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Steve Jobs Gets An Academic Autopsy

The late Steve Jobs will get a leadership autopsy from management professors around the world at the Academy of Management conference in Boston next month.

The conference, which is expected to attract 10,000 management scholars on Aug. 5-7, will devote an entire panel to Jobs moderated by Yale University School of Management leadership guru Jeffrey Sonnenfeld.

Entitled “Staying Hungry, Staying Foolish: Academic Reflections on the Life and Career of Steve Jobs,” the panel intends to dissect everything from the career lessons in Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford in 2005 to how Jobs transformed Apple “to spearhead a technological informal economy.”

Jobs died Oct. 5 last year, but not without leaving a rich and controversial legacy behind him–obviously one worthy of a good deal of business school examination.

Two professors from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and ESSEC Business School, will speak about Jobs as the “innate identity master,” whatever that means, while another from the University of Maryland will talk about “Steve Jobs as an artist.”

Perhaps the most unusual insights may well come from a couple of professors from the University of Exeter and Keele University. Their topic: “Emotionalized interactions with technology: mourning for Steve Jobs.”

The one-hour-and-one-half panel, to be held at the Boston Park Plaza on Aug. 6., is just one of some 1,800 sessions on such topics as corporate governance, organizational behavior, careers, human resources, technology development, and other management-related subjects.

“It’s a measure of the growing interest worldwide in business management,” says Anne Tsui, who, as Academy president, heads the largest organization in the world devoted to management research and teaching. “When we were last in Boston 15 years ago, our membership was about 10,000. Today it’s more than 19,000, about 60% from North America and the remainder from 100 other countries – and virtually every business school of note — around the globe.”

Founded 76 years ago, the Academy will convene this year around the theme “The Informal Economy.” With the meeting’s location in Boston, scholars from major area universities are playing a major role in this year’s meeting, including Rosabeth Kanter, Clayton Christensen, and Michael Jensen of Harvard, Sonnenfeld of Yale, and Peter Senge of MIT.

The full detail on the Jobs’ panel follows:

Staying Hungry, Staying Foolish:  Academic Reflections on the Life and Career of Steve Jobs 

Mon, 3:00pm – 4:30pm Boston Park Plaza: Georgian Room

Tweet this session:  #AOM2012  1124

Organizers: Amy Elizabeth Hurley-Hanson, Chapman U.; Cristina Marie Giannantonio, Chapman U.

Discussant: Jeffrey Alan Sonnenfeld, Yale U.

Entrepreneurial Careers: Stages, Phases, and Ages | Amy Elizabeth Hurley-Hanson, Chapman U.; Cristina Marie Giannantonio, Chapman U.; Richard Sudek, Chapman U.

Decoding Leadership: How Steve Jobs Transformed Apple to Spearhead a Technological Informal Economy | Howard Yu, IMD International

Steve Jobs, the Innate Identity Master | Hamid Bouchikhi, ESSEC Business School; John R Kimberly, U. of Pennsylvania

Steve Jobs as an Artist | Stephen Carroll, U. of Maryland

“Just Three Stories” The Career Lessons Behind Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address | Julia Richardson, York U.; Michael B. Arthur, Suffolk U.

Emotionalised Interactions with Technology: Mourning for Steve Jobs | Emma Bell, Keele U.; Scott Taylor, U. of Exeter