Nancy Adler: Daring to Care

Nancy Adler's inspirational papers on doing research that matters

Nancy Adler is a very inspirational academic with an energy and passion exceeding that of most academics less than half her age. She is one of the first women who did significant research in cross-cultural management and global leadership. Nancy is also a staunch advocate of doing research that matters to society. Her presentations are unlikely to leave you cold. If you want to get a flavour of them, look at Leadership artistry: Finding Beauty in a Fractured World or For Whom or What Would I Open the Door.

I had the honour of working with her on a paper dealing with the problematic nature of academic ranking systems. You might find it of interest. However, this blog post is about her paper with Hans Hansen: Daring to Care. It argues that in order to do research that matters we need passionate conviction and allow advocacy to play a vital role within our scholarly tradition. It draws on Hans’ research with death-penalty defense teams, literally a matter of life and death. It shows us that some management researchers can have huge societal impact.

Nancy's work has also inspired other researchers to dare to care. In her paper titled “Integrating highly-qualified migrants: allowing a personal narrative to set future research directionsAida Hajro uses the unique case history of her migrant family, pushed from its country of origin (Bosnia) due to war to elucidate the emotional, cultural, societal, and situation-specific challenges that her parents and she faced in their new country of destination. She then links these stories to the current literature in the field of migration studies and raises questions that truly matter to the world we are currently living in.


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