**Apologies for cross-posting**

*Management Decision is inviting contributions of 4,000 - 6,000 words by
July 26, 2014 for consideration in a special issue on *The state of art in
Management: Theory and practices.

*Guest Editors: **Professor Sang M. Lee (University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
USA), Professor Alicia Mas-Tur (European University, Spain) and Professor
Helena Knorr (Point Park University, USA).*


The topic of this special issue is the analysis of management theory and
practices. Each management theory is a lens that allows us to interpret one
or other mode of management, to identify a particular set of problems and
to seek a variety of solutions to those problems. Hence, the importance of
a critical review of those theories and the analysis of the resulting
practices from each of them. Management practices in different economic
sectors and in varying types businesses depend on the theories that are
applied either explicitly or implicitly.

Schools of thought, either from sociology or economy, that make up the
field of management, particularly the theories or approaches that gained
acceptance during the second half of the 20th century and the first few
years of the 21st, have undergone both the consolidation and application of
their most relevant contributions and the criticism of some of the aspects
of their implications or even their fundamental proposals. In this respect,
the existence of discrepancies of:

   - A metatheoretical nature that are not explicit in the theory might be
   suggested (determinism vs. enactment)
   - Basic disagreement on behavioural theory (opportunism vs. trust)
   - Different ontological arguments (transaction as opposed to technology)
   - Different methodologies (anthropological or ethnographical as opposed
   to positive or functionalist)
   - Different theoretical frameworks (sociology vs. the economy of
   - Different schools of thought within each theoretical framework
   (contingency vs. population ecology or transaction vs. agency)
   - Important differences in methodology and concepts when we compare
   approaches from different theoretical areas (communities of practice vs.
   the agency theory)

All of which leads to an essential attempt to criticize and refine current
theories, which will, in turn, have repercussions for management practice
and for levels of effectiveness and efficiency in organizations. The more
consolidated and recent developments and modifications and the appearance
of new theory in management practices are the result of the incomplete
nature of existing theories and of their limitations in explaining real
phenomena, as well as being the consequence of technical and social changes
brought about by human activity and the intellectual capacity for applying
new interpretations and developments. In this sense, this special issue
provides authors with the chance to criticize, to analyze ontological
and/or methodological differences between the various theories, share
criticism aimed at defining and refining these theories, contributions that
propose a mixture of different schools of thought or criticism related to
discrepancies between theory and practice.

The way in which more recent approaches are interwoven with previous
theories and practices shows how the need to understand reality and
establish efficient practices leads to continuity between a critical review
of existing theory and the construction of new approaches and
groundbreaking practices.

Although the list is not exhaustive, the authors-topics for contributions
within this framework include comment and criticism about:

   - Oliver E. Williamson, as the author of the modern theory of
   transaction costs.
   - Michael C. Jensen, as the most renowned author of the agency theory
   applied to organizations.
   - Sydney G. Winter, as the most representative author of the theory of
   organizational routines, which in his most recent contributions he relates
   to capabilities, knowledge and dynamic capabilities.
   - Lex Donaldson, as the most prestigious contributor to structural
   contingent theory, within which he still champions the determinist vision
   of this theory.
   - Karl E. Weick, as the fundamental author on the theory of cognitive
   management, which led to the study of practice communities.
   - Michael T. Hannan, as one of the main authorities on the ecology of
   populations. Critics of this theory should consider the contributions,
   debates and criticisms that have already surrounded this theory at
   different times.
   - Jeffrey Pfeffer, as the main author of the theory of resource
   dependence: one of the richest theories from within the social model of
   - Michael Porter, as the best known author on the theory of the
   formulation of strategy and a principal author in the strategic field.
   - Gerry Johnson, as the main representative of the activity based view.
   - Henry Mintzberg, as the main representative of the configurational
   strategic approach, and/or business policies related to strategy.
   - Jay B. Barney, as one of the most important contributors to the theory
   of resources and capabilities.
   - Mark A. Huselid, as a renowned author in the field of human resource
   - Ikujiro Nonaka, as one of the most important authors on knowledge
   management and innovation. One of the biggest criticisms aimed at this
   approach lies in its ontological distinction between tacit and explicit
   - Nick Bontis, as one of the main exponents of the intellectual capital
   approach within the framework of knowledge management.
   - Haridimos Tsoukas, in the business policies related to knowledge

We are also open to interesting and imaginative ideas that do not fit
neatly within any of the above topics but that do fit within the spirit and
intent of this call for papers.


The goal of this special issue is to offer the opportunity for criticism
and debate on the spectrum of management theories with the aim of refining
current theories and thus improving management practices and organizational

To achieve this objective, we encourage different researchers to carry out
a critical review of some of the theories that appear in the topics
described above, among other notions. These critiques, in their most
constructive form, may refer to as yet unexploited developments and
possibilities concerning the thoughts of a particular author and their

To be considered for publication in this special issue, *manuscripts must
be received by July 26, 2014.*

Papers submitted will be subject to a minimum double-blind peer review
process to ensure that this special issue maintains the excellent
reputation and record of *Management Decision*.  The journal website is
located at: Please read through the
author guidelines on this site before submitting your paper.
Submissions to *Management
Decision* are made using ScholarOne's Manuscript Central, full instructions are on the author
guidelines site. As a guide, articles should be between *4,000 *and
*6,000*words in length. A title of not more than twelve words should
be provided.

Queries should be submitted directly to the Guest Editors, Sang M. Lee
(University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA), Alicia Mas-Tur (European University,
Spain, [log in to unmask]) and Helena Knorr (Point Park University).

Thank you for your time.

Sang M. Lee, Alicia Mas-Tur, Helena Knorr

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