Special Issues are an important part of the Strategic Management Journal (SMJ). SMJ will accept formal proposals for Special Issues at any time. We are primarily interested in emerging or important but understudied topics in the field of strategic management, which may involve new or substantial reorientation of theories, research questions, methods, or areas of empirical research.

Anyone interested in proposing a Special Issue should send a written proposal via email to the Strategic Management Society’s Publications Manager (smj@strategicmanagement.net), who will forward the proposal to the SMJ Co-Editors. Proposals (maximum 1,500 words) should include, but need not be limited to, the following information:

  1. Proposed Guest Editors: academic qualifications and prior editorial experience.
  2. Overview and motivation: (a) description of the general topic; (b) why the general topic merits a Special Issue; (c) what the field of strategic management would learn from a Special Issue.
  3. Description of the types of papers that the Special Issue would seek to publish: range of specific topics, methods, etc.
  4. Identification of a small, representative set of scholars doing work in the area of the proposed Special Issue, to help identify the intellectual space that the Special Issue seeks to explore.
  5. Identification of a team of at least three Special Issue Guest Editors who have: (a) strong expertise in the general topic of the proposed Special Issue; (b) a track record of publishing in SMJ; (c) a track record of delivering on operational commitments.

In general, special issue proposals are selected based on potential value and contribution to research conversations in emerging or contested areas of research. In addition, a significant factor in the decision to accept a Special Issue proposal is the proposed editorial team. It is important that the editorial team comprises members who are recognized experts in the topic of the special issue. It is very unusual for those without a strong track record of publications in the top journals or junior scholars to be suitable Special Issue Guest Editors. The Co-Editors reserve the discretion to propose changes and/or additions to the editorial team and to the plan for a Special Issue in order to maximize the impact of the Special Issue.

Papers submitted for Special Issues will generally go through the standard double-blind review process using two referees. Invited papers can be considered on an occasional basis, but must have the prior approval of the SMJ Co-Editors. Special Issue Guest Editors will write an article introducing the issue, but may not submit or publish any of their own (or co-authored) papers in the special issue. One or two SMJ Co-Editors will be assigned as liaisons to serve as the point of contact for the Guest Editors of a Special Issue, in order to help address questions or issues that arise. Special Issue Guest Editors should plan on regularly updating the assigned SMJ Co-Editor(s) on progress.

Special Issues have long lead times. SMJ seeks to issue the Call for Papers about a year before submissions for a Special Issue are due, and it takes another two years until publication of the issue (with tight turnaround times for author revisions and editorial feedback). Given the large number of inquiries that SMJ receives about special issues, we generally can accept only a subset of the Special Issue proposals that we receive.

Published Date
14 September 2023

Article Type


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