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Frequently Asked Questions

Authors: Questions about Submitting Your Work to AMR
Reviewing: Questions about Reviewing for AMR
Other Questions about AMR

Authors: Questions about Submitting Your Work to AMR

How do I know if my manuscript makes a theoretical contribution?

There are many different ways to make a theoretical contribution. We've posted some readings on writing theory that may be helpful on our website: Theory Building Resources. It's also a good idea to get "friendly reviews" from colleagues before submitting your manuscript to the journal. Make sure you ask your friendly reviewers to be critical, and then take their feedback to heart!


Does AMR publish literature reviews or case studies?

No, AMR does not publish literature reviews, case studies or manuscripts with empirical data. We are looking for papers that make a theoretical contribution by offering new theory, challenging existing theory or providing important insights about the process of theorizing and theory development. For a more detailed description of our publishing guidelines, please visit Information for Contributors.


Does AMR publish formal models and simulations?

The Academy of Management Review (AMR) is interested in papers that make important contributions to management theory using a variety of theory development tools, including formal models and/or simulation techniques. The criteria for evaluating the publication of formal model/simulation papers is exactly the same as the criteria for evaluating all papers submitted to AMR: Do these papers make an important contribution to management theory (either by significantly extending current theory or developing new theory) and are they accessible to a broad scholarly management audience? No other attributes of a paper can substitute for making a theoretical contribution that is widely accessible to management scholars.

The application of these two criteria (contribution to management theory and broad accessibility) have a variety of implications for those looking to publish formal model and/or simulation papers in AMR. For example, with regard to contribution to management theory:

  • Papers that simply formalize existing theories will generally not make a sufficient contribution to management theory to warrant publication. In this sense, while the transparency and precision that are created by more analytical approaches to theory building are important virtues, they will typically not be sufficient—by themselves—to justify publication in AMR.
  • Papers whose primary purpose is to make a contribution to formal modelling or simulation techniques, per se, will typically not be publishable in AMR. Such papers are certainly worthy of consideration elsewhere, but are unlikely to make significant contributions to management theory.
  • Papers that briefly explore many theoretical implications of a particular model or simulation are less likely to make a contribution to management theory than papers that deeply explore a few central implications of that model or simulation. These papers need to focus on how insights derived from a model or simulation change current thinking in management theory, not on the number of propositions that can be derived from these models.

With respect to accessibility to a broad scholarly management audience, the goal in writing these papers is that those who read them will need only a passing familiarity with the modeling techniques they apply and will still be able to understand what the models are doing, and their implications for management theory. This suggests:

  • Propositions derived from a model or simulations in a paper need to be stated using normal language, not mathematical language.
  • Implications of any propositions derived from formal models and/or simulations for current conversations in management theory need to be clearly discussed. That a proposition can be derived from a model or simulations is, in and of itself, not proof that this proposition is insightful or potentially influential.
  • Complex calculations and theorem proofs will typically be included as an appendix in these papers, rather than in their body.

 Does my paper need propositions and figures with boxes and arrows?

Figures, tables, and propositions can be helpful tools, but we don't require that you include them in your manuscript. Some papers benefit from them, but others don't. It all depends on your paper. Confusing figures, tables and propositions can be a distraction, so if you use these tools make sure they are clear and that they help your readers understand your ideas.


How do I know if my paper "fits" with AMR?

In general, the best way to see if your paper fits a journal is to read the journal. Reading current issues of the journal gives you an idea of the types of papers that are published and the way they are structured. Some of our "From the Editor" essays offer helpful tips on publishing in AMR and how to structure your manuscript. You can access these essays through our website at From the Editor Essays on Writing Theory. If you are still in doubt, don't hesitate to ask the editor!



What are the page limits for submissions? How do I format my submission correctly?

As a general guide, your paper should be about 25–30 double-spaced pages, excluding references, tables, and figures. We understand how difficult it is to present complex ideas clearly and concisely, and we do take the contribution-to-length ratio into consideration. However, please keep in mind that reviewers (and readers) will quickly lose interest in long, rambling, or unnecessarily dense papers that are not accessible to the reader.

Please make sure to format your paper using the AMR guidelines, which can be accessed through our website at: Information for Contributors.


What is the review process at AMR? Are submissions blind reviewed? When will I hear back about my submission?

AMR uses a "double blind" peer review process. This means that authors do not know the identity of the reviewers and reviewers do not know the identity of the authors. Here's how it works: the editor first reviews your paper and, if it is suitable for the journal, assigns it to an associate editor. The associate editor then invites reviewers based on their expertise. Some reviewers are members of the editorial board, while others may come from our database of ad hoc reviewers. We usually get three reviewers for each manuscript, and we ask them to return their reviews within 30 days. After getting the reviews, the associate editor makes the decision about whether to invite a revision or reject the manuscript.

Our goal is to get you a decision within 60 days, but sometimes reviewers need a bit more time to complete their reviews. You can follow the progress of your paper by logging on to Scholar One and checking the status of your paper through the "Author Center" portal: Manuscript Central.

Please also note that the review process takes a bit longer for Special Topic Forums (STF). Even if you submit your paper early, it will not be sent out for review until after the submission window for the STF closes. We also have a bit less flexibility in granting authors extensions on revisions for STF manuscripts, given the tight deadlines for special issues.

If you have any questions about your manuscript, feel free to contact the associate editor assigned to your paper or the managing editor at AMR:


Do I need to include a cover letter with my submission? Can I request reviewers and/or an associate editor?

Cover letters are entirely optional. You can request reviewers and associate editors in your cover letter, but please keep in mind that we cannot always honor your requests. We try to keep workloads manageable by asking reviewers to review only one manuscript at a time. So if the reviewer or board member you request already has an assignment, he or she will not be available to review your paper.


Can I submit a paper to AMR that has been reviewed and rejected as a regular submission or by a Special Topic Forum?

No, unfortunately, we can't allow authors to submit previously reviewed and rejected papers.

Sometimes authors will take a gem of an idea from their rejected manuscript and develop it into an entirely new paper. In this case, we could consider the paper as a new submission if the authors can demonstrate that the paper involves a different theoretical framing and addresses a substantially different theoretical issue or question than the rejected paper.


What are the reasons for a desk reject?

The most common reason is that the paper doesn't fit with the mission of the journal. Manuscripts may be desk rejected because they don't offer new theories or theoretical perspectives, are literature reviews, contain empirical data, fall outside the field of management, are descriptive editorials, or are aimed at practitioner audiences. In some cases the manuscript is on the right track but is theoretically underdeveloped. In such cases, the editor may send the paper back to the authors with the hope that they can address this problem. Authors are able to resubmit these types of desk-rejected manuscripts because their papers have not gone through the peer review process.


What do you look for in Dialogues, and how do I submit one?

Dialogues are short commentaries on recently published AMR articles. Dialogues are not just opinions or editorials: they need to make a substantive contribution in moving the field forward. Dialogues should do more than just identify assumptions or shortcomings in an article; they should take the next step in offering constructive ways to address the limitations. They also need to be constructive in tone and written in ways that are accessible to the average AMR reader. Our readers should be able to understand the debate or issues raised in the dialogue without having to be an expert in the field. Guidelines and information about submitting dialogues can be found at Information for Contributors.


Reviewing for the Journal

How do I become a reviewer for AMR?

Reviewers are selected based on their expertise, so building your publication record is the best way to be selected as a reviewer. However, you can also be proactive by reaching out to editors and letting them know that you want to review for the journal. This can be helpful, as we're not always aware of new work published by early career scholars or papers that are in-press at other journals.

Once you get our invitation to review, make sure that you promptly accept the invitation and follow through by submitting a high quality review on time. We will not invite you to review again if you have a track record of declining reviews or submitting late or low-quality reviews.

For more information on reviewing guidelines and expectations, please see our website: Reviewer Resources. We've also published "From the Editor" essays that offer practical guidance on reviewing. Gary Ballinger and Russell Johnson's essay, "Your First AMR Review" (July 2015), offers concrete advice for first-time reviewers and shows the rating scale used to evaluate reviews. Belle Rose Ragins's essay, "Developing Our Authors" (January 2015), describes what developmental reviewing is (and isn't) and offers practical tips on how to write developmental reviews. These essays, as well as others, can be accessed through our website at Reviewer Resources or through your library.

Source: Ballinger, G.A. & Johnson, R.E. 2015. Editors' comments: Your first AMR review. Academy of Management Review, 40: 315–322.

Source: Ragins, B.R. 2015. Editors' comments: Developing our authors. Academy of Management Review, 40: 1–8.


How do I get on the journal's Editorial Review Board?

The editorial review board is selected based on a number of considerations (e.g., areas of expertise, background, nationality, diversity, and theoretical orientations). We invite members to join the board who not only are premier scholars in the field, but who also demonstrate their commitment to reviewing through their solid track record of providing timely, high quality, and developmental reviews.


Are my reviews evaluated?

Yes, absolutely. Associate editors evaluate every review. The rating scale used in these evaluations is reprinted in Gary Ballinger and Russell Johnson's 2015 essay on how to be an AMR reviewer (see page 320). Their essay can be accessed through our website at Reviewer Resources or through your library.

Source: Ballinger, G.A. & Johnson, R.E. 2015. Editors' comments: Your first AMR review. Academy of Management Review, 40: 315–322.


What do you mean by developmental reviewing?

There are many misconceptions about developmental reviewing. Developmental reviewing does not mean saying only nice things about a paper or ignoring its flaws. Developmental reviews identify issues with the paper, but they also help authors take their work to the next level by offering ways to address these issues.

One way to be a developmental reviewer is to imagine a face-to-face conversation with the author. Picture the author as a colleague who asked you to review her paper. You'd point out her paper's shortcomings, but you would also take the next step in offering ideas for how she could address them. You would try to find the hidden gems in the paper. You would listen to her and try to understand her perspective, even if it's different from your own. You'd ask questions that would help her articulate and clarify her thinking and assumptions.

Developmental reviewing uses a different mindset that focuses not just on the work, but also on the author. What are the authors trying to say? What's keeping them from realizing the potential of their ideas? Developmental reviewing not only helps authors realize the potential of their current paper but also builds their capacity for future work. This raises the level of scholarship for AMR and the field.

For more information on developmental reviewing, please visit Reviewer Resources, which has video interviews of award-winning reviewers discussing their approaches to developmental reviewing and links to editorial essays on how to write a developmental review.

Source: Ragins, B.R. 2015. Editors' comments: Developing our authors. Academy of Management Review, 40: 1–8.


How long should my review be? Any other tips for reviewing?

Generally we look for 1–2 pages, but some reviews need to be longer. While we don't want to overwhelm the author, it's also important that the author understand your points and rationale. Authors also appreciate it when you refer them to other work in the field that may be useful.

While authors appreciate positive support, it's important to make sure that your review identifies important limitations in the manuscript. In fact, authors may be confused if you say only positive things in your review, yet recommend rejection to the editor. We hope that your review will be developmental in identifying weaknesses, but also offering authors constructive ideas for how to address these weaknesses as they continue their work on this paper.

Reviewers have the ability to make confidential comments that are seen by the editor but not the author. These candid comments can be helpful and we encourage you to use this option when you submit your review.

Other tips for reviewing can be found on our website: Reviewer Resources.


What if I can't make the deadline for turning in my review?

We understand that life happens. Please reach out to your associate editor as soon as you can. If you can't do the review, your editor will need to find a replacement, which will delay the review process. Please remember that many of our authors are assistant professors and doctoral students, and that delayed reviews can affect their job searches, promotions, and careers.


Can I have my student write my review?

No, your review should be written by you. Do not have your students write your reviews for AMR. Our authors expect, and deserve, high quality reviews from the leading scholars in the field. We understand that doctoral students need to learn how to write reviews, but there are other methods that can be used. For example, you could share your own manuscripts and the reviews you received as an author with your students to facilitate their learning.


Should I accept a review if I know the identity of the author?

We need to preserve the blind peer review process. If you are certain of an author's identity, please contact your associate editor right away so we can electronically withdraw your invitation to review the manuscript, this way, you won't get a "decline" on your reviewing record. Sometimes reviewers discover the author's identity later in the review process, perhaps after the author presented his or her work at a conference. In this case, please contact your associate editor right away.


Can I share my review or the manuscript with other people?

Do not share the manuscript or your review with anyone other than the associate editor. Authors submit their manuscripts with the understanding that they will be held in confidence and that only the editor and reviewers will see their work.  For more guidance, please see Sections 2 and 4 of the AOM Code of Ethics: Code of Ethics.


General Questions about the Journal

What is the journal's impact factor?

The journal is ranked among the top five most influential journals in the fields of business and management. The most recent impact factor and rankings can be found at: Academy of Management Review.


When doing research project and need a particular article, how do I get access to the journal?

As a benefit of membership, all Academy of Management (AOM) members have free access to the contents of AMR, as well as the other AOM journals. To learn more about the benefits of being AOM member, please visit: Benefits and Services. If you are not an AOM member, you can purchase articles at You may also be able to access AMR through your university library.


How do I get permission to reprint a figure or parts of an article?

For all permission-related questions, please visit: Reprints and Permission.


How do I subscribe to AMR?

Please visit: Subscription Rates.


What is the journal's publication schedule?

The journal is published quarterly: January, April, July, and October.


Can I make copies of my AMR article for my class?

For detailed information on reprints and permissions, please see: Reprints and Permissions.


Is there a submission fee for the journal?

AMR does not have a submission fee.


What is the journal's Open Access Policy?

At this time the Academy of Management does not have an Open Access Policy.


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