Editorial Aims and Scope

Editorial Aims

The Strategic Management Review (SMR) publishes ideas that matter for strategic management research. Specifically, the SMR features provocative essays and forward-looking reviews to guide the questions tackled by research in the field. The journal also aims to promote integration of strategic management research by encouraging research closely connected with the field’s canonical problems as defined by management practice. The SMR complements existing strategic management outlets that emphasize empirical research.

The strategic management field focuses on questions addressing competitive and corporate strategy. Competitive strategy concerns how firms gain and sustain a competitive advantage. Corporate strategy concerns the management of the multi-business firm and its associated boundary-of-the-firm choices in product, factor, and geographic markets (e.g., market entry and exit, restructuring, acquisitions, partnerships, foreign direct investment, outsourcing, etc.). These questions have been distilled into four fundamental issues of strategy: (1) How do firms behave? (2) Why are firms different? (3) What is the function of, or value added by, headquarters? and (4) What determines success or failure in international competition? For these topics, strategic management places emphasis on how management matters, and how managers make and affect strategic decisions.

As a consequence, the strategic management field has long been interested in the decisions made by general managers. Managers craft and execute upon four components of strategy within a coherent economic logic: (1) Arenas – in which markets will the firm be active (e.g., product markets and countries)? (2) Vehicles – how will the firm get there (e.g., through exports, licensing, wholly-owned plants, joint ventures, etc.)? (3) Differentiators – how will the firm win versus close rivals? and (4) Staging – what will be the pacing and sequencing of commitments? More generally, research in the field addresses how organizations can create and capture value through their actions in markets and resource allocation decisions.

Scholarly interest in strategic management has burgeoned in the past few decades. This growth has led to specialization in research activities and a substantial literature covering an increasingly diverse set of topics. While growing breadth and specialization are indicators of research progress, they also require continually striving to elevate research by connecting all areas of strategic management research with the core research questions of the field and with the current challenges and decisions facing general managers and their advisers.

The Strategic Management Review (SMR) provides a forum to integrate insights from multiple disciplines to improve our understanding of the distinctive contributions of strategic management. For example, contributions will offer insights on the field’s canonical problems and frontiers, the tradeoffs that senior executives face in their decision-making (e.g., when to compete versus collaborate, when to invest in a committed versus more flexible fashion, etc.), and the defining characteristics of strategic decisions (e.g., irreversible investment subject to uncertainty, rivalry, and interdependent organizational activities).

The SMR is an academic outlet whose intended audience is scholars. The journal also takes seriously the input of practitioners to shape strategy scholarship through practitioners’ involvement in the SMR’s Business Practice Advisory Board as well as through mini conferences and commentaries and exchanges that can influence strategic management research.

The SMR aims to promote insights on core questions in the strategic management field through impactful essays. These essays can take many forms, including (a) essays on the theoretical foundations of strategic management and the theoretical perspectives emanating from the field, (b) scholarly exchanges, (c) thought pieces dealing with managerial practice or public policy, (d) methodological primers on advances relevant for strategic management research, (e) state-of-the-art reviews or research retrospectives, and (f) forward-looking literature critiques.

Editorial Scope

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following areas of strategic management research. Each of these topics can be potentially connected to the fundamental issues in strategic management, the tensions underlying strategic decisions, and the unique characteristics of strategic decisions:

  • Behavioral strategy
  • Competitive strategy
  • Collaborative strategy
  • Corporate strategy
  • Entrepreneurship and strategy
  • International strategy
  • Knowledge, innovation, and technology
  • Micro-foundations of strategy
  • Stakeholder strategy
  • Leadership and governance
  • Organization and strategy
  • Strategy process
  • Strategic decision-making
  • Research methodology in strategic management

Empirical articles or other pieces of original research that could be published in traditional strategy and management outlets fall outside of the scope of the SMR. An aim of the SMR is to complement those outlets by focusing on developing and curating thought-provoking essays. The SMR will facilitate integration of strategy research by embracing contributions from multiple disciplinary perspectives and by fostering input from managerial practice to academic research.