Can early-career scholars conduct impactful research? Playing “small ball” versus “swinging for the fences”

Philip M. Podsakoff, Nathan P. Podsakoff, Paresh Mishra, Carly Escue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Given the disproportionate influence that high-impact articles have on the field of management, it is not surprising that PhD students trying to establish themselves early in their careers would like to know how to write such articles. Unfortunately, these students often receive conflicting advice about whether they should bide their time by conducting incremental research until they reach tenure (play “small ball”), or try to write impactful research early in their careers (“swing for the fences”). We explore the characteristics of high-impact management articles and examine whether early-career scholars are capable of publishing them. Our analysis shows that over half (53%) the authors of 235 high-impact management articles published them in the pre-tenure period of their careers. We use the results of this study, along with the lessons from previous research, to provide recommendations to faculty mentors and advisors on how PhD students can increase their chances of conducting high-impact research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-531
Number of pages36
JournalAcademy of Management Learning and Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Can early-career scholars conduct impactful research? Playing “small ball” versus “swinging for the fences”'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this