Authors share the importance of books in curating knowledge

The Source
By: Guest contributor, Sun Mar 21 2021

Author: Guest contributor

In academia, and in the discipline of business and management studies in particular, the pressures of combining journal publishing with teaching can be substantial. It’s no secret that universities incentivise their faculty to publish in journals with high impact factors, meaning that the value of book publishing can sometimes be underestimated.

But books play a significant role in advancing our
understanding of new trends, concepts and phenomena. They advance scholarship, provide definitive foundations for early career researchers, discuss implications for academia and practice, and provide new insights into fast emerging areas.

Book publishing can help the author build their profile, their network, and get noticed. Here we ask our authors to tell us about the importance of books and how they contribute to the advancement of scholarship in their fields.

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Written by Liz Barlow, Head of Business and Management, Publisher Scholarly Business, Business, Economics & Politics,

Claudia Henninger
"Seeing your name in print is an incredible feeling, seeing it associated with likeminded individuals, who are passionate about the same topic is a feeling that is hard to describe.

My first edited book was on Sustainable Fashion – a cradle to upcycle approach, which emerged from my personal research interest and passion of sustainability in the fashion industry. The book provided an opportunity to not only work with peers and colleagues but reach out to the wider academic community and bring together a variety of research topics, ideas, debates and critical insights that view the same topic from different lenses, thereby providing an interdisciplinary outlook.

An edited book is a great way to build relationships as part of the editorial team – and can also enhance organisational skills – as well as offer opportunities to publish in collaboration with others. It is also an opportunity to establish your name in the field.

Students especially are very keen on books, as they can be easily accessible and often have case studies included, making them easier to digest. From personal experience, seeing the interest and take up of ideas is an incredible feeling, as it highlights the passion, creativity, and importance of the field. Having these debates, being able to read what is going on in the field and broadening one’s knowledge base, are just some of the reasons, why I enjoy being an editor." 

Dr Claudia E Henninger is Senior Lecturer in Fashion Marketing Management at the University of Manchester. Her research interest is in sustainability, the circular economy, and more specifically collaborative consumption, in the context of the fashion industry. Her work has been published in the European Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Fashion Marketing & Management, and the International Journal of Management Review and is the Chair of the Academy of Marketing’s SIG Sustainability. 

Dr Claudia E Henninger has edited a number of books on sustainable fashion, including “Sustainability in Fashion – A Cradle to Upcycle Approach, Vintage Luxury Fashion (2018), Social Commerce (2019) and Technology Driven Sustainability (2020).

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"Many academics work in fields that do not give recognition to books in the same way that they do empirical, refereed research articles. I choose to write books because of the limited content that is allowed in research articles; a book enables more context to support the research explained within research articles. Research books provide an outlet for a compilation of the literature that must be read to complete research articles and remain cognizant of the changes occurring within my field. Books also facilitate a deeper exploration of ideas and concepts that can be used to build new research studies.

For doctoral students and early career scholars, in particular, books are resources from which they can develop a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of a research topic.  Books take much longer to write than typical research articles, but they also serve as a reference on multiple topics as opposed to one succinct construct.

The book format gives the author space to delve deeper into the subject matter and transition to newer constructs that are emerging. Trends need to be documented as they occur and not all trends relate directly to a research study. Documenting the trend and aligning the trend with previous studies allow for the potential emerging ideas to add to the knowledge base in the field. Faculty are required to add to the knowledge base through research. Books allow this to occur in ways that are different than what may or may not be a potential finding from a research study as opposed to what is occurring in many workplaces."         

Dr. Claretha Hughes is Professor of Human Resource and Workforce Development at the University of Arkansas. She has published numerous articles and chapters in peer-reviewed journals, books, and conferences and has 14 books. She serves as a book proposal reviewer for SAGE, Emerald, IGI Global, Palgrave Macmillan, and CyberTech Publishing. She is currently involved in a National Science Foundation Research in Formation of Engineers project as a Co-PI.

She has served in manufacturing leadership roles for Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, Abbott Laboratories, and Burlington Industries. She is a national member of ATD and has twice presented at the ATD International Conference and Exposition. Dr. Hughes is a Langevin Certified Master Trainer, Harvard Management Development Fellow, and a Darden School of Business Minority Executive Education Scholar. She has a PhD in Career and Technical Education from Virginia Tech, Master of Textiles in Textile Technology Management from NC State University, B.A. in Chemistry from Clemson University, and MBA in Management from University of Arkansas.

Dr Claretha Hughes is author of the following books: Managing Human Resource Development Programs; The History of Human Resource Development; Diversity Intelligence; Ethical and Legal Issues in Human Resource Development; Workforce Inter-Personnel Diversity

"Book publications demonstrate an expertise in one’s discipline that is recognized by one’s peers. In terms of being an academic, they are an essential pathway to being validated by the recognition of one’s peers and experts within the specific discipline field.  This is because the entire process of providing a book proposal, then it being peer reviewed, and accepted by the publisher to proceed to contract is a testament to the value of the work.

Books are cultural artifacts that transcend across cultures and generations for all of time. Their utility not only provides impact and knowledge journeys for many generations, but they connect generations from one century to another. They are treasures that many of us keep and hand down to colleagues, friends and family. To write an authored book and be published is such a privilege as it is an opportunity to reach out and touch civilizations across the globe in multiple ways such as spiritually and intellectually. The value of writing an authored book provides an expression of your consolidated knowledge to share with others whether they are at the beginning of their career or well matured in their career paths.

To develop an edited book, the global journey commences at the outset with one’s peers where thought leaders unite to share their expertise in chapters that facilitate the development of a multidimensional body of work. Such a collection of thought leadership is a dissemination of knowledge within one publication that few can rival and provides a passage to lifelong learning. Thus the global mobility and accessibility of books which are available to the general and specialized public, transcends journal papers which are available to only a specialized audience.  For me, books provide the general public plus academics from all disciplines a communication pathway to freedom and growth."

Adela J McMurray is Professor of Management/HRM and Innovation at Flinders University Australia. She is Honorary Professor at RMIT University Australia and Adjunct Professor at Swinburne University Australia. She serves as guest editor on the Journal of Applied Energy, the Journal of Cleaner Production and she is associate editor of the Journal of Management History. Professor McMurray has extensive experience researching in public and private sectors and has published over 300 publications. Her research is Internationally recognized, and she is the recipient of four Australian Research Council grants, two industry Collaborative Research Centre grants and various other International grants totaling over AUD$5million. 

Adela has won numerous international teaching, leadership, HDR supervision and best paper awards. She chaired the USA Academy of Management’s International Theme Committee and is a member of various journal Editorial Advisory Boards. Adela’s research expertise addresses: Innovation, Culture, Sustainability, Commitment, Entrepreneurship and Leadership including Organizational Change and Development in public and private sectors.

Adela is co-editor of The Palgrave Handbook of Leadership in Transforming Asia and The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Innovation.

We hope this selection of author perspectives inspire you to write your own book one day. If you have any queries, or want to discuss your book ideas or publishing with us, contact our editors.


Author: Guest contributor

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