Introducing: The Journal of Professions and Organization, Interview with Editor Brooke Harrington

Hi OOW Members! Today we have a brief interview with Professor Brooke Harrington, an editor from the journal Journal of Professions and Organization published through Oxford University Press. Professor Harrington is here to tell us a little more about the journal and to invite OOW members to submit relevant articles for consideration to this journal. You can also see Professor Harrington’s comments from the recent Meet the Editors event. (Interview by Diana Enriquez, OOW Blog Managing Editor)

Q&A for OOW Blog

Diana Enriquez, editor: Could you highlight some of the articles this journal has published recently that you’ve enjoyed reading?

Professor Harrington: Here are some personal favorites. The third and fourth papers on this list both won our annual “Best Paper” competition in recent years—an award that comes with a $500 prize for the winner and $250 for each of the runners up. 

  • Bévort, Frans & Suddaby, Roy (2016). Scripting professional identities: How individuals make sense of contradictory institutional logics, Journal of Professions and Organization, 3(1): 17–38. doi:
  • Dezalay, Yves & Garth, Bryant (2016). ‘Lords of the dance’ as double agents: Elite actors in and around the legal field, Journal of Professions and Organization, 3(2): 188–206. doi:
  • Ahuja, Sumati, Nikolova, Natalia, & Clegg, Stewart (2017). Paradoxical identity: The changing nature of architectural work and its relation to architects’ identity. Journal of Professions and Organization, 4(1): 2-19. doi: 10.1093/jpo/jow013
  • Armour, John & Sako, Mari. 2020. AI-enabled business models in legal services: From traditional law firms to next-generation law companies? Journal of Professions and Organization, 7(1): 27–46. doi:

Diana: Are there any special issues or thematic areas you’re hoping to address in the next year?

Professor Harrington: As the journal’s title suggests, the articles we publish center on the themes of professional work and organizations such as professional service firms. Within those categories, there is a lot of diversity, encompassing work from many different kinds of professions, organizations and countries. Before I became editor of JPO, I published my own work there on an emergent profession almost no one had ever heard of before—wealth management—which involved work and employment patterns that were broadly transnational, involving almost every country in the world. I found the reviewers and editors at the journal very receptive to this work, because of their own wide-ranging perspective and openness to novel, off-the-beaten path work. I’m very keen to continue that tradition. 

So we’re looking for innovative work that is rigorous theoretically and methodologically, more so than we are looking for any particular themes within the realms of professions and professional organizations. That means, we seek papers that add something new to ongoing scholarly conversations about professions and organizations: either pointing out things that previous work has missed, or perhaps resolving conflicts and other gaps in the literature. The world of work is changing so quickly, due to technology, the pandemic and global trade, that there are always new insights to be had. The key task for authors is to show us how their unique data or analysis contributes to, expands or even explodes existing scholarly models. As editors and reviewers, we’re eager to help authors develop their ideas in those directions, so that their work can generalize and be cited as widely as possible. That’s what publishing with JPO years ago did for me as an author; now as editor, I want to pass along that gift of encouragement and rigorous, engaged dialogue.

Diana: Is there anything else you’d like the OOW community to know about this journal?

Professor Harrington: Given the questions we received at the OOW “Meet the Editors” panel session on Friday, February 25, I’d like to let everyone reading this know that JPO is very welcoming of papers using non-US data, as well as of qualitative work. Of course we welcome US-based and quantitative work, as well as multi-method and cross-national comparative papers, too! Because the journal was founded by scholars working in the Middle East and Europe, we can also readily call upon networks of reviewers who are familiar with a wide variety of research settings and methods.

Each paper is assigned three reviewers based on subject matter expertise, and then undergoes what we think is one of the quickest and most constructive review processes among the top journals. Since we are all authors, as well as editors, it has been extremely important to us to ensure the constructiveness of expert feedback in the review process, and to avoid wasting authors’ time; our average time from first submission to first editorial decision letter (e.g., reject, revise and resubmit, or rarely, accept) is 25 days. 

Diana: Thank you for time, Professor Harrington! And for OOW members: please consider submitting to the Journal of Professions and Organization! 

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