Ralph Gomory Best Industry Studies Paper Award


The goal of the award is to promote industry studies scholarship. By giving this award, recognizing excellence in industry studies research, the Association hopes to encourage a cultural shift by scholars toward explicit recognition of their engagement with industry practitioners and demonstrate the benefits of such interaction for scholarly research. It is often the case that scholars benefit from interaction with industry practitioners in ways that shape the nature of the problems they address, the methodologies employed, and/or the interpretations of their findings. This kind of engagement is not always apparent in published journal articles. Awards for excellence in industry studies publications demonstrate the contribution of engagement with practitioners in advancing the frontiers of knowledge, and encourage more interaction at this important interface. This award is accompanied by a $1,000 honorarium for the winner and a $500 honorarium for the runner up. 


Nine top academic journals participate in the selection of the Ralph Gomory Best Industry Studies Paper. In alphabetical order, those journals this year are:

Industrial and Corporate Change (ICC), Industrial and Labor Relations Review (ILRR), Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS), Journal of Operations Management (JOM), Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (MSOM), Organization Science (ORGAN SCI), Production and Operations Management (POM), Strategic Management Journal (SMJ), and Strategy Science (SS).

Each journal designates a member of its editorial team to nominate up to three articles that were published during the preceding calendar year. An ISA selection committee reflecting the range of disciplines and fields that comprise industry studies research then chooses a winner and runner up paper from this set of finalists.

A winner and runner-up are selected based on the following criteria:

  1. The paper's level of analysis can be individual, group, organizational, industry, or cross-industry, but it must explore and provide insight into issues of significance at the industry level of analysis.
  2. The paper must be based on field research, defined as "the systematic study of original data — qualitative or quantitative — gathered from real organizations." Original data may include: interviews, field experiments, quantitative data collected in the field, participant observation, or contextual understanding of an industry gained through long involvement with the industry.
  3. Even where there is evidence that the authors understand the workings of the industry in a grounded, contextualized way, it is essential that this understanding is also communicated explicitly to the reader, i.e. it must appear in the article and not solely reside in the author's head.
  4. Research using analytical modeling or statistical analysis of secondary datasets must address research questions that have been motivated by in-depth, firm- or industry-specific observations made by the authors. 
  5. Authors must demonstrate a deep understanding of their research context through rich phenomenological descriptions, make extensive use of empirical data, and demonstrate methodological rigor.
Past Winners