OCIS Doctoral Consortium 2008 – Update

Here is the update regarding the OCIS Doctoral Consortium 2008! Any questions or thoughts…?

OCIS Doctoral Consortium Call for Applicants

The OCIS (Organizational Communications and Information Systems – http://ocis.aomonline.org/) division of the Academy of Management is pleased to announce the 2008 Doctoral Consortium, to be held in Anaheim, CA, August 8-9, 2008. The consortium will provide an opportunity for doctoral students to network, receive feedback on their research, and discuss career issues. PhD students working on research in the areas of Organizational Communication and Information Systems are invited to apply. The deadline for applications is May 15th, 2008. Applicants will be notified of outcome by May 22, 2008.

Doctoral Consortium Dates and Times

* Friday, August 8, 2008, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

* Saturday, August 9, 2008, 9:00am – 5:30pm

Confirmed Faculty Advisors for the Doctoral Consortium

* Brian Butler, University of Pittsburgh

* Kathy Chudoba, Utah State University

* Mary Culnan, Bentley College

* Samer Faraj, McGill University

* Olga Volkoff, Simon Fraser University

Application Process

Submit the following materials via email to Brian Butler (bbutler [at] katz.pitt.edu) by May 15, 2008:

1. Completed application form (below)

2. 5-page, double-spaced summary of proposed dissertation research

3. Letter of recommendation from dissertation chair/advisor

4. Curriculum vita

Any questions about the consortium should be directed to Brian Butler (bbutler [at] katz.pitt.edu).


OCIS 2008 Doctoral Consortium Application Form

DEADLINE: MAY 15th, 2008





Phone number:

1. What year are you in your PhD program?

__1st __2nd __3rd __4th __5th or more

2. Will you have completed your dissertation proposal by August 8, 2008?

__yes __no

3. Have you participated in an OCIS Doctoral Consortium in the past?

__yes __no

4. Name and Contact Information for dissertation chair/advisor:

5. To consider your application we must receive a recommendation from your chair/advisor. It should be emailed to bbutler [at] katz.pitt.edu no later than May 15, 2008. Have you asked your chair to submit a letter?

__yes __no

6. Briefly describe your research interests. (1 Paragraph)

7. Briefly describe your dissertation research, including its current status (1 paragraph).


Interview with Varun Grover

Varun GroverWe recently had a chance to ask Varun Grover a few questions. Dr. Grover is the William S. Lee (Duke Energy) Distinguished Professor of IS at Clemson University. He has published extensively in the information systems field, with over 160 publications in refereed journals. Six recent articles have ranked him in the top three researchers in the field, based on publications in the top Information Systems journals over the past decade. His current areas of interest are creating IS value in organizations and business process change. His work has appeared in journals such as ISR, MISQ, JMIS, CACM, Decision Sciences, IEEE Transactions, California Management Review, among others. Currently, Varun is serving as the Senior Editor of the MIS Quarterly, Journal of the Association of Information Systems, and Database: Advances in IS; and Associate or Advisory Editor of nine other journals including JMIS, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, Journal of Business Process Management.

Why have you taken a special interest in doctoral student education?

Working with doctoral students has a special place in my academic life. Perhaps it is because this work incorporates many of the reasons I joined academia. It truly integrates the pedagogy with research. On the pedagogical aspect, there is the joy of nurturing and developing a student that manifests itself over the course of years (not a single class) – so you can watch them grow – not only within the home institution but also in their careers. There is the research aspect where you can truly practice “learning by doing” and watch projects reach fruition through interactions. Also, for me there is the human interaction – I enjoy engaging in abstract thinking with doctoral students. It’s a level of discourse that can be both exhilarating and exhausting.

We noticed that you have written several articles in Decision Line concerning doctoral student education. What led you to write these articles?

My interactions with PhD students have been diverse, enriching and fraught with different experiences, most good but some that were not so good. Each of these experiences have given me the opportunity to observe things that I’ve done that work, mistakes that students make and behaviors that have resulted in satisfaction and success. Decision Line was just used as a channel to try and codify some of my experiences in a form that others might be able to benefit from. Perhaps one day I’ll get the chance to pull them all together into a book.

What are some of the frustrations you experience working with doctoral students?

I’ve always maintained that a good doctoral student could be a tremendous asset to a faculty member. What is a “good” doctoral student? In my mind there are three aspects – competence, motivation and the ability to manage the program well. Of these three, we only do a good job with the first one at the input stage. We can assess competence based on test scores, prior schooling and the personal interview. We try – but we can’t really assess the last two. It is tough to truly understand the frustrations of doctoral education and whether you “really want it that much” – without going through it. My frustrations with doctoral students have been limited, but often revolve around the motivational and management aspects. When students don’t prioritize well, or submit work that is clearly below their competence level or exhibit avoidance behavior – that could get difficult to handle. On the other hand, students that are motivated and try their best to deliver have my utmost respect. I love going above and beyond for such students, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have had many of them.

What are some of the joys you experience working with doctoral students?

I don’t think you have enough space for a full answer to this. In a nutshell, I enjoy seeing people develop. I enjoy seeing ideas develop. I enjoy seeing documents develop. Doctoral students are not rigid and inflexible. They have not developed fixed ideas. They are malleable and open to debate and development. This is what makes it fun.

There has been substantial discussion lately regarding the current and future state of the IS field (e.g., plummeting enrollments of IS majors). What is your outlook on the future state of the IS field?

I’m bullish about the IS field. The issues we deal with – using information and IT to make organizations more effective – are not going away. On the contrary, they are only going to become more important. So, as a field we will always have opportunities to do valuable research. I think the doom and gloom scenarios painted by many of the senior members of our field do us a disservice, spawn vicious negative cycles, and drain energy from people. We need to couch our discourse in well placed optimism and look beyond short term structural problems for opportunities to add value to our stakeholders. We can only do this if we start looking forward instead of looking down.

Do you have any reactions to or thoughts on Professor Grover’s remarks? If so post them below!

New Feature “Meet the Stars” !

It is of great pleasure that we can announce a new feature at the OCIS student website.

Meet the stars…The “Meet the Stars” is a series of interviews with noted OCIS scholars and practitioners. The purpose is to provide the OCIS doctoral student community to virtually interact with the OCIS scholars/practitioners and learn about and from the best in the field. We will learn various perspectives/ideas regarding research, doctoral education, and business practice, from people who are good at doing it.

The forthcoming “star interviews” will be also be built on questions posed by you. The easiest and preferrable way is to post your questions as comments to our ‘meet the stars announcement posts’ which we will post in advance.

Also, if you have a particular person you would like to see interviewed and you think it is of interest to others, please recommend the person’s name to us. You can do this by replying with a comment to this post here.

We sincerely hope you will enjoy this feature – this is a great opportunity for all of us at this site to ask burning questions about the field, practice, research, and other areas!

Your OCIS student website admins

Membership (Includes Ex-Doctoral Students?)

Some of us (including Seven) will soon change our status from Doctoral Student to newly joined faculty member (though arguably we will be doing same stuff)…

 Can we continue to be member of AOM.OCIS Student Site?

Should we discontinue our membership?

Do we need to (fully) disclose our change in status?

Can we be alumnus (with partial/ full rights) of AOM.OCIS Student Site?


Our newly renovated AOM.OCIS Student website

Welcome to the newly renovated AOM.OCIS Student Networking Site!
The 2007-08 Student Website Committee has been hard at work updating our website. The major enhancements include:
— A new design with easier navigation and even more informative content.
— A special section with a Call for Papers (CFP) calendar that lists current CFPs for conferences and journals.
— A new “Meet the Stars” feature where we interview noted OCIS scholars and practitioners. Coming soon are interviews with Varun Grover, Eric van Heck, and M. Lynne Markus. Future “star” interviews will be built upon questions posed by you on our website. This is your opportunity to ask senior scholars and practitioners any burning questions you have about the field, practice, research, or other areas!
If you’re new to the AOM.OCIS Student Networking Site, it’s a group blog for, by, and about doctoral students interested in organizational communication and information systems. The site has three primary objectives:
1) to provide an interactive location for students to share and discuss helpful resources with one another,
2) to facilitate student interactions during the long stretch between Academy of Management conferences, and
3) to help each other navigate the trials and tribulations of entry into an academic career, including how to maximize the benefit of involvement with AOM in general and, more specifically, the OCIS division. Recent management graduates, those thinking about doctoral studies in management, and students in related fields are all welcome to join the conversation.
In short, it’s a website just for you!
Finally, please join me in thanking the website committee for all their diligent efforts with the website renovations. Well done!
The committee, led by Yukika Awazu (Bentley College, Mass., USA), also includes Peter Baloh (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Nick Roberts (Clemson University, S. Carolina, USA), Vinay Tiwari (Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands), and myself.
Steven Johnson
U. of Maryland, USA

Spring Break?

My school is on spring break this week, which basically means the undergraduates flee to their homes or parties, leaving a ghostly campus behind. Of course, I cannot should not flee from my dissertation, so I still go to campus and work. I passed a senior professor in the hall, who jokingly remarked to me, “I see you have discovered one of the secrets of academia: there are no breaks.” This got me to thinking… is there such a thing as a vacation when doing research? If we’re working in our head, can we escape our thoughts?

Getting away from it all

Top ten emerging technologies?

MIT’s Technology Review magazine has just published its annual list of the top ten emerging technologies. Dubbed the TR10, these “revolutionary innovations” are “poised to have a dramatic impact” on computing, medicine, nanotechnology, our energy infrastructure, and more, say the magazine’s editors. This year’s TR10 appear below. Click the “more info” links for further details on each.

  • Cellulolytic enzymes — Frances Arnold, a professor of chemical engineering and biochemistry at Caltech, is taking on one of the biggest challenges of the biofuel industry: designing better enzymes for breaking down the cellulose in biomass. Breaking down this complex molecule will enable bioengineers to produce ethanol and other biofuels from grasses and agricultural waste instead of corn. [more info]
  • Reality mining — Sandy Pentland, a professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, is using data gathered by cell phones to learn more about human behavior and social interactions. Using data collected by cell-phone sensors, Pentland’s models could enable automated security settings, smart personal assistants, and monitoring of personal and community health. [more info]
  • Connectomics — Jeff Lichtman, a neuroscientist at Harvard University, is a leader in the emerging field of “connectomics,” which attempts to physically map the neural circuits that collect, process, and archive information. The “wiring diagrams” that Lichtman’s technology can generate should lead to better understanding of diseases such as autism and schizophrenia, as well as new insight into learning and other cognitive functions. [more info]
  • Offline Web applications — Developed using Web technologies such as HTML and Flash, these applications can take advantage of the resources of a user’s computer as well as those of the Internet. Kevin Lynch, chief software architect at Adobe Systems, has led the development of a platform that allows programmers to quickly and cheaply build applications that work in a broad range of devices and operating systems. more info
  • Graphene transistors — Georgia Tech physics professor Walter de Heer is creating transistors based on graphene, a carbon material one atom thick, which has extraordinary electronic properties and could replace silicon in speedy, compact computer processors. [more info]
  • Atomic magnetometers — John Kitching, a physicist at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, is developing tiny, low-power magnetic sensors almost as sensitive as their big, expensive counterparts. They could one day be incorporated into a wide range of devices, from portable MRI machines to faster and cheaper detectors for hidden bombs. [more info]
  • Wireless power — MIT physicist Marin Soljacic is working on a technology that transmits electricity wirelessly. The system could allow any low-power device, such as a cell phone, iPod, or laptop, to recharge automatically simply by coming within range of a wireless power source, eliminating the need for cables–and perhaps, eventually, for batteries. [more info]
  • Nanoradio — Alex Zettl, a physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, has developed tiny radios built from single nanotubes. These nanoradios could improve cell phones and allow communication between tiny devices, such as environmental sensors. [more info]
  • Probabilistic chips — Krishna Palem, a professor of computing at Rice University, is developing a microchip design technology called PCMOS that allows engineers to trade a small degree of accuracy in computation for substantial energy savings. In the short term, PCMOS designs could significantly increase battery life in mobile devices; in a decade or so, the theories behind PCMOS may need to be invoked if Moore’s Law is to continue to hold. [more info (PDF download)]
  • Modeling surprise — Eric Horvitz, head of the Adaptive Systems and Interaction group at Microsoft Research, is creating software that combines massive quantities of data, insights into human psychology, and machine learning to help humans manage surprising events. Surprise modeling could eventually aid decision makers in a wide range of domains, such as traffic management, preventive medicine, military planning, politics, business, and finance. [more info]

But before you start reading all the exciting stuff, ask yourselves (and provide comment) What do you think of these technologies?  Which of the technologies do you think are ‘already here’ and which sound like they come from a SciFi movie? Does this list spark any ideas for your future research? 

More about TR10: http://www.technologyreview.com/specialreports/specialreport.aspx?id=25