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AOM PDW #20933 "It's Not Just You! Let's Have an Honest Conversation about Failure"

  • 1.  AOM PDW #20933 "It's Not Just You! Let's Have an Honest Conversation about Failure"

    Posted 08-05-2020 03:27

    -- Apologies for cross-posting --


    You are invited to attend the AOM PDW #20933 "It's Not Just You! Let's Have an Honest Conversation about Failure"


    Scheduled: Tuesday, Aug 11 2020, 10:00AM - 07:00PM Eastern (New York Time) (UTC -4)

    Format: Real-Time – Open: Presenters and audience on live video


    There is no need to register for this workshop, but please register for the round-tables in advance (http://ieseg.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3L5M3xmVTv1NBel). You need to be registered for the AOM Annual Meeting to attend. Information on how to attend virtual sessions can be found here https://aom.org/events/annual-meeting/registering-and-attending/participating-virtually



    Rajshree Agarwal, Robert Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

    Janice Byrne, Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario

    Bryant A. Hudson, IESEG School of Management

    Lamar Pierce, Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis

    Davide Ravasi, UCL School of Management

    Giada di Stefano, Bocconi University



    Jeanine Porck, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University

    Maria-Rita Micheli, IESEG School of Management

    Georg Wernicke, HEC Paris


    PDW Summary:

    Dealing with failure is one of the most common challenges scholars face in their academic careers. Failure might concern the publication process, one's career path, or ability to disseminate knowledge to students and the broader society. In general, scholars encounter more failures than successes; yet, in public, we mainly talk about successes and often form narratives of negativity around failure. In this PDW, we aim to rebalance this discussion and to add nuance to the stories of success by bringing into the spotlight experiences of failure. This PDW provides an opportunity to hear from a diverse and distinguished panel of scholars about their failures, ranging from dry-spells in publishing to the acceptance of the 'wrong' job and much more. Through these personal stories from our panel members, this PDW aims to (a) normalize failure and initiate an open and honest discussion about it, (b) illustrate how to ask for help if one needs it, and (c) offer ways to overcome or even embrace failure sometimes.


    PDW Format:

    The PDW consists of a 75-min panel session, followed by interactive round-table discussions and dialogues (35 min), which allow participants to share ideas and become more comfortable to talk about failures in a safe environment. The workshop concludes with a panel session that summarizes the main topics of discussion and findings of the individual round-tables (20 min).


    Each of the panelists will lead one round-table discussion. Please register for the round-tables and indicate if you have any specific questions or topics you would like to discuss with panelist until the 5th of August: http://ieseg.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3L5M3xmVTv1NBel. We will try to accommodate your preferences, but we hope for your understanding, should space or other limitations keep us from doing so. More information about the topic for the individual round-tables is below:



    Rajshree Agarwal (Robert Smith School of Business) will discuss how failure can happen in different domains of one's academic career, such as the publication process, the career path, and the ability to provide students and society with actionable and relevant knowledge, which is a theme that particularly interests her. She will share her experiences in these different domains and will explain how passion and motivation are crucial in order to overcome failure and enhance successful results. During her presentation, she will provide examples from her own career, providing participants with a 'real life perspective' on failure and on the strategies to fight it.


    Janice Byrne (Ivey Business School) will talk about work-family integration in academia. She will focus on the struggles that we might experience in our personal lives as we try to achieve good results as scholars. Scholars may feel the need to put work before family and personal life, to avoid what we perceive as 'failure' (i.e., not being able to achieve publication goals in a designated time period). Prioritizing our professional life over our personal life may lead us to experience a sense of failure, where we experience self-blame, guilt and/or recriminations from loved ones. Janice will talk about how our collaboration with others (co-authors and colleagues), as well as our personal relationships, can impact this feeling of a 'constant struggle' to meet both professional and personal goals. She will suggest some potential remedies and strategies to combat these feelings.


    Bryant A. Hudson (IESEG School of Management) will focus on the many twists and turns of his own career path, where instances of failure have occasionally turned into instances of success, and success has ended in failure. In particular, he will share some personal stories he experienced during his career, having failed to keep a job in any of the seven different universities in which he has worked, plus the one where the contract was pulled before he even started. He will explain how these failures led to new opportunities for learning and for evolving as a scholar (and maybe as a person).


    Lamar Pierce (Olin Business School) will discuss early career struggles and thoughts (but certainly not definitive answers) on how to overcome them. He will focus on several key questions: How do you gain traction and visibility if you are not anointed a star on the job market? How might you think about portfolio risk management in your research, deciding between high-risk high-reward strategies versus lower-risk lower-reward ones? How do you keep going if a bunch of your first attempts fail, recognizing both the noise and learning curve in the first few years? How do we overcome the fundamental attribution bias in both our own minds and the views of the market? Lamar will also make weird references to Weebles and honey badgers (who just don't care).


    Davide Ravasi (UCL School of Management) will focus on how to overcome the negative emotions (anger, grief, frustration, despair, discouragement, anxiety, resentment, etc.) that often accompany a rejection. In addition, his talk will also raise discussions about the mindset we could try to adopt in order to leverage failure in a productive way. Specifically, he will discuss the questions we should ask to ourselves and to others to use rejections productively to improve our papers (or let them go), our research, and our writing skills.


    Giada di Stefano (Bocconi University) will discuss the journey of a paper from ideation to final publication, explaining the possible instances of failure that might be encountered during this process. She will focus on the issues that might arise during the data collection phase, she will discuss difficulties that might be experienced during the collaboration with co-authors, and she will point out the complications that putting the paper into shape might entail. She will share her personal experiences and suggest possible strategies to overcome these issues, transforming them into opportunities to advance in the research pipeline.



    Jeanine Porck

    Maria-Rita Micheli

    Georg Wernicke


    Georg Wernicke
    HEC Paris