A brief commentary on creating a good academic community

I’m attending a Nord-IB module in Uppsala from 28 to 30 September and I’ve had the pleasure of talking with some of the local faculty members about their community. It seems that they have been able to create a good and supportive community here, which – for me, at least – is an important aspect of being an academic.

I guess one way to categorize academic communities (department, faculty, group etc.) is to place them on open – closed spectrum and what I’ve seen the IB & management community here is situated almost in the ‘open’ end of the spectrum. But how do you create such a community? What does it take from the members? And, perhaps most importantly, how do you lead such a community?

These are important questions and already dealt with in academic literature, but unfortunately I haven’t had time to look into it. But I strongly feel that creating an open and supportive community is important regardless of your discipline and the beauty of it is that – given the organizational limitations – everyone situated in the community can participate in laying the foundations for a good atmosphere.

How do you do it, then? Simple things can take you far: greet your colleagues, ask what they are doing (academics love to talk about their work!), tell what you are doing, engage in various activities with your colleagues etc. There are many ways to create a good community, but to become the best, that’s the trickiest part. This is something I’ll have to look into.

Have a nice Thursday!

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