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Business & Finance Series: Research Spotlight

Cass Academic wins award for Best Paper from the Academy of Management Review

Dr Santi Furnari awarded Best Paper by the Academy of Management Review.

by Kyla Njoku (Senior Communications Officer)

AMR Award best paperDr Santi Furnari, Senior Lecturer in Strategy has won the prestigious award for Best Paper from the Academy of Management Review (AMR) for his paper: “Interstitial Spaces: Microinteraction Settings and The Genesis of New Practices Between Institutional Fields.”

The Academy of Management Review (AMR) is the highest ranked and most frequently cited academic journal in field of business research in the world. The AMR Best Paper Award recognises the most outstanding article published in AMR in a given year for original ideas that are provocative and make an important contribution to the field of management research.

[Dr Furnari's] article showed the broadest reach in terms of relevance and implications. It has the potential to impact both research and practice.

Dr Furnari’s paper advances the idea that apparently inconsequential spaces where people interact only occasionally (such as hobbyist clubs, co-working spaces, hangouts, and meet-ups) can have important long-term business consequences, such as generating new ideas and innovation. The paper identifies two conditions that these “interstitial spaces” need to meet in order to be able to generate innovation.

First, they need to be designed in a way to facilitate informal and occasional interactions because people are more motivated to experiment with new ideas when they feel that there is “less at stake”. Second, these spaces need to have one or more “catalysts”–people who sustain others’ interactions over time by keeping the level of energy high and not imposing their own views on others. The paper describes the role of catalysts in detail, providing fine-grained illustrations and examples of how interstitial spaces work in practice.

The AMR awarding committee commented: “This article showed perhaps the broadest reach in terms of relevance and implications. We found this paper really insightful. We learned about new practices at interstitial spaces. It has the potential to impact both research and practice.”

Dr Furnari said, “I am delighted and honoured to have received the AMR Best Paper Award. This is a great encouragement to continue working hard to publish in world-leading academic journals such as AMR. I take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues at Cass who helped me along the way. As the interstitial spaces that I describe in the paper, Cass is a great place to generate new ideas thanks to its collegiality, its vibrant and diverse academic community.”

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