Program Chair: Amit Nigam, Cass Business School,
2021 Division Scholarly Program: Call for Submissions

30 July to 3 August 2021

In a year of turmoil and unexpected events—from a pandemic, to the shift to virtual work, to a global call for racial justice and the need to respond to pressing global issues such as climate change—the importance of efforts to lead and manage processes of change and changing are more important than ever. In organizations across countries and sectors, managers are critical in leading processes of change and changing.

The ODC division invites submission of innovative empirical (qualitative, quantitative, laboratory) or conceptual papers and symposia that are relevant to research organizational development and change. We especially encourage submissions that align with this year's AOM theme “Bringing the Manager Back in Management.” This theme invites researchers and practitioners to develop research, practices, and teaching that “shape what managers do on a day-to-day basis.” In a year when the AOM theme itself acknowledges that “it isn’t always clear how our research addresses issues confronting practicing managers,” the ODC Division’s history of engaging scholars and scholar-practitioners is particularly important. This call for papers and symposia is an invitation for you to participate.

This theme is especially relevant to the values the ODC Division endorses. ODC scholars have long sought to enlarge our understanding of both change and changing in ways that connect to practicing managers. This connection, given the events of the past year, should be particularly urgent. Every industry has in some way changed or transformed in the past year, and can expect more in the years to come – both short term in response to the pandemic, and more, longer term in response to new and changing technologies, or longer-term societal change. The theme encourages us to develop and submit papers and symposia that might be useful to managers generally, and particularly in turbulent times. This can include, but is not limited to the following:

  • How can managers help their organizations adapt to a world of virtual working
  • How can managers at all levels and front-line employees champion change that truly addresses endemic challenges of diversity and inclusion?
  • How managers cope with, balance, and respond to competing goals and demands in a changing world?
  • How can managers or consultants formulate and enact OD processes that promote engagement and resilience?
  • How can managers facilitate changes in organizational practices or business models in order to become more sustainable?
  • How can managers can create and maintain compassionate organizations in turbulent times?
  • How do conflicts, power struggles and identity clashes emerge and develop when organization face radical change in uncertain times?
These questions are aligned with the ODC Division's identity as a community that is engaged with change and changing. To submit to the ODC Division, please review the submission instructions and refer to the section on information for papers and symposia. The submission deadline is Tuesday, 12 January 2021 at 17:00 (5pm) ET (NY Time), but earlier submissions are strongly encouraged. Before writing your submission, we also encourage you to review the ODC Division domain and mission statements. Please contact the Program Chair, Amit Nigam ( with any questions.

If you would like a paper to be considered for an award, please indicate it at the time of submission by making a note on the title as well as in the accompanying email to indicate the award for which you want the paper to be considered.  Division Awards, some with an honorarium, will be given for the best paper in the following categories:

  • ODC Division Best Paper
  • Rupe Chisholm Practical Theory Award
  • Best Paper based on a Dissertation (student must be the sole author)
  • ODC Division Best Student Paper (student must be first author, but paper can be co-authored)
  • ODC Division Best Action Research Paper
The ODC Division also recognizes a Best Reviewer Award. All award winners will be celebrated at the ODC business meeting, which will be held during the 2021 meeting. Please refer to our website for additional detail on all awards.

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