Strategy-as-Practice (SAP) Community Day 2020

Stefanie Habersang
Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany
Maximilian Heimstädt
Witten/Herdecke University, Germany
Renate Kratochvil
BI Norwegian Business School, Norway
Madalina Pop
Aarhus University, Denmark
Benjamin N. Scher
University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Call for Applications

What is the role of organizing and strategy-making for addressing “grand challenges”, such as accelerating climate change, growing inequality, and salient socioeconomic and political conflicts? How can SAP research help organization scholars to understand and address these challenges?  The Strategy-as-Practice (SAP) Community Day 2020, entitled “Studying Grand Challenges through Practice-based Methods”, is designed as a space for this important conversation to take place. Based on the feedback received in previous years, this SAP Community Day will again consist of interactive sessions and workshops that maximize engagement and dialogue among scholars interested in the process and practice of strategy-making.  Through its focus on grand challenges, the SAP Community Day 2020 also supports the theme of the overall 36th EGOS Colloquium 2020 in Hamburg. It consists of two parts with distinct goals.
Part I (09:00–13:00) aims to make the SAP community more familiar with various forms of data and methods to study grand challenges from a practice perspective. To this end, we will have two sessions.
  • First, we will start the day with brief introductory presentations and a subsequent panel discussion amongst experienced scholars such as Loizos Heracleous, Jane Lê, Mikko Vesa, Matthias Wenzel, Tim Hannigan, and Rodrigo Valadao Alves. These scholars will reflect on their experiences of undertaking data collection and analysis in research that addresses grand challenges. Each of the scholars will introduce a different practice-based method, covering “classic” SAP approaches as well as emerging types of data (i.e., video data, big datasets) and analytical procedures (i.e., interpretive data science, topic modeling, netnography).

  • Second, the panelists will host hands-on roundtable sessions in which participants gain deeper insights into, and enter conversations about specific methods. This session will help us explore different data types and methods, as well as their opportunities and limitations to study strategy-making in the face of grand challenges.

Part II (14:00–17:30) features two rounds of paper development roundtable sessions at which participants get the chance to discuss their research with leading SAP scholars. The roundtables will be hosted by Eric Knight, Jane Lê, Michael Smets, Violetta Splitter, Matthias Wenzel, and Chahrazad Abdallah. As in previous years, we encourage submissions of short research papers to be discussed at the roundtables. Based on feedback from last year’s Community Day, we now also encourage the submission of research designs or empirical material and initial interpretations (e.g., ethnographic vignettes). The afternoon session closes with a short presentation on current and forthcoming special issues related to SAP and a summary of the day.

PART I: “Studying Grand Challenges through Practice-based Methods”

The morning comprises two sessions: (1) a panel discussion on methods including time for Q&A with the audience and (2) hands-on methods roundtables.

  • Session 1 starts with a panel on the topic of “Data and methods in SAP to tackle grand challenges”, including several experienced scholars focusing on different methodological approaches in SAP.

  • Session 2 is dedicated toward furthering in-depth discussions between panelists and participants. There will be two rounds of roundtable discussions (45 minutes each), so that participants can join two out of five roundtable options.

Session 1: “Data and methods in SAP to tackle grand challenges – Aim and content
In this session, different scholars will present their methodological approach to study grand challenges through a SAP lens. We bring together researchers from across the EGOS community who have conducted pioneering work on practice-based methods. They will speak about their methodological approach as well as the opportunities and challenges they see for studying grand challenges from a SAP perspective. In the subsequent discussion with the audience, we will explore ways in which these phenomena and methods can be related to SAP research.


  • Loizos Heracleous (Warwick Business School, UK): “Discourse Analysis”

  • Eric Knight (University of Sydney Business School, Australia): “Multi-Modal Data Analysis in Case Ethnographies”

  • Matthias Wenzel (Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany): “Video Data and Video Analysis”

  • Mikko Vesa (Hanken School of Economics, Finland): “Netnography”

  • Tim Hannigan & Rodrigo Valadao Alves (University of Alberta, Canada): “Interpretive Data Science, Big Data, and Topic Modeling”

Session 2: “Delving into practice-based methods – Aim and content
In this session, we offer the participants the opportunity to directly discuss their questions related to methodology, data sources, and data analysis with the expert panelists. In two consecutive roundtable sessions of 45 minutes each, participants will have the opportunity to join two out of five roundtables. Our panelists from the first part of the session will also lead the roundtable discussions on the following topics: (1) Ethnography and Case Study Research, (2) Discourse Analysis, (3) Video Data and Video Analysis, (4) Netnography, and (5) Interpretive Data Science, Big Data, and Topic Modeling. With these hands-on methods roundtables, the SAP Community Day adapts the extremely popular “Data Analysis Bootcamp” PDW that has been conducted at the AoM Annual Meeting several times over the last years. Through these roundtables, the SAP community underlines its role at EGOS as a catalyst for advancing interpretive methodologies for organization and management research.

Time schedule – PART I

  • 10:00–10:15: Opening & overview by the convenors of the SAP Community Day 2020

  • 10:15–11:15: Session 1: “Data and methods in SAP to tackle grand challenges” [expert input & panel discussion]

  • 11:15–11:30: Coffee break

  • 11:30–12:45: Session 2: “Delving into practice-based methods” [roundtables]

  • 12:45–13:00: Conclusions by the convenors of the SAP Community Day 2020

  • 13:00–14:00: Lunch

PART II: “’Paper Development Roundtables”

The afternoon will comprise two paper development roundtable sessions, followed by a presentation of SAP-related special issues.

The paper development roundtable sessions aim to provide participants with feedback to improve their research papers, research designs, or empirical analyses. For this purpose, we set up roundtables that will be chaired by leading SAP scholars. The participants will briefly present their papers and then elaborate their current issues, i.e., what is preventing them from completing the piece of work. This presentation should include a short overview of how they want or have applied the theoretical perspectives to their case and the potential theoretical contribution.
The chair of a roundtable will then offer feedback and invite discussions among roundtable participants. After a coffee break, the afternoon will continue with the second round in the same fashion. The organizers will allocate participants based on perceived fit with the roundtable chairs.
The afternoon closes with presentations from editors on upcoming special issues relevant for the SAP community. Where applicable, the editors will highlight links to the overall theme of the Community Day.


  • Fleur Deken (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Jane Lê (WHU, Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany)

  • Michael Smets (University of Oxford, UK)

  • Violetta Splitter (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

  • Basak Yakis-Douglas (King’s Business School, UK)

  • Matthias Wenzel (Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)

Time schedule – PART II

  • 14:00–14:15: Opening & outlook by the convenors of the SAP Community Day 2020
  • 14:15–15:15: Roundables – Session 1
  • 15:15–15:45: Coffee break
  • 15:45–17:00: Roundables – Session 2
  • 17:00–17:30: Upcoming special issues relevant for the SAP community
  • 17:30: Conclusion & Good-bye


The afternoon session will informally continue with a reception. This will foster networking activities and nurture SAP’s community spirit. – The SAP Community Day 2020 is supported by the generous sponsorship of University of Zurich, BI Norwegian Business School and BSS Aarhus University.


Please submit – via the EGOS website – by May 15, 2020 a single pdf file document that contains the following information:

  1. Name, affiliation, and area(s) of research
  2. Which part(s) of the Strategy-as-Practice Community Day would you like to attend? You can attend only one or both parts!
  • Part I: Please indicate in the application your interest why you want to attend this part.

  • Part II: Please include to your application an abstract of up to 500 words without references (= one file!). We welcome all types of submissions, including but not limited to conceptual, quantitative, and qualitative papers, at any development stage; fully developed research designs that can benefit from feedback; and findings from field data, such as ethnographic vignettes. There is no need to submit full papers.

Stefanie Habersang is a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Management & Organization at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany. Her research focuses on how new technologies especially social media facilitate new ways of working and change organizational work and communication practices. Stefanie is also interested in novel qualitative methodologies such as qualitative meta-analysis.
Maximilian Heimstädt is post-doctoral researcher at Witten/Herdecke University, Germany, and an incoming Senior Researcher at Weizenbaum Institute in Berlin. His research aims to understand the role of openness for organizations – as a principle, practice and resource in digitally-networked environments. He serves as newsletter editor for the Open Strategy Network and is part of the leadership team of the Strategizing Activities & Practices Interest Group at the Academy of Management.
Renate Kratochvil is a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at BI Norwegian Business School. Her research emphasizes strategizing activities such as problem solving, opportunity capturing and heuristic decision-making in complex and uncertain settings. Moreover, Renate is also an active member of the extended officer team of the Strategizing Activities & Practices Interest Group at the Academy of Management.
Madalina Pop is a PhD student and research assistant at Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, Denmark. Her research centers on inter-organizational strategizing for tackling grand challenges. She also serves as PhD representative and coordinator of the Doctoral & Early-Career Program of the Strategizing Activities & Practices Interest Group at the Academy of Management.
Benjamin N. Scher is a RISE Lab fellow at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and the Director of the h&z Center for Future Mobility. His research focuses on strategy practices, their evolution and the complex relationship between strategizing and uncertainty. His projects at the Center for Future Mobility evolve around autonomous driving, connected vehicles, and future mobility solutions, which often serve as an empirical context, too.