Academic journal article Annals of Management Science

Assessing the Validity of Business and Management Journals Ranking List: An Alternative Approach for Determining Journal Quality

Academic journal article Annals of Management Science

Assessing the Validity of Business and Management Journals Ranking List: An Alternative Approach for Determining Journal Quality

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

In their quest to attract the best and the brightest future business leaders who are seeking relevant and up-to-date program contents, business schools particularly those accredited by AACSB or aspired to gain such a status, are aggressively competing to attract and retain faculty members who are expected not only to conduct relevant and up-to-date research in their respective fields, but also ensure that their research findings are appropriately assessed and published for dissemination in peer-reviewed journals perceived to be of good quality (Armstrong & Fukami, 2009; Schmidt-Wilk & Fukami, 2010).

Publishing in discipline-related refereed journals has long been perceived as an indication of a noteworthy research accomplishment (Pan & Chen, 2011). It is seen as a strong evidence of faculty competency in research and scholarship (Hawes & Keiller 2002), a requirement for a favorable promotion decision outcome (Holden, Rosenberg & Barker, 2005) and a source of attraction for potential students (Bakir, Vitell, & Rose, 2000; Cheng, Chan & Chan, 2003; Haddad, Singh, Sciglimpaglia, & Chan, 2014). It is argued that a journal's perceived importance and reputation are earned by a selection process that discriminates against the continuous stream flow of high quality scholarly papers (McKinnon, 2013), creating a strong partnership between the contributing authors and their highly regarded publishing outlets. Once journals gain such high quality status and reputation, interested stakeholders can then leverage this distinction for important decisions regarding salary evaluations, teaching loads, research funding, promotion and tenure, manuscript submissions, and others (Borgman & Furner, 2002; Baumgartner & Pieters, 2003). As a result, potential authors and readers who are seeking quality journals either for publication and/or reading purposes are likely to make more informed decision as to which journals to target (Bergh, Perry & Hanke, 2006).

2. Need for the Study

The number of business schools around the world emulating the American educational style has increased markedly, causing a corresponding increase in the number of refereed business and management journals produced by and for these schools. This recent proliferation of refereed journals continues to draw sharp debates about the perceived quality of many of these journals, and how to appropriately address such a challenge (Brown, 2003; Law; Van der Veen, 2008).

Although most researchers acknowledge the positive relationship between the perceived value of an academic discipline and the perceived quality of its related journals (Lewis, Templeton, & Luo, 2007), no agreement exists as to which approach would be most effective in assessing such quality (Adler & Harzing, 2009). This makes the acceptance of a uniform and agreed upon approach by all relevant stakeholders to be somehow impossible. Unfortunately, the lack of consensus on journal quality assessment approach propelled some academics to promote their own journals based on power, influence, status, and affiliations rather than merits, effectiveness, and commitments to advancing the field (Brown, 2003). This has resulted in undermining the quality of research scholarship (Peng & Dess, 2010).

The emergence of journal quality ranking lists over the past few years seems to have provided a convenient solution out of this research assessment dilemma. These lists are increasingly being used by business school deans and research manager who became "fixated on whether the publication records of current staff and new applicants include the requisite number of hits in the best ranked journals" (Hussein, 2015, p.1). Hence, given the vitality of this issue, it is expected that academics would invest time and effort in deciding the publications outlets that would yield the highest impact for their research contributions while their administrators will concentrate their efforts on either searching for or devising robust research assessment approaches to determine the quality of their faculty members' research. …

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