Cynthia E. Devers, R.B. Pamplin Professor of Management in the Pamplin College of Business’s Management Department, has been named the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Management, a Pamplin elite peer-reviewed academic journal published by SAGE Publications.

Journal of Management is an official journal of the Southern Management Association and publishes scholarly empirical and theoretical research articles that have a high impact on the management field. The journal encourages new ideas or new perspectives on existing research. In terms of its five-year impact factor, the Journal of Management is ranked No. 2 in business, No. 3 in management, and No. 2 in applied psychology.

“Some journals are targeted, such that they publish only psychology papers, entrepreneurship papers, strategy papers, etc. Journal of Management is a ‘big tent’ journal, which means it is one of the few journals that publish broad-based management research from numerous areas,” said Devers. “That’s what attracted me to the position as I've been able to publish some of my most interesting research in ‘big tent’ journals.”

Devers’ research examines the influence of formal and informal governance mechanisms, social evaluations, and individual differences on managerial decision-making and individual and organizational outcomes. She has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles – including several in the Journal of Management – and her work has been cited more than 1,500 times by Web of Science and 4,700 times according to Google Scholar.

“I'm a strategy scholar, but I really research how people make decisions,” said Devers. “I have a minor in industrial and organizational psychology, so I try to understand how people make decisions in high-level organizational contexts such as top management teams and boards of directors. Journal of Management is diverse in the type of research it publishes and my research is diverse, so this is a good fit.”

Devers previously served as an associate editor for the Academy of Management Review, the top peer-reviewed conceptual journal in the management field.

As editor-in-chief of the Journal of Management, Devers will be tasked with reviewing over 1,600 research manuscripts submitted to the journal each month as well as overseeing a team of 22 action editors and an editorial board of over 350 reviewers. She also will be responsible for the research direction and promotion of the journal. She and her team will begin their three-year tenure on July 1.

As a faculty member with research, teaching, and service responsibilities, Devers said she would not have been able to take on this additional work if she did not have the encouragement of her department.

“When I was nominated for the position, I spoke with [management department head and R.B. Pamplin Professor Management] Devi R. Gnyawali to make sure that I had his support,” she said. “He wanted me to do it and offered his support and encouragement.”

“Dr. Cynthia Devers is a world-class scholar with research expertise across a range of management topics. The Journal of Management is a premier journal included among Pamplin’s list of elite journals. Editorship of a journal of this caliber of scholarly prestige helps enhance the reputation of both Pamplin and Virginia Tech and catalyze new opportunities for collaboration,” said Gnyawali. “I am confident the Journal of Management will reach its next level of success during Dr. Devers’s tenure as the editor-in-chief.”

Though she and her team will not begin handling manuscripts until July 1, Devers is already selecting the editorial team and thinking about ways she can make a difference in her new role.

“When I gave my presentation to the journal’s selection committee, I put my plans into three ‘I’s’,” she said. “I want the journal to inclusive. I want the journal to be interesting. I want the journal to be impactful.”

She continued, “The Journal of Management is already impactful, so it's my job to keep it impactful and potentially make it more so. As for interesting, there is a conventional way to do things, but we want to try some new things as well.

“For inclusive, I want to make sure that we are looking at and considering all viewpoints and not biased in one direction or another. It is important for us to have an inclusive editorial team as well as be inclusive with the research that we publish. I want to make sure that we're not falling prey to biases or dogmas that can plague the field of research.”

Devers understands that she may not be able to do everything she wants in three years, but that doesn’t mean she won’t try.

“I've been around academia for a long time,” she said. “I've been a scholar for over 20 years. But I have yet to be an editor-in-chief, so obviously there are things that I'm going to have to learn. Thankfully, I have good senior editors to help me. I think we'll all learn together what it really means to drive a journal.”

Before joining Virginia Tech in the fall of 2022, Devers served as Lawrence E. Fouraker Professor in Business and associate department head in the Department of Management at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. She also has been a member of the faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Tulane University, and Michigan State University, where she received her Ph.D.

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