Guest editorial: In praise of streaming

Emeritus Slawomir Magala (Department of Org and HRM, RSM Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Marta Peris-Ortiz (Universidad Politécninca de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 19 April 2023

Issue publication date: 19 April 2023



Magala, E.S. and Peris-Ortiz, M. (2023), "Guest editorial: In praise of streaming", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 1-2.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

Academic communications, which enable research and teaching communities to share their findings and reflections, are undergoing a change, also a change in management and institutional design. Publishing scientific and scholarly research reports and theoretical discussions can be seen as a rather aristocratic family member of the fourth power. The fourth power came of age first with the printed media (newspapers and journals) and then matured with the broadcasted ones (radio and television) only to be swallowed by the streaming digital networks. The printed media are still valued. Bezos still buys “The Washington Post,” and Pulitzer prizes are handed out for brilliant analyses presented in writing. But Google buys Instagram rather than “The New York Times”, and Musk buys Twitter rather than “South China Morning Post”. Hilary Clinton paid millions for the TV electoral campaign, but she lost to Donald Trump who relied on cheaper and more readily available messages via Facebook and Twitter plus a small data mining company with Cambridge in name. All these developments are changing the rules of the academic communications game. First, the regular timing of the academic journal delivery at discreet, planned intervals changes due to a continuous streaming of data, reports, pre-published, online-available texts, films and images. The pixels are freely floating and mixing with letters. Second, the peer review is being streamlined and works under stress, signalling yet another crisis of authority. All types of authority find it hard to remain credible, aloof and respectable when the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, publishes a book about his own life under the provocative title “Unauthorized Autobiography”. He is not alone: a painter, Lucian Freud, refused to acknowledge the authenticity of his own painting of a Standing Male Nude, which he had sold to a collector, because the latter refused to sell it back. Assange and Freud may seem far away from the peer reviewer community of noble practice, but streams of events accelerate, authority and authenticity evolve and predictions are difficult not only about the future.

With this warning in mind, let us enjoy the first issue of “Journal of Organizational Change Management” in 2023. The issue is composed of contributions to a “special issue” announced as an attempt to answer a research question “Why some firms outperform others”. It has been guest edited by Marta Peris-Ortiz from Valencia. The issue includes papers about the sustainable development ability by Chinese authors, internationalization campaigns by the Portuguese academics, business transformations in Brazil, B2B seller skills role in organizational changes studied by researchers from Murcia and Oslo and a Spanish study of academic publications on business disruptions. The question about success or failure of a business organization (a firm, a company, a corporation, a network and an entity, which can be identified and studied) belongs to the core questions in managerial/organizational studies. The status of this question has been reflected in the latest typological shift in a practical typology of academic disciplines used by public authorities to manage the production of scientific knowledge. Our domain has been listed under the label of “sciences of management and quality”. The rest of the world holds breath and hopes that the pursuit of truth about quality will make us understand success of a business enterprise better than ever before.

While the academic communications are heading towards the streaming solutions, the ten papers mentioned above allow for a temporary relief. There is still some place for business as usual in research reporting and discussing. Let it be the modest wish for the coming year. Apres nous – perhaps not le deluge, but certainly more streaming.

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