Academy of Management Modernizes Its Member Experience with Progress Sitefinity

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Revamping both the user experience and content management, with deep customization, API integration and functional control requirements.


Sitefinity delivered a personalized experience based on membership status.


Academy of Management achieved a 9.4 percent increase in sessions and 18.9 percent increase in pages per session.

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The Academy of Management (AOM) is the preeminent professional association for scholars researching, teaching and practicing in the field of management and organization. Founded in 1936, the AOM is a global community of nearly 20,000, with members spanning across 120 countries. It seeks to advance the impact of management and organization science on business and society worldwide, achieving this chiefly through extensive professional services, vibrant volunteerism and interactive communities.

The key to fulfilling its mission is having a website capable of delivering online engagement that transcends geographic boundaries. But AOM’s website design made it difficult to prioritize the important messages it wanted to share with association members.

“Our members are used to the web experiences they encounter on leading news sites,” said Michael Alterio, Web Content Manager, Academy of Management. “The challenge for our new website is to present all our management content in an easily digestible way, while also keeping the content easy to manage.”


Working with implementing partner, Vanguard Technology, AOM conducted a thorough review of content management systems including, WordPress and Drupal. That review led them to choose Progress® Sitefinity®.

“Sitefinity is leagues beyond the Ektron system we had been using, and also offered broader and more powerful features than WordPress, which we had used for a microsite,” said Alterio.

AOM's goal was for members to feel satisfied that they were able to find the information and resources they needed. So the implementing team built user journeys that encouraged engagement at a deeper level. To promote these behaviors, the AOM team integrated three platforms into one seamless experience. It included Single Sign-on (SSO) between the website, its Atypon online publishing platform, its iMIS association management system and its Higher Logic online community platform. This enabled an intuitive member experience across all applications.

To ensure information was being updated in real-time, as well as to reduce manual updates, community-created events in Higher Logic would automatically import into Sitefinity. Doing so provided members a condensed, yet categorically organized, view of upcoming events. Adding a large faceted and federated keyword search would allow members to quickly and accurately narrow searches to find what they needed.


Using Sitefinity personalization, the implementing team created user personas tied to AOM web content labels. This enabled AOM to deliver distinct user experiences based on membership status (non-member and member). The mobile experience got a complete overhaul as well, a dramatic improvement from AOM’s former non-responsive site. And to top it all off, AOM’s subsites were consolidated into the main website’s structure, providing a unified content experience across its main website, academic publishing platform and user community system.


The new AOM site launched to raves from members. As Alterio put it, “Our old site was antiquated both in its backend and in its look and feel. Our users have commented that the new design has a modern touch that seems refreshingly innovative.”

Its traffic data confirmed the increased member engagement. Sessions were up 9.4 percent and pages per session were up an impressive 18.9 percent. With bounce rates down, the data clearly showed members were navigating more efficiently, finding what they wanted and staying on the site to consume more content.

The new mobile experience certainly contributed to the improvement, “The mobile responsivity is the most dramatic change from our old, non-responsive site. The modern look and feel is a big improvement,” said Alterio.

Looking ahead, AOM’s phase two projects included a deeper exploration into personalization, increasing its use of video and expanding the use of advertising on the site. Alterio said, “Sitefinity’s ability to dynamically deliver content to the areas of the website that need it, helps save us time in governing our content while also making it timelier for our users. We see this site launch as a success.”

About Academy of Management

Academy of Management (AOM) is the preeminent professional association for management and organization scholars. Its worldwide members are professors and Ph.D. students in business schools at universities, academics in related social science and other fields and practitioners who value knowledge creation and application. Learn more at

About Vanguard

Vanguard Technology has been building unique websites since 1998, taking a holistic approach to design and development. Vanguard builds customer’s ideal websites by placing an emphasis on understanding how customers and their users envision interacting with it. View their portfolio at

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