Job Offers

When Is a Job Offer Really a Job Offer in Academia?

 

It may sound like a silly question.  Or maybe it sounds like a question on the final exam of some first-year law student’s Contracts course –often another forum for silliness.  But it’s not so silly when you receive a phone call, email or letter from some departmental, college or university official asking you to move across the country or across the world to take a new job.  And it’s not so silly when you are on the other end of that transaction doing the asking –some might say wooing— to get a would-be colleague to move across the country or world.

 

Offers and acceptances are part of everyday life, so we tend to think that we know them when hear, read one and or write them.  But it might be a little more complicated when it comes to a job-offer, especially when the job is for a senior faculty position with tenure.  And some of the complications have, I think, substantial ethical dimensions.  Even if the job-offer doesn’t include tenure, there are some less-than-obvious process issues worth thinking about so that academics on both sides of the prospective transaction do the right thing.  So let me start the new calendar year with my own take on some ethical issues associated with job-offers in academia:  what they should include; how they should be conveyed; what contingencies might render a “job offer” moot; and how to respond to contingent and non-contingent offers so that you are fair to both your current and prospective future institution.

Continue reading “Job Offers”

The Thought Leader Series: Michael A. Hitt on Ethics in Research

Michael A. Hitt

KEY INSIGHT:  Michael A. Hitt is one of the world’s most respected and prolific management scholars. In this blog, Professor Hitt discusses the ethics of research based on his many years of working in collaborative groups and with PhD students. This blog posting is the first of a series of interviews of thought leaders in our profession, asking them about their views and experience with ethical issues.

 

Professional Life: Attending Professional Meetings

Showing Up

The US comedian and movie director, Woody Allen, once said that 80% of success is showing up.  When it comes to professional meetings, there’s more than a little truth in his claim.  Think about an Academy of Management (AoM) annual meeting.  It would be a rather short and uninteresting event if only a few showed up.  Charles Jamison presided over the second meeting of the AoM in Philadelphia back in 1934.  There were 24 attendees.  Jump ahead to 2000 when Dave Whetten presided over an AoM meeting in Toronto with more than 5500 attendees drawn from a membership exceeding 11,000.  There were thousands of opportunities to hear paper presentations at competitively-selected panel sessions, symposia, caucus meetings, keynote addresses, receptions, and informal gatherings.  I wouldn’t guarantee that every paper or presentation was ready for verbatim publication in one of the AoM journals.  But there were in 2000 and continues to be in 2012 great opportunities to see, hear and learn from a diverse group of scholars and scholarship at AoM meetings.  And it happens in one place over a few days.  Quantity has a quality all its own.  And when you show up, you promote both.

Continue reading “Professional Life: Attending Professional Meetings”

Student recommendations redux– more conversation about this!

Key Insight: My last column on writing letters of recommendation (LOR) for students has generated more ideas, experiences and potential ethical issues! Here, I consider LOR requests from long-graduated students who contact you (sometimes out of the blue); the online recommendation phenomenon, such as with LinkedIn, that utilizes ‘blanket’ or generalized LORs; potential legal issues about what we say in LORs with respect to privacy laws, including what might change for us writers when students can examine our letters before we send them; and finally, an ethical issue raised by different cultural interpretations of what’s OK. Let’s go!

Happy Birthday! Taking Stock of THE ETHICIST’s First Year

KEY INSIGHT:  THE ETHICIST has been running as a blog on AOM Connect for a year now so it makes sense for its creators and bloggers to take stock of what the blog has (and has not) accomplished over the past year, and to think creatively about how to move ahead.  We will hold a Caucus session, “THE ETHICIST: THE INFORMAL ECONOMY AND SCHOLARSHIP, TEACHING AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE ETHICS,” to discuss this issue at the Boston AOM annual meetings in August 2012. Please join us!

Continue reading “Happy Birthday! Taking Stock of THE ETHICIST’s First Year”

Ethical Issues in Professional Life: Outside Appointments

The Producers Problem

One of my favorite movies is The Producers, and here I mean the original version from 1968 directed by Mel Brooks and starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder (not the 2005 re-make starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick).  For those of you unfamiliar with this comedy, here is the basic plot.  A ne’er-do-well Broadway director (Mostel) and his accountant (Wilder) hatch a scheme to make money by producing a play that flops.  The duo will go to backers and raise thousands more than is needed to produce a play.  Of course, they’ll have to sell more than 100% of the profits to raise all of that money, but as long as the show flops –preferably closes on opening night– the backers will expect neither the return of their invested principal nor any profits.  The duo can take the remaining money and head to Rio de Janeiro.  Ah, but if the play is a hit then they’re in big trouble, because they’ve promised much more than 100% of the profits to the backers.[1]  Of course, they end up inadvertently producing a hit musical comedy (improbably titled “Springtime for Hitler”), which lands them in jail for fraud, where they start producing and over-selling yet another musical (more appropriately titled “Prisoners of Love”).  That’s Mel Brooks.

Continue reading “Ethical Issues in Professional Life: Outside Appointments”

Managing University Service Work

Blog No. 2012-01 (January 1, 2012)  

Another Year and Another Hemisphere of Professional Life

Welcome to a new year, new semester and a new posting from The Ethicist.  When writing last October, I promised to explore ethical issues in the very broad sphere of professional life, the part of our work neither falling neatly into research nor teaching.  It’s the sphere of “everything else” that can be divided into hemispheres related to issues arising from membership in professional organizations like the Academy of Management and issues arising from membership in academic or research institutions.  Last October, I wrote about an ethical issue arising from our work in professional organizations.  This time, I thought I would travel to the other hemisphere and discuss an ethical issue more commonly (for me) encountered in academic departments, colleges and universities.  The topic is service and the issue is knowing when to say no.

Continue reading “Managing University Service Work”

Double-Blind Review in the Age of Google and PowerPoint

Blog No. 2011-03 (November 1, 2011)

Key Insight:  Double-blind peer review is one of the academy’s most cherished principles.   Its purpose is to ensure that our scholarly journals make decisions to accept or reject manuscripts based solely on the quality, fit and contribution of the paper. Double-blind review, however, has costs as well as benefits, and may be more fiction than fact in today’s world of Google and PowerPoint.

AOM Videos on “Ethics in Research & Publication”

The Ethics Education Committee of the Academy of Management has developed a series of eight videos of journal editors talking about ethical issues involving research and publication. The videos are posted on AOM’s YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/academyofmanagement.

Please share the videos with individuals you think would be interested in viewing them.  The videos are particularly useful for PhD students and junior faculty who are starting into the research process, but — even for old-timers like me — it was very instructional to watch the videos. Highly recommended! Kudos to Susan Madsen and Jim Davis for heading up this project, and to all the journal editors who participated.

The increase of retractions

Eek, my first post! Not much of a post, more of a share…

I came across this article and thought it was particularly interesting. It attempts to analyse why papers being withdrawn are on the increase, suggesting an increase in the awareness of misconduct rather than an increase in the misconduct itself.

Continue reading “The increase of retractions”