Joon SohnMS/Ph.D. '16

ILR International Travel Grant

Greece

Joon Sohn

With the support from the ILR International Travel Grant, I had the opportunity to present one of my working papers (co-authored with Professor Pamela Tolbert, ILR OB) at the 31st European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium (July 2nd-5th, 2015). EGOS, representing organization scholars from 53 countries, provides an international forum for identifying critical issues in organizational theory and practice. The general theme of this year’s colloquium was to further understand how organizations make sense of uncertain situations where the past heuristic becomes unreliable for present problems. This is an important question not only for scholars, but also for practitioners considering the impact of the recent financial crisis or the economic crisis in Greece on organizations. 

Conference participants were mostly eager to resolve complex problems in modern organizations and to extend our knowledge boundaries of organizations. In this conference, along with other cutting-edge research, I introduced my work with Professor Tolbert, which aims to understand how organizational actors’ self-interests and power shape responses to institutional pressure using a national sample of British firms. The conference participants, mostly leading scholars in the field, had carefully reviewed our work in advance and discussed future directions for further development. In this sense, EGOS offered diverse perspectives that were vital for dealing with the developmental challenges I encountered. Moreover, EGOS provided a great opportunity to build global networking capabilities for young scholars by offering various networking events. These events allowed me to effectively engage in scholarly conversations with other junior scholars from different backgrounds, and meeting peers who shared similar research interests has stimulated me to broaden my research interests. Overall, the EGOS conference provided a great opportunity to experience the global research community.

The ILR School has always been at the frontier of resolving current organizational problems through teaching, research, and outreach. I hope more undergraduate and graduate students will benefit from the International Travel Grants to broaden their perspectives as well as to spread our legacy globally.