“A conceptualization of scholarly performance in university hospitals and its impact on a pluralistic environment” – First Insights

After finishing the first interviews for our Project  “A conceptualization of scholarly performance in university hospitals and its impact on a pluralistic environment” it’s time to offer a brief glance at this project.

In the context of the increased importance of performance measurement in academia we focus on how scholarly performance and impact are constituted. We understand scholarly performance as a relativistic construct that is shaped by different demands placed on certain scholarly activities. Accordingly it can be assessed on different stages: Besides the understanding of scholarly performance and its impact that is shaped through current performance measurement methods stands scholars’ subjective understanding of their performance and its impact.

Higher education institutions where scholarly performance is embedded in a very complex environment are university hospitals. Scholars that are employed in a university hospital have to combine research and teaching activities with clinical activities. In addition they have to cope with demands of multiple stakeholders, like third party funders, ethical committees or their own professions. Due to this complexity the components of scholarly performance in university hospitals and the demands placed at these components are highly diverse.

We analyze how the understanding of scholarly performance and impact in university hospitals is constituted by and related to the current forms of performance measurement and the pluralistic demands that stakeholders place at scholarly activities. For this purpose we are currently conducting semi-structured interviews with scholars that are employed at a university hospital. We assess medical scholar’s subjective understanding of performance and its impact as well as the valuation-driven understanding that is shaped by the demands that current performance measurement methods place at scholarly activities.  Central research questions are: How do perceived demands of multiple stakeholders and areas of activity shape the understanding of academic impact and its performance? Do demands of certain stakeholders become suppressed through an economic legitimization of activities? How do scholars cope with certain performance measurement instruments?

Our first interviews suggest interesting insights into unintended effects of performance measurement in academia. We`ll keep you updated!

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