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Being a Business School Professor

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Slides for a seminar delivered to doctoral students and post docs at LUISS Guido Carli University

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Being a Business School Professor

  1. 1. BEING A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR Seminar at LUISS Guido Carli University 24h April 2018 Ian P. McCarthy Email: ian_mccarthy@sfu.ca Twitter: @Toffemen68 Blog: http://itdependsblog.blogspot.com/
  2. 2. CHALLENGES IN ACADEMIC CAREERS • The answer to all of the this is: it depends! – The extent to which you are driven by and must balance “why” versus “what” – What your “why” is? What your school’s “why”? Getting a job Getting tenure Getting promoted Being happy (successful and fulfilled) Being healthy
  3. 3. EXERCISE • Ten years from now the Economist magazine is writing an article about how great you are a professor you are and your journey from doing a PhD/post doc at LUISS. – What does the article say you have become? – What makes you successful and great? The Super Business Professor
  4. 4. ARE YOU DRIVEN BY “WHAT” OR BY “WHY”? Academics driven by “what” Academics driven by “why” ● What do you do? We publish research in top tier journals in our field. ● How do you do this? We read research in top tier journals in the field to identify problems and projects to work on. We network and form collaborations with scholars who publish in top tier journals in the field so as to design and deliver publishable studies. ● Why do you this? To get tenure, promotion, salary increases and better positions at better universities. ● Why do you this? To inspire and enable a better world through scholarship in our field. ● How do you do this? Engage with those who experience and know the issues. Work with them to jointly define the problem, build the theory, design the research, and disseminate and adopt the findings. ● What do you do? Produce relevant, truthful and insightful knowledge that positively impacts the world Source: http://itdependsblog.blogspot.ca Twitter: @toffemen68
  6. 6. IT TAKES TIME TO BE SUPERMAN OR SUPERWOMAN • Have “why” driven goals, but understand the institutional game. – Have a personal mission statement: “Through research and teaching I aim to ……….” • Take small steps and achieve small successes. • Figure out what matters for where you are, and where you want to be. – Figure out “why” you want to be there. • Figure out what doesn’t matter.
  7. 7. HEROES AND MENTORS • Heroes inspire you. – They are linked to your “why” – You may not know them • Mentors advise you. – You know them. – They are wise and realistic about the game. – Seek one or more out. Take them for lunch or coffee 3 or 4 times a year. Have an agenda. Make sure you are getting value from the advise.
  8. 8. LOOK AFTER YOUR HEALTH • How can being a professor be bad for your health? – Writing is lonely. – Writing is hard on the mind body. – It takes a long time to produce things. – Tenure is stressful • You will be less productive and creative when fatigued – Take breaks. Stretch. Move. Engage. Rest and replenish your mind and body.
  10. 10. How much does it cost ($/€) to write a paper in a top tier journal?
  12. 12. THE FLIP-FLOP METHOD • Goal: instead of trying to respond to a challenge, consider what you would do to be terrible at it and fail. • Why do this? – It can reveal that aspects of the current organizational context and practices that may actually be great at stifling the challenge. – Simply doing the opposite of these stifling practices can then be basis to achieve the challenge.
  13. 13. THE FLIP-FLOP METHOD - EXAMPLE • Challenge: How to be a successful and happy business professor? • Inverted Challenge: How to be an unsuccessful and unhappy business professor? • It is interesting, and often shocking, to realize how much of what we actually do serves the inverted challenge.
  14. 14. HOW TO BE AN UNSUCCESSFUL AND UNHAPPY BUSINESS PROFESSOR? • Try to be so different and novel so that no one understands or cares about your research. • Be the prima donna lone star and don’t work with others. • Don’t plan and block time for different activities. – Don’t seek and be distracted by others (i.e., avoid feedback). – Don’t interact with the people, organizations and communities that are the basis of your research. • Don’t care about the impact of your research.. • Expect results and success after 20 weeks or after 20 years. • Stick to one very narrow area of your field for ever.
  15. 15. HOW TO BE AN UNSUCCESSFUL AND UNHAPPY BUSINESS PROFESSOR? • Listen as if you are always correct. • Silence is ignorance. • Don’t care about teaching and students. • Don’t care about service and collegiality. • Say “yes” to every project and opportunity. • Frame yourself differently to fit with and attain different opportunities. • Don’t practice what you research and teach. – For example, don’t study, understand and improve how you work.
  17. 17. WRITING IS A PROCESS Inventing InventingDrafting Drafting Revising Revising • Inventing = free writing, brain storming, thinking, problem solving • Drafting = forward momentum, rhetorical situation • Revising = structure, diction, sentences, grammar, occasion, audience Unproductive writing Productive writing
  18. 18. WRITING: SPACE AND TIME • Where and when do you write best? • Why this space and time? • A space and a time help provide a routine, which help make writing become a habit. • Don't just plan to write—write • Turn spell checker off when drafting • No tweeting, emails, internet, for forty minute chunks • Stretch between chunks, then stop and reward myself after four chunks.
  19. 19. JOHN STEINBECK (PARIS REVIEW, 1973) • Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised. • Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.
  20. 20. WHAT WILL CHANGE FOR YOU? • I started my first faculty position in 1996, since then we have: – Journal Citation Reports (impact factors) 1997 – Google launched in 1998 – LinkedIn launched in 2003 – Google Scholar launched in 2004 – Facebook launched in 2004 – Twitter launched in 2006 – The ABS Journal Quality Guide begins in 2007 – ResearchGate launched in 2008 – Mendley was released in 2008 – Altmetrics began in 2010 • Most of these now influence how my work (what I do, how I disseminate what I do, and how I’m measured).
  21. 21. MY APPROACH TO SOCIAL MEDIA • What, when and why I started. • Why I persist and my approach. • Progress • Lessons and some cautions
  22. 22. THE WHAT AND WHEN • Opened a Twitter account - April 2009 • @toffeemen68 • First started Tweeting - November 2010 • Started a Blogger account - February 2011 • http://itdepends4.blogspot.com • Opened a Slideshare account - August 2011 • http://www.slideshare.net/IanMcCarthy
  23. 23. WHY I STARTED • Kietzmann, J.H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I.P., Silvestre, B.S., (2011) Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business Horizons 54, 241-251. (download paper here) IDENTITY The extent to which users reveal themselves RELATIONSHIPS The extent to which users can connect to each other CONVERSATIONS The extent to which users communicate with each other SHARING The extent to which users exchange, distribute and receive content REPUTATION The extent to which users know the standing of others PRESENCE The extent to which users can know if others are accessible GROUPS The extent to which users form communities.
  24. 24. WHY I STARTED • To learn about social media • Share my research with scholars, policy makers and the public • Help people to know me - identity • Enhance my reputation • I was experimenting Conversations Reputation Relationships Presence Groups SharingSharing Reputation Identity
  25. 25. WHY I PERSIST AND MY APPROACH • Scanning and following information about events and trends that are central to my research interests. • Professional stalking • Conversations with scholars, policy makers and practioners. • Develop relationships with scholars, policy makers and practioners. Presence Identity Groups Conversations Relationships Conversations Relationships
  26. 26. WHY I PERSIST AND MY APPROACH • Altmetrics: how we measure scholarship is becoming more diverse • Develop different writing and communication skills • Make me think about the “so what?” question • Get feedback on existing research and ideas for future research • Being open - engagement with the public – they fund me
  27. 27. PROGRESS • Twitter (since Nov 2010) • 10,900 tweets and 25,500 followers • My “good” tweets will: – reach between 10,000 - 80,000 tweeters – 1,000 – 3,000 people will see it – 200 – 600 will engage with it • 371,000 visits to my Blog – It Depends! (since Feb 2011) • 105,000 views and 11,300 downloads of my presentations and papers posted on SlideShare
  28. 28. PROGRESS • Several new research relationships • Research grants, papers, special issues, and invited talks. • Appear on several “who to follow” lists • Newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. • Awards and impact
  29. 29. LESSONS • Have a strategy. – Why are you doing it? – Limit the scope of who you follow and what you broadcast. – Select and balance the functional building blocks of social media – Interesting and experimental – Have lists “Do or do not… there is no try.” Yoda http://www.onetwobrick.net/
  30. 30. CAUTIONS • It takes a lot of time to get going • Then it takes more time • Consider if your direct peers really care • Remember to be guided by goals • Be careful what you Blog and Tweet – libel laws apply!! • Not a substitute for good scholarship • Finally, social media is a force to be reckoned with. It has a dark side. http://gremlindog.com/tag/darth-vader/
  31. 31. FINAL THOUGHTS • When I follow my own advice, my work life is more productive, better, happier and less painful, than when I don’t. – But I don’t always follow it. – Why? – You know why.
  32. 32. Dr. Ian McCarthy Email: ian_mccarthy@sfu.ca Twitter: @Toffemen68 Blog: http://itdependsblog.blogspot.com/ Professor, Technology and Operations Management Beedie School of Business Simon Fraser University