By Lorraine Eden

At the Sydney, Australia meetings, the first networking group within AIB was born: Women in the Academy of International Business. Until then, the only formal subunits within the AIB structure were the chapters, which are organized based on region and geography. WAIB has grown, both in numbers and maturity, and is now a well-recognized group within AIB, offering workshops and holding networking meetings not only at the “AIB World” conference but also at many of the AIB chapters meetings.

More recently, a group of AIB members who share a common interest in research methods have come together and begun offering workshops and panels at AIB meetings. They, too, began to think about a more formal arrangement within AIB.

After months of discussion led by Lorraine Eden and Jeremy Clegg, with the help of the AIB Secretariat and the approval of the AIB Executive Board, Research Methods (RM) and WAIB have become AIB’s first two Shared Interest Groups (SIGs, for short). The new SIG Policy, adopted by the AIB Executive Board at its virtual meeting in October 2018, opens the door to many more SIGs as long as they incorporate the following principles in their establishment and governance. They must:

  1. Provide a collaborative environment for a group of AIB members who are interested in one or more of the following goals: (i) networking, (ii) sharing common interests, (iii) co-learning and developing best practices, and (iv) supporting and advocating on matters of interest and concern to the group’s members.
  2. Be of broad interest to AIB members across the association and across regions.
  3. Have their membership open to all members of AIB.
  4. Have a clear domain statement that outlines the scope of the SIG’s matters, activities, and structures, and that differentiates the SIG from other organizational groups within the AIB.
  5. Have a governance structure consistent with other SIGs at a similar stage of development.

Over time, the AIB Executive Board expects there will be a variety of SIGs organized around shared interests across the Academy.  These new groups should provide many benefits to AIB members including networking, world-wide learning, skills upgrading, and leadership and recognition opportunities.

Any group of 50 like-minded AIB members may submit a proposal to create a new Shared Interest Group within the AIB; proposals are due at least one month prior to a scheduled AIB Executive Board meeting. The application proposal form is now available the AIB website. New SIG applicants will go through a three-year probationary period before they are evaluated and a decision re formalizing their status is made by the AIB Executive Board. Some seed funding may be available during the start-up phase.  For more information, contact the AIB Secretariat.