Tag Archives: research

Paper published: Editorial governance and journal impact

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.

Access the study here: Petersen, J., Hattke, F. & Vogel, R. (2017): Editorial governance and journal impact: a study of management and business journals. Scientometrics (online first).

Publiction bias in the social sciences

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:

null-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.

On the 2016 EFMD Higher Education Research Conference

The topic of this year’s EFMD Higher Education Research Conference was ‘Innovations in Higher Education’ – the focus was on innovations in forms of governance, management and organisation of higher education institutions and business schools, innovations in education and innovations in research.

The conference took place in Barcelona from 10 – 11 October 2016 and was hosted by the IESE Business School, University of Navarra, on the edge of the beautiful Barcelona. It was the fifth such conference since the beginning in 2012. Presentations span a range of research problems, all addressing in a way the topic of innovation, from different (disciplinary) perspectives and/ or in different research contexts, which raised lively discussions. Interesting keynotes coplemented the conference, e.g., by Della Bradshaw, former business education editor of the Financial Times and one of the architects of the Financial Times 45 list (since 2016 Financial Times 50 list), with her keynote on “What has management education achieved in the last twenty years? What is the future holding for business schools?”.

For more information on next year’s EFMD Higher Education Research Conference, please have a look here.

Closing conference of the program “Performances de la recherche en sciences humaines et sociales”

The closing conference of the program “Performances de la recherche en sciences humaines et sociales” takes place at the University of Bern from 3 – 4 November 2016.

The conference addresses topics such as impact and quality in research in the humanities and the social sciences, excellence in research and societal usefulness, conveying quality of research in political areas and preserving diversity of research in times of excellence categories and rankings. The closing conference presents the results of the program and opens the discussion. It is the conference’s aim to bring together researchers, project leaders and important stakeholders of the Swiss higher education landscape.

Keynote speakers:

  • Prof. Dr. Shalini Randeria, Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna and Research Director and Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Dahler-Larsen, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, former President of European Evaluation Society

Please find the full conference program here. Registration is possible via the website.

Impressions of the Irish Academy of Management (IAM) 2016

The 19th Irish Academy of Management (IAM) Conference was held at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business in Dublin from 31 August – 2 September 2016. The main conference theme was “Re-imagining business and the role of ethics”.

The conference provided a platform for a broad range of papers and interesting plenary panels, such as the keynote presentation titled “Towards a pluriversal world of academies of management”, which was held by Professors Nic Beech and Bill Cooke who represented the British Academy of Management.

The presented conference papers were anchored in a wide range of topics, such as “Policy, Legitimacy and ideology”, “Ethics and discourse”, “Leadership and culture”, “Clusters and networks” or “Business School Education”. In the last-mentioned session, I presented my paper “How innovative are editors: Evidence across journals and disciplines”.

Attending this conference was a nice and exciting experience and provided me again with some valuable insights for my own research!

Book published: Multi-Level Governance of Universities

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 Cover MGiUacademic 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.

Follow these links to find the full table of contents, to order the book or to access single chapters.

Spurious Correlations

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.

I just came across a website which collects spurious correlations – just in case anyone needs further arguments, why a relationship should be established conceptually first.

Source: Spector, P. E., & Brannick, M. T. (2011). Methodological urban legends: The misuse of statistical control variables. Organizational Research Methods.

INCHER-Kassel provides compilation of higher education journals and abstracts 2013 and 2014

The International Centre for Higher Education Research (INCHER) provides a useful information tool for researchers: a compilation of selected academic journals and abstracts in higher education research.

The recently published lists for 2013 and 2014 comprise 25 thematically relevant, especially international journals for higher education research as well as article titles, author names and abstracts for the volumes 2013 and 2014.

The compilations are provided annually and can be downloaded here.

IndiKon @ IRSPM in Hong Kong

We’ve presented our study on “Performance Indicators in Academic Research”, asking “Do they Improve Performance?” at the 20th Annual Conference of the International Research Society for Public Management in Hong Kong. We had the chance to discuss our study in a PMRA-sponsored panel. Our empirical findings’ implications that “after a thorough selection of researchers, the best way to enhance academic performance is to grant them autonomy and to govern them by expertise rather than by performance appraisals” activated great consent. Besides the conference, the journey was an intense and enriching cultural experience. We’re looking forward to next year’s conference in Budapest.

Book published: “Mehrebenen-Steuerung in Universitäten”

Jetta Frost, Markus ReihlenMehrebenensteuerung, Ferdinand Wenzlaff and I just published our book on multi-level governance in universities. It summarizes the main results from our project “RePort” which ended in late 2014. In the book, we analyze how external governance of science determines internal coordination mechanisms. For that purpose, we detail university governance on a macro (strategies to cope with the institutional environment), a meso (structures and processes), and a micro level of analysis (behavior control). The book is in German and published by the Kölner Wissenschaftsverlag. You can order it here. Since the threefold framework (macro-meso-micro) proved to be very useful, we are also working on an edited volume in English using the same structure.

CHESS Talk @ University of Zurich

As reported before, I am currently visiting the Center for Higher Education and Science Studies at the University of Zurich. On October 7th, I will give a talk, titled “Governing universities between profession and organization”. It is concerned with the development of science studies and higher education research and reports on our latest research results. Attendance is free and visitors are welcome! You’ll find the announcement here (only in German).

“Progress Relies on Both”

Reproducibility is a core value of research. An open collaboration of more than 100 authors has recently conducted replications of empirical studies published in psychology journals and found that replication effects are considerably weaker than the original effects. While 97% of original studies had significant results, only 36% of replications had. The authors conclude that journal reviewers and editors may reject replication studies as unoriginal and prefer innovative studies instead. However, “innovation points out paths that are possible; replication points out paths that are likely; progress relies on both.” Read the full paper in Science here.

Forthcoming articles

The following studies on the practical relevance of management research and on university governance have been accepted for publication:

Alfred Kieser, Alexander Nicolai, and David Seidl develop a research program to investigate how the results of scientific research are utilized in management practice. Forthcoming as “The Practical Relevance of Management Research. Turning the Debate on Relevance into a Rigorous Scientific Research Program” in The Academy of Management Annals.

Bernadette Bullinger, Alfred Kieser, and Simone Schiller-Merkens find rigour and relevance to be embedded in competing institutional logics. Their forthcoming article “Coping with Institutional Complexity: Responses of Management Scholars to Competing Logics in the Field of Management Studies” will be published in the Scandinavian Journal of Management.

Following upper echelon theory, Steffen Blaschke and myself analyze how diversity of top management teams in universities relates to improved performance in terms of academic reputation and grant acquisition. The article “Striving for Excellence: The Role of Top Management Team Diversity in Universities” is forthcoming in a special issue of Team Performance Management.

Survey launched: An inquiry into the peer-review system of academic journals

Peer reviewing is a widespread procedure for evaluating the quality of scholarly manuscripts before publication. As such, it is at the heart of academia. Yet, little is known how scholars percieve the peer-review process.

Today, we initiated our survey into the peer-review system from the perspective of those who submit papers to academic journals. The survey asks questions about general attitudes towards your job, your personal experiences with peer reviews, and possible alternatives to the common pre-publication peer review process. We’ll keep you posted on the results!

Business Research at German Universities

The figures below display networks of relations between different fields of business research at public German universities. They visualize how the fields are connected to each other, which fields are stronger embedded and which are peripheral.

Altogether, 1.287 full professors are currently teaching and studying business at 78 institutions. I took their membership in scientific commissions at the German Association for Business Research (VHB) and, in case of no membership, information about their institutes or chairs to specify the fields of research. Each scholar may be affiliated to one or more of the following communities: 1) Banking and Finance, 2) Business Taxation, 3) Academic and Higher Education Management, 4) International Management, 5) Logistics, 6) Marketing, 7) Sustainability Management, 8) Public Business Administration, 9) Operations Research, 10) Organization, 11) Human Resources Management, 12) Production Management, 13) Accounting, 14) Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 15) Business Information Systems, 16) Philosophy of Science and Business Ethics.

The sixteen fields of business research are shown as nodes. The size of a node depends on the number of members in the respective commission. A tie between two nodes indicates a professor’s membership in both communities. Tie strength indicates the number of professors with co-memberships (the stronger the tie, the more co-memberships). The second network displays only ties with more than 10 co-memberships. It’s an arbitrary threshold to provide better visual interpretation.

The biggest community is Accounting (243 members), followed by Organization (229), and Marketing (200). The smallest fields are Academic and Higher Education Management (50) and Public Business Administration (77). It’s obvious that a functional focus is more common than object-oriented specializations. The strongest links exist between Organization and Human Resource Management (96 co-memberships), Production Management and Logistics (65), and Accounting and Business Taxation (61). The most embedded field of reserach is Organization, followed by Production Management. Surprisingly, the two object-oriented fields of Academic and Higher Education Management and Public Business Administration are at the periphery of the network, despite the fact that their operations likely involve most of the other functional areas.

01_Complete02_Reduced-bigger-10

Edited Volume on “The Institutional Development of Business Schools”

BusinessSchoolsBased on the annual EFMD meetings on higher education studies, Andrew Pettigrew, Eric Cornuel, and Ulrich Hommel issued an edited volume on “The Institutional Development of Business Schools” at OUP. The book features a chapter of our work on governing logics in universities, in which we assess organizational change from a communication constitutes organization (CCO) perspective. The book provides novel empirical findings on the change and development of business schools in particular and universities more generally. The book also offers a stimulating critique of some of the intellectual, professional and economic challenges facing business schools in the contemporary world.

IndiKon’s short visit to Munich

The Network for Science Management (Netzwerk Wissenschaftsmanagement) invited us to participate in their annual meeting which took place in Munich last week. The network aims to support the professionalization of administration through regular exchange of ideas and experiences and has, thus, a strong practical focus. Together with Isabel Welpe, Jutta Wollersheim, and Stefanie Ringelhan from the Chair of Strategy and Organization at TU Munich, I was invited to talk about the governance of academic cooperation from a scholarly standpoint.

The research group from Munich held an impressive talk about quantitative assessments of research productivity and possible performance paradoxes, the differing intensity of collaboration between PhD students of economics and among PhD students of management, and the possibilities of new forms of collaboration (e.g. crowd research), publication (e.g. open peer review and open access) and scholarly communication (e.g. web 2.0 applications). If I might say so, their research looks very interesting and especially their new ventures promise relevant insights.

After their talk, I presented the results of two studies which are currently under review for publication (fingers crossed). The studies approach the emerging actorhood of universities from a governance- and a resource-perspective. As already reported earlier, governance reforms in the early 2000s have strenthened managerial mechanisms and delegated decision-competencies to the upper echelons of universities, the president, vice-presidents, and chancellors. So we asked ourselves, whether the composition of this “top management team” has any influence on how successful the university is in acquiring competitive funding for large collaborative projects? The results suggest that socio-demographic diversity of decision-makers has positive effects on performance in that regard. The second study investigates the increasing professionalization of administration in specialized central support units. Results indicate that performance is not always enhanced by these developments. In some cases, voluntary collective action seems to be more important than support from such units. However, we’re currently gathering additional data and running further tests on our models, so the final results may be more rubust and provide further clarity.

There was broad consensus about the implications of the first study. Some were reminded of Niklas Luhmann who stated that complexity can only be reduced by complexity – a nice thought, indeed. The results of the second study were, not surprisingly, seen a little bit more controversial. I’m grateful for this opportunity to discuss our research with practitioners in the field (many thanks to Dr. Brauns from the Thuringian Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture).

A piece on editorial governance

As our IndiKon project proceeds, it splits up into several sub-projects, one of which is concerned with the hidden drivers of journal rankings. Such rankings are increasingly important elements of performance management systems in higher education. We are now in the midst of gathering data on the composition of editorial boards, and we are truly amazed by the great variety of different roles, functions and bodies in the editorial governance of journals. Here is a selection (making no claim to be exhaustive):

Area Editor, Associate Editor, Associate Editor Board, Associate Editor ex officio, Associate Editor for Reviews, Board of Professionals, Book Review Board, Book Review Editor, Co-Editor, Consulting Editor, Contributing Editor, Coordinating Editor, Copy Editor, Cross-National Studies Editor, Department Editor, Deputy Editor, Editor, Editor Elect, Editor Emeritus, Editor-at-Large, Editorial Advisor, Editorial Advisory Board, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Board, Editorial Coordinator, Editorial Manager, Editorial Review Board, Editor-in-Chief, Editor-in-Chief Elect, Executive Board, Executive Director, Executive Editor, Executive Editorial Board, Feature Editor, Former Editor, Former Editor-in-Chief, Founding Editor, General Editor, Graphics Editor, Honorary Editor, Incubator, Joint Editor, Managing Editor, Managing Editor Emeritus, Manuscript Editor, Past Editor, Past Editor-in-Chief, Point-Counterpoint Editor, Policy Board, Product Editor, Production Coordinator, Production Editor, Production Manager, Regional Assistant Editors, Regional Editor, Reviewing Editor, Section Editor, Senior Advisory Board, Senior Associate Editor, Senior Editor, Special Adviser, Special Editor, Special Projects Manager, Subject Area Associate Editor, Technical Editor, Web Editor.