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About the AOM Specialized Conferences Initiative

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The Academy of Management’s Annual Meeting is the oldest and largest gathering of management and organizations scholars in the world.  While the size and scope of this global event provide countless opportunities for learning and engaging, showcasing and gaining exposure to cutting-edge research, building vast professional networks, and more, members continue to express their desires for additional, complementary events held throughout the year that allow for deep dialogue and interactions through smaller, highly-focused gatherings.

 In response to these desires, the Board of Governors launched an experimental initiative, calling for innovative conference ideas from the membership, which resulted in the production of the Academy of Management Africa Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.  At the same time, the AOM Teaching & Learning Conference (TLC@AOM) was developed to meet the growing teaching-related needs of members around the globe. The reaction to these highly innovative, impactful events reverberated throughout the Academy, resulting in an exploratory period of research and evaluation that would build the foundation to support a portfolio of smaller, geographically diverse Academy of Management conference offerings in the future. 

The AOM Specialized Conferences Initiative is a multi-year experiment that aims to develop a portfolio of smaller, meaningful and sustainable new meeting opportunities that complement our large Annual Meeting. The initiative includes the launch of a new governance structure, the AOM Conferences Committee, to oversee the operational and policy details involved in implementing this new program and infrastructure enhancements to support the development of these new meeting innovations.  Several new conference models that allow members to connect and engage throughout the year, virtually and in varied locations that are reflective of the geographic dispersion of our international membership are envisioned as part of this initiative.  In addition to these models, we expect new ideas that reflect the creative energy of our membership to emerge. The plan for realizing this vision for AOM conference activity is designed to continuously evolve as we experiment with new program structures, delivery modes, content features, and conference designs.


Special Acknowledgement

The Board is grateful to the various volunteers who contributed to the development of the Specialized Conferences Initiative including those who served on the Small Conferences Task Force, the Teaching & Learning Conference Committee, and the AOM Africa Conference Committee. Thank you also to leadership from the Human Resources Division, Research Methods Division, Management Consulting Division, Diversity & Inclusion Theme Committee, and others, whose valuable feedback and insights helped shape the strategy for innovative and meaningful new meeting opportunities for AOM members.


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