Archive for the ‘teppo’ Category
There’s a certain resistance to dichotomizing: the truth is somewhere in between, it’s more nuanced, processual, interactional etc — both “x” and “y” need to be considered — so we’ll call it “z” (say, “structuration”). But, as I’m preparing for an entrepreneurship-related PhD class tomorrow, most of the papers we read indeed tend to set up a dichotomous relationship between two things. Despite problems with these types of contrasts (it’s usually pretty easy to see where the argument is going), I still find the exercise of extremes very valuable. Theories, after all, idealize and need to focus on something (usually in reaction to its opposite, sorta).
So, here are some of the entrepreneurship-related dichotomies that popped up:
- structure versus agency
- macro versus micro
- exogenous versus endogenous
- observation versus theory
- experience versus thought
- supply versus demand
- backward- versus forward-looking
- discovery versus creation
- something versus nothing
- actual versus possible
(The truth can be found on the right-hand side.)
Many of the above dichotomies — in one way or another — hearken to classic debates in philosophy: rationalism versus empiricism, realism versus constructionism, etc. I don’t think that organizational scholars will solve any of these classic problems, though obviously there are comparative opportunities vis-a-vis the things that we study: collective action, social process and interaction, value creation and so forth.
Below the fold you’ll find some of the (somewhat eclectic) readings that somehow relate to the above dichotomies of entrepreneurship: Read the rest of this entry »
Your co-authors are probably just as busy as you are. So how do you get co-authors to focus on your joint project? There’s no manual on this. It’s probably highly idiosyncratic: depends on the unique working relationship that you have with your co-author.
But what might be generic strategies for “motivating” co-authors? (This presumes that you yourself are motivated.) Here are some quick strategies that come to mind:
- Corner your co-author. Erdos famously showed up at co-authors door steps (even at 2am) — incidentally he had LOTS of co-authors (511!) — and exclaimed “my mind is open.” Try something like that. More generally, physical proximity (despite the advantages of technology) tends to focus attention — so taking time to work on projects at conferences etc can pay off.
- Pester your co-author. In the digital era one can usually find co-authors lurking somewhere online. Skype, Facebook and other social media are good “control” devices.
- Bag the project. If your co-author doesn’t seem willing to work on the project, maybe the project is lame. Bag it — and work on something more interesting.
- Pretend your co-author doesn’t exist. Take charge and just work on the project yourself, as if you’re the sole author. The risk of course is that your co-author doesn’t agree with your arguments/work, but that might be a risk worth taking. More likely, your co-author will appreciate your work and it will push the project forwards.
- Pre-commit to intermediate deadlines. Pre-commit yourself to intermediate deadlines and do the same with your co-authors (I’ll finish “x” by next Wed). Co-authorship itself is sort of like a commitment device (well, among other things), it can keep us focused.
- Pick good co-authors in the first place. Probably the easiest way to manage co-author relationships is to have good ones in the first place. “Good” might have a lot to do with compatibility of work styles, similarity of perspectives, etc.
Drop any additional ideas into the comments.
For better or worse, this thing we call orgtheory.net has been around for almost five years. So, since that mega-anniversary is coming up in two days, we want to hear what you think about the blog.
Click the link above and answer those two questions. We’ll reveal the answers in two days. Whether you hate or love the blog, let us know what you think!
Richard Swedberg and Wendelin Reich have written an engaging Theory, Culture & Society piece capturing Georg Simmel’s many aphorisms. For Simmel fans, definitely worth reading.
This article contains an analysis of Georg Simmel’s aphorisms and an appendix with a number of these in translation. An account is given of the production, publication and reception of the around 300 aphorisms that Simmel produced. His close relationship to Gertrud Kantorowicz is discussed, since she was given the legal right to many of Simmel’s aphorisms when he died and also assigned the task of publishing them by Simmel. The main themes in Simmel’s aphorisms are presented: love, Man, philosophy, Lebensphilosophie and art. Two of Simmel’s aphorisms are also given an extended analysis. It is suggested that the skill of writing a good aphorism, both when it comes to style and content, has much to do with what we call the art of compression. It is also suggested that what ultimately attracted Simmel to the form of aphorism was its capacity to hint at something that is richer than the reality we are currently experiencing.
aphorisms ■ Gertrud Kantorowicz ■ Lebensphilosophie ■ Georg Simmel ■ sociology
If you read/speak German, then you can find a wealth of free, classic (and more obscure) sociology-related books online. Here’s a sample of books that you can download for free from google ebooks:
Gustav Ratzenhofer, 1907. Soziologie. (OK, I hadn’t heard of him either. Omar has. It appears Ratzenhofer was an Austrian General and Sociologist. Hey, it’s a free book, people.)
Georg Simmel, 1892. Die Probleme der Geschichtsphilosophie, (Genau.)
Georg Simmel, 1906. Kant. (Simmel’s lectures from the University of Berlin.)
Georg Simmel, 1908. Soziologie: Untersuchungen ueber die Formen der Vergellschaftung. (Classic.)
Ferdinand Tönnies, 1887. Gemeinshaft und Gesellschaft.
Max Weber. 1921. Gesammelte Politische Schriften.