UVA Darden School Professor Ming-Jer Chen Named Distinguished Educator by Academy of Management

08 September 2014

University of Virginia Darden School of Business Professor Ming-Jer Chen received the Academy of Management “Distinguished Educator Award” for 2014.

Chen, Leslie E. Grayson Professor of Business Administration, received the award during the Academy’s 74th annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in August.

Academy of Management Career Awards Committee Chair Mary Ann Glynn presented Chen with the honor in recognition of his achievements and contributions to teaching and developing effective business methods.

“I am deeply humbled by this award,” said Chen, a renowned researcher and expert in business strategy. Chen has been actively involved with the Academy of Management — the world’s largest and most prestigious scholarly management association — for more than 20 years. In 2012, the Academy installed Chen as its 68th president, a position he held until August 2013.


Chen coined the phrase “ambicultural management” to describe the approach of combining the best qualities of multiple business cultures in order to manage functions across different countries and organizational divisions.

He made ambiculturalism a part of his scholarly mission to bridge divides between Eastern and Western management systems over the course of his work within the Academy.

“Without question, the most gratifying honor of my professional life was the election in 2009 to the presidency of the Academy of Management for the 2012-13 term,” said Chen during his 2013 presidential address. “Through this service, I was given a unique opportunity to put my ambicultural commitment into practice at the intellectual and organizational levels in an institution I have long revered.”

Chen’s perspectives began to take shape during his youth.

Before leaving his hometown in Taiwan, Chen studied the Chinese classics with guidance from Aixinjueluo Yu-Yun, a relative of the “Last Emperor” of China. Chen read the works of the 16 most famous philosophers of ancient Chinese civilization, including Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War. This experience would later influence Chen’s research in the area of competitive dynamics.

His most recent mentor and sixth president of the Academy of Management, William H. Newman, imparted many life lessons to Chen and helped him recognize opposing perspectives.

“The juxtaposition of my East-West mentors symbolizes the genesis of my ‘ambicultural‘ makeup,” said Chen.


The Academy of Management presents three lifetime achievement awards each year: Distinguished Service, Distinguished Scholar and Distinguished Educator.

When reviewing Chen’s nomination materials, his work with the Chinese Management Scholars Community, and his commitment to developing doctoral students and faculty stood out most for the awards committee members.

“His work with Chinese management scholars is inspirational,” the committee wrote, “and it was not done as part of a position requirement but from a gallant motivation to build capacity. The impact of this contribution has been highly visible.”

In addition to teaching MBA courses at Darden, Chen teaches in Executive Education custom programs, and has worked with clients such as Merck, FedEx, Taiwan Mobile, Rolls-Royce, and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of China’s State Council.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia