ACAC 2007 — Submission Deadline Approaching

5 March 2007 at 2:31 pm 1 comment

| Nicolai Foss |

I have attended only two truly excellent conferences. The first one was the 1997 inaugural conference for the International Society of New Institutional Economics. For me much of the excitement of that conference was seeing Ronald Coase, Oliver Williamson, Harold Demsetz, Mancur Olson, and other luminaries for the first time. To keep flight costs, my wife and I had to stay for 10 days in St. Louis, but it was worth it ;-)

The second truly excellent conference I have experienced was the 2005 ACAC which had an equally impressive line-up, only from strategic management, (e.g., Jay Barney, Kathleen Eisenhardt, Pankaj Ghemawat, etc.) as well as great papers and discussions.

ACAC is the acronym of the Atlanta Competitive Advantage Conference, and it is organized by Rich Makadok, whose work we have often discussed at O&M. ACAC is a relatively small thing, but it is taken up with the “big issues” in strategic management. I very strongly recommend ACAC to anyone with an interest in the frontier issues in strategic management. The deadline for paper submission is March 16.

This year’s meeting is the fourth annual one. Here is the call for papers (unfortunately, contrary to what the call says, I cannot be present at this year’s ACAC):



June 14-16, 2007 (Thursday to Saturday), at the
Roberto C. Goizueta Business School, Emory University


– Rich Makadok, Emory University

– Kevin Coyne, Harvard Business School
– Jeffrey Dyer, Brigham Young University
– Nicolai Foss, Copenhagen Business School
– John Horn, McKinsey & Company
– Marvin Lieberman, UCLA
– Marjorie Lyles, Indiana University
– Glenn MacDonald, Washington University in St. Louis
– Joseph Mahoney, University of Illinois

– Russ Coff & Rich Makadok, Emory University
– Asli Arikan, Ilgaz Arikan, Bill Bogner, Irene Duhaime,
& Ben Oviatt, Georgia State University
– Marco Ceccagnoli & Frank Rothaermel, Georgia Institute
of Technology


– Emory University’s Roberto C. Goizueta
Business School
– Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College
of Business
– Georgia Institute of Technology’s College
of Management

– BrightHouse

– Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City
– Herman J. Russell Sr. International Center for


The “big picture” strategy questions…

– Where do competitive & distinctive advantages
come from, and how are they sustained?

– Why do some companies & new ventures
consistently outperform their competitors?

– Why do some businesses succeed in the same
industry environments where others fail?

– And what, if anything, can managers and
entrepreneurs actually do about it?


The aim of this annual conference series is to
improve our ability to answer these “big picture”
questions and other related questions by engaging
some of the world’s top researchers on competitive
advantage in Atlanta for 3 days a year.

We expect to:

– Share cutting-edge research, ideas, and theories.

– Foster collaborative research efforts.

– Build a worldwide association and network of
researchers who are dedicated to advancing the
state of knowledge about competitive advantage.


The conference organizers invite the submission
of unpublished working papers that advance the
state of knowledge about competitive advantage…

– Conference registration fee will be WAIVED for
all authors of papers selected for
presentation at the conference. Authors of
papers selected for presentation will
also receive conference proceedings, catered
meals, and deeply discounted hotel rates
(but will be expected to pay for their own
hotel, airfare, & other travel expenses).

– Submitted papers will undergo a selection
process, NOT a formal review process — so
we will not provide reviews or other feedback
on any submitted manuscript.

– Submitting a paper represents a commitment
that at least one of the authors will attend
and participate in whatever session the paper
gets scheduled for, whenever during the
conference that session is scheduled, and
whichever format that session is. Papers may
be accepted either for a regular
paper-presentation session format or for a
research-development workshop
round-table-discussion format (which requires
authors to provide feedback to each other on
their papers). Authors who commit to attend
and participate but then fail to do so, for
any reason other than an immediate genuine
emergency, may be excluded from participation
in future ACAC meetings.

– Papers must be submitted via web-based
submission system at
No e-mail submissions.

– Papers must be submitted in PDF format, but
Microsoft Word documents can be converted to
PDF format for FREE (with no software required)
by using one of the six on-line file-conversion
web sites -– see the submission web page above
for links and details.

– The DEADLINE for submissions is Friday
March 16, 2007.



The BrightHouse Distinctive Advantage Track

We now stand at the beginning of a significant
shift in the way that people view strategy.
Many people assume that the #1 most important goal
of strategy is to achieve competitive advantage
— in other words, to be better, in some way, than
your competitors. But today, companies are
increasingly recognizing that DISTINCTIVE advantage
trumps COMPETITIVE advantage virtually every time.
That is, being DIFFERENT is more important than being
BETTER. The reason for this is simple: If you just
aim to be better than your rivals, using the same
metrics that they use, then even if you succeed, you
will still always have competition nipping at your
heels. On the other hand, if you aim to be different,
then you may carve out a niche where you have no
real competition at all. Some call this phenomenon
distinctive advantage, and others call it “blue
ocean” strategy, but whatever you call it, it
requires a fundamental shift in how we think about
the goal of strategy.

Starting this year, ACAC will feature the
“BrightHouse Distinctive Advantage Track” to
highlight the growing body of research on this
topic. So, we are especially interested in
receiving manuscripts that focus on all aspects
of distinctive advantages — including how they are
conceived, discovered, invented, created, organized,
motivated, communicated, exploited, elaborated,
grown, and sustained.

If you think your paper might be appropriate for
inclusion in the BrightHouse Distinctive Advantage
Track, then please indicate this on the cover page
of the submitted manuscript.


Additional information about the Atlanta
Competitive Advantage Conference Series
is available on-line at:


All questions should be sent to: ACAC@MAKADOK.COM


Entry filed under: - Foss -, Strategic Management.

The Stand-Up Economist Aoki on Institutional Change

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Richard Makadok  |  5 March 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Nicolai, thanks very much for your kind words about the conference, and for posting the announcement — greatly appreciated.


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