The BER’s primary focus is to publish articles that contribute to actionable knowledge for business leaders. This may be by providing new thinking and perspectives, the findings of new research, innovative approaches, or feedback from real world experiences (e.g. challenges, approaches, mistakes, tools developed). Submission of thoughtful articles on current business policy and practise controversies are also welcomed since discussion helps enlighten and guide thinking.

BER welcomes submissions that contribute to our understanding of excellence and application of its principles in any of the following areas:

  • leadership
  • general management
  • strategy
  • people management – including learning and development
  • communications – including marketing and market research
  • process management
  • resource management – including financial, supply chain, technology, and knowledge management
  • project management
  • change management
  • risk management
  • innovation
  • governance
  • quality management
  • sales excellence
  • Public sector management
  • Government excellence

The BER seeks to examine topics from more than one angle, using a variety of lenses. Consequently, submissions from collaborators with a diverse range of academic, cultural, and professional backgrounds are encouraged from managers, excellence practitioners, and consultants. Although the BER primarily targets practitioners, submissions from management academics, scholars and researchers are valued and welcomed (they can be based on qualitative, quantitative, mixed or multiple methods research).

Articles submitted for publication need to meet generally accepted standards for conceptual and analytical rigor appropriate for a premier academic journal. The BER’s main requirement is that articles must be well documented, rigorous, balanced, and relevant.

Authors are requested, in so far as is possible, to avoid technical jargon and, if their submission is based on quantitative research, to write for a non-specialist audience, saving text which requires an understanding of statistics for the article’s Commentary.

Articles submitted to the BER must be submitted in accordance with the BER guidelines and must comply with the BER’s Ethics Policy. Those that meet submission qualification criteria will be reviewed at the discretion of the editor and subjected to a refereed, double-blind review process. Criteria used by reviewers will be consistent with the BER’s Editorial Policy. The editor has final review and decision authority for all articles.

Note: The BER does not publish articles aimed solely at an academic audience. Manuscripts that do not aim to improve the knowledge necessary for working managers in a manner that they will find digestible (both in terms of the language used and the time required to read them), should not be sent to the BER for consideration. The BER does not publish articles that have been previously published elsewhere or which are under consideration for publication by another journal.

Submissions to the BER must comply with its Ethics Policy and follow its Style Guide, including formatting, length and references. Poorly written or structured papers as well as those that do not have a Commentary section, will be returned to the author(s) and may exclude the author(s) from future consideration.

Article Submissions

Articles should be 3,000 to 5,000 words in length including all tables and figures in the article but excluding the appended Commentary (which must hold all references, appendices, and – for academic articles – supporting narrative such as ontological and epistemological stance, reflexivity, and justification of any research approaches, methods, and tools used). The appended Commentary must be no longer than the article itself and should provide sufficient supporting information for the reader to judge the validity of any claims made and to see how the work complements other literature in the field.

If a manuscript does not meet these structure and word count requirements, it either needs to be modified to do so or it should be submitted to another journal.

Please note: It is in the best interest of the author(s) to be exacting about manuscript length. Papers which are considerably longer or shorter than these guidelines will be returned without review and may exclude the author(s) from future consideration.

Additional supporting notes can be supplied with the submission but, in principle, should not exceed 4,000 words. They can be less formal than the article itself and, in addition, to framing the manuscript they should highlight the contribution made by existing knowledge to the author(s) thinking and clearly outline how the paper builds on this with new thinking.

  • Contributions must be in English
  • Manuscripts must be formatted according to the BER Style Guide

If the first language of a paper’s author(s) is not English, the use of a professional language editing service is allowed and recommended to minimise the papers chances of being turned down for English language quality reasons.

Article Structure, Style Guide & Artwork Guidelines

Download PDF here.

If you have any questions, please contact the Editor.

Guidelines for Using Third-Party Material

We strongly recommend that, wherever possible, authors avoid using third-party material or copyrighted material, unless the material is out of copyright.

Authors bear the responsibility for checking whether material (including but not limited to figures, tables, photographs, illustrations, and data) they submit to the BER is subject to copyright or any other ownership rights that would restrict it from being reproduced.

Authors need to obtain permission to reproduce any such material and include these permissions with their submission. Where use of any materials used in an article is so restricted, the editor the and Business Excellence Institute must be informed of this when the submission is made.

Authors are responsible for obtaining and, if necessary, paying for permission from copyright holders to reproduce [through any medium of communication] any material from their previous publications. Where permission is sought, it can be difficult to obtain the range of rights required to enable your article to be published in the BER. Please be sure to confirm any permission of license offered covers the BER’s intended use of the material before making any commitment to pay any license fee.

The copyright law in some countries contains clauses that permit, in certain cases, limited use of copyright material without obtaining permission from the copyright holder (one examples of this is ”Fair Use” in the United States). It is BER policy to require authors to obtain permission in all cases except where the material is a short quotation used for the purpose of “criticism and review” and that exception shall only be made on condition that the quotation is properly attributed and utilises the minimum amount of material required for the criticism and review.

It is important to note, that legal issues other than copyright infringement  – such as libel – may arise from the use of third-party material in an article. Authors should always seek legal advice if they require it.

The source and copyright of such materials should be credited. Any necessary acknowledgments should be added to the article (preferably as Acknowledgments included in the Commentary Section) and the source and copyright of photographs and figures should be credited in the accompanying captions.

Help on Obtaining Permission to Use Third-Party Material

It can be difficult to find out who holds the rights for third-party material. Consequently, authors are advised to identify them as early as possible while preparing their article. As a rule of thumb, a good starting point is to contact the original publisher.

Note, it may be necessary to contact multiple publishers to obtain the permission needed to enable worldwide publication as some publishers may only hold the rights to a limited geographical territory.

Other options to start the search would be to use online search engines or to contact bodies such as the Copyright Clearance Center (

A BEF template for requesting permission can be found here.

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