Call for Scholarly Program Submissions: Management, Spirituality and Religion (MSR)

Program Chair: Chris Laszlo, Case Western Reserve University; chris.laszlo@case.ed

The Management, Spirituality, and Religion (MSR) Interest Group welcomes scholarly submissions to the AOM 2020 meeting, to be held in Vancouver, Canada on 7 – 11 August 2020. The AOM theme, 20/20: Broadening our Sight, can be applied in diverse ways to the MSR Interest Group domain and accommodate a wide range of scholarly inquiry. However, submissions that fall within the MSR Domain but do not directly address the AOM theme are also welcome.

MSR Domain Statement: MSR explores how spirituality and religion can influence organizational dynamics and affect management outcomes. In that regard, MSR is devoted to defining the relevance and impact of spirituality and religion in management, organizations and society. Major areas of study include theory building and empirical research around the issues of spirituality and religion as they influence principles and practices in management. Important contributions have been made in MSR research to better understand the meaning of work, the impact of spirituality and spiritual leadership in the workplace, the purpose of business, the effects of religious pluralism in the workplace, and the distinctive elements of individual religious and spiritual beliefs that cultivate inner awareness and promote wisdom for the common good.

Examples of specific questions from the perspective of “broadening our sight” within the MSR Domain include:

  • How do spirituality and/or religion strengthen our ability to hold multiple perspectives simultaneously, enabling us to avoid often self-imposed dichotomies inherent in either/or thinking, so that we are better able to address complex challenges and take advantage of high value-add opportunities in 21st century organizational life? [see “Note” as the end of this Call].
  • How do spirituality and/or religion inhibit our ability to hold multiple perspectives and exercise both/and thinking in addressing such challenges and opportunities?
  • What does a ‘20/20 broad vision’ mean for the domain of management, spirituality, and religion? How is it manifest? What are the challenges and opportunities to produce actionable knowledge?
  • How do our methods of researching spirituality and/or religion within organizations ensure or preclude a broad set of perspectives and a rich diversity of theories?

We welcome scholarly paper, presenter symposium, and/or panel symposium submissions for the 2020 MSR Scholarly Program:

  • Paper submissions involve one or more authors submitting an academic paper, which if accepted, is grouped by the MSR Program Chair into a themed paper session or a symposium.
  • Presenter Symposia involve a series of authored papers that you, the submitter, organize around a theme of your choosing.  Titles and authors/presenters are associated with each presentation.
  • Panel Symposia are intended to engage a group of panelists in an interactive discussion. There are no titles associated with the panelists’ presentations. Proposals should include a clear description of the topic and the procedure that will be used to manage the discussion among panelists and with the audience.

As well as the Call for Submissions, MSR also makes a Call for Reviewers. If you plan to submit a paper, please also plan to review!

We look forward to the range of teaching, practitioner, and scholarship research that will crystalize our 2020 MSR effort to “cultivate inner awareness and promote wisdom for the common good” (MSR Domain Statement).

Submission details 

Dates to remember:

  • Reviewer Sign Up Opens: Early December 2019
  • Submission Center opens: Early December 2019
  • Submission Center Closes: Tuesday, 14 January 2020 at 5:00 PM ET (NY time)

Process Overview:

The AOM submission process can be confusing for newcomers. The following overview is intended to outline the broad steps involved that take us to the finished MSR Scholarly Program:

  • The program is divided into three broad and separate segments:
    • Friday and Saturday are the Professional Development Workshop (PDW) segment.
    • Sunday is the All Academy Theme segment, and
    • Monday and Tuesday are the Scholarly Program Segment.
  • Submissions to the Scholarly Program segment of AOM must identify a single sponsoring division or interest group (i.e., MSR). However, submitters are encouraged to identify other divisions/interest groups whose members might find their submission relevant. The submission is initially reviewed by the primary sponsor. If it is accepted for inclusion into MSR’s Scholarly Program, the submission becomes visible to the other divisions/interest groups that have been listed and they are invited to co-sponsor the session.
  • Based on the reviewer feedback, the MSR Scholarly Program Chair selects specific submissions as:
    • MSR Showcase Symposium – These are the best symposium submissions received and are expected to attract a large audience. They do NOT need to address the conference theme. The MSR Scholarly Program Chair may select up to 10% of symposia accepted by their division to be designated as showcase symposia.
    • MSR Best Paper Award – Based on the review process outcomes.
  • Based on an initial self-nomination and subsequent reviewer feedback, the MSR Scholarly Program Chair recommends a single accepted submission for the following AOM Program Awards:
    • William H. Newman Award for Best paper Based on a Dissertation
    • Carolyn Dexter Award for Best International Paper

It is an honor to be nominated for these awards and the papers are designated as nominees on the program. More information is available on the annual meeting program awards page.


Note: The AOM 2020 theme aims to expand our research impact and to break down apparent trade-offs that constrain our thinking. The goal is to create greater synergies and increase value-add for individuals, organizations, and society, thus enabling the field of management to contribute more effectively to meeting global and local challenges from conflict and discrimination to income inequality and climate change. In our own profession, major challenges include changing models for teaching and learning, increasing pressure to publish in “A” journals, tensions over the MBA market, and the evolving nature of the university business model.

Example MSR research topics this year include:

  • How can spirituality and religion contribute to strengthening the role of business as an agent of world benefit?
  • How can they strengthen research and practice in the area of Humanistic Management with its goal of ensuring human dignity and wellbeing?
  • How might MSR scholars broaden the construct of sustainability to incorporate spiritual wellbeing?
  • How is the convergence of science and spirituality on an interconnected (“Oneness”) view of reality changing our paradigmatic assumptions about what it means to be alive today? How is this convergence playing out differently in different cultures?
  • What is the role of science in transforming business leaders at a spiritual level?
  • Why is transforming consciousness a high point of leverage for leaders pursuing pro-social and pro-environmental strategies and behaviors?

Many of these questions touch on the growing body of scientific evidence that a range of religious and spiritual practices have a transformative effect on our consciousness, sense of purpose, health, and wellbeing. (Tackney, et. al. 2017). Specifically, such practices are shown to help cultivate broader perception and greater awareness of our connection to self, family, community, and the natural environment (Sheldrake, R. 2017).

For the 2020 program, we also welcome non-thematic proposals about other topics within the MSR domain including, but not limited to, developing our members’ capacity to research and teach about the nature, influence, and relationship of spirituality and religion in management and organizations.