At Harvard Business Review, we believe in management. If the world’s organizations and institutions were run more effectively, if our leaders made better decisions, if people worked more productively, we believe that all of us — employees, bosses, customers, our families, and the people our businesses affect — would be better off. We arm our readers with ideas that help them become smarter, more creative, and more courageous in their work.
To do that, we cover a wide range of topics and deploy a variety of formats. We suggest that if you’re not familiar with what we publish, you spend some time browsing HBR.org or flipping through a copy of the magazine before you submit to us. (Most articles range from 800 words to 4,000 words.)
We are especially interested in submissions that are drawn from rigorous new research. To submit a proposal to us based on your findings, please use the form at the bottom of this page.
Here are the six qualities we look for when evaluating what to publish:
1. Expertise: You don’t have to be well known to be a contributor, but you must know a lot about the subject you’re writing about.
2. Evidence: It’s not enough to know your subject deeply — you have to prove it to the reader. Referring to supporting research is one good way to do this; describing relevant examples is another.
3. Originality: New ideas in management are rare and precious — and one of the primary reasons readers turn to HBR. If you’re writing about a well-worn topic, we’ll be looking for a unique argument or insight.
4. Usefulness: HBR readers come to us not only to stay on top of new developments in management thinking, but also to change the way they and their organizations get things done.
5. Writing that’s persuasive and a pleasure to read: HBR readers are smart and skeptical and busy. If you don’t capture their interest right away, they will move on to something else. Please avoid using business jargon or coining new terms.
6. A clear point of view: Readers should come away knowing what you think they should do differently as a result of reading your piece.
Our editorial process is more thorough than many other publishers’, and you will likely be asked to do multiple rounds of revisions. Contributors frequently tell us that they appreciate the extra care and attention their work receives.
We receive many more submissions than we can publish, and we often have to say no to good proposals. We also don’t publish pieces that have appeared elsewhere or that come across as promotional. A good rule of thumb: A reader should never have to buy a product or service to implement the advice or ideas in the article. We also ask our authors to disclose any financial relationships they have with companies mentioned in their articles. HBR holds copyright on the finished product.
Thanks for your interest in working with us.
Editor, Harvard Business Review