Strategic Management Journal

Cover image for Vol. 38 Issue 4

Edited By: Sendil Ethiraj, Alfonso Gambardella, Constance Helfat

Online ISSN: 1097-0266

Associated Title(s): Global Strategy Journal, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal

Author Guidelines

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Author Guidelines

Editorial Statement
The Strategic Management Journal seeks to publish the highest quality research with questions, evidence and conclusions that are relevant to strategic management and engaging to strategic management scholars. We receive manuscripts with a diverse mix of topics, framings, and methods, and our acceptances reflect this diversity.

More specifically, the Strategic Management Journal seeks to publish papers that develop and/or test theory, replicate prior studies, explore interesting phenomena, and evaluate the many methodologies used in our field. SMJ also publishes studies that demonstrate a lack of statistical support in a particular sample for specific hypotheses or research propositions. We welcome a diverse range of researcher methods and are open to papers that rely on statistical inference, qualitative studies, conceptual models, computational models and various kinds of mathematical models.

Guidelines Regarding Empirical Research in SMJ

Reporting Results of Statistical Analyses

SMJ no longer accepts papers for publication that report or refer to cutoff levels of statistical significance (p-values). In statistical studies, authors should report either standard errors or exact p-values (without asterisks) or both, and should interpret these values appropriately in the text. Rather than referring to specific cutoff points, the discussion could report confidence intervals, explain the standard errors and/or the probability of observing the results in the particular sample, and assess the implications for the research questions or hypotheses tested.

SMJ also now requires in papers accepted for publication that authors explicitly discuss and interpret effect sizes of relevant estimated coefficients.

As of January 1, 2016, new submissions that do not conform to these policies will be returned to the authors for revision prior to review. The SMJ editorial on “Creating Repeatable Cumulative Knowledge in Strategic Management” (2016, available online at the SMJ Wiley Online website prior to publication) provides more detailed explanation of these policies.

Replication Studies and Studies that Report “Non-results”

SMJ publishes and welcomes submissions of replication studies. Additional guidelines will be provided in the SMJ special issue on replication.

SMJ publishes and welcomes submissions of studies with non-results. These types of studies demonstrate a lack of statistical support in a particular sample for specific hypotheses or research propositions. Such hypotheses or propositions should be straightforward and logical. Studies should be conducted rigorously and assess the robustness of the non-results, such as robustness to alternative measurement, statistical specifications and estimation methodologies.

Causal Inference
strongly supports research that seeks to address interesting and important questions in strategic management that involve complicated causal processes. SMJ recognizes that statistical analyses relevant to these questions may raise the issue of endogeneity. If relevant, authors should acknowledge this issue in submitted manuscripts, and make a good faith effort to address it. In some cases, causal inference may be impossible, but statistical correlations, especially if used to rule out some alternative hypotheses or mechanisms, may still be of interest. The SMJ editorial on “Quantitative Empirical Analysis in Strategic Management” (2014, volume 35: 949-953) provides more detailed explanation.

Data Snooping and P-hacking
strongly disapproves of data snooping and p-hacking practices in empirical research. Authors of submitted papers should not search databases for statistically significant coefficients with the intention of subsequently formulating hypotheses that fit the significant coefficients. Authors also should not adapt experimental designs with the primary intention of producing statistically significant results. In addition, authors of submitted papers should address the material significance (magnitude) of the results, in addition to statistical significance.

Initial Manuscript Submission
All manuscripts considered for submission must be sent to SMJ’s online submission site, In case of questions, please contact:

Sara DiBari
SMJ Managing Editor
Wiley Publishing
350 Main Street
Malden, MA 02148

Authors must also supply:

  • Permission Grants (PGs) are needed at the time of submission if the manuscript contains extracts, including illustrations, from other copyright works (this includes material from online or intranet sources). It is the author's responsibility to obtain written permission from the owners of the publishing rights to reproduce such extracts using the Wiley Permission Request Form , available for downloading from the SMJ Web site.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been previously published and should not be submitted for publication elsewhere while they are under consideration by SMJ .

To be sure that manuscripts move through the review process smoothly and quickly, we ask authors to observe basic formatting and style requirements when submitting manuscripts. Submissions that do not follow SMJ guidelines may have to be returned for revision and resubmission in order to ensure the timely flow of manuscripts through the editorial process.

We suggest that you circulate your manuscript among colleagues before submitting to SMJ , and make revisions based on their thoughtful suggestions. The reviewers should not be your first readers.

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement

If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign.  The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen

If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements.  For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

SMJ Guidelines
To be sure that manuscripts move through the copyediting process please observe the following guidelines:

Title Page: Please list the full names, titles, and affiliations (with complete addresses) of all authors, including e-mail, telephone, and fax information on the title page. A running head of your choice (a short title of up to 60 characters to be used at publication) should appear on the title page as well. For indexing purposes, kindly include five (5) keywords that describe your paper.

Abstract: Please supply a one-paragraph abstract of up to 125 words for all articles, research notes, and commentaries. This, as you know, is a precise summary of your entire paper, not just your conclusions, and must be able to stand alone, separate from the rest of the paper. SMJ policy is that no citations to other works are used in the abstract.

Acknowledgements: The names of any sponsors of your research, including grant numbers, and/or people you would like to thank, may be included in an acknowledgements section that should appear immediately before your list of references when your paper is accepted for publication. When submitting a paper, acknowledgements should be included ONLY on the title page and not in the text of the paper.

General Style:
The suggested limit for paper size is 35 pages, which includes figures and tables and no more than 40 pages in total length. References should be single-spaced to conserve manuscript space. The language of the journal is American English. Please be sure that your paper is double-spaced and uses a 12-point readable font and 1-inch margins on all sides. Your text, including titles of sections, must be left-justified. Research notes should not be over 20 pages in length including title page and abstract, text, figures, tables and references.

• Headings and subheadings are flush with the left-hand margin and the first line of the initial paragraph appearing under each is also left-justified. Other paragraphs in a section are indented.
• In subheadings, only the first word is capitalized.
• Do not number sections.
• Do not use ampersands (&) unless it is a commonly used expression (e.g., R&D), part of a universally known product (e.g., M&Ms), or included in a company name (e.g., Standard & Poor’s).
• Commas appear before the final ‘and’ (also ‘or’) in a series.
• Double, rather than single, quotation marks are used.
• Percent is spelled out in regular text, but a % sign is used in parenthesized text and figures.
• En dashes (–) rather than hyphens (-) are used to denote a range, for example, 1996–2000; pages 124–155.
• Em dashes (—) rather than hyphens (--) are used to separate a thought or phrase from the surrounding sentence. The sentence should be able to stand alone if the material separated by em dashes were removed.
• Commas and periods always appear inside quotation marks, even if those quotation marks are used to signify the special definition of a word or phrase.
• Commas are used in numbers of 1,000 or higher.
• Indicate in the text where tables and figures are to appear, for example, ‘Insert Table 1 here.’
• Numbers one to nine are spelled out and numbers 10 and above appear as numerals. The exceptions are when numbers refer to ratings, code numbers, or begin a sentence.
• If a sentence begins with a number, the number must be spelled out. It is usually easier to rephrase the sentence.
• Footnotes, rather than endnotes, are incorporated into the text.
• The journal uses italicized rather than underlined text.
• Blocks of long quotations are indented and single-spaced.
et al. is always italicized.
• Spell out all abbreviations at first use in the body of the article and use abbreviated forms thereafter, for example, return on investment (ROI). If an abbreviated form is used only once, it should be spelled out. This is for the benefit of readers, including students, some of whom may not be familiar with the meanings of all abbreviations.
• A zero (0) always appears in numbers less than 1 (e.g., 0.15, not .15). This holds true for tables and figures as well as within the text and footnotes.
• Example of SMJ style: In the United States; U.S.-based; in the U.S. economy.
• Appendices are placed after references. If there is only one Appendix, no number is needed after it (i.e., Appendix 1).

Figures and tables: Please do not incorporate your figures and/or tables into the text of your article other than a separate line, such as ‘Insert Table 1 here,’ where appropriate. Figures and tables should appear at the end of the manuscript after the references section. Do not embed other programs, such as PowerPoint, into the article.

• Figure numbers and titles appear centered below the figure, while Table numbers and titles appear left-justified above the table. Only the first word of a title is capitalized.
• In tables and figures, only the first word in column and row titles is capitalized.
• Within tables and figures, a zero (0) always appears in numbers less than 1 (e.g., 0.15, not .15).
• Table values are to be aligned on the decimal except where values differ widely, such values should be centered (this can, for example, apply to the N, R2, and F values in the final rows of a table).
• You may have your figures published in color; however, Wiley may charge you to do so.

Reference and citation style: SMJ uses the author-date style of citation. Citations in the text appear as name, date within parentheses, and listed alphabetically at the end of the paper. When a cited work has four or more authors, the form (main author et al., year) is to be used. Three or fewer authors should be written out at the first text citation and et al. used thereafter (italicize et al., whenever used). When reference is made to more than one work by the same author(s) published in the same year, identify each citation in the text in the following manner: (Collins, 2005a, 2005b). Online citations should end with the date of access. Please be sure that cited works that are chapters in a book or articles in a magazine include page numbers. References should contain titles and subtitles. If necessary, cite unpublished or personal work in the text, but please do not include it in the reference list.

All references must have a corresponding citation in the text and vice versa.

Examples of correct referencing style:


Badaracco JL. 1991. The Knowledge Link: How Firms Compete Through Strategic Alliances. Harvard Business School Press: Boston, MA.

Bleeke J, Ernst D (eds). 1993. Collaborating to Compete: Using Strategic Alliances and Acquisitions in the Global Marketplace. John Wiley & Sons:New York.

Book Chapters:

Bowman EH, Singh H. 1990. Overview of corporate restructuring: trends and consequences. In Corporate Restructuring, Rock L, Rock RH (eds). McGraw-Hill: New York; 1–16.

Collis D. 1996. Organizational capability as a source of profit. In Organizational Learning and Competitive Advantage, Moingeon B, Edmondson A (eds). Sage: London, U.K.: 139-163.

Journal Articles:

Bagozzi R, Phillips L. 1982. Representing and testing organizational theories: a holistic construal. Administrative Science Quarterly 27(3): 459-489.

Grant, RM. 1996. Toward a knowledge-based theory of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, Winter Special Issue 17:109-122.

Jensen M, Zajac EJ. 2004. Corporate elites and corporate strategy: how demographic preferences and structural position shape the scope of the firm. Strategic Management Journal 25(6): 507–524.

Working Papers:

Cohen MD, Nelson RR, Walsh JP. 2000. Protecting their intellectual assets: appropriability conditions and why U.S. manufacturing firms patent (or not). NBER working paper 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA. Available at:

Child J, Yan Y. 1999. Predicting the performance of international alliances: an investigation in China. Working paper, Chinese Management Centre, University of Hong Kong.

Papers Presented at Meetings:

D'Eredita M, Misiolek N, Siow J. 2005. States of mind as stages of team development: making sense of strategies for building a virtual team. In Proceedings of the 5th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Business, Honolulu, HI. Available at:

Misiolek N. 2003. Knowledge management and the corporate university: insights from the knowledge-based view of the firm. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Seattle, WA.


BusinessWeek. 2005. All that glitters. 16 October: 22–24.

Online Sources:

Van Brundt J. 2001. The many facets of co-development. Signals Magazine 19 May: 1-6. [6 June 2005].