The Academy of Management’s Annual Meeting is the
oldest and largest gathering of management and organizations scholars in the
world. While the size and scope of this
global event provide countless opportunities for learning and engaging,
showcasing and gaining exposure to cutting-edge research, building vast
professional networks, and more, members continue to express their desires for
additional, complementary events held throughout the year that allow for deep
dialogue and interactions through smaller, highly-focused gatherings.
In response to these desires, the Board of Governors
launched an experimental initiative, calling for innovative conference ideas
from the membership, which resulted in the production of the Academy of
Management Africa Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. At the same time, the AOM Teaching &
Learning Conference (TLC@AOM) was developed to meet the growing
teaching-related needs of members around the globe. The reaction to these
highly innovative, impactful events reverberated throughout the Academy,
resulting in an exploratory period of research and evaluation that would build
the foundation to support a portfolio of smaller, geographically diverse
Academy of Management conference offerings in the future.
The AOM Specialized Conferences Initiative is a multi-year
experiment that aims to develop a portfolio of smaller, meaningful and
sustainable new meeting opportunities that complement our large Annual Meeting.
The initiative includes the launch of a new governance structure, the AOM
Conferences Committee, to oversee the operational and policy details involved
in implementing this new program and infrastructure enhancements to support the
development of these new meeting innovations.
Several new conference models that allow
members to connect and engage throughout the year, virtually and in varied
locations that are reflective of the geographic dispersion of our international
membership are envisioned as part of this initiative. In addition to these models, we expect new
ideas that reflect the creative energy of our membership to emerge. The plan
for realizing this vision for AOM conference activity is designed to
continuously evolve as we experiment with new program structures, delivery modes,
content features, and conference designs.
The Board is grateful to the various volunteers who
contributed to the development of the Specialized Conferences Initiative including
those who served on the Small Conferences Task Force, the Teaching &
Learning Conference Committee, and the AOM Africa Conference Committee.
Thank you also to leadership from the Human Resources Division, Research Methods
Division, Management Consulting Division, Diversity & Inclusion Theme
Committee, and others, whose valuable feedback and insights helped shape the
strategy for innovative and meaningful new meeting opportunities for AOM members.