19 October 2021, 11-12:30 EST (17-18:30 CET)

Writing and reflexivity: A way forward to better and more productive writing in academia

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Charlotte Cloutier

HEC Montréal

As academics, writing is integral to the work that we do. Our writing journeys begin with the writing of our doctoral dissertations, and continue as we later write research articles and conferences papers, books, and funding applications. Our identities and reputations as academics are largely formed on the basis of what and how we write. Many would argue that the fate of our careers rests more on our ability to write than on our ability to teach. And yet despite this, we spend very little time thinking about how we write. Most of us have received little, if any, formal instruction in academic or other forms of writing— probably because it is generally assumed that anyone undertaking graduate studies already “knows” how to write.

For these reasons and others, writing is something that most of us just “do.” This doing might come easily if we are blessed with a natural ability to write, or it might be difficult, if we are not. Most likely, our experience lies somewhere in between: moments when writing flows almost effortlessly punctuated by bouts of writing paralysis. Although we may be prompted to think about our writing at such times, the reality is that most of the time, we do not.

In this workshop, I offer students the opportunity to become more reflexive about their writing practice, by making their own writing habits and practices explicit and by contrasting these with the writing practices of known scholars in our field. We will consider the multi-faceted aspects of academic writing, and how each contributes to both writing quality and productivity and by so doing, expand our personal repertoire of practices and approaches for producing meaningful texts.   

Charlotte Cloutier is currently Associate Professor of Strategy at HEC Montreal. Her research focuses on understanding how strategy practices and processes unfold in pluralistic settings (NGOs, nonprofits, industry associations, hospitals, universities, government ministries or agencies, etc.). Current projects examine how industry associations shape the sustainability practices of member firms, and how the interplay between mandatory and voluntary regulation influences these processes.  Since 2010, Charlotte hosts a blog on academic writing: www.projectscrib.org and regularly organizes and hosts various workshops on academic writing and publishing, including the Montreal Organizations Writing Workshop and the Montreal Qualitative Methods Reading Group.  She is currently a member of the Academy of Management Journal Editorial Review Board. Her work has been published in the Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Organization, the Journal of Public Administrations Research and Theory, the Journal of Business Ethics and the Journal of Management Inquiry.