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Professor Karan Sonpar and Professor Federica Pazzaglia win ‘Best Overall Paper Award’ at the Academy of Management 2020 Conference

  • Date: Wed, Sep 16, 2020

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Professor Karan Sonpar and Professor Federica Pazzaglia, along with their co-author Hardik Agarwal (IIT Delhi), have won the ‘Best Overall Paper Award’ at the Academy of Management 2020 Conference from the Careers Division.

Their paper, “Identity Work of Persistent Liminars following Voluntary Career Change," was awarded the honour as the publication exhibited the best overall rigor and likely contribution to careers theory, research, and/or practice out of 149 submissions.

“The focus of our article on how individuals’ identity is shaped by their work will resonate with individuals who have undertaken career transitions” said Professor Karan Sonpar. “It was personally interesting to explore the ways in which who we are as individuals at a given point in time is shaped by the identities of the workplaces where we have been before.”

“This award is a testament to the enthusiasm of the community of faculty and students in the College of Business at UCD to do cutting-edge research that has an impact.”

—Professor Karan Sonpar and Professor Federica Pazzaglia

The Academy of Management is the leading international professional association for academics and industry leaders interested in management and organizations and the annual Academy of Management Conference is the pre-eminent international conference in the area of general management. It publishes several prestigious academic journals, organizes conferences, and provides numerous forums to share and disseminate novel research insights, ideas and best practices.

The Careers Division of the Academy of Management supports research, teaching, and practice focused on people's succession of work experiences and the link between careers and other aspects of life. It focuses on burning topics such as individuals’ career development, career planning and management strategies, career outcomes (success, plateauing, derailment), workforce diversity, internal labour market structures and functions, and effects of demographic and social changes on work among others. A key emphasis of the work done by the division is on generating knowledge that informs how individuals and organizations navigate the career challenges and opportunities posed by the evolving nature and structure of work.

“In addition to the goal of developing well-rounded citizens who contribute to the world, business education also plays an important role in enabling career progress and career development,” said Professor Federica Pazzaglia, Head of the Management Subject Area at UCD College of Business. “Students are increasingly faced with discontinuous career choices that see them transitioning to new roles, new organizations and new industries.”

“The insights of our work highlight the personal implications of these transitions, help increase students’ readiness for and adaptability to them and their ability to thrive in their new workplace. Studying occupations and careers will therefore allow us to develop practical insights to enable students to flourish in their current and/or post university careers,” continued Professor Pazzaglia.

This research questions the dominant view of modern careers as ‘boundaryless’ and offering plenty opportunities for individuals to seamlessly transition to new roles, organizations and industries. Their work highlights the challenges that individuals can face as they seek to adjust to the norms and practices of new industries and careers and the value they derive from remaining connected to workplaces and roles they had held in the past.

“While much attention is paid by academics and practitioners to what drives organizational success, less attention is paid to the way individuals and professionals in particular cope with career changes. This paper also offers important insights into some of the tactics these individuals can adopt to enhance their adjustment, personal well-being and professional growth as they undertake voluntary career transitions,” said Professor Sonpar.


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