Historical development of a discipline

Shows you how to use the Publish or Perish software for historical research on the discipline of Management

Ever wondered what research in Management looked like in the early days? You can use the Publish or Perish software to find out! An excellent coverage of some conference proceedings in Crossref, OpenAlex and Google Scholar can be used to unearth historical records that can help tracing the development of a specific discipline. Not quite bibliometric research, but definitely historical research facilitated by bibliometrics data.

Academy of Management in 1969 and 1970

Crossref provides full coverage of all Academy of Management proceedings since 1954. This was several years before the launch of the Association’s first journal, the Academy of Management Journal. Publishing the extended abstracts of only 10% of the papers presented at the conference, these proceedings are one of the most prestigious conference outlets in the field of Management.

As such, its comprehensive coverage in Crossref allows for fascinating insights into the history of this discipline. In the first 15 years the proceedings were largely composed of reports by the president and the various committees. From 1969 onwards, however, they included a range of papers presented at the conference. Above and below are screenshots that list all papers in 1969 and 1970 acquiring one or more citations.

This allows for a whole host of observations:

  1. The complete absence of female academics in the proceedings (and presumably at the conference).
  2. The presence of quite a few academics that would later play a big role in the field of International Business (my own discipline): Howard Perlmutter, Barry Richman, and Jean Boddewyn (see here for a bibliographic analysis I did of Jean Boddewyn in my role as AIB bibliometrician).
  3. The presence of consultants and managers at the conference and the interest in the research/praxis nexus.
  4. The interest in educational aspects, such as course offerings and student attitudes.
  5. The usage of terms that later have taken on different meanings, such as cosmopolitans and review process.
  6. The frequent reference to technology and simulation models.     

Student attitudes

Here is one result that I found of particular historical interest. A 1970 paper on student attitudes, a particularly important topic after 1968, the year of student revolutions across the world.

The article starts with the sentence: "The future of management will be determined to a considerable extent by the attitudes this generation of colleague students will bring to the workplace" and deals with the acceptance of authority in the work place. It also refers to the impact of "Blacks and women [... as] an ever-increasing element in the future of management".

I found this time capsule of interest because of its reference to the "Baby boomer" generation when they were still seen as revolutionaries. It also presents a very early acknowledgment that there may employees beyond white males that are worth studying. Finally, what struck me is that student samples were not yet seen in an unfavourable light, as they seem to be in most Management journals these days.

Social responsibility

A second paper that I found really interesting is shown in the screenshot below. It made me realise that the call for corporate social responsibility (CSR) has a long history. The paper's focus on wider societal issues is also intriguing. Both developments are very prominent in society and research today. However, it seems the early interest in this topic in Management didn't survive in the 1980s, when shareholder value became the new buzzword.

I also found it interesting to discover that the Academy of Management initially focused on the functional management disciplines rather than organizational and human behavioral studies. I had never realised this.

Publish or Perish is a Swiss army knife!

These are just a few of the hundreds of nuggets of quality information that you can find using the free Publish or Perish software. Are you interested in finding out more about how you can use the software to conduct effective author, journal, topic, and affiliation searches?

Do you want to learn how to use it for tenure or promotion applications, conducting literature reviews and meta-analyses, deciding where to submit your paper, preparing for job interviews, writing laudations or obituaries, finding reviewers or keynote speakers, uncovering “citation connections” between scholars, and doing bibliometric research?

To read about all of this and much much more, buy my brand-new guide in my Crafting your career in academia series: Using the Publish or Perish software. At 375 pages it is chock-full of tips and tricks on how to get the most out of the software. I promise you will discover at least a dozen use cases that you had never even thought about before!

Other books in the series

My book series Crafting your career in academia launched in August 2022 with a book on Writing Effective Promotion Applications. The series is a collection of short guides dealing with various aspects of working in academia. It is based on my popular blog.

Aug 2022:

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