Becoming an Organizational Scholar


Becoming an Organizational Scholar

Navigating the Academic Odyssey

9781803927510 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Tomislav Hernaus, Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, Croatia and Matej Černe, Associate Professor, School of Business and Economics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Publication Date: 2022 ISBN: 978 1 80392 751 0 Extent: 288 pp
Becoming an Organizational Scholar: Navigating the Academic Odyssey covers reflective, personal stories of prolific, top scholars under the age of 45, with academic success gained across 17 different European and North and South American countries at 31 higher education institutions. The editors present the idea of a unique or authentic scholar, presenting an overview of academic success factors and common career development obstacles while offering possible coping mechanisms.  

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Becoming an Organizational Scholar covers reflective, personal stories of prolific, top scholars under the age of 45, with academic success gained across 17 different European and North and South American countries at 31 higher education institutions. The editors present the idea of a unique or authentic scholar, successfully ‘navigating the academic odyssey’.

Reflecting upon their career journeys through introspection and narrative chapters, the contributors clarify the definition and description of academia, its activities, roles and different aspects related to academic work. They express their opinions on academic success factors and common career development obstacles while offering possible coping mechanisms on how to address them.

Though the content is primarily targeted for the rising cohort of doctoral candidates and early career researchers, this publication also targets the institutional gatekeepers, the universities and business schools worldwide, as well as professional associations in the field of organization and management.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book offers personal stories of rabbits beating wolves, jumping off mountains into the unknown sharing advice and guidance to help grow one’s career. It’s incredibly useful; not least a copy would have helped dodge many trainwrecks learning the ropes. Have a read.’
– Giles Hirst, Australian National University

‘The editors were too modest in targeting this inspirational global collection of fascinating individual stories primarily for the rising cohort of doctoral candidates and early-career researchers.
Schools’ leaders worldwide should encourage all their faculty members to read the book, reflect and jointly reinvent their respective institutions as exciting and synergetic archipelagos of the faculty individual Ithacas.’
– Milenko Gudic, Founding and Managing Director of IMTA, Slovenia

‘The novelty of this volume is exceptional. To have had such a resource at the start of my academic career would have helped me immensely to navigate many of the unexpected twists and turns along the way. The collection of insights from contributors globally, explaining their very personal experiences, makes the text both highly relatable and relevant!’
– Elaine Farndale, The Pennsylvania State University, US

‘Working in academia is a wonderful privilege but it can also be a hugely uncertain and at times intimidating world to join and find one''s place in. Becoming an Organizational Scholar: Navigating the Academic Odyssey provides a host of rich and very personal lessons from a diverse and inspiring group of international scholars based on their lived experiences of that world. The narrative style makes for a compelling read and it is the book I wish I had when I started on my journey. I highly recommend it.’
– David Collings, Dublin City University, Ireland

‘Science is a sweet fruit that tastes very bitter at the beginning. This book gives a great and extremely valuable orientation that sweetens especially the beginning of an academic career. A must read for anyone who is starting their PhD and plans to establish themselves permanently in science.’
– Christian M. Ringle, Hamburg University of Technology, Germany and University of Waikato, New Zealand

‘The academic career is fulfilling, but its passage is bumpy, especially in the early years. This unique book offers a roadmap via personal stories of a diverse group of mid-career management scholars who have mastered the journey. The stories are appealing, and offer much to learn. Their collection is compelling, making the book an essential resource for early-career organization scientists, program administrators, and academic consultants.’
– Fariborz Damanpour, Rutgers University, US

‘This book provides a timely and wide-ranging series of international case studies of routes to becoming an academic, transitions from graduate student to academic status, balancing on the four-legged stool of academic practice (research, teaching, service and entrepreneurship), and developing an academic career. It is a lively and informative read for junior researchers planning for or in the early stages of academic careers.’
– Stan Taylor, Durham University, UK

‘Odyssey is certainly the right word for the very challenging and personalized career journeys of organizational scholars, striving to move the field forward with scholarship that matters while ticking the necessary career boxes. This engaging book is not only very informative for the would-be Odysseus, but deeply inspiring.''
– Blake Ashforth, Arizona State University, US

‘This captivating book of personal stories, experiences, and practical advice is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand how to better navigate the often confusing, mysterious, and frustrating ivory towers of academia. In a world where “publish or perish” is the standard by which all academics are often judged, this book offers readers refreshing alternative opportunities and pathways that have the potential to lead to successful and meaningful faculty careers.’
– John Sumanth, Wake Forest University, US

‘Who said academics were boring?! I enjoyed reading about the backstage experiences of mid-career scholars from all around the world, as they navigate their (not only academic) lives. There is little self-indulgence in these pages, but also lots of hope and goodwill to be shared with young scholars and PhD students around the world.''
– Jordi F. Trullen, Universitat Ramon Llull – ESADE, Spain

''This book contains a wealth of personal, honest, thought-provoking, and funny reflections. Young talents will find it highly valuable as they embark on their own academic careers.''
– Oliver Baumann, University of Southern Denmark

‘An incredibly rich set of introspections about careers and lives of organizational scholars. Quirky, creative, personal and insightful. A must-read for any aspiring academic.’
– Miha Škerlavaj, University of Ljubljana School of Economics and Business, Slovenia & BI Norwegian Business School, Norway

‘This is an essential read for early career organizational scholars. Academia gives us the opportunity to craft our own career journeys, which makes it important that we think deliberately about how to structure and approach our work lives. This book gives an abundance of insights, ideas, and advice to help us each figure our own version of being an organizational scholar.’
– Justin M. Berg, Stanford University, US

‘Good advice at the early career stages can help new faculty to confidently lay out the stepping stones of successful academic career. This book integrates practical guidelines on the structure, processes and assessment of scientific activity, with recommendations on how to mentally sustain the academic journey, overcome challenges, and balance work with other life domains during the first years.’
– Michal Biron, University of Haifa, Israel

‘Tomislav Hernaus and Matej Černe have edited an insightful and valuable book for those of us starting our academic careers, Becoming an Organizational Scholar: Navigating the Academic Odyssey. The chapters provide an array of useful advice and things to consider as we begin our scholarly journey. I wish I had this sage advice and guidance when I started into academia years ago.’
– Thomas G. Cummings, University of Southern California, US

‘Becoming an Organizational Scholar is a collection of poetic, funny, and deeply personal chapters by a wide variety of rising stars about the many ways to define and achieve success. For graduate students, this volume will demystify the academic career path; for established scholars it will prompt much self-reflection.’
– Catherine E. Connelly, McMaster University, Canada

‘Congratulations to the editors in putting together this interesting and diverse ‘crew’ of organisation scholars and in taking the reader on this wonderful academic odyssey. This book touches on many of the challenges and tensions of contemporary academic life and offers insights into individual navigations of career journeys. As such, it offers helpful advice and suggestions to other scholars starting or continuing their journeys. The book also raises many interesting questions about the scope and nature of contemporary academic work and is important in opening up further conversations about how academia can be done diversely and differently.’
– Sarah Robinson, University of Glasgow, UK

Contributors: M. Černe, E. Galanaki, A. Glavaš, M. Hällgren, S. Harrison, T. Hernaus, J. Mendling, H. Milanov, K. Potočnik, A. Rehn, S. Rispens, J. Story, K. Strauss, A. Van Looy, J. Zikic


1 An academic career – initiating the journey 2
Tomislav Hernaus and Matej Černe
2 Academic work design as a three- or four-legged stool 15
Tomislav Hernaus and Matej Černe

3 Academic career as an Odyssey: allegories from the work
of Homer and personal experiences in modern Greece 31
Eleanna Galanaki
4 Reflections of a traveling academic: the good, the bad…
often not anticipated 42
Hana Milanov
5 How I keep myself motivated: dancing between
consultancy and academia 53
Amy Van Looy

6 Career nomad: from career instinct to action? 67
Jelena Zikic
7 My academic life: a series of fortunate events 79
Matej Černe
8 Future work selves in academia 95
Karoline Strauss

9 Multiple paths for scholarly impact 110
Ante Glavaš
10 Walking the line: in search of academic balance 128
Tomislav Hernaus
11 Dissociative identities in academia: notes on paradox and
multimodal role-play 144
Alf Rehn
12 Cooperation and conflict in academia 158
Sonja Rispens

13 The road taken: my personal Odyssey in academia 173
Kristina Potočnik
14 Tuning up your academic career: one story, many tunes 186
Joana Story
15 Everything is a process, even an academic career 198
Jan Mendling
16 Doing things differently: turning the game of academia
upside down 212
Markus Hällgren
17 What happens when your kids draw your career? 223
Spencer Harrison

18 The day after tomorrow: academic career dilemmas and choices 239
Matej Černe and Tomislav Hernaus

Index 255
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