Measuring the Eminence of Business Schools: A Longitudinal Analysis

Article excerpt

Measuring the Eminence of Business Schools: A Longitudinal Analysis

University business schools compete directly with each other for scarce resources. Today, the competitive struggle for faculty, students, and respectability rages, and it is more intense than ever [3]. The increased attention to the quality of higher education and research in schools of business has led to direct comparisons among the schools and their programs. The comparative results provide universities with information that is helpful in attracting good students, qualified faculty, research facilities, and external financial support.

Inevitably, comparisons of business schools and programs have led to the formulation of institutional rankings. These rankings have been based on various criteria, including: peer ratings of faculty and programs [1, 4]; page counts of faculty articles in selected journals [9]; number of articles in major journals [15, 17]; and journal article citation analysis of faculty research contributions [2, 7]. In the aforementioned approaches, except for the peer rating method, primary reliance has been placed on articles published in scholarly journals as a basis for evaluating business faculty and their institutional affiliations. The importance attributed to published articles suggests that another relevant criterion for comparing business schools is faculty representation on the editorial review boards of major journals.

The editorial review process serves as a quality control system for research by providing a peer assessment of the value of potential research contributions. The substantial amount of control that journal editors have as the "gatekeepers of science" has been emphasized by Crane [6] and Kerr, Tolliver, and Petree [13] in their respective studies of the factors that affect the selection of articles for publication in scholarly journals. Formal recognition that certain institutions have substantial control responsibilities according to their representation on editorial boards was also evident in a recent study by Williams [16] that indicated that journal policies regarding the acceptability of research may perpetuate an institutional dominance by certain schools based on the composition of editorial staffs.

Academicians recognize that an important indication of a faculty member's eminence is provided by an appointment to the editorial board of a significant scholarly journal [8, 11, 12]. Accordingly, the collective appointments of a business school's faculty to journal editorial boards are capable of providing a measure of eminence for the school as a whole relative to other business schools. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to measure the eminence of business schools based on their faculty representation on the editorial review boards of business journals during the past 20 years.

Related prior research is limited to a study by Kaufman concerning finance departments and their faculty representation on the editorial boards of select journals [12]. Based on his analysis, Kaufman identified 26 leading departments of finance. However, since the study concerned finance departments, only finance journals were used to collect the evaluative information. In contrast, the current study is more broadly concerned with schools of business and includes a consideration of representative journals for the following major areas of business: accounting, finance, management, and marketing.


To measure the eminence of business schools, a study of faculty representation on the editorial boards of scholarly business journals was made. For this purpose the definition of board membership included editor, associate editor, section editor, and member of the editorial board. The journals that were selected for the study are internationally prestigious journals that specialize in first reports of significant scholarly work in their respective fields. …