Types of JMS Articles

Regular theoretical and empirical studies

Manuscripts that are submitted to the journal for publication consideration must meet the highest standards of academic excellence and must develop a ‘value-added’ theoretical contribution to our knowledge about behaviour within organizations or about organizations and their environments. Hence, the typical JMS article is sufficiently grounded in extant theory and literature, original and innovative in its analysis and theoretical synthesis, and strong on implications for management research and practice.

One important expectation for publication is that articles must make a strong theoretical contribution. Meaningful new implications or insights for theory must be present in all articles, whether such implications or insights are derived from empirical research, or from the conceptual synthesis of recent advances and novel ideas into new theory. Submissions should clearly signal and communicate the nature of their theoretical contribution in relation to the existing management and organizational literatures.

Submissions may build upon or use different epistemological positions, research traditions and methods. The hallmark of JMS has been its openness to approaches ranging from positivism to interpretive and critical research. However, each submission should (a) explicitly signal their theoretical and – if relevant – methodological position in their submission and (b) maintain congruity with this position in the conduct and reporting of research. We welcome research at different levels of analysis, including individuals, groups, organizations and the networks or societies in which organizations are embedded. The openness of the journal to different approaches encourages authors to make their articles accessible to the journal’s wide-ranging readership. Whilst submissions may be focused on a particular specialized literature or set of ideas, they should be written in such a way that our general readers are able to understand the ideas and arguments presented.

Empirical articles published in the journal must be methodologically rigorous and techniques for data collection and analysis should be reported in line with the accepted conventions for a particular method. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods are welcome. However, in line with the journal’s emphasis on management practice, we do not publish empirical investigations based on student samples or research that solely relies on models that simulate behavior within and between organizations (e.g. agent based modeling, game theory models).

Problematic elements of a study’s research design or methods (e.g. small sample sizes or a lack of controls for common method bias in survey research) are usually difficult to revise in response to reviewer concerns and once the study has already been completed. Authors are therefore advised to seek peer review when they design and conduct their study as well as when they write up their results for submission to the journal.

State-of-the-Art Reviews

The journal encourages scholars to submit papers that provide a comprehensive overview of a particular research field in which they have a proven track record. We expect that these articles provide a theoretically-driven review and integration of an important area of research, and open up or redirect lines of research. The development of a research agenda and/or a conceptual framework as a guide to future research is an essential part of such State-of-the-Art Reviews. In addition, we expect that authors clearly describe the methodological approach for the review, and the theoretical implications for research. The submission and review processes for these State-of-the-Art Reviews are identical to those for regular submissions.


The ‘Point-Counterpoint’ section captures a current debate about management or organizations. Articles in this section debate theoretically and empirically challenging issues or topics, synthesizing recent advances and ideas into fresh theory and/or new methodological approaches. The initiative for the development of a ‘Point-Counterpoint’ may come from the editors, the journal’s editorial board, or through an informal proposal from authors to the editors. On receiving such a proposal, the editors will evaluate the proposal and, if it is approved, will ask for a more formal proposal which describes the relevance, scope and contribution of the debate, including the different positions of the respective authors on the issue or topic and the proposed outcome of the debate.

Proposals for ‘Point-Counterpoint’ debates are received on a rolling basis, and can be submitted to the Editorial Office. When preparing a proposal for a ‘Point-Counterpoint’, we advise authors to read previous examples featured in the journal to get an understanding of what is required.


‘JMS Says’ are edited by Rick Delbridge, Cardiff University, UK, Bill Harley, University of Melbourne, Australia and Penny Dick (JMS Senior Associate Editor), University of Sheffield, UK.

JMS Says is a newly established, regular section of JMS featuring carefully selected essays. In contrast to traditional theorizing, our interest is not in extrapolating extant research to carefully construct new theory, but rather we are interested in the subjective and interpretive reflections of individual essayists on the variety and possibility of management scholarship. Essays are valued for being interesting and provocative, not for being ‘correct’ or for conforming to the conventional wisdom. We are seeking to generate new debates and discussions. Potential essayists should review the essays already published to get a better sense of what we are seeking to achieve.

Prospective essay authors should submit a 300 word proposal which briefly sets out the argument to be made in the essay. Proposals will initially be reviewed by the JMS Says editorial team and a decision on the proposal will normally be returned to you within three weeks of receipt. If the evaluation is positive, authors will be asked to develop a full essay for further consideration.

The JMS Says editorial team including the JMS Editor will review the full essay and make a decision about whether to proceed. If the decision on the submitted essay is positive, they will then work with authors to develop their essays for publication. Essays will not be subject to further external peer review.

Full essays should not exceed a total of three thousand (3,000) words and are to be submitted as complete Word documents, written in twelve point font and double-spaced. Authors’ names and titles may be included in the original submission. Any charts or diagrams should be embedded in the text. There should be no abstract, but the first paragraph should summarize the issue and argument. Usually, the essay will start with an orientating statement (2-3 pages), before the main body of text advances the key argument (6-8 pages) and a final section (2-3 pages) that explains how managerial research, practices or organizations might be understood and constructed differently. References should be used sparingly to ensure the readability of the essay. There should be no footnotes or endnotes.

Proposals and submissions are to be sent to Margaret Turner in the JMS Editorial Office at: business.jms@durham.ac.uk