AMR Idea Development Workshop (IDW) on Developing Theories Grounded in African Experience

This paper draft development workshop (PDDW) is aimed at exploring the opportunities and processes for developing theories of management and organization that are indigenous to Africa.

Purpose

This IDW is aimed to help authors develop ideas for submission to the Academy of Management Review (AMR). The workshop focuses on the development of theories of management and organization that are indigenous to Africa. The aim is to develop indigenous theories not necessarily with a capital “I” (i.e. to be purely African, devoid of all external influences, as if it is at all possible), but indigenous with a small “i” (i.e. to be primarily drawing on and accounting for African experiences). Thus, it is not a forum for discussing Africa as yet another context for testing and elaborating on the existing Western theories (e.g. George et al., 2016); rather, it is a forum for discussing how the diverse, rich lifeworlds of African people can inform our understanding of management and organization, and enable us to develop new theories (e.g. Barnard, 2020; Hamann, et al., 2020; Shadnam, in press; Zoogah, Peng, & Woldu, 2015). This is a challenging endeavor as it requires knowledge of both established tools of theory development as well as African ways of constructing knowledge. Without this dual capacity, there is the danger that writers of African accounts of organizational life and those writing from Western traditions will talk past each other (Hamminga, 2005; Nkomo, 2017). For researchers who aspire to develop their dual capacity toward developing theories of management and organization grounded in African experience, this PDW will provide disciplined guidance and constructive feedback from seasoned scholars who are serving on the editorial team of AMR.

Where and When

3 September 2021 and 10 September 2021, via Zoom. The idea development workshop (IDW) will take place over two days. On 3 September, participants will receive important general information about publishing in AMR. They will also be provided with specific writing exercises designed to improve their development of initial ideas for a conceptual article. After completing exercise assignments and integrating feedback on their proposals, participants will resubmit their proposals. On 10 September, participants will receive feedback on their improved proposals in virtual roundtables.

Process

Please read the submission guidelines for submitting a paper to AMR. Please also read the following four articles: 

Barney, J. 2018. Editor’s comments: Positioning a theory paper for publication. Academy of Management Review, 43(3): 345-348.

Lange, D., & Pfarrer, M. D. 2017. Editor’s comments: Sense and structure – the core building blocks of an AMR article. Academy of Management Review, 42(3): 407-416

Nkomo, S. M. 2017. Time to look in the mirror: Producing management theory and knowledge for Africa. Africa Journal of Management, 3(1): 7-16.

Zoogah, D. B., Peng, M. W., & Woldu, H. 2015. Institutions, resources, and organizational effectiveness in Africa. Academy of Management Perspectives, 29(1): 7-31.

Prepare and submit a 2-page proposal outlining your core ideas and arguments (max 500 words excluding references) by 2 August 2021. The proposals should be sent as WORD or PDF files to AMR Associate Editor Greg Fisher (fisherg@indiana.edu). Authors will be notified on whether their proposal is accepted for the IDW by 16 August 2021. 

After Day 1 (3 September 2021) invited participants must commit to completing exercise assignments and integrating feedback on their proposals. Revised proposals should be resubmitted to assigned round table participants by 2:00 pm EST on 8 September for discussion on Day 2 (10 September). Participants must also commit to reading between two and four proposals from other participants as assigned by the facilitators.

Please note that participation in the IDW does not guarantee acceptance of the paper in AMR or special preference in the review process. Furthermore, attendance in the IDW is not a prerequisite for submission to AMR or for publication.

Format 

Day 1: 3 September 2021 (10:00 am - 12:00pm EST): 

  • Welcome [~15 minutes]
  • Making a Theoretical Contribution [~20 minutes] 
  • Elements of a Conceptual Paper [~85 minutes] 

Day 2: 10 September 10

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm CET for participants based in Africa and Europe
11:00 am - 1:00 pm EST for participants based in North America
(If there are enough participants and facilitators from a particular region, specific roundtable sessions convenient for that time zone will be organized.)

Each 120-minute roundtable session will comprise three-five proposals and will be facilitated by at least one Guest Editor, Associate Editor, or Editorial Review Board member. Proposals will be shared among all roundtable participants by facilitators in advance. Roundtable participants are expected to have thoroughly read the proposals associated with their table. Facilitators will provide developmental feedback to the researcher and discussion will then be opened for all participants.

References

Barnard, H. 2020. The Africa we want and the Africa we see: How scholarship from Africa stands to enrich global scholarship, Africa Journal of Management, 6(2): 132-143.

Barney, J. 2018. Editor’s comments: Positioning a theory paper for publication. Academy of Management Review, 43(3): 345-348.

George, G., Corbishley, C., Khayesi, J. N. O., Haas, M. R., & Tihanyi, L. 2016. Bringing Africa in: Promising directions for management research. Academy of Management Journal, 59(2): 377-393.

Hamann, R., Luiz, J., Ramaboa, K., Khan, F., Dhlamini, X., Nilsson, W. 2020. Neither colony nor enclave: Calling for dialogical contextualism in management and organization studies. Organization Theory, 1: 1-21.

Hamminga, B. (2005). Knowledge Cultures: Comparative Western and African Epistemology. New York: Brill.

Lange, D., & Pfarrer, M. D. 2017. Editor’s comments: Sense and structure – the core building blocks of an AMR article. Academy of Management Review, 42(3): 407-416

Nkomo, S. M. 2017. Time to look in the mirror: Producing management theory and Knowledge for Africa. Africa Journal of Management, 3(1): 7-16.

Shadnam, M. in press. New theories and organization research: From the eyes of change. Forthcoming in Journal of Organizational Change Management.

Zoogah, D. B., Peng, M. W., & Woldu, H. 2015. Institutions, resources, and organizational effectiveness in Africa. Academy of Management Perspectives, 29(1): 7-31.

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