Organization Theory (OT), published in collaboration with the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS), is a global, peer-reviewed, open-access journal that publishes the best theory and review work in the domain of organization and management studies.
Watch the Organization Theory launch video here.
Broad in Scope
OT publishes theory papers on different subjects within organization and management studies, including work within subject areas such as strategy, organizational behavior, work and employment relations, human resource management, international business, general management, public administration, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, ethics, and gender and diversity.
The journal offers a platform for theory development and theory-related discussions that significantly deepen our understanding of different subject areas; critiquing or deepening received views, and identifying significantly new ways of researching and understanding a particular subject.
OT is European at heart, but global in coverage and reach. The journal aims to cover and disclose to a broad audience the intellectual breadth of theoretical work on organizations and organizing that is carried out around the world.
Look to OT for the best theoretical work in each of these subject areas as well as for work that transcends the boundaries of particular subjects to speak to a broader audience.
A Range of Perspectives and Styles
OT is a multi-disciplinary journal, rooted in the social sciences, inspired by diversity and paradigmatic plurality, and open to commentary and debate.
Given this pluralistic ethos, papers can adopt different theory building styles and can be written up as research articles or perspective-taking essays, in both longer and shorter formats.
Besides regular articles, OT publishes review papers and a series of commissioned essays that speak to the bigger theoretical topics and debates in the field (see our Submission Guidelines for more details on these journal related features).
OT is an open access journal. Publication in the journal is free for authors as the article processing charge (APC) for accepted articles is waived by Sage and/or financed by EGOS.
Organization Theory aims to promote the understanding of organizations, organizing, and the organized in and between societies, through the publication of double-blind peer-reviewed, top quality theoretical papers.
Organization Theory publishes work in all areas of organization theory, including papers that develop new substantive theories or offer theoretical extensions, papers on the history and philosophy of management and organizational theory, meta-theoretical inquiries into the core underpinnings of existing theories, critiques of theories and theoretical developments, and theory-driven reviews of important areas of research.
As a theory journal, OT does not publish papers that draw on empirical data to make data-driven theoretical claims. Such empirical papers are published in Organization Studies – another journal under the auspices of the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) – and authors are encouraged to submit their empirical manuscript to this journal.
|Joep Cornelissen||Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|Markus Höllerer||UNSW Sydney, Australia & WU Vienna, Austria|
|Emma Bell||The Open University, UK|
|Eva Boxenbaum||CBS, Denmark|
|Samer Faraj||McGill University, Canada|
|Joel Gehman||University of Alberta, Canada|
|Madeline Toubiana||University of Ottawa, Canada|
|Sophia Tzagaraki||Managing Editor, Greece|
|Ruth Aguilera||Northeastern University, USA|
|Susan Ainsworth||University of Melbourne, Australia|
|Rafael Alcadipani||Sao Paolo School of Business Administration, Brazil|
|John Amis||University of Edinburgh, UK|
|Stefan Arora-Jonsson||Uppsala University, Sweden|
|Jean Bartunek||Boston College, USA|
|Yvonne Benshop||Nijmegen School of Management, Netherlands|
|Stephanie Bertels||Simon Fraser University, Canada|
|Marya Besharov||Cornell University, USA|
|Laure Cabantous||ESCP Buniness School, France|
|Robert Chia||University of Glasgow, UK|
|Jean Clarke||EM-Lyon, France|
|Jana Costas||European University Viadrina, Germany|
|David Courpasson||EM-Lyon, France|
|Andrew Crane||University of Bath, UK|
|Leanne Cutcher||The University of Sydney Business School, Australia|
|Barbara Czarniawska||University of Gothenburg, Sweden|
|Tina Dacin||Queen’s University, Canada|
|Elena Dalpiaz||Imperial College London, UK|
|Rich de Jordy||California State University, USA|
|Rick Delbridge||Cardiff University, UK|
|Frank den Hond||Hanken School of Economics, Netherlands|
|Paul du Gay||Copenhagen Business School, Denmark|
|Rodolphe Durand||HEC Paris, France|
|Micki Eisenmann||The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel|
|Martha Feldman||Stanford University, USA|
|Pablo Fernandez||IAE Business School, Argentina|
|Peer Fiss||University of Southern California, USA|
|Peter Fleming||University of Technology, Sydney, Australia|
|Mikkel Flyverbom||Copenhagen Business School, Denmark|
|Marianna Fotaki||University of Warwick, UK|
|Santi Furnari||Bayes Business School, UK|
|David Gault, Arellano||Center for Research and Teaching in Economics, Mexico|
|Jean Pascal Gond||Cass Business School, UK|
|Elizabeth Goodrick||Florida Atlantic University, USA|
|Nina Granqvist||Aalto University, Finland|
|Barbara Gray||Penn State Smeal College of Business, USA|
|Royston Greenwood||University of Alberta, Canada|
|Tor Hernes||Copenhagen Business School, Denmark|
|Robin Holt||Copenhagen Business School, Denmark|
|Jennifer Howard-Grenville||University of Cambridge, UK|
|Gazi Islam||Grenoble Ecole de Management, France|
|Dennis Jancsary||WU Vienna, Austria|
|Maddy Janssens||KU Leuven, Belgium|
|Candace Jones||University of Edinburgh, UK|
|Martin Kornberger||EM-Lyon, France|
|Ann Langley||HEC Montréal, Canada|
|Mike Lounsbury||University of Alberta, Canada|
|Johanna Mair||Hertie School of Governance, Germany|
|Sally Maitlis||University of Oxford, UK|
|Renate Meyer||WU Vienna, Austria|
|Evelyn Micelotta||University of New Mexico, USA|
|Mette Morsing||Copenhagen Business School, Denmark|
|Christine Moser||Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Alistair Mutch||Nottingham Business School, UK|
|Daniel Nyberg||University of Queensland, Australia|
|Nelson Phillips||Imperial College London, UK|
|Rebecca Piekkari||Aalto University, Finland|
|Davide Ravasi||Cass Business School, UK|
|Trish Reay||University of Alberta, Canada|
|Carl Rhodes||University of Technology, Sydney, Australia|
|Linda Rouleau||HEC Montréal, Canada|
|Marie-Laure Salles-Djelic||Sciences Po, France|
|Majken Schultz||Copenhagen Business School, Denmark|
|Tal Simons||RSM, The Netherlands|
|Roy Suddaby||University of Victoria, Canada|
|Kathleen Sutcliffe||Johns Hopkins University, USA|
|Silviya Svejenova||Copenhagen Business School, Denmark|
|Jacky Swan||University of Warwick, UK|
|Paul Tracey||Judge Business School, UK|
|Christine Trank||Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, USA|
|Hari Tsoukas||University of Cyprus, Cyprus|
|Eero Vaara||University of Oxford, UK|
|Andrea Whittle||Newcastle University, UK|
|Patrizia Zanoni||Hasselt University, Belgium|
|Tammar Zilber||Jerusalem School of Business, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel|
Organization Theory (OT) publishes work in all areas of organization theory, including papers that develop new substantive theories or offer theoretical extensions, papers on the history of organization and management theory, meta-theoretical inquiries into the core underpinnings of existing theories, critiques of theories and theoretical developments, and theory-driven reviews of important areas of research.
Given the pluralistic ethos of the journal, papers that are written on a subject can take a variety of forms and lengths. Whatever the format and style in which papers are written, the general hallmark of papers published in OT is that (a) a theoretical argument is coherently developed and laid out; and in a way that (b) significantly contributes to our understanding of organizations and management. Meaningful new implications or insights for theory must be present in all work published in the journal, regardless of whether such implications or insights are derived from the development of novel ideas into new theory, from a critique of received theory, or from a conceptual synthesis of recent advances. Submissions should therefore also clearly signal and communicate the nature of their theoretical contribution in relation to the existing literature.
- Open Access
- Article processing charge (APC)
- What do we publish?
3.1 Aims & Scope
3.2 Article types
3.3 Writing your paper
- Editorial policies
4.1 Peer review policy
4.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
- Publishing policies
5.1 Publication ethics
5.2 Contributor’s publishing agreement
- Preparing your manuscript
6.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
6.3 Supplemental material
6.4 Reference style
6.5 English language editing services
6.6 Identifiable Information
- Submitting your manuscript
7.1 How to submit your manuscript
7.2 Title, keywords and abstracts
7.4 Information required for completing your submission
- On acceptance and publication
8.1 Sage Production
8.2 Online publication
8.3 Promoting your article
- Further information
- Appealing the publication decision
OT is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.
Please read the guidelines below then visit the journal’s submission site https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ot to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned. Remember you can log in to the submission site at any time to check on the progress of your paper through the peer review process.
If you have any questions about publishing with Sage, please visit the Sage Journal Solutions Portal. For any questions related to OT, please reach out to the journal’s editorial team at email@example.com.
Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of OT will be reviewed. As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights to the work, it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.
OT may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy.
If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.
Organization Theory is an open access, peer-reviewed journal. Each article accepted by peer review is made freely available online immediately upon publication, is published under a Creative Commons license and will be hosted online in perpetuity.
There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.
Before submitting your manuscript to OT, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.
Submissions to OT fall in three categories: regular full-length submissions (‘theory article’); review papers (‘review article’), and shorter, essay-style contributions to a debate or conversation regarding a theoretical problem or issue (‘controversies and conversations’).
Before submitting your manuscript to OT, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope section.
3.2.1 Theory Article
OT publishes theory articles on different subjects within the broad domains of organizations (in their environment), processes of organizing, and the organized, including work within subject areas such as strategy, organizational behavior, work and employment relations, human resource management, international business, general management, public administration, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, ethics, and gender and diversity.
Submissions to OT may feature different approaches to theory development, including approaches centred on proposition development, process theorizing, or on a theoretical critique and synthesis of the existing literature.
Each submission should therefore explicitly signal its theoretical aims and position and maintain congruity with this approach throughout the paper. The openness of OT to different styles and approaches, at the same time, encourages authors to make their articles accessible to the journal’s wide-ranging readership. Whilst submissions may be focused on a particular specialized area or set of ideas, they should be written in such a way that our general readers are able to access and understand the ideas and arguments presented.
3.2.2 Review Article
OT routinely publishes papers that provide a comprehensive and theory-driven review of a particular research field. These review articles provide a theoretically-informed review and integration of an important area of research, and offer significant implications for subsequent theory development and research.
In other words, formative reviews published in OT have to be strongly theory-led, either in the design of the review (e.g., comparing and synthesizing different streams of theorizing and research on a topic), or in the implications for theory derived from the study.
Because of this specific expectation, authors are asked to clearly elaborate the theoretical contributions of their review and the strong implications they see for further research in an area.
The submission and review processes for these reviews are identical to those for regular submissions.
3.2.3 Controversies and Conversations
Essays in this section of OT feature commentary and debate on important theoretical topics in the field. Sets of authors may engage in a conversation about a topic in a complementary manner, for example by highlighting alternative but compatible viewpoints or ways of researching a subject. In other instances, the communication between the two sides may take the form of a debate around competing viewpoints (controversies), but similarly with the constructive aim of fostering new or revised ways of thinking about and researching organizations.
The initiative for the development of a controversies and conversations contribution may come from the editors, the journal’s editorial board, or through an informal proposal from authors to a member of the editorial team. On receiving such a proposal, the editorial team will evaluate the proposal and, if it is approved, will ask for a more formal proposal which describes the relevance, scope and contribution of the essays, including the different positions of the respective authors on the issue or topic and the proposed outcome of the conversation or debate.
Proposals for this section are received on a rolling basis, and can be formally submitted via the manuscript central system. When preparing a proposal, we advise authors to read previous examples of debates featured in the journal to get a good understanding of what is required.
Please visit our Sage Author Gateway for guidance on producing visual and/or video abstracts.
The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance your article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation.
3.3.1 Making your article discoverable
For information and guidance on how to make your article more discoverable, visit our Gateway page on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online
All manuscripts are reviewed initially by the editors, and only those papers that meet the scientific and editorial standards of the journal, and fit within the aims and scope of the journal, will be sent for outside review.
The journal’s policy is to have manuscripts reviewed by two expert reviewers. OT adheres to a rigorous double-blind reviewing policy in which the identity of both the reviewer and author are always concealed from both parties. To ensure anonymity in the double-blind refereeing process, the author’s name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript.
As part of the review process, reviewers provide comments and feedback to the author as well as recommendations to one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief or any of the Associate Editors, who will make the final decision on the manuscript.
Sage does not permit the use of author-suggested (recommended) reviewers at any stage of the submission process, be that through the web-based submission system or other communication.
Reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Our policy is that reviewers should not be assigned to a paper if:
- The reviewer is based at the same institution as any of the co-authors;
- The reviewer is based at the funding body of the study or material on which the paper is based;
- The reviewer has provided a personal (e.g. gmail/yahoo/hotmail) email account and an institutional email account cannot be found after performing a basic Google search (name, department and institution).
Editors or members of the Editorial Board may occasionally submit their own manuscripts for possible publication in OT. In these cases, the peer review process will be managed by alternative members of the Board and the submitting Editor/Board member will have no involvement in the decision-making process.
All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.
Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.
Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.
Per ICMJE recommendations, it is best practice to obtain consent from non-author contributors who you are acknowledging in your paper.
4.3.1 Third party submissions
Third party submissions – that is, instances in which an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s) – are not considered for publication in OT.
4.3.2 Writing assistance
Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance. It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.
OT requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
OT encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.
Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway.
OT and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarized other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.
5.1.2 Prior publication
If material has been previously published, it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editors at the address given below.
Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Organization Theory publishes manuscripts under Creative Commons licenses. The standard license for the journal is Creative Commons by Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC), which allows others to re-use the work without permission as long as the work is properly referenced and the use is non-commercial. For more information, you are advised to visit Sage's OA licenses page. Alternative license arrangements are available at the author’s request.
The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.
- Submissions should generally not exceed 11,000 words (including references), although in some cases longer versions may be accepted.
- Manuscripts should be accompanied by an abstract of 300 words (maximum), and by 3-10 keywords from the OT ScholarOne keyword list.
- Within the manuscript, text should be formatted as double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman type. Tables may be single spaced and in smaller fonts, if necessary, for formatting. Use footnotes sparingly.
- Organize the manuscript by using primary, secondary, and tertiary headings (see a recent OT issue for examples), rather than numbered headings.
Add each table or figure on separate pages at the end of the manuscript after the references, rather than inserting these directly in the text. Include a reference in the manuscript (i.e., Insert table 1 about here) in the appropriate place.
Please ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.
For additional guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines
Figures supplied in color will appear in color online.
This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplemental files.
OT adheres to the APA reference style. View the APA guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.
Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.
Where a journal uses double-anonymised peer review, authors are required to submit:
- A version of the manuscript which has had any information that compromises the anonymity of the author(s) removed or anonymized. This version will be sent to the peer reviewers.
- A separate title page which includes any removed or anonymised material. This will not be sent to the peer reviewers.
See https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/Manuscript-preparation-for-double-anonymized-journal for detailed guidance on making an anonymous submission.
OT is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ot to login and submit your article online.
IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.
Please supply a title, short title, an abstract of 300 words (maximum) and 3-10 keywords from the OT ScholarOne keyword list to accompany your article. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting the Sage Journal Author Gateway for guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.
As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized. We encourage all authors and co-authors to link their ORCIDs to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. We collect ORCID iDs during the manuscript submission process and your ORCID iD then becomes part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.
You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed on the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).
Please ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.
If your paper is accepted for publication after peer review, you will first be asked to complete the contributor’s publishing agreement. Once your manuscript files have been checked for Sage Production, your article will be prepared for publication and can appear online within an average of 30 days.
Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit, or by email to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.
One of the many benefits of publishing your research in an open access journal is the speed to publication. With no page count constraints, your article will be published online in a fully citable form with a DOI number as soon as it has completed the production process. At this time it will be completely free to view and download for all.
After publication, you can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. In addition, Sage is partnered with Kudos, a free service that allows authors to explain, enrich, share, and measure the impact of their article. Find out how to maximize your article’s impact with Kudos.
Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the Manuscript Submission process should be sent to the OT editorial office as follows:
Sophia Tzagaraki, Managing Editor
Editors have very broad discretion in determining whether an article is an appropriate fit for their journal. Many manuscripts are declined with a very general statement of the rejection decision. These decisions are not eligible for formal appeal unless the author believes the decision to reject the manuscript was based on an error in the review of the article, in which case the author may appeal the decision by providing the Editor with a detailed written description of the error they believe occurred.
If an author believes the decision regarding their manuscript was affected by a publication ethics breach, the author may contact the publisher with a detailed written description of their concern, and information supporting the concern, at firstname.lastname@example.org