A Comment on 'Quantitative Evaluation of German Research Output in Business Administration.' (Response to Article by Macharzina et. Al. on This Issue, P. 255)

By Frohling, Oliver; Baumol, Ulrike | Management International Review, July 1994 | Go to article overview

A Comment on 'Quantitative Evaluation of German Research Output in Business Administration.' (Response to Article by Macharzina et. Al. on This Issue, P. 255)


Frohling, Oliver, Baumol, Ulrike, Management International Review


Key Results

The academic career importance of quantity and quality by publications of researchers has become evident in Germany, too. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate their performance as researchers very carefully. To render this possible, ratios are developed in order to make the above mentioned performance within the framework of a research-controlling more transparent. Finally, a modified procedure for future analysis is suggested.

Can Business Administration Research be Justified by Faith Alone? -- The Background of the Evaluation of Macharzina, Wolf and Oesterle

Macharzina, Wolf and Oesterle contribute with their investigation(1) to the measurement of the research efficiency of business administration in Germany and German-speaking countries.(2) Within the framework of a 10-year-longitudinal section analysis of literature, they classify the total publications of six business administration-oriented journals in Germany in the categories 'author' and 'university'. In doing so, they only take the 'long' contributions in each journal into consideration(3) and leave out the 'short' notes, contributions to discussions(4) and book reviews.(5) The authors respect this selection of the data sources though a remark appears to be necessary that for making an overall evaluation of the research efficiency, it is of course a requirement to take into consideration monographs(6), contributions in collected editions and publisher editions, contributions to discussions, as well as non-published working papers and discussion papers.(7)

A remark, however, of some material importance has to be made with regard to the choice of data sources (= selected academic business journals): the consideration of the business administration publications appears to be both imperative and distortive at the same time. It is imperative when referring to the linguistically modified target of the investigation: 'Quantitative Evaluation of Research Output in Business Administration in German-Speaking Countries'. In this case it is indeed necessary to take consideration those journals appearing in Austria (JfB) and in Switzerland (DU) which focus on the general understanding of business administration. It becomes distortive, if the real percentage share of German authors in these business journals is included in the analysis. When examining the authors individually, an extreme national concentration of the authors could be noticed in Table 1 of the investigation by Macharzina, Wolf and Oesterle (cf. p. 70 et seq.): the 'DU' is strongly influenced by the authors Ruhli, Rieser, Wehrli, Hill, Weilenmann and Ulrich, whereas the 'JfB' is highly influenced by Seicht, Loitlsberger, Schneider and Swoboda. When analysing the authors' publications frequency in all journals, the concentration on the national business journals becomes obvious. Thus, the ratio 'partial contribution frequency' is expressed by: contribution points in national dominant business journals divided through contribution points in all business journals considered, multiplied by 100, the 'Nationalismuseffekt' (effect of nationalism) becomes distinct. As for the above-mentioned Austrian and Swiss authors, the result is (in national and alphabetical order):

This publication dominance of the 'DU' and the 'JfB' clearly reflects in the values of the coefficient C1, C2 and C3 (cf. p. 79-80), developed by Macharzina, Wolf and Oesterle. If we moreover regard the low publication frequency of German authors in these journals (an exception is especially Gabele), then it would seem to be necessary to 'smooth' the results of the investigation.

Table 1. The contribution frequency of the Austrian and Swiss authors

Author             Nationality           Contribution frequency (%)

Loitlsberger       Austria               100
Schneider          Austria                82
Seicht             Austria               100
Swoboda            Austria                60
Hill               Switzerland            86
Rieser             Switzerland           100
Ruhli              Switzerland           100
Ulrich             Switzerland            75
Wehrli             Switzerland           100
Weilenmann         Switzerland            80

Within the course of the following explanations we will focus on the investigation of the research efficiency and effectiveness of the academics among the authors and disregard others. …

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