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Frequently Asked Questions

Read the latest From the Editor column entitled, “Happy Birthday AMD

What is the mission of AMD?

The mission of Academy of Management Discoveries (AMD) is to promote the creation and dissemination of new empirical evidence that strengthens our understanding of substantively important yet poorly understood phenomena concerning management and organizations. AMD welcomes phenonmenon-driven research that employs quantitative and/or qualitative methods at any level of analysis (e.g., individuals, groups, organizations, industries, societies). The journal publishes articles presenting strong and persuasive evidence and provides readers clear and timely implications for understanding and improving management and organizations. Studies appearing in AMD could be used as a basis for theory development or theory-based empirical articles developed for other AOM journals.

Studies appropriate for publication in AMD provide:

  • Timely evidence about phenomena that have or may have implications for public policy or managerial practice, (e.g., regarding the effects of economic conditions, corporate governance, contemporary management practices, changing employment conditions)
  • Important and interesting replications/extensions of prior findings that significantly change our understanding of an issue or its boundary conditions
  • Evidence that informs major scholarly debates in the field of management and organizations
  • New evidence-based assessments of managerial and organizational interventions
  • Evidence regarding new constructs and measures
  • Empirical explications of emergent phenomena, processes, and taxonomies
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How does AMD differ from the other AOM journals?

AMD's mission is distinct from but complementary to the missions of other Academy of Management publications. AMD focuses on reporting novel findings or unusual empirical patterns in their particular indigenous contexts that are either not adequately explained by current theory or that may play a critical role in the development or testing of new theory. AMD welcomes papers that highlight emergent phenomena or shed new light on phenomena of current interest. AMD seeks discoveries that may subsequently influence the generation, application and testing of theory appearing in other AOM journals.

Papers describing empirical research intended to test an existing theory and/or develop new theories should be submitted to the Academy of Management Journal or Academy of Management Review. Papers focusing on management learning or management education should be sent to Academy of Management Learning and Education. Papers written for non-specialist academic readers or existing and future thought leaders should be sent to Academy of Management Perspectives. Papers that critically review longstanding streams of research should be sent to Academy of Management Annals.

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Why was there a perceived need on the part of the Board of Governors to launch AMD?

The decision to launch AMD came about as a result of two largely independent sources that identified a scholarly need for this journal, as well as an unmet need within our membership. First, with respect to our membership, on November 9, 2010, the Board of Governors received a memo signed by 18 Chairs of AOM Divisions and Interest Groups, requesting that AOM increase both the size and scope of publication opportunities within AOM for members. This memo articulated the need for expanded publication opportunities, and expressed several possible solutions for meeting this need, including the launch of a new empirically based journal along the lines of AMD.

This memo was consistent with the data from a 2005 membership survey, in which 88% of AOM members indicated that the most pressing need they had was for "expanded opportunities to publish research within AOM". This response also echoed a study conducted by the Board of Governors, which indicated that as a professional society the AOM publishes a significantly lower percentage of work by our members relative to other professional societies within business schools, such as Finance, Accounting, and Marketing.

In terms of the scholarly need, Don Hambrick (2007, AMJ) articulated why this type of journal is necessary in the field of Management, and others have echoed this call (see Miller 2007; Oxley, et al. 2010). The general idea expressed by Hambrick and others is that the field of Management needs to strike a better balance between theories on the one hand and direct empirical evidence on the other. Hambrick recounts many examples in the physical and natural sciences, as well as other disciplines in business, where reporting of critical evidence led to important advances in problem solving and future theory building, even when the immediate implications for current theories was unclear. That is, a novel finding, unusual empirical pattern, or a robust anomaly that cannot be explained by any current theory is reported, which in turn triggers future theory building efforts. In addition, direct evidence regarding relationships may promote Evidence-Based Management even if the full theoretical articulation for explaining a relationship is not immediately available.

Based upon the confluence of membership and scholarly needs, the Board of Governors asked the Journals Committee to explore the idea of expanding both the size and scope of publication opportunities for AOM members by creating a new empirical journal that would be focused on important management issues and organizational phenomena that was not necessarily theory driven. This eventually led to the development of AMD as a "phenomenon-driven" empirical journal.

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Why not just expand the size and the scope of AMJ instead of launching a new journal?

By any standard, AMJ is a clear success story for AOM. The journal's blending of tight and formal a priori theory building combined with rigorously obtained and analyzed data is a powerful vehicle for making scientific contributions. This has been a proven formula for the success of that journal, and there was no perceived need within the Board of Governors to "fix" something that was so obviously "not broken". Rather than threaten that established paradigm by mixing in new articles that would not adhere to the paradigm, it was considered more prudent to offer a new journal that was devoted to a different paradigm.

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How can I determine whether AMD is the appropriate outlet for my manuscript?

AMD seeks to publish discoveries that are likely to facilitate important advances in management knowledge and practice. The first step in creating knowledge is conceiving the germ of an idea that may change our understanding of an issue or phenomenon. This idea may originate from an observation or experience in the practical world, from an unresolved puzzle in a theoretical discipline, from an irregularity in an empirical analysis that violates our understanding of how things are expected to unfold, or from a personal experience or insight.

Whatever the source of a discovery, AMD welcomes papers that clearly ground a discovery in its empirical characteristics and context, and diagnose the data in ways that may lead to important advances in understanding the discovery. As Pasteur stated, "Chance favors the prepared mind." AMD seeks to publish papers from authors with minds–prepared not only in terms of describing the particulars of a phenomenon in its indigenous context, but also by showing a deep appreciation of the most plausible alternative theories or models that do NOT adequately explain the discovery. By definition, a phenomenon is not a discovery if it is adequately addressed with existing theory or does not call existing theories or taxonomies into question.

In particular, AMD is an appropriate outlet for manuscripts whose purpose can be identified with one of the following:

The purpose of this paper is to:

  • Empirically demonstrate the fact that…
  • Answer the research question…
  • Test the possibility that…
  • Challenge the idea that…
  • Examine the effectiveness of…
  • Shed light on the debate regarding…
  • Examine the unintended consequences of the widespread practice of…
  • Introduce a new construct that…
  • Generalize findings found in one context to new and interesting contexts.
  • Explain, examine or assess substantively important phenomenon.
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What kind of papers will AMD publish?

We are frequently asked to provide examples of the kinds of papers AMD will publish. Because AMD has not yet published any papers, we reviewed other journals, and found the following exemplars of the variety of topics, methods, and data fitting AMD's mission.

  • An example of a phenomenon driven study of strategy making at organization level using qualitative case study:
  • Kaplan, S. & Orlikowski, W.J. 2013, Temporal work in strategy making, Organization Science, 24, 4: 965–995.

  • An example of a phenomenon-driven study of gender issues at individual level using three experiments:
  • Heilman, M.E., Wallen, A.S., Fuchs, D. & Tamkins, M.M., 2004. Penalties for success: Reactions to women who succeed at male gender-typed tasks, Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 3: 416–427.

  • An example of phenomenon-driven research of team conflict at group level using field study of 43 teams:
  • Hinds, P.J. & Mortensen, M. 2005. Understanding conflict in geographically distributed teams: The moderating effects of shared identity, shared context, and spontaneous communication. Organization Science, 16, 3: 290–307.

  • An example of a replication study at multinational firm level analyzing secondary data:
  • Makino, S., Isobe, R. & Chan, C.M. 2004. Does country matter? Strategic Management Journal, 25: 1027–1043.

  • An example of a meta-analysis of 26 studies on individual personality and leadership:
  • Bono, J.E. & Judge, J.A. 2004. Personality and transformation and transactional leadership: A meta-analysis. Journal of Appplied Psychology, 89, 5: 901–910.

  • An example of an empirically-based simulation study of organization environment and design:
  • Siggelkow, N. & Rivkin, J.W. 2005. Speed and search: Designing organizations for turbulence and complexity, Organization Science, 16, 2: 101–122.

  • An example of a construct validity study of individual emotional intelligence using student and work samples:
  • Law, K.S., Wond, C-S, & Song, L.J. 2004. The construct and criterion validity of emotional intelligence and its potential utility for management studies, Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 3: 483–496.

  • An example of a phenomenon-driven study of the links between affect, moral disengagement and dishonesty at the individual level using two laboratory experiments:
  • Vincent, Lynnne C, Emich, Kyle J. and Goncalo, Jack A. 2013. Stretching the Moral Gray Zone: Positive Affect, Moral Disengagement, and Dishonesty. Psychological Science, 24 (4): 595–599.

  • An example of a lab-based study exploring the tendency of individuals to reject creative ideas under conditions of heightened uncertainty:
  • Mueller, Jennifer S., Melwani, Shimul, and Goncalo, Jack A. 2012. The Bias Against Creativity: Why People Desire but Reject Creative Ideas. Psychological Science, 23 (1): 13–17.

    We will post additional examples of desired papers as they become available. Thank you for your interest in AMD!

    The AMD Editorial Team!

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How might I frame an AMD paper?

Because AMD seeks empirical studies of poorly-understood yet important phenomena, we expect they will be directed by specific research questions and conjectures rather than testing refined hypotheses. Introductory paragraphs should clearly ground the phenomenon and the research question. While this can be done many ways, we encourage this grounding to clearly describe a particular case or instance of the phenomenon, and the context or settings in which it exists. This grounding should also include a statement of the specific research question that guides the study of the phenomenon, why it is important, and how it is addressed in the paper.

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Are AMD manuscripts a-theoretical?

Absolutely not. Theory is critically important for any advancement of knowledge, but our appreciation of the roles of theory in scholarship needs to broaden. All data are theory-laden to some extent; one cannot consider evidence in a meaningful way without engaging in "sense-making." So AMD papers will very much rely on theory, but it is theory in service of describing and understanding the phenomena, more than it is theory in service of verification and testing as has been the case in AMJ and AMR.

In other words, theory plays two main roles in AMD papers: (1) Theory as a guiding framework that may be affected by the discovery (i.e., a discovery may highlight new boundary conditions for some theory; a discovery may overturn accepted understandings of the mechanisms underlying a relationship; a discovery may completely overturn basic assumptions underlying a particular theory; a discovery may demonstrate some relationship that is simply inconsistent with a variety of relevant theories). (2) Theory as a means to better understand the possible mechanisms underlying the relationships or dynamics discovered empirically.

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Can an author submit a paper to AMD if it was rejected at AMJ?

Because the purpose of articles published in AMJ and AMD differ, at the time of initial submission, authors need to carefully think about which AOM outlet offers the best fit for their work. Papers that have been reviewed at other journals and rejected, including AMJ, may or may not be a good fit for AMD.

The major criteria by which papers at AMD will be judged are (a) the importance of the discovery, (b) the technical strength of the research methods employed, (c) the weight of the quantitative or qualitative evidence presented in supporting the premise and eliminating alternative explanations for the discovery, and (d) the clarity and conciseness of exposition. Reviewers will be asked to determine if the discovery has a high likelihood of leading to advancements to management knowledge and practice.

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Can I submit a meta-analysis to AMD and if so, how does a meta-analysis submitted to AMD differ from one that might be better suited for another AOM Journal?

The major purpose for publishing a meta-analysis is to establish the best parameter estimate for an effect size, the range of an effect size, and the moderating factors that explain the range in an effect size. If the relationship captured by that effect size represents a major new discovery, then the meta-analysis should be submitted to AMD. If the relationship is important for other reasons, then it might be more appropriate for another AOM journal. An exploratory test of the generalizability of a theoretical relationship across multiple contexts or samples could make an important contribution to understanding the boundary conditions of theories existing in the literature, and thus may be appropriate for AMD.

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Does AMD publish simulation studies?

A simulation study is suitable for submission to AMD to the extent that its assumptions are grounded in empirical evidence regarding important phenomena or processes. Simulations that produce novel insights into the dynamics of systems are particularly relevant.

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Can I submit a qualitative study to AMD, and if so, how does a qualitative study submitted to AMD differ from one that might be better suited for another AOM journal?

AMD welcomes qualitative research. The major purpose for publishing a qualitative study in AMD is to richly describe a phenomenon in terms of its characteristics, temporal development, and context. More specifically, AMD seeks to publish studies based on rich qualitative data that explicate emergent phenomena, processes, and taxonomies in order to provide the foundation for important subsequent theory development.

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Is AMD an appropriate outlet for studies that are trying to make contributions to Evidence-Based Management?

Yes. Many have suggested that there is a current imbalance between the emphasis on theory versus evidence in the field of management, which has prompted calls for "Evidence-Based Management" (EBM) (Rousseau, 2006; Pfeffer and Sutton, 2006). The EBM movement extols the virtues of basing managerial practice on empirical findings. AMD articles could provide the evidence that managers need without the research having to reach the maturity of a formal theory before it can be published.

Some empirical findings may defy logic or it may take a long time before a formal and comprehensive logic can be developed to explain them. AMD is the vehicle for sharing these systematic and interesting empirical findings that can serve as the basis for theorizing, while they can also inform and support practice. Findings reported in AMD, as is the case with evidence reported in AMJ, support the work of EBM. The main difference is that AMD focuses on the plausibility of the EBM discovery, while AMJ focuses on the robustness of the theory explaining the discovery.

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Will AMD publish articles that are characterized by "null results"?

There are many ways to arrive at null results that are methodologically driven and devoid of any inferential value for answering substantive research questions. This would include lack of statistical power, unreliable measures, measures that lack construct validity, confounding variables that mask relationships, and so on. Thus, the author of a paper that reports nothing but null results is under a heavy burden to clearly establish that this lack of results can only be attributed to a lack of a substantive relationship and not to any of these myriad other factors.

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Will AMD be "counted" by tenure and promotion committees as an "A-level" or "top-tier" journal?

The 19,000-plus members of AOM represent a diverse group of individuals who reside in a diverse set of contexts. We cannot speak to how each and every AOM member's institution defines the term "A-level" or "top-tier" publication. We believe, however, for the reasons listed in this document that (a) AMD will be a highly cited journal, (b) its citation status will be established quickly, and (c) over time it will be highly ranked on the lists of empirically-based journals in management. We expect AMD to become an A-level journal because it is published by AOM, which by reputation, publishes only top rated journals. The AMD team is committed to making AMD a top-tier journal.

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Will AMD articles be highly cited?

We expect AMD to be the preferred source of knowledge related to management discoveries. Moreover, the AOM brand and access to its 19,000-plus AOM members will help increase the number of "eyes on target" relative to what might be experienced by a new journal with no existing link to this large professional body. Based on the latest rankings (2012 Thomson Journal Citation Reports), AOM has the top management journals in the world. Thus, AOM is a highly credible publisher of highly cited works.

Further, the electronic distribution of AMD provides the technical means for increasing "eyes on target" by direct distribution to AOM members. Most AOM members now receive emails that alert them to the content of upcoming editions of AMJ, AMR, AMP, AMLE and the Annals. Many members read or download papers from this source well before the actual physical journal arrives in the regular postal mail weeks later. This would also be true of AMD, in the sense that our members will be made aware of the contents of AMD via email communications. We suspect that our members will read and download works that are relevant to their areas of research or practice in the same manner as used for our other highly cited titles.

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How long will it take for AMD articles to be highly cited?

It was once an accepted belief that it always takes a long time before a new journal can perform well in terms of the traditional citation metrics. However, our experience with the Annals has challenged that belief. The Annals became one of the most highly cited journals in the field of management in just a few years. Part of this is attributable to the nature of the content (an outlet for critical literature reviews). However, we believe that the AOM brand and the electronic means of distribution also played a major role in the quick success of this publication. These two factors might also reduce the time required for AMD to become a highly cited journal.

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Why is AMD only going to be offered online?

We believe that online publication, when combined with a distribution model that electronically sends the content of each edition of the journal to an email address, is a highly cost effective, fast, and efficient means for putting articles in the hands of members. We also believe that this is the manner in which many AOM members currently engage our major journals, such as AMJ and AMR. Members and nonmember subscribers read or download the content of the journals electronically well before the actual printed volume arrives via the postal service.

Also, electronic publication provides opportunities to expand the journal in novel and unique ways that would be impossible to do in a traditional print journal. This might include video footage of a research site, interviews with authors or research participants, or comments from readers (all outside of the primary article).

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Are there enough quality manuscripts that fit the AMD profile to sustain this new journal?

With respect to analyzing the supply of quality manuscripts, the Board of Governors, through the Journals Committee, examined 10 specific journals for a three-year period that are not within the AOM portfolio, but publish empirical studies (this set included SMJ, OS, JOM, JAP, P-Psych, JIBS, JOB, OBHDP, JMS, and LQ). They chose the three-year time period 2004–2006 in order to have a minimum of five years' of citation history for published articles (the research was conducted in 2012). They then examined every article in those years that was cited (using ISI counts) with a higher frequency than the average for AMJ articles published in the same time period. The 10 specific journals were selected because they are generally among the top 10 outlets in terms of their five-year citation impact factors.

Having identified the highly cited papers in competing journals, they examined each to see if the article was deemed to be a poor fit for AMJ but a potentially good fit for AMD. Although this was somewhat of a subjective judgment, most of the articles they identified rarely or never used the word "theory" based upon an electronic search of the manuscript, and none of these articles stated theory building or testing theory as their primary purpose.

There were roughly 350 articles published in these competing journals that achieved higher citation counts than the AMJ average for that period. Roughly 95 (25%) of those articles were not building new theory and were not theory-driven. Instead of trying to build new theory or make theoretical extensions, the work reflected in those 95 papers made empirical contributions to the literature by (a) answering phenomenon-driven research questions (e.g., studies that focused on performance in multinational alliances but not theories of multinational alliances, or studies that focused on preventing work-related accidents but not theories of accidents, and so on); (b) delivering replications and extensions of critical past findings (e.g., international replications); (c) providing more refined parameter estimation (e.g., via meta-analyses); (d) informing debates within the existing literature with new data; or (e) conducting construct validation and refinement.

On average, the 95 papers were cited roughly 90 times compared to the average of 45 for AMJ articles published during the same time period, and many of the articles had been rejected at AMJ. Although slightly skewed, the distribution of the citation data was largely symmetrical. This suggests that if the 95 papers that were above the AMJ mean were combined with the next 95 papers below the mean, there would be a sample of roughly 190 papers from which one could build a journal that had a mean number of citations that was similar to that found at AMJ (over the studied three-year period).

There seems to be no shortage of articles that fit with the AMD profile, and many of these types of articles wind up having a great deal of impact as assessed via citation counts. AMD will allow AOM to capture some of the work that is now being published by competing journals. Many of these competing journals are published by commercial vendors with no formal ties to any professional society such as AOM, but that draw on our members as authors and reviewers.

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How did the process of developing AMD unfold?

Early in the development process of AMD, the Board of Governors sought the input of 25 people who were considered to be thought leaders within AOM. This group consisted of individuals who were (a) current or former editors of AMJ and AMR, (b) former editors of competing journals, (c) past AOM Presidents, (d) past Deans of the AOM Fellows Group, (e) winners of the AOM Distinguished Scientific Contributions Awards, and (f) current and former division chairs. The comments from the vast majority of this group were positive with respect to the need for AMD, and this group provided a number of comments that were helpful in developing the new journal.

Although not everyone was supportive of AMD, even those who were opposed recognized the need for more publication opportunities for members and an expanded scope of those opportunities. Some argued that these problems would be better addressed by changing the size, nature and scope of AMJ. For the reasons previously stated, the decision was made to leave AMJ unaltered. Instead, the plan was adopted to go forward with a new journal, AMD.

The new and revised AMD concept was then taken to the Chairs of the Division and Interest Groups of AOM. The Journals Committee reached out to this group and sent them a slightly updated version of the December 2011 AMD proposal, including a revised mission statement, the analysis of the competitive market, and a mock-up of the journal. The leaders of Divisions and Interest Groups were asked to study the proposal and weigh in on whether or not they believed AMD would provide a value-added professional contribution to the members of their divisions and the Academy of Management's portfolio of journal offerings.

They were then asked to respond to eight specific questions to gauge the degree to which they thought AMD would support the needs of their members and AOM at large, including:

  • Do you think your members are conducting research that would be suitable for publication in AMD?
  • Do you think your members would submit their work to AMD?
  • Do you think that your department would value articles published in AMD?
  • Does AMD address an "unmet need" for many of your members because there may be limited alternative publication outlets for this type of research?
  • Do you think that AMD articles would advance the body of knowledge for management?
  • Do you think that AMD articles would make a contribution to what we know about management and stimulate future research?
  • Do you think members of your division would provide professional service to AMD, such as serving as reviewers, editorial board members, editors and associate editors?
  • Can you think of potential questions your members might have regarding AMD that are not answered by the materials we are providing here (a FAQ list)?

We received input from 19 Division and Interest Group Leaders. The comments from the vast majority of this group were generally positive with respect to the need for AMD, and this group provided a number of additional insights that were helpful in further developing this new journal.

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