Agafonow, A., & Perez, M. (Forthcoming). "When an A Is NOT an A in Academic Research, or How A-Journal List Metrics Inhibit Exploratory Behaviour in Academia." Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics. https://doi.org/10.1177/02601079231152118
On account of the leverage that the Academy of Management (AOM) has, via its positioning in the highest tiers of the A-journal lists currently used to adjudicate promotions and tenure evaluations, it is urgent to assess the premises and assumptions upon which the so-called pluralist model of scholarly impact, advocated by academics with executive responsibilities in the AOM, is built. Our findings are that the pluralist model is liable to three crucial problems: ecological bias, specific knowledge and pre-emptive costs. Consistent with extant performance evaluation scholarship, promotions and tenure evaluations must build instead on: (a) a qualitative evaluation of scholarly contributions unencumbered by ordinality assumptions; (b) the narrowing of the span of control of academics, moving supervisory authority away from the line structure and back into the hands of true peers; and (c) muting the incentives that prevent academics from focusing on riskier and long-term horizon outputs, which are pillars in agreement with known accounts of how exploratory behaviour has been successfully managed at IBM, Google, the SAS Institute and Nokia, to name but a few cases.
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