Message from the Division Chair

Colin Higgins

Deakin University 

Dear SIMians,

How good was it to be back face to face in Seattle! It was fantastic to connect with new and old friends – and even to provide ways for many of us to connect virtually. From the many conversations I had around the conference halls, the coffee shops, and in the elevators – there was a sense of energy and vibrancy as we came together to share our work, give feedback, and connect. Many also commented on how much they’d missed those random, chance encounters – whether it be over a drink at the social or by sitting next to someone in a session – from which new relationships flow.


There is no doubt that the last two years were tough. But, the SIM division has come through stronger than ever. I know I speak for all in our leadership team when I say how grateful we are that we kept our community together – and striving – through the COVID pandemic. Despite the challenges, 2022 is a bumper membership year for us – with 2036 members signed up for the division (up from 1885 in 2021, 1910 in 2020 and essentially back to where we were in 2019 – 2051 members). There have been lots of new initiatives – including the online ‘coffee and cocktails’ that have provided us with new opportunities to connect. I’m looking forward to working with our fantastic membership committee over the coming 12 months to see how we build on the new ways we’ve learned to connect.


It is truly a great honor to serve as SIM Division Chair for the next 12 months. I want to acknowledge the huge number of volunteers who make our division tick. While many of the SIM volunteers are highly visible – more on that below – I want to shout out to those that are much less so. Firstly, those who step up and work tirelessly on our division awards! We all know how important our awards are. They are a signal to others about the work going on in the division – and provide important recognition of the work that is shaping our field. You can check out details of our award winners on pp.19-28 page of the newsletter or online. But, special thanks to our Best Ethics Paper team led by Kam Phung and included Aishwarya Shahrawat, Laura Albareda, and Harry van Buren. We’re delighted that this award continues to be sponsored by the Journal of Business Ethics. The Best Paper group had Michael Pirson as chair, who was ably supported by Kendy Hess and Hong Bui as members. The Best Student Paper was selected by Carolyn Dang (chair), Xinran [Joyce] Wang, Yan Bai, and Lucas Amaral. A special thanks also goes to the committee that selects the Best Dissertation winner: Lea Stadtler (chair), Gabriela Gutierrez-Huerter, Kate Odziemkowska, Greg Molecke. Finally, the Best Book Award winner was chosen by Petya Koleva (chair), Yussuf Sidani, and Theodora Issa.


I really do want to make special mention of those who work hard to put on the program. For a while we were unsure what form the conference would take, how many would turn up, whether the hybrid format would work – and how best to put together the program. It was very heartening to see that more than 70% of those who registered for the conference attended in person. Cristina Neesham did an absolutely superb job navigating the challenges of scheduling and technology to put on a fantastic conference!  This year we ended up with nearly 390 submissions and nearly 270 submissions. The high acceptance rate is testament to the quality we continue to see being submitted. As we look forward, the hybrid format is here to stay for the foreseeable future. As we learn the lessons of virtual and hybrid meetings – I hope that this provides us with a new, ongoing, more sustainable and more inclusive way for us to connect.


The PDW sessions this year continued our very strong orientation to cross-disciplinarity and leadership in the field. There were very stimulating insights provided on topics such as racial justice, social justice, business and global piece, and flipping the classroom. We continue to see convergence with many ONE-related topics – most particularly sustainability and the SDGs – but also new insights from other divisions (eg OMT and the use of new management theories). The PDW program provides an early indicator of the direction our field is moving. The meeting was rounded out by an excellent doctoral consortium (thank you Jo-Ellen Pozner and Julia Roloff). A very success online event – enabling us to provide this opportunity to 50 participants. I also want to acknowledge Susana Esper and Jason Pattit who stepped up to provide an opportunity for our Junior Faculty to consort with our friends in the ONE division. It was great to see 19 junior faculty participate (in hybrid format), with 20 senior faculty also taking part. Well done everyone!


As the new year for the leadership team gets underway, we’re looking ahead to some of the strategic work that needs to be done. Over the past two years we’ve undertaken a thorough review of the division – stimulated in part by the Academy’s own five year review process but also as part of our efforts at continuous improvement. Erica Steckler along with colleagues Jean-Pascal Gond, Emilio Marti, Pushpika Vishwanathan, and Sandra Waddock) did an incredible job providing a deep understanding of SIM’s contribution to the Academy and SIMs future). We’ll be picking up on this work over the next 12 months – as we also strive to incorporate the new learnings from our virtual and hybrid experience.


As I take on the role of Division Chair from Katherina this year, I’m looking forward to working with Erica Steckler as incoming PDW Chair, and Michelle Westermann-Behaylo as incoming program chair. I’m very grateful to be standing on the shoulders of Katherina and Andy who have so ably led the division over the past two years. I do encourage you to follow our communications and social media presence – and we have a fantastic team led by Jae Hwan Lee with the help of a nimble and creative team – Vincenzo Vastola, Daniel Alonso Martinez, Julia Grimm, Onna Van den Broek, Lucas Amaral, Benjamin Alexander, and David Skandera, Seham Ghalwash, and Ige Oyinkansola.


In closing, I also want to pay my respects to Prof John Mahon – former Program Chair and Division Chair of SIM, the 2002 Sumner Marcus Award winner, former Editor of Business & Society, and founding member of IABS – who sadly passed away in October last year. Those of us who know John will remember fondly his larger-than-life personality – but also his generosity, kindness, and genuine interest in us, our field, and the work we do.


Once again, it is my pleasure to be leading the SIM division over the next 12 months. I’m looking forward to the new conversations that we’ll have, the new insights that we’ll share, and the new ways we’ll find to connect and grow our community.



Colin Higgins

SIM Division Chair, 2022-2023


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