Alan Meyer is the 2022 recipient of the Academy of Management's Distinguished Service Award for his impassioned volunteerism over the past 44 years. Meyer has been an impactful member of the AOM community--fueling various academic initiatives, volunteering within division and interest groups, and working to ensure research remains credible, relevant, and beneficial within society.
Meyer first joined AOM as an Academic member while receiving his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. Born in California and raised in Seattle, Meyer currently lives in Eugene, Oregon, where he's Professor Emeritus of Management at the Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon. Meyer claims to be a "recovering Economist" (his undergraduate major).
“I found the economists’ model of “rational man” way too far-fetched to believe and turned to management where I could take psychological and sociological factors into consideration.”
Meyer's service endeavors included serving on the Editorial Board and as Associate Editor of AMJ, serving as founding Chair of the Management and Organizational Cognition Division, and as Program Chair, Chair, and Past Chair of the Organization and Management Theory Division. He was elected as a Board of Governors Representative at Large from 1998-2001. He has been on advisory boards for AMJ, Annals, and AMD throughout the years, and facilitated AOM Africa Faculty Development workshops in Ghana, Rwanda, and South Africa from 2011-2013.
Meyer emphasized that he could not have made such an impact without the community he found within AOM. As a Professor Emeritus, he now urges his current students to take advantage of the volunteer opportunities and workshops available to them through AOM. He would advise students to join DIGs, starting with one of the larger groups paired with a smaller, more niche group. Meyer said through his volunteering, he picked up mentors and met people who’ve become his closest friends and favorite coauthors.
“I honestly believe this is the best job in the world – being a management professor. You can design your own job. You can study whatever arouses your curiosity, or you can try to move the world. What's even more remarkable is you can pick your coworkers; you can decide who you'll be coauthoring with. The Academy facilitates a lot of this, the infrastructure is there. This wouldn't have happened for me without the structure and the evolution of the Academy. Because we're a volunteer-driven organization, AOM is quick to respond.”
Meyer continues to pursue his personal passions for the profession, citing that he finds great value in having helped launch the AOM Fellows' Responsible Research in Management Award (RRM) in 2018, which leverages the expertise of the AOM Fellows and executive practitioners to identify work that achieves a trifecta: management professors find the methods and results to be credible, practicing executives attest to its usefulness, and both find the research beneficial to society.
“I see promoting 'responsible research' as our best hope for escaping the field's current predicaments – studies whose only beneficiaries are the authors, managers, or shareholders; research results that don't replicate, 'harking' (hypothesizing after results are known), and outright data fakery.”
Alan Meyer was nominated for the Distinguished Service Award by the late Andy Van de Ven, who passed in April of this year. Van de Ven was a founding editor of Academy of Management Discoveries, and 56th President of AOM. Meyer writes:
“Andy Van de Ven is the biggest reason I treasure this award. Andy wrote the letter nominating me for the Distinguished Service Award shortly before he died of leukemia. His nomination meant a lot more to me than receiving the award. When I picture Andy sitting in his hospital bed, tapping out the letter on his laptop, I am overwhelmed by the warmth, guidance, grace, and fun that Andy and so many more of my other AOM colleagues have given me over the years.”
The Distinguished Service Award is an all-Academy award presented annually to a candidate who has demonstrated excellence in developing or enhancing a field of study, founding, or creatively editing a journal, or helping to build institutions through creative or unusually effective service.