Tackling the Confusing Words of Strategy: Effective Use of Key Words for Publication Impact

Eric W. Ford, Zhonghui Wang


The tremendous growth of the strategic management field has not mitigated the problem of lack of consistency in terminology. To make things even worse, general-purpose catalogs, such as ABI and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) have developed inconsistent lists of strategy terms. The phenomenon weakens the legitimacy of the field as a normal science. Based on extensive review of business indices and high quality business journals, we help address this problem by proposing a taxonomy for strategic management scholars to use in key word selection. This effort is rendered in a three-step approach. First, we identify terms associated with strategy by investigating two different types of databases, which are general indices such as ABI/INFORM and the Permuterm Subject Index (PSI) and journal indexes. Second, we record an explicit definition for each of the terms identified. Finally, we eliminate any terms that were clearly not relevant to the field of strategy based on criteria established ex post selection of the terms. To complement our key word selections, we further propose a preliminary draft of an indexing system based on the Journal of Economics (JEL) model. Taken together, our research proposes a mechanism which can be used by the strategic management field to help researchers signal the subject and scope of their studies more effectively.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/bms.v5i1.4573

Copyright (c) 2014 Eric W. Ford, Zhonghui Wang

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Business Management and Strategy  ISSN 2157-6068

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