The Academy of Management (AoM) Meeting in Boston this year was one of our personal highlights so far in our time as PhD students. The AoM Meeting is exceptionally large compared to conferences we have been to so far. Roughly 10,000 attendees gathered in Boston to host so called Professional Development Workshops (PDW) and participate in these workshops, paper presentations or social receptions in the evenings.
I was among the lucky ones presenting own work at the AoM meeting. However, the most important aspects of AoM from my perspective were to participate in very interesting and extremely useful PDWs and to broaden and strengthen my network. To put it short: the AoM Meeting was an exceptional possibility to meet old friends and to make some new friends. Moreover, the offered workshops and paper session were of unequaled variety. Especially the workshops on career development (e.g., how to apply in the US job market; how to negotiate the first job offer) and on methodology (e.g., “Do I have an endogeneity problem and does it matter?”) were extremely useful for me and my personal professional development.
Moreover, I was able to present my work to an interested audience. The paper “Does competitive strategy protect from intellectual property free riding?” was well received and the feedback I got was very valuable. Moreover, the other presenters in my session had some very interesting and good papers which nicely fit together in one session. Notwithstanding, I value the broadening of my network over the feedback I got for my personal work. Once again I realized, how small the research community really is.
The first two days of the meeting, I attended a Doctoral Consortium organized by the Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) division. It was nice to catch up with and get to know other PhD students with the same research interests from different institutions all over the world. The first day was organized as an interactive, open discussion session where different smaller groups exchanged their views about the “job market”, “life as a professor” and “research, teaching and academic services” with internationally renowned scholars such as Mary Tripsas, Rahul Kapoor, Tobias Kretschmer, Andrea Fosfuri, and Tim Simcoe. The next day focused on “ethics in research” and on a panel session where we had the chance to meet the editors of highly ranked management journals. I also attended PDWs on topics such as “Behavioral Strategy 3.0: From “Why” to “How” or “The Present and Future of Behavioral Strategy” or “Using Experiments to Examine Interfirm Exchanges”. Everybody was extremely enthusiastic and the conference atmosphere was very stimulating and motivating. People talking with excitement about their own research are intriguing and can be the start of new research collaboration.
Theresa and I mutually agree on our first AoM experience: It was overwhelming, huge and a lot of fun.