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Information for Contributors

To submit a manuscript, first make sure you have a Word file from which the title page (including author name and affiliation and any acknowledgments or author notes) has been removed. Then, go to the web site at  http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/amj  and follow the directions. Acknowledgements of others’ help in preparing the paper for submission should be included in the letter to the editor that is featured as part of the web-based submission process. If you need assistance uploading your paper, please contact the Manuscript Central helpline weekdays between 12:00 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. EST at 434-964-4100 or 888-503-1050 (both U.S.-based numbers).

 Mission Statement

The mission of the Academy of Management Journal is to publish empirical research that tests, extends, or builds management theory and contributes to management practice. All empirical methods including, but not limited to: qualitative, quantitative, field, laboratory, meta-analytic, and combination methods are welcome. To be published in AMJ, a manuscript must make strong empirical and theoretical contributions and highlight the significance of those contributions to the management field. Thus, preference is given to submissions that test, extend, or build strong theoretical frameworks while empirically examining issues with high importance for management theory and practice. AMJ is not tied to any particular discipline, level of analysis, or national context.

Authors should strive to produce original, insightful, interesting, important, and theoretically bold research. Demonstration of a significant "value-added" contribution to the field's understanding of an issue or topic is crucial to acceptance for publication. A list of the works awarded AMJ's Best Article Award appears elsewhere on the AMJ Web page; these provide good examples of the type of work the Journal seeks to publish.

 Criteria for Publication

All articles published in the Academy of Management Journal must make strong empirical contributions. Submissions that do not offer an empirical contribution will not be reviewed. Purely conceptual papers should be submitted to the Academy of Management Review. Papers focusing on management education should be sent to Academy of Management Learning and Education. Manuscripts that are evidence based rather than theory driven and papers with a primary focus of bringing new perspectives to an academic debate should be submitted to the Academy of Management Perspectives. Responses to or commentaries on previously published articles will be considered only if they make independent empirical contributions. Moreover, these submissions will also be peer reviewed.

A manuscript's empirical contribution is usually the most difficult element to revise in response to reviewer concerns, since measures and methods have already been applied and data collected. Two of the most common sources of manuscript rejection involve: (1) creation of new, weakly validated measures when well-validated ones already exist, and (2) implementation of flawed research designs. Because both of these features are determined at the research design stage, authors should seek peer review of their research designs and instrumentation before collecting their data.

All articles published in the Academy of Management Journal must also make strong theoretical contributions. Meaningful new implications or insights for theory must be present in all AMJ articles, although such insights may be developed in a variety of ways (e.g., falsification of conventional understanding, theory building through inductive or qualitative research, first empirical testing of a theory, meta-analysis with theoretical implications, constructive replication that clarifies the boundaries or range of a theory). Submissions should clearly communicate the nature of their theoretical contribution in relation to the existing management and organizational literatures. Methodological articles are welcome, but they must contain accompanying theoretical and empirical contributions.

All articles published in the Academy of Management Journal must also be relevant to practice. The best submissions are those that identify both a compelling management issue and a strong theoretical framework for addressing it. We realize that practical relevance may be rather indirect in some cases; however, authors should be as specific as possible about potential implications.

All articles published in the Academy of Management Journal must be accessible to the Academy's wide-ranging readership. The fields and topics of interest to the Academy membership are reflected in the divisions and interest groups listed on the Academy's Web page. Authors should make evident the contributions of specialized research to general management theory and practice, should avoid jargon, and should define specialized terms and analytic techniques.

Manuscripts will be evaluated by the action editor in terms of their contribution-to-length ratio. Thus, manuscripts should be written as simply and concisely as possible without sacrificing meaningfulness or clarity of exposition. Typically, papers should be no longer than 40 double-spaced pages (using one-inch margins and Times New Roman 12-point font), inclusive of references, tables, figures and appendixes. AMJ reserves the right to ask authors to shorten excessively long papers before they are entered in the review process. However, we recognize that papers intended to make very extensive contributions or that require additional space for data presentation or references (such as meta-analyses, qualitative works, and work using multiple data sets) may require more than 40 pages.

 Submission Requirements

When authors submit their manuscripts to AMJ for publication consideration, they agree to abide by AMJ’s publication requirements. Specifically, an author must:

  • Agree that their manuscript is not under review for publication elsewhere, and will not be submitted to another publication entity during the review period at AMJ.
  • Attest that the manuscript reports empirical results that have not been published previously. Authors whose manuscripts utilize data that are reported in any other manuscript, published or not, are required to inform the editor of these reports at the time of submission.
  • Confirm that their manuscripts have not previously been submitted to AMJ for review. Submission of manuscripts previously published in Academy of Proceedings is acceptable; similarly, prior presentation at a conference or concurrent consideration for presentation at a conference does not disqualify a manuscript from submission to AMJ.
  • Agree that working papers, prior drafts, and/or final versions of submitted manuscripts that are posted on a Web site (e.g., personal, departmental, university, or working series sites) will be taken down during the review process.

 Review Process

 Desk decisions. When a manuscript is first received, the editor completes a preliminary screening of a manuscript to assess the degree to which it (1) fits the criteria described in AMJ's “Mission Statement” and “Information for Contributors” and (2) possesses at least a minimal likelihood of being favorably evaluated by AMJ's reviewers. Submissions that fail to satisfy one or both of those criteria may be returned to the authors as a desk decision, sometimes in the form of a desk reject and sometimes in the form of a desk edit.

 Normal review process. For each manuscript that passes the initial review stage, the editor assigns an action editor (either him- or herself or an associate editor or guest editor) and three reviewers. The manuscript's action editor makes publication decisions about it. However, these decisions are made in conjunction with recommendations provided by members of the Journal's Editorial Board or other qualified reviewers. All submissions will be blind reviewed; manuscripts prepared in a way that compromises blind review may be returned for revision prior to being reviewed. The Manuscript Evaluation Form used by reviewers can be viewed here.

Submission of a manuscript to the Journal also carries an implicit quid pro quo: willingness to review for the AMJ. The cornerstone of the editorial process at AMJ is the willingness of colleagues to provide each other feedback through the peer review process. Authors who submit manuscripts to AMJ for review are expected to reciprocate by reviewing for AMJ if called upon to do so.

The Journal strives to provide constructive and developmental feedback to authors within approximately two months. However, the initial quality of the manuscript can dramatically influence both the efficiency and effectiveness of the review process. The better developed a manuscript and the ideas it contains, the easier it will be to review, and the better the feedback its author will receive. Therefore, manuscripts should always be reviewed by your scholarly colleagues prior to submission to the Journal.

Prepare manuscripts in accordance with the Journal's "Style Guide for Authors", which appears on the AMJ's Web page. Manuscripts that are inappropriately prepared tend to be less favorably reviewed, and may be returned to the author for revision prior to submission to the full review process. Technical note: Authors who use the tracking facility of the reviewing tool in working on successive versions of their manuscripts should be aware that the latest versions of Word (e.g., those using Windows XP) show corrections to previous versions if the “Showing Markup” option is clicked when the Reviewing tool bar is activated. To prevent showing corrections before submitting your manuscript you should (1) click on “Final,” (2) select the entire document, and then (3) save this version as a new file under a new name. Submit this “clean” version.

Tables and Figures

Tables and figures can enhance both the reader's understanding of information and the efficiency of its presentation. But just as too many overhead slides can ruin an oral presentation, too many figures and tables can detract from the overall narrative. Thus we encourage the judicious use of tables and figures and we discourage their overuse. The proper construction of tables and figures is a detailed craft, so in preparing them for your manuscript, please follow the detailed instructions presented in the styles guide which is published in the first issue each year.

Guidelines for submitting figures/images:

Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
Line illustrations should be submitted at 900 dpi. 
Halftones and color should be submitted at a minimum of 300 dpi.
Save as either TIF or EPS files.
Color art must be saved as CMYK - not RGB.
Black and White art must be submitted as grayscale - not RGB.
PowerPoint or Excel files should NOT be submitted.


Color Reproduction 

The Academy of Management encourages the use of color in the online version of the article. Color may be used to enhance any art (tables, figures, photos, etc.) featured within your manuscript. Authors have the option to produce the artwork in color in the online version and in black and white in the print version. Color reproductions can appear in the online version at no additional charge. However, authors or their institutions must bear the cost for any color reproduction in the print version. Authors may contact Susan Zaid (szaid@aom.org) to determine the additional fees for color in the print version. 

If you have payment, submission or style questions regarding color reproductions, please contact Michael Malgrande (mmalgrande@aom.org).

Language Editing - author services

For researchers who are nonnative English speakers writing in English as a second language, AOM has partnered with the Charlesworth Group to offer language editing, or “polishing,” of academic papers, including manuscripts, journal articles, abstracts and dissertations. Your paper will be checked for correct grammar, spelling, style, and readability. By improving the language of your manuscript, you can increase your chances of being accepted for publication in your chosen journal. AOM members receive a 10% discount on all language editing services.
For more information on these services, click here. The Charlesworth Group's UK office may be reached at: +44 (0)1484 506250.

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