Visited the Organization Science Winter Conference in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Very nice conference, well worth visiting even from Finland – not too big, perhaps some 60 people, and only a single track, which made for interesting interactions all around. Not to mention that the location was pretty nice as well .
Although the theme of the conference (Formal Organizations Meet Social Networking) was not exactly my speciality, the papers, posters (very good poster sessions BTW) and presentations were quite interesting. A key takeaway for organizational/management/social science researchers out there: Big Data is coming so fast that it’s already “so 2011″ – now the Bleeding Edge is talking about “Broad Data.” If at all possible, aspiring social scientists should grab their nearest friendly physics or informatics graduate and have a nice little chat on how to possibly use these wonderful new opportunities in their own research. It’s not something for everyone, but I do feel that especially those with a quantitative bent in their research should really look into this. And not only those: just think of what you could do with data mining the corpus of Google Books, for example!
Among the presentations, of course, was one of my own about the effects of constraints on the development and adoption of new technologies: See here for the presentation, and below for the working paper.
(The results in brief: constraints are not very good at inspiring companies to develop new technologies, but they can work in pressuring them to adopt existing best practices. The practical takeaway? Don’t expect magical technologies to appear just because there is a demand for them.)