Professors recognized at international management conference

Speaker giving a talk in conference hall at business event. Audience at the conference hall.

Two faculty members from York University’s Schulich School of Business received awards at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management held in Boston earlier this month, where more than 10,000 academy members from around the world gathered to explore the theme “Putting the Worker Front and Centre.”

Maxim Voronov
Maxim Voronov

Maxim Voronov, a professor of organization studies and sustainability at Schulich, won Best Article for his co-authored paper titled “Commercializing the Practice of Voyeurism: How Organizations Leverage Authenticity and Transgression to Create Value,” which was published in the Academy of Management Journal in July of last year.

“My co-authors and I were absolutely shocked to even be nominated – never mind to win – the award,” admits Voronov. “Of course, we were proud of the paper, but it was surprising and humbling to see it recognized via a rigorous selection process as the best contribution published in the journal the entire year. It is without a doubt one of the highlights of our careers.”

This win is extra rewarding, he says, because all of his co-authors are former Schulich PhD students.

Voronov believes the article is important because while there are many businesses that are commercializing voyeurism, there was previously no theory to explain how and why such business models succeed. “Understanding what makes such businesses work is essential for truly understanding both positive and ‘dark’ sides of commercialized voyeurism by various businesses,” he explains.

Going forward, the researchers hope the article will promote a more reflective conversation about authenticity, which is a key component of commercialized voyeurism. “We tend to think of authenticity as unambiguously ‘good,’ ” says Voronov. “But our paper reveals that our society’s preoccupation with authenticity can also be associated with more negative outcomes – for workers, companies and society at large.”

Schulich Professor Geoffrey Kistruck, RBC Chair in Social Innovation and Impact, won the Kauffman Best Paper Award in Entrepreneurial Cognition for his co-authored paper titled “Reframing Entrepreneurship: A Field Experiment on the Relative Efficacy of Reflexive vs. Habitual Framing for Entrepreneurial Education.”

Geoffrey Kistruck
Geoffrey Kistruck

Kistruck and his authorship team were “thrilled” to be recognized for their intensive, multi-year field experiment, he says. Conducted in partnership with Desjardins International Development and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the team designed and delivered entrepreneurship training to 683 entrepreneurs in rural Sri Lanka, and then tracked the subsequent changes in the participants’ attitudes and behaviours.

The team’s alternative approach to entrepreneurship training focused on highlighting the ways participants were already being innovative in the non-business aspects of their lives, such as cooking and child rearing, and asking them to transfer those practices to their business tasks.

“The results of our field experiment indicate this new approach can create a more positive change in entrepreneurial ‘mindset’ as well as innovative behaviour,” explains Kistruck. “We think identifying an alternative training approach not only works to delineate the boundary of existing theory from a contextual perspective, but hopefully will also spur the adoption of this new approach by governments, non-profits and other organizations seeking to leverage entrepreneurship as a tool for poverty alleviation.”

For more information about the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, visit