Program Chair: Nicholas Burton, Northumbria University, / Co-chair: Sally Wightman, Northumbria University
2021 Division Scholarly Program: Call for Submissions


Submission System Opens: early-December 2020

Submission System Closes: Tuesday, 12 January 2021 at 17:00 (5 pm) ET (NY Time)

The Management, Spirituality, and Religion (MSR) Interest Group welcomes scholarly submissions to the AOM 2021 meeting. The AOM theme 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 welcomed.

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.

For the 2021 conference, the MSR scholarly program is particularly interested in relating the AOM theme of BRINGING THE MANAGER BACK IN MANAGEMENT to the role of spirituality and religion in the encouragement of management for the common good – in line with the MSR domain statement. More specifically, we hope you will be excited to explore how pathways to the common good can be pursued by showing how managers can challenge structures of oppression and how they manifest around the world. We are also excited to receive papers that connect spirituality, religion and the manager to strategies that accelerate responses to climate change in organizations. Moreover, in exploring these ideas we hope to receive papers that embed scholarly activism, alternative ways of being (eg, separate and selfish versus compassionate and connected), alternative ways of knowing (eg, emotional, sensing, intuition, wisdom), as well as emancipatory and transformational research methods based (for example) indigenous ways of knowing or non-Western logics.

Examples of specific questions, including critical perspectives, include, but are not limited to:

  • How do spirituality and/or religion help or hinder us to reimagine the concept of management for the common good? Or is the common good a contested term in times of structural oppression?
  • To what extent can management, when influenced by spirituality and/or religion, be shifted to non-instrumentalized footing? 
  • How do spirituality and/or religion impact upon our roles as managers and leaders as a force for the common good in challenging normative contexts?   
  • As managers and leaders, how do we express our spirituality and/or religion in the role as managers in a way that challenges structures of oppression?  Or does spirituality and religion in management exacerbate these issues?
  • As technology increasingly mediates our social and working relationships, what does this mean for spiritual or religious expression in virtual and/or hybrid organizational settings?
  • What role can spirituality and/or religion play in making the management and leadership layers of organizations more diverse and inclusive?
  • What role should spirituality and/or religion play in educating future managers and leaders?
  • How do our methods of researching spirituality and/or religion within organizations aid an understanding of management in the future? How can alternate ways of knowing and being benefit MSR research and the wider AoM community? What is the potential for researcher and participant to co-create these alternative ways of knowing and being?

We welcome scholarly paper, presenter symposium, and/or panel symposium submissions for the 2021 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.
    • Full paper submissions should not exceed 40 pages
    • In addition to full paper submissions, in 2021 MSR are also experimenting with a call for developmental papers of up to 3000 words. Developmental papers should be clearly-marked “Developmental Paper” on the front page and their purpose is to enable authors to discuss their work while it is in its developmental stage, so comments and feedback obtained at the conference can be incorporated in the final stages of research and writing up. Following, developmental papers should typically include:
      • Introduction and proposed research question
      • Brief literature review
      • Proposed methodology and/or initial findings
      • Potential contribution
  • 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 sign-up to review.

Process Overview:

The following overview is intended to outline the broad steps involved that take us to the finished MSR Scholarly Program: 

  • In 2021, the PDW and Scholarly Program segment are both spread over the course of the conference.
  • 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 on the annual meeting program awards is available on the AOM website.

Annual Meeting
Key Dates

2021 Annual Meeting

  • Papers available for viewing: through 31 October 2021

  • Sessions available for viewing: through 31 December 2021

2022 Annual Meeting
5-9 August