In February 2017, the Board commissioned a Task Force to consider operationalizing the Policy on Taking Stands adopted on February 10, 2017. The Task Force members included past AOM president, Professor Michael Hitt (Texas A&M University and Texas Christian University) as Chair. The Vice Chair was Professor Mary Ann Glynn (Boston College). Other members were Professors Tunji Adebesan (Lagos Business School), Gerald Davis (University of Michigan), Sergio Lazzarini (INSPER Brazil), Raza Mir (William Paterson University), and Katherine Xin (CEIBS). Terese Loncar of the Academy of Management headquarters team joined ex officio.
The Task Force was asked to consider four items: (a) define further when a political action threatens the existence, purpose, or functioning of the AOM as an organization; (b) identify mechanisms for member input; and outline the decision and vetting process for taking any stand, and for developing such a stand; (c) define the implications of the policy for the DIGS, committees, and journals; and (d) determine how such a stand would be taken. The task force was also requested to deliberate on any other matters that it saw as important for elaborating and implementing the policy. In support of this work, the task force was provided with a number of documents, including member feedback via web survey, and analysis of how other Associations that do take stands operate.
The Task Force recommendations fell into two broad areas. First, it recommended revising the language of the policy to indicate that exceptions are allowed when a change in public policy threatens the organization as a whole. This recommendation was designed to eliminate the confusion associated with the prior language of the policy, which referred to "political stands." The "political stands" phrasing suggested that the AOM might, exceptionally, take a partisan view. Because this was not the intention of the Board of Governors when revising the policy, the Task Force recommended changing the language to indicate that an exception would be allowed only when a change in public policy generated the threat to the AOM as a whole.
Second, the Task Force recommended that the Board of Governors adopt a multi-step procedure before taking any stand. This process is designed to assure proper vetting and approval. This process begins when a member completes a short initial request form obtained from the Executive Director of the AOM, outlining the change in public policy that constitutes exceptional circumstances, and explaining how these circumstances threaten the AOM as a whole organization. After the Executive Committee reviews the initial request form, the member will either be invited to complete Step 2, the full form, that addresses the full set of concerns that the AOM must consider before taking a stand or be notified that the request does not meet the threshold for the AOM to take a stand. A request by the Executive Committee to complete Step 2, the full form, does not imply approval of the request to take a stand. These criteria emphasize exceptional threats that affect multiple members and multiple jurisdictions on matters of academic freedom, scholarly convening, scholarly exchange, and scholarship itself. Once the full form, Step 2, is received by the Executive Director, it must be deliberated by the Executive Committee. Requests for consideration that receive consensual support are then presented to the full Board of Governors, which must approve and then authorize the President, in consultation with other members of the Executive Committee, to develop an AOM stand. The Board of Governors must then approve the final statement of the stand in a second review.
Finally, the Board of Governors asked the Executive Director and headquarters staff to make templates for requests for consideration available to members