What Next for the SAP IG?

Ann Smith (University of Tennessee)

Ann Smith

Ann Smith

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!

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