Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Gamesmanship theory

Intriguing paper by Stuart Macdonald of the University of Sheffield and Jacqueline Kam of Bristol on the politics of journal publication in their own field of Management Studies. Shockingly, they find the whole area rife with gamesmanship, with who publishes what where apparently more important than the actual content.

From their abstract:
Pressure to publish in [quality] journals and the triumph of managerialism over professionalism in the modern university have undermined peer review. In consequence, the same old hands are publishing the same old ideas in the same old journals. Quality journals must be taken much less seriously if there is ever to be any real enthusiasm for new ideas from new blood in Management Studies[...] Cunning and calculation now support scholarship in Management Studies. Gamesmanship will remain common until the rewards for publishing attach to the content of papers, to what is published rather than where it is published. We propose a Tinkerbell Solution: without belief in the value of a paper in a quality journal, the game is no longer worth playing.
[Stuart Macdonald and Jacqueline Kam, 'Ring a Ring o' Roses: Quality Journals and Gamesmanship in Management Studies', Journal of Management Studies, 44, 4, 2007, pp.640-655]

Still, such gamesmanship doesn't seem entirely alien to the practice of Management. And of course, such practices couldn't possibly be so dominant in other fields - could they?

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