Academic discourse does not happen only in books and journals. There have always been less formal, less stable sites of discourse that test and develop arguments that either have been or will be published in the more established forums. Today, of course, the web offers many opportunities to discuss results and propose new lines of research, and in this post I want to survey some of places I frequent.
First, there are the general organization theory blogs: orgtheory.net and Organizations and Markets. These are great way to see what sorts of issues are occupying researchers today. Both are group blogs, which is to say that they have several contributors, each of whom has his or her own particular focus and style. I read orgtheory more or less daily, and check O&M two or three times a month.
Lately, I've also been following two more focused blogs: Bob Sutton's Work Matters and Quinn, Quinn and Worline's LIFT blog. I found these blogs simply by googling things I was working on. It was good to discover that academic authors that I am interested in are creating opportunities to discuss their ideas online. I am sure that this is good not just for us, their readers, but for the quality and vitality of their own thinking.
Finally, I have been following some philosophy blogs. It Is Only Theory is about general philosophy of science, which is the field I got my early training in. Certain Doubts is devoted to "matters epistemic", i.e., topics in analytic epistemology, which was what I thought I would be doing when I grew up back when I was undergrad. It's a good way of touching base with my foundations—to see what's shakin' and what remains solid.
When following blogs, there is both the passive component of reading the posts, and the more active component of participating in the discussion in the comments.
Blogs are not the only way to participate in academic discourse beyond the journals. The journals themselves are starting to create spaces in which the work published in journals can be discussed. The Journal of Management Studies, for example, recently opened its "correspondence site", which will be interesting to see develop in the future. In combination with journal alerts (where you get your a database or journal publisher to send you an email when something that interests you is published), this will no doubt be an important part of how the institution of "peer review" evolves towards greater openness. Many journals are today thinking about putting the whole process openly online and allowing online comments even on first submissions. There will no doubt be a lot of discussion about that in the years to come.
Lastly, I think we might consider engagement with people who are interested in our areas of expertise by editing the relevant articles on Wikipedia. Articles like "Sensemaking" and "Organizational studies", for example, are interesting for me to follow changes in. My own experience with this new site of knowledge dissemination is somewhat mixed and I have decided not to contribute for the time being. The culture of discussion left much to be desired, in my opinion. But I don't want to dismiss the possibility that Wikipedia will be an important clearing house for research in the future. It's certainly a place we have to keep an eye on.
I'm sure there are both Facebook groups and Twitter feeds that might be of interest. I'm not hip to that scene, though, so I'll just leave that to others. Everyone has to find their own way to keep their finger on the pulse of their field. Spend an hour or so each day for a week or two trying to find interesting places on the internet that are updated regularly. Then go back to them on a regular basis and see which ones retain your interest. It will settle down to a manageable amount of reading and commenting.