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The Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN) is seeking applicants for 2016 Early Career Work and Family Fellowships. The goal of the program is to help promising young scholars establish career successes, as well as connect them to the WFRN community. Fifteen scholars will be selected for the program.  Fellows receive a one year membership in the WFRN, conference registration, and $500 to help defer expenses to attend the 2016 WFRN Conference (to be held June 23-25 in Washington DC). At the conference, special events will be targeted to serve interests of fellows, including networking opportunities with senior scholars and teaching/research workshops. In addition, fellows will be connected with one another in periodic encounters beyond the conference, intended to facilitate collaboration and peer-mentorship. To be eligible, candidates must have received their doctorate in 2013 or later and have yet to progress into tenured or secure senior level positions.  Eligibility is not restricted on the basis of national location. Information about the program and application materials can be found at https://workfamily.sas.upenn.edu/content/early-career-fellowship-program. The deadline for receipt of applications is September 15, 2015. Questions about the program can be addressed to the program director, Stephen Sweet at SSWEET@ITHACA.EDU.

Don’t Forget the Global STS Conference in Leuven!

Registration is waiting for you! Click here to register!

The STS Roundtable invites you to join us on September 9 -11th during the Festival of Connections and the STS Global Conference. The European Learning Network on Workplace Innovation (EUWIN) is holding its third large scale event in Leuven (Belgium). We have public sessions, panel sessions, smaller and larger discussions, and we are even planning bus trips to some remarkable companies in Leuven. Remember, Leuven not only has one of the oldest (and most vibrant!) universities in the world, it is home to the largest (and best?) beer producing company of the world ANBEV (better known as Stella Artois). EUWIN would not be a truly learning experience if it did not learn from its previous conferences. Our Brussels event (2013) in the European Parliament was overbooked; some people at our London event (2013) at the Microsoft building could not find a chair to sit on; our regional event in Rouen (2014) was supposed to inform 60 persons, but 400 eager workplace innovators visited the event. So, we now welcome all of you. Our Belgian partner network, with Flanders Synergy and the University of Leuven, have major experience in making you feel welcome. They even organised two spin-off events to give you even more insight into what workplace innovation can do for you and make your trip to Belgium even more worthwhile. Look at the Festival of Connection!

Please click here and register for the event!

Another reminder, if you haven’t renewed your membership or desire to start a membership to STS Roundtable please click here. If you experience any problems with either page for registration please don’t hesitate to contact one of the stewards. We look forward to seeing you all in Leuven come September!

Bert Painter (President): gpainter@telus.net
Jose Martinez (Secretary): jmartinez@ufw.org
Joe Norton (Treasurer): docsnorton@bellsouth.net
Jean Fuller: jeanfuller@workdesign.ca
Pierre van Amelsvoort: pierrevanamelsvoort@ziggo.nl

The 2015 conference, Sunbelt XXXV, to be held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel on the beachfront of Brighton, UK, from June 23– June 28, 2015, provides an interdisciplinary venue for social scientists, mathematicians, computer scientists, ethnologists, epidemiologists, organizational theorists, and others to present current work in the area of social networks.

You can view the program here.

Academic Entrepreneurship, and Knowledge and Technology Transfer: How do they relate to Research, Teaching, and Universities as Organizations?

April 11-12, 2016, University of Kassel, Germany

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Aldo Geuna (Torino), Walter W. Powell (Stanford)

Organized by: Guido Bünstorf, Georg Krücken, and Christian Schneijderberg

(International Centre for Higher Education Research, University of Kassel)

Spin-off entrepreneurship, patenting, licensing and other activities of knowledge and technology transfer from universities to the private sector have attracted considerable scholarly attention. A large number of studies from a broad range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary backgrounds have investigated these activities. These prior efforts notwithstanding, important questions about academic entrepreneurship, commercialization and knowledge and technology transfer are still unanswered. This conference aims to help develop answers to these questions. In particular, contributions are invited that study how academic entrepreneurship, commercialization and transfer relate to research, teaching (including entrepreneurship education), as well as the nature and development of the university as an organization.

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Between 1970 and 1973, Anant Negandhi held a series of conferences at Kent State University, sponsored by the Comparative Administration Research Institute. Kent State was then a leading business school in the fields of international business, management, and marketing. Negandhi thought that this emerging field would benefit from the contributions of young scholars in various social science fields, such as sociology. The conference focus was on “the various conceptual problems encountered in studying the functioning of complex social organizations.” Negandhi started a journal that published the papers presented at his conferences, but it lasted only 5 issues.

I took part in several of these, including one that led to the publication of a book on Interorganizational Theory, edited by Negandhi. These conferences attracted a stellar cast of organization scholars, including Richard Hall, Don Hellriegel, David Hickson, Hans Penning, Jeff Pfeffer, Lou Pondy, Jon Slocum, Andy Van de Ven, and Donald Warren. Looking back, I’m astonished that he was able to attract this group to a regional state university in the Northeastern corner of Ohio. Up to that point, Kent State was known primarily for the infamous killings of four students by the Ohio National Guard during a peaceful protest against the Cambodian invasion. Indeed, memories of that tragedy were still in my mind when I contemplated whether to accept Negandhi’s invitation to attend the conferences.

In addition to people known for their contributions to organizational studies, Negandhi invited Talcott Parsons to the conference because of Parsons’ interest in institutional theory and organizations. In 1956, Parsons published two lead-off articles in two successive issues of the Administrative Science Quarterly, laying out what he called “suggestions for a sociological approach to the theory of organizations.” In our book, Organizations Evolving, Martin Ruef and I gave Parsons a great deal of credit for offering one of the first systematic presentations of a multilevel theory of organizations’ relations with their environments. He anticipated many of the themes that institutional theorists of organizations “rediscovered” many years later and his essays are still worth reading today.

Parsons had just announced his retirement in the spring of 1973, after 42 years at Harvard.

Fortunately for me, Anant held a small dinner party for Parsons at his house and some of the other speakers at the conference. I wish I could report that Parsons and I enjoyed a spirited exchange about the application of evolutionary theory to organizational studies, but I’m afraid I was so awestruck just being in his presence that I mostly stuck to asking the banal questions that junior professors tend to put to famous scholars.

Jean Boddewyn, from NYU, took pictures at the party and sent several to me, including the one shown below. The photo shows Parsons, cigarette in hand, holding court, while I sit to his left in rapt attention. Thankfully, the photo is not in color, or else you would see that the houndstooth pattern on my jacket is a mix of fire-engine red checks on a white background. We took lots of fashion risks in the early 1970s!

Talcott Parsons Kent State Spring 1973

Parsons’ chain-smoking is probably what I remember best about that evening. Memories of his habit are confirmed in an interview Parsons did with Robert Reinhold for the ASA Newsletter around the time of his retirement, when he was asked about his role in American sociology and the bridge he provided to European sociologist. In reply to a question, he said “it happened to be my particular role, as it were, to act as an importer,” and Reinhold then noted that Parsons said this as he lit up the first of six cigarettes consumed down to the filter in the course of a one hour interview.  ASA Footnotes, August 1973.

Parsons died in 1979, aged 77.

 

“Connecting Students to the Labor Movement”
Annual Meetings of the Southern Labor Studies Association
March 6–8, 2015
Washington, DC – The George Washington University

Deadline: February 9, 2015
(Papers not necessary)

We invite labor activists and academics alike to participate in a panel to discuss how they have used the classroom as a conduit to engage students in the labor movement. This session, open to activists and academics, will offer lessons for new or emerging collaborative projects and can serve as a bridge between activists/scholars working independently but with similar goals. Participants may wish to address such questions as: What do unions need from student volunteers? What can students, faculty, and universities gain from working with unions? What can students contribute to fights for economic justice, both when workers on campus are seeking student support and when students contribute to campaigns removed from their campus? What obstacles do academic-activist collaborations present and how can they be overcome?

If you have questions or are interested in joining us in Washington, DC this March, contact Jeff Larson (jlarson@towson.edu) or Kate O’Neil (k8oneil@gmail.com).

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