Asia Pacific Journal of Management

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 191–194 | Cite as

Contributing to the Asia Pacific Journal of Management

  • David AhlstromEmail author

At the Asia Pacific Journal of Management (APJM) part of our mission is to help prospective authors, particularly those new to the academic management field, develop their work and publishing skills so as to further build management and organizational research in Asia (Bhagat, McDevitt, & McDevitt, 2010; Fang, 2010; Ahlstrom, 2010a). To that end, since 2010, APJM has been running a series of articles to assist authors with the many challenges of publishing in mainstream management journals such as APJM (e.g., Ahlstrom, 2010a, b, 2011a, b). Prospective authors who want to know more about the research and publishing process (particularly for APJM) should read these editorial articles and other helpful works cited to become more familiar with APJM’s content, paper organization, aims and scope, and style. APJM desk rejects a good number of papers. Many of these desk rejections probably could have been avoided if authors were more familiar with what APJM typically publishes (Ahlstrom, 2012), its aims and scope (Ahlstrom, 2011a), and were careful to read the editorials mentioned here and the works cited therein (e.g., Abrahamson, 2008; Colquitt & Ireland, 2009; Cummings & Frost, 1985, 1995; Huff, 1999, 2008; Van de Ven, 2007).

In 2010, APJM published three editorial articles with some recommendations on publishing in the journal (Ahlstrom, 2010a), steering clear of several common mistakes that normally lead to desk rejections, such as failing to specify the paper’s contributions to theory and empirical evidence (Ahlstrom, 2010b), and avoiding the submission of “how-to” articles targeted at managers and consultants (Ahlstrom, 2010c). In 2011 three more editorial articles were published that further clarified APJM’s aims and scope (Ahlstrom, 2011a), provided general tips on organizing an empirical paper (Ahlstrom, 2011b), and summarized these and other helpful books and articles for prospective authors (Ahlstrom, 2011c). Authors should take care to read these (and future) editorials and commentaries from the journal editors and other authors as they provide recommendations and resources concerning the research and publishing process.


Finally, it bears repeating that a continuing problem with the submissions we receive at APJM is that many authors are still failing to specify the contributions of their papers. Like the land in a crowded city, academic “real estate” is both scarce and valuable, and papers usually need to contribute new or improved knowledge to the field of management and organizations. This means that authors need to state the contributions of their papers clearly—in the introduction of the paper and again in the discussion section (see Meyer, Estrin, Bhaumik, & Peng, 2009; Rynes et al., 2005). Just testing what is already well known without providing clear contributions or improved information or evidence for the field is usually cause for rejection in good academic journals (e.g., Kilduff, 2007; Rynes, 2002; Rynes et al., 2005).

For example, we received a manuscript at APJM that provided a thorough literature review about pay for performance and some gender issues in motivation. The paper went on to explain that there had been much researched on these topics including at least one major meta analysis. The paper then provided two (out of four) hypotheses that tested the relationships that were already very well documented by that meta analysis and other research. Basically, the paper simply tested what was already very well known in the field (at least it admitted this and did not write incorrectly that very little research has been done on motivation in Asia). Although the paper was statistically sophisticated, it was still telling a well-known story and little else. Authors are surprised when a solid paper such as this is rejected, but it is very important that they clearly state the contributions to theory, empirical evidence, and practice.1 Authors should not make reviewers guess their contributions. Moreover, papers that utilize theory and methods from other business or social science fields are potentially acceptable at APJM, but it is important that theory and evidence relevant to scholars of management and organizations are addressed (e.g., Aaker, 2007; Davidsson & Wiklund, 1997; Huang, Chen, & Kao, 2012; Raman & Fisher, 1996).

Additional guidance on theory contributions is available from a number of fine works in management (e.g., Colquitt & Ireland, 2009; Corley & Gioia, 2011; Van de Ven, 2007; Whetten, 1989). For contributions to practice, some good works include Bartunek and Rynes (2010), Christensen and Raynor (2003), and Peng and Dess (2010). Helpful examples of empirical contributions (as well as others) can be found in many papers in APJM and other business journals (Beny, 2007; Jiang & Peng, 2011). Also see Ahlstrom (2011c), Law, Wong, Huang and Li (2008), Meyer et al. (2009), Peng, Li, Xie, and Su (2010), and Rynes et al. (2005), for some helpful examples. Contributions, particularly those to theory and practice, should provide actionable insights for interested readers to build, test, and improve theory, research, and practice in the field of management and organizations (Ahlstrom, 2011c; Ahlstrom, Lamond, & Ding, 2009; Bhagat et al. 2010; Fang, 2010; Rynes, 2002).

Special issue: Leadership in Asia

Professors Rico Lam, Xu Huang, and Dora Lau guest edited this Special Issue of APJM. The articles that follow were chosen from among those submitted and presented at the APJM Special Issue Conference on Leadership in Asia in December 2010, right before the biennial Asia Academy of Management conference, both of which were hosted by the University of Macau.


  1. 1.

    Not all papers will have contributions to empirical or case evidence. Conceptual or review papers’ primary contributions will be to theory with perhaps some small, potential contributions to practice in management and organizations (Ahlstrom, 2011c; Ahlstrom, Chen, & Yeh, 2010).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ManagementThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong

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