The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between positive incentives (perceived organisational support) and negative incentives (publish or perish), on both academic publication productivity and marketing academics’ quality of life. While publish-or-perish pressure is a common technique to improve academics’ performance, its punishment orientation may be poorly suited to the uncertain, creative work that research entails and be harmful to academics’ life satisfaction and other well-being variables. In particular, it may interfere with family commitments, and harm the careers of academic women. While perceived organisational support may be effective in encouraging research outputs and be positive for well-being, it may be insufficient as a motivator in the increasingly competitive and pressured world of academia. These issues are important for individual academics, for schools wishing to attract good staff, and the wider marketing discipline wanting to ensure high productivity and quality of life amongst its members.
A conceptual model was developed and empirically tested using self-report survey data from 1,005 academics across five continents. AMOS structural equation modelling was used to analyse the data.
The findings indicate that the most important determinants of publishing success and improved well-being of academics is organisational support rather than a “publish-or-perish” culture.
The use of a self-report survey may have an impact (and potential bias) on the perceived importance and career effect of a “publish-or-perish” culture. However, current levels of the publish-or-perish culture appear to have become harmful, even for top academic publishers. Additional longitudinal data collection is proposed.
The challenge to develop tertiary systems that support and facilitate world-leading research environments may reside more in organisational support, both perceived and real, rather than a continuation (or adoption) of a publish-or-perish environment. There are personal costs, in the form of health concerns and work–family conflict, associated with academic success, more so for women than men.
This study is the first to empirically demonstrate the influence and importance of “publish-or-perish” and“perceived organisational support” management approaches on marketing academic publishing performance and academic well-being.
Richard, J., Plimmer, G., Fam, K.-S. and Campbell, C. (2015), "Publishing success of marketing academics: antecedents and outcomes", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 49 No. 1/2, pp. 123-145. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-06-2013-0311
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