Q&A: Business professor named editor of scholarly journal

Q&A: Business professor named editor of scholarly journal

Editor’s note: This story was revised for accuracy on Sept. 18 at 12:53 p.m.

Garry Bruton, a management professor in the Neeley School of Business and academic coordinator of the Neeley Entrepreneurship Program, has become the editor of the Academy of Management Perspectives, a scholarly journal for a prestigious professional association in the management field.

The Academy of Management is a professional association for management professors and has more than 20,000 members, Bruton said. The Academy publishes four different journals, including Perspectives, which is printed quarterly.

Bruton, who specializes in strategic management in international business, earned an MBA from George Washington University and a doctorate from Oklahoma State University.

Q: What is the Academy of Management Perspectives about?

A: Perspectives is supposed to be the debates that happen in the Academy. They’re peer-reviewed articles, but they’re a little different academic style. It’s basically looking for controversies or things that need to be discussed that don’t find a home in other places.

Q: Who is the journal’s target audience?

A: It goes to all 20,000 members of the Academy. You’d also use these articles perhaps in an (Executive MBA) class. The articles would not be targeted for undergraduates for sure, but some of the articles can be used in an EMBA class as you debate these issues.

Q: When were you notified of your editing position?

A: It’s been over a year. I actually started looking at manuscripts in July 2008. I officially took over in January 2009, and I will do it for three years.

Q: Were there other individuals applying for the position?

A: Yes. It’s selected by our board. The Academy of Management has a board because, in the management discipline, we’re probably the largest association. You have a board, you apply and then they select. It’s an international association. These are 20,000 people from all over the world.

Q: What happens after your three years are over?

A: Somebody else takes over. It’s one term. That’s healthy. The journal needs to have different people involved.

Q: Do you have past experience with the journal?

A: I was an associate editor, and then I was on the review board. I’ve been involved with it for maybe 15 years. I’m getting old.

Q: What is the amount of time involved with the journal, and how can you balance that with your position at TCU?

A: It takes a lot of time. I don’t know how much, but you get lots of articles, and you read lots of articles, and you reject lots of articles, and you edit articles. Professors’ jobs are, I think, really, to be researchers. Teaching should be just bringing what we study to the classroom. It’s my job. If you’re just repeating stuff that somebody else has written in a book, you really don’t bring much value to anything. Books are just sort of formats, but they’re already out of date by the time they’re published. Business changes too fast, so you’ve got to be looking at the current stuff.

Q: How can you benefit as a professor from this editor position?

A: It’s basically the cutting-edge debates. The people I deal with are the leading experts in the world. You learn a lot. It’s dealing with the people who are forming the theory; they’re forming our discipline, what we understand, what we teach and what we think.

Q: Is there a specific area where you specialize within the journal?

A: No, it publishes everything from the management discipline. In a tier-one journal like this, we probably publish about 5 to 8 percent of the articles that are submitted. Just because somebody writes something doesn’t mean it gets published here. It goes through a peer review, and you pick it for the creativity, what it has to say, and the support they have. These will be typewritten 35-40 page articles. That’s the reason our audience is not practitioners and it’s not students. It’s other people that do what I do.

Q: How do you originally get involved with the Academy of Management Perspectives?

A: Generally, academic journals ask people that are leaders in the field to serve on an editorial board. Generally, you write, you publish enough, then somebody asks you initially to do reviews. Then you do reviews, then at some stage somebody asks you to join the board. Then, ultimately, if you want to keep doing things, you get more and more involved with it.

Q: After your three years, will you still be an associate editor?

A: After three years, I’m done. I’ll go do something else. I sit on five other editorial boards. I’m what they call a senior editor in another journal. I do lots of editorial work. I don’t know that I’ll do this role again, but I like it. It’s been a great way to service the profession.