Appraising Scholarly Impact Using Directed Qualitative Content Analysis: A Study of Article Title Attributes in Management Research


Management academics commonly gauge scholarly impact using a measurable indicator—the citation counts that published academic articles receive. The rigor of a study and the way it is reported/written have been identified as two of the most significant universalistic parameters of scholarly impact. In my cumulative thesis, I conducted a detailed examination of these parameters, through a series of research papers. Overall, via its single papers as well as in its entirety, this meta-study examined how top management journals deal with the plethora (or lack thereof) of rigorous and well-reported research. The title, in this aspect, is one of the most important features of a well-written research report. It is a way of concisely stating the content of a report as well as one of the first things that would capture the attention of the audience. A good title will generate interest of readers and reviewers in the article, which in turn will facilitate knowledge flow. This case study therefore provides an account of how Directed Qualitative Content Analysis (DCQA) was used in the context of exploring top management article titles. The study discusses the whats and hows of the method, research practicalities, steps in the research process, ways to ensure trustworthiness, and practical lessons learned.

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