Administrative Sciences Quarterly Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Professor Donald Palmer, editor of the Administrative Science Quarterly (ASQ), is gearing up to celebrate the journal’s 50th anniversary.

The journal is widely recognized as one of the top journals in organization studies and was recently ranked number one among organizational studies journals in an article in the Academy of Management Journal. ASQ was founded in 1956 when the study of organizations was emerging separate from psychology, sociology and anthropology, but drawing on those disciplines. The journal has been instrumental in the evolution of the field ever since.

ASQ has experienced many challenges over the years, including a dramatic growth in the number of organizational studies journals, and intensified pressure to make journal content available online. In a sense, as competition between publication outlets in organization studies has intensified, the very form of scholarly journals has been called into question.  These two developments have generated a number of nuts-and-bolts problems, which Palmer has addressed with the help of the journal’s managing editor, Linda Johanson, and staff at Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management.

Palmer has used the occasion of ASQ’s silver anniversary to draw attention to the role that organization studies journals play as gatekeepers in the intellectual community. His essay, “Taking Stock of the Criteria We Use to Evaluate One Another’s Work: ASQ 50 Years,” was published in the December 2006 issue of the journal. A companion Web site offers organizational researchers a public forum to weigh in with their thoughts about how organization studies journals such as ASQ make decisions about which submissions get accepted for publication and which get rejected.

At the Academy of Management meeting in Philadelphia in Auguest, Palmer and his team of editors plan to organize a reception for ASQ’s editorial board members, reviewers, authors and readers. The gathering will include a discussion of how the journal’s content has changed through its history. Palmer hopes that his essay and a posted comments on the Web site will kickstart the discussion.