The following guide is a brief overview and user manual for first-time attendees of the Academy of Management's Annual Meeting. This guide was first written by AOM member Alan Meyer in 2012 as "A Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Academy of Management." It was written to orient a group of 25 young African scholars who were about to make their first visit to the Academy of Management and assumes that the reader had no familiarity with AOM or attending a large, academic conference.
Thank you Alan for your inspiration in guiding our new members!
AOM is the preeminent global association devoted to management and organization research, and the oldest and largest community of management and organization scholars in the world. When you join AOM, you join a vibrant community of scholars dedicated to shaping the future of management.
Since its beginning in 1936, AOM has evolved from an organization of 10 members to an organization of more than 19,000 members from nearly 120 nations and 4,000+ institutions. AOM’s worldwide members are professors and PhD students in business schools at universities, academics in related social science and other fields, and practitioners who value knowledge creation and application.
To build a vibrant and supportive community of scholars by markedly expanding opportunities to connect and explore ideas.
We inspire and enable a better world through our scholarship and teaching about management and organizations.
The Academy of Management is a community of engaged members who teach and conduct research in the area of management. We offer a platform for exchange around the creation and dissemination of rigorous and relevant knowledge pertaining to management scholarship, teaching, and practice. We harness the power of our global members as volunteers to advance the professional development and careers of management scholars in all stages of the academic life cycle.
The Academy of Management mirrors the concept of an Invisible College, a philosophy that dates to the 17th century as a small community of interacting scholars who often met face-to-face, exchanged ideas, and encouraged each other. AOM’s global members often meet and network virtually but come together in person at the Annual Meeting, promoting scholarly relationships and discussions that elevate members' voices and seek to amplify their ideas. This collective engagement of members makes AOM a valuable professional network.
AOM members are management and organization faculty, students, and practitioners who are dedicated to enabling a brighter future for society through scholarship, teaching, and practice. AOM serves its members at every career stage—from student through retired professor—and is member-focused and volunteer-run.
AOM is designed as a “big tent” with many “small houses”. AOM is home to 26 Divisions and Interest Groups (DIGs) that represent the main areas of management theory, research, teaching, and practice. Each DIG organizes its own specialized set of activities that align with member interests.
Membership allows you to join two Divisions and/or Interest Groups with the option to join additional DIGs at a nominal cost. DIGs reflect a broad range of member interests within various management disciplines. They provide collegial collective relationships
among members within a particular subject area who share similar aspects of research, interests, and professional scholarship.
Number of members who purchased additional DIGs:
The biggest DIGs are Organizational Behavior (OB), Strategic Management (STR), and Organization and Management Theory (OMT). But there are lots of smaller, more specialized divisions as well. p
TIP: Many new members find it useful to join a large home disciplinary DIG and a smaller, more specialized DIG.
DIGs offer resources such as professional development opportunities, recognition programs, career mentoring, virtual events, and member communications specific to each DIG. If you don’t immediately spot a DIG that resonates with your own interests, read each DIG’s domain statement to get a better understanding. You may find that the DIGs have a wider, and more inclusive, scope than their names first suggest.
A DIG is the “intellectual home” for AOM members, and there are nearly 30,000 member connections between AOM’s DIGs.
Being a member of AOM grants you full, unlimited access to its highly ranked management research journals. AOM publishes journals to advance the understanding of management theory, empirical results, education, and policy implications. Each of AOM’s seven journals and the proceedings of the Annual Meeting contribute to this objective while emphasizing scholarly aspects. AOM also recently introduced Academy of Management Collections, thematic groups of peer-reviewed research drawn from the AOM journal portfolio.
86,000+ Published Articles
Articles in AOM journals are verified as scientifically reliable and valid through the peer review process. Subject experts in the field review articles submitted by researchers for relevance, quality, and adherence to AOM, academic, and industry standards. AOM journals advance management research and are an essential resource for students, scholars, and management professionals interested in the latest research and industry trends.
Insights is an online magazine for managers and business leaders published by the Academy of Management. Insights brings the best academic research findings to managers and business leaders worldwide. It’s get-right-to-the-point format transforms peer-reviewed management research from the world’s top scholars into actionable evidence for the workplace through easy-to-read summaries of AOM journal articles and engaging infographics and videos. Similar to the AOM journals, access to all Insights content is included as part of your AOM membership.
If you’re interested in publishing your research, Paper Development Workshops are designed to provide authors with guidance and expertise in the development of their manuscript for potential submission to an Academy journal.
The workshops take place year-round and include general presentations about the individual journal by members of that journal's editorial team, as well as roundtable discussions that focus on providing authors with practical and developmental feedback aimed at strengthening and improving their papers. The workshops are open to all Academy members, as well as non-members, and take place globally.
AOM’s networks promote scholarly relationships and discussions that elevate members' voices and seek to amplify their ideas. The collective engagement of our members makes AOM an invaluable professional network. Below are different ways members can connect with each other.
AOM’s online platform allows members of more than 50 communities to connect through discussion boards, libraries of shared documents, and calendars of events to become involved in conversation and collaboration with like-minded colleagues.
AOM builds cooperative relationships and networks with societies who share a common purpose and are committed to advancing the scholarship and practice of management. Affiliated and associated societies are independent organizations who operate autonomously from AOM. Learn more.
At AOM’s events, members collaborate and connect with fellow academics, students, executives, and emeriti. AOM events take place globally and virtually.
Many of AOM’s global members connect online. Search for colleagues using the Member Directory or follow an AOM social media channel for more private AOM connections. Many DIGs also have their own social media.
AOM is a volunteer-driven organization. More than 7,000 volunteers contribute to the network that drives AOM’s journals, governance, annual meeting, and other activities.
TIP: As a new member, keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved with your DIGs. DIGs are always looking for people who are willing to review papers submitted for presentation or publication, serve on small committees (e.g., awards committees) or who have a skill they’d like to put to use (e.g., editing the DIG’s newsletter or serving as a DIG treasurer).
Volunteers are responsible for most of AOM’s governance. AOM is governed by 14 elected officers and the Executive Director, who serve on the Board of Governors, and each DIG is governed by its own group of elected leaders.
AOM is a member-driven association governed by a volunteer Board of Governors (the Board). In addition, DIGs, governed by their own elected officers and additional appointed volunteers, carry out much of the association's work. The president of AOM appoints committees and task forces to handle new business, undertake projects, and manage specific services such as career services, ombudsperson counsel, ethics adjudication and education, and more. Committees, task forces, journal editors, and the divisions and interest groups maintain connections to the Board of Governors.
The Board of Governors, the primary governing body of AOM, has legal and fiduciary accountability for the association and primary responsibility for direction setting and policy development. The board is comprised of 15 individuals, including the president, president-elect, vice president and program chair, vice president-elect and program chair-elect, past president, and nine elected representatives-at-large. The executive director and secretary-treasurer is an ex-officio member of the board.
AOM offers a range of services for members seeking to advance their careers. Members can access one-on-one coaching, AOM’s video library, and career-related AOM research. Through AOM’s job board, job seekers can access a premiere network of academic institutions and corporations seeking qualified candidates for a wide-range of positions, and employers can reach more than 1,400 searchable job seekers.
The Annual Meeting is AOM’s largest and most well-known event. The first Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management was held in Chicago in 1936 with 24 members in attendance. Today, the Annual Meeting hosts more than 10,000 academics looking to advance research, network with colleagues, and disseminate knowledge addressing the 21st century’s most pressing management and organization challenges.
The Annual Meeting is held in a different city each year. The event locations are planned out years in advance and can be found here. In 2025, the Annual Meeting will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark—the first Annual Meeting to be held outside North America!
The conference is usually held in early August and is organized into three components:
Consistent with AOM’s big tent philosophy, the AOM conference is receptive to submissions reflecting a wide range of research questions and methodologies. You can submit either empirical or theoretical manuscripts. Also, the conference is not just about research! You can submit teaching-focused PDWs, scholarly papers, and symposia to any related DIG.
The annual meeting program consists of accepted, peer-reviewed papers, professional development workshops (PDWs), symposia, and caucuses. Submissions for the Annual Meeting open in December and are then peer-reviewed through February. Acceptances go out in March or April, and the program is published in June. These dates may change slightly each year.
TIP: The online program includes papers and additional supplemental materials that can be read before, during, or after the Annual Meeting. This is a great way to figure out which sessions you would like to attend and which scholars you would like to meet.
AOM is the best venue for receiving feedback on your research and other work in progress. Submitting papers and proposals is a great way to participate in the Annual Meeting and share your work and knowledge with fellow management and organization scholars.
You do not need to be a member to submit your work to the Annual Meeting, however if your submission is accepted, membership is required to attend and present at the Annual Meeting.
AOM relies on and greatly appreciates reviewers as well. AOM highly encourages volunteers (both members and non-members) to review for at least one Division or Interest Group (DIG) or for TLC@AOM, especially if you are planning to submit a proposal. Reciprocal reviews provide submitters with high-quality and important feedback on their work.
TIP: Volunteering to review submissions from DIGs other than your own is a great way to network, share expertise, and learn about other disciplines.
PDWs include a wide variety of session formats and learning experiences led by experts in the topic with intended takeaways for the participants. They include doctoral consortia and junior faculty consortia that are organized by AOM's DIGs and affiliates who have designated PDW Chairs to manage the session selection procedure. These can take a variety of forms including tutorials, town hall meetings, breakout sessions, debates, roundtables, tours, or research incubators. PDWs may require pre-registration and often fill up early—be sure to register for these as soon as possible.
The AAT program is developed by AOM’s Vice President and Program Chair, with the aid of a theme committee. The AAT program contains a mix of accepted symposia and professional development workshops (PDWs) that were submitted directly to the AAT program for review by the committee. AAT sessions address issues of broad interest and are directly related to the conference theme.
In symposium sessions, several speakers discuss a common topic or theme in a manner that brings new insights to the subject. There are two types of symposia: Panel Symposia and Presenter Symposia. Symposia can be singly sponsored by a DIG, or jointly sponsored by up to three DIGs. All symposium sessions are scheduled in 90-minute time blocks as part of the Monday and Tuesday program.
Each paper session consists of three to five papers with a session moderator who handles introductions, time keeping, and guides the content of the session. Each author has a set amount of time to present their work. All paper sessions are scheduled in 90-minute time blocks as part of the Monday and Tuesday program.
Caucuses are free-wheeling facilitated conversations about emerging issues, social problems, and novel research topics. They are not formal presentations planned in advance with designated speakers. The organizers usually serve as discussion leaders but do not make a formal presentation. Caucuses provide an opportunity for scholars to innovate, share, and discuss fresh ideas that are still in the incubatory stage. Caucuses allow participants to collaborate, develop new ideas, and explore emerging topics regarding the conference theme in a convenient, informal way to develop a community and spark potential collaborations.
TLC@AOM is a "conference within a conference" that takes place during the Annual Meeting. The conference is designed to help AOM members who have a passion for teaching improve their teaching practices in an open forum of shared experience. TLC@AOM features both submitted and invited sessions. The conference engages members as teachers, increases the visibility of teaching, and positions AOM as a global leader in management teaching.
Going through the schedule can be overwhelming! One way to narrow the results is to limit your search to your area(s) of interest. You can also search by presenter, university, keyword, and type of session, and add these to your customized schedule.
You may also browse the online program by Division or Interest Group. Use the “sponsor” filter to browse through the paper and symposium sessions that your favorite DIGs offer. When you find a session that sounds interesting, you can add it to your schedule. Beyond searching the schedule, you can learn about things to do by reading your DIG’s emails and newsletters.
Remember: it’s ok if you don’t get to everything in your schedule. The Annual Meeting is extensive, and half the battle is taking in as much as you can without burning out. You can always go back and read the papers and supplemental material and reach out to the presenter(s) afterwards if need be.
Because there are so many different venues, and so many people bustling around, it is a good idea to develop a strategy and a personalized schedule for the conference.
Most DIGs have a business meeting scheduled on the program, followed by a social hour. Attending these events will be one of your best opportunities to network with scholars who share your specialized research interests.
TIP: Sign up early! There are some great events for all stages of your academic journey but many of them require advance registration. If you wait until the last minute to look at the schedule, you may miss out due to reservation limits.
In addition to AOM sessions on research and teaching, several universities, journals, and other organizations host receptions and/or parties during the Annual Meeting, referred to as “In Conjunction With” (ICW) events. A few of these are by invitation only, but most are open house events, where all attendees are welcome.
These social events are mainly intended to publicize the host's school, academic program, or journal. Most parties serve snacks and drinks. The etiquette at AOM parties is to just walk in, try to identify someone who is a representative of the hosting
group, and introduce yourself. These events are good places for networking, conversations about research, and so forth.
Many of the research papers are available for viewing in the online program. Reading them in advance provides one of the best ways for a young scholar to gain entry to the invisible college. Past attendees suggest:
If you can’t make it to the session, the online program also includes email and chat capabilities. Send the authors of interesting papers an email introducing yourself.
During the Annual Meeting, student members can attend sessions specially designed with them in mind, regardless of where they are in their doctoral program. Note: these require pre-registration, and many require an application well in advance.
Career Services is where you will find job postings and career coaching. Students can also participate in the Annual Meeting Career Fair and meet with hiring institutions in a one-on-one informational interview.
During the Annual Meeting, sign up to meet with a coach to review your CV, walk through a mock interview, and sharpen your salary negotiation skills. If you already have a job, coaches can suggest next steps if you don’t secure tenure, want to move into an administrative role, or move to another country. Our coaching center is the best place to reach someone outside of the Annual Meeting. Select from one of our seasoned AOM coaches and set up a mutual time to meet. Coaching is also available to members year-round.
TIP: Plan your hotel strategically and make your reservation as early as possible as hotels often sell out. Each division has a primary location. If there is a particular division you are interested in, stay at the hotel where you will likely have most of your sessions.