Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Academic Publishing and Teaching Effectiveness: An Attitudinal Study of AACSB Accredited Business School Faculty

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Academic Publishing and Teaching Effectiveness: An Attitudinal Study of AACSB Accredited Business School Faculty

Article excerpt


Historically the role of publishing in the academy has been to provide a venue for academic discourse and the dissemination of newly created knowledge, a role that is as valid today as it was fifty or one hundred years ago. There is, however, a new paradigm emerging in business schools that is changing what should be the legitimate purpose and contribution of academic research. This shift is especially evident in schools which are currently accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and in the process of seeking reaccreditation as well as candidacy schools seeking initial accreditation.

The new standards adopted by AACSB in 2003, specifically AACSB Standards 10 and 2 (AACSB, 2003), which address defining faculty as academically qualified (AQ) and professionally qualified (PQ), have caused academic publishing to become even more highly prioritized. Under the new standards the most important component for business faculty achieving and/or maintaining AQ status is the number of refereed journal publications. Although not specifically stated in the new AACSB standards, it is widely understood that the minimum requirements for a faculty member to maintain AQ status is that they have, at a minimum, two refereed journal publications within a five year period (Miles, Hazeldine & Munilla, 2004).

The new standards have caused candidacy schools, seeking initial AACSB accreditation, and those in the reaccreditation process to require a higher percentage of their faculty to actively engage in research, and, more specifically, publish their research in peer reviewed journals. This increased emphasis on quantity of publications has the potential to shift the focus of research, to a degree greater than it has been, from what should be its primary contribution, the dissemination of new knowledge, to a focus on publishing purely for the sake of publishing.


Business schools at doctoral granting institutions have always placed a priority on their faculty publishing in high quality, peer reviewed academic journals. Business schools at balanced, non-doctoral schools have, in the past, focused primarily on teaching, with a balanced emphasis on research and service. But, today's business school faculties, even in balanced non-doctoral schools, are under greater pressure to produce publishable research in order to maintain their academic qualifications. This increasing emphasis on research and, particularly, research resulting in publications (Pettijohn, Udell & Parker, 1991), has been the focus of much discussion among business academicians.

In Boyer's (1990) famous work Scholarship Revisited: Priorities of the Professorship, results were reported from a national 1989 Carnegie Foundation study that 45% of business faculty believed the number of publications is the primary indicator of research productivity. Additionally, Boyer cited that 45% of business faculty did not perceive that the quality of the journal was an important criterion for tenure. Since the time of this study it appears that an even greater emphasis has been placed on published research, especially for institutions who wish to obtain or maintain their accreditation through AACSB. In a study of finance faculty, Bures and Tong (1993) reported that the primary factor influencing performance evaluations was the number of journal articles published. Arlinghaus (2002) reported in a study of AACSB accounting programs that the number of publications expected has increased at the majority of institutions. Udell, Parker and Pettijohn (1995) noted that "discussions of the validity and desire for AACSB accreditation generally become discussions of the seeming dichotomies of teaching and research" (p. 108). These authors found a difference between faculty in AACSB accredited and non-accredited institutions. Not surprisingly, faculty in AACSB accredited institutions published significantly more journal articles than their counterparts at nonaccredited schools. …

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