Interview with Paula Jarzabkowski
Professor Strategic Management
Cass Business School
City University London
I’ve known Paula for quite some years now and she never ceases to impress me. I recall a visit to Aston some years ago where she and Jane Lê, with whom she’s collaborated over the years and who is now at the University of Sydney, showed me how they organized the data they had collected for a big study they were doing at the time. They had these endless, cross-referenced Excel files in which they had rigorously documented every meeting, every note, and every interview by date, by theme, by research site and by God knows what else. I was a PhD student at the time and I came back from that meeting thinking that I really needed to up my game if I was to come anywhere close to that level of rigour in my own research. Paula is also very devoted to her graduate students, working very hard to ensure that they all do well throughout their studies and beyond. So in those and many other ways, Paula has been quite an inspiration. And last, but far from least, Paula is easily one of the most productive people I know. How she does it is completely beyond me. I thought that through our interview I might be able to figure out where her magic comes from, but really, there doesn’t seem to be any. As you will see for yourself, it’s the same for Paula as for the rest of us. You just have to keep at it!