X-Culture is collecting huge amounts of data. We are tracking over 2,000 variables: longitudinal, multi-level, multi-source, multi-method. Just about anything related to international teams and virtual collaboration – we measure it.
We have dozens of papers in development based on the data, but there are definitely many more good publications hidden in our database.
Additionally, I have been collecting datasets as part of the "mega-analysis" study and have now amassed over 100 original datasets related to measurement of culture and cross-cultural team dynamics. This project is now morphing into the WikiDemix.org data sharing platform. It is expected that this crowdsourcing approach will allow us to create a huge depository of data related to various International Business topics and beyond.
The problem is that even though over 480 IB professors have participated in X-Culture and most of them are interested in research, we never have time to talk about research. When we meet at conferences, we run from a presentation to presentation and don’t have time to sit down and talk about new research papers.
Plus, at conferences, we never have time to just sit down and talk. We run from a session to session for several days and come back home, at best, with a bunch of business card and don’t even remember the people who gave us those cards.
As you know, the 2016 AIB-SE conference was on a cruise ship. That experience was different. Quite a few X-Culture professors attended the meeting and we got to know each other much better and we spent much more time talking about research ideas and collaboration. Instead of running from a session to a session, we had breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. We had a day off on Cozumel where we went (together) to see ancient Mayan ruins, crocodile sanctuaries, snorkeling, played golf, attended performances, had lovely discussions about work and life, and more.
In those few days, we had gotten to know each other more than in the previous few years of communicating online and seeing each other at conference sessions. Plus, we brought home lots of interesting research ideas that came from those discussions.
So I would like to organize (and possibly make it a regular event) what I now refer to as “The X-Culture Research Hackathon” (alternative name X-Culture Research Incubator, or X-Culture Paper Development Workshop).
NEW RESEARCH PARADIGM:
Traditionally, the researchers have been working alone or in small co-author teams. They would collect (or buy) they own data, analyze them, and write papers. This model is very limited. A person can have only so many ideas and has only so many hours a day to write papers based on those data.
As a result, most datasets are never fully utilized. Many great discoveries remain undiscovered.
We can do much better by crowdsourcing the discovery process and making paper development open-source.
We already have all the components in place:
All we need to do is to provide a platform for these many researchers to access these data deposits and collaboratively mine them for new discoveries.
THE X-CULTURE HACKATHON IN A NUTSHELL:
Then spend the next few months finishing up the paper in time for the AIB or AOM conference, and then to a journal shortly after.
Just like a regular conference in terms of time and cost, but with a much more publishable outcome and much richer professional connections.
A virtual hackathon is also an option, though I'd like to start with a more personal face-to-face meeting and networking.
The idea is to organize a professional meeting that is similar to a conference in terms of the length and cost, but the output will not be a stack of faceless business cards but with:
To achieve the goal, the program will look something like this:
× Arrival, Welcome Dinner, Introduction to the X-Culture database (and possibly more databases in the future), and overview of the research already in progress
× Homework: Think about possible new paper ideas based on the available data
× Breakfast, socializing, initial informal discussions about possible papers
× Session 1: Initial brainstorming of ideas for papers based on the available data
o What would be a good publishing paper?
o Where could it be published?
o What are the possible problems and how to overcome them?
× Extended lunch and socializing and informal discussion of the research ideas
o e.g., a round of amateur golf together
× Session 2: Discussion, criticism, defense, and selection of the most promising paper ideas and forming co-author teams
o What are the most promising paper ideas from those discussed earlier?
o If I were a reviewer, I’d like/not like/expect to see in this paper
o Anyone wants to team up as co-authors to work on these papers?
× Extended dinner, socializing, and further informal discussion of the paper ideas
o E.g., A cocktail reception
× Homework: Think about the research design, data mining to see if there is something there
× Breakfast, socializing, informal discussions about the proposed research ideas
× Session 1: Presentations of the intended paper proposals, critique and suggestions
o Relevance of the issue
o Research questions
o Proposed research design
o Expected findings based on the initial data mining
o Expected challenges
AUDIENCE: critique, suggestions
o e.g., picnic, BBQ
× Session 2: Initial data analysis and tests
o Work alone or in co-author teams in separate rooms or in a large computer lab
o Try to run some simple initial tests (correlations, mean differences, initial regressions, etc.)
o If questions arise about the data, most suitable variables, scales - ask for clarifications
o If technical questions arise about the method, ask the more skilled statisticians to help
o E.g., at a local restaurant
× Homework: Prepare presentation of the preliminary results
× Breakfast, socializing, informal discussions about the papers in development
× Session 1: Presentations of the initial results
o Preliminary results
o Challenges encountered, solutions considered
AUDIENCE: critique, suggestions
o e.g., sailing on the lake or a visit to a local art exhibition
× Session 2: Intensive paper development: Further tests, paper outline
o Work alone or in co-author teams in separate rooms or in a large computer lab on further analyses
o Develop and extended paper outline with a clear plan for what points will be included in each paper session
× Gala Dinner and Closing Ceremony
o Final quick presentations of the work done:
§ Research questions
§ Initial results
§ Intermediate conclusions
o Most Promising Paper Award
× Homework: Develop a detailed plan with deadlines for finishing up and submitting the paper to AOM/AIB in late Fall and a good journal shortly after.
× Farewell breakfast
× Or stay for
o more work on the papers
o a full-day sightseeing trip/hike
Probably best to limit to about 15-25 people, mostly mid-career already experienced but still very research active academics, maybe several junior colleagues and possibly even a few talented Ph.D. students, possibly also one or a few Editors or Editorial Board members of relevant journals.
Eventually, this can become a huge meeting, with hundreds of attendees and multiple tracks for different topics and datasets. The Hackathon will become a regular event, an institution.
However, the first time, I would like to start with a small group and focus on the X-Culture data only.
The first time, for convenience reasons, at my university. We should have access to the necessary facilities, computer labs and other support. It will also be easier to organize the social program.
Alternatively, we can organize the meeting at the same location and around the same time as the AOM or AIB conference. Most of our X-Culture colleagues attend both meetings, so if we make them back to back in the same location, we could save on travel expenses.
In the future, the event could be hosted at different universities or in other interesting places, or even again on a cruise ship. I even envision the time when universities and/or private research organizations compete for the right to host the hackathon.
Given that AOM this year is close to Greensboro (1 h. flight or 4 h. drive) and many colleagues may be interested in attending both, for convenience reasons it may a good idea to organize the two back to back. AOM is Aug 4-8. So the X-Culture Research Hackathon Could be July 30-Aug 3 (after is too close to the semester start).
Alternatively, it could be October 20-25, right before the AIB-SE conference, which is in Washington, DC this year.
In the spirit of minimalism and leanness that has helped X-Culture thrive without any major funding, I think we can organize the first meeting at a cost comparable to a regular conference:
Food (catering, restaurant, wine testing), transportation, etc.: $350
Lodging (4 nights): $450
Unforeseen expenses: $50
Total: About $850
Plus flight to and from Greensboro (about $150 if from Atlanta,
probably about $350 if within the U.S., or about $1,000 if international).
All in all, roughly about the same as attending AOM or AIB, just with a
much more “publishable” outcome.
All conference attributes will be provided to be able to ask for
funding from the university.
If we do it, will you attend the even July 30-Aug 3?