Do you remember when the main AOM event was the annual in-person August conference each year? It seems like ages ago, but up until March of 2020, almost everything the STR Division did revolved around that in-person August conference. Of course the pandemic has changed many things and one big change for the STR Division has been the broadening of our activities to include both the annual conference and virtual events that are offered throughout the year to help engage and connect our members.
For 2022, the annual August AOM conference will attempt to embrace the best of both of the in-person and virtual worlds – your STR Officers are excited to reconnect in person with members who are able to attend the Seattle conference and happy that several of the conference offerings will be streamed out or entirely virtual for members who are not able to attend in-person. As the hybrid format is likely the future of all large conferences, I hope this first hybrid AOM annual conference will be successful for all attendees and speakers. And the STR Leadership team appreciates your patience as the process of putting the August conference together has taken longer than in prior years (and this is the reason our STR Officer messages are coming out so late this year) and there are likely to be technical issues during the conference itself.
When I became the STR Division Chair in August, 2021, I inherited a very strong group of dedicated volunteers and clear support from STR members (as evidenced by the 2021 STR Five Year Survey) to offer events throughout the year. I took this opportunity to work with all members of the STR Leadership Team to experiment with new types of non-conference virtual events, in addition to trying to build a stronger institutional infrastructure to support both the annual August conference and the year-round activities the STR Division has been offering for over two years now. I can't thank Division Chair-Elect Michael Leiblein, Program Chair Louise Mors and Assistant Program Chair Deepak Somaya enough for all of their support, insights, suggestions and commitment to the division this last year – as we have all learned over the past two years, we are stronger when we work together. I have really enjoyed the year and I am looking forward to reconnecting with many STR members in Seattle.
Experimenting with Our Virtual STR Offerings:
Working with EC members Gwen Lee, Mahka Moeen and Tomasz Obloj, we created two new non-conference virtual series called "Meet a Theory" and "Meet a Method," in addition to offering virtual symposia throughout the year. Mahka and Tomasz surveyed STR members in the fall to guide our choices on research and methods topics and we sought out STR panelists that reflect our STR membership in terms of gender, location, rank and research interests. We added a new research tab on the STR homepage (https://str.aom.org/strresearch ) to house recordings of these sessions. While we certainly never covered an entire theory or method in any of these ninety minute sessions, each session highlighted important aspects of a theory or method with scholars who have contributed to that theory or method. We also organized Oxford/Cambridge style virtual debates this year. We had amazing turnout from our STR members (both in attendance and watching the recordings on our Youtube channel after the fact https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC66_0ZQPgLf6qH1gX6vXWxg) throughout the year and I learned something in every one of these sessions. I want to thank all of the STR members who created amazing content for our membership through the Meet a Theory, Meet a Method, symposia and experimental virtual sessions throughout this past year and I encourage you to visit our website to discover for yourself some of this content.
We also experimented with different types of virtual professional development workshops throughout the year. From virtual sessions discussing the work habits of past STR Emerging Scholar winners, to discussions with STR members about their post-doc experiences, to a session on getting grants across Europe, Asia and North America, our Membership Engagement Committee (Joao Albino-Pimentel, David Clough, Shelby Gai, Aldona Kapacinskaite,Caterina Moschieri, Eunice Rhee, Dimo Ringov, Tadhg Ryan-Charleton and Lisa Tang) organized some great PDW sessions for our members throughout the year (all available on our STR YouTube channel). The MEC Committee also coordinated a number of virtual social hours during June to help connect STR members leading up to the August annual conference. And we are all looking forward to on-site activities organized by MEC members in Seattle. I want to recognize and thank Bilgehan Uzunca for his four years of service to the STR division as Chair of the MEC.
For PhD students, we offered the third installment of the STR PhD Networkshop (thank you to Sinzi Dorobantu (with help from Aseem Kaul)) for organizing this. We have had over 60 PhD students participate each of the three years this has been offered. We also continued several other events to help develop our membership, including two virtual teaching events and two paper development workshops organized by our Global Reps in Brazil (thank you to Sandro Cabral and his team) and Mexico (thanks to Edgar Ramirez Solis and his team) this year (and thank you to Obi Damoah, Remzi Gozubuyuk, Jooh Mahn Lee, Weiting Zheng and EC Member Roberto Vassolo for helping with these and several August conference workshops that are organized by the Global Reps).
I want to offer a big heartfelt thank you to Paolo Aversa and his Communications Committee (including Julia Cheng, Laura Doria, Qian Gu, Scott Johnson, Maria Rita Micheli, Luigi Mosca, Ilaria Orlandi, Yixin Qiu, Madeleine Rauch, Beverly Rich, Chris Sabel, and Miros Zohrehvand) for all of their work creating and running our fantastic website (https://str.aom.org/home), uploading all of the amazing content that has been created for more than two years now, and for advertising and promoting all of our STR events across all of the STR social media channels. I encourage you to visit our homepage to see for yourself all the STR Division has to offer.
Strengthening the STR Infrastructure:
At the same time, we strengthened the administrative side of our division by updating the STR bylaws, defining and assigning EC roles in July (so work could start right after the August conference), creating shared drive space for more consistent data documentation and sharing both within and across years, carving out space at the top of the STR Daily Digest to highlight STR Officer announcements and monthly summaries of virtual events throughout the year, and starting to alter the budget cycle, with elected STR officers approving a draft budget in the fall. (And with recent changes in funding for AOM divisions, this document sharing and budget planning will be even more important starting next year.)
Cosponsoring Smaller Strategic Management Conferences
The STR Division co-sponsored its first non-AOM organized conference in May, after the STR Leadership discussed and created a conference cosponsoring policy for smaller, more intimate conferences that often facilitate higher quality interactions to help develop strategic management scholars and promote professional development in our field. The STR Division co-sponsored the Midwest Strategy Meeting in May and we sent two local STR leadership representatives to participate in the doctoral workshop and panels. The STR Leadership Team welcomes cosponsoring applications from smaller, more intimate conferences to facilitate networking and professional development in our field.
August Annual Conference in Seattle
Please thank both Program Chair Louise Mors (along with EC members Elisa Alvarez-Garrido, Donal Crilly and Metin Sengul) and Assistant Program Chair Deepak Somaya (along with EC Member Ram Ranganathan) for all their work on the August conference when you see them. As one of the largest divisions at AOM (with over 5,500 active members), we continue to offer an exciting program at the annual August conference. I will leave program specifics for Louise and Deepak to discuss in their STR Officer messages, but I would like to highlight that we will be offering several socials throughout the AOM conference in Seattle to welcome our members back to in-person sessions. We are looking forward to catching up and reconnecting throughout the 2022 in-person annual conference. STR members are invited to our Friday (8/5) Welcome Back STR Happy Hour at Optimism Brewery (starting at 5:30pm). We look forward to bringing together all 2021 and 2022 STR-sponsored consortia panelists and participants for are in Seattle for a social hour on Saturday afternoon (8/6) in the convention center. We invite all STR members to attend our pre-awards social with coffee/light breakfast before we honor our STR career awardees (the 2022 STR Distinguished Scholarship Awards to Kathy Eisenhardt and Dan Levinthal and the 2022 STR Irwin Award to Margarethe Wiersema) on Sunday morning (8/7) in the Sheraton. We invite all STR members to attend our pre-plenary social with coffee/light breakfast on Monday morning (8/8) before the Plenary. This year's Plenary "Creating a Better World by Creating Value" features Connie Helfat (Dartmouth), Bruce Kogut (Columbia), Phil Leslie (Amazon) and Marvin Lieberman (UCLA). Our Monday evening (8/9) social will take place after our STR Business Meeting – and this year, we decided to post a recorded video for anyone not able to attend the conference in person, in addition to having an in-person meeting to announce our award winners and thank our STR volunteers. Our in-person STR Business Meeting and Social will take place in the Sheraton. All of the in-person socials, career award sessions, plenary and business meeting are summarized below and we hope to see you at many of these STR events!
More to Thank:
It takes a lot of work by our STR division volunteers to put together both the virtual offerings and the August program, to provide opportunities to network and connect with other AOM members (both inside and outside the STR Division), to offer professional development workshops, to recognize many members who receive division awards and to keep the division running with yearly elections. I would like to thank our Division Chair-Elect Michael Leiblein for overseeing and working with the Teaching Committee (including Andrea Contigiani, Cheng Gao, Peter Murmann, Henning Piezunka, Mario Reveendran, Melissa Schilling, Maciej Workiewicz and EC Member Tony Tong) and the Awards Committee (including Jay Barney, Mary Benner, Marvin Lieberman, Joe Mahoney, Anita McGahan, Will Mitchell, Jan Rivkin, Brian Silverman, Govert Vroom, Ed Zajac and EC Member Lourdes Sosa) this year, and Past Division Chair Tim Folta for running the STR elections (along with EC Member Vanessa Burbano and STR Secretary Dave Maslach) this year. I would like to thank STR Treasurer Paul Drnevich for his continued service to the division and we welcomed STR Secretary Dave Maslach to this role this year.
Finally, I would like to recognize Tim Folta for his five years of service as an STR Officer. There is a lot of work involved in every officer year in the STR Division and we all thank Tim for everything he has done for the division.
I hope to see many of you in Seattle,
STR Leadership Team 2021-22
Elisa Alvarez-Garrido (U of South Carolina)Paolo Aversa (Cass Business School)Heather Berry (George Washington U)Vanessa Burbano (Columbia U)Donal Crilly (London Business School)Sinzi Dorobantu (New York U)Paul Drnevich (U Alabama)Tim Folta (U Connecticut)Gwen Lee (U of Florida)Michael Leiblein (Ohio State U)Dave Maslach (Florida State U)Mahka Moeen (U North Carolina at Chapel Hill)Louise Mors (Copenhagen Business School)Tomasz Obloj (HEC Paris/Indiana U)Ram Ranganathan (U of Texas – Austin)Metin Sengul (Boston College)Deepak Somaya (U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)Lourdes Sosa (London School of Economics)Tony Tong (U of Colorado)Bilgehan Uzunca (ESADE)Roberto Vassolo (IAE Business School & Pontifica U Catholica)=================================================================================