When knowledge wins: Transcending the sense and nonsense of academic rankings

Nancy J. Adler*, Anne-Wil Harzing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

497 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Has university scholarship gone astray? Do our academic assessment systems reward scholarship that addresses the questions that matter most to society? Using international business as an example, we highlight the problematic nature of academic ranking systems and question if such assessments are drawing scholarship away from its fundamental purpose. We call for an immediate examination of existing ranking systems, not only as a legitimate scholarly question vis-a-vis performance-a conceptual lens with deep roots in management research-but also because the very health and vibrancy of the field are at stake. Indeed in light of the data presented here,. which suggest that current systems are dysfunctional and potentially cause more harm than good a temporary moratorium on rankings may be appropriate until more valid and reliable ways to assess scholarly contributions can be developed The worldwide community of scholars, along with the global network of institutions interacting with and supporting management scholarship (such as the Academy of Management, AACSB, and Thomson Reuters Scientific) are invited to innovate and design more reliable and valid ways to assess scholarly contributions that truly promote the advancement of relevant 21st century knowledge, and likewise recognize those individuals and institutions that best fulfill the university's fundamental purpose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-95
JournalAcademy of Management Learning & Education
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • INTERNATIONAL-BUSINESS RESEARCH
  • BAD MANAGEMENT THEORIES
  • JOURNALS
  • QUALITY
  • PUBLICATION
  • RELEVANCE
  • SCIENCE
  • EDITORS
  • FIELD
  • CITATIONS

Cite this