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Are more and better indicators the solution? Comment to William Starbuck


Osterloh, Margit; Frey, Bruno S (2009). Are more and better indicators the solution? Comment to William Starbuck. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 25(2):225-227.

Abstract

We discuss Starbuck’s proposal to improve decision processes in scholarly evaluation. While we agree that more variety is needed in evaluation committees, we suggest to enlist scholars from other research fields rather than people from outside academia. We disagree with the proposal that reliable indicators of research effectiveness will improve research. We argue that evaluating research with
even better and more reliable indicators would lead to worse results than what is observed today. Attention would be deviated from the content of research, and intrinsic motivation, which is essential for good research, would be crowded out. We propose that evaluations that are based on indicators need to be pushed back. After a careful selection process, researchers need to be given the opportunity to pursue the research they consider to be fruitful.

We discuss Starbuck’s proposal to improve decision processes in scholarly evaluation. While we agree that more variety is needed in evaluation committees, we suggest to enlist scholars from other research fields rather than people from outside academia. We disagree with the proposal that reliable indicators of research effectiveness will improve research. We argue that evaluating research with
even better and more reliable indicators would lead to worse results than what is observed today. Attention would be deviated from the content of research, and intrinsic motivation, which is essential for good research, would be crowded out. We propose that evaluations that are based on indicators need to be pushed back. After a careful selection process, researchers need to be given the opportunity to pursue the research they consider to be fruitful.

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6 citations in Web of Science®
7 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:June 2009
Deposited On:11 Feb 2010 01:43
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:52
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0956-5221
Additional Information:Special Topic Forum on Faddishness in Academic Work
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.scaman.2009.03.003
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-29674

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