Tag Archives: #MGMTEvents

Department of Management meets the editor: Dr Robert Wapshott

The Editor of International Small Business Journal shared insights into achieving publication success in this virtual event.

Birkbeck’s Department of Management was delighted to welcome Dr Robert Wapshott, Editor for International Small Business Journal (CABS 3*), to our latest Meet the Editor session. The event was chaired by Dr Muthu De Silva, Assistant Dean (Research) in Birkbeck’s School of Business, Economics and Informatics.

How to publish papers in International Small Business Journal

Dr Wapshott began the session with advice for researchers aspiring to publish in International Small Business Journal (ISBJ). The journal focuses on publishing high-quality, highly relevant research on small business and entrepreneurship and features a broad range of fields and approaches.

Dr Wapshott shared some key details about ISBJ emphasising that the team works hard to reach decisions quickly and the importance of reviewers’ valued contributions to the journal’s overall strength. Dr Wapshott also highlighted that a small percentage of the manuscripts submitted to the journal are finally published in the journal

When a paper is submitted to ISBJ, it undergoes an editorial review by one of the two editors or the Editor in Chief. This is to check that the submission is relevant in scope and fit for the journal. Papers are then peer-reviewed, hopefully ending in publication.

How can I tell if my paper is a good fit for International Small Business Journal?

Above all, Dr Wapshott advises reading the journal and allowing time for the style to “sink in” to get an idea of whether your work is a good fit. An exercise to support this process would be to select some papers from the journal and study each of them by section.

When submitting papers, it is important to show how the work is relevant to journal’s readership, for instance the kinds of debates that might be of interest. Finding the ‘right’ audience for a paper can help the spread of its author’s ideas because the readers will be engaged in pursuing similar questions and topics.

Dr Wapshott also advised asking for feedback from colleagues that have published in ISBJ before, or who know the field, on whether the paper is a good fit for the journal.

Finally, it is important to consider whether ISBJ publishes the kind of work that you would like to write in terms of length, style and topic and whether there is an engaged readership for the paper’s topic, as this is key to supporting engagement with the paper beyond publication.

Papers accepted for publication in ISBJ have several things in common:

  • Clearly articulated contributions to debates that are relevant to the ISBJ audience
  • A contribution that matters beyond simple novelty
  • Careful engagement with the reviewers’ comments

Advice on writing and submitting a research paper

Dr Wapshott shared some general advice on writing and submitting a research paper.

Firstly, carefully consider keywords and ensure they are not too specific; they should link to other work in the journal and not just the paper submitted. Papers should be written in plain language where possible, showing sophistication instead through the ideas and their development.

What are the reasons for rejecting papers from International Small Business Journal?

Dr Wapshott shared the main reasons why a paper may be desk rejected:

  • Vague aims
  • Dated literature
  • Little sign of claimed contribution
  • Poor fit with the journal

If a paper is rejected at the full review stage, it could be due to:

  • Questionable contribution (e.g. inadequate theory)
  • Argument does not ‘work’, perhaps due to gaps or leaps in reasoning
  • Limitations in the method (e.g. inappropriate data for the claims made in the paper)

Advice for responding to reviewers

Dr Wapshott stressed the importance of treating reviewers with respect, even when disagreeing with their comments, by engaging with any feedback given and taking the time to explain your position. A good check is to imagine the reviewer in the room, or that they are an immediate colleague, and consider how you would respond to them.

A question from the audience asked for advice on dealing with rejection. Dr Wapshott focused on this as an evaluation only of the work submitted rather than anything broader, such as the author’s ability or potential. In this context, Dr Wapshott reassured delegates that rejection is something that happens to all researchers.

He encouraged delegates to try and understand what the editors or reviewers see as the weakness of the paper and to recognise the reviewers’ expertise – if it feels like they have missed the point of a paper, how could this be possible? It can be helpful to return to a paper with a fresh view once the comments have settled to see what might need to be improved.

Dr Wapshott’s presentation was followed by a Q&A session with delegates. One attendee asked what makes an article more impactful? Dr Wapshott responded: “It’s all about the significance of the contribution. How does this change how I see the world, how I think about it or practice? The author’s role is to articulate why the contribution matters. Then people can cite the work because there is a really clear takeaway.”

We would like to thank Dr Wapshott for an insightful and productive session.

Join us for our next Meet the Editor Session

Our next Meet the Editor Session will welcome Professor Jonathan Doh, General Editor of Journal of Management Studies on February 14 2022. Find out more and book your place.

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The politics of power in (ir)responsible business

Birkbeck’s Responsible Business Centre seminar series discusses gender inequality and the mechanisms through which men and masculinities maintain their dominance in marketing and consumer research.

The second in the series of Birkbeck’s Responsible Business Centre research seminars was focused on the politics of power in (ir)responsible business: Men, masculinities and transnational patriarchies and the case of marketing and consumer research.

The seminar was led by Dr Wendy Hein, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Birkbeck University of London. Dr Hein was joined by Professor Jeff Hearn from Hanken School of Economics, Finland, who recently co-authored a chapter in the book: ‘The Routledge Companion to Marketing and Feminism.’.

Transnational patriarchies are complex, structural and material issues that remain despite efforts of business to increase a focus on gender and intersectionality. Dr Hein provided perspectives on these structural and material complexities by naming and addressing transnational male-dominated patriarchies.

Increase in women’s representation = increase in young men’s crime?

Dr Hein began the seminar with a quote from Nick Fletcher MP, who made a speech at Westminster on International Men’s Day 25th November 2021.

“In recent years we have seen Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Luke Skywalker, The Equalizer, all replaced by women, and men are left with the Krays and Tommy Shelby. Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?”

Dr Hein argued that while the cultural sphere has evolved, it has done so as a result of decades and histories of under-representation. Although representation has increased, this does not imply that women are equally represented. There are still industries and sectors where women are underrepresented in terms of roles and participation.

How important is gender equality?

Achieving gender equality is central to development, as Dr Hein explained by presenting the report findings from the UN: ‘Reaching gender-equal educational attainment and labour force participation would add US$4.4 trillion to global GDP by 2030’ which would in turn help to reduce poverty.

Gender equality is also critical in driving sustainable development in areas such as providing equal access to family planning and education on land rights and sustainability.

Gender inequality is still prevalent today and gender relations are still characterised by various types of male dominance on a global/transnational scale. Dr Hein put this into focus by discussing the reports that Afghanistan has recently banned girls from attending school. Women also remain the main care workers in positions that are unpaid. According to a report by Oxfam 2020 ‘women and girls put in 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each day—a contribution to the global economy of at least US$10.8 trillion a year, more than three times the size of the global tech industry’.

What is patriarchy or transpatriarchy and how does this relate to marketing?

The majority of research in marketing is about men and produced by men. As a result, men are often mentioned in the context of consumer culture but rarely gendered, thus forming an ‘absent presence’.

Dr Hein then discussed the role of patriarchy in transnational markets, including the worldwide flow of products, services, and finance. As a result, there is worldwide wealth inequality and international migration is widespread.

Dr Hein concluded the seminar by emphasising the importance of maintaining momentum on debates on critical study of men, masculinities and transpatriarchies. There is a greater need than ever before, since the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Report stated that the ‘impact of Covid-19 has set gender equality back by another generation. It is now believed that it will take 135.6 years to reach gender equality’.

The focus of research should be on the superior position of transnational media, as well as transnational influence in private and public spheres. Unless we tackle these growing inequities and transnational structural inequalities, true sustainability will remain a goal for future generations.

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Early career researchers in Management receive expert feedback at Birkbeck’s Paper Development Workshop

The workshop invited delegates from universities across the globe to present their work-in-progress research papers to well-published academics from Birkbeck’s Department of Management.

The Department of Management’s Paper Development Workshop welcomed students from institutions across the globe to share their research and receive feedback from well-published academics.

The Workshop was organised by Dr Konstantinos Chalkias, Director of the PhD Management Programme; Dr Muthu De Silva, Assistant Dean (Research) in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics; Dr Neil Pyper, Assistant Dean (Learning and Teaching) in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics; and Mark Thurgood, PhD student in Birkbeck’s Department of Management.

In total, 27 papers were accepted for the event, with submissions from the UK, Germany, India, Spain and the Netherlands.

The workshop began with a keynote address from Professor Yehuda Baruch, Southampton Business School, on ‘Transforming PhD research into publishable papers’. Yehuda advised delegates on how to produce a strong paper and how to capitalise on their PhD research in further publications, reminding students that this is “probably the only time in your career when you’re able to devote a full three years of your life to a big project without competing demands on your time.”

Yehuda encouraged students to think ahead to the kind of role they would like to have after their PhD, contrasting the benefits of teaching vs research-oriented institutions and academic roles vs postdoctoral research positions.

Following the keynote, participants were divided into groups based on their research interests, where they presented their papers to an expert reviewer from Birkbeck.

Prizes were awarded for the best full paper and best developmental paper and all accepted attendees were offered a year of British Academy of Management membership. Congratulations to our prizewinners:

Saurabh Jain, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad

Best Developmental Paper Award for ‘Impact of Service Innovation on Social Media Entrepreneur’s Performance’.

Thanos Fragkandreas, Leo Leitzinger and Marius Liebald, Goethe University Frankfurt

Best Full Paper Award for ‘Is the Linear Model of Innovation Actually Dead? A ‘Topic-Sentiment Analysis’ of Policy Documents.’

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How to become and thrive as an impactful scholar 

Birkbeck’s School of Business, Economics and Informatics welcomed Professor Morten Huse for the first in a series of talks on how to conduct rigorous, impactful research.

At a time when academics face increasing and competing demands on their time, how can researchers ensure that they are conducting theoretically rigorous and practically impactful research? 

On Monday 15 November, the School of Business, Economics and Informatics welcomed Professor Morten HuseProfessor Emeritus at BI Norwegian Business School (Oslo) to deliver the first in a series of talks entitled ‘How to become and thrive as an impactful scholar’. The talks draw on reflections from Morten’s award-winning book: ‘Resolving the Crisis in Research by Changing the Game’. 

The session was chaired by Dr Muthu De Silva, Assistant Dean (Research) in the School, who welcomed Professor Huse and colleagues to the event. 

Morten began by sharing his motivations for writing the book that forms the basis of this series, which he described as an “introspective journey”. The book began as part of an ERC Advanced Research Grant Application exploring a sharing philosophy in academia and the concept of engaged scholarship. 

Morten introduced the idea of a “scholarly ecosystem”; a holistic view of academia that encompasses the institution, the community, its audience, messages and communication channels. In particular, he highlighted the importance of the community and transferring from a “publish or perish culture into true scholarship”. 

The key elements in the sharing philosophy are:  

  • Caring for each other 
  • Open innovation 
  • Impact driven 
  • “Life is too short to drink bad wine” 

Open innovation 

Morten argued that open innovation is a holistic process, in which individuals’ scholarly lives cannot be separated from their private identity. It is about the integration of head, heart and hands. 

He explained: “I think we all agree that scholarship goes beyond learning the tricks of the trade. Still, I’m seeing that the most popular sessions in conferences are about how to learn to publish, how to learn the tricks of the trade, more than really getting into the research.” 

Reflecting on his experience at Witten/Herdecke University from Chapter 7 of the book, Morten discussed the importance of open dialogue and contributions from across the academic community to create a communal experience. 

During his time at Witten, Morten began to define himself as a mentor and to use a policy of “starting with the heart”, discovering that the head and the hands would soon follow. 

An impact-driven approach 

Morten shared some examples from Chapter 8 of his book to show the importance of an impact-driven approach. 

Referencing his work on the ‘getting women on boards’ research agenda during the 1980s and 1990s, he explained: “We wanted to be open and share, in that way learning so much more than when we were just protecting things for our own credit. We could risk that somebody worked faster than us in publishing and getting credit: what mattered was that the important things were understood. In that period, we were not afraid of sharing with each other what we were doing, because we were learning so much more and so much faster. “ 

Polymorphic research 

Morten defines polymorphic research as “alternative ways of thinking and doing research.” This involves avoiding formulaic methods as shortcuts to publication and instead pursuing impactful research by challenging assumptions, methods, interpretations and how research is communicated beyond publications to make a change in business and society. 

An example of this type of research is the ‘champagne method’: action research featuring interaction and co-creation between the actor and the researcher. The champagne method involves a holistic approach and requires trust, positive energy and continuous reflection. It represents the integration of research, teaching and action. 

“Life is too short to drink bad wine” 

Throughout the event, the talk returned to the catchphrase “Life is too short to drink bad wine”, which embodies Morten’s philosophy that researchers should spend their time on the projects that will be truly meaningful, with colleagues who share their passion. How to achieve this type of research and the scholarly journey will be explored in-depth in upcoming sessions in this series. 

The presentation was followed by discussion from delegates, which further explored the impact of individualistic vs communal cultures and how to scale-up an open innovation and communal approach. 

Places on session two of this series on thriving in different stages of an academic career are available to book now. 

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