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Leadership and the Research Productivity of University Departments

Author

Listed:
  • Goodall, Amanda H.

    () (Cass Business School)

  • McDowell, John M.

    () (Arizona State University)

  • Singell, Larry D.

    () (University of Indiana Bloomington)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Goodall, Amanda H. & McDowell, John M. & Singell, Larry D., 2014. "Leadership and the Research Productivity of University Departments," IZA Discussion Papers 7903, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7903
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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7903.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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, September.
    2. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408.
    3. Goodall, Amanda H., 2009. "Highly cited leaders and the performance of research universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1079-1092, September.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Amanda H Goodall, 2005. "Should top universities be led by top researchers, and are they?," General Economics and Teaching 0510003, EconWPA.
    7. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864.
    8. John McCormack & Carol Propper & Sarah Smith, 2014. "Herding Cats? Management and University Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(578), pages 534-564, August.
    9. 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.
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    11. 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, January.
    12. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ioannides, Yannis M., 2015. "Neighborhoods to nations via social interactions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 5-15.
    2. Jacqmin, Julien & Lefebvre, Mathieu, 2016. "Does sector-specific experience matter? The case of European higher education ministers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 987-998.
    3. John H. Cawley & Michael A. Morrisey & Kosali I. Simon, 2015. "The Earnings and Consulting Income of US Health Economists: Results from the 2012 Survey of the American Society of Health Economists," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 1(2), pages 255-274, Spring.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    scientific productivity; department chairs; expert leaders;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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