Objectivism, Lyman Porter and ethical leadership

Shawn Carraher (School of Business, University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 12 January 2015



Carraher, S. (2015), "Objectivism, Lyman Porter and ethical leadership", Journal of Management History, Vol. 21 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMH-10-2014-0171



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Objectivism, Lyman Porter and ethical leadership

Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Management History, Volume 21, Issue 1

Welcome to Volume 21, Issue 1 of the Journal of Management History (JMH). This was going to be our twentieth anniversary issue, but this will now be delayed a couple of issues as we wait for a ground-breaking submission to be completed. As of our last issue, we had 3,236 citations to the journal, and we are now at 3,545. Our H-index has increased from 24 to 25, and our G-index has moved from 39 to 42. We currently have an age-weighted citation rate of 454.24. At the beginning of Volume 20, we had an acceptance rate of 17.1 per cent. Right now, we are at an 8.7 per cent acceptance rate based upon papers with final decisions – which counts editorials – and 7.2 per cent based upon competitive papers. We have seen a large increase in submissions, since the journal was reclassified as an A-level journal by the Australian Business Dean’s Council. I had hoped that we would hear about our reclassification in the UK journal quality list by the time that I put together this issue, but unfortunately, we have yet to hear anything. Emerald Group Publishing has recently been highly concerned about self-citation rates and cross-citation rates – especially as I am also editor of one of their other journals – the Journal of Technology Management in China (JTMC). I thought that it would be interesting to take a look at these numbers since I took over as editor. Including suggestions for additional reading in Volume 18, we had 1,755 citations within JMH articles, while we had 1,976 citations in Volume 19 and 1,505 in Volume 20 – for a grand total of 5,236. ISI often uses a rough gauge of 20 per cent as the rate of self-citations that can be problematic within general journals (#B1). This would be 1,047 self-references to JMH articles within JMH articles. We had 267 references to JMH articles within JMH articles, which puts us at 5.10 per cent. But now what about citations to articles from the JTMC? We had a whopping five references to articles from the JTMC, which included three references by the authors to their own work and one reference by an author to a paper from a colleague at the same university, so four out of 5,236 is 0.08 per cent. Talking with senior members of the editorial advisory board, they were shocked that these numbers were so low – as was I – well done and thank you!

When I took over as the editor of the JMH, the first 17 years of articles had been cited 1,655 times. We are now at 3,545, so in three years, it has increased by 1,890. Of these, 267 were cited within the JMH, which means that 14.13 per cent of the citations to the JMH articles were from the JMH and 0.21 per cent were cited in the JTMC. These are similar to the numbers from the JTMC. In roughly one and a half years, 65 of 1,128 citations published in the JTMC articles came from the JTMC (5.76 per cent) and four came from the JMH. Articles from the JMH had also been cited a massive four times. As I have been editor of the JTMC for a shorter period of time, a total of only 1,128 citations have been published in JTMC articles. If you happen to do research in technology management and/or in regards to China, please consider publishing articles in the JTMC.

While I generally don’t like having special issues for the JMH, I want individuals to start thinking about the centennial of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and it would be nice to be able to have an entire issue dealing with the AACSB in 2016. It has been highly influential in management education. Please also think about what you might do for a focused issue on the Academy of Management (AOM).

For the summer, I had one graduate student who took an independent study, but I am scheduled to have 245 students in the fall, so I don’t currently have any good comments from students, although I do have an insight from a paper submitted to the journal that I would like to comment on. I received a paper that said that it omitted works based on external observation such as academic research, as academic researchers tend to omit details that can only be obtained through hands-on experience. The authors then went on to say that they excluded works that develop or explain theories, as academics lack the day-to-day business experience necessary to fully “comprehend and contextualize” the authors’ “meaning, intent and actions”. While I like to encourage the submission of controversial works, this is an academic journal and most of the reviewers are academics. We can have viewpoint papers submitted, and I would like to see a wider array of submissions. For instance, in the last issue, we included a case study of a business, which seemed like a great idea on paper until the business subsequently closed down. This is why it was published, as it provides an example that can be learned from. Publishing case studies shall likely be rare within the JMH, as they tend to be more business histories than management histories. I am also now desk-rejecting more papers.

As I mentioned in the last issue, we have been stuck at 665 citations within Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) journals – and still are at 665 as I write this editorial. I was trying to explain the SSCI process. To clarify, when Thomson Reuters reviews a journal for possible inclusion, there are several issues that they look at. First, does the journal publish on time? In other words, does it come out when it says that it is going to come out? Next, how many times is the current content cited in SSCI journals? Then, is it unique and of high enough quality to be included? Does the journal cite too much of its own work or have a narrow network of journals that seem to cite their own research? Typically, for a general journal, no more than about 20 per cent of citations should be from that journal (#B1). We are below six per cent, so we are doing great. As part of an application we’d then need people (authors, editorial advisory board members, reviewers, etc.) to write letters of support explaining why they believe the journal should be included in the SSCI. The process can take five years or more. FYI to help us with the process, I am also having some genealogies done of major theories by the theorists themselves, which was suggested by Milorad Novicevic, AOM Management History Division, Past Division Chair, as well as talking with two Nobel Prize winners in Economics about, including some of their works in the JMH. I also took a look at one of the other Emerald Group journals that is included in ISI – the Baltic Journal of Management – within which I have published five articles, and the articles from the journal have cited in ISI journals 197 times in the past eight years – so we are actually doing ok in some respects, but I think that it would be nice to have more citations in ISI journals.

As I said in the previous issue for the JMH, I ’d like to think that we are brave enough to make suggestions for future research, for suggestions for society and for suggestions for policy. In the 2010 ABS journal quality guide, they mention business, management and organizational history as one of the areas in which articles/journals tend to have lower citation rates. I’d like to see this changed – for us to do more research that really matters and that would be even more widely cited than it currently is. To encourage this, I’d like to see more papers that make clear suggestions for future research. I shall also encourage reviewers to take a look at this and to put additional weight on this – so yes, this shall influence future publications. It is already an area in the evaluation criteria, but it is something that we need to think of more highly. For instance, looking at the history of management history research, Daniel Wren helped to transform the way that management research is done – not just management history research – but research across the areas of management. Research prior to the publication of his first History of Management Thought book often was case-based and, to a great degree, didn’t really look at prior research and theory in a scientific manner. He – along with Kuhn – helped to change this, and we need to get back to this. I’d like to see more research done that shall generate other research and increase our ISI citation rates – and I do not mean to just blindly cite JMH articles. Do research worthy of citation that others can build upon. We have our own streams of research within the journal, and we need to be part of them, but we also need to have others build upon our work within and outside of the JMH. I was asked if increasing references to the JMH increases the likelihood of being published in the JMH. While I can’t speak for the reviewers, as an editor I don’t even look at where references come from before I send out a paper for review – or when making a decision. As the editor for three years and a member of the editorial advisory board for over a decade, I didn’t know that 5.10 per cent of the references within JMH articles were to JMH articles, so roughly 1 in 20 – not too bad if you ask me. I am not going to try to influence authors to change the core content of their articles or to change their references – which I guess is a good place to transition in to talking about the current issue.

I was thinking of what to talk about and thought about maybe talking about signaling intelligence and how it differs from signaling theory, but I decided that maybe offering another scale for individuals to think about might be a good idea. While I have done a good deal of research on Forsyth’s Ethics Position Questionnaire, I thought why not offer JMH readers a measure of another major ethical viewpoint to consider. #B2 are working with a scale to measure Ayn Rand’s objectivism, including metaphysical, epistemological, ethical and political dimensions. When I offered a measure of social entrepreneurship in an earlier issue, the comments were so helpful at improving the scale that I thought that it might be a good idea to present this scale as well.


  • Reality exists as an objective absolute.

  • Reality is in part or in whole subjective; what is real to one person is not necessarily real to another. (R)

  • Truth is neither absolute nor objective, but it is derived from each individual’s understanding of things. (R)

  • Reality is the same for all individuals.


  • Reason is the most reliable means of perceiving reality.

  • Reason should be the only guide to a person’s actions.

  • One’s actions should always be guided by one’s reasoning ability.

  • Reason is man’s basic means of survival.


  • Each person must exist for his or her own sake, not the wishes of the community.

  • One should not be compelled to sacrifice oneself for the good of a group.

  • One should never expect others to sacrifice for one’s own benefit.

  • The highest purpose for one’s life is the pursuit of one’s rational self-interest.

  • One’s highest calling is to pursue one’s own desires in life.

  • There is nothing inherently immoral about the pursuit of self-interests.


  • Capitalism is the only moral economic system because it is based on voluntary exchange and mutual benefit.

  • Ideally, there should be a total separation of state and economics.

  • It is not necessary for the government to play a role in a nation’s economic affairs.

  • A centrally planned economy is not moral because individuals are not free to exchange their own capital and labor as they wish.

  • The government should play a little, if any, role in a nation’s economic affairs.

  • No unfair monopoly can develop if there is free trade in a free market.

We begin this issue with an interview with Lyman Porter. In the past 61 years, his research has been cited 43,193 times, with an H-index of 62 and a G-index of 206! His age-weighted citation rate is an incredible 1,527.16. He is well-known for his work on organizational commitment, work motivation and job satisfaction. I have had the opportunity to have lunch with him several times in the past two decades, and he is an incredible professor and scholar. He was the President of the AOM in 1974. This interview is followed by “C. Bertrand Thompson and Management Consulting in Europe, 1917-1934” by Daniel A. Wren, Julia Teahen, Regina A. Greenwood and Arthur G. Bedeian. He was a distant relative of mine, which they did n’t know prior to their submission. C. Bertrand Thompson is perhaps most well-known as a scientific-management bibliographer and disciple of Frederick Taylor. This paper highlights his many other accomplishments in the belief that his contributions as a pioneer management theorist and consultant in Europe deserve to be more widely known and more deeply appreciated. Thompson was among the first to bring management consulting to Europe. He understood the importance of adapting scientific-management principles to meet the diverse needs of every client that he served. Thompson’s strong belief and value system remained constant throughout his life. By drawing on rarely accessed published and unpublished materials, this paper discusses Thompson’s many contributions to management thought and practice, most of which previously have not been highlighted in the referent literature. French consulting engineer Paul Planus described Thompson as, “the most remarkable man that I ever met”. I thought of him as my father’s great uncle who I never met. This is followed by “Forgotten contributions to scientific management: work and ideas of Karol Adamiecki” by Bart J. Debicki of Towson University. This paper presents the work and contributions of Karol Adamiecki and compares it with that of Frederick Winslow Taylor. He discusses the various contexts in which both scholars conducted their research. The purpose of this study was to bring to light some on the main accomplishments of Adamiecki and contribute to the discussion of reasons why the work of some scholars draws wide acclaim, while similar work of others remains unnoticed.

This is followed with “Management lore continues alive and well in the organizational sciences” by M. Ronald Buckley; John E. Baur; Jay H. Hardy, III; James F. Johnson; Genevieve Johnson; Alexandra E. MacDougall; Christopher G. Banford; Zhanna Bagdasarov; David Peterson; and Juandre Peacock. Pervasive beliefs exist in management practices that conflict with academic research. Although many of these ideas are commonly accepted as an immutable fact, they may be based upon faulty logic, insufficient understanding of academic research, anecdotal evidence and an overdependence upon common sense. Buckley and Eder called these examples of management lore. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Buckley and Eder’s article, these authors identified and discussed ten examples of management lore that persist in day-to-day management practices. This is then followed with “Fluid leadership in dynamic contexts: a qualitative comparative analysis of the biblical account of Nehemiah” by Christopher H. Thomas of the University of Mississippi, Andrew S. Hebdon of the University of Mississippi, Milorad M. Novicevic of the University of Mississippi and Mario J. Hayek of Texas A&M University – Commerce. This article discusses how effective leaders are those who are able to draw from multiple styles of leadership and choose a dominant style that best fits the constraints and demands of a given context, while subordinating behaviors associated with leadership styles not suited to the context. Based on episodic changes in contextual forces, the use of various leadership styles assumes a dynamic, rather than fixed, nature. They used the Old Testament account of Nehemiah to explore one leader’s fluid use of leadership styles. They found that Nehemiah adapted his behaviors such that his prominently displayed leadership style varied based on dynamic configurations of demands placed on him during his rebuilding efforts. As Nehemiah progressed through distinct stages of his mission, he differentially emphasized tactics associated with different styles of leadership in response to the contextual demands that were most salient during each stage. The final article in the issue is “Technology brokering in action: revolutionizing the skiing and tennis industries” by Robert Laudone of Boston College; Eric Liguori of California State University, Fresno; Jeffrey Muldoon of Louisiana State University; and Josh Bendickson of Louisiana State University. This paper explores the true sources of innovation that revolutionized two sports industries – skiing and tennis – tracking the flow of ideas and power of technology brokering through the eyes of the innovator, Howard Head. Using a focal innovation action-set framework, they unite heretofore-disparate pieces of information to paint a more complete picture of the innovation and technology brokering process. Primary source material from Head’s patents, personal memoirs and journals and documented correspondence between him, his brother and his colleagues are augmented with secondary source material from periodicals, media excerpts and the academic literature.

I trust that you’ll enjoy these articles and interview as much as I have and that they’ll provide you with ideas for future research which you can submit to the JMH.

Shawn Carraher


Anonymous (2004), The ISI® Database: The Journal Selection Process. Adopted from Garfield, E., How ISI Selects Journals for Coverage: Quantitative and Qualitative Considerations. Current Contents, May 28, 1990 and Garfield, E., Citation Indexing (John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1979).

Parnell, J.A., Dent, E.B. and Carraher, S.M. (2014), “Developing an instrument to measure objectivism”, Unpublished manuscript.

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