— Cultural Sources of Newness

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Tag "academia"

The theme for the 2018 Annual conference of the European Group for Organization Studies EGOS, “Surprise in and around organizations: Journeys to the unexpected”,  immediately intrigued me because it resonated with my current research on paths into and out of academia. And the location was tantalizing: Tallinn, Estonia. So I joined forces with two adventurous colleagues—André Sobczak (Audencia Business School, Nantes, France) and Anna Svirina (Kazan National Research Technical University, Russia)—to invite submissions for a subtheme entitled “Journeys into the unexpected: Paths and identities in academia” .

However, as convenors we faced a significant challenge because “unexpected journey—academic conference” is an oxymoron. Academic conferences are highly ritualized and structured events.

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A new German study of highflyers in business and academia comes to disturbing conclusions: the structural conditions of work and careers in both spheres may well be stifling the preconditions required for creativity and innovation. The authors, Christiane Funken, Jan-Christoph Rogge and Sinje Hörlin, end their book Vertrackte Karrieren (Campus 2015), with the warning that “not much newness can be expected in future” from these knowledge workers (p. 228; my translation).

 

Vertrackte Karrieren

Vertrackte Karrieren, Campus Verlag 2015

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What better way to launch a book on Moments of Valuation than to introduce future readers to pragmatic inquiry and discourse—over wine? And with two very different kinds of experts in the field: An academic who has written a wonderful chapter in our new book, and a wine-merchant who specializes in small vineyards! We tasted ideas, words, and wines.

Moments of Valuation-- wine tasting, WZB March 25 2015

Moments of Valuation– wine tasting, WZB March 25 2015

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