Digital transformation and ever-increasing competition have lead the globalizing world to the situation where one needs to be ready to face daily surprises in society, the surrounding environment and the smallest of organizations alike. Each surprise, for example, the implementation of a new invention, automatically initializes a chain of obstacles and challenges but also always opens new opportunities for learning and development. Surprises and unexpected turns of events have become a daily routine for entrepreneurs and organizations, and one needs to be prepared for it in the smartest way possible.
“The more the environment under your management changes, the simpler the management needs to become,” professor Arno Almann, the rector of Estonian Business School, which is the Estonian partner in the organization of the colloquium, comments on the importance of the colloquium theme. EGOS is the largest research conference ever held in Estonia and the entire Eastern Europe so far, and the budget for its organization reaches a million euros. “The fact that the EGOS board selected Estonia and EBS as the venue for it’s annual colloquium is a great sign of acknowledgement for our researchers.”
“Expansion to eastern Europe will also foster further development of EGOS’s scholarly endeavor as local organizations differ from the countries of “Old Europe” due to their value culture and are better adjusted to changes and surprises,” added Kätlin Pulk, head of the Department of Management at EBS and the chair of the conference. “Surprises form an important part of the organization’s development: the ability to surprise, the experience of being surprised and the ability to adequately handle unexpected and surprising situations play a major role, especially when the organization faces massive changes.”
The conference keynote speaker is Tor Hernes, professor of organization theory and director of the Center for Organizational Time in Copenhagen Business School, who specializes in researching time, temporality and their significance in organizations. One of the most exciting of Hernes’s projects is, for example, the biodegradable beer bottle: the researcher studied the possibility of taking it into use in the research laboratory of Carlsberg brewing company.
Another fascinating speaker is Mark de Rond, professor at Cambridge University, who researches the functioning of organizations in extreme circumstances. For example, de Rond carried out a study into ethnography, spending six weeks as an observer in a military hospital in Afghanistan. The translation of Rond’s book There is an I in Team into Estonian was published in 2013. During the conference in Tallinn, he will be chairing a plenary on the development of institutions in difficult times and circumstances.
The Tallinn event will also feature presentations by numerous other prominent researchers, including William Ocasio, Ann Langley, Renate Meyer, Nelson Phillips, Paul Adler, David Ravasi.
Complemented by pre-colloquium parallel discussions and panels, more than sixty topics related to organization theory will be discussed during the three days of the 34th EGOS (European Group for Organizational Studies) Colloquium, which takes place in Estonia for the first time in history and will be held in the facilities of Estonian Business School and Tallinn University. EGOS will bring the most prominent researchers working in the domain of organization and society to Tallinn: among the 2,000 participants there are faculty members from world-class universities and research institutions, for instance, Harvard University and Copenhagen Business School, and also such major publishing houses and publishers of scientific journals as SAGE, Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press. While just a handful of researchers usually represent Estonia at the annual EGOS colloquium, this year the conference venue is in Tallinn, which provides more local organization researchers with an opportunity to participate.
EGOS is the largest international network of scientists with the headquarters of its umbrella organization located in Berlin and its annual meeting in the form of a colloquium taking place in Tallinn this year. The following annual meetings will be held in Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Hamburg. Estonian Business School (EBS), the Estonian host and partner in the organization of the EGOS colloquium, is Estonia’s oldest privately-owned university, whose researchers are distinguished members of the EGOS international network. The university has a total of 1500 students in Bachelor, Master’s and Doctoral programs, who can go to one of 60 partner universities around the globe to broaden their knowledge.