Member Spotlight: Tammy Madsen

04 Apr 2023
Tammy Madsen is a distinguished scholar, Professor of Strategic Management and Innovation, and holds the W. M. Keck Foundation Chair at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University.

Volunteering at AOM: Becoming a Board Member

Tammy Madsen is a distinguished scholar, Professor of Strategic Management and Innovation, and holds the W. M. Keck Foundation Chair at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University. As a member of AOM for over 30 years, she has made significant contributions to the field of management and has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades within the Academy, with a colorful history of volunteerism. After the last Annual Meeting, she began her term as Vice President-Elect/Program Chair-Elect on the Board of Governors at AOM.

A first-generation college graduate, Tammy began her career as a test and evaluation engineer for weapons control systems on the F-14 aircraft, and later shifted to a role as a design engineer and program manager for Delco Electronics (GM). Her early career inspired her to pursue a PhD in Strategy and Organization, with a focus on understanding why it is so difficult for large organizations to change.

Tammy attended her first Academy of Management Annual Meeting as a doctoral student in 1992. "I was only there for about a day, I attended 3 amazing sessions, and it was fantastic” she said. Tammy was motivated by the opportunities to learn and connect with others in her field. “I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with exceptional faculty members during the meeting, and the sessions I attended were incredibly enriching".

As an emerging scholar, Tammy was focused on trying to find her community in the vast space of academia. She emphasizes the importance of finding a small community, even if it starts out with a cohort of doctoral students from different institutions, as it can end up being critical for success.

"Friendships and connections I made through AOM continue to influence me over time. We remember the people we engage with more so than the extra time spent on robustness checks or responding to reviewers. It’s the interactions with those you know, and the connections with new people, that are energizing, and will continue to influence my career going forward," she noted.

With the amount of volunteer participation from Tammy, it would have been difficult for her not to find her community. In addition to her current role as AOM Board of Governor’s Vice President-Elect and Program Chair-Elect, her volunteership within AOM has included: 3 years as an AOM Board of Governor’s Rep-At-Large, Chair of the STR Division (5-year leadership role), Member of AOM’s DIG Strategy task force, Co-Chair of the STR Doctoral Consortium, Judge – STR Emerging Scholar Award, and member of the STR Executive Committee and Research Committee, to name a few.

She describes her journey to the Board of Governors as a natural progression, starting with strengthening her engagement within the STR Division. As the recipient of the Glueck Best Paper Award for the STR Division, her work started to be noticed more broadly. This greater engagement led to an invitation to run for Rep-At-Large for the Division, which then led to an invitation to run for EC. “Then I nominated someone for an All-Academy Award, and that person ended up nominating me for the Board." she explained.

Serving on the Board of Governors now has given her a valuable perspective on AOM. "It’s not about you, it’s about the 20,000 members," she emphasized. According to Tammy, one of the most important elements of this role is remembering that everyone is a volunteer, and it's not about individual success, but rather improving things for the Academy as a whole. “Serving on the Board is like working with the best faculty at your institution, because everyone is striving towards the common goal of enhancing the Academy and expanding opportunities for our members to interact, collaborate, and pursue ideas.” She also noted it’s a great way to put her work on strategy into action.

Tammy is passionate about understanding how research in strategy and on co-innovation can be used to help organizations collaboratively address societal challenges and to cope with shocks, unpredictable environments, and rapidly shifting conditions. She sees the future of AOM as one that will come with a lot of transformation, particularly in terms of advancing sustainability while still serving an expanding global community with different needs and resources. "We have the opportunity to showcase the value of high-quality evidenced-based research and to equip managers and leaders with the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions” she said.

Overall, Tammy's experience is just one example of a path AOM members may take when involving themselves with the Academy. Her research on co-innovation speaks to practices for facilitating collaboration among a very diverse set of actors and her work on how established organizations respond to shocks informs how organizations, such as the AOM, can overcome barriers and adapt to rapidly shifting conditions. This work coupled with her unwavering commitment to enhancing the well-being of the Academy and its members make her a valuable member of the AOM Board of Governors, and the AOM community. 

Read more about Tammy and other Board of Governor members here.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities at AOM.