What makes a “research star”? Factors influencing the research productivity of business faculty

Charles S. White (Department of Management, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA)
Karen James (College of Business, Education, and Human Development, Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA)
Lisa A. Burke (Department of Management, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA)
Richard S. Allen (Department of Management, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Publication date: 20 July 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify factors influencing extremely high or low research productivity for business faculty members.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data originating from a random sample of 236 faculty members across a wide range of accredited business schools and a web‐based survey, main effects are hypothesized and explored. The authors examine only extreme data points of high (and low) research productivity to focus on high‐performing research “stars.”

Findings

It is found that research “stars” hold higher academic rank, possess greater time management skills, individually place a high value on research, report higher time available to conduct research, enjoy higher institutional support in the form of graduate assistants and summer research support, have fewer course preparations, and work for departments with a similar priority placed on research.

Research limitations/implications

The authors found that certain person‐ and situation‐level factors differentiate high and low performing faculty members’ research output.

Practical implications

The paper has implications for university administrators regarding recruiting, selecting, and managing faculty members’ research performance.

Originality/value

Research productivity and intellectual contributions continue to dominate much of higher education as a primary measure of faculty members’ success. One area that remains under‐explored in the business literature is what “makes a research star” and, to the contrary, what factors predict extremely low faculty research productivity? Shedding light on this research question provides practical benefits for universities by enabling administrators to better recruit, select, motivate, and develop productive faculty members.

Keywords

Citation

White, C., James, K., Burke, L. and Allen, R. (2012), "What makes a “research star”? Factors influencing the research productivity of business faculty", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 61 No. 6, pp. 584-602. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410401211249175

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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