Tag Archives: #MGMTResearch

Meet the Editor Series Welcomes Professor Ben Martin

The Editor of Research Policy shared advice on how to pitch to leading journals in this virtual event hosted by our Department of Management.

Professor Ben Martin outdoors, looking into the camera.Having been an Editor of Research Policy (RP) for fifteen years, Professor Ben Martin (SPRU and University of Sussex Business School) is well versed in the pitfalls that hopeful contributors should avoid and, more importantly, the steps they can take to give papers the best chance of being published.

In our fourth Meet the Editor session, Professor Geoff Walters, Executive Dean of Birkbeck’s School of Business, Economics and Informatics welcomed Professor Ben Martin and the international audience comprising more than 45 scholars from around the world. Chaired by Dr Muthu De Silva, Professor Martin shared insight into Research Policy and best practice in paper development with colleagues in our Department of Management.

What is the positioning of Research Policy?

Professor Martin began the presentation by giving an overview of RP, its scope and structure. RP is widely regarded as the leading journal in innovation studies and its focus is on innovation, technology, knowledge, learning and entrepreneurship. The journal is unique in that authors choose which of the twelve editors to pitch their paper to based on their area of expertise.

RP is oriented towards policy and practice and is less theory driven than many other leading journals. It is also interdisciplinary in scope, drawing on economics, management, organisational studies, sociology and political science. Among the most highly cited papers from RP are those which involve conceptual exploratory analysis, as opposed to purely empirical analysis.

In terms of coverage, RP is a global journal, with an even number of contributions from North America and Western Europe and a growing number of papers from Asia.

Advice for academics thinking of submitting to Research Policy

Professor Martin shared insight into how to provide a good submission, stressing that much of the advice could apply to submissions to other journals as well:

  • Read similar papers in the journal to get a flavour of the content, style and theoretical or conceptual approach.
  • Check the website for the scope of the journal and instructions to authors.
  • Seek advice from experienced authors.
  • Present the preliminary version of your paper at conferences and seminars, get feedback and improve the quality before submitting.

Aside from ensuring authors have ‘done their homework’, RP editors ask three key questions when examining papers:

  • Is the topic within the scope of our journal?

An author might demonstrate this by referring to literature that is familiar to RP readers, ensuring the topic has broad appeal for RP readership and arriving at a conclusion of interest to RP readers. This can be further justified in the covering letter if required.

  • Is the paper high quality?

Quality is understood both in terms of topic, which should be embedded in relevant literature and offer an original contribution, and in structure, which must feature systematic analysis, logical argument and a clear, interesting conclusion with specific policy or management implications. Papers should also be written in good English.

  • Who to referee?

Professor Martin highlighted that reliable, conscientious referees have been particularly hard to find during the COVID-19 pandemic. Authors should consider who the editor might ask to referee and may influence the editor’s choice of reviewer through the references they cite.

Revise and Resubmit

Professor Martin offered advice for academics who are invited to revise and resubmit their work to RP:

  • Read referees’ comments very carefully.
  • Decide which points you can respond to.
  • Revise your paper and prepare a detailed accompanying note explaining to each referee how and where you have responded to the points that they made.
  • Be prepared to revise and resubmit more than once.

What to do if your Paper is Rejected

The sheer volume of submissions that RP receives means that inevitably some papers will be rejected. Professor Martin advises authors in this situation to learn from critical comments and to revise and improve their paper for submission in another journal.

We would like to thank Professor Martin for the opportunity to learn from this thought-provoking presentation and for taking the time to answer our audience questions.

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Knowledge Intensive Business Services: Post-Pandemic New Normal

In our third collaborative event between Birkbeck’s Department of Management and Essex Business School, we explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Knowledge Intensive Business Services. 

The COVID-19 crisis has forced many organisations to transition to remote working. How has this impacted Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS), which rely on in-person interaction and team working to deliver their services? 

In a joint event hosted by Birkbeck’s Department of Management and Essex Business School, University of Essex, Professors Ian Miles (Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester) and David Doloreux (HEC Montréal) outlined their view of the post-pandemic new normal for KIBS. 

As Chair, Dr Muthu De Silva, Director of Research in Birkbeck’s Department of Management, introduced the session, which began with discussion from Professor David Doloreux on KIBS and their key characteristics. KIBS are services which involve economic activities which are intended to result in the creation, accumulation or dissemination of knowledge. The KIBS sector includes establishments whose primary activities depend on human capital, knowledge and skills. This inevitably involves close interaction between KIBS and their clients in order to create and disseminate knowledge. 

Scholars have identified three broad classifications of KIBS: 

  1. Social and professional services (P-KIBS) 
  2. Science and technology (T-KIBS) 
  3. Cultural and creative services (C-KIBS) 

Having conducted a literature review into the key research streams relating to KIBS, Doloreux noted that very few studies prior to the pandemic have dealt with digital services and their capacity for innovation, so webinars like this address an important and under-researched area of the field. 

Regarding how the pandemic has affected the macro- and micro-pictures for KIBS innovation, Professor Doloreux made the following observations: 

  • There will be an evolution of demand on KIBS innovation, with greater opportunities related to big data, analytics and AI. 
  • COVID-19 may result in a widening gap between different types of KIBS: P-KIBS may be able to offer more innovative services that satisfy demands, whereas C-KIBS have suffered from drastically reduced demand due to COVID-19. 
  • We will need to rethink the location of activity of KIBS and where innovation occurs. 

As a geographer, Professor Doloreux also raised the following key questions: 

  • How can we geolocalise innovation in KIBS? 
  • How do KIBS innovate without face-to-face and frequent interactions with clients? 
  • What are the dynamics and implications of hybrid models and more digital service production on KIBS innovation? 
  • What is the geography of this connection? 

Regarding the long-term impact of the pandemic on KIBS, there are three possible scenarios that need to be empirically analysed: 

  1. The Revolution: COVID-19 has radically modified innovation and business models in KIBS. 
  2. Booster: COVID-19 has accelerated processes and practices that were already in place, e.g the hybrid model. 
  3. Weak game changer: changes prompted by COVID-19 have a weak impact on KIBS practice and products. 

The second half of this webinar invited Professor Ian Miles to respond to these observations. Having conducted research into KIBS throughout the pandemic, Professor Miles observed how the pandemic impacted KIBS in real time. He highlighted three elements of the crisis that were shaping business conditions: epidemiology, policy responses and socioeconomic impacts. 

In terms of patterns of demands for KIBS, the picture is very mixed. There was a sudden drop in demand for KIBS in 2019/20, three times that seen in the 2008 recession, in line with the drop in demand across the economy. Conversely, some KIBS sectors have been in increased demand and we have seen new demands related to new business problems. Among these ‘winners’ are some portions of research and development services (including the clinical trials industry) which have had to work under new constraints associated with the pandemic, of Information Technology and computer services (which were often quite capable of shifting to remote working),  and of professional services like accountancy and legal services (where new client problems are arising, but whose ways of working have been challenged). 

Professor Miles also discussed how KIBS have confronted challenges during the pandemic, including in particular restrictions on face-to-face interaction. This impacts on the establishment and maintenance of trust, and on the exchange of tacit knowledge, both in relations with clients, and in internal collaboration and team-building. Much effort is underway to improve videoconferencing systems and practices. 

For Professor Miles, there would likely be a shift between the immediate impact of the pandemic, which has seen the acceleration of digitisation activities and the stalling of long-term digital reengineering projects such as AI and data analytics, and the long-term response, which may see these efforts reinstated as organisations push the limitations of virtual communications. Professor Miles concluded by anticipating an upsurge of innovation in the future, as organisations moved on from the ‘forced rapid innovation’ of the immediate crisis. 

The presentations were followed by discussion from the audience, which featured a diverse mix of policy makers, academics and early career researchers, and a vote of thanks from Professor Suma Athreye, Essex Business School. 

A recording of this event is available to watch on YouTube. We look forward to future collaborations as we continue to explore the impact of the pandemic on innovation, knowledge creation and dissemination.

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How to publish in top Management journals

In the Department of Management’s second Meet the Editor session, attendees heard from four inspiring academic speakers on how to publish in prestigious journals and the key pitfalls to avoid.

Editors of the top journals are tasked with reviewing thousands of papers, so how can you ensure that yours makes it past initial review and has a higher chance of getting published?

At the second of the Department of Management’s Meet the Editor sessions – chaired by Dr Muthu De Silva, Director of Research – Dr Geoff Walters, Executive Dean, School of Business Economics and Informatics welcomed Dr Dermot Breslin (International Journal of Management and Essex Business School), Professor Martyna Sliwa (Management Learning and Essex Business School), Professor Savvas Papagiannidis (Technological Forecasting and Social Change and Newcastle University Business School) and Dr Mohammad Faisal Ahammad (British Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies and Leeds University Business School) to share their insight.

This session was very well attended by 75 scholars around the world.

Through this interactive session, a number of key considerations for authors were discussed:

Tailor your article to the journal and never resubmit to a different journal without revising substantially

It goes without saying that articles should be tailored for a specific journal, but all presenters were in agreement that a quick way to get your submission rejected is to make it obvious that it has been submitted elsewhere first. Speakers emphasised that even if authors are resubmitting a paper to a different journal, it is essential to ensure that the article is tailored for this resubmission, as it is obvious when this is not the case.

Understand the scope of your chosen journal

To make it less likely that you will need to resubmit your article, it is important to understand the scope of different journals. For example, does your chosen journal publish literature reviews? Does your article ‘fit’ with the type of content that the journal has published in the past? Does it offer a new perspective on these issues? Taking the time to effectively target and understand your chosen journal will lead to a more successful submission.

Address any issues raised by editors and reviewers

Dr Mohammad Faisal Ahammad shared some useful insights from his experience of having papers reviewed, accepted, revised, and rejected. He noted that taking the time to respond to reviewer comments in detail led to a much greater acceptance rate. Use this response as an opportunity to highlight the contribution made by your paper and take the time to address concerns raised by reviewers in a way that makes the process as easy as possible for them. He -using a few examples-, clearly outlined strategies to adopt to successfully address common comments made by reviewers (e.g. motivation, common method bias and endogeneity issues etc)

Support journals by becoming a reviewer

Several speakers commented on the value of becoming a reviewer as a way to support journals and gain insight into this process. Becoming a reviewer is often a stepping stone to membership of an editorial board, so it is well worth considering the commitment.

We would like to thank Dr Breslin, Professor Sliwa, Professor Papagiannidis and Dr Ahammad for their time during this highly informative session. All are welcome to join us for our upcoming Meet the Editor events:

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Department of Management Welcomes Professor Vijay Pereira for first Meet the Editor Session

The Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Business Research and Global Real Impact Editor for the Journal of Knowledge Management joined the Department for a virtual presentation on how to publish in top management journals.

Meet-the-Editor Sessions are free for anyone to join.

Screenshot of the group meeting for the Meet the Editor session

Dr Muthu De Silva (top left) and Dr Geoff Walters (top right) introduced this presentation by Professor Vijay Pereira (bottom left).

Dr Muthu De Silva, Director of Research and session chair opened the discussion by sharing the objective of the Meet the Editor series: to motivate and support our community of excellent scholars to thrive in research, during this difficult time.

While we are all missing face to face contact with colleagues across Birkbeck and beyond, it has to be said that lockdown has presented opportunities to be more creative and geographically ambitious with events in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics, as Dr Geoff Walters, Executive Dean reminded the audience during the welcome speech. Around fifty researchers in the field of Management tuned in to this online talk by Professor Vijay Pereira of NEOMA Business School, France, designed to provide greater insight into the types of research that top management journals are looking to publish.

As Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Business Research and Global Real Impact Editor for the Journal of Knowledge Management, as well as a member of the editorial board for a number of other journals (e.g. Journal of Management Studies), Professor Pereira has extensive knowledge of prestigious publications, commenting on the ‘outside the box’ thinking that he brings to academia and the journals on which he works.

In this session, Professor Pereira provided a detailed introduction to the ethos and outlook of the Journal of Business Research and the Journal of Knowledge Management, along with his advice for those looking to publish in these journals.

Journal of Business Research

The Journal of Business Research (JoBR) is a UK ABS 3* and ABDC ‘A’ journal. Firstly, Professor Pereira highlights the importance of understanding the scope of the journal in which you wish to publish. In the case of JoBR, in addition to the theoretical rigour, the journal aids the application of empirical research to practical situations and theoretical findings to the reality of the business world. This practical underpinning is reflected by JoBR’s broad target audience, which includes executives alongside scholars and researchers.

JoBR has a somewhat unique organisational structure, with two Editors-in-Chief, three to four Deputy Editors-in-Chief, five Special Issue Editors and 65 Associate Editors covering sixteen discipline areas – this number is large but unsurprising considering that JoBR receives 4,500 -5,000 submissions a year! While publication is competitive, the journal’s 6% acceptance rate represents a significant number of papers, so Professor Pereira warns not to be discouraged from applying.

There are three key points to consider when submitting to JoBR:

  1. The quality of the theory
  2. Robust data or concepts
  3. Real-world implications for business or management situations

There are also three key points to consider in terms of the journal’s positioning:

  1. JoBR is international in scope, looking for work from new contexts and new scholars and continuing to grow globally
  2. The journal has moved from being marketing focused to being interdisciplinary covering a wider range of management disciplines, such as international business and innovation
  3. JoBR has a key focus on impact – it is the number one cited marketing journal according to Google Scholar’s H Index

Keeping the three I’s of international, interdisciplinary and impactful in scope is key for researchers submitting to this journal.

Journal of Knowledge Management

In the second part of this presentation, Professor Pereira discussed the Journal of Knowledge Management, a leading journal in this field with an ABS 2* and ABDC ‘A’ rating.

To Professor Pereira’s knowledge, the Journal of Knowledge Management is the first journal to have a Global Real Impact Editor and has also recently appointed Regional Real Impact Editors.

Putting impact at the front and centre of the work it looks to publish, the Journal of Knowledge Management invites pieces by scholars, academics and individuals from industry. It is similarly international in scope, with articles from China, India, Brazil, France and the UK in the pipeline. The journal looks to maximise the diversity of its output without compromising on quality, and a focus on impact from the beginning of the process enables it to do this.

A focus on the practical impact and applicability of research is therefore key when submitting to this journal.

We would like to thank Professor Pereira for his time and for an insightful and informative start to our Meet the Editor Series. All are welcome to join us for our upcoming Meet the Editor events:

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