IFSAM General Assembly’s position statement on management research

IFSAM is proud to release the first positioning statement from our General Assembly. This draws on the discussions at our recent webinar series to provide a synthesis of the current situation in relation to the evaluation of management research and to suggest a way forward.



June 2, 2021


In December 2020, the Financial Times (FT) launched a survey soliciting feedback from individual academics and deans on the list of 50 journals it uses to determine the research rank of business schools (known as the FT50 journal list), along with input on different ways of measuring the quality and impact of management research. As the IFSAM Executive Committee noted in its January 2021 statement (https://www.ifsam.org/blog/2020/12/20/webinar-on-jan-29-2021/ ), this triggered an asymmetric response across the world, in particular, among scholarly associations of management, as well as among journal editors.

Many in the scholarly community subsequently received emails from learned societies’ presidents and journal editors asking them to complete the survey, with some encouraging them to denominate their particular journals as critical to the FT50 list.

The IFSAM Executive Committee was concerned with aspects of the survey, particularly with the section on identifying the valuable journals, and felt strongly that this procedure was asymmetrically reaching the field. The launching of the survey, and the various responses it generated, gave fresh impetus to the thorny issue of how best to judge the quality of management research and publications, something which has been a perennial issue for a protracted period of time.

As part of its response to addressing the issue, IFSAM decided to organize a series of webinars dedicated to examining various aspect of the evaluation of management research. Its central purpose was to give voice to representatives from many if not all of the major stakeholder groups involved in management research: presidents of scholarly associations of management, management journal editors, academic administrators, publishers (including the FT), governmental agencies and councils responsible for management research evaluation and funding, as well as management practitioners and consultants.

Drawing on the multiple insights generated across the five webinars that took place (all of which are available for viewing here), in what follows we present a synthesis of the current situation and we make a number of recommendations designed to give a renewed impetus to engaged, decent scholarship.