David Sirmon receives Best Paper Award from Academy of Management Review

David Sirmon

David Sirmon, a professor of management at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, has won the Best Paper Award from the Academy of Management Review for his 2021 study, “Humans and agentic technologies: Toward a theory of conjoined agency in organizations.”

He shares the award with co-authors Jen Rhymer (PhD 2020) and Alex Murray (PhD 2018), both graduates of the Foster School PhD Program. Rhymer is an assistant professor at the University College London School of Management and founder of Enspired Design Lab. Murray is an assistant professor of management at the University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business.

The award-winning paper examines the affects on organizations of increasing collaboration between human workers and autonomous technologies (such as AI and machine learning) that have the ability to parse through large amounts of data and acquire skills and knowledge.

Sirmon, Rhymer and Murray categorize conjoined agency between humans and assisting, arresting, augmenting and automating technologies. And they theorize on the different ways in which these forms of conjoined agency impact a routine’s change at a particular moment in time as well as a routine’s responsiveness to feedback over time.

“In doing so,” the authors write, “we elaborate on how organizations may evolve in varied and diverse ways based on the form(s) of conjoined agency they deploy in their organizational design choices.”

Influential educator and investigator

Sirmon worked in commercial lending before earning his PhD in strategy and entrepreneurship at Arizona State University in 2004. He began as an assistant professor of management at Clemson University, where he won the school’s Emerging Scholar Research Excellence Award. Then he worked his way up to associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, where he earned the Pamela M. and Barent W. Cater ’77 Faculty Research Fellowship, the Mays Research Performance Award and the Ricky W. Griffin Research Excellence Award. He also won the 2011 Emerging Scholar Award from the Society for Management Strategy.

Since joining the Foster School in 2012, Sirmon has been named Professor of the Year in the Evening MBA Program six times and received the 2017 Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award. His courses in strategic management and entrepreneurship rigorously intertwine theory and practical application to equip students for success.

His prolific research on strategy, entrepreneurship and family business has won or been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the 2018 Special Mention Award Winner in Academy of Management Perspectives.

Clarivate Analytics has named Sirmon a “Highly Cited Researcher” three times (2014, 2017, 2018), placing him among the elite management scholars (top 1% in the world) as measured by the number of citations in Web of Science—an indicator of exceptionally influential scholarship. A 2018 Academy of Management report listed him #18 among the 100 most influential scholars of all time in the field of strategic management.

Sirmon is associate editor of the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, and serves on the editorial review boards of the Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal and Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal.