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Editorial statement and instructions for authors

Management and Organization Review (MOR) aims to be the premier journal for advancing indigenous management and organization research in China and all other transforming economies. MOR is a multidisciplinary journal rooted in the behavioral, social, and economic sciences underlying management research, broadly defined. MOR seeks to publish research from diverse social science disciplines, including organizational behavior, organization theory, social psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, political science, economics, strategic management, international business, economic geography, development studies, innovation theories, public administration, urban planning, cross-cultural studies, and cognitive science.

The editors recognize that new insights emerge at the intersection of established theories and research methods. They also realize that many of the established theories were developed in western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic societies. Therefore, MOR aspires to attract manuscripts that complement such established theories with indigenous data. Such papers must justify and discuss the contextual cultural and institutional applicability of testing established theories in the context of china or other transforming economy. MOR welcomes comparative studies in which comparison to non-transforming economies highlights unique indigenous aspects of transforming economies. MOR also seeks papers that observe actual indigenous phenomena and involve abductive reasoning and new insights to arrive at a novel understanding of phenomena that are new to the literature and contextually relevant to China or to other transforming economies.

Papers published in MOR can focus on all types of organizations, such as firms, academic, educational, and cultural institutions, not-for-profits, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, and state-owned enterprises.

MOR is open to diverse and rigorously executed research methodologies, including qualitative research, surveys, archival and historical analyses, content analysis, laboratory and field experiments, simulations, and computational methods, as well as papers that synthesize or translate theories and empirical research that make research accessible to scholars outside disciplinary subfields.

When considering papers submitted to MOR, the Editors consider the following questions:

  1. 1. Is paper intended for MOR? (e.g., literature review is embedded in discourse related to MOR and shows understanding of up-to-date research published in MOR)

  2. 2. Does it fall within the domain of MOR? (e.g., contextually specific to China or other transforming economies)

  3. 3. Is it forward looking? Does it offer fresh insights? Does it break new ground? Does it elucidate indigenous management theories outside disciplinary subfields?

  4. 4. Does the empirical analysis and methods satisfy MOR requirements for falsifiability, data transparency, and replication criteria?

Perspective Papers

To enrich scholarly discourse and promote theoretical innovation, MOR will occasionally publish perspective papers that direct attention to new important phenomenon or that redirect or shut down a line of research. The Editor-in-Chief oversees the review of perspective papers. Accepted perspective papers may be followed by one or more invited commentaries.

Dialogue, Debate, and Discussion (D3) Submissions

The goal of the D3 editorial area is to attract discourse that breaks ground at the crossroad of disciplinary exchanges on related topics, revisit past debates, and highlight important current issues in management and globalization. It features essays and interviews designed to stimulate and engage vibrant Dialogue, Debate, and Discussion.

Management and Organization Review Reviewing Policies

The MOR editorial team is committed to seeking the jewel in each submitted manuscript. They will engage the author(s) in a developmental process to feature the paper’s ideas and findings. MOR invites authors to nominate the Senior Editor that best matches the domain of the paper submitted for consideration by MOR []. In addition, MOR encourages authors to nominate up to four ad-hoc reviewers who are knowledgeable in the domain of their paper and do not have a conflict interest with author(s) (e.g. family member, on same faculty, co-author, faculty supervisor, etc.)

The purpose of the reviewing policies is to ensure that research published in MOR satisfies falsifiability, data transparency, and replication criteria. For a comprehensive discussion of these goals, see Lewin et al. (2016) [doi: 10.1017/mor.2016.43]. MOR is a signatory to the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guidelines, which were adopted by over 850 scientific journals (Nosek et al. 2015).

The guidelines that follow delineate the underlying principles of the MOR peer-review process:

  1. 1. Hypothesis testing is not a prerequisite. MOR welcomes papers that avoid framing research in the guise of hypothesis testing. MOR encourages, and will consider, exploratory research meant to identify and describe the phenomena of interest. However, hypothesis testing is appropriate when research involves confirmatory research or replications meant to test hypotheses generated from theory or reported in prior research.

  2. 2. The context of every paper published in MOR must be that of transforming economies (e.g., China, India, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Russia and former Soviet republics).

  3. 3. Empirical studies must motivate every research question by framing it within the extant literature. The objective is to convey the puzzle in the literature, a puzzle that the manuscript aims to solve (or at least elucidate). The literature review underlying the theory development should serve as a mini review and must demonstrate that the author is interpreting implications of cited papers. The discussion of empirical papers must convey summary conclusions about the empirical findings – including discussion of effect size in prior findings. If the cited paper does not report effect size, the literature review should draw appropriate implications. The empirical plan for investigating the focal research question and the discussion of the data for the study follows the theory development.

  4. 4. MOR requires that statistical analyses present and discuss all findings including null findings. Report coefficient estimates alongside exact p-values or standard errors. Arbitrary cutoff points (asterisks *) of significance should not be reported or referred to.

  5. 5. Authors are required to provide readers with a reasonable sense of how strongly an independent variable affects the dependent variable by including an explicit discussion of the effect size (extent of explained variance) and discuss alternative theoretical explanations. Complete and comprehensive reporting and discussion of findings including competing or alternative theoretical explanations are foundational for advancing understanding and knowledge creation.

  6. 6. We encourage post-hoc analysis but expect authors to clearly distinguish between such analysis and hypothesis testing. Hypothesizing after results are known (HARKing) is a questionable practice that undermines the scientific effort. When justified appropriately, post-hoc analysis can be important in exploring and testing hypothesis and new research questions that were not originally considered but that emerge from new insights during the analysis (e.g., because of unexpected null results, negative findings, or analysis of outlier data points).

  7. 7. Data, Research Materials, and Analytic Code
    1. i. During the review process authors may be asked to provide the Senior Editor and reviewers with access to data, research materials (e.g., survey instruments, field notes), or analytic code (e.g., variable definitions, transformations, statistical procedures). These will be kept confidential, just like a submitted manuscript. Authors who foresee difficulty in complying with this policy must disclose it at the time of submission.
    2. ii. Once a manuscript is accepted, authors are encouraged to make the data and/or the instruments publicly available and receive the corresponding badges (see below). The authors are not required to share, but every published article must state whether data, materials, or code are available, and, if so, where to access them. This information will be requested at the initial submission, and authors may update it up to the time of publication.
    3. iii. Citation of data and materials: MOR recognizes data, research materials, or analytic code, as original intellectual contributions, which deserve recognition. All data, materials, or analytic code must be appropriately cited. Specifically, references for data sets and program code should include a persistent identifier, such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Persistent identifiers, which ensure future access to published digital objects, are assigned to data sets by digital archives. For instance, authors who deposit their data or research materials with the Open Science Framework receive a DOI.
    An example of citing a data set: Campbell, A., & Kahn, R. L. 1999. American National Election Study, 1948. ICPSR07218v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor].

  8. 8. Qualitative studies. MOR encourages the submission of qualitative studies. Such studies must be clear about the research question of interest, methods, such as examination of archival documents, interviews, informants, triangulation, and alternative or competing explanations for observed phenomena. Senior Editors knowledgeable with the requirements and nuances of qualitative studies will guide the review process of such papers.
  9. 9. Replication. Publishing replication studies or null findings is foundational for building cumulative knowledge about any phenomenon. MOR encourages the submission of replication studies using the same data or new data. Replication studies must be identified at the time of submission prior to the assignment of a Senior Editor who will guide the review of the paper. A replication paper must provide enough detail of the purpose of the replication and the importance and relevance of the finding. Replication studies will undergo double-blind review, just like non-replication studies.
  10. 10. Authors are encouraged to review the standards available for many research applications from and use those that are relevant for the reported research applications.
  11. 11. Recognition of authors who share material, data, and/or preregister their studies. “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants,” wrote Isaac Newton. MOR recognizes that science is a collective effort (Lewin et al., 2016). Scholars build on the efforts of their predecessors and contemporaries: refining theories, testing predictions, and honing instruments. Benefiting from others’ work requires access to it. That is why the scientific currency is a peer-reviewed publication – making one’s work publicly available. Yet any journal article has length limitations, so it necessarily omits some information that may be useful for those who wish to build on its author’s research. Because of the current replication crisis in the social sciences, in which the validity of much published research is questionable, fuller disclosure can bolster the validity of empirical social science and renew trust in scientific findings.

Badges to Recognize Exemplary Scientific Practices

MOR recognizes authors who share more than a manuscript by featuring badges that recognize exemplary scientific practices: openly sharing data, research materials, or preregistering the study. The badges will be featured prominently in the published article. Authors should request a unique Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for their data or research materials, so that they can be cited independently of the article.

Such badges, based on the principles of the Open Science Framework, have been introduced in similarly leading journals in other disciplines, such as the Strategic Management Journal, Psychological Science and the American Journal of Political Science.

When submitting an eligible manuscript, authors will indicate the desired badges. Upon acceptance, a journal editor will verify eligibility.

Open Material Badge Open Materials

We grant an Open Materials badge to authors who deposit their research materials in an open-access repository. A prominent repository is the Open Science Framework (OSF), which will also assign a DOI to the materials, so that they can be cited. Many other repositories are listed in the Registry of Research Data Repositories. The deposited materials should be as complete as possible, to allow an independent researcher to reproduce the reported methodology. Depending on the methodology, materials may include statistical code, questionnaires, interview questions, experimental procedures, and participant instructions (but not data). The criteria for Open Materials are here:

Open Data Badge Open Data

Separately, we grant an Open Data badge to authors who deposit their data (and statistical code, if necessary) in such an open-access repository. Authors can satisfy this requirement by depositing their entire dataset or by depositing a slice of it, as long as it allows an independent researcher to reproduce the reported results. If confidentiality is sought, authors may deposit a transformed dataset, as long as it allows reproduction of the reported results (Reiter, 2002). Depending on the methodology, deposited data may include quantitative and qualitative materials, but may not compromise the anonymity of participants or undermine promises of confidentiality. Often, it is easy to remove such identifying information from the dataset while preserving the ability of an independent researcher to reproduce the results. But if access to such identifying information is necessary to reproduce the reported results, then authors are not eligible for an open data badge.

If the data are statistical, authors are expected to deposit the code necessary to generate the results. Once the data and the code are available, authors may, but are not required to, assist others in using the deposited materials.

A prominent repository is the Open Science Framework (OSF), which will also assign a DOI to the data, so that they can be cited. The criteria for Open Data are here:

Preapproved Badge Preapproved and Preregistered Study

We offer preapproval for studies, drawing on the model of registered reports in the natural and social sciences. Such practices advance science, so we wish to encourage them: Authors whose studies were preapproved and preregistered will receive in-principle acceptance. The published article will bear the corresponding badge.

Preregistration and Preapprovals

MOR encourages authors to submit proposals for preregistered and preapproved studies. After peer review, such proposals can receive a conditional acceptance in MOR – all before data are collected and results are realized. The editors of MOR believe that this innovative initiative is probably the most effective strategy for developing papers that are ultimately accepted for publication in Management and Organization Review.

The Editors of MOR would like to engage with authors at the earliest stage of developing their research study. This will allow the Editors to nurture the study of research questions that highlight important questions or phenomena, open new directions, offer alternative or competing explanations for existing findings, or otherwise question extant management research when situated in transforming economies, anchored in indigenous history, culture, values, and national aspirations.

The MOR preapproval and preregistration process offers an important benefit for the authors and the scientific community: it determines the merit of a proposal – and the likelihood of its publication – before the findings are known. The underlying theory and research questions are peer reviewed and deemed important and interesting; hypotheses and data collection procedures are understood and established before data collection and hypothesis testing commence. By doing this, we combat the temptation to HARK, the all-too-common practice of squeezing empirical findings into a theory that may not fit well. Rather, we want to understand reality as it is, whether ‘as predicted’ or not.

The Editors of MOR are committed to assisting authors with preapproval and preregistration to enhance the importance of the research, satisfy falsifiability requirements, and enhance data transparency, rigor, and replicability (Lewin et al., 2016). This is an ambitious goal that differentiates MOR articles, by alleviating the publication bias inherent in research toward ‘counterintuitive’ findings and supported hypotheses (Starbuck, 2016). A recent study estimates that 24%–40% of results in strategic management cannot be replicated (Goldfarb & King, 2016). Another suggests that the real number may be even higher (Bergh, Sharp, Aguinis, & Li, 2017), even if this journal is comparatively more reliable (Li, Sharp, & Bergh, 2017).

Preapproval and preregistration can help authors clarify their goals and plans before embarking on the time-consuming (and sometimes irreversible) effort of data collection. In preregistration, authors register the proposal in a public, open-access repository (but they may keep the registration non-public during the review process). Then, authors submit for peer review a proposal, akin in content to a dissertation or grant proposal. The proposal should describe the research questions that the study proposes to address and the key hypotheses and data collection and analysis plan. Essentially, authors submit what typically constitutes half a ready manuscript, up to and including the data and description of the empirical approach. However, the proposal should not include data analyses, results, or conclusions. Instead, authors should provide an estimate of the time needed to complete the study.

The MOR preapproval process applies to quantitative and qualitative work as well as inductive and deductive work. The Editors of MOR recognize that inductive qualitative research is indeed a discovery process, and authors should carefully think through and discuss which discoveries the study aims to make and why such discoveries are important. To gain preapproval, authors should articulate which theoretical debates the research will address and how the outcome of the research will advance theory or society, regardless of whether the hypotheses are confirmed. Theoretical significance, knowledge impact, and thoroughness and rigor of the research plan are the major criteria for preapproval. Preapproval proposals considered by MOR’s most senior editors: the Editor-in-Chief or one of the Deputy Editors. If the proposal is deemed of interest to the journal, it is assigned to a Senior Editor who will guide the developmental peer-review process. After peer review, the Senior Editor, in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief or the Deputy Editor, may reject the proposal, request revisions, or approve it. If it is approved, the authors commit to collecting data and completing the study as proposed, and the journal grants conditional acceptance—regardless of the findings. In other words, because of the importance of the subject matter, MOR will publish the final manuscript regardless of whether the results are as hypothesized, whether positive or null. After this conditional acceptance, authors embark on data collection, analysis, and writing to turn the proposal into a manuscript. However, preapproval and preregistration should not restrict flexibility in the knowledge generation process. Following preapproval, authors should update the editor on progress and seek advice, as needed. Detailed instructions are in MOR’s Instructions to Contributors.

The manuscript will be published in MOR in two parts: The first part will report the results of the study according to the preapproved and preregistered plan. The second will present and discuss exploratory (post hoc) analyses, which may emerge in the course of analyzing and reporting the originally approved study. Both parts will feature a preapproval and preregistration badge.

The Editors of MOR accept that preapproval and preregistration entail more effort on their part and a stronger commitment to knowledge co-creation. We understand that it requires us to shepherd the knowledge co-creation process, rather than act as gatekeepers. The Editors of MOR are confident that the preapproval process will result in higher-quality accepted manuscripts. It can also combat the crisis of confidence in the social sciences, revitalizing the research and publication culture in management and organization science.


Bergh, D. D., Sharp, B. M., Aguinis, H., & Li, M. 2017. Is there a credibility crisis in strategic management research? Evidence on the reproducibility of study findings. Strategic Organization, 15(3): 423–436.

Goldfarb, B., & King, A. 2016. Scientific apophenia in strategic management research: Significance tests & mistaken inference. Strategic Management Journal, 37(1): 167–176.

Lewin, A. Y., Chiu, C.-Y., Fey, C. F., Levine, S. S., McDermott, G., Murmann, J. P., & Tsang, E. W. K. 2016. The critique of empirical social science: New policies at management and organization review. Management and Organization Review, 12(4): 649–658.

Li, M., Sharp, B. M., & Bergh, D. D. 2017. Assessing statistical results in MOR articles: An essay on verifiability and ways to enhance it. Management and Organization Review, 13(2): 431–441.

Nosek, B. A., Alter, G., Banks, G. C., Borsboom, D., Bowman, S. D., Breckler, S. J., . . . Yarkoni, T. 2015. Promoting an open research culture. Science, 348(6242), 1422–1425. doi: 10.1126/science.aab2374

Reiter, J. P. 2002. Protecting confidentiality by releasing synthetic microdata. Technical Report, Institute of Statistics and Decision Sciences, Duke University.

Starbuck, W. H. 2016. 60th anniversary essay: How journals could improve research practices in social science. Administrative Science Quarterly, 61(2): 165–183.

Last updated 3rd September 2018