ACADEMIC JOURNALS AS AGENTS OF THE SCIENTIFIC FIELD OF ADMINISTRATION

Alketa Peci Lilian Alfaia Monteiro About the authors

RESUMO

Revistas acadêmicas são importantes atores do campo científico de Administração, entendido como um espaço caracterizado por uma lógica própria de jogo, onde diversos agentes competem, recorrendo a vários tipos de capitais, para determinar o monopólio da autoridade científica. Como as revistas acadêmicas acompanham e refletem a dinâmica do campo de Administração no Brasil? Como esses atores se posicionam nesse espaço? O trabalho evidencia como as revistas acadêmicas evoluem acompanhando a dinâmica do campo e reforçando estratégias de legitimação da contribuição científica. Por fim, discutimos os atuais desafios de internacionalização para as revistas da área.

PALAVRAS-CHAVE:
Revistas acadêmicas; campo científico de Administração; legitimação; retórica; internacionalização

RESUMEN

Las revistas académicas son actores importantes del campo científico de la Administración, entendido como un espacio caracterizado por su propia lógica de juego, donde diferentes agentes compiten, recurriendo a diversos tipos de capital, para determinar el monopolio de la autoridad científica. ¿Cómo siguen y reflejan las revistas académicas la dinámica del campo de la Administración en Brasil? ¿Cómo se posicionan esos actores en este espacio? El trabajo muestra cómo las revistas académicas evolucionan siguiendo la dinámica del campo y reforzando estrategias para legitimar la contribución científica. Finalmente, discutimos los desafíos actuales de internacionalización para las revistas del área.

PALABRAS CLAVE:
Revistas académicas; campo científico de la Administración; legitimación; retórica; internacionalización

ABSTRACT

Academic journals are important agents of the scientific field of Administration, understood as a space characterized by a logic of its own, where several actors compete and resort to various types of capital in order to determine the monopoly over scientific authority. How do academic journals follow and reflect the dynamic of the scientific field of Administration in Brazil? How do these actors position themselves in such a field? This article shows how academic journals are important agents that mark the field’s dynamic and reinforce scientific contribution legitimation strategies. Finally, we discuss the current internationalization challenges for journals in the area in the light of the field’s dynamic.

KEYWORDS:
Academic journals; scientific field of Administration; legitimation; rhetoric; internationalization

INTRODUCTION

The emergence of the Administration field as a distinct knowledge field responded to the consolidation of the Vargas era’s administrative reform and to the industrial-developmentalism that was in course in the country since the 1950s (Barros & Carrieri, 2013Barros, A., & Carrieri, A. (2013). Ensino superior em administração entre os anos 1940 e 1950: Uma discussão a partir dos acordos de cooperação Brasil-Estados Unidos. Cadernos EBAPE.BR, 11(2), 256-273. doi: /10.1590/S1679-39512013000200005
https://doi.org//10.1590/S1679-395120130...
). Several studies analyzed important aspects of the new field, such as manager education (Motta, 1983Motta, F. P. (1983). A questão da formação do administrador. RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, 23(4), 53-55. doi: 10.1590/S0034-75901983000400005
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-7590198300...
), managerial knowledge (Barros, Cruz, Xavier, & Carrieri, 2011Barros, A. (2011). O desenvolvimento das escolas superiores de administração: Os saberes administrativos brasileiros no contexto de hegemonia estadunidense. Artigo apresentado no XXXV EnANPAD, Rio de Janeiro, RJ. ; Curado, 2001Curado, I. B. (2001). O desenvolvimento dos saberes administrativos em São Paulo (Tese de doutorado, Fundação Getulio Vargas, São Paulo, SP).), Administration teaching and the establishment of Administration degree programs (Barros, 2011Barros, A. (2011). O desenvolvimento das escolas superiores de administração: Os saberes administrativos brasileiros no contexto de hegemonia estadunidense. Artigo apresentado no XXXV EnANPAD, Rio de Janeiro, RJ. ; Barros & Carrieri, 2013Barros, A., & Carrieri, A. (2013). Ensino superior em administração entre os anos 1940 e 1950: Uma discussão a partir dos acordos de cooperação Brasil-Estados Unidos. Cadernos EBAPE.BR, 11(2), 256-273. doi: /10.1590/S1679-39512013000200005
https://doi.org//10.1590/S1679-395120130...
; Fischer, 1984aFischer. T. (1984a). O ensino de administração pública no Brasil: Os ideais de desenvolvimento e as dimensões de racionalidade (1948-1984) (Tese de doutorado, Faculdade de Economia e Administração da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP)., 1984bFischer. T. (1984b). Administração pública como área de conhecimento e ensino. RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, 24(4), 278-288. doi: 10.1590/S0034-75901984000400038
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-7590198400...
, 1993Fischer. T. (1993). A formação do administrador brasileiro na década de 90: Crise, oportunidade e inovações nas propostas de ensino. Revista de Administração Pública, 27(4), 11-20. doi: 10.1590/S0034-75902003000200003v
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-7590200300...
, 2010Fischer. T. (2010). A perduração de um mestre e uma agenda de pesquisa na educação de administradores: Artesanato de si, memória dos outros e legados do ensino. Organização & Sociedade, 17(52), 209-219. Recuperado de https://cienciasmedicasbiologicas.ufba.br/index.php/revistaoes/article/view/11102
https://cienciasmedicasbiologicas.ufba.b...
; Fischer et al., 2011Fischer. T. (1984b). Administração pública como área de conhecimento e ensino. RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, 24(4), 278-288. doi: 10.1590/S0034-75901984000400038
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-7590198400...
; Nicolini, 2007Nicolini, A (2007). Aprender a Governar: a aprendizagem de funcionários públicos para as carreiras de Estado. Tese (Doutorado em Administração, Universidade Federal da Bahia. Salvador)) or Public Administration degree programs (Coelho, 2006Coelho, F. S. (2006). Educação superior, formação de administradores e setor público: Um estudo sobre o ensino de administração pública - em nível de graduação - no Brasil (Tese de doutorado, Escola de Administração de São Paulo da Fundação Getulio Vargas, São Paulo, SP). ; Coelho, Olenscki, & Celso, 2010Coelho, F., Olenscki, A. R., & Celso, R. (2010). Da letargia ao realento: Notas sobre o ensino de graduação em administração pública no Brasil no entremeio da crise do Estado e da redemocratização no país (1983-1994). Artigo apresentado no IV EnAPG, Vitória, ES.; Nicolini, 2003Nicolini, A. (2003). Qual será o futuro das fábricas de administradores? RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, 43(2), 44-54. doi: 10.1590/S0034-75902003000200003
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-7590200300...
).

Within a few decades, this field spread numerically into several dimensions: thousands of undergraduate and tens of graduate programs (Bertero, 2003Bertero, C. O. (2003). A problemática educação de administradores. RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas , 43(2), 10-10. doi: 10.1590/S0034-75902003000200002V
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-7590200300...
), the strengthening of entities such as the National Association of Graduate Studies and Research in Administration (ANPAD), which expands from its eight founding graduate programs in 1976 to over 190 programs nowadays, thousands of participants in the area’s scientific meetings (EnANPAD), the multiplication of academic events and the consolidation of institutional and individual evaluation criteria that prize or punish quality and productivity, as in the examples of Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel' (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior [CAPES]) accreditation or National Council for Scientific and Technological Development's (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico [CNPq]) productivity grant awarding processes (Peci & Alcadipani, 2006Peci, A., & Alcadipani, R. (2006). Demarcação científica: Uma reflexão crítica. Organização & Sociedade, 13(36), 145-161. doi: 10.1590/S1984-92302006000100008
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1984-9230200600...
).

The dynamic of Administration academic journals follows and reflects this qualitative growth of the field. The first journals emerge in the 1960s - Rausp Management Journal (RAUSP), Revista de Administração Pública (RAP) e Revista de Administração de Empresas (RAE) - and dominate the field’s scientific output for several decades. This output begins to gradually increase in the 1980s and 1990s, but the quantitative leap takes place from 2000 onwards. Today, there are more than 300 academic journals in the Administration field (Rosa & Romani-Dias, 2019aRosa, R. A., & Romani-Dias, M (2019a). Indexação de periódicos e a política de avaliação científica: Uma análise do campo de administração, contabilidade e turismo no Brasil. International Journal of Professional Business Review, 4, 1-17. doi: 10.26668/businessreview/2019.v4i2.168
https://doi.org/10.26668/businessreview/...
). We still tend to overlook how these actors positions themselves in the scientific field of Administration and also how they differentiate from each other.

This article starts from the premise that journals are key actors that mark the dynamic of the scientific field of Administration. Indeed, academic journals play a double role: they are a field’s main channels for communicating scientific output to its internal (researchers) and external members (the media, society); they are simultaneously important agents that mark the dynamic of the scientific field of Administration, alongside researchers, programs, associations and other relevant actors who mark its dynamic.

Based on a constructivist view of the scientific field, conceived of as a space marked by a logic of its own, pervaded by power relations, where agents compete for the monopoly over scientific authority and resort to several types of capital (Bourdieu, 1983Bourdieu, P. (1983). A economia das trocas linguísticas. In R. Ortiz (Org.), Bourdieu: Sociologia (Coleção Grandes Cientistas Sociais). São Paulo, SP: Ática.; Flingstein & McAdam, 2012), in this article, we reflect about the historical evolution of the Administration field and the positions that scientific journals have taken in this trajectory. We focus our approach on the Organizational Studies area to rhetorically analyze 500 national and international scientific articles published in the area’s journals over six decades, and we identify: a) how the field’s scientific journals evolve; b) the main legitimation strategies that sustain what a scientific contribution is; c) how these strategies reflect the Administration field’s qualitative and quantitative growth.

Finally, we analyze the challenges posed by internationalization metrics and argue that the contribution of academic journals in Brazil for developing Administration knowledge must be seen in the light of the field’s power game, currently threatened by cuts in the public funds that supported its quantitative expansion over the last decades.

ADMINISTRATION AS A SCIENTIFIC FIELD

A field is a mid-level social arena marked by a distinct logic, pervaded by power relations and characterized by its own players and game rules (Bourdieu, 1983Bourdieu, P. (1983). A economia das trocas linguísticas. In R. Ortiz (Org.), Bourdieu: Sociologia (Coleção Grandes Cientistas Sociais). São Paulo, SP: Ática., 1991; Davis & Marquis, 2005Davis, G., & Marquis, C. (2005). Prospects for organizations theory in the early twenty-first century: Institutional fields and mechanisms. Organization Science, 16(4), 332-343. doi: /10.1287/orsc.1050.0137
https://doi.org//10.1287/orsc.1050.0137...
; Flingstein & McAdam, 2012Fligstein, N., & McAdam, D. (2012). A theory of fields. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.). The scientific field can be understood as a space characterized by a competitive struggle for the monopoly over scientific authority, a competition space where individual and collective agents work to value their own capital by means of accumulation strategies imposed by competitors and appropriated in order to determine the structure’s preservation or change (Bourdieu, 1983Bourdieu, P. (1983). A economia das trocas linguísticas. In R. Ortiz (Org.), Bourdieu: Sociologia (Coleção Grandes Cientistas Sociais). São Paulo, SP: Ática., 1991Bourdieu, P. (1991) The Peculiar History of Scientific Reason. Sociological Forum, 6(1), 3-26.; Davis & Marquis, 2005Davis, G., & Marquis, C. (2005). Prospects for organizations theory in the early twenty-first century: Institutional fields and mechanisms. Organization Science, 16(4), 332-343. doi: /10.1287/orsc.1050.0137
https://doi.org//10.1287/orsc.1050.0137...
; Martin, 2003Martin, J. L. (2003). What Is Field Theory? America Journal Sociology, 109, jul, 1-49. doi: 10.1086/375201
https://doi.org/10.1086/375201...
).

In the competition around the game, monopolizing scientific authority’s superiority becomes the object of rivalry between the players-actors, here understood as academics, education/research institutions, scientific journals or even networks of researchers, guiding their action strategies and relationships. These individual and collective actors resort to various resources as a legitimation means within the scientific field, as shown by analyses of power relation dynamics in various scientific fields (Burri, 2008Burri, R. (2008). Doing Distinctions: boundary work and symbolic capital in Radiology. Social Studies of Science, 38(1), 35-62. doi: 10.1177/0306312707082021
https://doi.org/10.1177/0306312707082021...
; Hong, 2008Hong, W. (2008). Domination in a Scientific Field: capital struggle in a Chinese isotope lab. Social Studies of Science, 38(4), 543-570. doi: 10.1177/0306312706092456
https://doi.org/10.1177/0306312706092456...
; Klenk, Hickey, & Maclellan, 2010Klenk, N. L., Hickey, G. M., & MacLellan, J. I. (2010). Evaluating the social capital accrued in large research networks: The case of the Sustainable Forest Management Network (1995-2009). Social Studies of Science, 40(6), 931-960. doi: 10.1177/0306312710374130
https://doi.org/10.1177/0306312710374130...
).

Figure 1 summarizes the Administration field’s dynamic by highlighting researchers, academic programs, and scientific journals as the main agents in this field who compete in pursuit of the monopoly over scientific authority. The field’s evolution is marked by various factors, among which we highlight the availability of funds (whether public or private) and the role of governance units such as CAPES and CNPq, which, through their rules, encourage a competitive dynamic in the field (rankings). Additionally, the figure highlights that, for the scientific field, some types of capital (linguistic, social) are more relevant than others, and take on the status of symbolic capital.

Figure 1
The scientific field: Logic, actors and capitals

Scientific knowledge is a product of this power field and its dynamics. In other words, articles published in the area’s main journals will reflect this dynamic.

METHODOLOGY

In order to identify, from a longitudinal perspective, the evolution of the scientific output - journal articles - resulting from the field’s evolution, we present here the findings of a study that analyzed a set of scientific articles published from 1960 to 2014, with a focus on Organizational studies.

We build on the study by Locke and Golden-Biddle (1997)Locke, K., & Golden-Biddle, K. (1997). Constructing opportunities for contribution: Structuring intertextual coherence and “problematizing” in organizational studies. Academy of Management Journal, 40(5), 1023-1062. doi: 10.5465/256926
https://doi.org/10.5465/256926...
to present the analysis regarding the rhetorical strategies that define and differentiate a scientific contribution. A database was built in Excel which centralized information around the articles published in the 1960-2014 period. Based on the articles, we collected information regarding a scientific field’s game rules: publication in journals (currently ranked); institutional affiliation programs (currently ranked); and CNPq research productivity grants (currently ranked). We also considered information concerning the year of publication, categories of scientific contribution legitimacy strategies, author(s) and country of academic background.

The idea of gathering these data which are scattered around the field’s game rules is justified since many of them are considered as a possibility for indicating agents’ position-takings and positions, such as the journal’s Qualis rating, affiliation program rating and categories of scientific contribution legitimacy strategies. Journals’ Qualis CAPES rating can also provide an indication of agents’ scientific capital. On the other hand, the authors and affiliation institutions are considered essential for relating the scientific contribution legitimacy strategies, since they are the individual and collective agents in the field.

Besides the fact that CNPq productivity grant holders’ data can be interpreted as indication of positions held in the field, such data also provide information about economic capital. Of these 500 articles, 430 were published in national periodicals and 70 in foreign periodicals, the latter having been written by Brazilian researchers holding a CNPq productivity grant. These articles were included in the study due to a possible comparison between the scientific contribution legitimacy strategies used in both types of periodicals. This data collection used temporal cut-points that allowed analyzing the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and the 2012-2014 period. Table 1 below shows the amount of articles analyzed per decade.

Table 1
Amount of articles analyzed per decade

As we will detail below, the study helps understand the scientific output published in our field’s journals in the light of the legitimation strategies the actors resort to and how these strategies are empirically handled so as to fit the social positions and resources of the agents who compete for authority in the field. Finally, the analysis allows understanding how the main agents, including journals, take their positions in the scientific field of Administration since 2000.

LONGITUDINAL ANALYSIS OF THE FIELD

The beginning of the national scientific output in Organizational Studies took place in the 1960s, with the emergence of the first Administration journals, RAUSP, RAP and RAE. Output was then scarce, and much of it comprised articles by foreign authors or translations of articles published in international periodicals or works by foreign professors invited to teach courses in international cooperation programs between Brazilian and American universities, as was the case with FGV EAESP (Alcadipani & Bertero, 2012Alcadipani, R., & Bertero, C. O. (2012). Guerra Fría y enseñanza del management en Brasil: el caso FGV-EAESP.RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, 52(3), 284-299. doi: 10.1590/S0034-75902012000300002
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-7590201200...
). Not only were there few journals at the time, but the number of issues was also small, the same occurring in the 1970s. From the 1980s and 1990s, output grew slowly, but it was from 2000 onwards that a quantitative leap took place, accounting for 78% of the total of 500 works analyzed.

The growth we observe reflects the creation of new programs and, particularly, new journals since the 1990s. The field changes due to the entry of new individual and collective agents, thus starting its consolidation. In this decade, the CNPq creates the Lattes Platform and the Research Group Directory, which are key instruments for promotion, evaluation, monitoring and guidance activities aimed at research encouragement policies and guidelines. In 1998, the CAPES changes the graduate education rating scale to a 1-7 numerical system, and takes on the role of governance unit, supervising compliance with the field’s rules and good overall functioning, and facilitating the system’s reproduction (Fligstein & McAdam, 2011Fligstein, N., & McAdam, D. (2011). Toward a general theory of strategic action fields. Sociological Theory, 29(1), 1-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9558.2010.01385.x
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9558.2010...
, 2012Fligstein, N., & McAdam, D. (2012). A theory of fields. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.).

From 2000 onwards, the field consolidates significantly as it receives more graduate programs, researchers and students, thus tripling its output compared to the previous decade. Co-authorship relations begin to predominate, justified by the pressure to publish and also by the growth of the field, now formed by a greater number of research groups with more inter-institutional collaboration. Single-author works become the category with less occurrences (Table 2), thus showing the importance of social capital in the field (Bourdieu, 1998Bourdieu, P. (1998). Escritos de Educação. 6. ed. Petrópolis: Vozes.).

Table 2
Types of authorship - national articles - from 1960 to 2014

From 2005, after a quantitative growth in graduate programs, the CAPES induces a qualitative change in the evaluation of scientific output, including new guidelines that again focus on journals` evaluation process, such as impact and citation factors, as well as indicators regarding the scientific participation in the national and international contexts. This way, CAPES enhances again its strategies as a governance unit in the field (Fligstein & McAdam, 2011Fligstein, N., & McAdam, D. (2011). Toward a general theory of strategic action fields. Sociological Theory, 29(1), 1-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9558.2010.01385.x
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9558.2010...
, 2012Fligstein, N., & McAdam, D. (2012). A theory of fields. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.).

The quantitative growth continues between 2010 and 2014 and equals the previous decade’s total output, reflecting the increase in the number of programs, resulting from the growing availability of public resources and funding. As exemplified in Table 3, CNPq’s investments on the Administration area grew significantly in 2012 and 2013, doubling the volume compared to the previous year, occupying the 10th position in the ranking of investments made in the year 2014.

Table 3
CNPq - Investments on grants and on Administration research promotion - 2001-2014 (ranking based on total investments for 2014)

In terms of the distribution of Organizational Studies articles in Brazilian periodicals, we can observe the persistence of pioneering journals, such as RAE and RAP, which lead in number of articles. New actors appear, such as Cadernos EBAPE.BR, in 2003, with a significant output for an 11-year period. The journal Organizações & Sociedade (O&S), created in 1993, comes next, reinforcing its relationship with Organizational Studies.

Table 4
Distribution of articles in Brazilian periodicals

Graph 1 shows the longitudinal evolution of the field around its key agents. The quantification of CNPq research productivity grant holders starts from 1998, since not until then were these data systematized in the institution.

Graph 1
Longitudinal evolution of grant holders, programs and journals - from 1961 to 2014

From the 2000s, publications in international journals become more significant, accounting for 33% of the total scientific output. Before that, the internationalization consisted only of sporadic publications. From 2010 to 2014, publications already double compared to the previous decade. This period coincides with increases in investments on grants and research by CNPq (see Table 3). Such increase is reflected not only on bigger numbers of programs and researchers in the fields, but also on changes in CAPES`s evaluation concerning the rating of programs, academic journals and publications.

Scientific Contribution Legitimation Strategies

How do articles build their scientific contributions in the attempt to legitimize themselves in a scientific field? To understand this question, we resort to the rhetorical analysis of scientific texts (Gusfield, 1976Gusfield, J. (1976). The literary rhetoric of science: Comedy and pathos in drinking driver research.American sociological review, 16-34. doi: 10.2307/2094370
https://doi.org/10.2307/2094370...
), which allowed us to identify the main legitimation strategies (Locke & Golden-Biddle, 1997Locke, K., & Golden-Biddle, K. (1997). Constructing opportunities for contribution: Structuring intertextual coherence and “problematizing” in organizational studies. Academy of Management Journal, 40(5), 1023-1062. doi: 10.5465/256926
https://doi.org/10.5465/256926...
) adopted in the publications.

This rhetorical analysis proposes to incorporate not only the content of argumentations, but also how they support and yield credit to the text, with a focus on identifying textual characteristics and rhetorical practices that will help support arguments’ validity (Locke & Golden-Biddle, 1997Locke, K., & Golden-Biddle, K. (1997). Constructing opportunities for contribution: Structuring intertextual coherence and “problematizing” in organizational studies. Academy of Management Journal, 40(5), 1023-1062. doi: 10.5465/256926
https://doi.org/10.5465/256926...
). Thus, the legitimacy strategies identified in the texts analyzed were categorized based on thematic content analysis ,defining the categories by means of a large mixed analysis (Bardin, 2006Bardin, L. (2006). Análise de Conteúdo. 4. ed. Lisboa: Edições 70.).

We focused on the articles’ introduction, considering that it is usually in this section that the authors present, defend and sustain the contributions of their works. We considered the passages where the authors argued about the importance or differential of their work in relation to the state of the field, about why they chose the object of study and about the contributions the study provides. This process produced 1,062 text segments. At the end, the categorization data were entered into the database. In order to add greater reliability to the categorization, double and independent coding was used in this stage, based on a sample of 50 articles, i.e., 10% of the study’s sample (Gaskell & Bauer, 2005Gaskell, G., & Bauer, M. W. (2005). Para uma prestação de contas pública: além da amostra, da fidedignidade e da validade. In M. W. Bauer, & G. Gaskell (Eds.), Pesquisa qualitativa com texto, imagem e som: Um manual prático (4a ed.). Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes.; Kirk & Miller, 1986Kirk, J., & Miller, M. L. (1986). Reliability and validity in qualitative research. Londres, Inglaterra: Sage Publications.).

Thus, we arrived at the four main categories about the scientific contribution legitimation strategies present in this study: internal scientific discourse, external scientific discourse, practice discourse and differentiation discourse. In addition, we also identified the category with no specific discourse and another 11 different combinations of the four main categories that appeared in the articles’ texts. Exhibit 1 summarizes the categories and their definitions.

Exhibit 1
Scientific contribution legitimation strategies

The analysis showed that ISD and PD, as well as a combination of both (ISPD), are the main legitimation strategies historically used in the field. Considering the distribution and evolution of the most predominant legitimacy strategies, one can see how, until the 1990s, though there were differences, these discourses were closer, and how, from the 2000s, ISD quantitatively soars compared to PD and ISPD (Graph 2).

Graph 2
Evolution of the predominant legitimacy strategies in national articles - from 1960 to 2014

In international journals, we can see a predominance of ISD in relation to the other legitimacy strategies. ISPD also appears, to a lesser extent (21.42%), as authors’ second most used strategy. Thus, ISD appears in 72.84% of publications, showing that it is the favorite strategy of authors who publish in international journals. The massive use of this strategy in international articles is probably owing to periodicals’ demands for highlighting papers` scientific contributions. Unlike national articles, here, PD does not appear as one of the most used legitimacy strategies and, like other categories, it occurs to a low degree in the analyzed articles as a whole, being particularly present in the early decades.

As shown in Graph 3, legitimacy strategies ISD and ISPD follow the emergence of international output from the 2000s. In absolute terms, legitimacy strategy ISD increases, although, in relative terms, its percentage decreased in the 2010-2014 period when compared to the 2000s. Despite these differences, in both modes of comparison, ISD still appears as the most used strategy.

Graph 3
Evolution of predominant legitimacy strategies in international articles - from 1960 to 2014

Practice Discourse (PD) - 1960s and 1970s

Considering the percentage of occurrence in relation to the total output for each period, PD was a more relevant legitimacy strategy in the field’s early stage, between the 1960s and 1970s, but it gradually decreased over the years, as the field grew more structured, though it has not disappear. Given that the maturation of the Organizational Studies field required it to develop and consolidate in academic terms in order to establish itself as a scientific field, one can see why this legitimacy strategy appeared more predominantly in the field’s early periods. The very form of discourse in this type of legitimacy strategy, directed to other actors in society, particularly in the organizational setting, makes more sense in a time when the academic field was not so solidly established (see Curado, 2001Curado, I. B. (2001). O desenvolvimento dos saberes administrativos em São Paulo (Tese de doutorado, Fundação Getulio Vargas, São Paulo, SP).).

It is worth highlighting that even though PD appeared to a lesser extent when considering the total output of publications, it progressively increased in terms of quantity, in parallel with the increase in publications in the field. This shows that it has not disappeared and, since it is authors’ second most used scientific contribution legitimation strategy, it should still be considered an important form of legitimacy of scientific knowledge in the field.

Internal Scientific and Practice Discourse (ISPD) - 1970s and from 2000 onwards

ISPD as a legitimacy strategy predominated in the 1970s, in the field’s early stage. It was resumed from the 2000s, a time of consolidation for the field, until 2014, the end of the analyzed period. It is worth stressing that its predominance in the 1970s occurred in the national publications only, since there was hardly any international publication by Brazilian authors at the time. Its resumption from the 2000s, on the other hand, occurred in national publications and was also predominant in the international publications.

IPDS’s resumption took place by combining and associating ISD, which was already strong in this period, with PD, which was losing strength as a strategy, thus forming the new category ISPD. Thus, PD got a new boost, since it was associated with ISD.

Legitimacy strategy ISPD’s predominance should be contextually understood with the evolution of knowledge in Administration, which, despite having become structured as a scientific field, did not lose its relationship with the applicability of its contributions. After all, Administration is an applied social science, and therefore it does not lose its practical character. Due to this fact, while it is not the most recurrent strategy in the analysis, ISPD is relevant in the area as it combines the practical approach, which is still present, and the academic-scientific tendency which developed over the field’s evolution.

Internal Scientific Discourse (ISD) - from 1980s onwards

ISD has been present in each decade in the national output, and it stands out from the 1980s, when the field’s structuring was still in course. But it becomes even more pronounced from the 2000s, a period when the field consolidates and reaches a high degree of elements such as programs, resources, journals and researchers. In the international output, ISD appears from the 2000s onwards, along with the emergence of these publications, when Brazilian researchers began to be more encouraged and suffer more pressure by research promotion agencies and programs to publish in foreign periodicals, preferably those with a good CAPES rating.

ISD’s significant increase in the last decades, associated with the increase and strengthening of the elements highlighted above, is an indication of the field’s scientific maturation, particularly if we take into account that PD’s occurrence, isolatedly considered, decreases, while the combination ISPD grows stronger. In other words, not only does ISD’s occurrence, isolatedly considered, grows stronger, but it is also strengthened by the combination ISPD, thus showing that, in the field’s consolidation period, PD loses strength when used isolatedly, thus requiring support by ISD. Graph 4 summarizes this trajectory.

Graph 4
Evolution of the main scientific contribution legitimacy strategies in percentages of total output - from 1960 to 2014

The discourses gain or lose strength in certain periods, and researchers and the journals themselves progressively use them by means of scientific contribution legitimacy strategies, in order to build studies that allow them to obtain authority and legitimacy so as to accumulate symbolic capital, thus taking on better positions in the field’s game of forces. Ultimately, all legitimacy strategies seek some form of obtaining the monopoly of truth, i.e., of scientific authority by arguing that truth in different forms and resorting to different strategies.

FINAL REFLECTIONS: THE GAME OF THE SCIENTIFIC FIELD AND THE ROLE OF JOURNALS

The empirical analysis conducted thus far has shown that the field of Organizational Studies in its pre-2000s form did not have characteristics that might bring it close to a scientific field, since it was characterized by a small number of institutional and individual actors/players and by the quasi-absence of a game or competition between them.

With the growth of agents, such as researchers, programs and academic journals, which was made possible by increased public funding, a dynamic field was structured which, in turn, demands that differentiated positions be taken by these various agents, defining field`s competition dynamic around a common goal - the monopoly of scientific authority (Bourdieu, 1983Bourdieu, P. (1983). A economia das trocas linguísticas. In R. Ortiz (Org.), Bourdieu: Sociologia (Coleção Grandes Cientistas Sociais). São Paulo, SP: Ática., 2004; Fligstein & McAdam, 2011Fligstein, N., & McAdam, D. (2011). Toward a general theory of strategic action fields. Sociological Theory, 29(1), 1-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9558.2010.01385.x
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9558.2010...
, 2012).

These positions are reflected in different combinations of programs, researchers and scientific journals, considering graduate programs’ ratings, the journal’s Qualis CAPES rating, being or not in receipt of a CNPq productivity grant, and the legitimacy strategies that are more frequently used.

We highlight three combinatory typologies of actors observed in the scientific field’s competition in the country. The so-called “scientific” are the groups of best positioned actors in the field, who frequently use legitimacy strategy ISD, publish internationally or in top-ranked national periodicals (high Qualis rating), are affiliated to foreign institutions or to graduate programs rated 7 to 4, and part of them are CNPq productivity grant holders. The “bridges” are groups of actors situated between two legitimacy strategies, using the combination ISPD. They are divided in international publications, but also in national periodicals with good and average ratings (A2 and B1), are affiliated to institutions with programs rated 7 to 4, and some are CNPq productivity grant holders. The “locals”, on the other hand, are groups of actors situated in lower positions in the field. They use legitimacy strategy PD, do not publish internationally, but nationally, in some cases, in well-rated periodicals (A2), but in others, in lower-rated periodicals (B3) and are affiliated to programs rated 6, 4, 3 or even have no affiliation to a graduate program.

These typologies should be interpreted as ideal types of actors-players (individuals, networks, institutions and journals) who dialectically tend to change positions according to the field’s dynamic, while seeking to influence that dynamic.

Journals, as the main means of dissemination of scientific contribution, play a key role in the scientific field’s competitive dynamic, since they are ranked and help rank researchers and programs, thus promoting the logic of competition inherent to the game. This role, in the Brazilian case, is spurred by the competitive logic of CAPES/CNPq, which imposes the logic of rankings for programs, individual researches and academic journals.

The field’s quantitative growth process described above is reflected in the multiplication of all actors: programs, researchers and academic journals. Today, the Administration field in Brazil has over 300 national journals. The growth has followed only the logic of multiplication of programs and researchers in a productivist movement that has been long criticized by various authors in the field, and is reflected in periodicals that are irrelevant from the scientific point of view (Bertero et al., 2013Bertero, C. O. (2003). A problemática educação de administradores. RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas , 43(2), 10-10. doi: 10.1590/S0034-75902003000200002V
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-7590200300...
; Rosa & Romani-Dias, 2019Rosa, R. A., & Romani-Dias, M (2019a). Indexação de periódicos e a política de avaliação científica: Uma análise do campo de administração, contabilidade e turismo no Brasil. International Journal of Professional Business Review, 4, 1-17. doi: 10.26668/businessreview/2019.v4i2.168
https://doi.org/10.26668/businessreview/...
).

In their pursuit of differentiation, national journals seek to respond to the current pressure towards “internationalization”. The movement materializes in various forms, as analyzed by Rosa and Romani-Dias (2019aRosa, R. A., & Romani-Dias, M (2019a). Indexação de periódicos e a política de avaliação científica: Uma análise do campo de administração, contabilidade e turismo no Brasil. International Journal of Professional Business Review, 4, 1-17. doi: 10.26668/businessreview/2019.v4i2.168
https://doi.org/10.26668/businessreview/...
; 2019b)Rosa, R. A., & Romani-Dias, M. (2019b). A presença e o impacto de periódicos brasileiros da área de administração, contabilidade e turismo em bases internacionais e nacionais. Revista Eletrônica de Ciência Administrativa (RECADM), 18, 327-348. doi: 10.21529/RECADM.2019014
https://doi.org/10.21529/RECADM.2019014...
: while 60% of the journals with a high Qualis rating (A2) are bilingual or English-only publications, 73.33% of B1 periodicals and 100% of B5 periodicals publish in Portuguese only. The authors note that many national journals have no significant presence in the main national (SciELO) and international indexers (Scopus, Web of Science, among others), and have low-impact metrics compared to their international peers.

Moreover, the journals that are best rated in international indexers tend to coincide with and represent, to a large extent, pioneering journals in the field, such as RAE and RAP, which indicates an important role for historical reputation and institutional investment in the periodical. Finally, internationalization is far from making for a genuine contribution by the Brazilian field in the international arena, since a thematic and methodological mimestism of the American context tends to predominate (Peci & Fornazin, 2017Peci, A., & Fornazin, M. (2017). The knowledge-building process of public administration research: A comparative perspective between Brazil and North American contexts. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 83(1_suppl), 99-119. doi: 10.1177/0020852316637660
https://doi.org/10.1177/0020852316637660...
).

It seems very likely, however, that internationalization, inasmuch as it is incorporated as one of the main rating and ranking criteria for programs, researchers and journals, has become the new symbolic capital in the Administration field, a new strategic resource that differentiates players in the competition for the monopoly of scientific authority. As the field’s dynamic changes, resources are skillfully changed to keep and respond to the competitive logic of the scientific field’s game in action.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    17 May 2021
  • Date of issue
    2021
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