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Leadership and the Research Productivity of University Departments

  • Goodall, Amanda H.

    ()

    (Cass Business School)

  • McDowell, John M.

    ()

    (Arizona State University)

  • Singell, Larry D.

    ()

    (University of Indiana Bloomington)

Much of human knowledge is produced in the world's university departments. There is little scientific evidence, however, about how those hundreds of thousands of departments are best organized and led. This study hand-collects longitudinal data on departmental chairpersons in 58 US universities over a 15-year period. There is one robust predictor of a department's future research output. After adjustment for a range of personal and institutional characteristics, departmental research productivity improves when the incoming department Chair's publications are highly cited. A one SD increase in citations is associated with a 0.5 SD later rise in departmental productivity. By contrast, the quality-weighted publication record per se of the incoming Chair has no predictive power.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7903.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7903
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  1. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1999. "Adam Smith Goes to College: An Economist Becomes an Academic Administrator," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 99-116, Winter.
  2. William J. Moore & Robert J. Newman & Geoffrey K. Turnbull, 2003. "Internal Markets for Department Chairs: Comparative Advantage, Life-Cycle, and Jury Duty," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 24(4), pages 669-682, October.
  3. van der Weijden, Inge & de Gilder, Dick & Groenewegen, Peter & Klasen, Eduard, 2008. "Implications of managerial control on performance of Dutch academic (bio)medical and health research groups," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1616-1629, October.
  4. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Measuring and explaining management practices across firms and countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 733, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Beerkens, Maarja, 2013. "Facts and fads in academic research management: The effect of management practices on research productivity in Australia," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1679-1693.
  6. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Gustavo Manso, 2011. "Incentives and creativity: evidence from the academic life sciences," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(3), pages 527-554, 09.
  7. John McCormack & Carol Propper & Sarah Smith, 2014. "Herding Cats? Management and University Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(578), pages F534-F564, 08.
  8. Amanda H Goodall, 2005. "Should top universities be led by top researchers, and are they?," General Economics and Teaching 0510003, EconWPA.
  9. John M. McDowell & Larry D. Singell & Mark Stater, 2011. "On (and Off) the Hot Seat: An Analysis of Entry into and Out of University Administration," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(5), pages 889-909, October.
  10. McDowell, John & Singell Jr., Larry D. & Stater, Mark, 2009. "Congratulations or condolences? The role of human capital in the cultivation of a university administrator," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 258-267, April.
  11. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864, August.
  12. Goodall, Amanda H., 2009. "Highly cited leaders and the performance of research universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1079-1092, September.
  13. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 2012. "Reputation And Earnings: The Roles Of Quality And Quantity In Academe," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(1), pages 1-16, 01.
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