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Academy of Management Division & Interest Group Domain Statements

Division and Interest Group Domains


Specific domain: people's lifelong succession of work experiences, the structure of opportunity to work, and the relationship between careers and other aspects of life. Major topics include: individual career development; career management strategies; career planning; relationships between human resource systems and careers; life cycle interactions with work; race, culture, and gender effects on careers; labor force diversity; internal labor market structures and functions; cross-cultural careers; and effects of demographic and social changes on work.

Conflict Management

Specific domain: the nature and management of conflicts at the individual, group, organizational, interorganizational and societal level; power processes including influence, coalitions, coercion, deterrence, and persuasion; bargaining and negotiation, negotiator characteristics and behaviors; collaboration and competition; third party interventions (such as facilitation, arbitration, mediation); distributive and procedural justice and dispute resolution procedures. Major topics include application of the above conceptual foci to a wide variety of contexts including team interactions, intercultural relations, organizational diversity, labor relations, workplace disputes, community conflict and public policy development. (Revised 8/98)

Critical Management Studies

Specific Domain: CMS serves as a forum within the Academy for the expression of views critical of established management practices and the established social order. Our premise is that structural features of contemporary society, such as the profit imperative, patriarchy, racial inequality, and ecological irresponsibility often turn organizations into instruments of domination and exploitation. Driven by a shared desire to change this situation, we aim in our research, teaching, and practice to develop critical interpretations of management and society and to generate radical alternatives. Our critique seeks to connect the practical shortcomings in management and individual managers to the demands of a socially divisive and ecologically destructive system within which managers work.


Specific domain: (a) the actors, actions, resources, environmental influences and outcomes associated with the emergence of entrepreneurial opportunities and/or new economic activities in multiple organizational contexts, and (b) the characteristics, actions, and challenges of owner-managers and their businesses. (Revised 8/2011)

Gender and Diversity in Organizations

Specific domain: Content relating to gender and diversity within and outside organizational boundaries including cultural, societal, and worldwide levels, and to the influence of group relations on the structuring of societies and the production of knowledge. Major topics include theory and research on: Gender and its intersections with race, class, and other institutionalized systems of power; the impact of group diversity on well-being and effectiveness at individual, group, and organizational levels of analysis; the impact of occupational and organizational structures on marginalized and dominant groups; experiences of members of different social groups, including (but not limited to) groups differentiated by gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, religion, culture, (dis)ability, and age; the impact of organizational policies, practices, and discourses on dominant and marginalized groups, including critical examination of seemingly neutral assumptions underlying such policies, practices, and discourses, and their differential impact on these groups; the intersection of work, family, and community in relation to one's social position; institutional and structural barriers to equality and equity across social groups; processes of change that create and foster inclusion, whether from external interventions or from individuals within groups or organizations; the impact of cultural, societal, and national diversity on workers and the workplace; diversity in academia, in general, and in the field of organization studies in particular; cross-national comparative approaches to all of the above. (revised 2/07)

Health Care Management

The Health Care Management division is dedicated to enhancing population health and wellbeing through developing and testing management theory. Division members seek to understand the role of professionals and organizations in providing effective health care that is low cost, high quality, and enhances population health and wellbeing at the local, national, and global levels. Members of the division research the performance of health workers and organizations across the growing spectrum of professions and settings contributing to health (i.e., beyond traditional medical care contexts); the adoption and effectiveness of new organizational forms, practices, roles, and technologies in health care; the evolution of public policy including issues related to access, cost, financial performance, and quality of care as well as how it is influenced by and affects health professionals and organizations; the competitive dynamics and strategy of health organizations and their consequences; the perspective of patients, families, and communities and their implications for workers and organizations; implementation of evidence-based management and clinical practice; and health care finance and marketing. By examining a complex and dynamic context closely entwined with a multi-faceted set of organization types, professions, and public policies, research on health care management phenomena serves to develop new management theory or refine and test existing theory that often spans Academy divisions. As a division we welcome such cross-division collaboration. (Revised April 2018)

Human Resources

The Human Resources Division is dedicated to understanding, identifying, and improving the effectiveness of HR practices to facilitate organizational competitiveness nationally or internationally, encourage individual growth and development, and enhance individual performance, work-related attitudes, and well-being. The Division emphasizes the study of human capital and HR management practices at the individual, group, organizational, societal, and cross-cultural levels of analysis and their impact on outcomes critical to the organization, its employees and their representatives, and all its stakeholders (whether future, present, or past). Major topics include a broad spectrum of issues pertaining to the recruitment, selection, allocation, development, utilization, evaluation, compensation, and retention of people as resources in work organizations and the employment relationship. (Revised June 2017)

International Management

The IM Division focuses on content pertaining to the theory, research, and practice of management with a cross-border or cross-cultural dimension.Major topics include: the cross-border management of operations, including multi-country, multi-unit, strategy formulation and implementation; evolving organizational forms and management practices in cross-border business; the cross-border differential impact of cultural, social, economic, technological, political, and other institutional forces on strategies, organizational forms, and management practices; the international competitiveness of firms, industries, and nations; and comparative management studies involving two or more countries. Papers that focus on a single country and have no international issues or implications should be submitted to another division of the Academy whose domain is appropriate for the paper's topic. (Revised 8/8/04)

Management Consulting

The Management Consulting (MC) Division focuses on management consulting as both a diverse field of applied social and managerial sciences (e.g. practices, processes, knowledge, and tools) and an established and evolving industry (e.g. client organizations, businesses and players connected by a network of relations providing consulting services such as consultants, students, educators, faculty-researchers, regulators, and influencers).
Our goals are: (1) to advance knowledge of both the consulting field and the consulting industry; (2) to provide an arena that encourages the development of consultants as scholarly practitioners who connect research, practice, and teaching; and (3) to bridge scholarship and practice about management consulting for the long-term benefit of clients, consultants, organizations, and society. We use scholarship to improve consulting practice, and consulting practice to inform relevant social and managerial science theory.
Our focus areas relate to consulting research, theory, approaches, issues, and dynamics. These areas include consulting practices; processes; knowledge, and tools; ethical issues in consulting; roles and responsibilities of academics in the field; how consultants support strategy; leadership; team development, human resources, and change management; consulting industry trends; consulting firm management; scholar-practitioner education; areas of consulting differentiated by sector, specialty and/or function; ethics in consulting; education and development for consulting careers. The MCD welcomes a rich and varied set of approaches and methodologies that reflect the tension between academic rigor and the reality of the organizational practice.

Management Education and Development

The Management Education and Development Division supports theory development and research in management education (academic) and leadership/management development (non-credit instruction). MED is the education theory, practice and policy research division of the Academy of Management. We enable effective practices of management education and development by encouraging research on programs and institutions which addresses issues at all levels of management education delivery, from individual learner through education and learning policy. We foster the skill development of our membership through workshops on improving effective teaching, learning, participation and engagement strategies. Major areas of focus include: theoretical advances or empirical evidence about effective and innovative instructional methods, technology, management education and development techniques, institutional structures or education policies; and applications of learning theories. Research and benchmark practices in coaching, outcome assessment, learning styles, on-line learning across cultures and environments are also a focus of the division. (Revised 3/17)

Management History

Specific Domain: Pragmatic investigations into the historical evolution of managerial thought and action. Major Topics: The chronological tracing of the development of contemporary managerial concepts, techniques, behaviors, and practices with the intent of demonstrating (in) effectiveness within a given context, setting, or organization; reviews of how the discipline might learn from and avoid making the mistakes of the past; examples of how current research efforts are aimed at "rediscovering" existing knowledge and suggestions for the redirection of contemporary investigations; reevaluations of historical manuscripts based on present knowledge; explorations into the history, traditions and evolution of businesses and industries; comparative works which demonstrate how diverse individuals and groups influenced managerial thought and practice; application of history to unify extant concepts and bodies of literature that are highly fragmented; and investigation into how management history might be better taught and management history research better conducted, applied and utilized to enhance understanding of the field. (Revised 5/01)

Management, Spirituality and Religion

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 faith, 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 affects 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.(Original created December 1999; re-approved August 2000; revision approved May 2015)


Managerial and Organizational Cognition

The Managerial and Organizational Cognition Division (MOC) Division is devoted to understanding individual, relational, and collective cognition in organizational contexts. We are open to and provide innovative developmental support for a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches to studying managerial and organizational cognition.

In studying cognition at multiple levels MOC members' specific topic areas include, but are not restricted to: social construction, culture and cognition, the nature and role of mental models and representations, judgment and decision making, attribution processes, individual differences, non-conscious forms of cognition (e.g. intuition), cognitive institutionalism, emotion, ideology, identity/identification, image, reputation, sense making/meaning making, symbols and artifacts, categorization, knowledge creation and management, individual learning, organizational learning and memory, and communities of practice. (Revised 12/15)

Operations and Supply Chain Management

Specific domain: focuses on the management of the transformation processes that create products or services. These processes are found in all organizations including profit and non-profit organizations. Conceptual, empirical, and methodological contributions are encouraged, as are cross-functional linkages and perspectives. Major topics include operations strategy, product and service development, supply chain management, project management, and quality management, as well as international, human resources, environmental, and IT issues facing operations. (Revised 11/99)

Organization and Management Theory

Specific domain: involves building and testing theory about organizations, their members and their management, organization-environment relations, and organizing processes. The area has a rich intellectual heritage. Theoretical advances in organization theory have included strategic choice, resource dependence theory, organizational ecology and institutional theory. More recently, we have provided a home for critical, feminist, cognitive, and post-modern theorists. We encourage new theory development and the application of our existing theory base to such emerging and continuing management challenges as quality improvement, strategic alliances, new technology implementation, organizational restructuring, governance and control, and strategic global diversity. The division celebrates theoretical activity, methodological pluralism and linkages between theory and practice.

Organization Development and Change

Specific domain: The ODC division is devoted to empirical research, theory development, and practical application concerning all forms of organization change. The ODC content domain focuses on the processes and outcomes of organization change and development at the individual, group, organizational, and institutional levels using multiple methods and perspectives. Major topics include:

  • the causes and dynamics of different forms and types of change, such as emergent change, evolutionary change, planned change, continuous change, and strategic change;
  • the forms, processes, and types of interventions—e.g. individual, group, and large scale—and the factors that influence their use and effectiveness;
  • the leadership and facilitation of organization change and development, such as forms and functions of leadership; leaders' approaches, behaviors, and activities of leaders and change agents; leadership and change agent effectiveness, and the contextual factors that influence these;
  • the reactions and responses of people to change such as readiness for change, engagement in change, and resistance to change and the individual, interpersonal, and organizational factors that contribute to these responses and reactions;
  • the impact of contexts, such as organizational type, industry structure and dynamics, institutions, and nationality on the content and processes of organization change and development;
  • the integration of change outcomes such as human-social, financial, and environmental as system goals and measures of success;
  • the development of paradigms and methods that address values such as sustainability, justice, dignity, and integrity in ODC contexts and generate ethical, positive, and meaningful contributions as they relate to organizational change and its processes. (Revised 8/2013)

Organizational Behavior

Specific domain: Organizational behavior is devoted to understanding individuals and groups within an organizational context. The field focuses on attributes, processes, behaviors, and outcomes within and between individual, interpersonal, group, and organizational levels of analysis. Major topics include:

  • individual characteristics such as beliefs, values, personality, and demographic attributes, and individual processes such as learning, perception, motivation, emotions, and decision making
  • interpersonal processes such as trust, justice, power/politics, social exchange, and networks
  • group/team characteristics such as size, diversity, and cohesion, and group/team processes such as development, leadership, decision making, and cooperation and conflict
  • organizational processes and practices such as leadership, goal setting, work design, feedback, rewards, communication, and socialization
  • contextual influences on individuals and groups such as organizational and national culture, and organizational identity and climate
  • and the influence of all of the above on individual, interpersonal, group, and organizational outcomes such as performance, creativity, attachment, citizenship behaviors, stress, absenteeism, turnover, deviance, and ethical behavior.

Organizational Communication and Information Systems

Specific domain: The study of behavioral, economic, and social aspects of communication and information systems within and among organizations or institutions. Major topics include: interpersonal communication; verbal, nonverbal, and electronic communication; vertical, horizontal and diagonal communication; inter-group and intra-group communication; communication networks; applications of information technology in business and society; organizational adoption of communication and information technology; communication and information strategy and policy; communication and organizational culture; communication and information research methodology; managing information technology services; virtual teams, virtual work, and virtual organizations; the management of information systems professionals; e-communications; information systems development; managing IT-related organizational change; e-business, e-commerce, and e-markets; electronic value systems, value chains, and value webs; privacy and ethics; knowledge work, knowledge workers, and knowledge networks; IT infrastructure; governance of IT services; and organizational networks. (updated:05.09.03)

Organizational Neuroscience

Specific Domain: The Organizational Neuroscience (NEU) interest group is dedicated to using neuroscience knowledge and approaches at different levels in organizations, as well as promoting linkages to management practice. We encourage knowledge generation through theoretical propositions and/or empirical evidence pertaining to the neural mechanisms associated with behavior in the workplace. Concurrently, the interest group seeks to understand how the environment, culture, and institutions can affect organizational actors’ nervous system functioning. By considering neuroscience at different levels of analysis in organizations, we encourage interdisciplinarity and multi-methods research. Moreover, we stress ethical considerations when using neuroscience technology in workplace research. (updated:01 March 20)

Organizations and the Natural Environment

Specific domain: research, theories and practices regarding relationships of organizations and the natural environment. Major topics include: ecological sustainability, environmental philosophies and strategies, ecological performance, environmental entrepreneurship, environmental product and service industries, pollution control and prevention, waste minimization, industrial ecology, total quality environmental management, environmental auditing and information systems, managing human resources for sustainability, ecological crisis management, natural resources and systems management, protection and restoration, interactions of systems management, interactions of environmental stakeholders, environmental policies, environmental attitudes and decision making, and international/comparative dimensions of these topics. As the natural environment is integral in all individual, organizational and societal activity, the interest group encourages holistic, integrative, and interdisciplinary analysis. It promotes joint exploration of these topics with all other disciplines and Academy units.

Public and Nonprofit Division

Specific Domain: State and civil society, which include public and nonprofit organizations such as government agencies, the military, social services, cultural and educational institutions, membership and professional associations, and advocacy, religious, and charitable organizations. Major topics include: decision making; strategy; organizational behavior and human resource management; political behavior; collaboration and conflict among public, nonprofit, and private organizations; service and community-building; organizational networks involving public and nonprofit organizations; theories of governance; public policy; and the social and ethical dimensions of public and nonprofit activity. Special attention to how distinctive qualities of the public and nonprofit sectors influence management and organizational processes. (Revised 5/01)

Research Methods

The Research Methods Division is committed to advancing and disseminating techniques for the collection, evaluation, and interpretation of information pertinent to Management scholarship. The Division emphasizes the identification, systematic development, and application of appropriate qualitative and quantitative research methods (both new and current) within the Management field. At the same time, the Division encourages discussions and debates on measurement-related issues, usefulness/application of analytic approaches, and issues in philosophy of science.

  • Major Qualitative Topics include: discourse analysis, ethnography, evaluative research, grounded theory approach, historical analysis, textual analysis.
  • Major Quantitative Topics include: cross-cultural and comparative methods, experimental and nonexperimental research design, survey research.
  • Major Statistical and Analytic Topics include: causal mapping, construct validation, measurement development and evaluation, statistical modeling techniques.
  • Other Topics include: epistemology, scholarly writing and publication, theory development. (Revised 6/19)

Social Issues in Management

The Social Issues in Management (SIM) Division studies the social issues, institutions, interactions, and impacts of management. The common logic of SIM scholarship is our shared interest in understanding responsible behavior by organizations and the people and groups working in and around them. Such investigation leads us to ask fundamental questions about the ethical systems, roles, functioning, and legitimacy of business institutions. Members also bridge scholarship to applied social practices, developing understanding and methods to promote social change and sustainable development.

 Specifically, we address:

  • Individual and organizational ethics. Descriptive, including behavioral, work covers individual characteristics, group/organizational influences, and firm-environment interactions. Prescriptive work includes ethical theories; e.g., rights and justice, and the study of norms, values, and moral principles.
  • Organizational and systemic governance. The study of relationships and responsibilities covering both top-level corporate and within-organization governance, and social/environmental governance, including regulatory partnerships, corporate corruption/compliance, strategic issues/public affairs management, and corporate political activity.
  • Stakeholder behaviors, relationships, and systems. Descriptive approaches illuminate interactions with multiple stakeholders; e.g., corporate philanthropy and management of natural environmental issues. Instrumental approaches investigate the impacts of stakeholder management on firm goals. Prescriptive approaches consider the organization's responsibilities to stakeholders; e.g., corporate social responsibility, corporate social performance, corporate citizenship; and stakeholders' responsibilities to the organization. (Revised 2/15)

Strategic Management

The division encourages and supports the development and dissemination of knowledge relevant to general managers and those who study, shape, or influence the strategy of organizations, as well as effective teaching of these issues. Division scholars seek to understand and predict when and why some firms perform better than others over time. The division covers several topics associated with strategic decision-making processes, their antecedents/context, and their consequences. Examples of the first subject include behavioral strategy; boundaries of the firm; corporate governance; corporate strategy; economics of strategy; non-market strategies; innovation and strategic renewal; strategic formulation, implementation and planning; and strategic processes. Examples of the second subject include alliances, networks, M&A and other inter- or intra-organizational relationships when they have relevant implications for strategic decisions; business models; competitive and cooperative interactions; industry dynamics; internal resources and capabilities; strategic management of critical inputs; and strategic leadership and upper echelons. Examples of the third subject include firm performance and firm/competitive heterogeneity. The division is also interested in the effect of government policy on any of these areas or phenomena. The common level of analysis is the organization. To the extent that they are relevant to the strategic decision-making process, the levels of analysis can also include (among others) units, groups, teams, or individuals within the organization, organizational ecosystems, product markets, factor markets, geographic units, and industries, as well as combinations of these. (Revised 10/2017)

Strategizing Activities & Practices

To advance knowledge and understanding of strategy as something people do and not just something organizations have, and therefore the work involved in doing strategy. Empirically the focus is on the day-to-day-work, activities and practices of strategists, with an interest in how this work socially accomplishes a wide range of individual and organizational outcomes, and also relates to broader societal and institutional trends.The focus on strategists extends beyond concerns with upper echelons and even middle managers to include other influential players such as consultants, non executives and business school gurus, and beyond considerations such as demographics to a consideration of how aspects such as training, knowledge, identity and emotions can affect an individual's strategy making activity. The focus on the work of strategists includes both understanding at a micro level traditional areas of strategy process and content research and the generic practices (e.g. planning routines, discourse, tool-use) by which they are accomplished. Methodologically this research focus generates particular challenges in terms of closeness to strategic practitioners. Thus the interest group encourages methodological innovation through, for example, collaborative and mixed method approaches, action research interventions, executive development and coaching based relationships, video and narrative approaches. Theoretical pluralism is also encouraged with recognition of the potential contributions from a wide range of sociological and organization theories such as practice based, institutional, discourse, sensemaking, routines and cognition.

Technology and Innovation Management

Specific domain: encourages interdisciplinary scholarship and dialogue on the management of innovation and technological change from a variety of perspectives, including strategic, managerial, behavioral, and operational issues. The problem domain includes the management of innovation processes, research and development, information technologies, e-commerce, and process technologies. Participants in this broad academic endeavor come from a wide range of disciplines and draw on an extensive array of theoretical and research paradigms. We enter this complex problem domain in the spirit of dialogue, debate, and deepened understanding. Major topics include: studies of the strategic management of technology; innovation processes; innovation diffusion and the development, implementation and use of technologies; technology development trajectories; intellectual capital; organizational processes by which technically-oriented activities are integrated into organizations; product development strategies; technical project management; behaviors and characteristics of technical professionals; technological forecasting and policies; information technology; impacts of new technologies on organizational forms and electronic commerce. (Revised 11/99)

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