Scientific Rigour, Creativity and Dialogue in Economic Sciences

On behalf of the Managing Editors,
Ion Pohoaţă, Editor-in-chief

The foreword of the first issue of a publication usually marks out the main coordinates of the scientific content and tries to draw a general description of the methodologies employed. We take however the liberty of drifting from this editorial canon.
Let us remember what Montesquieu wrote at the very beginning of his De l’esprit des lois (The Spirit of Laws): “Intelligent people may have laws that they make, but they may also have laws that they do not make”. We therefore place our message under the auspices of the great French philosopher’s words and adress it to those who will find the time to read our journal.

Thus, we will not take the risk of imposing a priori strict rules but rather rely on the freedom of action and on the spontaneity evoked by Ludwig von Mises in his Human Action. As the famous Austrian economist used to say, “individuals did not found the human society on already concluded contracts” and they nevertheless managed to last, in civilization and freedom. That is why we believe that setting inflexible and unchanging scientific behaviour and production rules might become rather disturbing, despite their comfortable learned academic exercise appearance.

We will refer to norms only to the extent that they contribute to the promotion of basic scientific conduct rules, able to enhance the individual predispositions of researchers. A proper balance between the knowledge they acquired, their creativity and scientific rigour may endow the latter with the strength and ability required to “get the world of ideas move”, to discover new ways and approaches in their fields, to provide comprehensive syntheses and, why not?, to pattern new thinking horizons. We are convinced that any creative efforts are always more successful if triggered by a self-imposed rigour, which is the result of experience and even common sense than if they are forced upon by a sort of “Procust’s bed”, by canons and commonplaces, which in time may turn to be frustrating for a free mind. We believe that the freedom of thinking may stimulate creative spirits and at the same time it may become a triggering factor able to bring individual efforts a good joint outcome.

Our mission, as members of the editorial team, is that of modest spirit “agitators”. Our role is to provoke and maintain the dialogue between various areas of economic thought. How do we hope to reach such a goal since we do not impose unwavering rules? Our departure point is the full consumer sovereignity, which is actually the very essence of an open economy. We shall not ignore apparently simple but extremely inconvenient questions such as: Why would a paper published in our journal be worth time and effort to read it? What are the qualities that would make it interesting and useful to the readers?

The answers to these questions may undoubtedly be only partial and vague. We are perfectly aware that, as it happens with all the other social sciences, the economic field has developed in time a set of scientific disciplines, and each of them has a well defined area of study. Therefore, any answer to our readers’ questions can only be given from the standpoint of a broad range of economic sciences, which, although preserving an organic connection with the whole, nevertheless provides specialized approaches. Our publication is addressed to specialists in finance, quantitative analysis, marketing, management, business informatics and generalist theorists as well. We will have to provide to each and everyone of these highly demanding readers something worth reading. We aim to meet the expectations of our readers and we expect a favourable feed-back.

As its title proves, the Review of Economic and Business Studies will include various cross- and multi-disciplinary approaches, and is intended as a place for confrontation of ideas and real dialogue between specialists belonging to various economic disciplines. Without attempting at being comprehensive, consideration will be given to theoretical articles which provide an in-depth understanding of economic phenomena and research methods with a deep concern for the target audience.

From this point of view, we are confident that a major concern and research issue is the economists’ preoccupation of finding ways and means of increasing individual and collective wealth, by following Adam Smith’s footsteps, one of the economic thinking classics. Half a century later, the research area where Adam Smith outlined the first paths, is still productive. Almost all reseachers direct their efforts, with specific means, towards the same basic goal – economic growth, regardless whether theoretically or empirically, whether by developing strategies or listing values, by market surveys or computing system concepts, by developing management systems or defining the role of the currency or of financial instruments in the economy, or by modelling and providing thorough analyses.

In the same register are situated researchers concerned with the identification, definition and forecasting of economic risks, trying to determine continuous economic development or trend-setting policies. Even when research is labelled as “The Theory of Human Capital”, “The Theory of Property Rights”, “ The Public Choice”, “The Organization Behavior”, all theoretical efforts have the same economic growth-related purpose.

We are absolutely sure that not only do our targeted readers take interest in present and future of economics, but also in its past. We start from the idea the past is never dead. It keeps on acting through us and sometimes even in spite of us, it influences the present, it maybe imperceptible and subtle, but continuous. As the past goes on in the present, and the present is reflected by the past, both forming and deforming experiences, both success and failure examples obviously become extremely significant. The “path dependence” analysis (leaving aside any ideological madness patterns) may stir interest among our readers. Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Murray Newton Rothbard, etc. continue to be, through elegance and relevancy of their reasoning, through the depth of their ideas, well-acknowledged landmarks.

We are confident that the public will be open to read theoretical and practical papers, in the footsteps of Marshall – Pigou – Roegen, quantitative and qualitative analyses tackling the standard economic growth philosophy, arhythmomorphic or dialectic attempts to changing the neoclassical analysis approach. The purely theoretical or mainly practical papers dwelling on ways of integrating environmental economics in the overall classical economic theory may also be of great interest to our readers. If dealt with in sound, competent studies able to bring forward strong ideas and identify goal-achieving means, the issue of sustainable economic development is still among the topicalities. Any attempt to overcome, in an institutionalized manner, the dry neoclassical explanatory geometry may continue to be attractive.

Finding a new transaction costs accounting, developing new theories on the highest company efficiency, on the role of rules in a good economic life, on property rights, on entrepreneurship and incomplete contracts, etc. are all issues that have been concerns of well-known Western specialists for the past thirty years. Our magazine will host research on these topics, regardless of the author’s position – be they generalist theorists or finance, accounting, management or quantitative analysis specialists.

Review of Economic and Business Studies is a publication open to all essential and prolific ideas in the area of economic thinking or influencing it, and, in order to make them available to our readers and initiate possible debates related to them, it will also host reviews of prestigious books, which have played a major role in shaping several theoretical areas. It is not our intent to impose any preset system or the domination of an ideology. Therefore, as previously said, we prefer flexible and dynamic research and we believe that even the apparently inflexible utterances and “verdicts” originating in famous economic thinkers may be questioned and reanalyzed.

We also want the beginners at our side, the young researchers who have the courage (and sometimes innocence) to express their skepticism on accepted simplifying truths, to denounce routine and ask essential questions, thus triggering unexpected perspectives. As we all know, rationality is fundamental in an area such as economic research. However, as common sense warns us, extreme reasoning leads to (surely irrational) excess and to losing axiological plurality. Therefore, we believe that papers dealing with the complexity of human existence, with an emphasis on social dimension, papers refusing to promote a “puppet” that would justify simplified systems and theories, are more than welcome. We should not lose sight of the versatility of economic existence and of the fact that, regardless of the theoretical tools employed, we will never achieve to provide a global description or fit it into patterns. Therefore, we believe that economic sciences would only have to lose if they self-sufficiently rejected communication with the other human sciences or reject suggestions coming from them.

In conclusion, we hope that the Review of Economic and Business Studies will have a long editorial life, that it will contribute to significant changes in the world of economic ideas and facts and that it will become, by the quality of its papers, an irreplaceable publication.

On behalf of the Managing Editors,
Ion Pohoaţă, Editor-in-chief

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