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Academic talent: Quo vadis? Recruitment and retention of faculty in European business schools

Paul Verhaegen (RSM Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 1 October 2005




To provide insight into the relevant factors for faculty recruitment and retention that can help leadership of business schools to design and implement a tailored policy to recruit and retain academic talent in a highly competitive and international market.


Two surveys were sent out in parallel to deans/directors and faculty of 181 European business schools. A total of 42 important factors were selected and ranked in order of importance for both recruitment and retention of academic talent. In addition the faculty were asked to indicate to what extent they are satisfied with each of the factors in their current situation. Deans/directors were asked to indicate to what extent they felt able to influence each of the factors.


Factors of crucial importance for recruitment and retention were identified, both from the deans and from the faculty perspective. Perception gaps occurred between deans and faculty, as well as satisfaction gaps on important factors: this led to the identification of interesting policy problems and opportunities. Segmentation of the sample facilitated the demonstration of differences in perception between groups of faculty according to gender, age and rank, and between groups of schools according to legal structure, orientation, enrolment, and accreditation status.

Research limitations/implications

Deans/directors of 69 European schools and 350 faculty members in 12 countries completed the survey. The database could be further enlarged to make more detailed analysis possible. Expanding the research to include schools of other continents would enable one to analyse cross‐continent differences between business schools.

Practical implications

The developed framework and the data provide an excellent opportunity for business schools' leadership to analyze the effectiveness of its policy and benchmark the school against a selected peer group.


The survey and the developed framework for analysis are unique and, in this form, have never been done before. The value of the paper is that it presents unique evidence on important factors crucial to faculty management.



Verhaegen, P. (2005), "Academic talent: Quo vadis? Recruitment and retention of faculty in European business schools", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 24 No. 9, pp. 807-818.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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