EURAM 2018 Presidential Activities
The State of Management Research in Europe* and across the World**
Reykjavik, June 22-23, 2018
This version: April 6, 2019
The presidential activities at EURAM annual conference constitute a forum in which, at the invitation of EURAM president, the presidents (or their representatives) of other national and supra-national associations of management gather to discuss issues of importance to the field of management education, research and/or practice.
This document summarizes the discussions among the attendees representing different scholarly associations across the world during the 2018 EURAM presidential activities on the state of management research in Europe on Thursday June 22* and across the world and Friday June 23** (Appendix 1 provides list of associations and their representatives), which took place after the answers to the key short survey questions from the perspective of each association were presented (see Appendix 2 for the survey questions).
Given the aim of this document to accurately reflect the content of the discussions, it contains two overlapping parts: the first part describes four diagnosis points of the current situation including the proposed solution point by point, which in part builds on the second part which also contains proposed solutions from another perspective (bottom-up and top-down approach).
First part: Diagnosis and possible remedies
1- Nowadays, the assessment of research (and almost overall faculty) quality predominantly focuses on article publications (based on their citations and their journals’ impact factor) which significantly drives faculty hiring and promotion as well as program and school accreditation, and deteriorates researchers’ balance between 'pay rent' and 'love'. 1
Proposal: give books - which allow for a more holistic treatment of a topic - equal standing in faculty hiring and promotion decisions as well as in accreditation criteria.
2- Scientific language doesn't facilitate communication with practitioners (managerial understanding of published research).
Proposal: create new publication outlets written in a language which is understandable to managers (but practitioner journals such as California Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review and Strategy & Business, as well as the more research-based Behavioral Science and Policy, already exist).
3- The currently dominant reductionist scientific approach:
a. generates segmentation of organizational phenomena in fragmented research streams as well as sometimes pseudo innovation often when dealing with apparently new phenomena (introducing supposedly new terms which give rise to new, self-referential research streams which often ignore prior contributions)
b. promotes quantitative method sophistication for a more correct identification (estimation) of causal effects to the detriment of building on existing literature and theories given rise to a scholarship crisis and
c. doesn't address managerial/organizational complexity in a holistic way as managers and other employees experience it.
a. promote seminars on management classics in PhD programs
b. promote the 'old' monograph format for a PhD thesis (which allows for a more holistic treatment) rather than the 3 ('ready to publish') papers' structure
c. recommend dropping publication requirements to allow PhD thesis defense
4- The diffusion across the world (Europe, Asia and Latin America) of the USA tenure track model associated with certain (article) requirements for tenure has brought:
a. the explosion of submissions to journals and
b. a strong segmentation of domestic markets in two tiers.
Proposal: Include books in tenure criteria. 3
Second part. How to deal with the problems diagnosed
We discussed two possible approaches: bottom-up and top-down.
Bottom up approach:
1- Rebalance 'pay rent' (top tier journals) and 'love' (more practice/policy oriented 'relevant' journals)
2- Keep/have review journals (i.e. journals which include review articles, i.e. see the recent launch of the Strategic Management Review and the success of the annual review issue of Journal of Management, the Academy of Management Annals and BSP)
3- Make an effort to promote the role of management research in terms of its potential contribution to policy debates and policy implementation and
4- 'Re-educate' colleagues about impact (of management research).
Top-down approach: publication of a manifesto dealing with
1- Reigniting scholarship by:
a. Revising the relative importance of journal rankings vs books,
b. Reintroducing a substantial literature review section in articles rather than just 1 page and half motivation at the beginning of the article and
c. Reviewing PhD programs' duration, structure (promote monograph vs 3 papers' structure) and requirements (no publication requirement for thesis defense).
2- Promoting knowledge diffusion through:
a. Greater valorization of books
b. Open access?
Attendees agreed that a summary of these activities would be circulated among them for approval/verification, potentially leading to a joint declaration or their adhesion to a EURAM declaration.