Journal of Management Education Special Issue – Call for Papers – MANAGEMENT EDUCATION IN TURBULENT TIMES

Journal of Management Education

Guest Editors
Lisa Anderson, University of Liverpool (email:
Katy Mason, Lancaster University (email:
Paul Hibbert, University of St Andrews (email:
Christine Rivers, University of Surrey (email:
Knowledge and Learning Special Interest Group, British Academy of Management

We face a period of considerable economic turbulence and political uncertainty: political movements are producing extreme candidates who are nevertheless popular; international alliances and trading blocs are beginning to fracture; instability and civil war in the Middle East seems insoluble; and the growth engines of developing economies have begun to show signs of stuttering. Our key question is simple: as educators, what should we be doing, and helping future managers learn how to do, to deal with turbulent times?

Addressing these issues requires an openness to non-traditional approaches, and for that reason this Call is deliberately broad. There may be many approaches that are useful for addressing these challenges in management education. We highlight three (amongst many others) here.

Using management theories to characterize and understand the nature of turbulence

Recent research approaches to characterizing and addressing turbulence include work that is focused on industry turbulence and contingency theory (Karim, Carroll & Long, 2016), environmental uncertainty and responses to it, based on resource dependency (Bogers, Boyd & Hollensen, 2015), and exploration of how inter- and intra-organizational networks provide resilience and a basis for organizational innovation in crisis circumstances (Lundberg, Andresen & Törnroos, 2016). There are opportunities for taking up these kinds of recent research in the classroom as part of conventional management education classes.

Developing new curricula, content and educational processes to fit the changing times

Management educators have already given some thought to the content and processes, in and out of the classroom, that are appropriate for changing times. Interesting recent examples include re-examination of the case method and the legitimacy of business schools (Bridgman, Cummings & Mc Laughlin; 2016), integrating sustainability issues and study abroad experiences in the curriculum in order to develop globally aware, responsible managers (Pesonen, 2003; Sroufe, Sivasubramaniam, Ramos & Saiia, 2015; Viswanathan, 2012), developing management classes around emerging educational approaches such as threshold concepts (Burch, Burch, Bradley & Heller, 2014; Wright & Gilmore, 2012; Yip & Raelin, 2012), and employing critical approaches that challenge the status quo (Kark, Preser & Zion-Waldoks, 2016). Future developments in educational processes, content, and curricula that respond to the pressures and uncertainties of turbulence might build on some of these existing approaches or take quite new directions.

Developing adaptive, reflexive approaches to support personal resilience and flexibility

There may be a need for both students and educators to develop resilience in turbulent times, but resilience can take many forms. Practically, organizational and personal resilience are argued to be related, and rely on ‘soft skills’ as well as adequate resources to enable change (Richtne?r & Lo?fsten, 2014). However, there needs to be some concern for how this feeds into moral decision making if our responses to turbulence are not to involve a ‘race to the bottom’. Ethical resilience builds on critically reflexive understandings of the existential, relational and moral character of leadership and management (Cunliffe, 2004; 2016), so that one is aware of the need to change while remaining aware of the consequences and effects of change on others. Focusing these insights more clearly on management education may require developments of critical pedagogies and multidisciplinary approaches, especially if we expect students to be adaptive and creative in the face of complex challenges and, perhaps, also agents of positive social change (Dehler, 2009; Welsh & Dehler, 2013). There is considerable scope for new work in this area.

Emerging questions

Contributors might build on earlier work of the kind illustrated above, or take a new and innovative approach. Possible questions to address include:

  • What kinds of (emerging) theories better describe or predict the effects of turbulence – and how can we teach them effectively?
  • How should the content of our classes continue to change? Are there useful cases, exercises and simulations that that address turbulence and its effects on management and organizations? How should these best be used?
  • How should we educate managers to be able to adapt themselves and their organizations in turbulent times?
  • What kinds of leadership education are important, in what may feel like a ‘post fact’ climate that disconnects evidence and influence?
  • How do we support ethical, responsible management education in the face of extreme circumstances and pressures that could trigger a race to the bottom?
  • As management educators, how can we ourselves thrive and survive in such difficult times?

These questions are just examples, so authors should not feel constrained by them. Addressing turbulence is likely to benefit from thoughtful, high quality contributions from many perspectives and of many kinds. Accordingly, we seek submissions across all of the Journal of Management Education’s five sections: research articles, theoretical and conceptual articles, essays, instructional innovations, and instructional change in context. Submissions should be original, not submitted to or published in any other outlets, and fit the length and other requirements specified on the journal website. Please follow the JME submission guidelines available online

Your manuscript may be submitted online via the SageTrack system

Prospective authors and potential reviewers are invited to contact any of the editors about this special issue. The submission deadline is 15 May 2017, but earlier submissions would be welcome from 1 March 2017 onwards.

Bogers, M., Boyd, B. & Hollensen, S. 2015. Managing turbeulence: business model development in a family owned airline. California Management Review, 58(1): 41-64.
Bridgman, T., Cummings, S. & Mc Laughlin, C. 2016. Re-stating the case: How revisiting the development of the case method can help us think differently about the future of the business school. Academy of Management Learning and Education, online early, doi: 10.5465/amle.2015.0291
Burch, G., Burch, J., Bradley, T. & Heller, A. 2014. Identifying and overcoming threshold concepts and conceptions: introducing a conception-focused curriculum to course design. Journal of Management Education, 39(4): 476-496.
Cunliffe, A.L. 2004. On becoming a critically reflexive practitioner. Journal of Management Education, 28(4): 407-426.
Cunliffe, A.L. 2016. “On becoming a critically reflexive practitioner” redux: what does it mean to be reflexive? Journal of Management Education, online early, doi: 10.1177/1052562916668919
Dehler, G. 2009. Prospects and possibilities of critical management education: critical beings and a pedagogy of critical action. Management Learning, 40(1) 31-49.
Karim, S., Carroll, T. & Long, C. 2016. Delaying change: examining how industry and managerial turbulence impact structural realignment. Academy of Management Journal, 59(3): 791-817.
Kark, R., Preser, R. & Zion-Waldoks, T. 2016. From a politics of dilemmas to a politics of paradoxes: feminism, pedagogy, and women’s leadership for social change. Journal of Management Education, 40(3): 293-320.
Lundberg, H., Andresen, E. & Törnroos, J-Å. 2016. Understanding network emergence after turbulent industrial relocation: a Swedish biorefinery initiative.European Management Journal, 34(5): 475-483.
Pesonen, H-L. 2003. Challenges of integrating environmental sustainability issues into business school curriculum: a case study from the university of Jyväskylä, Finland. Journal of Management Education, 27(2): 158-171.
Richtne?r A. & Lo?fsten, H. 2014. Managing in turbulence: how the capacity for resilience influences creativity. R&D Management, 44(2): 137-151.
Sroufe, R., Sivasubramaniam, N., Ramos, D. & Saiia, D. 2015. Aligning the PRME: how study abroad nurtures responsible leadership. Journal of Management Education, 39(2): 244-275.
Viswanathan, M. 2003. Curricular innovations on sustainability and subsistence marketplaces: philosophical, substantive, and methodological orientations.Journal of Management Education, 27(2): 158-171.
Welsh, A. & Dehler, G. 2013. Combining critical reflection and design thinking to develop integrative learners. Journal of Management Education, 37(6): 771-802. 4
Wright, A.L. & Gilmore, A. (2012). Threshold Concepts and Conceptions: Student Learning in Introductory Management Courses. Journal of Management Education, 36(5), 614-635.
Yip, J. & Raelin, J. (2012). Threshold concepts and modalities for teaching leadership practice. Management Learning, 43(3), 333-354.