Invitation to Contributors

Presentation of Evidence

Ethical Practices

Submission Guidelines

Formatting Guidelines


Procedure for Data Checking

The ASQ logo reads, “Dedicated to advancing the understanding of administration through empirical investigation and theoretical analysis.” The editors interpret that statement to entail three criteria that affect editorial decisions. About any manuscript they ask: Does this research (1) advance our understanding of organizing in contexts such as teams, enterprises, or markets; (2) develop a new theoretical account or empirical findings about organizing that challenge previous understandings; (3) address a significant and challenging problem of management? Theory is how we move to further research and improve practice, but new empirical findings that disconfirm theory are also valuable. If manuscripts contain no theoretical foundation, their value is suspect.

ASQ asks, “What’s interesting here?” But we take pains not to confuse interesting work with work that contains mere novelties, clever turns of phrase, or other substitutes for insight. Instead, we try to identify work that challenges prevailing assumptions and established research. Building a coherent, cumulative body of knowledge typically involves research that offers new syntheses or themes, identifies new patterns or causal sequences, or generates new propositions. Interesting work accelerates the development of new theory or new practices.

People submitting manuscripts should clearly articulate what we learn from such endeavors that we did not know before. Some topics in organizational studies have become stagnant, repetitious, and closed. Research in mature fields that does not attempt to update a fundamental belief in previously published research is unlikely to advance understanding.

We attach no priorities to subjects for study, nor do we attach greater significance to one methodological style than another. We are receptive to multiple forms of grounding but not to a lack of theoretical grounding. Consequently, we are open to work based on qualitative or quantitative data collected from archives, the laboratory, or the field, as well as simulations and formal models.

For these reasons, we view all our papers as high-quality contributions to the literature and present them as equals to our readers. The first paper in each issue is not viewed by the editors as the best of those appearing in the issue. Our readers will decide for themselves which of the papers are exceptionally valuable.

We refrain from listing topics in which we are interested. ASQ should seek to publish articles on new topics that have not previously appeared in the journal. Authors should look at what ASQ has published over the last 10 years and, if there is even a glimmer of precedent, submit the work to ASQ. Manuscripts that are inappropriate will be returned promptly.

We are interested in compact presentations of theory and research, suspecting that very long manuscripts contain an unclear line of argument, multiple arguments, or no argument at all. Each manuscript should contain one key point, which the author should be able to state in one sentence. Digressions from one key point commonly occur when authors cite more literature than is necessary to frame and justify an argument.

We are interested in good writing and see poor writing as a reason to reject manuscripts. We’re looking for manuscripts that are well argued and well written. By well argued we mean that the argument is clear and logical; by well written we mean that the argument is accessible and well phrased. Clear writing is not an adornment but a reflection of clear thinking.

A problem common to rejected manuscripts is that authors are unable to evaluate their own work critically and seem to have made insufficient use of colleagues before the work is submitted. Obtaining and responding to comments from trusted colleagues before submitting a manuscript helps authors anticipate reviewers’ reactions and will increase the probability of a favorable review.

Presentation of Evidence

Our goal is to publish the best and potentially most impactful research in the field of organizations. We encourage a spirit of curiosity, engagement, and rigor in those submitting to ASQ and welcome submissions using a wide diversity of epistemological, theoretical, methodological, and empirical approaches to the study of organizations and organizing. Because strong papers written in an author’s own style and voice have the best chance of making a contribution, ASQ offers authors significant freedom in how to present evidence so that papers can be tailored to fit authors’ theories, methods, and empirical contexts. The inductive qualitative papers published in ASQ provide good examples of how authors can use that greater freedom in deciding how to present their evidence compellingly and make novel contributions to theory. We encourage authors of quantitative work to use that same freedom to draw on examples of how evidence is presented in the best papers in neighboring disciplines, or even in the natural sciences, when doing so can help them clarify their message and produce a stronger contribution.

A variety of evidence components and additional analyses (not simply alternative statistical models) may be useful to authors, for example, graphing the distribution of the outcome authors are explaining or the distribution of the main independent variables and how they covary with the outcome; mapping outcomes that occur across space or time if the explanatory variables are also spatial or unfold or change over time; or showing distributions of key variables if they differ from the usual (normal) distributions and are substantively interesting. There are now many novel ways of displaying data graphically that convey much information in a compact space. Authors could also examine whether new insights can be gained from using alternative variables for the main constructs or analyzing subsamples to provide useful comparisons or refined hypotheses.

We respect that it is part of a researcher’s craft to draw from the full line of evidence components available. The presentation of evidence should follow the authors’ vision of how to best present the theoretical and empirical contribution, selecting the components that make the paper easiest to understand and most compelling for readers. The reviewers and editor can help authors refine presentations of evidence to showcase the contribution, and sometimes make suggestions on how papers can be improved through adding displays of evidence, while staying true to the authors’ voice and intentions. We welcome submissions from authors who think seriously about how best to present their contribution. The compelling presentation of supporting evidence is one of the dimensions of quality we use in selecting papers for publication.

Ethical Practices

ASQ is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and adheres to its guidelines.

A submitted manuscript should not be under review for publication in another outlet (e.g., book chapter, journal) while it is under review at ASQ. ASQ does accept submissions of papers that have been accepted for publication in a shortened form in the Academy of Management Best Papers Proceedings.

Authors should not re-submit a manuscript that ASQ has rejected at an earlier time.

Authors should take reasonable precautions to preserve the integrity of the blind review process and avoid potential conflicts of interest in the submission process. As part of the submission process, authors may suggest the names of peers who could be called upon to review their manuscript. Suggested reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) those below:

  • The reviewer should have no prior knowledge of the submission.
  • The reviewer should not have collaborated with any of the authors.
  • The reviewer should not have been a member of any author’s dissertation committee.
  • The reviewer should not have the same institutional affiliation as any of the authors.

The editors are not obliged to accept authors’ suggestions for preferred or non-preferred reviewers.

Authors should also refrain from requesting handling editors who would have a conflict of interest in handling the paper.

Authors should remove submitted manuscripts from public websites during the review process to the degree that is possible.

ASQ reserves the right to request additional information as appropriate for purposes of addressing reasonable claims of data errors or misuse. Any individuals involved in this process will use the information obtained only for this purpose and will treat it confidentially. See ASQ’s process for investigating data-related claims.

Submission Guidelines

Submit manuscripts in Word format to the online ScholarOne submission system at The site does not accept PDF files for upload. Authors who are unable to submit anything but PDF files must contact the ASQ Editorial Office ( to ask a system administrator to upload those files for them. (Should the article be accepted for publication, authors will have to convert their files to Word for copy editing.)

Upload a title page, with contact information for all authors, and be sure that all authors’ names are entered into the manuscript submission form.

Copy and paste a cover letter into the submission form that lists people who have already viewed the paper, members of thesis committees and colleagues who would have a conflict of interest in reviewing the paper, and any other circumstances that might affect the integrity of the blind review process. It is not useful to include a description or summary of the paper in the cover letter. Use the cover letter to tell the editor whether any of the data in a submitted manuscript have been published elsewhere or are used in manuscripts under review in other outlets and how the submitted manuscript differs.

If the submission uses the same data as a manuscript under review elsewhere, upload the other manuscript using the file designation “Additional Editorial File.” Files with this designation will be available to the editors but not to reviewers.

ASQ does not have page limits, but we favor manuscripts that offer high intellectual value per page. To optimize reviewers’ and readers’ engagement, submit the shortest possible manuscript that accomplishes your aims. The length of manuscript relative to its contribution is one of our criteria for evaluating manuscripts. Editors reserve the option of returning very long manuscripts to authors for cutting before considering them for review.

Include an informative abstract of 200 words or fewer. Good abstracts describe the material presented in the paper, including the question or focus, the type of study reported (e.g., empirical, laboratory, qualitative, field, network study, etc.), the context and in what country it was done if that’s important to context (e.g., work groups, Fortune 500 firms, hospitals in Canada, cooperatives in Germany, factories in China, biotechnology firms), the main data source, and the most significant findings. The better your abstract, the easier it is for others to identify, read, and build upon your work. See abstracts of published work at for examples.

Provide three or four keywords for the paper from the ASQ ScholarOne keyword list.

To preserve anonymity in the blind review process, authors should avoid revealing their identity in text through obvious self-references to previous work or in footnotes. If authors cite their own published work or work in progress, however, these references must be included in the references with full bibliographic information. Authors should reference their own work as they would the work of any other scholar. Reviewers will ask what the contribution of a manuscript is above what has already been published and must have this information.

Use the active voice whenever possible. Use “we” only for multiple authors. Use the past tense for discussing earlier studies or for presenting methods. Use the present tense for discussing tables or figures as they are presented in text (e.g., “Model 3 in Table 1 supports hypothesis 2…”).

Define a term accurately when it is first used, and use it consistently with that meaning throughout. Find the best way to express an idea once rather than repeating the same idea in different words. Do not use a clause where a phrase will do or a phrase where a word will do. Avoid jargon; do not mistake it for technical terminology.

Formatting Guidelines

Type all copy, except tables, double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman type. Tables may be single spaced and in smaller fonts, if necessary, for formatting.

Do not use an epigraph: an offset quote that starts the body of the paper. ASQ does not print them.

Use footnotes sparingly. Essential material should be incorporated in the text; material with weak relevance should be deleted.

Organize the manuscript by using primary, secondary, and tertiary headings (see a recent issue of ASQ for format), rather than numbered headings.

Place each table or figure on separate pages at the end of the manuscript after the references, rather than inserting it in the text. Include a note (i.e., Insert Table 1 about here) at the point in text where a table or figure is referenced. Present graphic material so that the meaning is immediately clear by including a title on every figure and table and labeling axes and diagrams.

Omit italics unless absolutely necessary.

Use only abbreviations and acronyms known to the general public and avoid acronyms invented only to save page space; spell out an abbreviated term when first used.

Use quotation marks only for direct quotations.

Spell out numbers from one to nine and those that begin a sentence.

Write out “percent” in text; use the percentage sign in tables and figures.


To avoid symbolic or ceremonial references, discuss only literature that pertains directly to the thesis or research of the paper, and make it clear how it relates to your work. Cite a representative set of references when there is a large literature.

References to articles, books, and other source works should be cited in the text by noting—in parentheses—the last name of the author, the year of publication, and page numbers for direct quotations or to refer to a point in a book.

Do not number references or use “ibid.,” “op. cit.,” or “loc. cit.”; specify subsequent citations of a source in the same way as the first citation.

In the reference section, list every reference cited in the manuscript and remove those not cited in text. Use the following guidelines in citing references:

  • If the author’s name is in the text, follow it with the year in parentheses, e.g., “Glaser (1992) recommended . . .” If the author’s name is not in the text, insert it in parentheses, followed by a comma and the year. Multiple references are listed chronologically in parentheses, separated by semicolons.
  • For two or three authors, give all the authors’ last names in text each time the work is cited (e.g., Haidt, Koller, and Dias, 1993). For four or more authors, give only the first author’s name followed by “et al.” and the date (e.g., Sasovova et al., 2010) in each citation, including the first one.
  • Page numbers, to indicate a passage in a book or to give the source of a quotation, follow the year and are preceded by a colon.
  • If there is more than one reference to the same author in the same year, postscript the date with a, b, c, etc. (e.g., Chan, 2009a, 2009b).
  • For a source that is forthcoming or in press but not yet available, give an estimated year of publication and use that date for citations in text. Add “in press” or “forthcoming” in parentheses at the end of the bibliographic information in the references. If the source is published online ahead of print and is available, give the name of the publication (and “forthcoming”), the online publication date, and the DOI number showing where the source can be found.
  • For an online source, cite the publication date of the source if there is one, or the date that the source was accessed, and provide the URL where the source can be found.

List all references as an appendix to the manuscript. Alphabetize by author and, for each author, list in chronological sequence. List the authors’ last names and initials. Use no italics or abbreviations. Use one tab between the date and the title. See examples:


Armanios, D. E., C. E. Eesley, J. Li, and K. M. Eisenhardt

2017 “How entrepreneurs leverage institutional intermediaries in emerging economies to acquire public resources.” Strategic Management Journal, 38: 1373–1390.

Burt, R. S.

2000 “The network structure of social capital.” In B. M. Staw and R. I. Sutton (eds.), Research in Organizational Behavior, 22: 345–423. New York: Elsevier/JAI.

Chan, C. S.-c.

2009a “Creating a market in the presence of cultural resistance: The case of life insurance in China.” Theory and Society, 38: 271–305.

Chan, C. S.-c.

2009b “Invigorating the content in social embeddedness: An ethnography of life insurance transactions in China.” American Journal of Sociology, 115: 712–754.

Davis, G. F.

1993 “Who gets ahead in the market for corporate directors?” Paper presented at the Academy of Management Meeting, Atlanta, GA.

Glaser, B.

1992 Basics of Grounded Theory Analysis. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.

Hambrick, D. C.

2005 “Upper echelons theory: Origins, twists, and turns, and lessons learned.” In M. A. Hitt and K. G. Smith (eds.), Great Minds in Management: 109–128. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hoberg, G., and G. Phillips

2016 “Text-based network industries and endogenous product differentiation.” Journal of Political Economy (forthcoming), published online ahead of print.

Kenny, D. A.

1998 “Multiple factor models.”

Pray, L.

2002 “Interdisciplinarity in science and engineering: Academia in transition.” Science Career Magazine. Accessed at

Sasovova, Z., A. Mehra, S. P. Borgatti, and M. C. Schippers

2010 “Network churn: The effects of self-monitoring personality on brokerage dynamics.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 55: 639–670.

ASQ Procedure for Data Checking When Data Accuracy Is Questioned

The protocols outlined in this document are consistent with COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) guidelines.

Conditions for initiating procedure:

This procedure is used when claims are made in public or through private communication that the data underlying an ASQ paper are incorrect, or their collection is in breach of ethical guidelines, or their analysis is incorrect in ways that cannot be rectified through a corrigendum. Problems that can be addressed through a corrigendum can be handled by the Editor alone. A journal committee procedure is required if the Editor, possibly in consultation with other editorial members or experts, finds that the claims are sufficiently serious that a check is needed to either exonerate the paper and its authors or retract the paper. In some cases, the Editor may instead determine that an investigation should be conducted by an author’s institution, which could be appropriate if, for example, the data were collected at the university; in this situation the Editor will contact the institution’s Research Ethics office to convey the concerns.

Members of the committee:

One Associate Editor and an additional member who is an Associate Editor, a member of the Editorial Board, or a member of the Methods Advisory Panel. An Associate Editor who has acted as handling editor or consulting editor on the paper cannot be a committee member.

Required steps:

The data, procedures, and/or analysis methods need to be cross-checked by the committee, who are allowed to draw in additional help as needed. The investigation is kept confidential until a conclusion is reached. The authors are required to turn over the necessary materials to allow the checking to proceed, and failure to do so leads to retraction.

The checking ends when the committee members can declare with reasonable confidence that based on the COPE guidelines, the appropriate response to the investigation is a retraction, a corrigendum, or no further action. The committee’s conclusions are subject to approval by the Editor.

The Editor communicates the committee’s conclusions to the authors and informs them of the proposed action. The authors are explicitly given the opportunity to respond to the Editor about the committee’s conclusions before the Editor takes further action.

The Editor responds to the authors’ response or, if they did not respond in a timely manner, restates the initially proposed action.

If the Editor’s decision is to issue a corrigendum, the Editor informs the publisher and works with the authors to craft it.

In the case of a retraction decision:

The Editor informs the authors that they have the right to appeal to the ASQ Advisory Council, but only on procedural grounds, and that their institution(s) will be informed of the committee’s conclusion and the final action.

If the authors do not appeal to the ASQ Advisory Council, the Managing Editor sends the Editor’s decision to the publisher (currently Sage) for review by its legal department. If the authors do appeal to the ASQ Advisory Council, the Managing Editor and Associate Dean wait until the appeal is complete before asking Sage for legal review.

If no serious threats arise during the legal review, the Editor communicates the final retraction decision to the authors and informs the authors’ institutions and the publisher.

Administrative Science Quarterly (ASQ)

View Issue