IFSAM 2021 Annual Newsletter

President’s Message

Dear leaders of IFSAM member associations, dear GA, BoD and AB members, dear deputies, ambassadors and staff, dear colleagues, dear all,

Please let me start by thanking you for your trust and contributions to IFSAM during the last year.

2021 was an extremely eventful, even historical, year for the Federation, in at least six counts.

First, after the approval by the former Excom of the vision 2024 in Dec 2020 around the 30 years’ celebration, the federation initiated its efforts to deliver for the first time on its statutory soft policy objective of ‘establishing and maintaining standards of competence in management research, education and practice’. In January 2021 we started a consultation process of 5 webinars for the first soft policy statement, devoted to management research, which was approved by the GA in June and is since being diffused in different languages and through the member associations. The main insights of this consultation process were also embedded in five instalments of the first publication of the federation, also set up in 2021, the Conversation letters, with the cooperation of many of the panellists from the webinars, including the co-chairs, leaders of different member and observer associations.

Second, the year 2021 also saw the call for IFSAM four inaugural awards, an initiative approved in 2019 and which by recognizing outstanding, exemplar performance in management education, research service and practice we promote them. It is also our way to give a substantial part of IFSAM membership fees back to the worldwide community.

Third, also in January and due to the pandemic, we launched a new activity, the quarterly presidents’ platform meetings to gather information and insights on how each member and observer association as well as IFSAM itself were dealing and could deal with the pandemic for its annual conferences, bringing external speakers and conference service providers to garner a broader view. The organization of these meetings has been taken over by the office of the presidential team, also created in 2021, and led by Prof. Patrick Reinmoeller.

Fourth, 9 associations (re)joined the Federation during 2021: AIMS, AMG, ANPAD, ASAC, ASSG, ATC, BAM, CAMS and SIMA. Their participation has reinvigorated the Federation. We are very grateful to their leaders who made this possible. With them, the Federation in 2021 totalled 21 member associations and two observer associations.

Fifth, late December 2021, IFSAM was incorporated in Belgium, after 9 months of very hard work, which included changes in the statutes. I would like to thank former Secretary General Prof. Arabella Mocciaro Li Destri and then deputy secretary Prof. Elisa Martinelli (now Secretary General) for their outstanding commitment and work in this matter, along with then President Elect Prof. Isabelle Bouty. The incorporation sets new governance standards for all of us. We count on your cooperation for fulfilling them. Going forward, we will learn how to implement these new governance requirements and, as any organization, we will have to make some adaptations based on the learnings.

Sixth, 2021 was also historical in terms of building of the Federation’s organizational capacity, with the creation of four new vice-presidencies, one for each statutory domain of soft policy (education, research, and practice), and another for communication. The new VPs (Silviya Svejenova, research; André Leao Maranhao, education; Lee Lu, practice, and Emma Parry, communication) were elected by the GA and their deputies appointed. A new VP position for new membership and governance was also approved and its nomination and election process activated, together with the position of President Elect, for which Prof. Ouidade Sabri and Prof. Sandro Castaldo were respectively elected early Jan 2022. The Advisory Board was also installed during 2021 and had its first meeting on Nov 15 under the leadership of Prof. Alain Burlaud, the inaugural chair, appointing Prof. Felicity Kelliher as the inaugural secretary of the AB. Many thanks to both for their supportive and dedicated effort.

I would like to thank the other colleagues of the former executive committee (now BoD) for their trust and help in the transition: Michael Morley (then past president), Yvon Pesqueux (then treasurer), Sibel Yamak (member at large) and last but not least Yang Zhang (then president and now past president). A special thanks to Yvon for his exceptional, outstanding service as Treasurer for so many years and for his role as acting Treasurer before the transition to the new Treasurer, Prof. Wafa Khlif, who has already taken us into a better operational banking situation.

Finally, I would like to mention the two people who ‘behind the curtains’ (or more precisely behind the general info email address) contribute to the successful operations of the federation. I am referring to Eleonora Piacenza, our media master and more, and to Andrea di Carlo, our administrative assistant. Grazie mille to both for their unfailing and always available support.

To conclude, this annual newsletter, which is a statutory requirement that we are again fulfilling, is the joint product of the work of the prior communications’ team (Emma Parry and Minjie Cai) and the new VP comm, Prof. Guadalupe Calderón. Special thanks to all of them for making it a reality.

I wish 2022 will bring greater stability and reach to IFSAM thanks to all your advice, support, dedication, and effort.

Warm regards,

Xavier Castañer

IFSAM President