Which Factors Impact An Article’s Level of Citations?

[We’re pleased to welcome Anne-Wil Harzing, Professor of International Management at Middlesex University, UK. She has published nearly 100 refereed journals articles and books/book chapters and has been listed on Thomson Reuter’s Essential Science Indicators top 1% most cited academics in Economics & Business worldwide since 2007. Below, Harzing comments on a study published in the Journal of Management Education, entitled,”Identifying Research Topic Development in Business and Management Education Research Using Legitimation Code Theory.” From Harzing:]

What makes an article highly cited and why does it matter for academic evaluation?

I was recently asked to write a commentary on Arbaugh, Fornaciari and Hwang (2016) article “Identifying Research Topic Development in Business and Management Education Research Using Legitimation Code Theory”. The authors use citation analysis – with Google Scholar as their source of citation data – to track the development of Business and Management Education research by studying the field’s 100 most highly cited articles.

Factors influencing an article’s level of citations:

In their article, the authors distinguish several factors that might impact on an article’s levJME_72ppiRGB_powerpoint.jpgel of citations: the topic it addresses, the profile of the author(s) who wrote it and the prominence of the journal that the article is published in.

Although these three factors might seem rather intuitive, and the authors certainly are not the first to identify them, there is a surprising dearth of studies in the bibliometrics literature that attempt to disentangle the relative impact of these factors on citation outcomes.

Why does it matter for academic evaluation?

If citation levels of individual articles are determined more by what is published (topic) and who publishes it (author) rather than by where it is published (journal), this would provide clear evidence that the frequently used practice of employing the ISI journal impact factor to evaluate individual articles or authors is inappropriate.

Our regression analysis shows that, when all factors are taken into account at the same time, it is what is published (topic) and who has published it (author) that have the largest impact on citations, not where it is published (journal).

Hence, the commonly used practice of using the prestige of a journal – oftentimes operationalized as the ISI journal impact factor – as a proxy for (citation) impact is clearly not appropriate for the field of Business and Management Education. It is thus rightly condemned by San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment and should not be used in academic evaluation.

Notes:

Harzing maintains an extensive website (www.harzing.com) with resources for international management and academic publishing, including the Journal Quality List and Publish or Perish, a software program that retrieves and analyzes academic citations.  Anne-Wil blogs at http://www.harzing.com/blog/

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Albert Dunlap Style Likability: Those Who Seek Flattery Get Enemies

[The following post is re-blogged from Organizational Musings. Click here to view the original article. It is a commentary based on a recently published article in Administrative Science Quarterly entitled “Those Closest Wield the Sharpest Knife: How Ingratiation Leads to Resentment and Social Undermining of the CEO,” co-authored by Gareth D. Keeves, James D. Westphal, and Michael L. McDonald. From Organizational Musings:] 

I will start this post with an old story. CEO of Sunbeam Corp., Albert Dunlap, known as an expert in turning around troubled firms and selling them for a profit, was sued by the SEC in 2001 for accounting fraud. He was eventually barred from serving as an officer or director in any company, plus ordered to pay investors defrauded money in a class-action lawsuit.  Albert Dunlap was clearly someone in need of flattery, not just money, as he had the classical flattery-sickness symptom of a book written to celebrate his successes (see also his picture!). How he managed things internally in each firm he led is disputed, but much was said about his intimidation of other managers, who probably would conclude that a lot of flattery and ingratiation might help their career. Of course, managers still did better than employees, because his signature move in turning firms around was mass layoffs.

An interesting detail of his downfall was that managers around him were quick to release information that helped the investigation, which is distinct from the many firms with management teams that do all they can to deter and obstruct investigators. Is there a systematic reason for this difference? Possibly. A recent article in Administrative Science Quarterly by Gareth Keeves, James Westphal, and Michael McDonald looks at what happens when managers ingratiate their CEO through flattery and other tools. Their findings are interesting. First, managers who flatter lose their liking of the CEO. Somehow when people artificially put others on a pedestal they also start looking down on them.

Second, managers who flatter may go on to undermine the CEO. The light-handed version of this is to undermine the CEO’s messages to journalists, as this research showed. The heavy-handed version is what happened to Albert Dunlap. Among other events, his comptroller reported that he had been pushing for accounting practices that crossed the legal boundary, and sales people were quick to report “channel stuffing.” Channel stuffing is to sell too many goods and selling them too early, which is not illegal in itself (the sales channel can return unsold goods, so it is safe for them), but it is illegal when the sales are accounted as if they were final.  Those were practices that the SEC (and some investors) suspected, and that meant that what looked like a turnaround in sales and profits was actually a fraudulent scheme.

Seeking flattery is never thought of as a good thing. What we now know is that it also triggers undermining, and for those who have real weaknesses – like a CEO engaged in fraud – that undermining can be very consequential.

Who Does Referral-Based Hiring Help Most, and How?

9323706832_efbf0759ba_zReferral-based hiring is a commonplace practice for modern organizations, which holds considerable benefits for employees hired based upon a referral, including greater chances for upward mobility within the company. A recent paper published in ILR Review entitled “Lasting Effects? Referrals and Career Mobility of Demographic Groups in Organizations,” further studies the benefits of referral based hiring, and finds that the positive impact does not effect different demographic groups equally. Rather, authors Jennifer Merluzzi and Adina Sterling find that referral-based hiring provides the biggest increase in promotional opportunities for racial minorities. The abstract for the paper:

While prior research has suggested that network-based hiring in the form of referrals can lead to better career outcomes, few studies have tested whether such career advantages differ across demographic groups. Using archival data from a single organization for nearly 16,000 employees over an 11-year period, the authors examine the effect of hiring by referrals on the number of promotions employees receive and Current Issue Coverthe differences in this effect across demographic groups. Drawing on theories of referral-based hiring, inequality, and career mobility, they argue that referral-based hiring provides unique promotion advantages for minorities compared to those hired without a referral. Consistent with this argument, they find that referrals are positively associated with promotions for one minority group, blacks, even after controlling for individual and regional labor market differences. The authors explore the possible mechanism for this finding, with initial evidence pointing to referrals providing a signal of quality for black employees. These results suggest refinement to prior research that attests that referral-based hiring disadvantages racial minorities.

You can read “Lasting Effects? Referrals and Career Mobility of Demographic Groups in Organizations” from ILR Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research from ILR Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Image attributed to Cydcor (CC)

Trust and Distrust in the Pursuit of Career Advancement

8616564123_9f697724c0_z[We’re pleased to welcome Joshua Marineau of North Dakota State University. Joshua recently published an article in Group & Organization Management entitled “Trust and Distrust Network Accuracy and Career Advancement in an Organization.”]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

The key interest I had with this study was wondering if it was beneficial to know your sources of liabilities—that is, do you really want to know who distrusts you at work? And if you did know, would you be better off?  This was an interesting question for me because there has been relatively little work in this area and this was an opportunity to test some new ideas. There is a lot of work which shows our social networks matter, but not much showing whether knowledge of the social network matters, and very little work on negative ties, such as distrust.  Here I found evidence that knowing your sources of trust and distrust can be quite beneficial, especially when it comes to being promoted at work.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?Current Issue Cover

In conducting this study, I was surprised that there wasn’t a clear positive moderation effect for network accuracy on performance related to increased chances for promotion. It seems that being accurate is very helpful, but this doesn’t benefit high performers much. One can benefit from either high accuracy or high performance; but together, there does not seem to be much advantage.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

I hope this research has a modest influence on how scholars think about social networks in organizations, particularly when it comes to individual outcomes. Those that know their sources of positive and negative ties can benefit—this means that one’s position in the network is just one factor in explaining outcomes, therefore scholars might also consider how accurate the person is about their network. I believe this is one of the first studies to look at career advancement and network accuracy and one of the first to use negative ties (i.e., distrust). In terms of practice, knowing who trusts and distrusts you can actually be a good thing, and can pay dividends—suggesting that spending some energy getting to know your network can pay off, particularly if your performance is low!

The abstract for the paper:

Although there is some evidence individuals’ knowledge of the organization’s social network can be a valuable resource, providing advantages, it is unclear whether those advantages also relate to employee performance outcomes, such as career advancement. Thus, the question this study seeks to answer is “Does accuracy of the social network provide a unique resource unto itself, positively affecting one’s promotion in the organization?” This question is answered from a social exchange and social resources view using cognitive social structure-style data collected in the call center of a large U.S. restaurant equipment manufacturing firm. Evidence suggests that social network accuracy of the work-related trust and distrust networks increased the chances for promotion compared with the less accurate. In addition, trust and distrust network accuracy moderated supervisor-rated performance effects on promotion, such that accuracy is generally more beneficial for low compared with high performance individuals, increasing their chances of promotion. Contributions to research in career advancement, social networks, network cognition, and positive and negative tie perception are discussed.

You can read “Trust and Distrust Network Accuracy and Career Advancement in an Organization” from Group & Organization Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research from Group & Organization Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

 *Image credited to Pal-Kristian Hamre (CC)

The Role of Collaboration in Tourism Research

5053443202_bfa18dab8b_z[We’re pleased to welcome Gang Li of Deakin University. Gang recently published an article in Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research entitled “Temporal Analysis of Tourism Research Collaboration Network” with co-authors Wei Fan of Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Rob Law of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.]

Network analysis is an effective tool for the study of relationships among individual, including the relationships among researchers. We would like to investigate the changes of importance of individual researchers in collaboration networks of tourism research over time, which may help to obtain better understanding of collaboration to promote the progress of research.

Current Issue Cover

We proposed to evaluate the importance of researchers by considering both productivity and their contribution to the connectivity of collaboration networks.  In network analysis, centrality measures can reflect the importance of nodes in a network and degree and betweenness are two commonly used centrality measures in previous studies. This study found that betweenness centrality is better than degree centrality in terms of reflecting the changes of importance of researchers.

Information about the evolution of collaboration network and the changes of each researcher can be provided withthe method proposed in this study. With further research on topic analysis of published articles, the proposed method may help to explore trends in tourism and hospitality research. Moreover, this work provides an alternative method to utilize centrality measure in network analysis.

The abstract for the paper:

Network analysis is an effective tool for the study of collaboration relationships among researchers. Collaboration networks constructed from previous studies, and their changes over time have been studied. However, the impact of individual researchers in collaboration networks has not been investigated systematically. We introduce a new method of measuring the contribution of researchers to the connectivity of collaboration networks and evaluate the importance of researchers by considering both contribution and productivity. Betweenness centrality is found to be better than degree centrality in terms of reflecting the changes of importance of researchers. Accordingly, a method is further proposed to identify key researchers at certain periods. The performance of the identified researchers demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed method.

You can read “Temporal Analysis of Tourism Research Collaboration Network” from Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Journal of Hospitality & Tourism ResearchClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Image attributed to US Embassy (CC)

Connecting with the Community: Stephen Pinfield on Institutional Open Access Funds

SGO[We’re pleased to feature an interview, originally posted on the SAGE Connection blog, with Bailey Baumann and Stephen Pinfield. Stephen Pinfield recently published a paper with co-author Christine Middleton about the adoption of institutional central funds for open access publishing in his paper entitled, “Researchers’ Adoption of an Institutional Central Fund for Open-Access Article-Processing Charges: A Case Study Using Innovation Diffusion Theory”] 

In  a new study Stephen Pinfield and his co-author Chris Middleton analyze patterns
to the adoption of the Nottingham central fund by researchers at the university. Curious to learn more, I asked Professor Pinfield to share his thoughts on the adoption of open access funds and open access publishing.

Q. What are some reasons for a having university-owned OA fund?

Universities set up centrally-coordinated open access funds usually to encourage
take-up of OA amongst faculty members by making it easier for them to pay APCs (article-processing charges). A fund is normally made available throughout the institution, often in order to create a “level playing field” for institutional members, enabling a wide range of staff to afford APC payments. Managing the budget at a central level also allows the institution to be clear about how much money is being spent overall so that it can manage budgets at a strategic level. The alternative is to allow APCs to be paid locally by individual researchers from a variety of budgets. This often means that only certain members of faculty can afford to pay APCs and that it is very difficult to understand at an institutional level what is going on.


Q. Why is it important to study the adoption patterns of a central fund?

Universities set up centrally-coordinated open access funds usually to encourage take-up of OA amongst faculty members by making it easier for them to pay APCs (article-processing charges). A fund is normally made available throughout the institution, often in order to create a “level playing field” for institutional members, enabling a wide range of staff to afford APC payments. Managing the budget at a central level also allows the institution to be clear about how much money is being spent overall so that it can manage budgets at a strategic level. The alternative is to allow APCs to be paid locally by individual researchers from a variety of budgets. This often means that only certain members of faculty can afford to pay APCs and that it is very difficult to understand at an institutional level what is going on.

Studying adoption patterns of a central fund can help develop an understanding of the success (or otherwise) of such an approach and also may tell us a lot about acceptance of OA publishing more generally. In our study, we wanted to carry out an analysis of the use of a central fund which had been in operation for a long period (2006 onwards) to see how its use had diffused through the institution over time and what this told us about OA adoption and how it can be influenced.

Q. How might a lack of knowledge about OA publishing keep researchers from taking advantage of a central fund?

Recent studies indicate there is still a great deal of ignorance and misunderstanding amongst researchers about open access. Many faculty members may still be only vaguely aware of OA and may not understand its relevance to them. While this is undoubtedly changing, such attitudes would tend to mean the take-up of any budget to fund OA publishing would inevitably be limited. Researchers have well-established ways of working, often associated with publishing in conventional high-impact-factor journals, with OA featuring very low on their list of priorities. This is beginning to change but it is a slow process. It is influenced by a large and complex set of factors of which the availability and usage of a central fund may have a part to play. In our study, we wanted to understand what kind of role a central fund might perform in an institution and in the organization’s positioning in relation to OA.

Q. What do you think are some common misunderstandings about OA publishing? What would you like researchers who are considering publishing their work in OA journals to know?

Perhaps one of the major concerns that faculty have about OA publication is that of quality. OA is often associated in people’s minds with low quality. Of course, there is no necessary association between OA and low quality (many OA journals are of a very high quality), just as there is no necessary link between traditional publishing and high quality. Furthermore, it is not just about publishing in fully-OA journals. The central fund at Nottingham explicitly allowed payment of APCs for hybrid journals (subscription titles which also allow particular articles to be made OA on payment of an APC). Although hybrid open access is controversial, funding it, at least for the foreseeable future, does help OA to be seen more as mainstream. For many authors, to make their article OA in a familiar high-impact-factor journal makes them feel more comfortable with OA in general, at least at the beginning.

One clear message that emerged from our research was the importance of communication. The benefits of OA in general and of the use of the central fund in particular need to be communicated to individual researchers in a way that is directly relevant to them. Our research indicates in particular the influence of researchers themselves on their own immediate colleagues, in this case their experience of using the central fund, in encouraging wider adoption. Like most of us, researchers listen to those around them and adjust their behavior accordingly, rather than listening to 18682615624_115d0448cb_zpeople coming from ‘outside’ their immediate community. Faculty members listen to other faculty members more than they listen to librarians or research managers.

Q. In your opinion, what makes for the successful operation of a university-owned OA fund? How are librarians best involved in this process?

A central fund needs to be properly resourced and easy-to-use. Why and how to use it needs to be clearly communicated to academic staff – and communication needs to happen on an ongoing basis to ensure the message is heard. In particular, a communication strategy about the fund needs to leverage local support in academic schools and departments, and needs to take on board disciplinary differences. Crucially, it needs to be part of wider institutional strategies and policies on OA implementation which will also include a range of guidelines, processes and systems which together support the institutional response to the OA challenge.

Our research indicates that policies encouraging or requiring OA, especially from funders, are particularly important in influencing adoption. At an institutional level, therefore, there needs to be clear guidance and support to faculty to ensure they can easily comply with relevant policy requirements.

Librarians have been heavily involved over the last decade in promoting OA and supporting its implementation. This has included communication and advocacy, policy development, process design, technology deployment etc. This has undoubtedly worked well and it is testament to the information profession just how successful they have been in raising the profile of OA in the academic community. But there is only so much that one professional group can do alone. There is a clear need to disseminate and embed OA working practices widely in institutions. Librarians alone cannot make OA work – they need to help make OA a sector-wide imperative involving a wide range of stakeholders if it is to work.

Q. It seems like it could take significant resources to build and maintain central funds. How would you suggest smaller universities and universities in the developing world approach central funds?

Resourcing a central fund is obviously a big challenge regardless of the size of the institution. There is money in the system as a whole but it is often not funneled in the right direction. Changing the flow of funding streams is difficult and will only happen over the long term. Pilot funding to get things moving seems to be a good place to start – this is what happened at Nottingham. One of the potential benefits of Gold OA is that publication costs scale with research funding, something which is not necessarily the case with, for example, subscription funding. However, achieving alignment between the research costs and the costs of publishing in institutional budgets is not easy. Developments are required at national, funder and institutional levels in order to work toward achieving this. It will be interesting to see how the systemic change necessary to fund and manage OA will be achieved over the next few years.

You can read “Researchers’ Adoption of an Institutional Central Fund for Open-Access Article-Processing Charges: A Case Study Using Innovation Diffusion Theory” from Stephen Pinfield and Christine Middleton here.

Interested in more interviews like this? You can read more from the Connecting with the Community collection by clicking here.

*Library image credited to ktchang16 (CC)

 

l2Stephen Pinfield is Professor of Information Services Management at the University of Sheffield, UK. He has been involved in research and development in the area of open access for 15 years, including contributions to national and international policy discussions. His recent publications include work on the economics of open access, open data policies, and the global development of open-access repositories. He was previously Chief Information Officer at the University of Nottingham where he also founded the SHERPA OA initiative.

l1Bailey Bauman is the Editorial Assistant for SAGE Open. SAGE Open is a peer-reviewed, “Gold” open access journal from SAGE that publishes original research and review articles in an interactive, open access format.

Should Restaurants Offer “Early-Bird” or “Night-Owl” Specials?

vine-glass-1208604-mDiners who avoid the dinner rush at restaurants can’t seem to catch a break. In the 90’s, Jerry Seinfield made fun of senior citizens who took advantage of early-bird specials while Jack in the Box’s current late-night meal promotion, “the munchie box,” lampoons college-aged males. But are early-bird and night-owl specials even effective for increasing a restaurant’s revenue? Gary M. Thompson of Cornell University recently explored this topic in his article “Deciding Whether to Offer ‘Early-Bird’ or ‘Night-Owl’ Specials in Restaurants: A Cross-Functional View” from Journal of Service Research.

The abstract:

In a long history of capacity and demand management research in services, it has often been suggested that pricing discounts and specials can increase demand in off-peak periods. We 02JSR13_Covers.inddexamine this issue in the contexts of restaurants, where the practices of offering discounts to restaurant patrons for dining early or dining late—commonly known as “early-bird” and “night-owl” specials, respectively—exist throughout the world. These specials bridge marketing and operations—marketing from the goal of increasing customer demand in the off-peak periods and operations from the perspective of having to serve those customers. The effectiveness of these specials has yet to be examined. While simulation would be an ideal tool for predicting the specials’ net revenue benefits, it might be impractical for many restaurateurs, so we develop three simple “back-of-the-envelope” type calculations. Restaurateurs could use these calculations when deciding whether to offer a special. In the eight large simulation-based experiments we conducted, we find that it is important to estimate revenue cannibalization from full-fare customers. The calculations prove to be far more accurate for night-owl specials than for early-bird specials. This has important implications for decisions about offering the specials and raises a flag regarding a potential marketing-operations conflict.

You can read “Deciding Whether to Offer ‘Early-Bird’ or ‘Night-Owl’ Specials in Restaurants: A Cross-Functional View” by from Journal of Service Research by clicking here. Want to be notified of all the latest research like this from Journal of Service Research? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!