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.



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 change 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. 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.


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 organizational serves as a forum for information and ideas on management practices and business trends, disseminated worldwide through multiple distribution channels.


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. 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.


Founded in 1960, FEACO comprises 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.


Initiated in 1965 as an informal discussion group involving managers of international projects, the IPMA held its first official congress in 1967. In 1999 the association comprised 26 national organizations representing more than 12,000 project managers, and 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.


CEEMAN's function is somewhat different from those of other management societies, given the relatively short time that the profession of business manager has existed in countries formerly under communist rule. As such, the organization is primarily concerned with advancing business and management education in Eastern Europe, and providing for information exchange among members.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Founded in 1971, the IMS comprises business managers and commercial business and technical professionals in thirty-nine countries. The institute formulates standards of practice for management specialists, and conducts examinations and bestows professional certification upon qualified individuals.


Founded in 1977, LACCSM comprises national management organizations, research centers, and businesses practicing self-management. The council serves as a forum for the exchange of information among its members, and gathers and disseminates self-management information to all interested parties.


Founded in 1981, the association comprises 26,000 individuals in 161 countries. The MPA seeks to represent the professional interests of business managers in all fields. In an effort to improve business management practice, the MPA develops model profiles describing successful personality traits shared by effective managers, and conducts research and educational programs in the field of business management. The MPA also makes available consulting services to corporations experiencing management problems.


Rapid advances in the field of business management, and the perception of increased international trade, led U.S. president Herbert Hoover to convene the first International Management Congress in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1924. Attendees found the proceedings so informative that it was decided to form an international management organization to carry on some of the research, information exchange, and management practice initiatives developed during the Congress. The WMC was subsequently founded in 1926, and serves as an umbrella organization for associations representing business managers of every type worldwide. Its mission is to facilitate the exchange of business management information and the development and dissemination of new management practices and techniques among its membership. The WMC also operates national management associations in many countries, and has several regional affiliates, including the European Council of Management, Asian Association of Management Organizations, North American Management Council and the Pan American Council, which function as autonomous international business associations in their own right.

In addition to its functions as a research organization and a forum for the exchange of management information, the WMC maintains close relationships with international trade and development agencies, including the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, and the International Labour Organization. Working both directly with these international bodies and through its regional affiliates, the WMC plays an active role in the development and implementation of national and international projects designed to improve management policies and practice.

The WMC brings its members together each year at its annual congress. The WMC congress features presentations of research and opinion and panel discussions on a variety of management topics selected by international industrial, government, and academic leaders.


Founded in 1985, the PMA represents project managers in all fields of business activity. The association works to improve understanding of the techniques and value of performance measurement among business managers, and conducts educational programs for managers interested in learning more about this topic.


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. University management institutes are closely related to business management societies and organizations. 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. The Manufacturing 2000 Project (M2000) undertaken by the International Institute for Management Development provides an example of this sort of cooperation between academia, industry, and business management associations.

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

Grant J. Eldridge

Revised by Bruce Walters


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