2021 Industry Studies Association
Annual Conference

Come to Cambridge! June 2-4, 2021

Come to MIT Sloan School’s Samberg Center for the 2020 ISA conference, which will include two days of paper sessions, two plenaries, and a pre-conference Professional Development Workshop for early career scholars and of course, our fabulous networking opportunities and receptions!

2021 Theme: Work of the Future Redux: Technology, Innovation, Policy

The Industry Studies Association (ISA) cordially invites submissions of individual paper abstracts and proposals of panels for the 2021 ISA Annual Conference. The conference will be held June 2–4, 2021 in person (if permitted) at the Samberg Conference Center on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, with virtual participation also available for key sessions. A determination about going fully virtual will be made in early 2021.

Industry studies research is grounded in observations of firms and workplaces and in a deep understanding of the markets, institutions, and technologies that shape the competitive environment. It draws on a wide range of academic disciplines and fields including economics, history, sociology, and other social sciences; management; marketing; policy analysis; operations research; engineering; labor markets and employment relations; and other related research and policy areas.

The conference welcomes research from all disciplines that incorporates this approach. ISA is especially interested in organized panels and papers that are unique in their emphasis on observation and insight into a particular industry or that consider how knowledge gained in studying one industry can provide insights into other industries.

Topics of interest relevant to this theme include but are not limited to:
  • How are industries being restructured because of the pandemic? 
  • What are the implications of remote work within jobs, occupations and industries? What are the socio-economic and racial dimensions of these changes?  
  • How are firms and industries rethinking supply chain resiliency in the face of the COVID crisis? 
  • How has the COVID crisis changed the organization of work? Is there evidence of an acceleration of automation? 
  • What are characteristics of the work of the future? How do these characteristics manifest similarly or differently across industries?
  • How might work be redesigned to leverage the strengths and weakness of recent technological innovations? How do industries, organizations and workers revise systems and practices to integrate AI, machine learning and other innovations effectively?
  • What industrial policies and strategies are facilitating or undermining the work of the future? Additionally, in what ways does the flexibility (or inflexibility) of a local labor market influence a region’s ability to embrace the work of the future?
  • How does the changing nature of work influence other intra- and inter-industry dynamics?
  • Are some industries immune to the changing nature of work? Will the future be delayed for some, and why?

While the ISA welcomes papers and panels related to the conference theme, a tie to theme is not mandatory. Any papers or panels that build upon the ISA’s foundational interest in firms and industries are welcome.

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