Submissions close 1st October 2024

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In the Hollywood blockbuster movie about the father of the atomic bomb, the main character, Oppenheimer, goes through many dramatic events before he becomes the “destroyer of worlds”. In real life, the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer may have applied less melodramatic, if not boring, literature reviews (LRs) of the work of many fellow scientists to figure out how to advance the knowledge he needed to make the atomic bomb. LRs are essential for scientific cumulative knowledge development (Kepes, Bennett & McDaniel, 2014).

Systematic Literature Reviews (SLRs) have become the “gold standard”, initially in medical research but now even in the social sciences, including management (Atkinson, 2023b; Tranfield, Denyer and Smart, 2003). Although there is no generally accepted definition of an SLR, many scholars would agree that an SLR can be described as a reliable, scientific overview of extant research on a subject area or topic and that the purpose is to identify, appraise and synthesize all relevant studies using a transparent, replicable process (Petticrew and Roberts, 2008; Tranfield et al. 2003). The methods of SLRs vary but are typically undertaken through several pre-determined steps. One such method is the medical-research inspired PRISMA Statement consisting of a 27-item checklist (Moher et al., 2009). More often applied in the social sciences is the SALSA framework (Search, AppraisaL, Synthesis and Analysis) (Grant & Booth, 2009). 

Other Literature Reviews

There are several additional ways, besides SLRs, to identify, appraise, and synthesize a range of relevant studies to summarize prior knowledge. Three major types are: Narrative Reviews, Descriptive Reviews and Scoping Reviews (Paré et al., 2015; Schryen et al., 2020). Basically, the Narrative Review attempts to identify what has been written on a subject or topic. There is usually no intention to generalize or generate cumulative knowledge since they do not involve systematic and comprehensive search of all relevant literature. The Descriptive Review collects, codifies, and analyzes numeric data in a specific research area to determine whether they support or reveal any patterns or trends. Hence, these reviews may claim to represent the state of the art in a research area. Finally, a Scoping Review tries to estimate the available literature on a particular topic. Such reviews may be undertaken for preliminary examination of a research area before engaging with it any further. These three types of LRs focus on a broad coverage of the literature rather than any deep coverage. Other types of LRs include explanation building Theoretical Reviews and Realist Reviews as well as Critical Reviews, making a critical assessment of extant literature (Breslin & Gatrell, 2023; Munn et al, 2018; Paré et al., 2015; Schryen et al., 2020).

Although probably best suited for SLRs, the output of all types of LRs can be further analyzed and re-imagined by bibliographic methods. Such techniques combine classification and visualization. Despite a growing interest in such methods, there exists little information on best practices and guidelines regarding studies involving bibliographic methods. Suffice it to say that bibliometric methods rely on statistical methods to analyze bibliographic and citation data (Block & Fisch, 2020; Zupic & Čater, 2015).

Literature Reviews and Generative AI

The amount of work needed to carry out a LR could be substantial, requiring sizable resources and considerable time. Therefore, recent developments in the field of Generative AI have been examined for undertaking such reviews. While the pros and cons are still debated about their suitability, the development of such tools is extremely fast. It is safe to assume that the application of AI in research has just started. In the future, AI may, for example, create continuous up-to-date literature reviews, always covering the current state of the research (Atkinson, 2023a; Burger et al., 2023). But we are not there yet, and scholars may at present use Generative AI more like a virtual research assistant than an automatic tool to create SLRs (Singh & Singh, 2023). 

Focus of the Special Issue

Topic/Area of Literature Reviews

There must be a match between the submitted LR and what JGM publishes, i.e. research on global employees who cross borders physically and/or virtually for work purposes. These include corporate and self-initiated expatriates, as well as other forms of global employees, such as frequent international business travellers, short-term assignees, and migrant workers. 

For more details on the remit of JGM, please visit here. To enhance the contribution of the submission, the LR should be as unique as possible. One way is to examine a topic/area where no previous review has been conducted. Another alternative could be to conduct a LR on phenomena that combine traditionally demarcated global mobility areas. Yet another option is to update obsolete or incomplete literature studies. 

The Ultimate Test of a Literature Review.

No matter the choice of topic/area and the way to undertake a LR, the contribution needs to be clear and significant. Since the reason for conducting a LR is to acquire new knowledge, a relevant question to ask is what we learned from a specific LR that we did not know before. Did it provide an updated understanding by integrating and synthesizing extant knowledge? A related issue concerns the usefulness of that knowledge. Did it identify knowledge gaps or inconsistencies? And, if so, how can this new knowledge guide future research to further advance our knowledge about the reviewed topic/area? (Paul et al., 2021). 

Submissions Information

To be considered for the Special Issue, manuscripts must be submitted no later than October 1, 2024, 5:00pm Central European Time. Submitted papers will undergo a double-blind peer review process and will be evaluated by at least two reviewers and a special issue editor – in this case, one of JGM’s editorial team members. The final acceptance is dependent on the review team’s judgments of the paper’s contribution to the special issue topic.

Authors should prepare their manuscripts for blind review according to the Journal of Global Mobility author guidelines, available here. Please remove any information that may potentially reveal the identity of the authors to the reviewers. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to JGM's ScholarOne here. For enquiries regarding the special issue, please contact Professor Jan Selmer or Professor Margaret Shaffer.

Key Deadlines

Paper submission deadline: October 1, 2024
Acceptance notification: July 2025
Publication: September 2025

Guest Editors

Jan Selmer, Aarhus University, Denmark
Margaret Shaffer, University of Oklahoma, USA 
David S. A. Guttormsen, University of South-Eastern Norway, Norway 
Sebastian Stoermer, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
Luisa Helena Pinto, University of Porto, Portugal 
Yu-Ping Chen, Concordia University, Canada 
Jakob Lauring, Aarhus University, Denmark 


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Atkinson, C. F. (2023b). Cheap, quick, and rigorous: artificial intelligence and the systematic literature review. Social Science Computer Review, 08944393231196281.
Block, J. H., & Fisch, C. (2020). Eight tips and questions for your bibliographic study in business and management research. Management Review Quarterly, 70, 307-312.
Breslin, D., & Gatrell, C. (2023). Theorizing through literature reviews: The miner-prospector continuum. Organizational Research Methods, 26(1), 139-167.
Burger, B., Kanbach, D. K., Kraus, S., Breier, M., & Corvello, V. (2023). On the use of AI-based tools like ChatGPT to support management research. European Journal of Innovation Management, 26(7), 233-241.
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Moher, D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., Altman, D. G., & Prisma Group. (2010). Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. International Journal of Surgery, 8(5), 336-341.
Munn, Z., Peters, M. D., Stern, C., Tufanaru, C., McArthur, A., & Aromataris, E. (2018). Systematic review or scoping review? Guidance for authors when choosing between a systematic or scoping review approach. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 18, 1-7.
Paré, G., Trudel, M. C., Jaana, M., & Kitsiou, S. (2015). Synthesizing information systems knowledge: A typology of literature reviews. Information & Management, 52(2), 183-199.
Paul, J., Lim, W. M., O’Cass, A., Hao, A. W., & Bresciani, S. (2021). Scientific procedures and rationales for systematic literature reviews (SPAR‐4‐SLR). International Journal of Consumer Studies, 45(4), O1-O16.
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Guide. John Wiley & Sons.
Schryen, G., Wagner, G., Benlian, A., & Paré, G. (2020). A knowledge development perspective on literature reviews: Validation of a new typology in the IS field. Communications of the AIS, 46, 134-168.
Tranfield, D., Denyer, D., & Smart, P. (2003). Towards a methodology for developing evidence‐informed management knowledge by means of systematic review. British Journal of Management, 14(3), 207-222.
Singh, H., & Singh, A. (2023). ChatGPT: Systematic Review, Applications, and Agenda for Multidisciplinary Research. Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, 21(2), 193-212.
Zupic, I., & Čater, T. (2015). Bibliometric methods in management and organization. Organizational Research Methods, 18(3), 429-472.