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Call for Papers: Strategic Management Education: Navigating Between Different Approaches and Learning Impacts


Call for Papers

Academy of Management Learning & Education

Special Issue





Guest Editors for the Special Issue

R. Greg Bell, University of Dallas

Igor Filatotchev, City University of London and WU, Vienna

Ryan Krause, Texas Christian University


Advisory Editor:

Michael Hitt, Texas A&M University


The topic of this Special Issue is strategic management education. Strategic management courses today are criticized for being "repositories of multiple frameworks that are not tightly integrated and are aging rapidly" (Mahoney & McGahan, 2007, p. 86). Others have voiced concerns with regard to the lack of effectiveness of strategic management education (Jarzabkowski & Kaplan, 2015; Porter & McKibbin, 1988; Mintzberg & Gosling, 2002). Mintzberg (2004) argues that MBA faculty have too readily reduced strategic management to a kit bag of analytic techniques that are often inadequate and irrelevant to effective strategic thinking itself. Some observers note that "practitioners increasingly judge the field as irrelevant, and that judgment is reflected in student assessment" (Bower, 2008; p. 274).

This Special Issue is devoted to addressing the increasingly frequent calls for more relevant and practically applicable strategy education (e. g. Bower, 2008; Mintzberg, 2004; Greiner, Bhambri, & Cummings, 2003; Rynes, Bartunek, & Daft, 2001; Starkey & Madan, 2001).  Its aim is to assess the learning and knowledge transfer implications of different philosophies, designs, and approaches to strategic management education based on both the cutting edge research in the field and its highly relevant practical implications. Empirical and conceptual pieces are welcome in the following areas:



There is an ongoing debate about the role and place of theory in strategy education.  On the one hand, the theory acquisitive approach (Grant 2008) argues for an emphasis on theory, built on the assumption that applying a set of pre-established steps allows the student who knows little about the topic to learn more efficiently and economically. Alternatively, advocates of the practice based approach (Bower 2008; Jarzabkowski & Spee, 2009)  contend their approach develops more fully the students' capacity for more innovative, blue ocean approaches to strategy formulation and implementation.  It is important that strategy educators address the role and place for theory because some (e.g., Ghoshal, 2005) assert that what we teach is actually bad for practice. These debates raise a number of relevant questions:

  • In what ways can theory improve strategy education and learning?
  • Are there alternative approaches to teaching strategic management beyond the theory acquisitive and practice based approach extremes?
  • How can we reconcile rigor in learning with practical relevance of strategic management concepts and frameworks?



There is an increasing awareness of societal and environmental issues affected by business activities, especially those of multinational companies (MNCs). Thus the quest for enhancing corporate focus on business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not only an answer to recent corporate scandals and the recognition that business leaders may be acting irresponsibly more often than previously thought, but also a result of the changes and new demands in the global marketplace, such as increased stakeholder activism and scrutiny (e.g., Filatotchev and Stahl, 2015). Although it is still contested whether corporations and their leaders have social responsibilities that extend beyond their wealth-generating function, in light of growing socio-political and environmental challenges around the world, there is increasing pressure from stakeholders - among them governments, local communities, NGOs and consumers - for corporations and their leaders to self-regulate and contribute to the "triple bottom line" of social, environmental, and economic sustainability ("people, planet, profits"). Possible discussion questions include:

  • Should strategic management education integrate elements of business ethics and CSR?
  • How can strategy education include both the market environment and the social, political, and legal nonmarket environments in which firms operate?
  • How can academics raise awareness among future business leaders of the importance of corporate strategic objectives that go beyond mere compliance with laws and regulations and embrace wider societal objectives?



Since decision-making quality is the key to effective strategy formulation and implementation, there are increasing calls for strategic management education to place greater emphasis on what students are being taught about the "how" of strategic management.  This leads to a number of important discussion questions:

  • Are there ways in which decision-making styles can be integrated with popular strategy tools including Porter's five forces and value chain analyses, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and VRIO (value, rarity, imitability, organization) frameworks, portfolio matrices, and strategy clocks, among others?
  • Students today are criticized for their inability to handle the ambiguity of high rates of change facing many industries.  How can strategy educators prepare students to think critically and creatively while taking into account multiple perspectives and cultures?    
  • How can strategic management students develop an ability to cope with paradoxes and ambiguity, given the complexity and contradiction now implicit in strategy making (Schneider & Lieb, 2004).
  • Strategic management courses are dominated by the scientific paradigm (Bennis & O'Toole, 2005; Pfeffer & Fong, 2002). As a result, business schools produce plenty of "technocrats" and "craftsman" but few "artists" (Maranville, 2011).  How can strategy courses integrate the artistic paradigm?
  • How can strategic management courses be designed to fully integrate analysis and implementation, and what are the roles of non-academic tutors in achieving this?  



There are several additional areas in which we welcome submissions that advance strategic management teaching and education

  • While the primary focus of the special issue is on teaching strategy in the academic environment, we also seek to examine approaches to strategy education and training that are practiced by other profit and nonprofit organizations.
  • We also welcome papers devoted to innovation in strategic management education. For example, such papers might explore combining field experiments with class discussions, or integrating diverse media in the strategy courses.
  • We also echo the call of others to determine how alternative modes of learning beyond the teacher-student exchange, such as peer review and peer-to-peer exchange, as well as the development of specialized student expertise, can advance students' understanding of the complexity of strategic decision making (Mahoney & McGahan, 2007).



Initial submissions should be received by March 31, 2017 and should be designated for either the Research & Reviews section or the Essays, Dialogues, & Interviews section.  Authors are encouraged to visit AMLE's website ( for detailed guidance on these sections.  Submissions should be accompanied by an assurance of originality and exclusivity. Papers should adhere to the "Information for Contributors" guide for authors that can be found at

All submissions will be subject to a rigorous double-blind peer-review process, with one or more of the guest editors acting as action editor, and final approval coming from the AMLE journal editor. Invitations to revise and resubmit will follow initial submissions in approximately 3 months. Final acceptances will be made by May 1, 2018. Please direct any questions regarding the Special Issue to Igor Filatotchev (, Greg Bell (, and Ryan Krause (



Bennis, W. G., & O'Toole, J. (2005). How business schools lost their way. Harvard Business Review83(5), 96-104.

Bower, J. L. (2008). The Teaching of Strategy: From General Manager to Analyst and Back Again? Journal of Management Inquiry, 17(4), 269-275.

Filatotchev I., & Stahl, G. (2015). Towards transnational CSR: Corporate social responsibility approaches and governance solutions for multinational corporations', Organizational Dynamics, 44, 121-129.

Ghoshal, S. (2005). Bad management theories are destroying good management practices. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 4(1), 75-91.

Grant, R. M. (2008). Why strategy teaching should be theory based. Journal of Management Inquiry, 17(4), 276-281.

Greiner, L. E., Bhambri, A., & Cummings, T. G. (2003). Searching for a strategy to teach strategy. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 2(4), 402-420.

Jarzabkowski, P., & Kaplan, S. (2015). Strategy tools‐in‐use: A framework for understanding "technologies of rationality" in practice. Strategic Management Journal, 36(4), 537-558.

Jarzabkowski P., M. Giulietti, B Oliveira & N. Amoo (2013), 'We don't need no education'. Or do we: Management education and alumni adoption of strategy tools', Journal of Management Inquiry, 22(1), 452-472.

Jarzabkowski, P., Spee, A. P. (2009), 'Strategy as practice: A review and future directions for the field', International Journal of Management Reviews, 11(1), 69-95.

Mahoney, J. T., & McGahan, A. M. (2007). The field of strategic management within the evolving science of strategic organization. Strategic Organization5(1), 79-99.

Maranville, S. (2011). The Art of Strategic Management: A Case-Based Exercise. Journal of Management Education35(6), 782-807.

Mintzberg, H. (2004). Managers, not MBAs: A hard look at the soft practice of managing and management development. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Mintzberg, H., & Gosling, J. (2002). Educating managers beyond borders. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 1(1), 64-76.

Pfeffer, J., & Fong, C. T. (2002). The end of business schools? Less success than meets the eye. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 1(1), 78-95.

Porter, L. W., & McKibbin, L. E. (1988). Management Education and Development: Drift or Thrust into the 21st Century?. McGraw-Hill Book Company, College Division, PO Box 400, Hightstown, NJ 08520.

Rynes, S. L., Bartunek, J. M., & Daft, R. L. (2001). Across the great divide: Knowledge creation and transfer between practitioners and academics. Academy of Management Journal44(2), 340-355.

Schneider, M., & Lieb, P. (2004). The challenges of teaching strategic management: Working toward successful inclusion of the resource-based view. Journal of Management Education28(2), 170-187.

Starkey, K., & Madan, P. (2001). Bridging the relevance gap: Aligning stakeholders in the future of management research. British Journal of Management12(s1), S3-S26.



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