IFSAM: A Brief History
As a Federation of Academies of Management, IFSAM dedicates itself to fostering the development of international scholarly activities in management research, pedagogy and practice. It seeks to do so in order that evidence and insights from diverse cultures, traditions and settings can be combined and exchanged to broaden, deepen and enhance the rigor and the relevance of the body of knowledge. As a Federation, IFSAM offers a truly polycentric and culturally informed platform for appropriate academies and learned societies that wish to affiliate and contribute. This capacity of the Federation to embody and present a diverse world view is especially evident in its efforts at encouraging the establishment and safeguarding of national associations of management, large and small, and in the hosting of its biennial World Congress.
The Federation’s establishment can be traced to a meeting of likeminded scholars active in their national and regional associations held on September 12th 1989. This gathering made collective preparations for the establishment of IFSAM and drafted its articles and by-laws. Subsequently, the first Council Meeting of the Federation held at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main in Germany saw the participation of 12 associations from Canada, Chile, CIS, Germany, Finland, France, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and the USA. Some two years later, scholarly associations representing China, Korea, and Scandinavia joined the federation Reflecting the desire of the Federation to serve as a truly academic international platform the 1991/1992 elected Executive Committee Members were Tasuku Noguchi (Japan), Horst Albach (Germany), Janice M. Bayer(USA), Vesa Mäkinen(Finland) and Cary L. Cooper (UK).
Three fundamental key goals lay at the heart of the foundation of IFSAM and served to guide the Executive Committee and participating associations in their activities; namely the development of management research and education, the engaging in international mutual exchange and research, and the ongoing advancement of the field of management as a scholarly domain area. Motivated by these founding principles, our ambition for IFSAM today remains the creation and safeguarding of a platform of equals through which we can combine, exchange our diverse views on what constitutes the field and fully appreciate the importance of diverse, contextualized, authentic, embedded management scholarship.
Since its inception, the biennial congress has served as a critical platform for the Federation in facilitating knowledge exchange among international scholars. Each of these international meetings has sought to tackle a contemporary theme reflective of the dominant discourse and concerns of the day, both in the host location, but also more globally. Thus, High-Technology and Management served as the all-conference theme of the 1st IFSAM World Congress hosted in Tokyo, Japan in 1992 which saw some 559 delegates from 24 countries gather to debate the issues. This inaugural gathering, which served as a truly polycentric platform for combining and exchanging knowledge from around the world, was followed by the 2nd Congress held in Dallas, USA in 1994 under the theme Linking Management Scholars Worldwide. It too dedicated itself to the cause of combining diverse knowledge and views in order to enrich scholarship in management. The Management of Intangibles was the theme for Paris, France in 1996, while Globalization and its Impact on Management, Education, Research and Practice served as the central call for contributions for the 1998 Congress hosted in Alcalá de Henares, Spain in 19998. Taking Stock was the theme for the millennium meeting held in Montréal, Canada, while Management in a Global Context: Prospects for the 21st Century was the theme for the Gold Coast meeting in Australia in 2002. The challenges and opportunities inherent in globalization and which were becoming more apparent were further debated in subsequent meetings including in Göteborg, Sweden (2004), under the banner Management in a World of Diversity and Change and in Berlin, German (2006) in Enhancing Managerial Responsiveness to Global Challenges. The importance of creating an evidence based body of actionable knowledge which respected and incorporated insights from both the West and the East was reflect in the theme Fusion and Development of East and West Management which formed the core of the Shanghai, China 2008 Congress. The global financial crisis and the importance of
Justice and Sustainability in the Global Economy were debated in Paris, France in our 2010 meeting. Management Reimagined held in Limerick, Ireland in 2012 addressed issues relating to the rigour and the relevance of our scholarship, the importance of contextualization and the requirement for the incorporation of more diverse scholarship into the body of knowledge. The theme Management in Crisis lay at the heart of the 2014 congress hosted in Tokyo, Japan and was chosen in part because of the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami and the Fukushima disaster which had struck in 2011 and the criticality of management studies to generating solution to some of the grand challenges being faced, both in Japan and indeed more globally. New World Equilibrium: Managing Regional Realities served as the theme for IFSAM’s 2016 meeting hosted in Mérida, Mexico, while 2018 saw us return to Shanghai, China to debate Business Management: Region Country∙ Culture and to observe first-hand the changing landscape of management scholarship in Asia.