On the assessment of academic performance

The IndiKon project aims to contribute to one of the most urging topics in the organization of science and higher education: how to conceptualize, ascertain, assess, and, ultimately, measure academic performance? The question gains more and more importance since universities around the globe increasingly apply performance management systems in order to allocate their scarce resources more effectively. At this year’s annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Herman Aguinis, Elena Antonacopoulou, and Debra Shapiro had a panel discussion in which they argued for a pluralistic approach to academic performance (see this article).

The widespread practice to confine scholarly impact to publications in peer-refered journals is a problem, indeed. Since inadequate performance management systems may cause counterproductive academic behavior and, consequently, attentuate scientific innovation, the design of such systems has to be grounded in thourough reasoning based on empirical evidence. We seek to provide some insights in that regard. During the next 3 years, we’ll try to develop novel qualitative and quantitative indicators for scientific innovation and assess possible cognitive and behavioral effects resulting from the deployment of performance management systems in organizations of higher education.

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