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The JGM Blog

May 15

Written by: Stephen A. W. Drew
15/05/2013 14:05 

Editorial: On scholarly and practice academics

It is my pleasure to introduce the Spring 2013 edition of the Journal of General Management.

Over the years as a manager, consultant and then educator I have witnessed much debate as to whether management is truly a profession, and how it should conduct itself in relation to accreditation, core knowledge, qualification schemes, continuing education, standards and codes of ethics. Many professional organisations in management have standards and qualification programs, for example SHRM, CIPD and CMI. However, the academic institutions from which many of our readers come are uniquely driven by accrediting organisations such as AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. The most widely recognised of these accrediting agencies in a global sense is the AACSB while AMBA in the UK and EQUIS in Europe adopt related but slightly differing approaches and membership within their domains. Whether or not a business school has one or more of these treasured badges of approval can drastically influence reputation, student applications and financial viability. Changes are underway at the AACSB whose International Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) on accreditation quality has drafted revised standards, the first in ten years, which were released at the recent AACSB International Conference in Chicago. These standards will not only shape MBA programs and management education in future, but also the careers of academics in business schools across the world, and especially in North America.

Previous AACSB standards required institutions to demonstrate global orientation, mission-driven approaches and assurance of learning. While these priorities remain, the new standards place increased emphasis on innovation, impact and engagement in teaching, research and service. This change challenges us to think about how we make a difference in the lives of our universities and students broadly and not just in our narrow focus on research and publication for an academic audience. Under the previous AACSB standards faculty were categorised as either academically qualified (AQ) or professionally qualified (PQ). The new standards introduce four categories which include scholarly practitioners (SP), instructional practitioners (IP), scholarly academics (SA) and practice academics (PA). This scheme fits better with the variety of life experiences, formal qualifications, career stages and interests typically found amongst faculty at business schools. For example, many well-reputed academics have previously held positions in business, government or other areas and they carry this practical orientation into their research agendas (PA). Faculty members who have recently completed PhD or postdoctoral programs might be more often in the (SA) category. Each has a place within the business school mission.

Generally AACSB will look for at least 40 per cent of faculty to be SA and 60 per cent some combination of SP, SA and PA. The Journal of General Management in recent years has been concerned mainly with publication of contributions that best fit with the SP and PA categories. However, the founders of this Journal sought a broad audience and in line with the changes at AACSB and any future changes in other accrediting organisations we will be carefully reviewing our editorial policies. This journal could be viewed as an outlet for all types of publication relevant for AACSB. We will continue to seek articles that could have a high impact, not just in citations but in a broader context of stakeholder needs. We will look for how articles bring out and demonstrate positioning in the AACSB scheme and their fit with impact, innovation and engagement. For example, we would encourage articles describing case studies and innovative approaches to executive education in general management and related topics.

Now to turn to the Spring Issue:

The first paper by Professors Zhao, Deng and Kemp addresses a very relevant issue for general management of human resources in international firms. Expatriate managers and teams are usually critical resources for success overseas, especially in the early stages of internationalisation. The authors explore the concepts of cultural and intrapersonal intelligences and how these interact in the process of adaptation to a different culture. Their insights should prove valuable for management development practitioners and designers of executive programs.

Our second paper by Drs Nguyen, Melawar and Cheng will be of great interest to marketing strategists and general managers. Competitive advantages often prove fleeting and developing a brand that has a special place in the consumer psyche can be very valuable. The authors address the intriguing notion of brand likeability and how this may develop in practice.

The third paper by Dr Amankwah-Amoah brings us to the topic of organisational failure and how this is interpreted by observers. In many cultures business failure is regarded as a stigma and the possibility of failure is a deterrent to entrepreneurship. The author investigates the stages of interpretation of failure and the psychological processes involved. The insights presented add to our knowledge of strategic decision-making and sense-making.

Finally, the article by Dr Wei is also concerned with the strategic management of human resources and reports the result of a survey of senior managers in Chinese firms. The author presents an important contribution to our knowledge of how practices of human resource development help contribute to the success of innovation and entrepreneurship in different environmental conditions. This type of study is very relevant to business operations not only in China but in other emerging markets which present a huge variety of rapidly changing institutional and market arrangements.

I believe that all these articles collectively demonstrate the kind of scholarly achievement that the AACSB is encouraging under the categories of scholarly and practice academics (SA) and (PA). In previous editions of the JGM we have presented contributions from scholarly practitioners (SP); in addition to such work, we shall welcome more of this crossover type of work in future.

Stephen Drew, Executive Editor, JGM


1 comment(s) so far...

Re: On scholarly and practice academics

This Editorial refers to the 2013 Spring Issue of JGM which will be available online by the end of May.

By Alex MacMillan on   15/05/2013 14:15

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