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Should Research Universities be Led by Top Researchers? Part 1: Are they?

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  • Amanda H Goodall

    (Warwick University Business School)

Abstract

If the best universities in the world – who have the widest choice of candidates – systematically appoint top researchers as their vice chancellors and presidents, is this one form of evidence that, on average, better researchers make better leaders? This paper addresses the first part of the question: are they currently appointing distinguished researchers? The study documents a positive correlation between the lifetime citations of a university’s president and the position of that university in a world ranking. The lifetime citations are counted by hand of the leaders of the top 100 universities identified by the Institute of Higher Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in their ‘Academic Ranking of World Universities’ (2004). These numbers are then normalised by adjusting for the different citation conventions across academic disciplines. The results are not driven by outliers. This paper posits the theory that there are two central components involved in leading research universities: managerial expertise and inherent knowledge. It is suggested here that active and successful researchers may have greater inherent knowledge about the academy that in turn informs their role as leader.

Suggested Citation

  • Amanda H Goodall, 2005. "Should Research Universities be Led by Top Researchers? Part 1: Are they?," HEW 0506003, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0506003
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 34. The focus is on leaders of research universities. It draws heavily from citations data.
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/hew/papers/0506/0506003.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1994. "Facts and Myths about Refereeing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 153-163, Winter.
    2. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & John L. Cheslock & Julia Epifantseva, 2000. "Paying our Presidents: What do Trustees Value?," NBER Working Papers 7886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:scient:v:84:y:2010:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-009-0087-x is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. Andrew J. Oswald, 2010. "A suggested method for the measurement of world-leading research (illustrated with data on economics)," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 84(1), pages 99-113, July.
    4. Goodall, Amanda H. & Kahn, Lawrence M. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Why Do Leaders Matter? The Role of Expert Knowledge," IZA Discussion Papers 3583, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Can We Test for Bias in Scientific Peer-Review?," IZA Discussion Papers 3665, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Goodall, Amanda H., 2011. "Physician-leaders and hospital performance: Is there an association?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(4), pages 535-539, August.
    7. Goodall, Amanda H. & Pogrebna, Ganna, 2012. "Expert Leaders in a Fast-Moving Environment," IZA Discussion Papers 6715, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Oswald, Andrew J., 2009. "World-Leading Research and its Measurement," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 887, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    9. Amanda Goodall, 2013. "Should Doctors Run Hospitals?," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(1), pages 37-40, 04.
    10. Oswald, Andrew J., 2015. "The Objective Measurement of World-Leading Research," IZA Discussion Papers 8829, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Amanda H. Goodall, 2010. "Why Socrates Should Be In The Boardroom In Research Universities," University of California at Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education qt6230c4jd, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.
    12. repec:ces:ifodic:v:11:y:2013:i:1:p:19078515 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    leadership; research university presidents; citations; world university rankings.;

    JEL classification:

    • I - Health, Education, and Welfare

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