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Management and Organization Theses and Dissertations

Theses/dissertations from 2023 2023.

For Love or Money: Investor Motivations in Equity-Based Crowdfunding , Jason C. Cherubini

Commitment to Change Dimensions: The Influence of Innovative Work Behavior and Organizational Environments , Michael Holmes

Turmoil in the Workforce: Introduction of the Nomadic Employee , Catrina Hopkins

Attention-Grabbing Tactics on Social Media , Arjun Kadian

Theses/Dissertations from 2022 2022

Building a Mentor-Mentee Maturity Model , Leroy A. Alexander

Do Auditors Respond to Changes in Clients’ Analyst Coverage? Evidence from a Natural Experiment , Mohammad Alkhamees

Designing a Messaging Strategy to Improve Information Security Policy Compliance , Federico Giovannetti

Are all pictures worth 1,000 words? An Investigation of Fit Between Graph Type and Performance on Accounting Data Analytics Tasks , Shawn Paul Granitto

An Enterprise Risk Management Framework to Design Pro-Ethical AI Solutions , Quintin P. McGrath

Deceptive Appeals and Cognitive Influences Used in Fraudulent Scheme Sales Pitches , Rafael J. Toledo

Using Online Reviews to Identify How Hotels Can Satisfy Travelers With Pets While Making Money , Sonia Weinhaus

Theses/Dissertations from 2021 2021

The IS Social Continuance Model: Using Conversational Agents to Support Co-creation , Naif Alawi

The Use of Data Analytic Visualizations to Inform the Audit Risk Assessment: The Impact of Initial Visualization Form and Documentation Focus , Rebecca N. Baaske (Becca)

Identification of Entrepreneurial Competencies in I-Corps Site Teams at the University of South Florida , Mark A. Giddarie

Understanding Nonprofit Boards: An Exploratory Study of the Governance Practices of Regional Nonprofits , Susan Ryan Goodman

Strengthening the Entrepreneurial Support Community , Andrew J. Hafer

Who to Choose? Rating Broker Best Practices in the Medicare Advantage Industry , Darwin R. Hale

Bridging the Innovatino Gap at SOCOM , Gregory J. Ingram

Improving Environmental Protection: One Imagined Touch at a Time , Luke Ingalls Liska

Residential Curbside Recycle Context Analysis , Ntchanang Mpafe

Fighting Mass Diffusion of Fake News on Social Media , Abdallah Musmar

Managing Incomplete Data in the Patient Discharge Summary to Support Correct Hospital Reimbursements , Fadi Naser Eddin

GAO Bid Protests by Small Business: Analysis of Perceived and Reported Outcomes in Federal Contracting , David M. Snyder

Engagement and Meaningfulness as Determinants of Employee Retention: A Longitudinal Case Study , Calvin Williams

Public Budgeting as Moral Dilemma , Ben Wroblewski

Theses/Dissertations from 2020 2020

Improving Engagement: The Moderating Effect of Leadership Style on the Relationship Between Psychological Capital and Employee Engagement , Scott Beatrice

Physician Self-Efficacy and Risk-Taking Attitudes as Determinants of Upcoding and Downcoding Errors: An Empirical Investigation , Samantha J. Champagnie

Digital Identity: A Human-Centered Risk Awareness Study , Toufic N. Chebib

Clarifying the Relationship of Design Thinking to the Military Decision-Making Process , Thomas S. Fisher

Essays on the Disposition Effect , Matthew Henriksson

Analysis of Malicious Behavior on Social Media Platforms Using Agent-Based Modeling , Agnieszka Anna Onuchowska

Who Rises to the Top: An Investigation of the Essential Skills Necessary for Partners of Non-Big 4 Public Accounting Firms , Amanda K. Thompson-Abbott

Theses/Dissertations from 2019 2019

The Financial and Nonfinancial Performance Measures That Drive Utility Abandonments and Transfers in the State of Florida , Daniel Acheampong

Locating a New Collegiate Entrepreneurship Program, a Framework for a University Campus , Douglas H. Carter

Understanding Employee Engagement: An Examination of Millennial Employees and Perceived Human Resource Management Practices , Danielle J. Clark

The Potential Impact Radius of a Natural Gas Transmission Line and Real Estate Valuations: A Behavioral Analysis , Charles M. Hilterbrand Jr.

Introducing a Mobile Health Care Platform in an Underserved Rural Population: Reducing Assimilations Gaps on Adoption and Use via Nudges , Joseph Hodges

Controlling Turnover in an Inside Sales Organization: What are the Contributing Factors , Dennis H. Kimerer

An Emergent Theory of Executive Leadership Selection: Leveraging Grounded Theory to Study the U.S. Military's Special Forces Assessment and Selection Process , Darryl J. Lavender

Essays on Migration Flows and Finance , Suin Lee

The Underutilized Tool of Project Management - Emotional Intelligence , Gerald C. Lowe

Increasing the Supply of the Missing Middle Housing Types in Walkable Urban Core Neighborhoods: Risk, Risk Reduction and Capital , Shrimatee Ojah Maharaj

Playing Darts in the Dark: How are Chamber of Commerce Leaders Aligned for Greater Effectiveness? , Robert J. Rohrlack Jr.

Are Transfer Pricing Disclosures Related to Tax Reporting Transparency? The Impact of Auditor-Provided Transfer Pricing Services , Stephanie Y. Walton

Theses/Dissertations from 2018 2018

Price Transparency in the United States Healthcare System , Gurlivleen (Minnie) Ahuja

How to Build a Climate of Quality in a Small to Medium Enterprise: An Action Research Project , Desmond M. Bishop III

Banking on Blockchain: A Grounded Theory Study of the Innovation Evaluation Process , Priya D. Dozier

Enhancing the Design of a Cybersecurity Risk Management Solution for Communities of Trust , James E. Fulford Jr.

An Examination of the Progressive and Regressive Factors that Business Owners Consider When Choosing Whether or Not to Implement an Exit Strategy , David C. Pickard

The Relationship between Ambient Lighting Color and Hotel Bar Customer Purchase Behavior and Satisfaction , Kunal Shah

The Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) Industry and the Business Impacts of the Evolution of the Federal Regulatory Environment , Darren W. Spencer

Intercultural Communication Between International Military Organizations; How Do You Turn a ‘No’ Into a ‘Yes’? , Douglas A. Straka

Essential Leadership Skills for Frontline Managers in a Multicultural Organization , Janelle Ward

Moffitt Cancer Center: Leadership, Culture and Transformation , W. James Wilson

Two Essays on String of Earnings Benchmarks , Yiyang Zhang

Theses/Dissertations from 2017 2017

Multi-Step Tokenization of Automated Clearing House Payment Transactions , Privin Alexander

The Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility Investment and Disclosure on Cooperation in Business Collaborations , Sukari Farrington

What Factors during the Genesis of a Startup are Causal to Survival? , Gilbert T. Gonzalez

The Great Recession of 2007 and the Housing Market Crash: Why Did So Many Builders Fail? , Mohamad Ali Hasbini

The Effect of Expanded Audit Report Disclosures on Users’ Confidence in the Audit and the Financial Statements , Peter Kipp

An Examination of Innovation Idea Selection Factors in Large Organizations , Troy A. Montgomery

Essays on Sales Coaching , Carlin A. Nguyen

Vital Signs of U.S. Osteopathic Medical Residency Programs Pivoting to Single Accreditation Standards , Timothy S. Novak

Leaders Who Learn: The Intersection of Behavioral Science, Adult Learning and Leadership , Natalya I. Sabga

Toward a Systemic Model for Governance and Strategic Management: Evaluating Stakeholder Theory Versus Shareholder Theory Approaches , James A. Stikeleather

A Longitudinal Study of the Effects of Cognitive Awareness Training on Transaction Processing Accuracy: An Introduction to the ACE Theoretical Construct , John Townsend

Theses/Dissertations from 2016 2016

The Effect of Presentation Format on Investor Judgments and Decisions: Does the Effect Differ for Varying Task Demands? , Kevin Agnew

Theses/Dissertations from 2014 2014

Multi-Task Setting Involving Simple and Complex Tasks: An Exploratory Study of Employee Motivation , Maia Jivkova Farkas

Essays on Mergers and Acquisitions , Marcin Krolikowski

Do Social Biases Impede Auditor Reliance on Specialists? Toward a Theory of Social Similarity , Rina Maxine Limor

Theses/Dissertations from 2013 2013

Psychological Distance: The Relation Between Construals, Mindsets, and Professional Skepticism , Jason Rasso

Theses/Dissertations from 2011 2011

Combining Natural Language Processing and Statistical Text Mining: A Study of Specialized Versus Common Languages , Jay Jarman

An Empirical Investigation of Decision Aids to Improve Auditor Effectiveness in Analytical Review , Robert N. Marley

The Effects of Item Complexity and the Method Used to Present a Complex Item on the Face of a Financial Statement on Nonprofessional Investors` Judgments , Linda Gale Ragland

Theses/Dissertations from 2010 2010

Two Essays on Information Ambiguity and Informed Traders’ Trade-Size Choice , Ziwei Xu

Theses/Dissertations from 2008 2008

Two Essays on the Conflict of Interests within the Financial Services Industry-- Financial Industry Consolidation: The Motivations and Consequences of the Financial Services Modernization Act (FSMA) and “Down but Not Out” Mutual Fund Manager Turnover within Fund Families , Lonnie Lashawn Bryant

Two Essays on Multiple Directorships , Chia-wei Chen

Two Essays on Financial Condition of Firms , Sanjay Kudrimoti

A Study of Cross-Border Takeovers: Examining the Impact of National Culture on Internalization Benefits, and the Implications of Early Versus Late-Mover Status for Bidders and Their Rivals , Tanja Steigner

Two Essays on Corporate Governance⎯Are Local Directors Better Monitors, and Directors Incentives and Earnings Management , Hong Wan

Theses/Dissertations from 2007 2007

The Role of Ethnic Compatibility in Attitude Formation: Marketing to America’s Diverse Consumers , Cynthia Rodriguez Cano

Two Essays on Venture Capital: What Drives the Underpricing of Venture CapitalBacked IPOs and Do Venture Capitalists Provide Anything More than Money? , Donald Flagg

Two essays on market efficiency: Tests of idiosyncratic risk: informed trading versus noise and arbitrage risk, and agency costs and the underlying causes of mispricing: information asymmetry versus conflict of interests , Jung Chul Park

The impact of management's tone on the perception of management's credibility in forecasting , Robert D. Slater

Uncertainty in the information supply chain: Integrating multiple health care data sources , Monica Chiarini Tremblay

Theses/Dissertations from 2006 2006

Adolescent alcohol use and educational outcomes , Wesley A. Austin

Certificate of need regulation in the nursing home industry: Has it outlived its usefulness? , Barbara J. Caldwell

The impacts of the handoffs on software development: A cost estimation model , Michael Jay Douglas

Using emergent outcome controls to manage dynamic software development , Michael Loyd Harris

The information technology professional's psychological contract viewed through their employment arrangement and the relationship to organizational behaviors , Sandra Kay Newton

The causal effect of alcohol consumption on employment status , Chanvuth Sangchai

The effect of transportation subsidies on urban sprawl , Qing Su

The effects of in-group bias and decision aids on auditors' evidence evaluation , Eileen Zalkin Taylor

The single market and pharmaceutical industry in the European Union: Is there any evidence of price convergence? , Aysegul Timur

A structural approach to the study of intra-organizational coalitions , Dean T. Walsh

Theses/Dissertations from 2005 2005

Investor and Worker Response to Corporate Downsizing of ESOP Companies: Wealth Effects, Productivity, and Performance , Jeanean J. Davis-Street

An Examination of User Resistance in Mandatory Adoption of Enterprise Systems , Timothy Paul Klaus

An Empirical Examination of Job Stress and Management of Emotionally-Based Behavior: Frontline Social Service Personnel Perspective , Doreen Sams

Disentangling the Repurchase Announcement An Event Study Analysis to the Purpose of Repurchases , Robin S. Wilber

Two Essays on Security Offerings: Information Production, Investor Perception and The Types of External Financing, and A Unified Analysis on Financing Choices and Offering Costs , Bingsheng Yi

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Management Research Review

Communication of emergent international management research.

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Rethinking accountability in developing countries: an institutional pillars perspective

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Applying knowledge-based human resource management to drive innovation: the roles of knowledge sharing and competitive intensity

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High-performance work systems and firm innovation: the moderating role of digital technology and employee participation. Evidence from Europe

In the literature, evidence is to be found of the positive effect of high-performance work systems (HPWSs) on innovation in firms. However, innovation is enabled by not only human…

How do employees maintain their well-being during loneliness? The power of organizational nostalgia

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Non-financial resources to enhance companies’ profitability: a stakeholder perspective

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Do entrepreneurs mistreat probationary employees? The mediating role of perceived ethical climate and moderating roles of core job characteristics

Recent high-profile ethical scandals in start-up organizations have made people wonder whether entrepreneurship may cultivate a work environment with less emphasis on ethics. This…

Managerial sentiment and corporate risk-taking: evidence from Chinese listed companies’ annual reports

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Promoting subjective well-being of IT professionals through gratitude practice: a moderated mediation analysis of gender and employee engagement

The purpose of this study is to analyze the potential mediating role of employee engagement in the relationship between gratitude and subjective well-being (SWB) of employees…

Unraveling the effects of occupational identity verification, self-esteem and identity salience on managers’ mental health: examining psychological distress and depression in the workplace

Managers play a crucial role in organizations. They make decisions that directly influence organizational success and significantly impact employees’ mental health, development…

Driving sustained work engagement: moderating role of leadership and organizational support for remote work

This study aims to understand the impact of key resources on work engagement while working from home (WFH). Social support is divided into the support provided at home and…

The human side of entrepreneurship: an empirical investigation of relationally embedded ties with stakeholders

Humane Entrepreneurship (HumEnt) is strongly purpose-oriented and characterized by a focus on inclusiveness and social and environmental sustainability, with attention to both…

Linking big data analytics capability and sustainable supply chain performance: mediating role of knowledge development

Drawing on the dynamic capability view, this study aims to examine the relationships between big data analytics capability (BDAC) and sustainable supply chain performance (SSCP…

Manager’s perspective on workers’ participation in management: a scenario-based study on Indian organizations

This paper aims to gain insight into managers' perspectives on the concept and practice of workers' participation in management (WPM) in Indian organizations. WPM is a critical…

Whether organizational citizenship behavior is triggered by employee CSR perception and spiritual values: the moderating role of Islamic work ethics

The study aims to inspect the impact of employees’ perception of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and their spiritual values on their affective commitment and job…

Spirituality, religiosity, stress, working from home and gender amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the role of stress and work from home and their influence on the frequency of praying (spirituality) and attending ritual services…

Developing a robust case study protocol

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The dimensional impact of escapism on users’ eCart abandonment: mediating role of attitude towards online shopping

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Start-up sustainability: does blockchain adoption drives sustainability in start-ups? A systematic literature reviews

The purpose of this study is to provide a literature review of the past literature on the use of blockchain for attaining sustainability in start-ups, covering major…

The relationship between authentic leadership and workplace loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic: the mediating role of interactional justice

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Evaluation of psychological empowerment of academics in innovative pedagogical delivery: the role of inclusive leadership and achievement orientation

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Mergers and acquisitions and environmental conditions: a systematic literature review to investigate their linkage

The purpose of this paper is to systematically examine and organize the literature that has explored the effects of several environmental conditions (ECs) on mergers and…

A multi-method bibliometric review of value co-creation research

This paper aims to examine the origins of value co-creation (VCC) knowledge streams, vis-a-vis their progression over the past 18 years. The study explores how knowledge of this…

Framework for sustainable value creation: a synthesis of fragmented sustainable business model literature

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Test of a brief scale designed to measure high-level managers’ indirect leadership

The Indirect Leadership Questionnaire (ILQ) is constructed to measure important parts of a theoretical model of indirect leadership to be used in leadership courses for high-level…

Personal characteristics of small business owners and their strategic change behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic

This study aims to present and test a model of small business owners’ adaptation during the COVID-19 pandemic, through the lenses of the resource-based view of the firm, upper…

How the interplay of social media usage and online reviews generate intention to apply for a job vacancy: an employer branding-based agenda

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Does corporate risk management lead to risk mitigation and firm performance? Evidence from Asian emerging markets

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Factors influencing the financial satisfaction of MSME owners: the mediating role of access to Islamic financing

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Looking back to predict the future: a review of empirical support for the self-fulfilling prophecy

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  • Published: 16 June 2012

Project management: Recent developments and research opportunities

  • Nicholas G. Hall 1  

Journal of Systems Science and Systems Engineering volume  21 ,  pages 129–143 ( 2012 ) Cite this article

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This paper studies the business process known as project management. This process has exhibited a remarkable growth in business interest over the last 15 years, as demonstrated by a 1000% increase in membership in the Project Management Institute since 1996. This growth is largely attributable to the emergence of many new diverse business applications that can be successfully managed as projects. The new applications for project management include IT implementations, research and development, new product and service development, corporate change management, and software development. The characteristics of modern projects are typically very different from those of traditional projects such as construction and engineering, which necessitates the development of new project management techniques. We discuss these recent practical developments. The history of project management methodology is reviewed, from CPM and PERT to the influential modern directions of critical chain project management and agile methods. We identify one important application area for future methodological change as new product and service development. A list of specific research topics within project management is discussed. The conclusions suggest the existence of significant research opportunities within project management.

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Nicholas G. Hall is Professor of Management Sciences in the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. He holds B.A., M.A. degrees in economics from the University of Cambridge, a professional qualification in accounting, and a Ph.D. (1986) from the University of California at Berkeley. His main research interests are in tactical operations issues, especially project management, scheduling and pricing, public policy and sports management problems. He is the author of over 70 refereed publications, and has given over 260 academic presentations, including 88 invited presentations in 20 countries, 6 conference keynote presentations and 6 INFORMS tutorials. A 2008 citation study ranked him 13th among 1,376 scholars in the operations management field. He is a Fellow of the Institute for Decision Making under Uncertainty of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He won the Faculty Outstanding Research Award of the Fisher College of Business in 1998 and 2005.

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Hall, N.G. Project management: Recent developments and research opportunities. J. Syst. Sci. Syst. Eng. 21 , 129–143 (2012).

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Opinion article, scoping good papers for organizations' sustainability in management and engineering research.

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  • 1 Division of Environmental Technology and Management, Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  • 2 School of Engineering and Built Environment, Cities Research Institute, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD, Australia
  • 3 Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
  • 4 Department of Engineering and Architecture, Universita' di Parma, Parma, Italy
  • 5 Department of Sustainability Studies, Faculty of Multidisciplinary Studies, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
  • 6 Division of Economics, Finance and Management, Department of Sustainable Finance and Capital Markets, University of Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland
  • 7 Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  • 8 Department of Finance and Accounting, Universitat Jaume I, Castelló de La Plana, Spain
  • 9 Business and Polytechnic School, Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, Curitiba, Brazil
  • 10 University Research Institute for Sustainability Science and Technology, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
  • 11 Faculty of Civil Engineering, Mechanics and Petrochemistry, Warsaw University of Technology, Płock, Poland
  • 12 Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Talca, Curico, Chile
  • 13 Department of Business Studies, University of Roma Tre, Rome, Italy
  • 14 Supply Chain Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany
  • 15 Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden

1. Global trends in publishing research

“Publish or perish” is a well-known aphorism in academia ( Rawat and Meena, 2014 ). However, this mantra has often led to excessive pressure to publish increasing numbers of manuscripts without commensurate care for quality ( Harvey, 2020 ; Kozlov, 2023 ). Such pressure has been associated with evaluation systems that push researchers to focus on various scientometrics indicators, such as publishing in journals of high “impact factor” and working to increase personal h-index points. It is also compounded by the publishing sector's profit-seeking enterprises that have spanned increasing the number of volumes and special issues each year, reducing reviewer and revision timeframes, and incentivizing pay-for-publishing arrangements ( Taylor, 2012 ; Larivière et al., 2015 ; Tsui and McKiernan, 2022 ).

We observe that these pressures are not generally congruent with the academic sector's desire for writing that makes a difference. In the current publishing environment, published papers may even show findings that are false, questionable or impossible to replicate ( Ioannidis, 2005 ; Gopalakrishna et al., 2022 ), including the domain of the authors of this opinion piece ( Kirchherr, 2022 ). Each author's responsibility is also raised as an issue recently calling for attention ( Biagioli, 2022 ; Tsui and McKiernan, 2022 ). In our community of practice, some publications have provided wisdom and useful guidance for high-quality research and publication (for example, Norström et al., 2020 ; Bergmann et al., 2021 ). However, specific support needs to be included in the domains of management and engineering, as well as at the intersection of the two, which is increasingly important for sustainability research (compare, e.g., a seminal paper by Whetten, 1989 in management).

As a community of editorial reviewers for Frontiers in Sustainability, this opinion piece presents our expectations for authors who would like to publish in a scientific journal about organizations' sustainability. 1

2. Specificity of research for organizations' sustainability

Research for organizations' sustainability is expected to focus on a problem defined in a real-world context and contribute to making a positive change, in a timely manner at a large scale, through improved product/service design, management, business models, economy and finance, governance, human resources, stakeholders, user behavior, leadership, technologies, culture, and operations, whilst considering impacts on materials and energy use. Changes in organizations' sustainability are highly complex ( Lozano, 2018 ) and necessitate trans-disciplinary research ( Lozano, 2006 ; Sakao and Brambila-Macias, 2018 ). Advances in theory and practice are now both regarded as essential; recall “nothing is quite so practical as a good theory” ( Van de Ven, 1989 ) and compare with the rigor-or-relevance dilemma by Schön (1983) .

3. Addressing management and engineering research needs

In conducting research related to multiple disciplines, it is important to be aware of the differences in terms of research objects and processes on top of terminologies. Considering management and engineering, as an example, a spectrum between the two is assumed to exist regarding the research reality, as illustrated in Figure 1 .

Figure 1 . Spectrum between engineering and management research (the authors' own). A frequent object for research in engineering is a physical artifact, for example, a vehicle, whereas that in management is an organization, for instance, a manufacturing enterprise. It is important to avoid setting a clear border between the two ends because modern challenges increasingly require adopting approaches from both ends. Management research, has particularly strong roots in practice ( Agarwal and Hoetker, 2007 ), though it is rich in theories ( Suddaby, 2014 ). It is often interdisciplinary ( Whitley, 1988 ; van Baalen and Karsten, 2012 ), involving a human (i.e., a practitioner) and being performed by a human (i.e., a researcher). It employs both inductive and deductive approaches. Here, the contexts of the organization are important, and thus it is unfeasible or impossible to experiment in an isolated environment such as a laboratory. This characteristic implies that a research process in management involves qualitative observation allowing researchers to be subjective in describing findings; the research is categorized as constructivism. Nonetheless, it is recommended to use a rigorously defined guideline. For instance, theory building from cases ( Eisenhardt and Graebner, 2007 ) suggests adopting four elements: what, how, why, and who/where. These features of the inductive approach contrast with traditional engineering research, which expects objective demonstration of results in quantitative terms via , for example, desktop experiments, under positivism.

4. Five principles of good papers for organizations' sustainability

We, based on Sections 2 and 3, propose that high-quality research papers for organizations' sustainability imbue all the five principles in Box 1 , regardless of the disciplines. Each of these principles is explained below, applying across the spectrum of research journeys. Acknowledging that a paper might contribute primarily to theory or practice depending on the research phase as well as the materials and methods chosen ( Seuring et al., 2021 ), this should be indicated for each paper.

Box 1. The proposed five principles.

I. Contribute to theory —Go beyond an application of a known theory to practice.

II. Make relevant to practice —Address aspects that are relevant to practice.

III. Demonstrate the significance for theory and practice —Explore issues that are material to both theory and practice.

IV. Highlight the generalizability of results —Provide explicit conclusions that are generalized even from specific cases.

V. Control the research process —Provide transparency and accountability in methods.

4.1. Contribute to theory

This principle means that novelty is highlighted—and a gap is filled—in the existing body of knowledge. A high-quality paper contributes meaningful scientific knowledge, containing a “least publishable unit” in a scientific sense. 2 As research for organizations' sustainability demands trans-disciplinary knowledge (Section 2), a good paper should be clear about its contributions to the related disciplines as addressed by Section 3 in the case of engineering and management.

We discourage papers that only apply existing, known theories to a case in practice by showing non-surprising results since this is more typical for consultancy reports and could be termed “academic reports.” Unfortunately, there has been a growing trend in the publication of such manuscripts, including papers that use a theory or framework and connect it to the results or findings with limited contribution to science. Another type discouraged is “salami-sliced” papers ( Harvey, 2020 ), where each paper fails to provide the entire impact and contribution to science.

4.2. Make relevant to practice

This principle means making sure that the paper addresses a topic of practical importance that can support the journey of organizations toward sustainability. It is, based on the specificity (Section 2), especially important to address a relevant issue to the specific problem or challenge identified by organizations. To ensure the relevance, the research needs to identify the context of an organization by describing the target users, their needs and interests, what activities or processes are addressed, how the organization is set up, and possibly other aspects: see Section 3 for the differences of degrees to consider the contexts.

We discourage papers that tackle rarely existing problems, fail to consider the characteristics inherent to the problem, or assume data availability that is and will be unrealistic.

4.3. Demonstrate the significance for theory and practice

This principle means an important issue that has substantial effects on future research and practice is addressed; that is, an issue of materiality in theory and practice, indicating the strength of expected impacts for urgent issues (Section 2). Owning the two previous principles is a prerequisite for the significance: showing scientific knowledge for a bottleneck to move the field forward makes a paper stronger. To provide a higher level of significance, more important constructs need to be chosen.

We discourage authors from focusing on issues that are understood as of little importance, even if solving them is practically relevant and fills in a knowledge gap.

4.4. Highlight the generalizability of results

This principle means that the theory is applicable to practice by a broader range of organizations with a common context, indicating the breadth of knowledge users. A higher-quality paper shows that results obtained from applying a theory to practice are generalizable beyond specific cases, and the extent of generalization is appropriately set for the topic; delimitations with the theory application are clarified together. With this type of paper, it is possible to replicate the theory application with a certain outcome in a higher number of organizations, referring to the knowledge transferability across cases; large scales in application are necessary for the sustainability issues (Section 2). Refer to Section 3 for the differences regarding the generalizability. Appropriate construct nomination is key for this principle.

We discourage papers focusing on findings from a particular case: for example, Organization A, with such a special context that other organizations, even in the same sector, cannot build upon the findings.

4.5. Control the research process

This principle means that the conducted research process, including the involved organization, sector, product/service type, functions/roles of practitioners, and research activities, is transparent, accountable, and replicable so that other researchers can follow and re-experiment it regardless of the discipline. The process control should also cover the quality of input data and results following the FAIR principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reproducibility ( Wilkinson et al., 2016 ). This principle should be combined with the previous one: particularly regarding the process of (not) generalizing findings (contributing to large scales; Section 2) must be transparent through the research process controlled and shared in a paper. Please refer to the objectivity spectrum of the research processes stated by Section 3 for more clarity.

We discourage authors from leaving ambiguity to readers concerning the research process to be replicated: for example, naming a research project in which the casework was performed is insufficient because other researchers cannot replicate the project.

4.6. A potential principle - scalability

An additional principle (i.e., potentially the sixth principle) to be mentioned is scalability , meaning that the created knowledge functions at a larger scale and is highly related to but more than the applicability. It concerns whether the application can reach a large scale (e.g., number of products, buyers, and regions) or rather stay at a niche in an organization or a sector. Scalability means expansion and is important for absolute contributions ( Hauschild et al., 2020 ). Since scalability poses more challenges than the five principles ( Forrest et al., 2020 ), it needs yet to be more common. However, it is ideal to incorporate or at least discuss scalability in a paper.

5. Discussion—Examples of applying the five principles

The applications of the five principles to different research areas 3 are exemplified here; note that the examples given here represent a tiny portion within vast areas of application in several disciplines. Ecodesign or design for sustainability may lie between engineering and management. Its contributions to theory often include two categories: specificity and novelty to traditional disciplines. An instance of specificity is that the body of knowledge for ecodesign, for example, Abele et al. (2005) , suggests additional use of life cycle assessment (LCA) in a task clarification stage that originates from traditional product design, for example, by Pahl and Beitz (1984) . An instance of a novelty proposed to product design and service design is the concept value that was necessitated for overarching the two designs along the product lifecycle in the context of product/service systems (cf. Ceschin and Gaziulusoy, 2016 ; Brissaud et al., 2022 ). As an instance of significance, a critique has often been given to a paper proposing a new ecodesign method without considering the designers' knowledge ( Brambila-Macias and Sakao, 2021 ).

The ISO environmental management system (EMS) includes contexts as one of its essential requirements ( ISO, 2015 ). ISO 14001 has incorporated management theories in the environmental dimension through successful revisions over the last 27 years (the first version was in 1996). More than 400,000 certificates issued in 175+ countries ( ISO, 2022 ) represent the relevance to practice in organizations worldwide, including effects and benefits in organizations with implemented and certified EMS assessed ex-ante (prior to implementation), ongoing, and ex-post (upon certification) ( Djekic et al., 2014 ). Such findings in industry were, in return, drivers for environmental improvements of the theoretical background and revisions of the standard, intertwining theory and practice development. Also, the generalizability of the applied theories is a prerequisite for the implementation regardless of the main activities, complexity of processes, and final products/services ( ISO, 2015 , 2022 ). In parallel, we have witnessed the introduction of environmental engineering insights in an effective EMS, such as the lifecycle perspective ( ISO, 2015 ) and environmental performance indicators and footprints ( Campos et al., 2015 ), and the promotion of other engineering activities such as cleaner production ( Oliveira et al., 2016 ); this highlights the interplays between management and engineering, which need to be addressed in practice and research.

6. Conclusions

The problems with the quality of publications for organizations' sustainability, which requires research with multiple disciplines, must be confronted. Combining research in management and engineering is essential to accelerate the transition toward organizations' sustainability. Our five principles of good papers provide a steady horizon for researchers navigating career progression within integrity during times of challenging and ethically problematic publishing protocols and incentives. They can address the full spectrum of methodological considerations as discussed. Readers are invited to criticize, apply, and build upon these principles. Employing a combination of multiple methods, such as qualitative and quantitative ones ( Creswell and Creswell, 2018 ), and cross-fertilizing an ecology of disciplines ( Brambila-Macias et al., 2018 ) may be promising.

Author contributions

TS and RL: conceptualization, writing, and editing. CD: writing and editing. ID: writing the EMS part. All authors: commenting on and editing parts of drafts. All authors have read and agreed to the last version of the manuscript.

TS was financially supported by the Mistra Resource-Efficient and Effective Solutions program, funded by Mistra (the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research) in Sweden under Grant DIA 2014/16.


Associate editors of this section that participated in the workshop at Universitat Jaume I of Castellón, Spain or online on the 4th of October 2022 are appreciated for their fruitful discussions with a draft for this manuscript. TS was thankful for the inspiring document “How to write a good STC Dn paper,” written by Tetsuo Tomiyama exclusively for STC Design of CIRP (the International Academy for Production Engineering).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Publisher's note

All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article, or claim that may be made by its manufacturer, is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

1. ^ Note that basic features expected regardless of the discipline, for example, logical flow, appropriate structure, clear presentation and good language, are outside of the scope of this paper.

2. ^ The term, least publishable unit, is often used as a synonym to a salami-sliced paper ( Buddemeier, 1981 ; Lifset, 2010 ). However, in this paper, it rather positively refers to one that contains a scientifically meaningful chunk of knowledge.

3. ^ Note that the issues here lie in research areas and scientific disciplines and not in professional functions: for example, engineering management discussed as a phase of engineering carrier ( Lannes, 2001 ) is outside the scope of this paper.

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Keywords: trans-disciplinary research, research quality, research impact, publish or perish, principle, rigor-or-relevance dilemma, deductive, inductive

Citation: Sakao T, Desha C, Djekic I, Favi C, Olayide OE, Ziolo M, Kantola J, Muñoz-Torres MJ, Tortato U, Segalas J, Urbaniec K, Santibanez-González EDR, Renzi MF, Seuring S and Lozano R (2023) Scoping good papers for organizations' sustainability in management and engineering research. Front. Sustain. 4:1148499. doi: 10.3389/frsus.2023.1148499

Received: 20 January 2023; Accepted: 20 February 2023; Published: 09 March 2023.

Reviewed by:

Copyright © 2023 Sakao, Desha, Djekic, Favi, Olayide, Ziolo, Kantola, Muñoz-Torres, Tortato, Segalas, Urbaniec, Santibanez-González, Renzi, Seuring and Lozano. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Tomohiko Sakao,

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Operations Management Research

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Find who is doing social good: using machine learning to predict corporate social responsibility performance.

  • Minghao Zhu
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An operational planning for emergency medical services considering the application of IoT

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Assessing risk and sustainability factors in spice supply chain management

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Strengthen or weaken? How industrial internet platform affects the core competitiveness of manufacturing companies

Authors (first, second and last of 4).

  • Jianing Chen
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  • Published: 27 October 2023

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Adoption of blockchain technology in supply chain operations: a comprehensive literature study analysis

  • Kaustov Chakraborty
  • Arindam Ghosh
  • Saurabh Pratap
  • Published: 16 October 2023

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