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Outstanding Special Issue Awards 2009

Awards for Excellence

Outstanding Special Issue Award

We recognize the very distinct contribution made by special issues to our journals and the database by making an annual award to the Guest Editor(s) of the outstanding special issue of the year. It is a way of recognizing and rewarding the very real contribution made by the Guest Editors and of acknowledging the added value brought to the journals through their hard work and expertise. Most of these guest editors undertake the full role of the "Editor" for that particular issue and most do not receive any monetary reward.


  • collaborate with the editor on the subject of the special issue using their own specialist subject knowledge and interest
  • identify and define the subject scope of the special issue
  • use their own networks to commission papers or arrange calls for papers to attract the authors to write for the issue
  • manage the peer review process and reviewers and liaise with the authors for revisions if needed
  • collate the issue for the Editor/Managing Editor
  • write a guest editorial for the journal - these are often extensive essays which draw together the component papers and provide an overview of the topic

What makes an outstanding special issue?

The criteria, by which we select and chose our winning special issues, are varied but we believe sensible, fair, and demonstrable and can be applied in all subject fields and to all journals:

  • internationality in content and/or authorship
  • leading edge content and originality
  • broad subject interest appeal
  • a consistency in the papers either through a commonality of approach or theme or their comparative nature
  • the authors of the papers are some of the active and respected figures in the field
  • a well written guest editorial which exhibits real understanding of the value and import of the issue, and above all
  • guest editor(s) who put a lot into the work involved in the commissioning and production of the special issue

The winners for 2009

Emerald is particularly pleased and proud to announce the Outstanding Special Issue Awards for 2009.


Competencies in the 21st century
Guest editor: Richard E. Boyatzis, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, USA
Journal of Management Development, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2008

The idea of ‘competencies’ – the characteristics which drive outstanding performance in a job, role or function – has long been common practice in business however published research in this area is not plentiful. This special issue attempts to update the literature on the development of competencies and is guest edited by Richard Boyatzis, a leading scholar in competency development and emotional intelligence. The issue aims to explore “our understanding of competencies, how they drive performance and how they are developed” and is precluded by a fascinating introduction which gives the issue its context. 

This issue demonstrates high quality authorship with complementary perspectives from academia and global management companies. There are academic contributions from Weatherhead School of Management (Case Western University), the University of Kansas, Bowling Green State University and Northern Kentucky University. The issue also includes work from a number of leading US executive education companies including The Cleveland Foundation, Duke Corporate Education (Durham), Dreyfus & Associates Inc (Philadelphia), The Hay Group (Boston) and the Stubman Group.

Four articles in the issue illustrate the relationship between emotional, social and cognitive intelligence competencies and performance across various occupations (bank executives; R&D managers) whilst four papers illustrate how competencies can be developed in adults. In its evaluation of practical application Journal of Management Development again demonstrates strong managerial relevance which has been its editorial ethos for many years and which reinforces Emerald’s publishing philosophy.

Highly commended:

What are the contemporary human resource issues for talent management in hospitality and tourism?
Guest editors: Norma D’Annunzio-Green, Napier University, Edinburgh, UK, Gill Maxwell, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK and Sandra Watson, Napier University, Edinburgh, UK
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 20, No. 7, 2008

An important topic around the world, talent management is arguably a pressing consideration for this sector because the knowledge and talents of workforces represent a singular competitive advantage for businesses. Just as talent management is important in hospitality and tourism, it is challenging too, due to worldwide skills shortages and labour market changes such as ageing populations and increasing employee demands for work-life balance in developed economies. Added to this mix is the emergence of self-defined and multi-directional careers which impact on retention and career development approaches in hospitality and tourism. A recent American study suggests that hospitality professionals are actively managing their own careers and are looking for challenging jobs that offer career growth potential. It is against this background that a broader and deeper understanding of talent management and the emerging trends is needed.

This theme edition explores aspects of talent management through a set of connected articles that incorporate secondary research and senior practitioner views. The collection comprises eight articles, each by a contributing author who has expertise in the particular talent management aspect/s covered in their article. The literature review articles are presented in a sequence that starts with the labour market and educational contexts, then progresses to recruitment (and engagement), management development, career management, and retention (and work-life balance). Lastly, two roundtable discussion articles focus on strategic and operational aspects of talent management. The emergent definitions, key challenges and key practical actions across all articles are drawn together to frame the theme issue conclusions and from this we have developed our “blueprint” for talent management.

Both the articles and conclusions on the meanings of talent management in hospitality and tourism will appeal to a wide international readership, including business leaders, managers and individuals together with human resource specialists and academics in the sector. These readership groups each have a role in the so-called “war for talent”.

“This is very topical and addresses the ongoing challenge of linking the research body with the industry’s needs - talent management in this case. This was a special issue that is a precursor to a new journal we are publishing next year. Despite being the last issue of the year and only being publishing at the very end of October it has already received 2,324 full text downloads making it one of the most downloaded IJCHM issues of the year.”

Sustainable commercial real estate
Guest editors: Paul McNamara, PRUPIM Research Department, London, UK and Tim Dixon, Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 26, No. 6, 2008

Now that the debate on whether climate change is really happening is over, focus is naturally turning to what can be done to contain both its pace and final magnitude. Given the increasingly accepted wisdom that through its construction, usage and demolition, commercial and residential property in combination acts as a source and conduit through which 40 to 50 per cent of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is transmitted, it is no surprise to see increasing attention being paid to how the nature and use of properties can be improved to reduce the levels of harmful emission. Previously the emphasis has been on residential stock, but there is now also a real focus on commercial property globally.

As such, and in line with almost every walk of political, business or community life, sustainability is rapidly rising up the agenda of the property industry in general, including those engaged in research. Such is the pervasiveness of climate change and sustainability issues that we do not stand before a new “area” of property research. Rather, in the medium term at least, until the issues are understood and absorbed into the rubric of how properties are bought, constructed, occupied, managed, refurbished and demolished, we should expect this to create a new dimension to all forms of property research.

As the concerns about these issues mount and the political and business responses develop, the varied nature of the field of enquiry is beginning to take shape. It is a world in which there are many dualisms for the researcher to explore. These include:

  • the implementation of sustainability measures in new buildings versus existing buildings;
  • the pursuit of sustainability aims in both the legal structures which govern properties and their physical structures;
  • the assessment of how to engage both the landlord and the tenants of buildings to work together to reduce the environmental impacts of buildings holistically;
  • how to mitigate the impacts of climate change on buildings;
  • how to adapt buildings to the changes that are already destined to occur; and
  • how to square the fiduciary responsibilities of investors and tenants with their social responsibilities.

The papers presented in this Special Issue of the Journal of Property Investment and Finance therefore represent an international snapshot of the research being conducted currently in this burgeoning field of enquiry in relation to commercial property, with a particular emphasis on the UK, Australia and USA.

Research thrives on available information. Unfortunately this is taking time to emerge in a property industry which, in truth, is only now taking the issues of climate change and sustainability sufficiently seriously across the full span of its activities. As such, much of the work presented in this Special Issue is therefore necessarily descriptive in nature. This is not meant pejoratively, because some of the papers presented take on the important tasks of illustrating what action is currently being undertaken by leaders in the property industry. It is hoped that this best practice will inspire others to follow and generate novel research questions. Other papers outline the many barriers that exist to reducing the environmental impact of properties and begin to offer solutions to overcome those barriers.

"... a good special issue which links the industry with research (we have two guest editors from a non academic and academic background) and very topical: sustainability is rapidly rising up the agenda of the property industry in general."

Post-millennium trends in substance use by young people
Guest editor: Judith Aldridge, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Health Education, Vol. 108, No. 3, 2008

Can information-based drugs education reduce the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use amongst young people? The international evidence suggests that most programmes fail to change behaviour, and that even programs demonstrating some success regularly show effects that are small, uneven, and not sustained over the longer term.

This special issue aimed to provide an opportunity for those with a focus in their work on young people’s substance use to describe recent trends, and to reflect on the implications of their findings for health educators. Although all the papers in the issue describe trends and patterns in substance use amongst young people in the UK, there is evidence of considerable overlap in substance use trends across many developed countries, and the observations made should have implications for health educators in their countries. The papers in the issue cover a range of substances: illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and heroin and crack cocaine. The fifth article examines specific health problems faced by drug using young offenders. Taken together, the papers synthesize results from an impressive array of good quality data sources. The authors of each paper offer answers to the question of what role exists for those who provide substance use education, particularly given the fairly gloomy assessment amongst the contributors of broadly-based education programs to deal with the substance use.

History of public relations
Guest Editor: Tom Watson, Bournemouth University, Poole, UK
Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2008

In general, the beginning of PR as a defined discipline is either set at the turn of the 20th century or after the First World War.  This special issue suggests otherwise: that there was developed practice in what is now called public relations a long time before the supposed start date. Papers examine a wide range of topics that include the development of ‘Englishness’ in the Glastonbury myths, the evolution of Spanish PR history, the creation of ‘Issue Management’, and the launch of (a clearing house for historical sources by and for the PR community).

Critical reflections on management and organizations: a colonial perspective
Guest Editors: Bobby Banerjee, University of Western Sydney, Australia and Anshuman Prasad, University of New Haven, Connecticut, USA
critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2008

"This collection of brilliant critical and reflective texts, touching upon traditional and new postcolonial topics, presents a fresh perspective on postcolonial organization theory, exploring colonization and colonialism as a variety of cultural and organizational practices.  It makes excellent use of the heterogeneity of the field, as it offers a broad and coherent overview of aspects of contemporary issues in postcolonial reflection.  Bobby Banerjee and Anshuman Prasad show, by this highly inspiring and thought-provoking set of texts, that postcolonial thought is very relevant and indeed necessary for contemporary management and organization theory."
Monika Kostera
Warsaw University, Poland and Växjö University, Sweden

Distributed leadership through the looking glass
Guest Editor: Alma Harris, London Centre for Leadership Learning, University of London, UK
Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 46 No. 2, 2008

Distributed leadership is a concept that is both popular and controversial. It has caught the imagination of those in the leadership field and, like all new ideas, it has its proponents and its critics. Whatever one feels about its popularity, its credibility, or legitimacy it is unquestionable that its impact on the leadership field in has been dramatic. Certainly, the idea that leadership is more than the preserve of an individual is not particularly new. But distributed leadership theory offers an original perspective on this view of leadership and puts leadership practice centre stage.

This special edition puts distributed leadership in the spotlight. It focuses on its origins and development of distributed leadership; it raises concerns and questions its legitimacy; it poses methodological and epistemological challenges; reviews existing and new research evidence and considers the foci for future empirical enquiry.

The central aim of this special edition is to provide competing perspectives, views and positions on distributed leadership. Its prime purpose is to not to reach a cosy consensus or to elevate or endorse distributed leadership but to deliberately push, challenge and extend what is currently known and understood about this form of leadership practice.

Distributed leadership is undoubtedly an idea of the moment. Like all contemporary ideas, however, its popularity will be time limited unless the emerging empirical evidence shows it worthy of further and deeper consideration. The evidence we have from articles in this edition suggests that distributed leadership is a powerful form of analysis and a way of interrogating and understanding leadership practice differently. There is evidence that it can positively influence organizational culture and outcomes. There is also evidence that it can promote knowledge creation, sharing and mutual learning through school-to-school networks and the establishment of professional learning communities within and between schools.

In conclusion

Emerald would like to thank its publishers for their selection of nominations which proved to be of exceptional quality, and made the process of selecting the winners a very difficult one.

We also thank Keith Howard, Founder and Group Board Chairman of Emerald, John Peters, and Niki Haunch, Head of Editorial, for judging the submissions this year, and for providing some interesting and informative reflections on the winning and highly commended Special Issues.