Getting involved with MOC

Title: Getting Involved with MOC


We’re keen to get as many members actively involved with the MOC division as possible. Our third MOC blog is written with this in mind. It features an interview with Morela Hernandez - a member of MOC for over a decade, former student representative, representative-at-large in charge of our Cognition in the Rough PDW and now incoming PDW chair for the division. The interview was conducted by Alex Bollinger, who leads the MOC Ambassador’s programme. The Ambassador programme is a great way to get involved with MOC, Alex describes the programme and how to get involved at the end of the interview with Morela. We hope the blog inspires you to engage more with the division.


Alex: How did you originally get involved in the Managerial and Organizational Cognition (MOC) division at Academy? When did you first get involved with "Cognition in the Rough"?

Morela: When I was a doctoral student my advisor and mentor, Sim Sitkin, recommended that I look into joining the division. I found that I really connected with the people and I decided to run for Student Representative-at-Large. I was elected and remember how cool it was to fly to Atlanta to meet with the MOC executive committee at the Mid-Winter meeting. Part of the Student Rep’s job was to help with organizing CIR and the rest is history.


Alex: What makes CIR unique as a developmental opportunity relative to other opportunities at AOM?

Morela: The magic of CIR should be completely attributed to the senior faculty who volunteer as facilitators. They are the experts sitting at the table who are essentially making explicit all of the norms, best practices, and guidelines for the publication process that are typically implicit in our field. As a participant, you get to see senior scholars translate what they’ve learned about the publication process over the years to your specific work in progress.

Particularly when we are new to the field, part of our job is to learn the “template” for how you construct a paper: what is a big enough question, what sound methods look like…the key components of impactful research. CIR is unique because you have this expert’s undivided attention to help you with your work but also to teach you how to become a better scholar. To get that level of attention, that “deep in the weeds” on the details of a project, usually has to come from your advisor or a co-author mentor.

I also want to mention that the tremendous growth of CIR would not have been possible without the support of the executive committee and lots of volunteers, many of whom did not have an elected position in MOC but just wanted to help out. CIR quickly became a much bigger undertaking and the executive committee never denied us a budget to feed all these people and provide a larger room.

And the growth of CIR happened organically, through word of mouth. Year after year, I would have the experience where we would put on the CIR workshop on the Saturday of Academy and people would come up to me for the rest of the conference and mention that they had heard about CIR and wanted to participate the next year. We are fortunate that our MOC members are good at spreading the word across their networks!


Alex: Did you witness any particular success stories from CIR that stand out in your mind (e.g., professional connections that doctoral students made with a senior scholar, papers that went from CIR to publication, etc.)?

Morela: Rather than specific instances, I remember lots of times where authors realized that they actually had two papers and not just one. Or they had an “ah-ha” moment when their facilitator suggested that they tap into a different literature and it got a project moving again. I heard lots of feedback such as, “I ran a pilot study and after I received this feedback I realized that I needed to do much more – but now I know what to do.”


Alex: Why should a member of the Academy of Management join MOC? How is the best way for someone new (particularly a doctoral student or junior faculty member) to "break in" and get involved in MOC and/or CIR?

Morela: MOC is often a home for “meso” researchers, people who are doing interesting work that spans some of the traditional boundaries in our field. I know that I was attracted to the unique culture of this division. MOC is a tightknit community that is also very welcoming to new members. Many members joined because they were encouraged by their advisors, co-authors, or other colleagues, which means that you build a set of strong and “sticky” ties to other members of the division.

I got involved through an elected position on the executive committee, but most of our members get involved more informally. Definitely attend the MOC social event at Academy. If you want to get more involved, contact anyone on the executive committee. There are more opportunities now than ever before (e.g., the MOC Ambassadors, the new “in the Rough” workshops on career development, reviewing, and teaching).


Introduction of the MOC Ambassadors

In response to calls from our members for more involvement opportunities, MOC’s executive board initiated the MOC Ambassadors. The MOC Ambassadors program is an initiative to provide networking and involvement opportunities for MOC members and to advance the interests of the division. The MOC Ambassadors are appointed rather than elected and help on special projects (e.g., events at Academy such as the QUAD event for New Members, MOC's "Think about It" social, and PDWs such as Cognition in the Rough, Reviewing in the Rough, and Teaching in the Rough). 


At this year’s Academy of Management meeting, our MOC Ambassadors staffed the QUAD event to reach out to new members and collected "competitive intelligence" on trends for meeting the needs of MOC's membership. Our MOC Ambassadors, which represent institutions on five continents, are also a reflection of MOC's objective of reaching more international members.


If you are interested in joining the MOC Ambassadors, please contact the MOC Ambassadors coordinator, Alex Bolinger, at