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Management Teaching Review has updated their submission guidelines. Make an impact on management teaching and submit today!

Management Teaching Review (MTR) is currently seeking manuscript submissions. MTR is committed to serving the management education community by publishing short, topically-targeted, and immediately useful resources for teaching and learning practice. The published articles and interactive platform provide a rich, collaborative space for active learning resources that foster deep student engagement and instructor excellence.

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Survey Asks About Sci-Hub, ResearchGate, Video Discovery

2018-02-06 13_18_19-Social Science Space - A space to explore, share and shape the issues facing soc[The following post is re-blogged from SAGE Social Science Space. Click here to view the original article.]

Here are some factoids about scholarly publishing you might not know: Google Scholar is used more than plain old Google by scholars (but yes, Google use wins out everywhere else). Despite the explosive growth of smartphones, access to scholarly content by mobile phone accounts for only about 10 percent of use. And while abstracting and indexing services are declining, they remain the most important starting point for scholarly search.

How do we know these things? Because you told us.

Since 2004, Renew Publishing Consultants has surveyed researchers, students, teachers, lecturers, professors, journalists, managers, clinicians, medics, librarians, government officials, and engineers, working across all sectors and in all regions to learn about the uptake of academic content. Their last survey carried out by researchers Tracy Gardner and Simon Inger was in 2015, and this year they are hosting a fifth survey.

The 2015 research focused on journal and book content discovery. In the end there were more than 40,000 respondents, and the effort was supported by academic publishers (including SAGE, the parent of Social Science Space), societies, and intermediaries. The latest research will take on the very contentious issue of measuring perceptions of Sci-Hub and ResearchGate in discovery and delivery, and will also ask about how readers discover academic video content.

“Discovery,” said Inger, “is still one of the major issues facing the research community. Key to overcoming some of the challenges we face is understanding in detail how readers discover academic content.”

So far, according to Renew, 13 organizations have agreed to assist the effort. “We are delighted there has been such a lot of interest in our research,” said Gardner. “We have welcomed back a number of publishers who supported our previous work but are also looking forward to working with publishers who haven’t been involved before. We would not be able to carry out this work without their support.” There is still time to get involved if you would like to take part; click here or contact or for more information.

The resulting research report and the research data will be freely available at the completion. The 2015 report is published under a CC-BY NC license and can be downloaded from here.


How Machine Learning Impacts Organizations

server-2160321_1920 (1)[We’re pleased to welcome authors Dr. Ajay Aluri, Dr. Bradley S. Price, Dr. Nancy H. McIntyre of West Virginia University. They recently published an article in Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research entitled “Using Machine Learning to Cocreate Value through Dynamic Customer Engagement in a Brand Loyalty Program,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Aluri reveals the inspiration for conducting this research :]

2JHTR07_Covers.pdfWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

The ability to see how machine learning impacts organizations has always been an interest of the authors. We know that customer engagement is dynamic and behaviors change rapidly, and we know that making managerial decisions inside of this dynamic model is extremely difficult. This made us believe that machine learning could be used to identify these changes in behaviors and more importantly help organizations identify what customers value. Machine learning models can behave in a dynamic way as well, which we thought may be able to match the dynamic behavior of engagement. Many researchers look at the use of social networking information or other text information, such as survey data when making decisions, but there can be issues with each of these. It was our goal to see if we could use the information in a CRM and update predictions for customer behavior as new information entered the system, with the final goal of understanding and influencing behavior that co-creates value for organizations and customers. We hoped that this would be of interest to a broad range of industry practitioners and academic researchers.

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

Hospitality and tourism businesses traditionally use historical customer data to make dynamic decisions and predictions about customer behavior. This study used an innovative machine learning approach to co-create value through dynamic customer engagement. It was implemented at a major hospitality venue to successfully identify what customers value in a loyalty program. This research study offers methodology for adjusting offers, promotions, and rewards to influence customer engagement behaviors in real time, which bridges research gaps on the application of machine learning in the hospitality and tourism industry. This research method offers an innovative approach to solving the challenges with big data, and in the future, hospitality and tourism professionals will be able to use algorithms to develop highly targeted marketing strategies that are needed in the industry, particularly businesses that utilize the massive amount of customer information in loyalty programs.

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

Our advice for researchers entering this field is to understand that machine learning methods can behave in a dynamic manner as well. That means different input variables may matter at different times in the system. Variables that may be meaningless as your system starts could gain importance or play a role at later times. Understanding the methods of machine learning and how variable impact is decided is extremely important as well. As we stated in the paper, this study changes the way hospitality and tourism venues and businesses—hotels, resorts, theme parks, cruise ships, convention centers, etc.—view customer engagement and use machine learning to predict the behavior of a customer at different engagement opportunities. Furthermore, managers can now use this information to publish offers or promotions via different mediums in real-time to engage with the customers in ways that would directly or indirectly influence their loyalty. Taking time to make sure the right methods are used is a key component, and may times that means developing new machine learning methods that exploit the specifics of the problem.


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Server photo attributed to NeuPaddy. (CC)

Theorizing Business and Local Peacebuilding

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Jason Miklian of the University of Oslo, and Juan Pablo Medina Bickel of the Universidad de los Andes. They recently published an article in Business & Society entitled “Theorizing Business and Local Peacebuilding Through the “Footprints of Peace” Coffee Project in Rural Colombia,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Miklian reflects on the impact and innovations of this research:


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

We see this article having three major impacts. First, the role of business in peacebuilding is an exciting but still emerging field, carrying many more questions than answers for scholars at present. These questions cut to the core of business roles in society, asking if, how and why firms can make a positive impact in some of the most fragile and conflict-affected parts of the world. Colombia is in many ways the ideal country to study such interactions, as it is perhaps the world’s most significant policy ‘laboratory’ for national and multinational private sector involvement in peace. Business scholars could use this case as a springboard to explore other such cases in Colombia, or similar cases in other countries, to help us collectively better refine the conditions for successful business engagement in peaceful development.

Second, we (the authors) tend to lean critical in our understandings of where and how the private sector can and should play a peacebuilding role, backed by a substantial amount of research by ourselves and others on how well-intended ventures can fail in practice. Despite our skepticism, we found that the Footprints of Peace (FOP) project made a measurable, positive, and significant positive impact on thousands of people in Colombia. Thus, a case like FOP can help show peacebuilding scholars (who also tend to lean critical) that businesses can indeed play positive peace roles in peacebuilding. The next wave of research on this topic will hopefully further refine the conditions for such to improve the likelihood for more business-peace success stories.

Third, this article uses a rigorous qualitative model as its foundation with quantitative analysis in a supporting fashion. We hope that this structure can help show the added value that qualitative and mixed-methods research can have in research on business and society, delivering deeper and richer findings than a quantitative model alone can express.

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

(JM) I’m of course biased, but I truly feel that the role of business in peace and development is one of the most important and yet least researched fields of study today. Part of the reason for this, frankly, it’s that it’s hard work. As practitioner Mary Anderson is fond of saying, “Peace is not for amateurs.” Peacebuilding is a complex, messy, non-linear task filled with conceptual and practical potholes, and the same goes for research on peacebuilding. Adding in the private sector complicates matters even more, as it carries its own set of interests, aims and needs. Further, research in conflict environments carries its own set of ethical considerations and issues both for the subjects of study as well as for the researchers themselves – before, during and after such research is done.

Nevertheless, these interactions are a cornerstone of business involvement in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Institutions) in particular, representing some $2 trillion in business investment globally. Those wishing to look at these issues will be rewarded by being on the forefront of business and society topics today, and I deeply and warmly encourage business scholars in particular to do so. One way to help bridge the knowledge gap is through co-authorship. This article was much stronger as a joint effort than anything that either Juan Pablo or myself could have written alone. Beyond the natural advantages that co-authorship can provide in expanding ideas, rationales, and providing checks and balances, we brought complementary knowledge and expertise to the project, not only across disciplines but also across cultures. I see a great opportunity for deeper engagement between peace and business scholars in just these sorts of studies, helping bridge conceptual divides and not least help unite these two communities on a topic that both are increasingly drawn towards.

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

(JPMB) All the beautiful people that I got to meet. Their smiles, their interest to be heard and their willingness to share some of their deepest and most painful personal experiences. The charm with which I was embraced with at some farms, and of course the dozens of cups of coffee that people offered to me, including many made from home-cultivated coffee, picked, toasted and finally prepared with the same hands that I shook. In academia, large conflict databases can blur the meaning and stories behind the numbers, so fieldwork is an extremely important way to build knowledge and scholarship in a more personal and human way. Getting to know the meaning behind a single data point, and the person that is represented behind it and their life stories, can lead to research that better respects and honors those that we study. Moreover, I am a Colombian citizen who has lived most of his life in a violent country. Due to this, I’m aware of many social, political and economic struggles throughout my daily life, and my country requires a new generation of people aiming to change the current political climate.

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Overcoming the Problem With Solving Business Problems

[We’re pleased to welcome authors, Todd Bridgman of the Victoria University of Wellington, Colm McLaughlin of the University College Dublin, and Stephen Cummings of the Victoria University of Wellington. They recently published an article in the Journal of Management Education entitled “Overcoming the Problem With Solving Business Problems: Using Theory Differently to Rejuvenate the Case Method for Turbulent Times,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Bridgman recounts the motivations and innovations of this research:]


What motivated you to pursue this research?

Our interest came from our experiences as case writers and teachers. Early cases we developed were well received, so we attended case writing and teaching workshops to further our skills. This led to two realizations. First, we came to see that analysis of the cases largely took place in a theoretical vacuum. This seemed limiting, because we had always found theory useful for seeing situations from multiple perspectives. Second, theory, when it was applied to cases, was only given a narrow active role. It was only seen as useful if it was a ‘tool ’applied to fix or solve real-life ‘business problems’ which were generally seen in immediate financial profit and loss terms. This struck us as too narrow. Wasn’t there more to studying management than solving business problems? And doesn’t theory have more useful purposes than being a profit-maximization tool? These experiences got us interested in delving deeper into the history of the case method and the role of theory in utilizing cases in teaching.

Were there any specific external events—political, social, or economic—that influenced your decision to pursue this research?

We’ve watched closely the global political-economy since the financial crisis hit a decade ago, and we see parallels with what happened in the United States following the financial crises of the 1920s and 1930s. Both periods of turbulence were followed by a deep questioning of the prevailing free-market capitalist model. We see today in Brexit, American politics, the rise of nationalism in Europe and elsewhere a fundamental challenge to a 30-year consensus around neoliberalism. This has implications for management education, because business schools that have been strongly aligned to the neoliberal worldview now risk being seen as out of step with this new political landscape. We were interested in looking back to the 1920s and 1930s to see how business schools like Harvard responded to the crisis, to give us insight on how schools might respond today. In HBS’ past we found the seeds of a critical, reflexive management education, which encourages students to question dominant assumptions and ideologies. The aim of the paper is to think about how we could adapt the case method to incorporate this kind of approach.

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

It is widely accepted that we should learn from history, but what is less understood is how we are limited by the histories that we have. Our paper is innovative by exploring the case method’s forgotten past at HBS. In response to the crises of the 1920s and 1930s HBS’ leaders understood the need for a business education that didn’t just blindly support capitalism but seriously questioned its development for the good of humanity. But these events have been largely airbrushed from the school’s history because they challenge the neoliberal worldview that the modern HBS wished to promote in the last half of the 20th century. HBS has a more diverse and interesting past that is conveniently forgotten by supporters, and therefore unseen by the critics. Our paper will have impact if it stimulates new research on the case method and if it provides greater legitimacy for case writing and teaching that does more than train students to solve immediate ‘business problems’. We want to inspire a rejuvenated role for theory and a more reflective and thought-provoking case method that is a better fit for today’s challenging, multi-faceted times.

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Case in Point: Changing a brand’s image to better connect with consumers

[The following post is re-blogged from SAGE Business Cases. Click here to view the original article.]Case and Point 3How can a brand reposition itself to make it both accessible and attractive to a modern generation?

Interested in developing a larger audience, the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour replaced its stuffy and elitist ambiance by increasing its social media presence and allowing the use of cell phones at golf tournaments. The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA,) on the other hand, continues to struggle with building its audience in the United States and finding and maintaining sponsors. These branding challenges are explored in a case study from SAGE Business Cases.

Your case focuses on marketing and sponsorship issues faced by the LPGA. Can you give a brief summary of some of the LPGA’s recent struggles?

It is our impression that the new commissioner has focused on international initiatives- tour locations, sponsors, media, etc.  Also, recently there has been more internationally diverse players and winners than just US and Korea.  The international focus is appealing for foreign companies and multinational companies looking to increase their awareness.

Your case study examined how athlete endorsement deals are beneficial for the endorsed athlete and for the sponsoring company. How important is it for a sports organization to have a marketable “celebrity superstar?” Is it possible for this to be facilitated or controlled by the organization itself, or does it depend on a single athlete’s natural talent and charisma?

Both. In terms of long term consistency, a league or tour needs to stand on its own. There are many examples of sport that vacillates depending on the presence of a celebrity superstar. The best situation is a combination where there are many stars who rejuvenate the sport on a continuous basis.

Your case touches on the LPGA’s English-only policy and its lack of emphasis on international players. How can approaching policy decisions through an international perspective benefit a sports organization?

The growth of sport is international. Whether it from a players or business perspective, long term viability has to cross national borders. This is especially true with our case where the presence of international players ushered in an international expansion.

Are similar marketing and sponsorship troubles faced by other women’s sports leagues/associations, such as the WNBA?

Many women’s leagues face many of the same issues. The WNBA has a bit of a different situation. It has a steadier financial situation due to its association with the NBA and the league has some international players. The LPGA has more of an international presence and financial need for it.

Can you share any tips for new instructors using this case in their course?

This case is relevant for sport management and international business courses. The authors recommend encouraging students to be creative with their ideas but use academic research to support their recommendations.

Learn more by reading the full case study The LPGA’s Battle for Success: A Discussion of Sponsorship in Relation to the Organizational Decisions of the LPGA from SAGE Business Cases, open to the public for a limited time. To learn more about SAGE Business Cases and to find out how to submit a case to the collection, please contact Rachel Taliaferro, Associate Editor:

Are Private Schools Better Managed?

This post previously appeared on the NIESR blog.

In recent years governments of all hues have urged private schools to sponsor state schools to help raise education standards in state schools. In 2012 Lord Adonis, who had earlier been Labour’s Minister for Schools, argued that successful private schools, whose “DNA” incorporated “independence, excellence, innovation, social mission”, should sponsor state academy schools. Subsequent Coalition and Conservative governments have adopted the same policy with the 2017 Conservative Party manifesto aiming for at least 100 independent schools to sponsor an academy or start a free school.

The policy is not evidence-based. Instead it has been assumed that private schools’ successes are founded on superior management. There is no doubt that, even allowing for the normally affluent social background of private school pupils, these children on average perform well in exams, compared to their state-educated peers. Private schools also deliver a broad curriculum and provide a full sporting and cultural education beyond the class room. How do they do that? Most obviously, because they deploy hugely greater resources, and because the schools are able, through their pupil selection, to concentrate on a generally aspirational peer group. But neither of these advantages are supposed to be part of the sponsorship policy.

Rather, governments have presumed that private schools might convey the desired ethos of aspiration and excellence through improvements in management practices. In our article Do private Schools Manage Better, published in the February issue of the National Institute Economic Review, we present findings from the first large-scale study to test the proposition that cutting-edge human resource management (HRM) practices are more prevalent in private sector schools compared to state sector schools.

It is often presumed that the competition organizations face in the private sector drives up the quality of management, compared to that found in the public sector. Yet whether competition for pupils is that much fiercer among private schools, as compared with the competition among state schools, is a moot point. What is known is that autonomy from government is found sometimes to be beneficial. Private schools do have more autonomy than state schools – over pupil selection and the size of their budget – but otherwise British state schools have, by international standards, plenty of freedom to manage their budgets and their staff. Like state schools, private schools vary a lot. The private schools certainly have their quota of management problems – witness the many smaller schools that have been recently found wanting by Ofsted, criticised for “fundamental weaknesses in expertise”, their heads having no educational training.

Prior to our study there was one study finding no evidence that management practices in private schools in Britain are more advanced than in state schools. Their index of management practices, which was correlated with student performance, covered operations, monitoring, target-setting and people management practices. They applied this index in several countries. In the UK, where they had a small sample of 100 schools, they found no overall difference between the index score of the private schools and the score of the state schools they looked at.

Our study looked at 406 schools, including 79 that were private. We focused on 48 human resource management practices that are known to be associated in many industries with high levels of staff commitment and performance. They covered 8 domains: incentives, record-keeping, targets, teams, training “Total Quality Management”, Participation, and Selection. Although private schools were ahead of state schools in terms of record-keeping, on the whole it is the state schools who scored more highly across most domains, as well as in terms of our summary management score.

As expected, the variation in management practice between schools is considerable, so it is quite possible to imagine that well-managed schools might have something to pass on to less-well-managed schools.  But this might just as easily be a state school helping a poorly managed private school, as the other way round. At any rate, there seems to be no evidence in support of a general policy of private schools sponsoring state schools, if that sponsorship is focused on the sharing of management expertise.

There remains much to be learned about the good management of state schools, but we are not optimistic that anything of substance on a large scale is likely to be gained by bringing in private school managers.

Acknowledgement: Alex Bryson thanks the Nuffield Foundation (grant EDU/41926) for funding. Francis Green acknowledges support from the ESRC-funded LLAKES Centre for Research on Learning and Life Chances (grant ES/J019135/1). The views expressed are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the funders. All errors and omissions remain the sole responsibility of the authors.