The decision to launch AMD came about as a result of two largely independent sources that identified a scholarly need for this journal, as well as an unmet need within our membership. First, with respect to our membership, on November 9, 2010, the Board of Governors received a memo signed by 18 Chairs of AOM Divisions and Interest Groups, requesting that AOM increase both the size and scope of publication opportunities within AOM for members. This memo articulated the need for expanded publication opportunities, and expressed several possible solutions for meeting this need, including the launch of a new empirically based journal along the lines of AMD.
This memo was consistent with the data from a 2005 membership survey, in which 88% of AOM members indicated that the most pressing need they had was for "expanded opportunities to publish research within AOM." This response also echoed a study conducted by the Board of Governors, which indicated that as a professional society the AOM publishes a significantly lower percentage of work by our members relative to other professional societies within business schools, such as Finance, Accounting, and Marketing.
In terms of the scholarly need, Don Hambrick (2007, AMJ) articulated why this type of journal is necessary in the field of Management, and others have echoed this call (see Miller 2007; Oxley, et al. 2010). The general idea expressed by Hambrick and others is that the field of Management needs to strike a better balance between theories on the one hand and direct empirical evidence on the other. Hambrick recounts many examples in the physical and natural sciences, as well as other disciplines in business, where reporting of critical evidence led to important advances in problem solving and future theory building, even when the immediate implications for current theories was unclear. That is, a novel finding, unusual empirical pattern, or a robust anomaly that cannot be explained by any current theory is reported, which in turn triggers future theory building efforts. In addition, direct evidence regarding relationships may promote Evidence-Based Management even if the full theoretical articulation for explaining a relationship is not immediately available.
Based upon the confluence of membership and scholarly needs, the Board of Governors asked the Journals Committee to explore the idea of expanding both the size and scope of publication opportunities for AOM members by creating a new empirical journal that would be focused on important management issues and organizational phenomena that was not necessarily theory driven. This eventually led to the development of AMD as a "phenomenon-driven" empirical journal.