood explained “Referees are like anybody – they’re trying to make sense of a complicated world, so they will look for shortcuts and for the initial impression a paper gives.” He advised making a good first impression by ensuring a strong introduction, conclusion and abstract, and ensuring that any formula and tables in the paper are easy to understand.

Common pitfalls and how to avoid them

Out of date references

Professor Wood explained that this mistake is commonly made by PhD students, who begin gathering data well before writing up their findings. The out of date references make it look as though the paper has already been rejected elsewhere, and, potentially ‘zombie’ papers.

Ignoring referee comments

While it is accepted that researchers may wish to submit a rejected paper elsewhere, Professor Wood cautions against ignoring comments from previous reviewers. The comments are likely to give your paper a better chance of success, but even more so, you may come across the same reviewer at another journal who will be unimpressed if you have ignored their advice!

Failing to cite the target journal

Conduct a careful keyword search in your target journal to ensure you are citing the most relevant references. Not only is it insulting not to cite your target journal; the chances are that your reviewer will be somebody who has recently published in that journal too.

Academy of Management Perspectives Journal: Insight from the Editor

AMP’s Associate Editors have a lot of past editorial experience – typically 8-10,000 citations each – which represents “a lot of knowledge and wisdom coming into your paper.” Professor Wood noted the “career-transforming effect” for scholars whose work has been published in AMP.

He reassured attendees that the chances of getting published in AMP are fairly good, as the journal receives comparatively few high-quality submissions. From the end of the year, AMP will scrap the current system of submitting a proposal before the paper to ensure a more streamlined process for researchers.

It is also worth noting that the journal offers special issues, and would normally expect at least one person within a special issue team to be a very senior and well-established scholar.

Human Resource Management Journal

As a journal of political economy, HRMJ tends to take work that provides some reflections in the broader context of research. It also takes a lot of international work. The journal accepts empirical and conceptual papers, however it does not take organisational psychology papers that do not engage with HR issues. Researchers are not expected to be HR specialists, but they do need to engage with HR literature.

Professor Wood’s presentation was followed by a question and answer session, where researchers had an opportunity to ask more specific questions about the publication process, AMP and HRMJ. One researcher commented: “I think this kind of insight is very important – I don’t usually see editors to share these insights!”

Join us for our next Meet the Editor sessions:

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BEI Prizewinners 2021: Advice and Best Moments

Students receiving an award today from the School of Business, Economics and Informatics share the highlights from their time at Birkbeck and their top tips for success.

Today, postgraduate students in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics will attend their virtual graduation ceremonies alongside the friends, staff and supporters who have been cheering them on throughout their studies.

Today is all about celebrating their success, and from cutting-edge research projects to outstanding module results, our Class of 2021 are an inspiring bunch. We caught up with some of our Spring graduation prizewinners to reminisce over their time at Birkbeck and gain some words of wisdom for our next cohort.

Jay Lee – Best Module Result (Computer Science and Information Systems)

What is your favourite memory of your time at Birkbeck? 

One memorable moment is definitely meeting new friends from different countries along the way and hanging out with them throughout the year! An unforgettable experience.

What advice would you give to current students?

My advice would be remember not to leave things to the last minute, relax and enjoy your time here!

Katherine Stedman – Best CIPD Accredited Programme Student (Organizational Psychology)

What is your favourite memory of your time at Birkbeck?

In the early days of my MSc we had to randomly form groups for one of our first group projects. I didn’t know many people on my course at the time but I’m happy to say that I met some of my greatest course friends through that first project. I wouldn’t have been able to do my MSc without them and I’m looking forward to celebrating with them today!

Thomas Obitz – Best Dissertation (Economics, Mathematics and Statistics)

What is your favourite memory of your time at Birkbeck? 

I was startled when I walked through the department for the first time and saw Hélyette Geman’s name on the door. I knew her books from my daily work, and I could not believe that the most admired name in commodities pricing and trading was teaching at the department where I was going to study. Her derivatives pricing and her commodities lectures were the most insightful I ever attended – she was one of the people who developed the theory, so she could explain the thinking behind it like nobody else. And she is an incredibly nice, open and helpful person.

Lucy Martin – Best Dissertation (Organizational Psychology)

What advice would you give to current students?

Do not underestimate the time it takes to complete a research project and dissertation. The earlier you can come up with a research question and start your literature review the easier it will be to complete.  At the point of write up, I set myself a daily word target to get through, this helped me keep on track in the last busy month before submission alongside my work commitments.

Richard Harrison – Honourable Mention for Best PhD Thesis (Economics, Mathematics and Statistics)

What is your favourite memory of your time at Birkbeck? 

Presenting my work at a seminar for fellow PhD students and staff. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming and even challenging questions were asked in a supportive way. Midway through the seminar I had a “Eureka moment” when I was asked a question that I had never considered before. It led me to a new and productive line of enquiry for my thesis.

Anja Pries – Best Overall Student: Corporate Governance/Responsibility (Management)

What advice would you give to current students?

The process of writing a dissertation can be challenging. You might find yourself struggling to find a topic or getting stuck with your research. I would definitely recommend talking to your fellow students about this. You could set up a group chat or meet at the library to work on your dissertations. Knowing that others were in the same position as me helped me to stay motivated.

 

Ibrahim Alsaggaf – Best Overall International Student (Computer Science and Information Systems)

What advice would you give to current students?

On a Master’s level, My advice is not to study hard as this is a must, but rather about a thing that most students find insignificant, that is module’s prerequisites. In order to make the most of a module, a student needs to be well prepared by assuring that they gain the required prerequisites knowledge at the start of a module. This will boost their learning curve instead of struggling to digest a theory that is based on prior knowledge. To conclude, my advice is to select modules based on their prerequisites and which of them a student has the required knowledge of.

Ero Papadima – Best Management Consultancy and Organizational Change Student (Organizational Psychology)

What is your favourite memory of your time at Birkbeck? 

My best memories at Birkbeck are with the people I met there, usually in one of the many study groups, sharing notes, anxieties and –importantly – snacks! My favourite moment was probably when seven of us were studying around a large table in the group study area of the library; all in different laptops and each working on our own assignment, yet somehow in complete sync, jumping from complete silence to suddenly bouncing off ideas and debating arguments for our essays – all seven of them. There was a lovely sense of belonging in that moment and great comfort in simply not going it alone.

Irina Sidorenko – Best Overall Student: Marketing (Management)

What advice would you give to current students?

I would encourage future Birkbeck students to stay curious and alert during the learning process. During lectures, I used to note even the smallest details that ignited my curiosity and dedicate some extra time to doing some further research around these elements. This is how I have discovered an absolute gem: Professor Olivier Sibai once mentioned in passing that he had attended a talk at the Museum of Brands and that if we had some free time he would recommend us to visit one of the talks at the Museum. I paid attention to his words and up until the Covid pandemic began I tried to never miss a talk at the Museum of Brands, as I hugely enjoy it. So, even the smallest thing, just one small detail mentioned at the Birkbeck lecture can show you a way of upgrading your knowledge and open up new horizons in your professional development.

It is also important to stay calm and not get overwhelmed with emotional pressure when juggling studies, often a full-time job and a long commute, social life and family commitments. It helps to keep in mind that you are in it for a marathon, not a sprint. Break up big tasks into smaller ones and remember: Viam supervadet vadens! (in English: The path will be overcome by the person who walks it). If you can dream it, you can achieve it; always!

Robert Superty – Best Dissertation and Best Overall Student (Computer Science and Information Systems)

What is your favourite memory of your time at Birkbeck? 

Celebrating with the other MSc Computer Science students after the last final in the first year. It was a tough set of exams and it felt like such an accomplishment to get through. Everyone was in such a good mood and it was a great opportunity to get to know people better outside of class.

 

Kieran Jones – Best Dissertation Mark and Best Overall Student: Management/Business (Management)

What advice would you give to current students?

Embrace what you’re passionate about and identify and tackle what you’re bad at. Like a lot of students, I enjoy learning new things which in my studies caused an undisciplined, unstructured approach. To tackle that I spent a lot of time planning. I organised everything from what I was going to learn that week, how I was going to learn, when and how I was going to write my essays and so on. By tackling those things, eventually you get better at what you’re bad at and you can do the things you’re passionate about even better than before.

Congratulations to all our spring 2021 graduates. We wish you all the best in your future careers.

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