Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance

Professor Paul Sparrow of the Centre for Performance-Led HR and Professor Sir Cary Cooper of Alliance Manchester Business school are the founding Editors of the journal, launched by Emerald Journals in March 2014. Take a look at the latest papers

The journal, and its scope, reflects the research agenda carried out by CPHR. This shows that organisations are facing complex performance drivers such as: globalisation; innovation, productivity, efficiency and effectiveness; or customer centricity and the challenges of global delivery. These challenges require increasingly cross-disciplinary insight, and yet the academic literature, and much organisational practice, still tends to be structured around narrow and specialist lines. Inevitably this leads to a fragmentation of organisational capabilities and resources which, in turn, impacts upon effectiveness and performance.

There is a need to understand the implications that these processes have for both the people and organisational processes and to seek to challenge these through research lenses that synthesise and integrate the logics of action, theories and models. This should be undertaken at several levels:

  • across disciplines
  • across different levels of analysis and
  • through different paradigmatic and disciplinary lenses

Journal aims

The Journal attracts papers in the field of human resource management that:

  • Focus on the role of people in organisational effectiveness
  • Adopt a broad definition of performance, beyond just financial performance
  • Tap into the achievement of important distal strategic outcomes (such as innovation, customer centricity, operational excellence, globalisation) and into the intermediate performance outcomes necessary to achieve these.
  • Foster cross-disciplinary insight into the people management implications of these performance challenges 
  • Forge points of common understanding and informing respective disciplines of knowledge that can be co-opted and applied to new settings

Journal scope

To address the cross-disciplinary issue, the journal serves to cross-fertilise academic debates, forging points of common understanding and informing respective disciplines of knowledge that can be co-opted and applied to new settings. It taps disciplines beyond those typically associated with HR and organisation effectiveness, such as consumer behaviour, operations, risk and crisis management, political economy, population ecology, and industrial sociology, amongst others.

The journal is focused on the role of people in organisational effectiveness. It carries research concerned with the experience of workforces and the productivity and performance of employees, management functions and organisations, based on integrative reviews and critiques of existing theory and practice.

To address the challenge of multiple levels of analysis, it publishes research papers that tackle performance issues that have relevance at the individual, team, function, organisation and societal (policy) level.

It adopts a broad definition of performance, beyond just financial performance, but tapping into the achievement of important distal strategic outcomes (such as innovation, customer centricity, operational excellence, globalisation) and into the intermediate performance outcomes necessary to achieve these.

All papers should have a performance connotation, either by including hard performance data or by focusing on key processes and capabilities considered central to performance. The research should cover issues that academics, practitioners and employees see as being important and investigate performance in terms of what it means for organisational effectiveness, business models and the people management process.

Papers should be capable of contributing to strategic (and policy) thinking and identifying the long-term performance issues that confront workforces and organisations, with findings that can provide guidance on the best ways forward.

Papers include synthetic and state-of-the-art reviews, conceptual pieces, quantitative and qualitative studies on performance and people management process issues. The journal focuses on:

  • research data and insights of specific relevance and utility to HR academics and practitioners, functional specialists and academics involved in research that has strong people management implications from cognate fields (for example marketing and customer services, operations management and work systems)
  • applied research based on new ideas and emerging trends that have the potential for impact and address real-world needs (research linked to current and emerging practices)
  • a reflexive, evidence-based style, rather than theoretical-only dialogue

Journal audience

The audience for the research is academics who work on cross-disciplinary research problems, the leading HR, strategy or performance research centres, senior managers (not just HR), and specialists from the internal centre of expertise who wish to keep abreast of leading thinking.

The journal is also supported by a cadre of senior HR leaders from major organisations would will provide commentary and analysis on some of the leading academic contributions.


Contributions to the journal are sought around the following topics:

  • HR and organisational performance
  • crisis and organisational effectiveness
  • risk management perspectives on strategic management
  • management cognition and organisational effectiveness
  • strategic HR and wellbeing
  • new approaches to talent management and global talent management
  • cross cultural comparisons of engagement
  • HR and employee ownership
  • HRM contribution to innovation
  • customer centricity/intimacy and HRM
  • moving beyond service-profit chain thinking
  • organisation design capability
  • strategic workforce planning
  • HR analytics
  • value creation, value leverage and value protection and HR strategy
  • inter-organisation governance and organisational performance

In addition to the core journal papers the journal includes periodic 'research in practice' sections to capture methodologically-strong applied research produced through professional institution research programmes, research think tanks and consulting research houses.

Associate Editors and Management Team:

  • Professor Peter Chen (Professor of Management, University of South Australia, Australia)
  • Professor Kevin Kelloway (Professor of Psychology and Management, St Mary's University, Canada)
  • Professor Maura Sheehan (Professor of International Management, Edinburgh Napier University, UK)
  • Editor, Research & Practice Section: Denis Fischbacher-Smith, Professor of Risk and Resilience, University of Glasgow, UK
  • Journal Manager: Teresa Aldren, Lancaster University Management School