An interview with Journal of Management & Organization Editor Tim Bentley
How have you found your first 18 months as Editor of JMO?
Genuinely enjoyable. It is a great honour and responsibility to lead the development of JMO into a truly global journal with growing impact, building on the founding work of the previous editors. My task has been made easier by a great editorial team and strong support from our publisher. My focus has been largely operational during this initial period in order to handle the increasing number of submissions through the review process in a timely manner. We have expanded the editorial team to ensure our review times continue to improve and to cover the broadening scope of submissions to JMO. We have also worked with the publisher to make our content as discoverable as possible (towards growing citation numbers for our content) through new listings and marketing efforts. With this in hand, my focus for the next 18 months will be more strategic, working with Cambridge towards a number of goals for JMO around journal quality, rankings and impact, marketing and so on.
What developments can we expect to see in JMO under your editorship?
First and foremost, the editorial team share a vision of JMO as a truly global journal. Given that around 80% of submissions to JMO come from countries outside of Australasia, we are already well along the path towards this goal. Submission numbers from Asia are very healthy and we are looking to encourage more contributions from UK, European and US researchers. This said, we are keen to keep a strong local flavour to our content and encourage quality submissions from Australian and New Zealand academics.
We are very keen to see JMO achieve recognition as a tier-1 management journal in the various journal ranking systems. Given improving journal quality metric metrics and an acceptance rate of around 15% and dropping (in line with tier-1, A ranked journals), we might expect some positive upward movement in ranking in the coming few years.
Working with Cambridge, we are keen to introduce some innovations in how our content is presented, including the introduction of a number of virtual special issues over the coming two years on important current issues for the management field. One such issue will focus on the future of work and new ways of working (see below). We are also looking at being more open to publishing well-researched and sound (so called) ‘null studies’ – this in line with a wider call from business and management editors to do so as a counter to ‘P-haking’ and other forms of dubious research practice undertaken in the belief that only significant results will be published.
An earlier JMO editorial stated the journal is shifting focus to context-specific research, what does this mean in terms of article focus?
This question is best answered by referring to former editor Peter Galvin’s JMO editorial from 2014 in which he sets out why context matters in management theory, research and practice. However, in short, it is the recognition of the heterogenous nature of our subject matter as management scholars and the need to reflect this through consideration of the context of our study, where our data is derived, and so on. As Galvin notes, heterogeneity is present across countries, regions, industries, organisations and employees. Context-specific research should therefore consider the extent to which such context is important to the assumptions we draw.
The theme for ANZAM 2016 is ‘Under new management, Innovating for sustainable and just futures’, what do you consider to be the necessary new directions for management research?
The theme for the 2016 ANZAM Conference, to be held in Brisbane in December, speaks of the need for management theory and practice to forge new directions and create innovative approaches, processes and practices in order to build sustainable and just futures for people, communities, businesses and governments. The world of work and business is changing rapidly and management researchers need to work alongside other disciplines towards understanding the complex impacts on individuals and organisations of mega trends such as advancing technology, new forms of interacting and organising, globalisation, demographic shifts and the need for sustainable futures. This refocusing of the management research effort is crucial if we are to usefully inform policy and organisational practice such that we are ready to meet the challenges and opportunities that the future of work presents.