Russell Winer, Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern, writes (with two colleagues) that the system that rewards the B-School faculty for the number of research papers – quantity – rather than the quality, has a negative impact on business schools and thus on the industry as a whole


Stefan Stremersch from IESE in Barcelona, ​​Spain; Russell S. Winer of NYU Stern School of Business in New York City; and Nuno Camacho from the Erasmus School of Economics in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, write in the Journal of Marketing that the current system that rewards faculties for the number of research papers – quantity – has a negative impact on the quality of teaching and research in business affects schools and thus the entire industry. “If business schools continue with this ‘broken’ model,” the authors write, “the overall quality of what business schools offer will decline.”

“We are seeing serious misalignments that can have serious consequences, particularly for some business schools and for the entire industry,” the authors argue.


Stefan Stremersch from IESE

The authors surveyed 234 professors from 168 business schools, 64% of whom are top 100 in the Financial Times Global MBA ranking, and conducted 22 interviews with 14 associate deans and eight external stakeholders from institutions. Her paper “Faculty Research Incentives and Business School Health: A New Perspective from and for Marketing” questions the appropriateness of incentive systems currently used to evaluate and reward research lecturers at business schools and their influence on what they “business school.” Health “. “TThe full document can be accessed here.

Among their findings:

The story goes on

  • Research quantity contributes to school research health, but not to other aspects of business school health.

  • Research quality (ie rigor) contributes more to the school’s research health than research quantity.

  • q-Quality (ie practical relevance) of research does not contribute to school research health, but contributes positively to teaching health and several other dimensions of health at business schools.

The faculty’s research incentives, the authors write, are misaligned in two ways. Firstly, when monitoring the research faculty, the number of publications will be given too much weight, while creativity, literacy, relevance and awards will be given too little weight. And secondly, the faculties feel that, on average, they are insufficiently rewarded for their research, while the deans feel that they are overpaid for their research.

“Business schools,” the authors write, “must reward faculties that produce less quality work and stop rewarding (and perhaps even punishing?) Faculties that produce more mediocre quality publications. They must acknowledge that there can be marginal negative overall returns when faculties are encouraged to focus only on research quantity. “


B-School incentive models that reward quantity over quality jeopardize research results and the value that the faculty gives their business schools, the authors write.

The paper highlights how such systems favor faculty members who publish large numbers of papers while inadequately assessing the quality of the research and its relevance to business and society. According to the authors, this emphasis on quantity over creativity and quality encourages faculty to adopt bad practices like “Vita Gaming” or “Farming Numbers” which in turn negatively impact the “health” and economic education of the business schools sector as a whole.

“The practice of some schools of counting the number of top journal publications in their faculty can be a good starting point for evaluating the faculty, but it should never be the endpoint (which is too often),” they argue.

The study also finds that faculty members’ views of their own salaries, which they find low, and those of business school executives who believe that academics are paid generously, disagree.


In their paper, the authors define the health of a business school on the basis of its performance in three dimensions: technical, institutional and business management.

The technical aspect relates to the quality of research and teaching, with relevance and rigor being determining factors that exceed research quantity. At the institutional level, healthy business schools receive strong external support and a high level of institutional integrity, in which faculty and students adhere to the highest ethical standards. The management dimension is related to a school’s resources and their administrative and managerial support.

Schools that scored worst in the area of ​​health had incentive systems that adjusted the amount of staff – e.g. B. Reward the number of works produced – strongly, write the authors. At the same time, “such schools did not attach too much importance to the essential characteristics of excellent scholars such as creativity, literacy, relevance and awards from colleagues,” they explain.

“Our main recommendation is that business school executives develop incentive systems that take these holistic outcomes into account,” they write. “This requires some schools to recalibrate the metrics by which they evaluate faculty research, which takes a lot of effort. But only then will academic research fully support the long-term health of their facilities. “


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