Management societies and associations exist to promote greater professionalism within the field and provide educational opportunities for their members. Many societies and associations exist within the field of management. Some have members primarily from academia; others have members who are primarily practitioners; while still others have both. Although almost all associations within the field of management have some international members, the focus of the following paragraphs is on those societies and associations whose membership is predominantly in the United States.

The management associations discussed in this article all have similar organization structures and activities:


The Academy of Management (AOM) is the preeminent professional organization for those involved or interested in management research and education in the United States. It was founded in 1936, and its membership consisted of about 12,000 individuals as of 2004. Most of its members are college professors teaching within the field of management or related disciplines. Most academy members have Ph.D.s in management or related disciplines. The academy also has some practitioner members. Although the academy has members from around the world, the overwhelming majority of its membership is in the United States.

AOM sponsors an annual conference each August. At this meeting, educational and professional development programs are held and scholarly research papers are presented and discussed. Other activities at the annual meeting include meetings of various divisions and interest groups and a job placement service that allows universities to recruit for qualified applicants to fill open faculty positions in management and related fields.

AOM publishes scholarly journals and a newsletter. The Academy of Management Journal (AMJ) features empirical papers, and the Academy of Management Review (AMR) features theoretical papers. The Academy of Management Executive (AME) publishes applied articles related to management practice and has a substantial readership among practitioners. There is also the Academy of Management Learning and Education (AMLE).

AOM has a variety of divisions and interest groups that allow members with common interests to interact more closely. Some of these divisions include Business Policy & Strategy, Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, Operations Management, Social Issues in Management, Entrepreneurship, and Management History.

Within AOM, there are several associated organizations, including the Southern Management Association, the Eastern Academy of Management, the Southwest Academy of Management, the Midwest Academy of Management, and the Western Academy of Management. Each of these regional associations holds annual meetings of its own, with activities that are similar to those that take place at the national meeting of the academy. Many management scholars also hold memberships in one or more of these regional associations.

AOM has a significant presence online ( ). The site has information of interest to management scholars and researchers, news about upcoming conferences, and links to related divisions and groups.


The American Management Association (AMA) is a large, nonprofit educational association that has as its goal the development of organizational effectiveness. AMA has programs related to many areas of management practice, including general and administrative services, strategic management, human resources, information systems, manufacturing, purchasing, research and development, and sales and marketing. Founded in 1923, AMA has about 80,000 members. Membership consists mainly of management practitioners based in the United States, although it does have a significant membership around the world.

AMA publishes about 80 business-related books each year. It also publishes several periodicals related to management, including Management Review, The Take-Charge Assistant, Organizational Dynamics, and HR Focus.

The association holds an annual conference and sponsors numerous seminars, workshops, and forums on various management-related topics.

AMA's web site ( ) provides details about its programs, conferences, and seminars, as well as other useful information relevant to the practicing manager.


The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), founded in 1948, is the largest professional association in its field. Its approximately 63,000 members are largely in the United States, and also belong to local professional chapters or college and university student chapters.

SHRM has several professional publications, most of which are free with membership in the organization. Its premiere publication is the monthly HR Magazine. HR News, Workplace Visions, and Mosaics are primarily of interest to practitioners. HRM Journal features academic research of interest to scholars in the field.

SHRM sponsors professional development and certification programs. Professional development activities include seminars and certificate programs, portfolio subscriptions, and certification preparation learning modules. A certification program is administered through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). Certification is available at two levels: Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Certification requires several years of experience in an exempt HR position and the successful completion of a certification examination, which is offered twice a year.

SHRM funds human resources management academic research through its Foundation. It also conducts an annual HR salary survey.

The society holds an annual conference and exposition, an employment law and legislative conference, a leadership conference, and a diversity conference.

SHRM's web site ( ) contains a wide variety of resources for the HR professional, including an information center, online publications, and a placement area. Although some of the internet services are available to the public, most are restricted to SHRM members.


APICS: The Association for Operations Management (formerly Association for Production and Inventory Control) is a professional organization for those involved or interested in operations management, and production and inventory management. It provides professional certifications, educational programs, and publications. Founded in 1957, APICS has practitioner, academic, and student members. There are approximately 60,000 members worldwide, though concentrated in the United States.

APICS offers member discounts on educational materials, programs, and certification exam and review material. The organization also offers numerous national workshops and in-house training programs. Publications include APICS—The Performance Advantage and the Production and Inventory Management Journal.

APICS has two certification programs for professionals in the field: Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and Certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM). CPIM certification was developed in 1973 to provide a means for individuals to assess their knowledge of production and inventory management relative to a common core of knowledge. CIRM certification was developed in 1991 and is designed to assess cross-functional knowledge of interrelated functions within an organization.

APICS holds an annual conference that allows members to learn about the latest management and manufacturing techniques. It also sponsors various research activities, including an undergraduate and graduate paper competition through its Educational and Research Foundation.

The APICS web site ( ) contains information about its services and the field.


Founded in 1955, WorldatWork (formerly the American Compensation Association) is a professional organization for those involved or interested in the management of employee compensation and benefits policies and procedures. WorldatWork provides information, training, research support, and networking opportunities to its 25,000 members. Specific benefits of membership include discounts on WorldatWork educational and training programs, career placement and networking opportunities, and updates in the field through various publications.

WorldatWork offers various educational and professional training programs. Seminars provide training in all areas of compensation and benefits management. In-house training programs allow organizations to sponsor training for their employees on-site.

WorldatWork sponsors a certification program that allows members to increase their credibility as a compensation and benefits management professional. Certification is available along two tracks: Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) and Certified Benefits Professional (CBP).

WorldatWork holds an annual conference and sponsors various research activities at leading U.S. universities. It publishes several journals and newsletters, including Workspan and WorldatWork Journal.

WorldatWork also attempts to increase linkages between practitioners and academia through its Academic Partnership Network. This concept is designed to foster increased communication between practitioners and academics.

WorldatWork's web site ( includes information resources for the compensation and benefits professional.


The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) is a professional association designed to advance the purchasing and supply management profession. Founded in 1915, it has approximately 45,000 members, mostly in the United States. To be eligible for membership, a person must be involved in the purchasing or materials process, be employed by an affiliated association, or be a full-time professor or administrator at a college or university whose academic responsibility includes purchasing or material management courses.

ISM offers a variety of educational and development programs and products. Conferences, seminars, and other educational activities allow purchasing and material managers to expand their professional skills.

ISM publishes Inside Supply Management, International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management, and Manufacturing ISM Report on Business, a well-respected purchasing survey and indicator of economic trends.

ISM sponsors two certification programs: the Certified Purchasing Manager, which allows purchasing or materials management professionals to demonstrate their mastery of the requirements of the field; and the Accredited Purchasing Practitioner, designed primarily for entry-level buyers engaged in the operational side of purchasing and materials management.

ISM provides information about its conferences, seminars, professional forums, products, and other information of interest to the purchasing and materials management professional on its website at ( ).

SEE ALSO: International Management Societies and Associations ; Management and Executive Development

Tim Barnett

Revised by Judith M. Nixon

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