Ann Smith (University of Tennessee)
As we head into the third year of our Interest Group and the group member survey is getting underway this fall, perhaps now is a good time to ponder the future of our Interest Group. In a recent review of the original proposal to form our Interest Group, I was struck by the tensions between our group’s strong connections with other divisions – such as Business Policy and Strategy, Research Methods, and Management and Organization Consulting – and the distinctiveness of our group in terms of the topics of daily crafting of strategy. But the need for this carved-out academic space seems obvious with our community now numbering over 500 members (as of October, 2012). So, where do we go from here?
I asked this question about the Interest Group’s future innocuously to several SAP members across a variety of venues at the Boston conference. The responses varied from strong (“Let’s leave this issue alone for now!”), perplexed (“Why of course we would try to become a Division in short order.”) to vague (“Let’s see where we are in 5 more years.”). Perhaps I stumbled onto a third rail issue that may be better left alone at this point. Yet, I think the future of our Group might deserve some space and conversation during the next few years. What do we want to become?
There are a variety of alternatives for our future – apply to become a Division as soon as possible, apply to become a Division slowly after several years, merge back into a larger Division, merge with a smaller Division, merge several divisions, dissolve, or remain an Interest Group. What do you think? Let’s talk about it at the Florida conference next year!