Thomas Basbøll comments on the editors of The Academy of Management Journal writing about introductions, or Setting the Hook, in which they write:

  1. Who cares? What is the topic or research question, and why is it interesting and important in theory and practice?
  2. What do we know, what don’t we know, and so what? What key theoretical perspectives and empirical findings have already informed the topic or question? What major, unaddressed puzzle, controversy, or paradox does this study address, and why does it need to be addressed?
  3. What will we learn? How does your study fundamentally change, challenge, or advance scholars’ understanding?

Basbøll has written good, to-the-point posts on introductions and other aspects of academic papers. (See links to those posts here.)