International Management Societies and Associations

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International Management Societies and Associations

One of the most noteworthy developments in business in the second half of the twentieth century was the rise of the professional business manager. Whereas previously individuals with a wide range of training, usually including experience in a given business, rose to management positions within corporations, in the present managers are often graduates of general business administration and related programs. Accompanying the rise of business management as a profession has been the development of management societies and associations.

International organizations exist to represent business managers engaged in a multitude of economic enterprises. These organizations serve many purposes, including the coordination of members' activities, facilitating exchange of information and the spread of new findings of interest to business managers, disseminating business information to members and other interested parties, monitoring trends in specific industries and areas of business management, and gathering and compiling statistics. Thus, business management associations and societies generally seek to encourage the professional advancement of their members, the economic advancement of specific industries or areas of business, and the development of more effective business management practices. In many cases their activities are closely linked to those of management institutes. The following list of some of the leading international management organizations shows both their diversity of scope and the similarity of their activities.


Association of Management/International Association of Management (AOM/IAOM). The Association of Management (AoM) and the International Association of Management (IAoM) were founded in 1975 as professional organizations representing business academicians and business management practitioners. The organization was first known as the Association of Human Resources Management and Organizational Behavior (HRMOB), and the name was changed to AoM/IAoM in 1993. According to their mission, both organizations seek to bridge the gap between theory and practice in management, education, technology, and leadership across multiple disciplines. A primary goal is the continuing professional development of individual business managers. In this regard they are closely related to national business management associations worldwide. Together, the associations created a forum called MELT (Management, Education, Leadership, and Technology) to facilitate interdisciplinary discussion about a paradigm shift that is said to be affecting each of the four fields. Both organizations also sponsor regularly scheduled meetings and issue publications to facilitate exchange of information among their members and between members and the wider business community and the public. These publications include: The International Association of Management Journal, The Journal of Management Systems, The Journal of Information Technology Management, Global Education Management Systems, Computer Science and Information Management, and The Journal of Management in Practice.

American Management Association (AMA). In 1923 the National Personnel Association changed its name to the American Management Association. The AMA's mission is to be a global, not-for-profit, membership-based association that provides a full range of management development and educational services to individuals, companies, and government agencies worldwide. The organization serves as a forum for information and ideas on management practices and business trends disseminated worldwide

through multiple distribution channels, including seminars, webcasts, podcasts, conferences, business books, and research papers. The AMA seminars are led by executives, managers, authors, and consultants, who cover topics such as communication, finance, human resources, information technology, leadership, management marketing, project management, and sales and strategic planning. The association's flagship publication is MWorld.

All India Management Association (AIMA). The All India Management Association (AIMA) claims to be the one Indian body helping to equip Indian managers to make the most of opportunities arising from transition. Begun in 1957 with support from the Indian government and industry, AIMA now has over 30,000 Professional Individual Members and over 3,000 Corporate/Institutional Members. Activities include management education and development, publications, and testing services. Additionally, the association publishes an annual survey on the Best Business Schools in India in order to promote management education. AIMA is represented on a number of committees involved with policy making in the Indian government, and is associated with the Asian Association of Management Organizations and the World Management Council, among other groups. AIMA publishes Indian Management, which is one of the most widely read management periodicals in India.

European Federation of Management Consulting Associations (FEACO). Founded in 1960, FEACO is an umbrella organization for twenty national associations representing management consultants. In addition to formulating standards of ethics and practice for the field, FEACO conducts industry surveys and compiles statistics on the performance of management consultancy companies in Europe. FEACO also comprises working group and discussion forums concerned with topics such as relations within the European community on procurement-related issues, as well as relations between European institutions and management consultancy companies on free movement of services.

International Project Management Association (IPMA). Initiated in 1965 as an informal discussion group involving managers of international projects, the IPMA held its first official congress in 1967. In 2008 the IPMA represented forty-five national project management associations. The IPMA is the prime international promoter of project management. The IPMA confers professional certification upon qualified individuals, serves as a forum for information exchange within the project management field, conducts research and disseminates information on project management, and sponsors continuing professional education programs for project managers. The four-level certification program provides a standard for project management performance. The Association publishes The International Journal of Project Management as well as posting PM Practice and Project Management Perspectives on its Web site.

Central and East European Management Development Association (CEEMAN). Originally, CEEMAN was primarily concerned with advancing business and management education in Eastern Europe, and providing for information exchange among members but now, CEEMAN has grown into a global network, which includes 170 institutional and individual members from 42 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia. The association is devoted to the development of education, research, consulting, and networking. The organization publishes a quarterly newsletter called the CEEMAN News.

Association of International Management Sales Executives (AIMSE). This group represents management sales personnel, pension fund managers, and marketers at money market management firms worldwide. AIMSE seeks to advance the management sales profession and encourages the professional development of its members by conducting educational programs, gathering and disseminating management sales information, and facilitating exchange of information among members at its annual meeting. AIMSE has members in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, South Africa, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, and Australia.

Australian Institute of Management (AIM). This is Australia's largest professional body for managers and is well known for providing management training and consulting. AIM maintains a network of bookshop and library facilities dedicated to applied management information. AIM membership is around 25,000 personal members and 6,000 key corporate members; the organization has a staff of 250 people worldwide.

European Association of Personnel Management (EAPM). Founded in 1962 the EAPM represents a specific constituency within business management, namely, personnel managers. The association functions as the European representative of national personnel management organizations, and formulates standards of conduct and practice for personnel managers.

European Women's Management Development Network (EWMD). Founded in 1984 the EWMD represents women in business management in thirty countries regardless of their specific field of endeavor. The network works for the professional advancement of its members,

serves as a forum for the exchange of information regarding women in management, and seeks to ensure gender equity in the business management professions. The EWMD includes 800 members, individual and corporate.

Institute of Management Specialists (IMS). Founded in 1971 the IMS comprises business managers and commercial business and technical professionals. IMS is part of a group that promotes performance excellence, along with the Institute of Manufacturing, the Professional Business and Technical Management, the Academy of Multi-Skills, and the Academy of Executives and Administrators. The institute formulates standards of practice for management specialists, and conducts examinations and bestows professional certification upon qualified individuals.

Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The Institute for Supply Management is the largest supply management organization in the world. Founded in 1915 the institute is a not-for-profit association that provides research, promotional activities, and education to 40,000 supply managers.

International Association for Business and Society (IABS). The IABS is a society concerned with research and teaching about the relationships between business, government, and society. Founded in 1990 the organization has over 300 members from over 100 universities in more than 20 countries, in addition to the membership of corporations and various nonprofit entities. The Association conducts research with regard to corporate social responsibility, business ethics, business and government relations, and business ethics, among others. Additionally, the IABS sponsors the journal, Business & Society.


A somewhat related category of organizations concerns university management institutes. These organizations are similar to management societies and associations, but they generally pursue somewhat different goals. Management institutes exist world wide, and although they are primarily engaged in educational activities, they also occasionally work with management associations and industrial groups to gather data on specific industries or areas of economic activity. This information can be useful for companies that wish to benchmark their business operations against other companies in the same industry. The research and knowledge carried out by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) provides an example of this sort of cooperation between academia, industry, and business management associations.

Among the research centers at the IMD is the World Competitiveness Center, which releases an annual report on the competitiveness of nations. This report ranks countries according to the degree to which the business environment fosters competitive enterprises. The research centers consolidate information from the IMD faculty, Corporate Learning Network companies, researchers, and outside specialists to provide information about best practice, sustainability, and leadership strategies.

The IMD Manufacturing 2000 Project (M2000), a ten-year project begun in 1990, brought together an operating team comprising researchers, professors, business managers, and corporate board members representing sixteen large manufacturing firms. Each firm participating in the project submitted their plans for managing change and developing best practices for consideration and revision by the entire M2000 operating team. Corporate, managerial, and academic participants in M2000 found that the project facilitated information exchange and had a positive influence on all concerned. Keeping in touch with the realities of everyday business management helped academicians develop more useful research projects, while remaining familiar with academic developments proved useful for managers wishing to make changes in corporate procedure or structure. Thus, although it is essentially an academic program, the International Institute of Management Development fulfills a function similar to that of leading business management associations.

Similarly, the Decision Analysis Society (DAS), operated by the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, is an organization comprising business academicians and researchers, managers, and other corporate representatives. DAS seeks to promote and develop the use of logical methods for the improvement of the decision-making process in both public and private enterprises. The society develops model procedures, risk analysis and assessment techniques, and expert systems for decision support.

Another example of a university management institute, the Federation for Enterprise Knowledge Development (FEND), is a collaborative effort involving representatives of leading corporations and business academics. FEND serves as a think tank, analyzing business management tools and methods, and researching new management strategies. The federation also develops business management software applications, conducts educational programs for business managers, and provides assistance to businesses wishing to improve their management practices.

Other international university management institutes include the European Foundation for Management Development, through which academicians, corporations, managers, and educational institutions in forty-five countries work to address current issues in management development; the Institute for Administrative Management, an organization of professional managers and business management students united to identify and disseminate new trends

and techniques in administrative management; and the Strategic Planning Society, through which educational institutions, government officials, business executives, and corporations of all sizes work to improve public policies regulating the practice of business management.

In a somewhat separate category is the International Academy of Management (IAM), an organization comprising fellows elected for their contributions to the field of management. The IAM is in large measure an educational organization whose main goal is to identify and objectively evaluate new hypotheses in the study and practice of business management.


As the above examples suggest, management associations, as distinct from university management institutes, exist primarily to advance their members' interests, or to advance a particular class or type of business manager. They can be active in the formulation of professional standards of ethics and practice, the development of national and international public policies pertaining to business and trade, business and management education, and the gathering and dissemination of information on the entire spectrum of business and management topics. They may also serve as certification bodies and sources of ethical and practice standards within a particular business management field. International management associations and societies all share one common function: facilitating the exchange of information among professionals from different countries. As such, they play a vital role in stimulating global trade and promoting the advancement of business management as a profession.

SEE ALSO Domestic Management Societies and Associations


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