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Honours for refugee paper

Article on refugee camp organisation co-authored by Dr Marlen de la Chaux and Dr Helen Haugh of Cambridge Judge Business School wins Best Paper Award from the journal Academy of Management Discoveries.

Image of volunteers serving food.
Helen Haugh
Dr Helen Haugh

An article on “parallel” organisational structures in refugee camps co-authored by Dr Marlen de la Chaux and Dr Helen Haugh at Cambridge Judge Business School won the Best Article Award from the journal Academy of Management Discoveries at the recent annual conference of the Academy of Management in Boston.

Marlen is a PhD graduate of Cambridge Judge Business School, and Helen is Senior Lecturer in Community Enterprise at Cambridge Judge. The article’s third co-author is Professor Royston Greenwood of the University of Alberta in Canada.

The article, “Organizing Refugee Camps: ‘Respected Space’ and ‘Listening Posts'”, is based on an in-depth case study of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya and examines how organisations maintain social stability even though refugees live in the camp for decades.

Photo of Dr Marlen de la Chaux.
Dr Marlen de la Chaux

“Our analysis finds that refugee camps are characterised by a parallel organisational structure in which the institutional worlds of (primarily Western) camp officials and (in our case, primarily Somali) refugees coexist,” the article says. “Mutual dependence between camp officials and refugees enables the use of a respected space of reciprocal tolerance and minimal intrusion, and a listening post that is perceived as a legitimate communication arrangement and that acts as a safety valve.”

The Academy of Management Discoveries journal focuses on “phenomenon-driven empirical research” that are often not adequately explained in management theory. The journal welcomes research which generates “surprising findings likely to stimulate and guide further exploration and analysis,” which must be “grounded in rigorous state-of-the-art methods, present strong and persuasive evidence, and offer interesting and important implications for management theory and practice.”