Do alternatives to the HBR exist, if so what are they?
December 10, 2007 12:55 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone had success doing an academic lit review of business topics, particularly marketing? I am asking if such things lend themselves to learning and staying competitive along the lines of a bioresearcher subscribing to Journal of Biology. Are top executives and consultants going through graduate-level text?

I find the Harvard Business Review somewhat of a joke. It'll have good case studies and an interesting article from time to time, but it lacks substance. It is like the Redbook for CEOs.

I'm looking to see whether more serious periodicals exist and whether anyone has found success combing through things such as Journal of Business or Journal of Marketing? That is if someone is hypothetically involved in a marketing project and they have not had any real marketing experience since school could they peruse through major articles published in the last 50 years, get a good foundation and work their way through case studies and more recent articles to run a more effective marketing campaign?

To give a contrast to better explain what I am trying to ask: quantitative finance lends itself very well to journal articles and academia. I would almost argue that one could not be good at quant fin if they did not keep up on the latest theory and developments. This probably applies to a lot of high finance. I was wondering if this were the case in other areas of business and what publications, if any, are worthwhile.

NB I am well aware of the Black-Scholes debate and the backlash against academia by some traders and professors. That's a separate topic, I am wondering if people like management consultants are even aware of what is coming out of graduate or research programs.
posted by geoff. to Education (2 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Many consultants (marketing, strategy, and other-- even outside of McKinsey) read the McKinsey Quarterly, though it's barely more thoughtful than HBR.

And management consultants are certainly aware of what comes out of academia. After all, at or near the upper echelons of the discipline, one finds plenty of people who concurrently consult and teach at business schools. This is a typical CV.

Marketing (especially the non-quant variety) maybe isn't as academically respected as is management consulting, but by perusing this site, maybe you'll come to see that there's plenty of cross-flow between theory and practice.

If you know a number of professional marketers and consultants, it shouldn't be surprising that the flow of information (outside of finance) between academia and the field is more people-based than text-based. Who has time to read when you can chat on the phone and have drinks together on someone else's expense account?
posted by Kwantsar at 1:56 PM on December 10, 2007

I'm 3/4 of the way through a PhD at a business school and, in my experience, most business school academics in my field (management/organizational behavior) and others (marketing, corporate strategy, etc) might skim HBR, but it's not considered an academic journal. Publishing in HBR, for instance, won't help much when you're trying to get tenure.

If you're interested in academic marketing journals, I think the top four are the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, and Marketing Science. These journals contain everything from large scale quantitative studies to experiments to qualitative studies.

If you're more interested in management---it's a bit hard to tell from your question---the top academic journals are Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal (strategy only), Journal of Applied Psychology (organizational behavior only), and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (organizational behavior).

Hope this helps. Let me know if I can be of any more help.
posted by eisenkr at 5:06 PM on December 10, 2007 [5 favorites]

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