Editorial, management, research


I am delighted to be invited to contribute this Editorial comment for the Journal of Management & Administration to consider contemporary opportunities and challenges to progress our managerial research in 2024. Looking back at some critical themes influencing this field, the impact of the COVID pandemic has had an enormous impact on our work. In his editorial for the journal in 2021, Muhammad Hoque remarked how COVID had changed our personal and research practices causing us to reflect upon old priorities and develop new ways of working. The pandemic has brought about the greatest disaster, with the most catastrophic effect on individuals, communities and nations since the global influenza outbreak in 1918–1920, which killed more people than the First World War. But we are a research community, so our role is to reflect upon and learn from such an event and see what lessons we can take forward. This much is apparent from the outpouring of research in every field—from medicine to management—analysing and evaluating the impact of, and changes related to, how COVID has rearranged ‘normality’. Exploring the impact of this upon firm performance, individual well-being, local economies et cetera has informed a multitude of research activity in many fields. And indeed, that trend is reflected in this journal by Nzimande et al. (2023) and Elkington & Ruttenberg-Rosen (2023), who focus on the residual effects of COVID upon academic staff retention and higher education leadership respectively.
Another critical theme which must be addressed by the managerial research community is that of AI – this is already changing how organisations operate and how they gather information; it is replacing labour, acting as a surveillance tool and some claim, will soon have the capacity to take over economies rendering many established organisational practices and strategies redundant as AI homogenises thought and action (Nohumba et al., 2023). Theories of management analytics, the gathering and application of big data, the ethics of such manipulation will be central to our research activities. Of course, the opportunities offered by AI are enormous but what kind of research do we need to critically evaluate the potential damage and benefits of such technological advances? As a community of management researchers we have a responsibility to generate meaningful evidence to join this debate.

To cite: Marlow, S. (2023). Editorial. Journal of Management & Administration 17, i–iii.
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10944056

Prof. Susan Marlow