About the Issue:
“I can’t breathe!” This simple, but horrific sentence uttered by George Floyd this year and by Eric Garner in 2014 in the last moments of their lives, have brought to the forefront of many people’s minds the destructive consequences of prejudice in the real world, despite a long history of racial injustice for both men and women of color (e.g., Breonna Taylor, Kayla Moore). In response to the saliency of prejudice still present in our modern world, people and organizations across the globe are speaking out. At one of our universities, for example, an official proclamation formed by the Faculty Senate states in part, “We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusivity”. Many public and private entities are now producing similar types of statements. Nevertheless, many others are rightfully skeptical about if these are just words or if action will follow. Such sentiment is echoed in the poignant protest sign “George Floyd isn’t a wake-up call, the same alarm has been sounding since 1619, y’all just keep hitting snooze” (see: https://www.instagram.com/p/CA-2HsOnOir/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet). Following the example of Emerald Publishing itself (see: https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/black-lives-matter-our-commitment and https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/power-of-diverse-voices), we at Management Decision want to go further by launching a special issue entitled, “Prejudice at Work: What We Understand and What We Still Need to Learn”, in order to encourage the development of theory and research within the broadly construed area of prejudice in and around paid work. Given that the majority of the world’s population are employed, the potential prejudice faced in and around any type of work-related setting may have profound implications for the individuals or groups that are being targeted. In the words of Radiohead: Karma police / I’ve given all I can / It’s not enough / I’ve given all I can / But we’re still on the payroll. In this special issue, therefore, we seek to take stock of the areas of work-related prejudice that many may be waking up to for the first time as well as the areas that have been progressing, and attempt to use that knowledge to provide useful interventions for practitioners of management.
Using a similar method as the COVID-19-inspired special issue (see: https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/management-crisis-viruses-earthquakes-and-tornadoes-oh-my), the main purpose of this special issue is to apply Lewin’s (1951) words, “There’s nothing so practical as good theory”, to the areas of work-related prejudice, in order to help practitioners of management use good theory to guide action by turning scientific knowledge into practical wisdom. Theory papers submitted for consideration may approach the topic of work-related prejudice in a variety of ways, such as prejudice in terms of the emotional attitudes about groups of people in and around work-related settings, stereotypes in terms of the cognitions involved, the impact of bias, or even the discriminatory behaviors that may result. The likelihood of publication will dramatically increase if the Academy of Management Review’s standards for theory development are closely followed (see Theory Building Resources at https://aom.org/research/publishing-with-aom/author-resources/submitting-to-review).
Priority will be given to manuscripts that 1) logically develop clear propositions based on past research to connect together an impactful theoretical model; and 2) integrate theory and research from related domains (e.g., psychology, sociology, political science, decision science, economics, philosophy) with research and theory from management science (for an example of a paper that fulfills both of these requirements on a different topic see: Oc & Bashshur, 2013). One final requirement of an accepted paper will be to include a concluding section that provides potential interventions based on the theory proposed for solutions to managing prejudice in real life organizations in the tradition of Lewin’s action research (see: Bargal, 2006).
A secondary purpose of this special issue is to provide a place for controlled experimental work done in the broadly construed area of prejudice in and around paid work to have an outlet. Often overlooked or impossible to implement in an organizational setting, controlled experimental research is essential to building theory in the area as cause and effect can be better determined (e.g., Brown & Lord, 1999), allowing for a generalization of theory (Mook, 1983). Those desiring to submit research using a controlled experimental design, must simulate a work-related setting for the hypotheses that are tested. Priority will be given to manuscripts that 1) logically develop clear hypotheses based on the integration of theory and research from related domains (e.g., psychology, sociology, political science, decision science, economics, philosophy) with research and theory from management science; and 2) presents two or more studies (for an example of a paper that fulfills both of these requirements see: Randolph-Seng, Cogliser, Randolph, Scandura, Miller, & Smith-Genthôs, 2016). Yet it is important to acknowledge that experiments themselves have also been used to exploit communities of color and perpetuate biases (e.g. Tuskegee syphilis studies). Thus, we encourage scholars to carefully consider the ethical ramifications of their study designs (see https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/belmont-report/read-the-belmont-report/index.html).
William Cullen Bryant once said, “Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again.” Given the misconceptions and distorted perceptions that often lie beneath human prejudice, it is our hope that this special issue will bring to light well informed knowledge in order to provide valuable direction to management practitioners and scientist in the increasing diverse world we all live in.
Submission deadline: March 15th, 2021
Submissions to the special issue should be sent electronically through the “Management Decision” ScholarOne System. Manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with the author guidelines given in the website of the journal “Management Decision”: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/md
When submitting, please be sure to select the correct special issue title from the drop-down menu.
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