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Proliferation and Propagation of Breakthrough Performance Management Theories and Praxes

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

Guest Editors

Dr Vinh Sum Chau, University of Kent, UK ([email protected])
Professor Jonathan Liu, Regents University London, UK ([email protected])

Major theories on, and empirical research into, performance management related issues have proliferated in past recent decades.  These have covered a broad range of disciplinary areas – some of which are at their point of inception and some by borrowing and transferring to the neighbouring discipline.  A special issue of the International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management (IJPPM), published about a decade ago, took stock of the extent of this multidisciplinarity, but recognised “a number of barriers to effective knowledge transfer … together with some gaps in the scope of research methods and theory-building” (Holloway, 2009, p. 398).  For example, “although formal opportunities can arise to sell the contribution of performance management research, based in business schools, to potential clients in public and commercial organisations, many more informal opportunities arise through contacts with students, their employers, our friends and acquaintances … [but] we all need a genuine shared language to surface assumptions and raise awareness of research in other disciplines that are interdependent of our own” (ibid, p. 399).

It is now time to revisit these concluding lines and go further to examine how/if these theories/research have impacted practices for the range of stakeholders, and also in neighbouring disciplines.  Hence, papers are invited to this special issue on the proliferation (widespread) and propagation (deliberate attempt to implant in other disciplines/contexts) of breakthrough (significant, high impact, renowned) performance management theories and praxes (cf. practices, for its acceptability and custom use).  In other words, performance management research has now surpassed multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, but not necessarily for the better, and its usefulness may be over-stated, contrived, or deemed quackery, in the discipline or context of application.  Now, some decades new since ‘performance management’ as a common language phrase has become prominent, is a timely moment to prove or falsify this claim.

With the intended publication date of 2019, this special issue of IJPPM is anniversary to a number of notable breakthrough theories as well as significant events.  Therefore, papers that feature these will be considered more favourably, particularly where their development and evolution relate to other stakeholders through which their prominence was fostered.  Such include research academies: for example, it is coincidentally over 30 years since the inception of the British Academy of Management (BAM), through which time it has served as a leading authority on the general academic field of management and vital community for scholars and international peers to meet and advance theory and discern practice.  In particular, BAM’s Performance Management Special Interest Group (SIG), nearly 20 years old, has featured numerous themed seminars and workshops on both prominent theory and pressing matters across a number of disciplines.  The Performance Management Association (PMA), also incepted two decades ago, established a bi-annual meeting place and quality publications for a premier network of cross-disciplinary academics and practitioners to advance knowledge and insight and exchange ideas for rapid exchange.  Similarly, the World Confederation of Productivity Science has existed since 1968 as a global network with the objective of exploring productivity and performance management as a mechanism for creating wealth and quality of life.  Its agenda is highly applied and thrived on insightful knowledge over the past 50 years, and both witnessed and implemented the many breakthrough theories conceived in this time.

Empirical or review papers are therefore invited for consideration on revisiting breakthrough theories relating to any aspect of performance management within the last 50 years, particularly which have been developed and featured within these major academies.  This special issue is a celebratory compilation of original research/thought on significant management issues and/or key anniversary events that have significantly impacted business (e.g. a decade since the global financial crisis, see Chau et al., 2012).  Therefore, it is expected that the original theories will be re-visited, re-applied, challenged, and extended to newer contexts.  With this in mind, the special issue aims to address, but is not limited to, the following potential questions:
- What substantial contributions have been made over the years to the breakthrough theories that are significantly different from, or augmented by, them?
- Are the operational contexts of these breakthrough theories significantly different from their original inception, and if so how?
- How has the use of ‘performance management’ theories proliferated, both naturally and deliberately across disciplines?
- To what extent has the use of management theories from across disciplines for solving problems been contrived or beneficial?

Academic anniversary themes (by publication time) could include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Michael Porter's (1979) competitive strategy (40 years since five forces theory),
- Miles and Snow's (1978) configuration theory (40 years since inception),
- Jensen and Meckling's (1976) principal-agency theory (over 40 years since publication),
- Teece et al. (1997) on dynamic capability theory (20 years since 1997 SMJ publication),
- Hoshin Kanri (and related Japanese management) methodologies (50 years since first reported use; see Witcher and Butterworth, 1999),
- Balanced scorecard idea (30 years since first documentation by Johnson and Kaplan in 1987),
- Mintzberg et al.'s (1998) Strategy Safari idea (20 years since first appeared).
Anniversaries of contexts/major events (by approximate time of publication) could include, but not restricted to, the following:
- Global financial crisis (10 years since 2008 identification), and impact on credit management
- 9/11 Twin Tower terrorist attack (20 years), and impact on risk management
- decade since iPhone/iPad (smart touch screen, mobile apps technology) disruptive innovation, and impact on e-commerce

There is no preference for the type of paper or methodology employed, as long the paper makes clear the connection of the significant advancement to the breakthrough theory/ies addressed to performance management.  Enquiries about the special issue may be addressed to Dr Chau before formal submission.

Submission deadline: 28th May 2018

Paper Submission
Authors should submit their manuscripts in MSWord to
Authors must select "Special Issue: Proliferation and Propagation of Breakthrough Performance Management Theories and Praxes " when selecting the article type.
By submitting a manuscript author(s) certify that the contribution is original and has not been published or is under consideration for publication elsewhere and that no part of the material breaches the right of others. All articles will be double-blind peer reviewed by at least two anonymous referees. Authors are advised to ensure that their submission conforms to the IJPPM author’s guidelines at:

Chau, V.S., Thomas, H., Clegg, S. and Leung, A. (2012). “Managing Performance in Global Crisis” (Guest Editorial), British Journal of Management, Vol. 23 (Special Issue), pp. S1-S5.
Holloway, J. (2009). “Perspectives on Performance (Special Issue)”, International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 58 No. 4, pp. 309-399.
Jensen, M.C. and Meckling. W.H. (1976). “Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure”, Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 3, pp. 305-360.
Johnson, H.T. and Kaplan, R.S. (1987). Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting, Harvard Business School Press, Boston MA.
Miles, R.E. and Snow, C.C. (1978). Organizational Strategy, Structure and Process, West Publishing, New York.
Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B. and Lampel, J. (1998). Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour through the Wilds of Strategic Management, The Free Press, New York.
Porter, M. (1979). “How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy”, Harvard Business Review, March-April, pp. 93-108.
Teece, D.J., Pisano, G. and Shuen, A. (1997). “Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management”, Strategic Management Journal, 45, pp. 163-179.
Witcher, B.J. and Butterworth, R. (1999). “What is Hoshin Kanri? A Review”, ESRC Innovation Programme, Economic and Social Research Council, Swansea UK.