What is a Common Ground Session?

It is the primary objective of the SMS conference to provide opportunities for discussion and development of the latest research ideas in strategy. This is consistent with the practice of evaluating proposals rather than finished papers. In this spirit of discussion and development, the "common ground" sessions provide an improved opportunity for authors and audience members to interact more directly around a number of papers in a related theme.

  • Each session will last 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • A common ground session consists of at least one author of each of the proposals (there are typically 5-6 proposals in each session), a facilitator, and audience members. 
  • The common ground sessions will be chaired and facilitated by known scholars in the session's topic. It is the responsibility of these facilitators to allocate time among participants and lead a productive discussion.
  • To ensure sufficient time for interaction, the facilitator will ask for an initial 3-4 minutes summary presentation of a presenter's study focusing only on the main motivations and findings of each paper. We want the time to be structured as a conversation (i.e., short interventions, highly interactive), not as a sequence of monologues.
  • Overhead projectors or PowerPoint presentations will not be used. Flipcharts or white boards will be available in each room to facilitate visual discussion. Authors, however, are encouraged to bring a one-page summary of their theory or their findings, as the case may be. This handout may contain an executive summary of the paper, some figures or tables that are important, or some PowerPoint slides printed in handout form. These handouts will be the main visual aids used during these short presentations.
  • We will ask presenters to upload an electronic version of their handouts for posting on the conference website. This will allow the facilitators and other session participants to download the handouts before the conference to open more opportunities for discussion and feedback.

Please do not hesitate to contact the SMS office if you have any questions.