Code of Ethics for AIB Leadership
Campaigning Policy for AIB Elections
No-Show Policy for AIB Conferences
The Academy of International Business is the leading global community of scholars for the creation and dissemination of knowledge about international business and policy issues. The AIB transcends the boundaries of single academic disciplines and managerial functions to enhance business education and practice.
The objectives of the Academy of International Business, as set forth in its bylaws, are to foster education and advance professional standards in the field of international business. These objectives include the following:
- facilitating the exchange of information and ideas among people in academic, business, and government professions who are concerned with education in international business
- encouraging and fostering research activities that advance knowledge in international business and increase the available body of teaching material
- cooperating, whenever possible, with government, business and academic organizations to further the internationalization objectives of the AIB
In effect as of January 1, 2016
- Name and Office
- Robert's Rules of Order
- Amendment of Bylaws
ARTICLE I - Name and Office
The organization shall be designated as the Academy of International Business, or AIB. It encompasses the parent organization, its members and chapters as well as other institutions it may set up. The offices of the Academy shall be located at the address of the Executive Director or at such other place as may be designated by the Executive Board.
ARTICLE II - Objectives
The objectives of the organization are to foster education and advance professional standards in the field of international business by:
- facilitating exchange of information and ideas among educators and between the business and academic fields;
- encouraging and assisting research activities which advance knowledge of international business operations and increase the available body of teaching materials;
- cooperating whenever possible with government, business and academic organizations for the furtherance of its basic objectives. However, to avoid the compromise of the intellectual integrity of its members as well as the independence and impartiality of the entire organization, the Academy shall not adopt a partisan position on any matter involving particularistic interests, either private or public.
The AIB shall not solicit or accept the moral, financial, technical or informational support of other organizations and individuals unless the latter's objectives are completely non-partisan with respect to the issues and projects involved in the joint or sponsored activity.
ARTICLE III - Membership
Section 1. Membership Application and Admission
- Membership shall be open to those individuals actively engaged in the performance or administration of teaching or research related to international business who have demonstrated interest and capacity in furthering the objectives of the organization.
- Applications for membership shall be submitted to the AIB Secretariat for processing.
Section 2. Classes
There shall be at least six (6) classes of membership: Regular, Student, Low Income, Electronic, Emeritus, and Institutional.
- Regular membership - is open to those individuals meeting the criteria in Section 1 of this article. Regular members will pay full annual dues and have full voting rights.
- Student membership - is open only to full-time students at a college or university who have an interest in the field of international business. Student members shall pay dues at a reduced rate for a maximum of six (6) years or until graduation, whichever comes first. Student members have full voting rights.
- Low Income membership - is open only to individuals with limited income who require a partial relief of dues. The terms and conditions under which such relief may be obtained shall be set out by the Executive Board. Persons who meet such criteria may petition the Secretariat for relief. Low Income members shall pay dues at a reduced rate and have full voting rights.
- Electronic membership - is open only to individuals with limited income who are citizens and residents of countries classified as low income or lower-middle income economies according to the World Bank. Electronic members do not have access to any print materials and shall agree to receive all Academy communications and publications electronically. Electronic members shall pay dues at a reduced rate and have full voting rights.
- Emeritus membership - is open only to retired individuals without full-time employment who are at least 68 years old and have been members of the Academy for at least ten years preceding qualification as Emeritus. Emeritus members shall pay dues at a reduced rate and have full voting rights.
- Institutional membership - is open to any educational institution, firm or supranational organization with an interest in the field of international business. The number of institutional memberships may be limited by the Executive Board to a small fraction of the total membership. Individuals who are members by virtue of institutional membership shall have all the rights and privileges of regular members including full voting rights.
The Executive Board, at its discretion, may create additional classes of membership or make exceptions to the current classes, as it deems appropriate. In addition, honorary memberships may be made in special cases. Persons shall be elected to such membership by a majority vote of the Executive Board.
Section 3. Dues
- When a member joins, annual dues are collected and membership is valid for the following twelve months. Annual dues are payable on the anniversary date thereafter.
- The Executive Board shall determine the level of annual dues for each class of membership.
- Any necessary dues increase of 20 percent or less may be implemented by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board members present and voting at an Executive Board meeting, provided a quorum is present. However, no more than two such dues increases may be implemented in this manner by an Executive Board within any three-year period.
- Any necessary dues increase of more than 20 percent annually must be submitted to the Academy membership for ratification. Such a ratification may be voted on either at the Annual Meeting or by a special ballot communicated by mail or electronically.
Section 4. Terms and Conditions of Membership
- Membership may be withdrawn upon request.
- Membership may not be transferred.
- Membership privileges without payment of dues will be granted only by specific authority of the Executive Board and only in unusual circumstances.
- A delinquency of more than 90 days cancels membership rights and privileges.
ARTICLE IV - Meetings
Section 1. Business Meetings
An annual business meeting of the Academy shall be held at such time and place as determined by the Executive Board. The place of each meeting shall be announced at least 20 days prior to the meeting date.
Section 2. Special Meetings
Special meetings in addition to the annual business meeting may be called by the Executive Board. Notice of the time, place and agenda of such special meetings shall be communicated to the members by mail or electronically at least 20 days prior to the meeting date.
ARTICLE V - Governance
Section 1. Executive Board
The Academy, its business and its affairs are governed by an Executive Board.
Section 1.1. Number of Board Members
The Executive Board shall consist of seven (7) to nine (9) voting members and those ex-officio, non-voting members designated by the Board.
- The President, President-Elect and Immediate Past President.
- Vice President Program, Vice President Program-Elect and Vice President Program-Past.
- One (1) to three (3) Vice President Administration.
- Ex-officio, non-voting member(s) include the Academy's Executive Director and those individual members designated by the Board to be ex-officio.
Section 1.2. Terms
- A new term of office for the Executive Board shall start 30 days after the annual business meeting.
- Elected officers shall serve a term not to exceed three (3) years.
- A President-Elect shall be elected each year and progress automatically in year two (2) to President and in year three (3) to Immediate Past President.
- A Vice President Program-Elect shall be elected each year and progress automatically in year two (2) to Vice President Program and in year three (3) to Vice President Program-Past.
- The number of officers to serve as Vice President Administration shall be determined by a majority vote of the Executive Board based on the number of officers needed to run the affairs of the Academy. If more than one (1) Vice President Administration is serving on the Board, their terms shall be staggered so that only one (1) Vice President Administration is elected each year, except in circumstances when multiple vacancies need to be filled.
- No person shall hold the same elective office for two (2) consecutive terms.
- Student, Electronic and Emeritus members shall not be eligible to hold elected office.
- The President-Elect shall attend meetings of the Executive Board subsequent to his/her election, but without a vote until the new Board takes office.
- Elected officers shall not receive any compensation for their services as such, but by resolution of the Executive Board expenses may be allowed for attendance at each regular or special meeting of the Board.
Section 1.3. Nomination
- The Nominating Committee shall be comprised of the three (3) Immediate Past Presidents and be chaired by the one whose term of office was the earliest amongst them.
- The Nominating Committee shall solicit nominations for any open position from members through one or more forms of communication.
- The ballot shall have one (1) name for the position of President-Elect and two (2) names for any other open position based on the professional and scholarly standings of the candidates. The nominee for President-Elect must have previously served on the Board as an elected officer. The ballot will allow for write-in nominations for President-Elect.
- If the Nominating Committee receives signed nominations for one or more persons willing to serve in a particular position on the Executive Board, the name of the person receiving the highest number of signed nominations must be placed on the electoral ballot, provided the nominee has received signed nominations in excess of two (2) percent of the membership or 50 nominations, whichever is greater.
Section 1.4. Voting
- The membership at large shall elect officers by a majority of the votes cast in response to ballots, communicated either by mail or electronically. Ballots shall be communicated approximately six (6) months prior to the start of the Board's next full term. The deadline for the return receipt of the ballots shall be 45 days after the date of their communication to members.
- Candidates receiving the largest number of votes out of the votes cast for a particular office shall be deemed elected. In the event of a tie, the Executive Board will decide the winner.
Section 1.5. Resignation
Any Board member may resign at any time by giving written notice to the President or Executive Director. Such resignation shall take effect at the time specified therein or, if no time is specified, at the time of acceptance as determined by the President or the Executive Board.
Section 1.6. Removal
A two-thirds vote of the number of the Board members established by these Bylaws shall be required to remove a Board member from office prior to the expiration of the term for which that member has been elected. In addition, two (2) percent of the membership or 50 members, whichever is greater, may petition the Executive Board to remove any member of the Board. The petition shall be voted upon by the Board.
Section 1.7. Vacancies
Any vacancy occurring on the Executive Board caused by death, resignation or otherwise may be filled for the remainder of the unfinished term at the next meeting of the Executive Board through a vote of a majority of the remaining members of the Board. The President or Acting President shall have two votes in case of a tied ballot.
Section 1.8. Meetings
- Regular meetings of the Executive Board shall be held two (2) times a year, at such place and hour as may be determined by the Executive Board.
- Special meetings of the Executive Board may be called by the President or by a simple majority of Executive Board members then in office.
Section 1.9. Quorum
A majority of the voting members of the Board shall constitute a quorum at official Board meetings.
Section 1.10. Action Taken without Formal Meeting
The Executive Board may take any action in the absence of a meeting which it could take at such a meeting by obtaining the written approval of all the Board members. Any action so approved has the same effect as if taken at a meeting of the Executive Board.
Section 2. Duties of Elected Officers
Section 2.1. President
The President shall preside at all meetings of the Academy and of the Executive Board, appoint and instruct all committees and be responsible for the strategic direction of the Academy and for supervising the functions of the other officers and of the Executive Director.
Section 2.2. President-Elect
The President-Elect shall act for the President in case of the President's absence or disability and shall perform other duties as the Executive Board may prescribe. The President-Elect shall succeed the current President at the termination of the President's year in office.
Section 2.3. Immediate Past President
The Immediate Past President shall be a member of the Executive Board for one (1) year immediately following his or her term of office as President. The Immediate Past President shall perform other duties as the Executive Board may prescribe.
Section 2.4. Vice President Program
The Vice President Program shall serve as the Program Chair of the Annual Meeting and shall perform other duties as the Executive Board may prescribe.
Section 2.5. Vice President Program-Elect
The Vice President Program-Elect shall assist in the development of the pre-conference activities of the Annual Meeting and shall perform other duties as the Executive Board may prescribe. The Vice President Program-Elect shall succeed the Vice President Program at the termination of the Vice President Program's year in office.
Section 2.6. Vice President Program-Past
The Vice President Program shall remain a member of the Executive board, as Vice President Program-Past, for one (1) year immediately following his or her term of office as Vice President Program. The Vice President Program-Past shall provide guidance to the Vice President Program and shall perform other duties as the Executive Board may prescribe. The Vice President Program-Past shall act for the President in the absence of the President and the President-Elect.
Section 2.7. Vice President Administration
The Vice President Administration shall have oversight responsibility for finances, membership and chapter relations and shall perform other duties as the Executive Board may prescribe. He or she shall supervise the work of the Executive Director, including reviewing all financial statements and approving major expenditure requests. In the event that more than one officer serves as Vice President Administration on the Board, the President shall determine the type and sequencing of those responsibilities between the officers.
Section 3. Duties of the Executive Director and the Secretariat
The Executive Board shall appoint an Executive Director and a Secretariat to run the day-to-day operations of the Academy, under its oversight. The Executive Director shall serve at the pleasure of the Executive Board and serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Executive Board.
Section 3.1. Duties of the Executive Director
- The Executive Director shall be responsible for the administration and supervision of the Secretariat under the overall strategic direction of the Executive Board and shall report to the President on a regular basis.
- In the normal course of business, the Executive Director may sign checks or authorize payments for operating expenses within the limits of an approved annual budget. The Executive Director may make extraordinary payments of not more than one (1) percent of the annual budget but must seek approval afterwards from the Vice President Administration. Prior approval from the latter, or from the President, is needed for larger extraordinary disbursements.
Section 3.2. Duties of the Secretariat
- The Secretariat shall take the minutes of all meetings of the Academy and submit the same to the Vice President Administration for review and revision. After said review and revision, the Secretariat shall communicate the minutes to the members of the Executive Board for final approval.
- The Secretariat shall conduct the correspondence of the Academy.
- The Secretariat shall keep a correct list of all members in good standing.
- The Secretariat shall be responsible for the arrangements for the annual business meetings and the special meetings of the Academy.
- The Secretariat shall be responsible for billing and collecting all dues, special assessments and other items of income.
- The Secretariat shall have custody of all funds of the Academy and shall deposit or invest said funds as directed by the Executive Board.
- The Secretariat shall keep full and accurate records of all receipts and investments in books belonging to the Academy and shall submit an annual financial statement to the Vice President Administration at the end of each fiscal year. Said statement shall be reviewed and revised by the Vice President Administration and then submitted by the Secretariat to the Executive Board for approval.
- The Secretariat shall prepare special financial reports in the same manner when requested by the President.
- The Secretariat shall execute and administer such projects as the Executive Board may delegate to it.
- The Secretariat shall have the accounts of the AIB independently audited at least once a year and circulate the auditor's report to the Executive Board in a timely manner.
- The Secretariat shall prepare an annual AIB budget at the start of each fiscal year and submit it to the Executive Board for approval.
ARTICLE VI - Chapters
Subnational, country and multi-country chapters are a distinct yet integral part of the Academy of International Business. Members belong primarily to the AIB, with a secondary identification with their chapter. Chapters must have their own organization, with officers, meetings, and bylaws conforming to democratic processes and to the letter and spirit of the AIB Bylaws. The bylaws of each chapter as well as their amendments must be approved by the AIB Executive Board. AIB members automatically become members of the chapter closest to their place of work, or of one chapter of their choice as notified in writing to the AIB Secretariat. They may vote or hold office only in that chapter. However, members have the right to participate in the meetings and activities of other AIB chapters.
Section 1. Chapter Operations
- Diversity of chapter operations and operational autonomy at the subnational, country or multi-country level is strongly encouraged, subject only to the limitations noted in the Bylaws of the AIB.
- Chapters shall hold their own annual meeting, but not within the three-month period bracketing the AIB Annual Meeting, unless special permission is granted by the Executive Board.
Section 2. Chapter Finances
- Chapters may not collect any membership dues of their own. However they may collect reasonable reimbursement, at cost, for any services provided to their members, such as annual conferences, newsletters, and other activities.
- Chapters may receive, at the discretion of the Executive Board, financial support for their activities, following a request for such funding.
- The officers of subnational, regional and multi-country chapters shall maintain and present to the AIB Executive Board, at least once a year, an accounting of revenues and expenses, as well as a report on activities and a plan for the next year.
ARTICLE VII - Committees
Section 1. Standing Committees
The Academy shall have the following standing committees.
- Program Committee
- Nominating Committee
- Peter J.Buckley and Mark Casson AIB Dissertation Award Selection Committee
- Alan M. Rugman Most Promising Scholar Award Selection Committee
- Temple/AIB Best Paper Award Selection Committee
- Ethics Committee
- Ombuds Committee
Section 2. Ex-Officio Membership
The President shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member of all standing committees.
Section 3. Additional Committees
The Executive Board may create additional committees and shall determine their size, composition and term of office.
ARTICLE VIII - Fellows
The Academy recognizes the establishment of a separate but internal and integral organization known as the "Fellows of the Academy of International Business." The purpose of the Fellows is to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of international business and to provide a forum for discussion among its members. The Fellows shall draft their own bylaws and elect their own officers as well as additional members in accordance with those documents.
ARTICLE IX - Publications
The Academy shall issue publications for its members. Among them, a journal will contain articles of high scholarly quality and such other materials as is determined to be useful to the membership. All basic policy decisions as to content and manner of publication shall be decided by the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall select Editor(s)-in-Chief who will be responsible for the regular management of the journal(s).
ARTICLE X - Policies
Section 1. Fiscal Year
The AIB fiscal year shall begin on January 1 and end on December 31.
Section 2. Contracts
The Executive Board may authorize any officer or agent of the Academy to enter into any contract or execute any instrument on its behalf. Such authorization may be general or confined to specific instances.
Section 3. Conflicts of Interest
The Executive Board creates and, from time to time, reviews a policy to govern possible conflict of interest transactions involving Directors, officers or key employees of the Academy. The Executive Board shall at least once per year obtain written conflict of interest disclosure forms from Directors, officers and key employees of the Academy.
ARTICLE XI - Trademarks, Copyrights and Logos
The registered or unregistered names, publications, titles, trade and service marks, logos, designs and other identifications of the organization shall be owned by the Academy of International Business and shall inure only to the AIB's benefit. Their use by any other organization is prohibited, unless specifically authorized in writing by the Executive Board of the AIB.
Any Academy member knowingly using the Academy name, logos or marks for a prohibited purpose shall be expelled from the Academy and may be reinstated only after two (2) years, upon favorable response by the Executive Board of the AIB to a written petition from the individual expelled.
ARTICLE XII - Robert's Rules of Order
The meetings of the Executive Board, the annual business meeting and the meetings of standing committees of the AIB shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order.
ARTICLE XIII - Amendment of Bylaws
Proposals to amend the Bylaws will be communicated to the voting membership when endorsed in writing by at least 10 percent of the voting members or 35 members, whichever is larger, or endorsed by a majority of the members in attendance at the Annual Meeting, or endorsed by a majority of the Executive Board.
Amendment to this Bylaws shall be adopted upon a two-thirds majority of the votes cast by the membership in response to a ballot, communicated either electronically or by mail. Membership shall be judged to include the members in good standing 60 days prior to the date of the communication of the ballot. However, no amendments will be considered adopted unless 10 percent of the voting members of the Academy have voted.
I. Scope and Definitions
The Code of Ethics for the Academy of International Business Leadership (COE Policy, for short) is binding on all members of all organizational structures that have managerial, custodial, decision-making or financial authority on matters pertaining to the Academy of International Business (AIB); that is, the COE Policy is binding on the AIB leadership.
The phrase "the Academy of International Business" or "the AIB" or "the organization" is understood to include any and all organizational structures that are part of or related to the Academy of International Business.
The phrase "the committee" is understood to include any and all organizational structures within or attached to the AIB that have managerial, custodial, decision-making or financial authority on matters that pertain to the AIB. This list includes all formal AIB structures, publications and committees. These include, but are not limited to:
- The AIB Executive Board
- The AIB Secretariat
- AIB Chapters and Interest Groups
- Editors and editorial staff associated with all AIB publications, in print or electronic form, including the Journal of International Business Studies
- All standing, ad hoc or presidential AIB committees and sub-committees (e.g., selection committees for awards, journal editors, travel, best conference papers, Fellows, and so on)
- Individuals and committees who play decision-making roles associated with AIB conferences, for example, the program chair, track chairs and selection committee members.
The phrase "committee member" is understood to include any individual who is a member of any organizational structure with managerial, custodial, decision-making or financial authority on matters pertaining to the AIB, regardless of whether that individual holds an elected, non-elected or ex officio position, and whether that position is paid or volunteer. In other words, a committee member is defined as someone who is a leader and/or decision-maker within AIB.
The phrase "the members" or "AIB members" should be interpreted broadly as applying to all individuals who are members of the Academy of International Business, but do not have any decision-making or leadership role within the AIB.
The leadership of an organization is ultimately responsible for the creation of the values, norms and practices that permeate the organization and its membership. A strong ethically grounded organization is only possible when it is governed by a strong ethical committee. The term "committee" is used for succinctness; it includes all organizational structures that have managerial, custodial, decision-making or financial authority within an organization.
In turn, the strength of a committee is grounded in the ethical conduct and approach of each of its committee members. While the more basic components of ethical behavior incorporate the broad-based principles of fairness and honesty and are therefore fairly obvious, there are many other potential pitfalls for the committee member who may not be aware of the possible implications of his/her actions or, in some instances, lack of action. A committee as a whole has ethical obligations to its committee members, and ultimately to all organization members; this fact is often overlooked and often at the root of a resultant culmination of unethical behavior.
To avoid ethical pitfalls and ensure good governance, there are at least two tasks that every committee should undertake as part of its mandate.
First, the committee must ensure that it has a clear understanding of its roles, responsibilities and functions, and ensure that this information is clearly articulated and conveyed to all committee members. By making clear the purpose and requirements of the committee and its members, there is less likelihood of a committee moving away from its mandate due to lack of knowledge by committee members. Also, by clearly retaining its focus and purpose, the committee helps to ensure that any unethical behavior by a committee member or members stands out as improper and inappropriate.
Second, the committee must outline actions, lack of actions and behaviors that it considers to be detrimental to the committee, the organization and to society’s norms, and therefore unethical. The creation and provision of a code of ethics, and the requirement that existing and new committee members sign this code, firmly ground the organization’s ethical stance. By having committee nominees sign a code of ethics, each new committee member brings a fresh commitment to ethical governance, invigorating the commitments of existing members. The code of ethics becomes an ever-present barometer that can be referred to in moments of question or doubt. The posting of the code during meetings and on the organization’s website helps remind committee members of their ethical duties, while also subtly serving as a convenient reference for members to refer to should events arise that contravene the code. The immediate referral to the code can prevent potential problems from escalating beyond their inception. Through continual rigorous efforts to maintain an ethical organization, the committee can increase its chances of serving its membership in a positive manner, unencumbered by unnecessary distractions caused by unethical behavior of any sort.
III. Conflicts of Interest
One of the most difficult areas for the governance of organizations is the identification and handling of conflicts of interest. A conflict of interest (COI) is generally defined as "the abuse – actual, apparent or potential – of the trust that individuals have in professionals." A COI is created when "financial or personal considerations have the potential to compromise or bias one’s professional judgment and objectivity."
A COI in a committee situation arises when the interests of a committee member have the potential to be at odds with the best interests of the organization. The committee member’s interests may be personal or professional. It is important to note that:
- A COI exists not only when interests of the individual are at odds with the best interests of the organization, but also when there is the potential for interests to be at odds.
- A COI exists in the context of the best interests of the organization substantively and procedurally. It is not sufficient for the organization to benefit substantively, that is, making a decision that is in the best interests of the organization. The organization must also benefit procedurally, that is, in how a decision is made. It is important that decisions be made according to best procedures, that is, by the right individual or group, in an objective and informed manner, and according to all policies of the organization.
COIs in a committee situation are particularly pernicious when they affect selection processes for awards, committee chairs, journal editors, and other professional recognitions given by the association. Committee members must guard against and declare any COIs that could affect committee selection processes (see also "Conflicts of Interest" in the Ethical Guidelines below).
COIs can take financial and intangible/personal forms. Personal forms include 1) relational, where the individuals are not at arm’s length; 2) political, where individuals have differing political views or agendas; and 3) religious, where individuals have differing religious views or agendas.
It should be noted that relational ties are not necessarily or always problematic. Problems arise when relational ties are placed above, or where they might give the appearance of being placed above, the interests of the organization. Personal and professional ties generate COIs when they compromise or bias, or might reasonably be perceived to be compromising or biasing, one’s professional judgment and objectivity.
Examples of real or potential COIs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Financial ties with the applicant or any co-applicant; examples include, but are not limited to:
- Received an honorarium or stipend from the applicant’s institution
- Expects a direct or indirect financial impact (gain or loss) if this applicant is selected
- Institutional ties with the applicant or any co-applicant; examples include but are not limited to:
- Be at the same institution or a graduate of the same institution
- Be a candidate for employment at the same institution
- Personal ties with the applicant or any co-applicant; examples include but are not limited to:
- Close personal relationship (family, friendship, significant other)
- Graduate advisee/advisor relationship, including dissertation/thesis committee member
- Deep personal animosity or strong differences in political or religious beliefs
- Research ties with the applicant or any co-applicant; examples include but are not limited to:
- Actively working on a project together or plan to do so in the near future
- Co-author of a book or paper
- Co-principal investigator on a grant or research project
- Co-editors of a journal, book or special issue
- Professional ties with the applicant or any co-applicant; examples include but are not limited to:
- Work closely in a professional capacity or have done so
- Work on a competing or complementary project that would likely benefit/suffer if this applicant or any co-applicants were selected
Classification of Conflicts of Interest
COIs vary along at least two dimensions: visibility and severity. How visible a COI is to other committee members may range from clearly visible or transparent (e.g., colleague at the same institution) to completely invisible (e.g., the committee member and candidate are in a secret personal relationship). A committee member may want to hide a real or potential COI from other committee members for a variety of reasons including the desire to protect the candidate or a third party.
How serious the COI may be ranges from minor to major; for example, current professional relationships are typically stronger than ones that happened in the past. A typical "rule of thumb" for the time frame of a COI may be three years (e.g., co-author on a paper within the past three years), but could be much longer or permanent (e.g., one’s dissertation chair).
COIs can therefore be divided into four categories:
- Major and Visible COI: This is a COI that is typically seen as serious enough to merit immediate disqualification and that is easily visible to other committee members. The COI requires no committee discussion or vote. The person is automatically ineligible to participate in the discussion or vote. The reason for disqualification is recorded in the minutes.
- Major and Invisible COI: This is a COI that is typically seen as serious enough to merit immediate disqualification, but is not easily visible to other committee members. The COI may be secret and the individual may or may not want to disclose the COI. The individual must automatically disqualify him or herself, and may or may not give a reason. The personal disqualification is recorded in the minutes, but no reason is recorded.
- Minor and Visible COI: This is a COI that is typically seen as less serious and does not merit immediate disqualification; the COI is visible to other committee members. The COI requires a committee discussion and vote to determine whether the individual is disqualified. If the person is disqualified, the reason for disqualification is recorded in the minutes.
- Minor and Invisible COI: This is a COI that is typically seen as less serious and does not merit immediate disqualification; the COI is not easily visible to other committee members. The COI may be secret and the individual may or may not want to disclose the COI. The individual should discuss the COI with the committee chairperson to determine the relevance and severity of the COI. Based on that discussion, the individual may automatically disqualify himself or herself; submit the COI to a committee vote; or remain as a voting committee member.
Examples of COIs based on strength and visibility are the following:
- Major and Visible COI leading to immediate disqualification; examples are:
- Family ties by birth or marriage to the candidate
- A candidate for a job at the same institution as the candidate
- Chair of the candidate’s dissertation/ thesis committee or vice versa
- Co-author, co-editor of a journal or special issue of a journal, or co-principal investigator on a grant or research project with the candidate during the past three years, the current year, or the upcoming year
- Close collaborator in a business (e.g., consulting) or educational (e.g., co-teaching) activity with the candidate during the past three years, the current year or the upcoming year
- Received a major gift or significant financial compensation from the candidate or the candidate’s institution during the past three years, the current year, or the upcoming year
- Engaged in a competing or complementary activity or project that would likely benefit or suffer if this candidate were selected (e.g., editor of a competing journal when selecting a journal editor)
- Major and Invisible COI leading to immediate self-disqualification; examples are:
- Strong personal feelings (either negative or positive) towards the candidate such that the individual cannot make or cannot appear to make a disinterested decision
- Strong political or religious beliefs (either similar or different) to the candidate’s such that the individual cannot make or cannot appear to make a disinterested decision
- Hidden personal relationship with the candidate
- Minor and Visible COI that requires committee discussion and voting; examples are:
- At the same institution as the candidate
- A graduate of the same institution as the candidate
- A member, but not the chair, of the candidate’s dissertation/thesis committee
- Received a letter of recommendation from or provided a letter to the candidate within the last three years
- Received an honorarium or pay from the candidate’s institution during the past three years
- Was a colleague at the candidate’s institution during the past three years, but is no longer at that institution
- Collaborator in a leadership role in a professional association or capacity within the past three years, the current year or the upcoming year
- Minor and Invisible COI that may or may not lead to disqualification; examples are:
- A member of another selection committee where the candidate was an applicant
- A shared common interest or group membership
There is a general obligation of transparency, that is, the committee member is obliged to disclose to the rest of the committee information about any real, apparent, or potential COI he/she may have.
The determination of a real or potential COI for a committee member should not be left up to the individual, but rather be made by someone other than the individual or individuals involved. Individuals who believe they may be in a conflict of interest situation should raise the issue with the committee chair or a member of the association’s ethics committee. It is important to note that others (e.g., other committee members) may review an individual for possible COI, so when in doubt, an individual should err on the side of more rather than less self-disclosure.
The committee is then obliged to determine whether the individual’s input would reflect a bias that would inappropriately influence others in the decision-making process. The individual in question may share his/her views on the COI with the committee, but should not be present during the committee COI discussions and decision-making since the presence of the individual may affect or be perceived to affect the decision. The individual in question has the right to appeal the committee’s decision.
IV. Interpretation and Enforcement Procedures
- The AIB president is ultimately responsible for immediate interpretation, application and enforcement of the COE Policy.
- The AIB president shall ensure that the practice of this policy will be fair, just and equitable in all situations of interpretation and application.
- The AIB president shall establish a standing committee to act on behalf of the president in ethical matters involving the organization. This committee shall be called the AIB Ethics Committee.
- The responsibilities of the AIB Ethics Committee shall include:
- Implementation: Oversee the COE Policy and its implementation.
- Interpretation: Contribute to the continuing definition and improvement of AIB’s ethics standards and procedures.
- Advice: Provide ethics policy and strategy advice to the AIB Executive Board.
- Communication: Communicate the ethics standards and procedures to the AIB leadership and membership.
- Training: Provide training in ethics standards and procedures to the AIB leadership and membership.
- Other actions: Take other actions consistent with the AIB Constitution and Bylaws, as are necessary and appropriate for achieving the objectives of the COE Policy.
- The responsibilities of the AIB Ethics Committee shall not include investigation of alleged wrongdoing or specific disciplinary responses in individual cases, which are the responsibility of the AIB Ombuds Committee (see below).
- The AIB Ethics Committee shall consist of five members. The AIB President shall be an ex officio non-voting member of the AIB Ethics Committee. Other members shall be elected or selected for three-year terms, and membership shall be staggered to provide continuity over time. The committee members select a chair from among themselves.
- The chair shall have the authority to invite other AIB members or individuals outside of AIB to temporarily advise the committee on a specific issue within their field of expertise.
- The committee will meet at least twice a year, in person or electronically, and will report on its activities to the AIB Executive Board through the committee chair. At any meeting, a quorum shall consist of the minimum number constituting a majority.
- Records of all meetings and decisions, with supporting documentation, will be maintained in the AIB archives.
- The Ethics Committee shall establish a sub-committee to handle ethical violations, dispute settlement and enforcement. This committee shall be called the AIB Ombuds Committee.
- The responsibility of the AIB Ombuds Committee shall be investigation of alleged wrongdoing and specific disciplinary responses in individual cases.
- The AIB Ombuds Committee shall consist of three members, whose terms coincide with their terms in the Ethics Committee. Members of the AIB Ombuds Committee shall be elected or selected in a staggered manner to provide continuity over time. The committee members select a chair from among themselves.
- The chair shall have the authority to invite other AIB members or individuals outside of AIB to temporarily advise the committee on a specific issue within their field of expertise.
- The committee will meet at least twice a year, in person or electronically, and will report on its activities to the AIB Executive Board through the committee chair. At any meeting, a quorum shall consist of the minimum number constituting a majority.
- Records of all meetings and decisions, with supporting documentation, will be maintained in the AIB archives.
- The procedure for handling dispute resolution and enforcement shall be:
- All complaints concerning a possible ethics violation must be made in writing by the complainant to the AIB Ombuds Chair.
- The Ombuds Committee assesses whether the matter meets the criteria for filing a complaint, makes an initial determination of the issue, and attempts initial resolution of the problem.
- If this initial attempt at resolution is not successful, the Ombuds Chair shall appoint an ad hoc committee to investigate the complaint; committee members can be selected from the Ombuds Committee or from the AIB membership as needed.
- The ad hoc committee is required to investigate as required and submit a written report to Ombuds Chair within 30 days. The Chair renders his/her decision within 21 days of receiving the committee’s report.
- The Ombuds Chair’s decision may be appealed in writing to the AIB Executive Board for consideration at its next regular scheduled meeting for a final decision. The final decision shall be delivered in writing to the parties involved.
- Penalties imposed for breach of the Code of Ethics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Excluding the committee member from portions of all future meetings and discussions which relate to the stated COI.
- Censure of the committee member, in private, in public, or both.
- Removal of the committee member from office by a resolution passed by a vote of two-thirds of the committee members voting, provided that notice of such a proposed resolution is given at least 21 days before the vote.
- The AIB will not retaliate against, and will protect the confidentiality of, individuals who make good faith reports that provide information on illegal practices or violations of the COE Policy. ("whistle-blower policy")
Should the Ombuds Chair be the subject of a complaint or in a conflict of interest position, the chair should recuse himself/herself and the Ombuds Committee select someone else.
Journal Ethics and Leadership Ethics
- The AIB Ethics Committee shall oversee links between the Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS) Code of Ethics and the COE Policy.
- The JIBS Code of Ethics, published at http://www.jibs.net, is already binding on JIBS editors, authors and reviewers. The JIBS code was developed specifically for situations involving editorial processes of the journal. As such, the JIBS code typically covers matters that differ from, but may overlap with, the COE Policy. Thus, there is the possibility of a conflict in rules or difference in interpretation between the two codes. In such a situation, the AIB president, the JIBS Editor-in-Chief, and the chair of the AIB Ethics Committee shall discuss and resolve the matter.
- The JIBS Code of Ethics shall apply to all publications of the AIB.
This Code of Ethics was developed using the wide variety of scholarly and professional resources on ethics for boards of non-profit organizations. Some of the most important resources are listed below; see also the links inside these resources.
Lowe, Alan. 2004. Ethical Guidelines for Board Members of Not-for-Profit Organizations. The Canadian Association. http://www.axi.ca/tca/mar2004/guestarticle_4.shtml
Better Practices. 2002. Association Xpertise Inc. http://www.axi.ca/tca/May2002/tca06-4b.htm
BoardSource. 2005. Conflicts of Interest at Foundations: Avoiding the Bad and Managing the Good. http://www.boardsource.org/dl.asp?document_id=25
Codes of Ethics for "Education and Academia" Professional Associations. Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions. http://ethics.iit.edu/indexOfCodes.php?cat_id=8
McNamara, Carter. All about Boards of Directors (For-Profit and Nonprofit). http://www.managementhelp.org/boards/boards.htm
Panel on the Nonprofit Sector. 2007. Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations. http://www.nonprofitpanel.org/Report/principles/Principles_Guide.pdf
Panel on the Nonprofit Sector. 2007. Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations. Reference Edition. http://www.nonprofitpanel.org/Report/principles/Principles_Reference.pdf
Society for Marine Mammalogy. Ethics Advisory Committee Terms of Reference. http://www.marinemammalscience.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=534&Itemid=328
VI. Appendix 1
Conflict of Interest Policy for the Academy of International Business
Statement of Commitment and Ethical Guidelines
The Code of Ethics for the Academy of International Business Leadership (COE Policy) is to be signed by all existing and incoming AIB committee members and by all nominees for membership on an AIB committee. As part of the code, each committee member agrees to uphold the AIB’s (1) Statement of Commitment and (2) Ethical Guidelines.
Statement of Commitment
The purpose of a statement of commitment is to emphasize the responsibility of the committee and each committee member to the Academy of International Business as whole, both as the statement is being developed and in perpetuity as it is discussed with each nominee and incumbent.
Each committee member must agree to this statement of commitment at the time they are nominated for an AIB committee and are expected to uphold the statement of commitment during their tenure as an AIB committee member.
The AIB Statement of Commitment is:
"In establishing policy for and on behalf of the Academy of International Business’s members, I am a custodian in trust of the assets of this organization. The AIB’s members recognize the need for competent and committed elected committee members to serve their organization and have put their trust in my sincerity and abilities. In return, the members deserve my utmost effort, dedication, and support. Therefore, as a committee member of the AIB, I acknowledge and commit that I will observe a high standard of ethics and conduct as I devote my best efforts, skills and resources in the interest of the AIB and its members. I will perform my duties as a committee member in such a manner that the members’ confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity and impartiality of the AIB are conserved and enhanced. To do otherwise would be a breach of the trust which the membership has bestowed upon me."
When an individual is a member of an AIB committee, or nominated for membership on an AIB committee, the individual is expected to commit to, practice and uphold these standards of ethical conduct with respect to all committee activities. The term "committee" is interpreted as including all organizational structures that have managerial, custodial, decision-making or financial authority on matters pertaining to the Academy of International Business; that is, the Code of Ethics is binding on all decision-makers/leaders within AIB. The ethical guidelines below are not exclusive, but are meant to signal items that the AIB considers important for ethical conduct.
Conflicts of Interest
- I will always hold the betterment of the membership of the Academy of International Business as my priority, including during all participation in discussions and voting matters.
- I recognize that I am obligated to act in a manner that can withstand the closest public scrutiny.
- It is my responsibility to contribute to the committee any suggestions of ways to improve the AIB’s policies, standards, practices or ethics.
- I will not abuse my position as a committee member by suggesting to any AIB member that I am entitled to or expect any special treatment beyond regular members of the organization.
- I understand that the following activities are considered by the AIB to be conflicts of interest (COIs), and that COIs include but are not limited to situations where a committee member:
- Makes a decision or does an act motivated by other or additional considerations than the best interests of the organization.
- Puts his/her financial or relational interests ahead of the best interests of the association in any circumstance related to the organization.
- Engages in conflict-of-interest activities that are unfair to the organization or can be perceived to be unfair to the organization.
- Engages in or approves of self-dealing activities that violate the United States Internal Revenue Code2, e.g., determination of one’s own compensation as a committee member, use of the organization’s income or assets on terms other than fair market value.
- I will not abuse my position as a committee member by allowing any real or potential COIs , whether personal, professional, financial or relational, to affect the committee’s decision-making processes.
- I will be transparent and declare any COI, be it real, potential or apparent, with regard to any matter being discussed in my presence during a meeting.
- I will leave it up to the committee to determine whether any COI has the potential to be at odds with the best interests of the organization.
- I will absent myself from committee deliberations and decision-making if the committee determines there is a COI with the potential to be at odds with the best interests of the organization. If the committee decides at any time during a meeting that I have a COI, I will accept their request to refrain from participating in the discussion and/or I will leave the meeting, either voluntarily or at the committee’s request. I will also refrain from any attempt to influence the committee’s decision (i.e., a committee member with a conflict may not lobby other committee members).
- I understand that the existence and resolution of the COI will be recorded in the committee minutes.
- I will not knowingly take advantage of or benefit from information that is obtained in the course of my official duties and responsibilities as a committee member, and that is not generally available to the AIB membership.
- I will be alert to information that the organization can use to develop improved policies and strategies.
- I will protect the organization’s information closely and will not release or share confidential information without the permission, preferably in writing, of the person who provided it.
- I will maintain confidentiality of all information that the committee deems should be confidential.
Gifts and Hospitality
- I will be mindful of resources which are in my trust on behalf of the organization, and will help establish policies which ensure the maximization of secure and protected resources.
- I will expect to be reimbursed only for legitimate expenses incurred by myself for the sake of the organization. I will keep all such expenses reasonable and justifiable and will discuss expenses which may be in question with the organization’s president.
- I will not engage in self-dealing activities or approve self-dealing activities for any committee member, except to pay reasonable compensation for personal services.
Representing the Organization
- If offers of gifts, favors or benefits on a personal basis are made to me in a possible effort to secure advantage from the organization or that might negatively affect the best interests of the organization, I will reject such offers.
- As part of my duties as a committee member, I represent the organization informally and formally to other organizations, associations, societies, government officials, and business representatives. I recognize that it is important that I represent the organization in such a way as to leave others with a positive impression of the organization. In my duties I will preserve and enhance the good reputation of the organization and will avoid behavior which might damage its image.
1 Parts of this document are based closely on the model "Code of Ethics for Directors of Not-For-Profit Organizations" developed in Lowe (2004).
2 Since the AIB Secretariat is currently headquartered in the United States, U.S. laws (e.g. the U.S. Internal Revenue Code) are binding on the association and therefore on its boards and board members.
(As approved on 1 August 2014)
The Academy of International Business wants to ensure that its elections are free of politicking. This policy statement identifies the kinds of politicking that are of concern and the steps that AIB will follow to deal with them. Clearly, active promotion of a candidate in an AIB election is inappropriate, whether via email, telephone, listserv or other communications. Our goal is to avoid behavior in which an AIB member recommends a candidate for AIB office to others or actively campaigns (i.e., attempts to influence the vote of another member) for that candidate. This applies to general AIB elections as well as to elections of chapter officers.
AIB would like to ensure that candidates are elected on the merits of their service and leadership skills rather than on campaign resources. Those who run for an AIB office are expected to help lead the organization or their chapter as a whole, rather than to serve a subgroup or pressure group within AIB. We do not want to see individuals, subgroups or coalitions campaigning on behalf of any candidate.
The election statement submitted by each candidate for an AIB office must be considered as the definitive election communication by, and on behalf of, the candidate.
AIB Bylaws require open nominations and the construction of an appropriate slate of candidates for the Executive Board, and this policy precludes the kinds of politicking identified above.
AIB acknowledges that free speech certainly may take place among friends and colleagues, but at the same time organized support at the personal level is not consistent with our goals or intent as an organization. For example, using the AIB membership list to put together a distribution list for campaigning purposes is not acceptable. And AIB officers should not use their positions to endorse candidates for office. Use of AIB funds for any activity that can be construed as campaigning is prohibited.
The AIB Board will judge any case in which a violation of these rules is asserted, and the judgment could lead to disqualification of the member/candidate for office. Any AIB member/candidate agrees to abide by these rules. An AIB member who lobbies on behalf of another member will be precluded from running for office him/herself for a three year period.
(As approved on 24 February 2015)
AIB, in common with many other academic associations, enforces a "no show" policy. This policy applies to all chapter meetings of AIB, as well as to global AIB meetings, including the Annual Meeting. At least one author of any accepted paper in the conference program must register, attend and present at the conference. Unless there are exceptional and extenuating circumstances, those who violate this policy will appear in the "no show" list.
This list is available to all AIB conference organizers and the violator will receive an official notification for being a "no show". Repeat violators of the "no show" policy (i.e., those who violate this policy in two of three consecutive years or have a history of violation) will be excluded from participation in AIB-related conferences for the subsequent 12 months, following the most recent violation.
This policy is necessary because every year many papers have to be rejected by reason of the limited space in the conference program. Violators of the "no show" policy are performing a professional discourtesy to their colleagues by wasting valuable space in the conference program.