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Innovator Article

Social and Organizational Innovation Converge
Faculty Host 12th Davis Conference on Qualitative Research

By Alex Russell

Top qualitative researchers from around the world converged at Gallagher Hall on March 24 for the 12th annual Davis Conference on Qualitative Research.

Organized by Professor Kimberley Elsbach and Associate Professor Beth Bechky, the innovative forum has improved qualitative research and its methodologies and built a community of pioneering researchers.

“We were the first qualitative conference in management studies in the world, and are widely viewed as the pre-eminent conference to attend as a member of the qualitative research community in management and organizations research,” said Elsbach, who holds the Steven G. Newberry Chair in Leadership.

This year’s conference Best Presentation Awards recognized Assistant Professor Melissa Mazmanian of UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science and Assistant Professor Emily Heaphy of Boston University’s School of Management.

“It was a very valuable opportunity,” said Mazmanian. “The conference has an incredibly good reputation as being a supportive and genera-tive space with premier scholars.”

Mazmanian presented her research on how group members can help take care of each other, increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the entire group.

The presentations covered four main topics: Institutions, Practices and Social Problems; Group Processes: Change and Creativity; Scientific Research Practices; and Boundary Spanning: Roles and Objects. Other presenters included Associate Professor Michael Sauder, University of Iowa; Assistant Professor Victor Seidel, University of Oxford’s Said School of Business; and Senior Lecturer Tammar Zilber, Hebrew University’s Jerusalem Business School.

Information Age Publishing has published two volumes of Qualitative Organizational Research, a compendium of Best Presentation papers from the conferences edited by Elsbach and Bechky. The third volume will be released next year.