The Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing offers insights annually into the world of peer-reviewed journal publishing through its Seminar Series and Higher Degree Research student initiatives.
But have you ever wondered what’s involved in getting an internationally- syndicated journal up and running?
Launched by Sage India in 2014, the ‘South Asia Journal of Human Resource Management’ (HRM) is the brainchild of Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor Mohan Thite. With the dust[jacket] settled and two issues under his belt, we spent some time with Mohan to learn a little more about the process…
What role did you play in establishing the Journal?
Sage [was chosen] to launch the Journal because they are not only global in their scope, reach and reputation, but also have a commanding presence in South Asia through their India office and marketing centres throughout the region. Having published three books with Sage India, we know each other pretty well which helped in establishing rapport and trust.
What does the Editor-in-Chief of a journal do?!
After signing an agreement with Sage India, [Mohan, pictured left] set about establishing an Editorial Advisory Board with highly reputed academics and practitioners globally and in South Asia. They act as strategic advisors and ambassadors. My next task was to recruit a dedicated team of Associate Editors in charge of different geographical regions in South Asia. We then set about establishing the submission guidelines and policies and procedures to carry out the peer review system and editorial decisions. Next, I approached some high profile academics and practitioners to contribute papers and interviews for the Journal to set high quality standards. After the first issue was out I informed the academic community widely (and loudly!) about the Journal through electronic discussion forums and personal networks.
We are now in the second year with a very healthy flow of manuscripts (over 80 last year), and our acceptance rate is 16.5 percent which is very competitive for a brand new journal. The research and writing standards among South Asian scholars are yet to reach international standards and that means the editorial team has to spend lot of effort and time to edit the papers to bring them up to standards. It’s back-breaking work but also immensely satisfying!
Why the need to target publishing research about South Asia specifically?
South Asia is home to over one-fifth of the world’s population with highly uneven economic development. Human resources are at once both a positive and negative for the future of this region and hence a journal solely focused on HRM in this region would go a long way in serving both the academic and practitioner community in addressing and serving this community. The Journal will focus equally on HRM at local, national, regional and international levels, as well as both the theory and practice of HRM. We believe the focus on South Asia is just about right as it is neither too narrow (e.g., India) or too broad (e.g., Asia-Pacific). There are journals serving this area but they cover all aspects of business and management whereas we exclusively focus on human capital management.
Tell us about the Journal’s exciting initiative, Practitioner Perspectives…
This is undoubtedly a key differentiating feature and strength of the Journal. This section features case studies, essays, research notes, commentaries and interviews to illustrate how HRM is actually practiced in this region. The editorial team has extensive industry contacts in the region to conduct practitioner interviews. We have published interviews with the Presidents of national HR associations and heads of HR in reputed companies in the region. In the upcoming special issue on gender (in)equality in South Asia, we are publishing interviews with women business leaders and a case study written by personnel from the British High Commission in Pakistan. Thanks go to WOW member, Professor Glenda Strachan, who is editing the special issue. (Both Glenda, and WOW Director, Professor Adrian Wilkinson, are great supporters of the SAJHRM, imparting valuable experience and expertise also as Editorial Advisory Committee members).
The current issue (2, December 2014) of ‘SAJHRM’ is now available from Sage.