Newark Liberty Airport (NY), Aug 29th, 15.24: The beginning of a new adventure! Crossing the Holland tunnel, and on my way to the East Village. This area of Manhattan is close to New York University (NYU). I will stay here for the weekend, to check out the neighborhood and to find my way to the University, where I will be working the coming 5 months.
Through Airbnb I booked a room with Pamela and her little dog Punky. Upon arrival, P&P were just arriving from a walk at the park. Pamela’s apartment is on the 5th floor and unfortunately, like many New York buildings, the building did not have an elevator! At home I was already worried how to manage with all of my luggage. About how to fit in two suitcases everything I would need during 5 months (with temperatures ranging from +35 to -20 C) and how I to carry them along. In Amsterdam, my sister Suzanne joined me to the airport (Dimi and Tamara also came to Schiphol to say goodbye), and so, I didn’t have to deal with it all by myself. Yet upon arrival with my violin, laptop and the two suitcases, I would be on my own. Luckily Pamela was so kind to help me!
After a quick shower and a tour around Pamela’s lovely apartment, I set out to explore the East Village and neighboring Greenwich Village. I went South, along A Avenue, crossing Tompkins Square Park to 6th Street (on the way throwing a tennis ball to a young boy playing with his father), and from there heading West, Washington Square to arrive at NYU. Then, after a stroll along the many restaurants in the neighborhood, I entered a small Japanese restaurant and ordered a nice glass of wine and udon soup (and thinking back to my stay in Kyoto the week before). – End of day 1
Day 2. Still jet lagged, and so my morning started early. While drinking tea with Pamela, I was making plans for the day: The High Line (http://www.thehighline.org; an old NY railroad which has been transformed into a beautiful and relaxing park above the city), Central Park, Moma and Times Square. While leaving the apartment, Eleonora sent me a message, asking about my dinner plans. In 2009, we spent the summer together in Copenhagen, both attending the international summer program of Copenhagen Business School. She recently moved to New York and will be working at the New York branch office of her company the coming years. Changing my plans, my sightseeing reversed: still first the High Line, then Times Square, Moma and Central Park (see pictures below). At 6pm I was meeting Eleonora at the Apple store near 5th/59th, after which we had a great evening at a Ukrainian restaurant in Soho (really tasty dumplings and desert, the homemade vodka when leaving was less tasty).
Day 3. Morning started skyping with my parents. They are in Sweden now, renovating their house. I visited them last June and in the meantime they really transformed the house! After packing my stuff and saying goodbye to Pamela and Punky, my trip continued to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There, I’m staying with Pablo and Josefina in the Jewish quarter, close to the Williamsburg bridge. They are both artists from Chili and work in New York (check http://pablojansana.com and http://www.josefinafrederick.com).Upon arrival, Pablo helped me with my luggage, and we took the classic old-style NY freight elevator, quite an experience! After unpacking my stuff, I spent the afternoon working on my research. (The 4 days between Japan and New York proved not to be enough to finish everything while also packing and preparing my apartment for sublet.) When Pablo, Josefina and their friend Catalina arrived in the evening, and buying groceries, we spent the dinner together, as a small – but really nice – Welcome party for me.
The following days, I mostly worked on finishing my paper revision. It’s the first paper of my dissertation research and past months I’ve been working really hard to revise it for a journal. Hopefully, the reviewers are content with the improved paper and we can take it to the next stage. Only it will take about three months before I know. So, fingers crossed! As a present to myself I bought a nice bottle of Californian wine – which according to my Chilean housemates was scandalous ( of course I should have bought the much better South American wine 😉 )
Day 7 – NYU routines and procedures versus faculty introduction and drinks. Today, I’m on a mission; registering within the SEVIS system (for international researchers in the US), and arranging my NYU ID card and account. Hopefully, there will be some time left to meet with Natalia in the afternoon.
The morning started with figuring out how to go to NYU by metro from Williamsburg. Taking Division Avenue I walked to the metro station on Marcy Avenue. Then, taking the M-line across Williamsburg bridge to Broadway-Lafayette station. A short walk later I arrived at Washington Square, where NYU and Stern School of Business (http://www.stern.nyu.edu) is located. I quickly found the Office of Global Services, where I registered my arrival and got a brief introduction for J-1 Faculty and Research Scholars. Afterwards, I headed off to the Stern Doctoral Office, to apply for my NYU ID card and Stern account. After going back-and-forth between the NYU card office and the Doctoral Office, the only thing left was to visit the IOMS (Information & Operations Management Sciences; see ) department. The secretary warmly welcomed me, and showed me my office for the coming 5 months. They told me I just arrived at the right moment, since that afternoon there would be a faculty introduction of the information systems group. So, after a late lunch in Washington Square Park and meeting with Natalia (my host researcher at Stern; see http://people.stern.nyu.edu/nlevina/), we went to the faculty meeting (Natalia was one of the presenters). Eight researchers of the information systems group gave a pitch about their research. The ‘obnoxious’ alarm after 4-minutes brutally interrupted the speakers, yet also made it exciting for them to quickly raise interest for their research, and to invite us for further discussion afterwards at their posters (while enjoying some drinks and snacks). The faculty introduction was a nice way to get an overview of the research conducted. I discovered that my research not only closely relates to that of Natalia, but also to the work of her colleague Hila who just finished her PhD at Harvard (see http://tinyurl.com/kyxx2d6). After the meeting, we continued (more informal) discussions at a local pub. I found out two department members have their own band – to be musically continued?
Next blog: Williamsburg, Auditioning for the Greenwich Village Orchestra and Worklife@NYU
All Bernhard Fellows on stage during the Young Talent Awards in the DeLaMar Theatre (I’m on the right with the yellow scarf). Foto: Raymond van der Bas
Last Thursday the Cultuurfonds Young Talent Awards were handed out during a festive ceremony in the DeLaMar Theater in Amsterdam. Every year the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds provides € 1,5 million for scholarships for excellent students from the Netherlands that are going abroad for research or study. This year, 151 scholarships have been awarded, of which I’ve had the honor of receiving one! The Cultuurfonds scholarships are aimed to invest in young and special talent, to recruit new talent within within arts, nature and science. The scholarships are given to young and motivated students that have proven to have multiple talents, and are specialized in diverse disciplines.
It’s a great honor for me to have received a Cultuurfonds scholarship. And I was very happy to celebrate this with my friends Rosa and Trineke and my colleague Julie. This scholarship allows me to go to New York for five months to work as a visiting scholar at Stern School of Business, New York University. I will work closely together with Natalia Levina, an internationally renowned scholar in my area of research, as well as other Stern colleagues. Natalia’s work has been leading in developing my dissertation research. During my time in New York, I will analyze a complex longitudinal dataset, which requires the necessary effort and creativity. In view of our shared research interests and Natalia’s expertise (in areas of qualitative data analysis, cross-boundary collaboration, and how professionals cope with differences for innovation purposes), I believe this experience will help me in further developing my analytical skills, and translating research findings to innovative theoretical and practical insights and applications.
This week I participated in the EGOS annual colloquium, as well as the PhD workshop preceding it. This year, Rotterdam School of Management organized and hosted EGOS (European Group of Organization Studies).
Pre-colloquium PhD workshop
The PhD workshop was organized by Markus A. Höllerer (University of New South Wales), Ola Bergsröm (University of Gothenburg), and Magdalena Cholakova (Erasmus University Rotterdam). During this two-day event, we reflected upon the practices of academic reviewing and publishing (with Frank den Hond and Gerry George), as well as how we can make our research more interesting (with Mats Alvesson). We further discussed the different career opportunities and paths after the PhD (a.o. with Pursey Heugens, and a panel of junior and senior researchers).
I had the opportunity to discuss my dissertation research with a groups of fellow PhDs and Georg Raab from Tilburg university. The feedback really helped me in developing some ideas to further develop the last study of my dissertation, which I’ll be working on during my time in New York. Moreover, Georg invited me to visit his department after my return from NY to present my research! 🙂 The two days of sessions were quite intensive but also very inspiring and I learned many things. We had a nice group of international PhD students together, and after the dinner at the end of the second day, we went to the city centre for some drinks.
Unsettling boundaries: Practices of inter-organizational collaboration
On Thursday, my alarm went off rather early, since it would be a busy day. It was my first night at the Rotterdam Student Hotel. This is where I stayed the rest of the week, to attend the official part of the EGOS conference. After a double espresso and nice breakfast, I made the last preparations for the day. I Reviewed the last paper for which I was a discussant and went through my presentation one more time. Then it was up to RSM. I was the first presenter in the sub-stream on unsettling boundaries in practices of inter-organizational collaboration, organized by Kristina Lauche (Radboud University Nijmegen), Hans Berends (VU University Amsterdam), and Paul Carlile (Boston University).
Again we had a really nice group of researchers together. Many familiar faces… research colleagues I had met in previous conferences and summer schools. I was quite nervous from my presentation since the work of some of the people present had been a big inspiration in my research, and I didn’t know how they would respond to my presentation. After kicking off, luckily my nerves soon tempered and the presentation went well. In the discussion that followed I received some good points for further developing the paper and many enthusiastic responses!
In the different sessions we elaborated upon the different facets of inter-organizational collaboration, exploring cross-boundary practices of how and why collaboration is initiated, maintained, negotiated, and transformed. We discussed different perspectives on inter organizational collaboration, it’s emergence and decline, the role of time and space, as well as knowledge and boundaries. Next to various methodological approaches, the many interesting presentations also shed light on the various sectors where inter organizational collaboration (e.g. healthcare, emergency response, MNCs, international development, science-industry) is a well-known phenomenon.
I really enjoyed the week in Rotterdam, and hopefully we will all come back together in two years to continue our joint sense making on this important subject matter!
On Tuesday, June 17th, a cross-cultural management seminar, jointly organized by the Organization Sciences department and DUJAT (Dutch-Japanese Trade Federation), was held at the VU.
The seminar entered around decision-making procedures in Japanese companies. After the opening by Professor Peter Groenewegen and Geert Jan Mantel, Chairman of DUJAT, Wilfried Claus (program director for Innovation of HRM Strategy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)introduced the theme of the seminar by discussing his experiences working in various cross-cultural contexts (ASML, Teijin, Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
The first speaker, Mark Okamoto shared his experiences as CEO of Furukawa Rock Drill Europe B.V. he elaborated on the Japanese decision-making procedures of hanko, ringi and nemawashi,. He concluded that the key to a good cross-cultural collaboration is respecting each other’s cultures and accepting the differences as they are.
Next, Julie Ferguson (Assistant Professor, dept. of organizational sciences, VU) talked about the role of knowledge and social networks in decision-making processes. By taking a look at a social networking perspective, Julie explained that knowledge is mostly shared through core persons in an organization. These do not necessarily have to be managers, but can be members of all organizational levels. Therefore, it is important to zoom in at the micro-level of practices.
Greetje Corporaal (PhD candidate, dept. of organizational sciences, VU ) talked about how people deal with differences in reporting and decision-making processes that take place in geographically dispersed and cross-cultural settings. She elaborated upon the boundaries that emerge in everyday collaborative work, and emphasized that differences cannot always be pre-ascribed to culture. By zooming in on the everyday processes and practices, we can better understand the origins of decision-making impediments and improve common understanding across cultures and contexts.
The last speaker, Willem Visser ‘t Hooft (Attorney at law, Japan Business Services), discussed the legal and cultural differences between Japanese and Dutch companies, and the problems and challenges that they create. He also elaborated on his personal experiences, working as a lawyer in Dutch-Japanese settings for 14 years.
Radboud Molijn (Managing Director DUJAT), and moderator Wilfried Claus led the interactive discussion at the end of the seminar, which were followed with networking drinks.