Message From The Chair, Professor Katy Mason

Dear BAM member

I want to write to you during this difficult time for us all globally, partly to give you information and partly to let you know that your Society is still here, working hard for the business and management academic community. The BAM office team has been working from home since 16th March and is enjoying using new collaborative tools to stay in touch, maintain morale and continue to work collaboratively to make things happen for you. Much of our work is, thankfully, unaffected by the limitations the Coronavirus pandemic has imposed on the world, so we can continue to serve our members and the wider public uninterrupted. I thought that, in these uncertain times, it would be good to reflect on how our community continues to make things happen and where we are using the opportunity of the current situation to experiment with new ways of doing things. 

Our leading journals (British Journal of Management and International Journal of Management Reviews) continue to operate as normal, because our fantastic editorial teams already work remotely and our publisher, Wiley, has put in place strong contingency plans to ensure continuity of service during this difficult period. Excellent, peer-reviewed research will continue to be published on time and in the usual way. 

Similarly, our expanding suite of research grants continues to be an important source of support for researchers, as this process too is already handled remotely. Nevertheless, we do recognise that some methods and timescales might need to change in the current circumstances, and we are committed to supporting our grant recipients to complete their projects in the face of new challenges. Our own set of grants (Transitions 1; Transitions 2 and MKE) run biennially, as do our joint grant schemes with international sister bodies – we already run one with our colleagues in Australia and New Zealand (ANZAM), and in the near future we will inaugurate similar schemes with our colleagues in Ireland (IAM) and Italy (SIMA). Currently we are in the process of finalising the inaugural substantial grants awarded jointly with the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies (SAMS). I look forward to being able to tell you more about the research that all these schemes have funded and are going to fund, but I would just like to say thank you to all those who have helped with the review process, ensuring that scarce monies go to well-designed and appropriate projects.

Our work to make excellent research available to policy makers and the wider public also continues unabated. We will be providing expert commentary on the proposals for Open Access publishing of publicly funded research, as we have done for other government policies: visit the Policy page on our website for fuller information. We also work to provide expert input to elements of the policy community when they reach out to us, as they increasingly do. 

Our Executive Committee is also working on other projects, including a new five year strategy, a White Paper on careers in Management Knowledge and Education, a major piece of focused research on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in academia, a suite of high quality capacity building programmes, and new ways of supporting our wonderful SIGs and networks. And our partnerships with other organisations always help us to achieve more.

We continue to support our community in other ways too, including helping members navigate career paths and understand options via our BAM Framework, and through providing external recognition of outstanding work or leadership by our range of prestigious awards including our BAM Medals, BAM Fellowships, the Richard Whipp Lifetime Achievement Award and our Teaching Practice awards. Our BAM Companionships help us build strong and purposeful partnerships with other individuals and bodies. Although we do not yet know – in this most fluid of situations - whether we will be able to make these presentations in person in September, as we normally do, we will still provide that recognition and honour this year. 

As you will be aware by now, we have postponed all face-to-face events that had been scheduled for the spring and summer. We continue to monitor the situation regarding what we might be able to run during the autumn. In the meantime, your BAM team is working hard with our Special Interest Groups and others to develop some online events for you. We have a Zoom webinar facility and hope to put that to use for you all very soon. I will just remind you that all registrants for events that have been postponed will have their fees refunded by us as soon as possible. 

Our annual Conference is now a provisional event in its usual format. We still hope to gather in Manchester in September, but the path of the pandemic suggests that this may not be possible. We are working hard with the 2020 Conference Committee and the BAM Executive Committee to create an alternative format, retaining opportunities for online paper presentation and publication in Proceedings as well as some of the annual Conference highlights, so that our members can still share their work and participate virtually some carefully designed workshops and other activity. We will decide in May which option we will take and, as a result, conference registration will not open until then. In the meantime, our Track Chairs and dedicated reviewers continue to review the record number of papers submitted and we also continue to welcome applications to run Professional Development Workshops (PDW). 

We are using our social media outlets as another way of keeping you informed of what we are doing. Do follow us on Twitter (@bam_ac_uk) and join us on LinkedIn to stay up to date with developments. One day this will be behind us and we be able to see how our community continued and flourished in a time of adversity.  

Yours sincerely

Professor Katy Mason

Chair, British Academy of Management