Aimee Hamilton

If you’ve ever taken a class with Don Bergh or Aimee Hamilton, you know both professors are approachable, personable and brilliant. What you may not know is that these two management professor are two of the top researchers in … you guessed it: management research.

See, not only do they conduct research in the field of management, but they are two of the premier management scholars that actually find more effective methods to conduct research – and their peers have listened! Both received accolades as a result of a journal review in Organizational Research Methods (ORM), an Academy of Management sponsored journal that is the top-rated research methods journal in the field of management.

“ORM publishes research on how we do studies and how we can do them better,” said Bergh, the Louis D. Beaumont chair of Business Administration and professor of management. “We want to reduce bias, do sampling better, handle measurement better, analysis better. Simply, we publish research on how we do research.”

Don Bergh

In the recent journal review, “The First 20 Years of Organizational Research Methods: Trajectory, Impact, and Predictions,” the authors found that Bergh was one of the most prolific research methods scholars. Of the 884 authors whose work appeared during ORM’s first 20 years, he’s placed in the top 1.8 percent.

In the same review, Hamilton was found to have one of the most cited papers. Her article, “Seeking qualitative rigor in inductive research: Notes on the Gioia methodology,” received the second highest number of citations on a per year basis: 554 citations since it was published in 2013.

“It is an honor to be in a department with Drs. Hamilton and Bergh,” says Management Department Chair Craig Wallace. “They not only keep an eye on the ball, they know exactly when and how it is going to break well before it does so … Don and Aimee are prime examples of the leading-edge faculty we have in the Management Department and are true pioneers for organizational research.”

“At a university, professors create and generate new knowledge,” Bergh said. “If we don’t do correct research, it won’t be useful knowledge.”

Early in his career, Bergh saw discrepancies in how certain research was conducted compared to what he was taught as a graduate student, and he wondered if some published results were incorrect. He subsequently published research to narrow the gap between how some researchers were conducting their studies and what they needed to do instead. This stream of scholarship led Bergh to developing a longstanding relationship with ORM.

He was on the journal’s inaugural editorial review board in 1998, served as associate editor of the journal for three years (2008-2010) and remains on the journal’s board to this day. In addition to studying research methodology, he also examines strategic management topics including divestitures, mergers and acquisitions, and decision-making under conditions of incomplete information.

He has authored more than 25 articles in the Financial Times‘ Top 50 Journals. The number of articles he has had published in the Strategic Management Journal place him among the top 1 percent of authors published in that premier strategy journal, and his count of articles in the Journal of Management during its first 40 years ranks him second of 2,270 authors (on an authorship-weighted basis). In addition, his research has shaped the material in student textbooks. A forthcoming article in the Academy of Management Learning and Education reports that Bergh’s research has made him among the top 100 most influential authors (out of 6,326 authors, placing him in the top 1.6%) in strategic management textbooks.

Hamilton isn’t as far along in her career, yet she just obtained tenure and has published in some of the most prestigious journals in the management field: Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal and Academy of Management Annals. Additionally, she won the prestigious Research Methods Divisions award (2017 SAGE Publications/Robert McDonald Advancement of Organizational Research Methodology Award) for her 2013 ORM publication.

Typically, much older articles receive this award, so Hamilton’s article received an unusual distinction as her peers believe that the quality and impact of this work are especially noteworthy.

“In my short time at DU, I have learned so much from Drs. Hamilton and Bergh and count myself lucky to receive such knowledge firsthand,” Wallace said. “Congratulations to both Aimee and Don!”