As most of you know, one week ago the U.S. instituted a temporary travel and immigration ban into the U.S. from seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). Like many of you, as individuals we have experienced strong reactions to this ban. As officers of the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management, we want to first and foremost communicate that we recognize that this travel ban policy undermines our ability to fulfill the core mission of the Division, which is the "encouragement of professional scholarship in personnel and human resource topics by interested members of the Division and other members of AOM, dissemination of results of this scholarship, provision for fellowship among persons with professional interests in HR topics, and engaging in related professional activities of interest to the membership." In particular, the travel ban policy makes it more difficult for scholars to have access to fellow colleagues and engage in professional activities, be it attending a conference or traveling to the U.S. to work with a colleague on research. An international travel ban such as this also impedes our current Division goal of increasing engagement with our international members. While there will still be many legal proceedings to follow and the situation is fluid, it is hopeful that one federal court in the state of Washington, this past Friday, ruled that the travel ban policy should be suspended barring further evidence for the ban's necessity.
As this situation develops, we want to reassure all members that the HR Division will not let this travel ban disrupt our commitment to our members or our current mission, goals, and strategies. The HR Division strongly believes that international diversity is paramount for our members to be able to produce quality scholarship and educate students to be future global leaders. Over the past several years, our division has been a leader in the Academy of Management regarding inclusion of our global membership. We founded and continue to greatly expand our ambassadors program, we have held two international conferences (one in Beijing and one in Sydney; and are currently seeking proposals for the next international conference) in an attempt to bring the AOM to our members who have difficulty attending a U.S. conference, and we have increased the number of international members represented on the executive committee.
We are fully committed to providing support and assistance to any members whose scholarly activities are impeded by this travel ban, including technology support for virtual presentations of accepted papers where members are unable to attend because of this travel ban. To that end, we will be sending out a survey link soon asking all members to provide input and advice on what else the Division officers or HR ambassadors can do to help those affected by the travel ban (please look for this survey email within the next week and then for a follow-up email on the resulting action plan). Additionally, the HR officers will be holding a "town-hall" style meeting/discussion during our plenary session at the annual meeting in Atlanta; we encourage members to come and discuss what role the division should play in public policy and activism as well as other issues that may emerge in the near future. Any member is also welcome to email the current Division Chair with ideas or concerns (firstname.lastname@example.org). We, the HR officers, are and will continue to communicate with AOM leaders to represent our Division members' views on this issue and to advocate for AOM to take a stronger position nationally in terms of how such travel bans impact scientific research, education, and academic freedom.
At this time, it is important to remember that scientific advances in the field of HR, including those that can actually help address the increasingly complex work and employment issues at the heart of many current global political events, will be more likely to occur if the HR Division members stand together in solidarity. We look forward to engaging all division members in conversations on how we can do that together.
Maria Kraimer (Division Chair), Deidra Schleicher (Division Chair-Elect), Ingrid Fulmer (Program Chair), Chris Rosen (PDW Chair), David Lepak (Past Division Chair)
The Human Resource (HR) Division (http://www.hrdiv.org) is dedicated to a better understanding of how work organizations can perform more effectively by better management of their human resources.