Call for Professional Development Workshop Proposals: Management, Spirituality and Religion (MSR)

PDW Chair: Nicholas Burton, Northumbria University, United Kingdom,

Conference theme: 20/20: Broadening our Sight

Submission Center Opens: Early December 2019

Submission Center Closes: Tuesday, 14 January 2020 at 5:00 PM ET (NY time)

PDW Program: Friday, 7 August and Saturday, 8 August 2020 from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM 

The Management, Spirituality and Religion (MSR) Interest Group cordially invites you to submit a Professional Development Workshop (PDW) proposal for the Academy of Management Annual Meeting PDW Program in Vancouver, 7-11 August 2020.  PDWs should be creative, developmental and experiential. 


A PDW is an experience intended to update and develop member’s professional skills related to research, teaching, and professional practice such as consulting. PDWs can take a variety of forms: tutorials intended to develop research or teaching skills, debates, roundtable discussions, interactive panels, site visits, service-learning activities, creative/artistic sessions, and other activities that help MSR members develop professionally. The possibilities are endless as long as an event brings skill enhancement to the participants in terms of their professional activities.  


PDWs are distinct from scholarly program sessions in their personal and professional skill orientation. This is an opportunity to ‘teach the teacher’ or ‘develop the researcher’ by sharing your expert knowledge to build others’ capacity.  As such, PDWs should not mimic scholarly sessions; for example, it is not appropriate to suggest a series of academic papers with minimal audience involvement. Rather, PDWs should focus on widespread participation and skill development.


Skills are better enhanced through active engagement in discussion or experiential activities rather than passive listening. PDWs offer an excellent opportunity to move outside the boundary of a single division to explore issues and ideas across divisions. The aim is to attract and involve a broad audience from across the AOM membership. PDWs are excellent opportunities to learn about research and teaching practices in other countries and to develop potential collaborative projects. They can be a vehicle to bridge research and practice by engaging practitioners and scholars in dialogues on their mutual challenges and aspirations.

To Theme or Not to Theme?

PDW proposals may focus on the AOM Conference theme, 20/20: Broadening our Sight, as described by AOM 2020. Vice President and Program Chair, Herman Aguinis. He notes that in the context of the grand challenges of the 21st century, our progress in responding to them is constrained by self-imposed dichotomies that prevent us from creating value for individuals, organizations, and society, and offers the challenge that “It is unlikely that we will be able to make impactful contributions to addressing major organizational, societal, and professional challenges if our scholarship and teaching adopt an “or” rather than an “and” approach”.

The AOM 2020 theme aims to break down the dichotomies that constrain our ways of thinking, seeing, and envisioning the world, to create synergies and increase value-added for individuals, organizations, society, and the field of management and organizations. To contribute to this exciting vision, you are cordially invited to create a compelling PDW that explore dichotomies in the field of management and organizations such as theory and practice and research and teaching, as well as dichotomies located within the MSR domain such as religion and spirituality, the secular and the divine, and many others I am sure you can think of.

For the 2020 program, we also welcome non-thematic proposals about other topics within the MSR domain including, but not limited to, developing our members’ capacity to research and teach about the nature, influence and relationship of spirituality and religion in management and organizations. 


Aguinis, H. (2019). AOM 2020 Conference Theme: 20/20: Broadening our Sight

PDW proposals must include:

A title and AOM assigned submission number (in the proposal and in the file name),

A primary sponsor and other potential sponsors,

An abstract of up to 250 words,

A 3-5 page workshop overview,

A case for why the PDW would be of interest to MSR and potential co-sponsors,

A description of the chosen format for delivery,

An attendance commitment. Upon acceptance, at least one author or participant must commit to attending the conference. An explicit written statement of commitment is required (e-mail is acceptable).

Key words capturing the most important aspects of your proposed session PDW.

Missing any of these items means proposals will not be reviewed or evaluated for acceptance.

A few technical rules to keep in mind:

PDWs proposals must be for a minimum of 1.5 hours in duration. However, when submitting the PDW in the online Submission Center, it will still need to be submitted with a minimum duration of 2 hours (this is an artifact of the AOM Submission Center). If the proposal is accepted, the PDW Chair will reduce the duration to 1.5 hours on the submitter’s behalf.

The PDW Chair has the ability to decrease the duration of any submitted Professional Development Workshop if he/she feels it would better serve the Interest Group’s member experience. The minimum amount of time a PDW can be reduced to is 1.5 hours.

The "rule of three" applies: individuals may submit, appear in, or be associated with up to three PDWs.