Organizations & the Natural Environment (ONE) Call for Submissions

PDW Chair: Sukhbir Sandhu, Centre for Workplace Excellence, University of South Australia Business School,

2020 Professional Development Workshops: Call for Proposals

The Organizations and Natural Environment (ONE) division seeks proposals for Professional Development Workshops (PDWs) for the 2020 Academy of Management meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ONE is a community of scholars and teachers with the common desire to advance and promote understanding of the intersection of organizations and the natural environment. We believe that these interactions are among the most significant components in the continued existence, development, and management of human organizations and societies. The pollution of air, water, and land, and the depletion of resources resulting from the actions of organizations are the most obvious manifestations of these relationships. ONE focuses on the status, causes, and effects of these and other opportunities and problems that human organizations and societies encounter in co-existing with the natural environment within the workplace, communities, and/or global ecosystem.

The goal of PDWs is to serve the personal and professional needs of Academy members to develop and update their practical, professional, and intellectual skills. This year’s Academy theme, “20/20: Broadening our Sight” is particularly relevant for the ONE division. Now more than ever we need the action on the sustainability agenda to be “fast and furious”. For the 2020 PDW program the ONE division invites submissions that interrogate our theories and methods so that we can broaden our sights at individual, organizational and societal levels to fast-track the sustainability agenda. We encourage submissions that will enable us work with practitioners in recognizing the urgency of addressing social and environmental challenges.

PDWs should promote attendees’ professional development, in terms of teaching or research. PDWs differ from the Academy’s Scholarly Program and should not mimic symposia or paper sessions in which a series of presentations are made with minimal audience involvement. Instead, PDWs should be inclusive, encourage widespread participation, develop members’ skills, foster connections, and promote interactive involvement.

The Academy has developed extensive guidelines  on how to develop a valuable PDW. Capturing and maintaining attendees’ interest through innovative sessions is critically important. PDWs provide a platform for experimenting with new processes, models, formats, and ideas, and proposers are encouraged to develop something new. These sessions could include new forms of technology (e.g. podcasting, wikis, etc.) and inventive structures.

Traditionally, PDWs have included workshops, town hall meetings, debates, tutorials, panels, tours, roundtable discussions, case studies, invited speakers, and workout sessions. A list of past ONE PDWs is available at the ONE website. We strongly encourage you to make your proposed PDW fun and innovative! In 2020 we are particularly encouraging PDWs that will enable presenters/audience to participate virtually (either to complement or replace the “traditional” physical presence at the Academy).

Good PDWs energize participants and provoke members to be attentive and engaged. They should incorporate theories of adult learning (cooperative, relevant, problem-centred, experiential, etc.). Finally, and importantly, PDW must be logistically sound and well-planned in terms of responsibilities, equipment, preparation, and arrangements. 

The ONE division has a strong tradition of cross-division proposals. We encourage you to connect with other divisions and be explicit about how you will do so. Since limited time is allotted for PDWs, please remember that the submission process is highly competitive.

PDW proposals should present the goal of the PDW, its underlying rationale, the session’s design, its organizers, and its intended audiences. PDW proposals should be three to five pages, single-spaced, with 1.5 spacing between paragraphs and sections. Please refer to the AOM’s PDW guidelines for further details.

You are encouraged to discuss your ideas with the ONE PDW Chair, to ensure that proposals fit with our aims. You may send your preliminary ideas via a short e-mail to Sukhbir Sandhu ( by Friday, 6 December 2020 for discussion.

The deadline for proposals is Tuesday, 14 January 2020 at 5:00 PM ET (NY Time). Please submit your PDW proposals at SubmissionCenter . Only electronic submissions will be accepted. The Submission Center opens in early December and early submissions are encouraged, as proposals will be considered on a rolling basis. Please note that there is limited space on the PDW program, so acceptance of proposals is competitive.

Professional Development Workshop (PDW) sessions at the annual Academy of Management meeting will be held Friday, 7 August and Saturday, 8 August 2020 from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM.

Sukhbir Sandhu
Senior Lecturer
Centre for Workplace Excellence,
University of South Australia Business School