The Academy of Management held its first specialized conference outside of North America January 7-10, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at the University of Pretoria. The Academy of Management Africa Conference provided an opportunity for members from across the globe to explore the unique capabilities and diverse challenges of the continent. Participants gathered to connect and learn about this region through experiential learning journeys, interactive sessions, collaborative workshops, and networking activities. Videos and images from the conference are available in the AOM Video Library.
Academy of Management Africa Conference
January 7-10, 2013
Gordon Institute of Business Science
Johannesburg, South Africa
The continent of Africa is home to more than fifty countries and one billion people. It is also home to some of the world’s most vibrant economies. The Economist, for example, recently predicted that seven of the world’s ten fastest growing economies in the next five years will be African. Unfortunately, much of the continent continues to face challenges around eradicating poverty, improving health, resolving conflict, and ending corruption. Marked by fast growth, limited growth or no growth at all, Africa’s business, government and civil sectors all need world-class management.
The purpose of this conference was to bring Africa’s unique capabilities and needs to the attention of the world’s organization and management scholars and at the same time, to provide an opportunity for interested colleagues to collaborate and work on the many interesting theoretical and practice problems presented in Africa.
If it can be said that the average conference is all about collaborators sharing the answers to their research questions, this conference was oriented more toward discovering questions worth asking and then building the collaborative relationships to answer them. Much of the conference time was spent together, exploring and experiencing many of these capabilities and challenges first hand. Each participant spent one and a half days “in the field” directly experiencing South Africa and the phenomena that interest them.
In addition to experiential learning journeys, the program featured papers, symposia, workshop, and other unique events and sessions to explore these issues. The rest of the conference was spent in conversation with these authors and with each other about their collective experience, the program content, and ideas about future work.
AOM Africa Conference Program Committee:
Helena Barnard, Gordon Institute of Business Science
Philip Mirvis, Boston College/Global Network for Corporate Citizenship
Stella M. Nkomo, University of Pretoria
James P. Walsh, University of Michigan