Senior research associate at IPM Dr Nikos Ntounis is the newly appointed academic editor of the Journal of Place Management and Development (JPMD), taking over from IPM Director Professor Dominic Medway. Dominic edited JPMD for over five years, significantly enhancing the impact, content and readership of the journal. Dominic will remain as a co-editor, and take up an advisory role to Nikos as the main editor.
Launched in 2008, JPMD set out to bridge the gap between theory and practice and publish high quality research that would also help place managers with the challenges they face. Now on its 13th volume, JPMD has covered and shaped the major debates within the place management sector, drawing on multiple disciplines including geography, sociology, marketing, retailing, tourism and planning to name a few. The most recent issue 13(4) highlights the multidisciplinary nature of the journal, with articles focusing on crowd safety, place branding, place innovation, tourism/destination management and social capital.
We caught up with newly appointed editor, Nikos, to understand his background, research interests and recent progress of the journal.
I was awarded my PhD in August 2018. My thesis, “Place management through different lenses”, had a dual aim: 1) to tackle the lack of conceptual clarity that surrounds the field of place management, and 2) to establish place management as an interdisciplinary boundary concept that combines a variety of conceptual lenses, and allows for the problematisation of the field from different theoretical approaches.
I felt place management was under theorised, with too much emphasis on the management side, to the detriment of a focus on place. Thus, I dovetailed between two seemingly contrasting academic worldviews in the study of place management: 1) the normative, impact-first managerial thought that exemplifies business school thought, and 2) the reflexive, critical and situational viewpoints of the social sciences, with an emphasis on human and economic geography.
I believe a reflexive appreciation of both worldviews is needed in order to further understand the processes and practices of place-based decision-making and the management of places, without forgetting the established geographic theories, as full awareness of these is needed in order to move towards an engaged, pluralistic understanding of place management theory and practice.
Inherently, there is a common denominator between my thesis and the overarching aim of JPMD; that is to problematise and further understand the notion of “place” in order to advance understanding of place management, including the roles of groups and individuals, their everyday practices and how these emerge, their embodied movements, and the meanings and feelings that they attach to a place, which are crucial antecedents of the place management process.
I have been involved in JPMD as a reviewer and author since 2014, and I always had a great experience in my communications with both Emerald and the editorial team. An important element of the journal involves continuous feedback and support for both reviewers and authors throughout the manuscript submission and review processes. I always find it helpful as an author to receive comprehensive feedback from reviewers, coupled with the editor’s view of the manuscript, as it allows for constructive development of my research. Likewise, I always like to know as a reviewer how other reviewers approach the process and what are the main elements they focus upon, as this allows for continuous improvement in terms of reviewing a paper. I feel that such services are of the utmost benefit to our academic and practitioner communities and is something that we will continue to improve.
I am very passionate about the development and management of places. . From the start of my academic career, I was able to contribute to the development of place management from a mainly business, practitioner-led field with limited theoretical depth to a reflexive, interdisciplinary, multifaceted subject that blends together social, cultural, and business studies. By accepting the editor position, I firstly seek to continue navigating within the boundaries of managing places by examining their complexity and pluralism from different lenses and via different methodologies and strategies. I envision continuing working alongside the rest of the editorial team on the advancement of place management and its adjacent fields of placemaking, spatial planning, place marketing, place branding, and destination management and branding in order to broaden its scope. Most importantly, I hope JPMD will continue to grow and nurture collaborations between practitioners and researchers from various disciplines concerned with making places better.
JPMD is a multidisciplinary journal that is listed in numerous subject areas and categories. Last summer, JPMD recorded its best scores since 2016, managing to progress in both Geography, Planning and Development and Urban Studies categories, and also improving in Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management in the Scimago Journal & Country Rank. This progress was also illustrated in the Elsevier CiteScore index, where JPMD matched its best score from 2016 (2.6), while also listed as the 42nd journal in Urban Studies in terms of citations/3 year documents ratio (out of 200 journals). These improvements showcase the excellent work of Prof Cathy Parker, Prof Dominic Medway and the rest of the editorial team over the past 5 years, and their efforts to stabilise JPMD as an interdisciplinary geographical and urban studies journal, which hopefully illustrates how we and our authors and readers view place management and its adjacent fields. These achievements, coupled with the indexing of JPMD in the Academic Journal Guide as a 2* journal, are recognitions of its significance as an outlet. We further hope to add to these achievements by achieving the illustrious inclusion to the Social Sciences Citation Index that will allow us to expand the readership and recognition of JPMD.
Professor Cathy Parker, Editor-in-chief of JPMD, welcomes Nikos’s appointment:
I am delighted Nikos has accepted the position of Academic Editor and wish to thank Dominic Medway for his years of service beforehand. The JPMD is going from strength to strength and is developing the much-needed theory we need to take the practice of place management forward, to the benefit of places and people around the world. Nikos deep understanding of how place management and leadership can help address the significant challenges facing all our towns, neighbourhoods and cities will be a significant asset in the development of both the journal and the profession.
JMPD is one of the key benefits of membership to the Institute of Place Management. All our paid members can access the latest issue (13(4)) as well as all previous volumes and issues going back to the first volume in 2008. Click here to log into the members’ area and get JPMD access.