BAM’s Commitment to Responsible Research Assessment

As part of its ongoing commitment to promoting excellent and inclusive management research, the British Academy of Management (BAM) has signed the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). The commitment to DORA is in keeping with BAM’s vision to be a pluralistic, diverse and inclusive community that promotes meaningful and impactful research. In signing the declaration, BAM recognises the need to improve the ways in which contributions to business and management schools are valued and the outputs of management researchers are evaluated.

By becoming a signatory of DORA, BAM seeks to ensure more holistic assessments of management research, which can be undermined by sole reliance on journal-based metrics and rankings. In the management research community, journal rankings, citation counts and Impact Factors are sometimes used as proxy measures of research quality. Such quantitative indicators are, however, appropriate only as a complement to, and not a replacement for, expert and stakeholder evaluations of research quality and impact. 

Through its commitment to DORA, BAM seeks to promote more responsible use of metrics by supporting members in making quantitative evaluations that support - but do not supplant - qualitative, expert assessment of research on its own merits. The commitment to enact these values extends to all BAM activities, including the annual conference, events and workshops, grant schemes, awards, policy and impact work and the Academy’s peer-reviewed journals.

It is recognised, however, that BAM’s commitment to DORA requires certain discipline-specific interpretation. One example concerns DORA recommendations for publishers, which express preference for citation of primary literature over and above literature reviews.  In management research the quality of work published in review journals, such as International Journal of Management Reviews, is widely recognised as original, rigorous and significant. So, BAM’s commitment to DORA should not undermine support for review and theory-focused outputs.

BAM also recognises that there is a limited role for the use of journal rankings in informing early career researchers’ decisions about where to submit their work. However, reliance on such metrics in determining research careers, including in employment decisions, i.e. appointment, promotion and redundancy processes, should be avoided.  

In supporting DORA, BAM continues with its mission to uphold the quality of management research and the broad academic community in business and management.