SiGNAL Summer 2020 – Letter from the President

Dear IACM Members,

It has been a turbulent year since we last convened in Dublin.  The challenges the COVID pandemic has posed for all of us, both professionally and personally, have been daunting.  We pivoted our teaching online, pretty much overnight.  We’ve adapted not only to teaching remotely, but to working remotely while juggling family and personal responsibilities in new, demanding ways.  Over the last several weeks, we have witnessed brutality, violence and social unrest that bring to the forefront the many ways in which societies, governments and organizations create, maintain and reinforce social inequality on a global level.  Pernicious, destructive forces such as racism, tribalism and group conflict have manifested in tragically old, as well as new and deeply concerning ways.  Enduring problems and new challenges clamor for us to address them proactively, collaboratively and constructively.  Our mission as an organization and the work of our members has never been more relevant.

Looking through the vIACM conference program, I am reassured by the creativity, productivity and resilience of our membership.  I am sustained in my belief that our members have much to offer and contribute as we engage in the vital work—individually, organizationally, communally and societally—that is required to build a more just and equitable world.

And, as a first step in furthering that work, I hope you plan to join us for vIACM.  The conference team is busy putting the finishing touches on our upcoming virtual gathering.  While we are very sad not to be meeting in Charleston as planned, the IACM board is excited to host you this Sunday, July 12 – Wednesday, July 15 for our first ever virtual IACM.  We are extraordinarily grateful to our intrepid presenters and program participants, who have fearlessly embarked with us on this virtual journey.  Thanks to all of you who submitted your work and will be sharing the fruits of your scholarly and practice efforts with us.  Along with you, I look forward to discovering new ideas, exploring new perspectives and gaining new insight and understanding over the course of the conference.

I especially want to thank our conference team.  I am in awe of Greg Paul, our program chair, for piecing together an incredibly complex jigsaw puzzle.  The program chair’s task–always challenging—was this year, an order of magnitude more difficult.  Greg tackled the task with humor, grace and an indefatigable spirit (undoubtedly fueled by a lot of caffeine!).  He has put together a compelling program for you to enjoy; one with filled with strong thematic tracks that highlight our members’ fascinating work and which has been designed to foster dialogue and engagement while assuring access across a myriad of time zones.  We hope you’ve had a chance to explore the program and start putting together your own conference itinerary.  If you haven’t yet, you are in for a treat.

The other half of our well-caffeinated conference team is Brandon Charpied, our Executive Director.  He too deserves a huge thanks for building the technical scaffolding required to support vIACM.  Without his tireless work, we could not enjoy the programming Greg has crafted.  We as a community have been incredibly well served by both Greg’s and Brandon’s efforts.

In anticipation of the conference, we are also happy to announce the following annual awards:

  • Rubin Theory-to-Practice Award: Michele Gelfand, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland College Park.
  • Negotiation & Conflict Management Research Best Paper Award: Reif, J. A. M., Kunz, F. A., Kugler, K. G., & Broadbeck, F. C. (2019). Negotiation contexts: How and why they shape women’s and men’s decision to negotiate. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 12(4), 322-342.
  • IACM Early Career Award: Emma Levine, Associate Professor of Behavioral Science and Charles E. Merrill Faculty Scholar, University of Chicago & Michael Schaerer, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour & Human Resources and Lee Kong Chian Fellow, Singapore Management University
  • IACM Outstanding Book Award (published in 2018 0r 2019): Michelle, Gelfand (2018). Rule Makers, Rule Breakers:  How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World. Scribner.
  • IACM Outstanding Publication (Article or Book Chapter published in 2018): Jang, D., Elfenbein, H. A., & Bottom, W. P. (2018). More than a phase: Form and features of a general theory of negotiation. Academy of Management Annals, 12(1), 318–356. This award is sponsored by Northwestern University’s Dispute Resolution Research Center (DRRC) with a $500 award.
  • Best IACM Conference Paper: Wald, K., Kardas, M & Epley, N. Can birds of different feathers flock surprisingly well together? Expected versus actual consequences of discussing divisive viewpoints. (a student-led paper!)

We hope you can join us at the Annual Business Meeting on Sunday, July 12 at 2pm (EST/GMT-5) when we will be recognizing these award recipients.

Thank you to Northwestern Kellogg’s Dispute Resolution Research Center for sponsoring the Best Publication Award!

We are also fortunate to have elected Julia Baer (Stony Brook University) and Noam Ebner (Creighton University) as our next representatives-at-Large.  Julia’s research explores the influence of gender on negotiation processes and outcomes, as well as understanding gender gaps in organizations more broadly.  Noam’s research focuses on negotiation pedagogy, trust in negotiation, online dispute resolution and the future of the negotiation, mediation, and legal fields in light of the broad effects of technology on individuals and society.  Julia and Noam will serve on the board for two years with their terms of service to begin immediately following the conference.  The board looks forward to welcoming Julia and Noam and leveraging their expertise and energy in service of IACM.  Congratulations to Julia and Noam!

Following vIACM, Taya Cohen (Carnegie Mellon University), our President-Elect, will serve as our president.  Taya has the honor of taking the lead as the first IACM president who will serve for two years.  Many of you are already familiar with Taya’s work on moral character, guilt-proneness, and judgments of unethical behavior. (If not, you should be! She won an Outstanding Article Award from IACM in 2016.) Taya has been very active in IACM for over a decade, serving as a Representative-at-Large and chairing various awards committees.  This past year she has been an important contributor to the organization as a member of the Future of NCMR Task Force and board.

Thanks again to Taya, Julia and Noam for their willingness to serve!  And, if you’ve made it this far in my message, I want to personally invite you to the annual business meeting during vIACM.  We’ll be convening on Sunday, July 12 at 2pm (EST/GMT-5) when we’ll be sharing positive news on the organization’s financial position, our next conference in Greece and exciting updates about the future of NCMR.  Join us to learn more about IACM and the many ways to get involved!

I look forward to “seeing” you soon at vIACM!