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Call for Papers

Research Methodology in Strategy and Management

New Editorial Team: Brian Boyd, Russell Crook, Jane Lê & Anne Smith

Strong research methods are critical to building knowledge within strategy and management. Without methods that are well-vetted and clearly understood, the validity of studies’ findings and the guidance offered for future research and practice is suspect. Despite methodological advancements over the last several decades, serious challenges remain. Indeed, researchers who tend to focus their efforts on more exploratory designs using qualitative data have recently lamented the absence of applied guides to research practice, and have both celebrated and critiqued the emergence of standard templates for qualitative approaches. Meanwhile, researchers with a more confirmatory approach using quantitative data have lamented the emphasis on statistical versus practical significance, and have expressed growing concern over post hoc theorizing. A key implication is that, despite advancements, there is substantial room for improvement in research methodology.

In line with the tradition introduced by distinguished past editors Professor David Ketchen and Professor Don Bergh, the goal of this volume of Research Methodology in Strategy and Management is to advance best practices regarding the design and implementation of the qualitative or quantitative methodologies in strategy and management research. As part of this goal, we want to give researchers an outlet to ‘say something’ that other researchers can act on that might be difficult to say in other outlets. Papers that solve problems and offer best practices by including actionable suggestions with a practice-focus are particularly encouraged; we welcome papers with micro and macro levels of analysis, confirmatory and exploratory research designs, quantitative and qualitative data, and positivistic, interpretive, and post-modern orientations. Sample topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Problems in conceptualizing constructs in key research areas, including construct definition, dimensionality, validity, and reliability
  • Harnessing rich qualitative data for grounded theory building
  • Multilevel modeling advancements and challenges
  • Process and practice research
  • New and emerging data sources (e.g., big data, MTurk surveys, wearable devices, brain scans, videoethnography, sounds)
  • Assessing whether effect sizes 'matter'
  • Methodological advances and innovations from other fields
  • Mixed method issues and approaches
  • Discussion and establishment of quality criteria
  • Emerging issues in content analysis
  • Dealing with endogeneity
  • Ethical dilemmas in data collection and analysis
  • Contingency modelling
  • Field research conundrums
  • Comparisons of various qualitative traditions or nuances within particular traditions
  • Impediments and solutions to understanding theoretical mechanisms

Papers should follow Emerald style guidelines. Papers will undergo a blind, developmental review, and the final acceptance of papers is contingent on incorporating reviewers' feedback to the satisfaction of the editors. Submissions will be evaluated with respect to the following criteria:

  1. Relevance. The proposed paper should make a contribution towards improving our understanding of methodological issues to advance strategy and management research.
  2. Viability. The paper should represent an achievable paper within the time constraints required.
  3. Insight for Future Work. The proposal should convey important actionable implications for future management scholars regarding methodological rigor. We would like to see a table, figure, or commentary that highlights several actions researchers can take to improve their studies.

Additionally, authors should carefully consider the following questions when planning their submissions:

  1. Is there a problem? If so, how big is it? Can the authors document both the extent and salience of the problem? A review of literature related to the problem, and a positive tone in any assessment of prior work is important in this step.
  2. What benefits would the new approach provide? Can the authors provide evidence that the new approach would, in some ways, challenge the conclusions of prior work and/or help in framing new questions? Although not required, comparisons can provide powerful evidence of the benefits to a new approach. For example, a paper which develops a new measure of a construct will be seen as a weaker contribution than one which compares the efficacy of the new measure against existing measures.
  3. Feasibility. Is this methodological advance readily actionable? What steps could a researcher take to facilitate adoption of this advancement? This might include a table or section in the Discussion that lists several steps researchers should take in the future.

Submissions are due on January 1, 2018, and initial decisions about submissions to advance will be made in mid-March. The second round revisions will be due on May 1, 2018, and final decisions will be made by May 31, 2018. All final revisions will be due by June 30, 2018. The volume is scheduled to be published in January 2019. Please note that the strict timetable associated with this volume is based on the publisher's timelines, thus we will not be able to accept late submissions. The word count of submissions, including tables and references, should not exceed 6,000 words.

The Series Editors are Brian Boyd, City University of Hong Kong (bkboyd@cityu.edu.hk), Russell Crook, University of Tennessee (trc@utk.edu), Jane Lê, University of Sydney (jane.le@sydney.edu.au), and Anne Smith, University of Tennessee Knoxville (asmith51@utk.edu).

We welcome any questions or queries about possible submissions.