Bean-counting research and the mismanagement of knowledge production in business schools
By Alejandro Agafonow and Marybel Perez
Notorious cases of corporate misconduct often revolve around the misapplication of pay to performance. Yet many business schools have too easily given themselves up to these kinds of high-powered incentives in the management of research. This practice is contrary to the very management knowledge taught in business school classrooms and it can wreak havoc with business schools’ mission of knowledge production. The reduction of managing research to a bean-counting performance evaluation, that is, keeping count of discrete units of research outputs as A-class journal hits and citation counts, has arguably tilted the scales in favor of form and against content. This undermines both the quality of knowledge produced and the autonomy that academics need to create knowledge. Much as combat sports, football or soccer, and democratic societies prevent certain traits and actions from conferring an unfair advantage, academics need to reclaim the principle of a level playing field to prevent practices inimical to the academic enterprise.
page: 79 – 100
Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 39, Issue 2