Darden Professor Ming-Jer Chen Leads World's Largest Management Association
by Abena Foreman-Trice
The Academy of Management, the most prestigious and largest scholarly management association in the world, named Professor Ming-Jer Chen, Leslie E. Grayson Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, as its 68th president during the association’s 2012 meeting, "The Informal Economy," held 3-7 August in Boston.
Receiving the torch from Anne Tsui of Arizona State University, Chen has been actively involved in the Academy of Management for more than 20 years. He has served as associate editor of the Academy of Management Review and chairman of the Academy’s Business Policy and Strategy division. Chen has also sat on the editorial or advisory boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal and Harvard Business Review (China). He is a fellow of both the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society.
A renowned business strategy expert, Chen emigrated to the U.S. in 1981 with a quest: to make the world smaller through the integration of scholarship and practice and of East and West. He coined the term "ambicultural" to refer to the forward-looking manager who will combine the best of different cultures (such as national or regional, and corporate or organizational) in his or her professional practice. This concept originated in his book, Inside Chinese Business: A Guide for Managers Worldwide. Chen is also a pioneer in the field of competitive dynamics, which analyzes competition from an organizational and managerial perspective.
Chen is a native of Taiwan and studied philosophy and Chinese classics with a cousin of Puyi, "The Last Emperor of China." This foundation helped to shape Chen's ideas and perspectives, which promise to provide value for the members of the Academy. In his new role, Chen will seek new ways to improve business education and practice, and will work to build bridges between humanity and professionalism in the field.
"To lead the increasingly global Academy over the next two years, I will be guided by this question: How can we enlighten ourselves about others, balance our various interests to find common ground and transcend our differences to pioneer and explore, jointly, new and emerging arenas in management and organization? The idea of enlightening, balancing and transcending has shaped my personal and professional lives," Chen said.
Over the past 20 years, Chen has worked with a variety of Global 100 companies, has taught numerous Darden Executive Education programs in addition to teaching in the three formats of the Darden MBA (MBA, MBA for Executives and Global MBA for Executives) and has addressed important business forums, including the World Economic Forum in Beijing and HSM forums in Sao Paulo and Milan.
In his past role as the Academy’s president-elect, Chen managed the organization’s growing membership, which now includes more than 19,000 members spread across 109 nations.
Founded in 1936 by two professors, the Academy of Management is home to scholars from academic and research institutions, practitioners in business, government, and non-profit agencies, and professionals who find value in belonging to the organization.
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