AIMAC doctoral symposium 2015 day two 

Welcome to the second day of the doctoral workshop.

Bernard Cova  from KEDGE Business School kicked off a discussion on publishing or perishing (that old chestnut) with a reinterpretation of the concept to Apollonian versus Dionysian research.  The first being less publications in A level journals, the second being more varied publications in those with lesser status.

So is it visibility or journal credibility? Is getting your ideas out there as important than publishing in the most prestigious journals. Citations versus journal status. In the end the answer maybe both. We need, as academics, to be visible but also to publish in the best journals we can. For us pressing our noses against the glass window of our first journal publication it’s all just theory isn’t it? We just want to be let in.
What was interesting is there is a push to move beyond academic journals to actual societal impact study. Thus getting papers into publications like Harvard Business Review which have a wider audience than just academics. And apparently Business schools are even thinking of changing their names to Societal Schools- as they impact society not just business. I might just leave that alone. But you can still see some eye rolling when it comes to practical application, and when you read my presentation feedback below you’ll see another example. But it’s academia, contribution to theory is the main goal.

No discussion about platforms like The Conversation that get academic ideas out to a wider audience, but I’m guessing it isn’t as well known in Europe as elsewhere.

Joyce Liddle  from IMGPT Aix-en-Provence University was more practical in advice, build your own network. Impact in your way. Yes academic but publish in places where your can contribute to the conversation. I could see Joyce at UTS as she has the same approach as many I encounter there. 

Gretchen, who I mention yesterday, also raised the idea of broader visibility, including media and social media. It’s all a platform for ideas.

Then we were off for the last doctoral presentations….including mine.

My presentation went well on one perspective and badly in another. The audience reacted well. Good questions and engagement. The feedback from the assessors was focused largely  on one point, which zeroed in on a big fear I have- I’m not academic enough. My presentation style is spare, I don’t use a lot of words on PowerPoint or data dump lots of references. So the assessor asked me what were the three key academic articles I’m responding to. And I don’t have that to the point I clearly need to. I’m working in a cross disciplinary way, not relating to an existing model or conceptual framework, so I can’t say I’m building on X author. Though of course in retrospect I could has said I’m building on the work of Jo Caust….but mind blanks at the time.  Consequently the feedback was I could be writing a consultant report not a PhD. OUCH. How to demoralise someone moving into academia late in life. 
I’m not arguing with the feedback, it’s likely spot on, but highlights what I think is my major weakness, articulated yesterday, that I may not be academically aligned to arts management as much as I need to long term (if I want an academic career, this whole process raises the question that maybe I AM a consultant long term, not an academic.) I did get a lot more feedback and discussion over lunch from both Gretchen and Ruth, the academic organising the doctoral program, which was incredibly valuable and extremely kind of them. In some cases my weakness was not my research, but my presentation which probably wasn’t “academic enough” in terms of demonstrating my theoretical understanding (which is there.)  It reiterates the fact  I think I need Melbourne based support within the arts management or business field as I enter the writing stage.  Ruth suggested a few names, including Amanda Sinclair, which anyone who has read this blog knows, I THINK IS AN ABSOLUTE LEGEND. I could only dream having advice from someone of that calibre.
So enough soul searching and whining. Now I’ve got 24 hours or so to decompress before the main conference starts on Sunday night. From here on this blog will feature the key themes in the HR track at the conference. (And my personal blog may get a post on life in Aix-en-Provence.)