American Management Association traces its origins back to 1913 with the founding of the National Association of Corporation Schools (later to become the National Association of Corporation Training). By 1922, this group had merged with the Industrial Relations Association of America (founded in 1918 as the National Association of Employment Managers), to form the National Personnel Association. In 1923, the group chose a new name, American Management Association, to better reflect its mission and goals.
In 1973, AMA consolidated five closely related national associations—all dedicated to management education—into one organization. With this consolidation, the Regents of the University of the State of New York granted recognition to AMA as an educational institution.