Last post was about an approach to accounting research that reduces the isolation that frequently occurs in a serious research department. I introduced the idea of an area based (accounting subject matter, or research methods or research methodology – whatever works for your setting) informal meeting groups that allows members of an area of interest to spend some time together on those interests.
The advantages are huge in my mind:
- it aids doctoral students and new faculty in being socialized into the local community of researchers
- it helps with informal accountability as no one wants to meet and say they accomplished nothing in the three or four weeks between meetings
- it makes us aware of what our colleagues are doing and allows for suggestions about how things could be approached differently
- it allows for a SAFE environment to experiment with early drafts of papers, research ideas etc.
While I know nothing is perfect, our brownbag group is the envy of many.
We can always find an excuse to say we are too busy, but if approached with good will and long term enlightened self-interest, this is an approach worth exploring – even for those rational utility maximizing folks.