On the 3rd and 4th of June 2015 the Said Business School and the University of Oxford are hosting the 2015 Higher Education Research Conference of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) on the subject of “The Legitimacy and Impact of Business Schools and Universities” in Oxford (UK). Keynote Speakers are Jeffrey Pfeffer, Alis Oancea and Mats Alvesson.
The subject of the conference relates to our field of inquiry, dealing inter alia with higher education institutions respondance to the demands of multiple stakeholders. Full papers to one of the two tracks (Track 1:Legitimacy of business schools and universities;Track 2: Impact of business schools and universities) can be submitted until the 27 February 2015. For further informations, see the call for papers.
With some delay to Ferdinand’s report, but here they are: our impressions from the EGOS colloquium in Rotterdam, Netherlands. IndiKon’s Alfred Kieser (Zeppelin University) co-chaired the track “Universities in Unsettled Times: Effects of Evaluations, Accreditations and Rankings” together with Richard Whitley (University of Manchester) and Lars Engwall (Uppsala University). The sub-theme’s program covered a broad range of topics relating to current reforms in higher education systems around the world. We presented our paper “What makes journals highly ranked?” and received valuable comments from the other participants. The positive feedback encourages us to continue with this sub-project on a broader database and with new bibliometric indicators. Jessica Petersen (Zeppelin University) and Fabian Hattke (University of Hamburg) will join us in our efforts.
One of the most striking insights I had in the course of the three days was the following: Much is written about the impact of performance management systems in higher education on the professional identities of academics, and many authors argue that the new managerialism in universities is a serious threat to academic identities. However, as Richard Whitley and others argued, performance management systems may also strengthen the commitment of scholars to their professional communities. If performance measurement is based on rankings, elements of peer control within scientific communities become incorporated into output-based control systems of universities. Since rankings reflect the stated or revealed preferences of scholarly groups (i.e., invisible colleges), their professional standards gain in importance for, and are appreciated by, performance appraisals in universities (i.e., visible colleges). This, in turn, may even elevate the professional identities of scholars. For me, this is a nice thought worth examining empirically.