The Harbert College of Business is committed to supporting faculty through professional development and training programs that maximize their performance and productivity.
On February 28-29, 100 management professors and doctoral students representing 24 universities throughout the South had the opportunity to develop research and professional skills at the ninth Mid-South Management Research Consortium (MMRC), held at the Harbert College of Business for the first time.
“We had sessions about building empirical research skills, operating in the job market, and building your brand within the academy,” said Garry Adams, Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the Harbert College, who helped organize the event. “A primary focus of the conference sessions dealt with networking with scholars will developing research methods and theoretical skills.”
To sum: the consortium is designed to encompass many challenges management professors, or professor hopefuls, will face in a career.
“And it starts with doctoral students,” Adams, past president of the Southern Management Association, added. “Teaching them how to be good professionals and faculty members starting as doctoral students, and then when they transition into the faculty ranks and find jobs, it’s how they continue on with those same processes when they train their own doctoral students.”
The event featured numerous breakout sessions, including roundtables regarding organizational justice, gender and corporate governance, building research pipelines, merger and acquisition research, and navigating data collection issues.
A number of Harbert College management faculty members and doctoral students participated in the sessions, including Assistant Professor in Management Jeremy Mackey (meta analytic research), management doctoral student Ying Schwarte and Assistant Professor in Management Yue Song (Entrepreneurial Passion: Unpacking Key Dimensions and Integrating Research Findings), Assistant Professor in Management Miles Zachary (Topic/Content Analysis), Lowder Eminent Scholar Franz Lohrke (research presentation), Associate Professor in Management LaKami Baker (research presentation), Assistant Professor in Management Michelle Zorn (research presentation), Professor and Luck Eminent Scholar Brian Connelly (multiple sessions) and Harbert Eminent Scholar Dave Ketchen (“If I Knew Then What I Know Now” roundtable discussion).
“I truly feel a tremendous sense of pride for our department and college from this weekend,” said Zorn, Assistant Professor in Management. “Not only did we have an amazing venue that everyone was wowed by, but we had awesome session contributions from our organizer Garry, our eminent scholars (Dave Ketchen, Brian Connelly, and Franz Lohrke), nearly all our associates and assistants, and our doctoral students. I have been to multiple MMRCs before and this by far had the best academic content and sessions.”
Adams praised the “awesome attendance from our faculty and doctoral students.”
“You can’t put on a conference like this without strong internal support,” he said. “Our faculty did excellent jobs of doing presentations that linked back to their areas of expertise. Our doctoral students did a lot of research presentations and helped coordinate and organize things as we went, so it definitely was a group effort.
“I was impressed by the passion people brought to the conference and to the presentations. Just listening to the tone of the conversations, the passion people brought about various topics – that was really interesting and important to me. I think that this is one of those things where we’re trying to build the networks of scholars and I think that starts with conferences like this where people interact, exchange ideas, learn to interact, work with others and sometimes develop relationships that will last them throughout their academic careers.”
The consortium began nine years ago in Memphis as an idea to share best research practices and aid in the development of doctoral students. This year’s conference was the largest yet, Adams said.
“I think we did a top-level job,” he said. “I think we get an A-plus on the way the conference was viewed from both an attendee perspective for both the content of the conference, but also the location as well.”
Michael Wesson, Chair of the Harbert College Department of Management, agrees.
“I thought Mid-South Management Consortium really went off well and was able to show Auburn and Harbert College in a positive light -- in addition to providing an outstanding opportunity for regional faculty and doctoral students to engage around research,” he said. “Everyone I talked to had nothing but good things to say about how everything went.”