Academic journal article Management International Review

Contributing Institutions and Authors in International Business Research: A Quality-Based Assessment

Academic journal article Management International Review

Contributing Institutions and Authors in International Business Research: A Quality-Based Assessment

Article excerpt

Abstract We use a quality-based approach to assess contributing institutions and authors in international business (IB) research. Specifically, we use Google Scholar citations of individual articles to weigh the number of IB research articles in core IB and other non-IB elite journals. Our approach mitigates concerns about the quality difference among articles across different journals and within individual journals. We find evidence to suggest that IB research in the European and Asia-Pacific regions exhibits an upward trend over the 1995-2011 period. With respect to institutional research quality, we document that an IB program with faculty members working with their peers in foreign countries and the presence of a doctoral program can enhance an institution's research quality. Prolific authors are very mobile and typically have global experience.

Keywords Ranking * Citations * International business

1 Introduction

Research assessment of academic institutions and authors is of interest among many university constituents, such as faculty members, administrators, donors, alumni, students, and policy makers. As suggested in the literature, the findings from these assessments are useful for making decisions on merit pay raises, tenure and promotion decisions, resource allocation, enrollment, donations, grant applications, and employment, among others.

Recently, there has been renewed interest in research assessment in international business (IB). Several studies, such as Trevino et al. (2010) and Lahiri and Kumar (2012), provide updates and extensions to the literature. The IB research assessment literature, while interesting, seldom addresses the quality difference among articles across different journals and within individual journals. The present study is the "first" to use citations in each published article to weigh scholars' research output to assess the contributing scholars and institutions in IB research. The quality-based performance metric is called weighted normalized citations (WNCs).

Some of the literature offers insights into the geographical analyses of research productivity and compare their results to the popular ranking results, such as those of U.S. News and World Report (e.g., Trevino et al. 2010). However, the literature seldom explores the drivers behind institutional research performance and job mobility among prolific IB scholars. The present study fills this gap.

Our paper relates to but differs from the current literature in two aspects. First, following the approach to ranking finance journals in Chan et al. (2013), we document that the numbers of citations, as a proxy for quality, for different articles within the same IB journal vary widely. This finding echoes the findings in Smith (2004), who documents that a top (good but not top) journal may have articles with no/low (large) citations. In other words, not all articles in the same journal are the same in terms of their quality. Hence, we contend that the common approach of simply tallying the total number or coauthor-weighted number of contributing institutions and authors for all articles in IB and related journals may not account for quality differences across journals and across different articles within individual journals. To overcome this challenge, we use citations received by each article as the weights to each publication to provide a quality-based assessment of IB research among institutions and authors. Our new findings compliment the literature. Our approach emphasizes the quality, not the quantity, of articles by institution and author. Second, our study offers a multiple regression model to explain the variation in research performance in terms of quality by institution. In addition, we provide a brief employment history of leading authors to shed light on the job mobility of IB scholars.

We offer several interesting findings. First, the leading IB journal, Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS), has the highest mean normalized citation of 15. …

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