leadership, marketing, AMA, organization restructuring
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The University of Rhode Island’s chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) has progressively grown as a student run organization throughout the past decade. During this period, the leadership team faced the challenge of engaging members and transitioning smoothly from year to year. These two issues were linked to the chapter organizational structure and the leadership transition processes, respectively. In order to improve and become competitive on a national level with other AMA collegiate chapters and marketing degree programs, it is important to continuously reevaluate the chapter’s strategy. This research aims to seek best practices that can be applied for the chapter in coming years.
Our two main methods of research during the initial phase of the project were informational interviews and a survey. The interviews were conducted with two previous URI AMA chapter presidents and the survey was distributed to a network of collegiate AMA chapter presidents nationwide. The survey gathered quantitative and qualitative data that allows for the comparison of leadership and organizational structure with variables such as chapter size. The information collected during this research could be applied not only to AMA chapters, but also to other organizations looking to restructure.
The second phase of the project involved planning a retreat for URI AMA’s current and incoming board members. The retreat program involved two sessions where members participated in team building exercises in addition to learning the tasks and requirements of their upcoming positions. The goal of this program was to create a smooth transition between school years so that the new board will be in the best position possible to succeed in the next academic year.
Although the results of these efforts may not be evident immediately, there have been some signs already of the project's success in achieving its goals. The organizational structure that was implemented in the semester of the academic year resulted in a steadier meeting attendance and a higher level of perceived engagement. The retreat program also helped the incoming board understand what is expected of them and allowed them to set personal and position related goals. As the URI AMA continues to develop, this research can be revisited in the hopes that it will aid in the progress of the chapter.
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