Who Reviews Journal Editors?

Read the latest issue of the Journal of Management Education, featuring a fascinating editorial from editors Kathy Lund Dean and Jeanie M. Forray. The Editor’s Corner piece, “Reopening the Black Box of Editorship: Who Reviews Journal Editors?” addresses how editors come into their positions and what determines their behavior.

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Interested in publishing in the journal? Listen to the latest podcast from “Rockin’ the Publication” for more insight on how to craft your manuscript. Submit here!

Not so global after all! Why do only a handful of countries make use of management consultancy?

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Andrew Sturdy of the University of Bristol and Joe O’Mahoney of Cardiff University. They recently published an article in Management Learning entitled “Explaining national variation in the use of management consulting knowledge: A framework,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they briefly describe this research:]

Big consulting firms attract attention in business, the media, politics and academia. Whether cast as trusted advisors, servants of power or masters of the universe, they are seen as global players. Indeed, they have offices all over the world and serve most multi-national corporations and increasingly, many governments – capitalism’s commissars!

And yet the statistics tell a different story. Almost four fifths of consulting fees are accounted for by North America (48%) and the European Union (30%) (Source Global Research, 2016). And with nearly three-quarters of European consulting revenues stemming from only three countries (Germany, UK and France) (FEACO, 2017), this means that, along with the USA and Canada, around 70% of consultancy fees worldwide are generated in only 5 nations – over double these countries’ share of global GDP. Even among those countries with a strong consultancy habit, there is considerable variation. Germany, the UK and France for example generate revenues, respectively, of $44bn, $27bn and $12 bn (Marketline, 2015).

The question of why external management consulting use is relatively rare and localised was the focus of research published in November 2018 in the journal Management Learning by academics at the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff and featured in a recent Financial Times opinion piece. The study identified five interconnected drivers of consulting demand and supply (the economy, state, culture & ideology, education and organisational relationships) and showed how these are linked to different national contexts.

Of course, economic factors are crucial, not least in determining who can afford consultancy, but also in terms of patterns of economic growth or change and sector specialisms. But they by no means fully explain the variety in consulting use. Italy, for example, has a sizable and changing economy and yet makes up only 3% of the European market (Marketline, 2015). Also, what type of economy is not crucial – Germany and the UK for instance are the big buyers in Europe and yet represent very different forms of capitalism and economy.
The role of the state is also important. Firstly, as a user of external consultancy, the state can drive demand and attract new entrants. Again, this varies hugely, from 10% of the market in France and Italy to 25% in the UK (FEACO, 2017), which opened the door to consulting in the Harold Wilson years which has (mostly) remained open ever since. The state has also been influential historically in resisting (mostly) the regulation of consulting and in providing and regulating competing sources of external management expertise.

The economy and the state are linked to other traditional drivers of business activity such as culture and ideology. These are more difficult to disentangle, but it is no coincidence that consulting is based almost exclusively in the northern part of Europe. It can be connected to individualism too, in part, because this has been shown to correlate with openness to outsiders and their knowledge while collectivists are more likely to stick together. Compare Japan with the US and UK for instance, which have around twice the level of consulting use as a percentage of GDP.

The contrast between the USA and Japan can also be connected to the management education system in the two countries. A key factor here is the MBA. One might expect that consultancy is most commonly used in countries where there are fewest management (MBA) educated managers, but, if anything, the reverse is the case. MBAs and consultants tend to speak the same language and are therefore managers are more responsive to sales approaches. And this leads to the last driver of consulting supply and demand, focused on organisations and their networks.

Because consulting is a highly ambiguous business, there is a huge reliance on relationships – trust and/or reputation. Therefore, consulting is most common where it has already become established in countries and their business and elite networks – what technological innovation scholars call contagion. This is evident historically and currently, when multinational companies set up in new countries, they act as a bridge for their consulting firms to follow and establish a wider market for themselves.

So why does it matter that consultancy use varies and is not as global as some of us might have imagined? It alerts us to the fact that organisations can be run in different ways, using different sources of knowledge and expertise. External consulting is itself varied and has its place and value – for one-off projects needing rare expertise for example. However, it also limits our thinking on how things can be done and what change can be achieved. Alternative routes include, internal sources such as internal consulting, but also: wider employee-based approaches; think tanks; industry associations and networks of suppliers and competitors; government sponsored organisations; and other professional services.

A diversity of actors and of knowledge is especially important if one source of expertise becomes dominant and unaccountable. In the case of the large consulting firms especially, their models are also often standardised, commodified and tend to favour market-based approaches. After all, this is often what their clients request. But questions are already being asked if this and the large firm approach to consulting is sustainable in the current ‘disruptive’ climate. What our research shows is that most of the world already operates in different ways and that, at least in the crude terms of fee income, ‘global’ management consultancy is a minority activity.

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New Podcast from the Journal of Management Education!

We are pleased to feature a new podcast from the Journal of Management Education entitled Ethical Issues in Experiential Learning with participants Dr. Amy Kenworth and Dr. David L. Bradford.

Please click here to listen to the podcast directly, where they discuss the significance of Dr. Bradford’s article “Ethical Issues in Experiential Learning.”

Amy L. Kenworthy (Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is a Professor of Management and the Director of the Centre for Applied Research in Learning, Engagement, Andragogy and Pedagogy (LEAP) at Bond. She has been a service-learning practitioner and author for over 18 years and has served as guest editor for special issues on service-learning in the Academy of Management Learning & Education, the International Journal of Case Method Research & Application, the Journal of Management Education and the International Journal of Organizational Analysis. She has published numerous articles in leading academic journals including the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Journal of Business Ethics and the Journal of Management Inquiry.

David L. Bradford is the Eugene O’Kelly II Emeritus Senior Lecturer in Leadership at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Oberlin College in 1960 and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1966. After graduation, he was Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1966-1969. In 1969, he came to Stanford University to join the Graduate School of Business. His research and consulting has focused on the question “what does it take for individuals and teams to achieve high performance?” This has led to developing new approaches to leadership that release the potential within organizations. In addition to numerous articles, he is co-author (with Allan R. Cohen) of the best selling books Managing for Excellence: The Guide to Developing High Performance in Contemporary Organizations (1984), Influence Without Authority (1990, revised 2005) and Power Up; Transforming Organizations Through Shared Leadership (1998). (All published by John Wiley & Sons.) He co-authored (with W.W. Burke) Reinventing Organization Development (2005; published by Pfeiffer/Wiley). He has helped develop three executive training programs in conjunction with Wilson Learning Corporation, ODI, and Ninth House. Dr. Bradford has lectured at and consulted for a range of organizations in the private sector including Frito-Lay, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Levi Strauss & Co., McKinsey & Co. Raychem, Starbucks, Genentech, as well as in such not-for-profit organizations as The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Detroit Institute of Art, The Getty Museum, and The Whitney Museum of American Art.

For more from the journal click here!

New Podcast Series for the Journal of Management Education!

Interested in submitting a manuscript to the Journal of Management Education? Check out the new podcast series by the Journal of Management Education’s Editors, “Rockin’ the Publication.” In this series, Dr. Kathy Lund Dean and Dr. Jeanie M. Forray answer questions surrounding writing and submitting your manuscript and they also provide advice on how to use the resources available to most authors. Click here to learn more!

For more from the journal click here!

Student Assessment of Venture Creation Courses in Entrepreneurship Higher Education

[We’re pleased to welcome author Helena Wenninger of Lancaster University Management School. Dr. Wenninger recently published an article in Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy entitled “Student Assessment of Venture Creation Courses in Entrepreneurship Higher Education—An Interdisciplinary Literature Review and Practical Case Analysis,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Wenninger discusses the motivations and impact of this research.]

What motivated you to pursue this research?

Living in the 21st century brings huge opportunities but also responsibilities for today’s graduates. Requirements from employers, quickly changing economic conditions, global competition, and environmental concerns highlight the need for people having a vision, being resilient, and have no fear of making decisions under uncertain conditions. Thus, entrepreneurial skills are more relevant than ever not only for creating a venture but also to contribute to a meaningful business environment and to society as a whole. However, students’ performance is mainly measured and benchmarked by their grade point average, which comprehensively gives assessment high priority in students’ considerations. Based on those observations, the idea was born to investigate how I as an assistant professor teaching e-business venture creation in one of my courses can contribute to a better match of these two aspects and spread the insights.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

This research offers insights into student assessment for experiential entrepreneurship education. Entrepreneurship programmes are mushrooming around the world, but research is lacking behind regarding the impact that assessment has on student learning in this area. I hope my work will further direct attention on the importance of assessment methods for students’ experience and learning for action-oriented, experiential, and learning-by-doing approaches.

What advice would you give to new scholars and incoming researchers in this particular field of study?

Drawing from my personal experience as a lecturer in Information Systems, investigating the work from experienced scholars in the Entrepreneurship field, and discussing the topic with colleagues from the Educational Research department of my university was an encouraging and stimulating process for me to develop this work. Thus, I would recommend considering various sources of inspiration across relevant disciplines.

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Effective Team Reflection: The Role of Quality and Quantity

[We’re pleased to welcome authors, Kai-Philip Otte, Udo Konradt,
and Martina Oldeweme of Kiel University. They recently published an article in Small Group Research entitled “Effective Team Reflection: The Role of Quality and Quantity,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they discusses some of the findings of this research:]


What motivated you to pursue this research?

Although reflecting about past activities in teams is generally considered a very effective strategy for learning and improving team performance, previous research on this topic has often revealed contradictory results. Some studies even reported negative relationships between team reflection and team performance, suggesting that the relationship is more complex than originally expected. Since this represents a very interesting conflict between the theoretical assumptions and the empirical data, we tried to find new explanations for these results. When discussing the possible reasons, we came up with the idea that it may not be enough to ask teams how often or to what extent they reflect, but that previously unobserved factors could also play a role. In fact, in our investigations, we often witnessed teams that reflected only on a superficial level and that even when these teams realized that something was wrong, they seldom used the opportunity for in-depth analysis, further compromising their future performance. Accordingly, we wanted to determine whether both the quantity and quality of a team meeting needed to be considered in order to better understand the relationship between team reflection and team performance.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

Although we believe that our findings provide important insights for the reflection process itself, we also believe that the general idea of the simultaneous consideration of quality and quantity is also applicable to other team processes. For example, other discussion-based processes, such as team planning, could be subordinate to similar principles. We therefore think that the distinction between quantity and quality can also provide valuable insights in other areas of research.

What advice would you give to new scholars and incoming researchers in this particular field of study?

Our perspective on teams is still comparatively simple because we base our conclusions mainly on averages that are believed to represent a team and its actions appropriately. However, we have often seen in our own research that team members can sometimes judge the same object in a fundamentally different way. For example, we observed some very strong team leaders who literally repressed all of the other team members’ reflexive activities and assumed that the feedback we provided was manipulated, rather than admitting that their way of solving the problem was suboptimal. Accordingly, future research should include this plurality within teams more closely in their studies and conclusions in order to get a better and, above all, more complete picture of how team members interact and how these interactions affect the outcomes of a team’s actions.

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Guiding Entrepreneurs Through the Quagmire of Business Entities – Three Hypothetical Scenarios for Discussion

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Lynn M. Forsythe of California State University, Fresno, Lizhu Y. Davis of California State University, Fresno, and John M. Mueller
St. Edward’s University.They recently published an article in the Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy entitled “Guiding Entrepreneurs Through the Quagmire of Business Entities – Three Hypothetical Scenarios for Discussion,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they recount the motivation for this research.

EEX_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

We felt there was a lack of teaching resources and materials for faculty who teach entrepreneurship courses when it comes to educating students (future entrepreneurs) about creating a business entity to support their new business idea.  Some faculty may be tempted to over simplify the topic or ignore it completely.  These cases help faculty illustrate the complexity of the decision. These cases are not particularly intended for business law faculty; however, they can definitely use them if they need a variety of tools to convey knowledge about legal entities for nascent companies.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

The research is not innovation. Rather it is the method of conveying knowledge that is new and useful for faculty and students.  We intended to create more diverse pedagogical offerings.  Legal topics tend to be taught out of a textbook, and through results of court cases, not from case studies.  The three case scenarios we have written help students better understand the legal entity decision by engaging them in a context they can relate to with their business idea.  The case scenarios are an experiential means of engaging students on a topic that could be considered dry.

What did not make it into your published manuscript that you would like to share with us?

The main portion of the manuscript consists of three case scenarios, which are couched in different industries with different decision points.  We have provided outside of the manuscript, and online with the publisher, supporting materials that simplify the basic differences between various legal entities (sole proprietorship, limited liability partnership, limited liability corporation, C corporation). This information is normally found in textbooks, however, we have simplified it in a PowerPoint slide deck and chart format to easily and quickly enable both faculty and students to reference the additional material.

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