Our study “How is the Use of Performance Information Related to Performance of Public Sector Professionals? Evidence from the Field of Academic Research” has just been published in Public Performance & Management Review. In the article, we assert that there is inconclusive evidence as to how performance management is actually related to performance, particularly in subfields of the public sector where professional work prevails. We propose that the association between the use of performance information and performance of public sector professionals varies with the targets of management control. We test our hypotheses in the field of academic research, a prime example of professionalism in the public sector. The overall results of an online survey with 1,976 observations suggest that performance management is positively related to publication performance when performance information is used for the control of input targets. In contrast, we find negative associations of performance information with performance when used to control output targets. Public managers in professional fields should consider these countervailing relationships when they compose and use control systems.
Attached, you’ll find the call for papers for the upcoming workshop of the VHB WK HSM. Prof. Dr. Joachim Prinz and his team will welcome you on February 15-16, 2018 in Duisburg. The workshop covers all issues releated to higher education management, in particular pay for performance and rankings, accreditations, third party funding, career development and personnel training, quality management, peer review, and digitalization.
The deadline for short papers (max. 1000 words) is on December 23. Find the call for papers with all information here (only in German).
A little more than three years ago, we’ve started the IndiKon. As the generous funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for our project terminates this October, some of our colleagues in Hamburg and Friedrichshafen move on to new professional challenges. After obtaining her PhD, Jessica leaves for the university hospital in Kiel. Hendrik continues his research at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB). And Isabel works at the Chair of Management, especially Strategy and Leadership at Constance University.
It’s been a wonderful time with you and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors!
“What rules do we play by?” is the question we’ve followed in our bibliometric study which has just been published in the renowned journal Research Policy. Given the growing importance of journal rankings in academic performance management, it is relevant to researchers and managers alike whether there are certain characteristics of publications that are more prevalent the higher a journal is ranked. Our paper examines how tangible and adaptable characteristics of papers vary between different rating categories of journals and what the drivers of publication in journals at the top of rankings are. We build on a bibliometric analysis of more than 85,000 papers published in 168 management and business journals as rated in 18 popular journal rankings. Results refute some often repeated but rarely substantiated criticisms of journal rankings. Contrary to many voices, we find that interdisciplinarity and innovativeness are positively associated with publication in highly ranked journals. In other respects, our results support more critical assumptions, such as a widespread preference for quantitative methods. By providing more evidence on the implicit standards of journal rankings, this study expands on the understanding of what intended or unintended incentives they provide and how to use them responsibly.
Last call for applications for the 11th International Research Workshop “Methods for PhD” in Flensburg/Sankelmark (Germany) and Kolding (Denmark). The workshop takes place on September 10-15 and offers a wide range of courses, among them grounded theory, panel data analyses, statistical analyses with R, and academic writing. Find the full program and contact information here or on this weblog.
I just came across this beautiful website on which Northeastern University’s Barabasi Lab created an interactive visualization of Roberta Sinatra and colleagues’ paper “Quantifying the Evolution of Individual Scientific Impact”. The paper argues that scientists’ most impactful publications (as measured by citations) could occur at any point in their career. The authors base their argument on a large-scale bibliographic dataset containing publications of more than 10,000 scientists in different disciplines.
The visualization looks like a life-line for an individual scientist’s work (picture on the left) or an ocean with wave peaks and valleys for whole disciplines (picture on the right). It is striking how the overall disciplinary patterns look very similar – at least when they are corrected for absolute citation counts. The authors found that impact is randomly distributed within a scientist’s career. So, if you haven’t published an impactful paper yet, don’t give up – it might just be the next one.
Scientometrics published our article Editorial governance and journal impact: a study of management and business journals. It examines how characteristics of editors, in particular the diversity of editorial teams, are related to journal impact. Our sample comprises 2244 editors who were affiliated with 645 volumes of 138 business and management journals. Results show that multiple editorships and editors’ affiliation to institutions of high reputation are positively related to journal impact, while the length of editors’ terms is negatively associated with impact scores. Surprisingly, we find that diversity of editorial teams in terms of gender and nationality is largely unrelated to journal impact. Our study extends the scarce knowledge on editorial teams and their relevance to journal impact by integrating different strands of literature and studying several demographic factors simultaneously.
The Institute for Higher Education Management at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (Prof. Dr. Barbara Sporn) is currently inviting applications for a fulltime Assistant Professor, non-tenure track position (post-doc) or two 30 hours/week Teaching and Research Associate positions (pre-doc). These employee positions will be limited to a period of 6 years, starting on June 1, 2017 (commencement date subject to change).
Application materials can be submitted online until May 24, 2017.
The scientific commission higher education management (WK HSM) has released the program of this year’s annual workshop. The main theme is about third party funding. Other topics include performance management, young scholars, and university governance. Our team contributes two papers to the workshop. Isabel Boegner’s paper on socialization of doctoral students and Rick’s and mine on performance indicators in academia. Follow the links to find the full program and registration form.
Together with other selected contributions from the last workshop higher education management, the German journal “Hochschulmanagement” (higher education management) published our paper “Open post-publication-peer-review: an alternative to double-blind reviews in academic journals?”.
The study contributes to the discussion about alternative forms of scientific communication by evaluating the actual dissemination as well as the potential use of open post-publication-peer-review (OPR). The study is based on survey data with a sample of 2.800 authors of academic papers. Results show that only one third of respondents believe that OPR is useful for enhancing the operative reliability of review processes. The advantages of OPR discussed in the literature are only relevant for the general willingness of authors to publish with OPR in principal. However, when it comes to actual publication decisions (open vs. blind peer review), these potential advantages are only of minor importance for the selection of an appropriate journal (with the exception of heterodox research which indeed seems to benefit from OPR). Instead, the choice between the different channels of scientific communication is based on institutionalized aspects (legitimacy, quality, design of the systems) and behavioral considerations (expected negative group dynamics and increased workload of OPR). Within the limitations of our dataset, we conclude that the current potential of OPR to solve the problems of traditional double-blind proesses is limited.
Abstracts (max. 1000 words excluding references) of articles dealing with the management of higher education institutions can be submitted until December 23rd 2016. The main topic is “Third party funding in higher education”. But there is also the possibility to submit papers in other areas of interest, among them:
New forms of governance of universities
Measurability of research performance
Open access, social media, and ctizen science
Peer evaluation, performance indicators, and rankings
I know, publication bias is not a new topic but it is still of high relevance. I found some very interesting results in a study from Annie Franco, Neil Malhotra, Gabor Simonovits published in Science (19 Sep 2014, Vol. 345, Issue 6203, pp. 1502-1505): Publication bias in the social sciences: Unlocking the file drawer. According to the authors, “only 10 out of 48 null results were published, whereas 56 out of 91 studies with strongly significant results made it into a journal.” The following figure summarizes the results:
The pattern is quite remarkable. The majority of evidence that does not support any hypothesized relationship is not even written-up in the first place. So there’s reason for doubt that special platforms or journals who publish papers with contrary findings – as it is regularly discussed for overcoming publication bias – will significantly increase the number of null results published.
The Chair of Organization and Management at the University of Hamburg invites applications for a Research Associate (PhD student). Our new team member commences his/her studies in our reesearch project IndiKon and continues after approximately one year in a state-funded position as a lecturer with teaching responsibilities. The position is initially fixed for three years and remunerated at the salary level TV-L 13 and calls for 75% of standard work hours per week.
Core research areas are: organization theory, public sector professionals, organizational rules, behavioral decision theory. The position commences on 1 October 2016 or at the earliest possible date. If you are interested, please send your applications by August 31 2016. You will find additional information and contact details here: Information in English / Information in German.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Governing universities is a multi-level as well as a highly paradoxical endeavor. The featured studies in this book examine critically the multifaceted repercussions of changing governance logics and how contradictory demands for scholarly peer control, market responsiveness, public policy control, and democratization create governance paradoxes. While a large body of academic literature has been focusing on the external governance of universities, this book shifts the focus on organizations’ internal characteristics, thus contributing to a deeper understanding of the changing governance in universities.
The book follows exigent calls for getting back to the heart of organization theory when studying organizational change and turns attention to strategies, structures, and control mechanisms as distinctive but interrelated elements of organizational designs. We take a multi-level approach to explore how universities develop strategies in order to cope with changes in their institutional environment (macro level), how universities implement these strategies in their structures and processes (meso level), and how universities design mechanisms to control the behavior of their members (micro level). As universities are highly complex knowledge-based organizations, their modus operandi, i.e. governing strategies, structures, and controls, needs to be responsive to the multiplicity of demands coming from both inside and outside the organization.
Volume 47 of Springer’s Higher Education Dynamics Series advances higher education research by gathering distinguished scholars with an academic background in management and organization studies and a research interest in the dynamics of university governance. Among them are JC Spender, Mats Alvesson, Alfred Kieser, and many more.
As empirical social scientists, we are always looking for relationships between different phenomena. However, we need to be very careful which variables we include in our empirical models. For example, Spector and Brannick (2011) point out that common control variables (e.g., age or size of an organization) are often rather included because of “methodological urban legends” than for theoretical reasons. Therefore, many significant findings denote unobserved relationships or just correlate by chance.