Sunday, June 23, 2013

Two new journals: Sociological Science and Journal of Strategy Science

Two new journals caught my eye.

First is Sociological Science, which will be accepting submissions starting this Fall.  Unlike established journals, they have a light-weight editorial model focused on fast decisions and simple accept/reject decisions.  Like PlosOne, they seem to be very open in terms of interdisciplinary work and methods.

Second is Journal of Strategy Science, published by INFORMS.  They aim to publish their first issue in 2015.  This is a traditional journal with all usual the pluses and minuses.  What caught my eye was that the Editor in Chief is Daniel Levinthal of Wharton Business School.  He's has been a pioneer in using methods from Complexity Science to study organizations and innovation, and, in general, he's been very supportive of computational methods.

Academic publishing is going through major disruptions now, including the open access movement.  As a junior academic, I'm very inclined to publish mostly in open access journals, but I also need to "get points on the board" by publishing at least a few articles in the established (non-open) journals.

Given my interdisciplinary focus, it hasn't been so easy to find prestigious journals that appear appropriate.  In particular, I need to find journals that are receptive to computational methods.  (I haven't submitted an article to a journal yet, so this is supposition on my part.)

The appearance of this new journal is significant in my mind because of a conversation I had with Daniel in 2000 at a workshop at Wharton that he organized. I told him about my impression of Stanford Business School and it's "discipline-based" PhD program.  ("Discipline-based" means that the focus is on underlying disciplines such as economics, psychology, sociology, statistics, operations research, etc.)   I noted that this philosophy meant that there was no discipline behind "Strategy".  Stanford B-school said as much in their PhD program material.  I saw this as a bad sign for me personally because it implied that I wouldn't find support for my ideas about strategy, innovation, creativity, etc.  Prof. Levinthal listened to my analysis and replied: "Excellent insights.  Yes, you probably wouldn't find much support there."  (He got his PhD from Stanford B-school.)

Thus, it's good to see that the field of Management Science has advanced to the point where they see a "science" behind Strategy rather than just seeing Strategy as the confluence of all the other elements of management and organizations.

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