Academic journal article Management International Review

Practicing What We Preach: The Geographic Diversity of Editorial Boards

Academic journal article Management International Review

Practicing What We Preach: The Geographic Diversity of Editorial Boards

Article excerpt

Abstract:

* With the increasing globalisation of knowledge and management education, it is important that we build on our scanty understanding of trends and levels of geographic diversification in editorial board membership of management journals.

* Our study examines geographic diversity in editorial boards in Management over a 20-year period. It uses secondary data from 57 journals covering approximately 16,000 editorial board members.

* We found that the geographic diversity of editorial boards (EBs) has increased in the last 20 years, but it is still low for most management journals. Further, two factors partly predict the geographic diversity of EBs of management journals: the editor's country of residence and the field of research.

* Continued active management by editors, professional associations and individual academics alike is necessary to ensure that our editorial boards properly reflect the diverse management community.

Keywords: Editorial boards * Geographic diversity * Management journals * Globalisation

Introduction

Editorial board members and editors of academic journals are considered the gatekeepers of knowledge, because they have significant influence on what is published and, hence, what informs theory development, research and practice (e.g., Braun and Diospatonyi 2005; Konrad 2008; Raelin 2008). This gatekeeping role is the basis for suggesting that editorial boards should be sufficiently diverse in their backgrounds to facilitate the publication of manuscripts with a wide range of research paradigms and methods (Ozbilgin 2004; Feldman 2008). Diversity in research paradigms and methodologies is necessary for the growth of knowledge (Tung 2006). This assertion is based on the business case for diversity in organisations (e.g., Robinson and Dechant 1997). In broad terms, the business case for diversity contends that workforce diversity is good for organisations because demographically different people (e.g., in terms of gender, ethnicity or age) have different backgrounds and, therefore, have different experiences and perspectives. Diverse experiences and perspectives should enhance problem-solving, creativity and innovation (Robinson and Dechant 1997).

We draw on the diversity literature to similarly posit that researchers from different countries, and hence with different training, academic affiliation, doctoral origin and backgrounds, are expected to rely on different paradigms and methodologies in the conceptualisation and execution of their research. This diversity in researcher background is believed to broaden a field of knowledge (Lukka and Kasanen 1996; Tung 2006). But researchers from diverse backgrounds can only broaden the field of knowledge if their work is published. However, editorial boards (EBs) composed of people with similar backgrounds might limit the scope of what is published, because their members are likely to share a common research paradigm and methodological preference due to their similarity (Braun and Diospatonyi 2005; Daft and Lewin 2008; Rosentreich and Wooliscroft 2006).

Further, internationalisation of EBs might be desirable from a fairness perspective. As countries other than the UK and US produce increasing numbers of management scholars, it seems fair to offer those countries representation on EBs of management journals. This fairness motive, however, might also give our global community of scholars an opportunity to access new areas of research and inquiry.

Greater internationalisation of editors and of editorial boards of academic journals might, therefore, be desirable for the evolution of knowledge. A widely held belief is that geographically homogeneous editorial boards comprise members with similar intellectual backgrounds who might favor a narrow set of topics, paradigms and philosophies (e.g., Baruch 2001; Miller 2006; Stremersch and Verhoef 2005). This bias can restrict research innovation and scope. …

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