What does not kill you (sometimes) makes you stronger: Productivity fluctuations of journal editors

Herman Aguinis, Gideon De Bruin, Danielle Cunningham, Nicole Hall, Steven Culpepper, Ryan Gottfredson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We tested competing hypotheses, based on learning and job burnout theories as well as autobiographical case studies, regarding the careerwide research productivity of 58 past editors of six journals over a 50-year period (i.e., approximately mid-1950s to mid-2000s). Our study included editors of Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, and Personnel Psychology. Results indicate important fluctuations in the research productivity of editors such that, on average, their research output peaks during their editorship period, and it decreases sharply immediately after the editorship term. Although there is a productivity recovery period, it subsequently takes at least a full decade for the editors' research productivity to reach their pre-editorship level. We discuss implications for aspiring editors as well as the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-695
Number of pages13
JournalAcademy of Management Learning and Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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