Article “The Value of Research and Its Evaluation in Business Schools” by Hitt and Greer aimed to explore the value of research and its evaluation in business schools with regards to helping develop knowledge in various fields of practice. Because assessing the value of research can be a challenge, there was a need for defining specific systems used in universities for research evaluation. Four areas for improvement have been identified: emerging areas, interdisciplinary evaluations, broader evaluation approaches, and the official use of journal lists.
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Researchers came to the conclusion that the increase in the sophistication of research conducted in business schools should be matched to the increase in the sophistication of evaluation methods, which is a finding of tremendous value: if there is no alignment between the research being conducted in business schools and methods of their evaluation, there is a risk of underestimating high-quality studies and overestimating the low-quality ones. The article was effective in differentiating the challenges that exist in the four areas of improvement and determining how every aspect can be improved in order to enhance the quality of research as well as the quality of the assessment tools. With regards to the evaluation of research in emerging scientific areas, Hitt and Greer identified the issue of premier journals excluding new research due to the lack of their relevance; however, the authors did not offer a solution to this issue.
For example, the development of university-owned “niche” journals devoted to publishing articles pertaining to emerging areas of research can be a motivational step that will allow scientists to conduct studies in the spheres of their interests. Difficulties in the evaluation and comparison of interdisciplinary research emerged from the perception that such differences exist in the quality norms as well as the variation in the sizes of all differences. While the authors identified that there is a need for taking the mentioned differences into account, their discussion lacked the explanation of concrete actions that can be taken to eliminate this issue. The challenges related to the quality of various journals have not been explored in further detail. It has been hypothesized that the quality of many scientific journals is already at a high level (Abadal), so there is probably no point in making a differentiation between “A” or “B” journals, although the authors did not mention this point.
Furthermore, the article could have paid more attention to the topic of consolidation of worldwide journal rankings explored by Tuselmann, Sinkovics, and Pishchulov. Developing one consolidated ranking for journals can be a great solution for overcoming the challenges mentioned by Hitt and Greer because so many of them emerged from the lack of efforts targeted at unifying the approaches towards research evaluation as well as assigning the level of quality to scientific journals. While the authors offered some solution to minimize the issues associated with the evaluation of research (for example, comprehensive approaches), the article lacked more practical recommendations as to how different educational institutions could assign certain levels of quality to research. Because the ranking of academic journals is a crucial component of research assessment (Tuselmann et al.) and because it remains one of the most debated topics in this sphere, the article had the potential to offer its readers some practical advice for overcoming the identified challenges. However, overall, it was valuable for differentiating between the challenges and offering further studies with some background on research evaluation problems.
Abadal, Ernest. “Challenges for Open Access Journals: Quantity, Quality, and Economic Sustainability.” UPF, 2013, Web.
Eckhardt, Jon, and James Wetherbe. “Making Business School Research More Relevant.” HBR, 2014, Web.
Empson, Laura. “Research vs. Practice: Bridging the Great B-School Divide.” Bloomberg. 2011, Web.
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Tuselmann, Heinz, Rudolf Sinkovicsm, and Grigory Pishchulov. “Towards a Consolidation of Worldwide Journal Rankings – A Classification Using Random Forests and Aggregate Rating Via Data Envelopment Analysis.” Omega, vol. 51, 2015, pp. 11-23.