The concept for the Muma Business Review originated in May 2015. At that time, the 25 participants in the first cohort of the Muma College of Business‘ new Doctor of Business Administration program had submitted one page proposals to develop discussion case studies as part of a required publication course. Upon looking over these proposals, it became clear to the college’s Dean and the DBA program’s Academic Director that a substantial number of publishable case studies were likely to result from these efforts (and from the efforts of subsequent cohorts). This presented a number of challenges:
- Only a very limited number of outlets accepted discussion case submissions.
- Very often, these outlets had length and formatting restrictions that would require substantial rewriting of cases prior to submission.
- The peer review process of these outlets tended to be quite time consuming.
- Once published using these outlets, cases tended to be distributed through high cost sources such as Harvard Business School Publishing.
This was a particular concern for the DBA program’s academic director, who had been working on case development in many regions, such as Vietnam, South Africa and Eastern Europe, where the price of HBS cases could become a serious barrier to their use.
The challenge of publishing cases underscored another challenge: than of finding an outlet suitable for other DBA publications. Although tens of thousands of academic journals existed, virtually all of these were intended for academic audiences. Publications more likely to be read by managers were much more likely to consist of trade publications, most of which would be suspicious of research articles. While some practice-focused research outlets, such as the Harvard Business Review, did exist, they were few in number and would be unlikely to publish submissions from Muma DBA candidates. Given that the Muma DBA program had three publication courses in its curriculum, the lack of suitable outlets was a matter of great concern.
To address these concerns, the Dean and DBA Academic Director of the Muma College of Business agreed to launch two new journals:
- A new journal specifically devoted to publishing open access discussion cases (the Muma Case Review)
- A new journal specifically focused on publishing research articles written in a way so that they would be of interest to practicing managers (the Muma Business Review)