SAP Community Day at EGOS 2018 in Tallinn: A Synthesis

0x9C8DFC68ED943276F44C4B1BD3BC2A2CThe SAP Community Day is an EGOS pre-colloquium PDW that takes place on a yearly basis. Its aim is to bring together scholars interested in the process and practice of strategy-making to stake out the state of the field, meet old and new friends, and receive inspiration for future research projects.

IMG_0938At this year’s EGOS 2018, the SAP Community Day had its fourth anniversary. In the spirit of the aim of this workshop, this year’s topic was: “Inspiring and Expanding Strategy-as-Practice Research”. Thus, the co-organizers Philip Gylfe, Georg Reischauer, Tania Weinfurtner, and Matthias Wenzel developed a forward-oriented program that aimed to bring in fresh inspiration for the field’s years to come. 

In the morning, Paul Adler from the University of Southern California kicked off the SAP Community Day with an inspiring keynote on “BUSINESS strategy is dead. Long live business STRATEGY!”. One of his arguments was that one way out of the present capitalism-induced crisis is, ironically, to learn from capitalist corporations how to engage in effective socialist planning.

IMG_0932
In the remainder of the morning session, participants had
the opportunity to engage in roundtable discussions in order to pitch their emergent research ideas to experts in the field. These experts included Paul Adler, Paula IMG_0933Jarzabkowski, Jochen Koch, Ann Langley, Jane Lê, Curtis LeBaron, and Davide Nicolini. These roundtable sessions enabled the participants to receive receive constructive feedback that enabled them to shape their theoretical and empirical ideas.

The after-lunch session began with author–editor dialogues. Specifically, Eero Vaara – guest editor of the 2018 SMJ special on strategy process and practice – as well as two authors who published their papers in this special issue reflected on their review journeys: Elena Dalpiaz and Giada Di Stefano’s paper on narrative practices and Matthias Wenzel and Jochen Koch’s paper on keynote speeches as staged genres of strategic communication. By opening up these review processes, participants gained insights into the merits, pitfalls, and struggles of going though such a process, which requires perseverance, open-mindedness, hard work, and (most likely) a bit of luck.

The formal program of the SAP Community Day ended with a panel discussion between Paula Jarzabkowski and Eero on the future of SAP research. Together, they staked out how far SAP research has come and which areas of research are yet to be explored.

IMG_0937The SAP Community Day was rounded off by an informal wine reception, which was much-deserved after a hard day of intense discussions and plural inspirations.

For the first time, parts of the SAP Community Day were streamed live on the SAP Facebook page. In doing so, dozens of additional scholars were immediately reached, and hundreds of scholars have watched the videos within the next few days. The videos can now also be watched on the SAP Youtube site. These videos will hopefully provide a smooth and lasting transition to the next SAP Community Day at EGOS 2019 in Edinburgh.

 

 

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