The All-Academy Theme (AAT) program is developed by AOM’s Vice President and Program Chair, with the aid of a theme committee. The AAT program contains a mix of accepted symposia and professional development workshops (PDWs) that were submitted directly to the AAT program for review by the committee. AAT sessions address issues of broad interest, and are directly related to the conference theme: Putting the Worker Front and Center.
As we anticipate the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in August 2023, the post-pandemic world is witnessing a dramatic shift in workplace power dynamics. Declining globalization (e.g., US-China trade restrictions, Brexit) and a shift towards “re-shoring”, together with the retirement of the baby boom generation, ever-widening income inequalities, intensive workplace cyber-monitoring, and most recently, the Great Resignation have created a perfect storm of increasingly severe talent shortages and intensified labor activism (e.g., the “anti-work” movement). Media reports highlight pent-up frustration among workers over “toxic” work environments and dangerous working conditions, low wages, and concern over the sustainability of all things other than employees. This historic shift, and the supply chain issues associated with it, underscore the relevance, importance and potential impact of management research and education. But this shift also highlights the current limitations of our literature to provide meaningful insights and responses to the current workplace challenges faced by managers, policy-makers and labor alike.
Management research has paid a lot of attention to workers as “human capital”, or in other words, the object of managers’ efforts. We have paid far less attention to workers as subjects. The 2023 Annual Meeting is our opportunity to become scholars OF management, not just scholars FOR management, and as such, to rebalance – in both our research and teaching -- the perspectives of managers and of the workers they manage.