Our study on scholars’ attitudes towards academic journals’ peer-review has been published by Managementforschung (MF). Here’s the abstract: Peer review in academic publishing relies on the voluntary engagement of scholars who are, at best, committed to that practice. Current debates on peer review suggest that this commitment is diminishing. Conceptualizing peer review as an instance of social exchange allows us to propose a conceptual model of commitment to peer review and test it by means of a structural equation analysis. Our empirical study is based on survey data from the social sciences (n = 359). Results show that authors are more committed to the practice of peer review if reviewers base their recommendations on rational arguments so that authors can trust them for their competence. By contrast, benevolent reviewers who try to collaborate with authors are not effective in fostering trust and commitment. Within the limitations of our data and with regard to reviewers’ behaviors and characteristics, we cannot support sweeping criticisms of the operational reliability of academic journals.
European Review, the journal of the Academia Europaea, just published our article “Governing Collective Action – the Impetus for University Commons”. The Academia Europaea is a European, non-governmental association acting as an academy. Together with the INCHER at Kassel and the Volkswagen Foundation, the Academia Europaea organized a conference on university governance in Hannover in 2016. European Review now published a special issue with all contributions. Our article discusses how different modes of governance facilitate or obstruct collective action in universities. Based on theories of public goods and the resource-based perspective, we develop the concept of university commons in order to analyse the challenges arising from the governance of collective action. We examine how to effectively balance collegial and managerial governance to create a sustainable portfolio of university commons.
The XVI International Triple Helix Conference invites proposals for oral presentations, special panel sessions, and posters. The conference will be held in Manchester (UK) on September 5-8 2018. The main theme is “The Triple Helix and Beyond – a New Era”. The conference includes topics such as geographical and sectoral dimensions of the triple helix, policy and governance of the triple helix, the triple helix in transition and emerging economies, socially responsible innovation and the quadruple helix, micro foundations of the triple helix: New actors, relationships, and business models.
Submission deadline is on Friday 2nd March 2018, decisions will be available in April 2018. Find the full call for submissions here.
Congratulations to our former RePort team member Ferdinand Wenzlaff who successfully completed his PhD at Leuphana University Lüneburg under supervision of Professor Markus Reihlen. We whish you all the best for your future career, Ferdinand!
The German management journal BFUP – Betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung und Praxis published our qualitative study on university governance. The paper details several mediating tactics of university leaders trying to balance competing and contradictory claims of different stakeholders. Here’s the abstract in English: A central aim of reform aspirations in the higher education sector is to strengthen universities’ capacity to act strategically. Universities receive more institutional autonomy, but have to operationalize and quantify their strategies in target agreements with their federal states. For that reason, many Landeshochschulgesetze (LHG) provide increased control power for the top management of universities. At the same time participative rights of decision for the different academic committees are an integral part of the LHG. Thus, different and contradictory leadership requirements coexist. These contradictory leadership requirements impair top managements’ ability to act strategically. The aim of this article is, firstly, to analyze these contradictions and, secondly, to work out which room for maneuver exists for the governance in universities and how it can be used. We use qualitative Interviews with university top management members to illustrate which tactics they can use to mediate between the contradictory leadership requirements in order to implement strategies.
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.