— Cultural Sources of Newness

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Tag "identity work"

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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Conferences have such formatted spaces that just attending them becomes a burden.”

Two big themes officially set my agenda in Montréal these past few days, and I ensured I had the energy to work with them by making space and taking time for meaningful conversations inside as well as outside the program. The overall theme for this year’s EGOS conference was “Bridging Continents, Cultures and Worldviews, and the theme for the track I co-organized with Stefan Meisiek and Steve Taylor was “Identity in Art, Design, and Organization (ADO).”  In the ADO track we found various ways to break out of the burdensome conference format referred to above in an email I received from a colleague (who did not attend the conference). We interrupted our process a couple of times to listen to keynote speakers who addressed the overall conference theme.  

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