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Human capital loss in an academic performance measurement system

Human capital loss in an academic performance measurement system PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of academic human capital (HC) towards a university’s research performance measurement system (PMS), in response to a national research assessment exercise (RAE).Design/methodology/approachThis paper draws on a subset of the data from a large mixed method case study research project about the impact of ERA on an Australian public sector university.FindingsThe findings reveal that the research PMSs were designed, implemented and used as a tool to measure and manage the research performance of HC within the university. The case study university performed well in the RAE. However, this also led to several unintended consequences in the form of fear and anxiety, gaming and strategic initiatives, a focus on quantity and not the quality of research, and increased workload, which led to a loss in the stock of HC.Practical implicationsThis empirical evidence can inform governments and policy makers of the unintended consequences of government research evaluations on academic HC. University managers could improve the design of HC management systems by not only measuring academic HC performance, but also providing training and resources to enhance, support and maintain the overall well-being of academics.Originality/valueThis study provides insights regarding the connection between a university’s PMS and academic HC and contributes to the academic literature on intellectual capital and PMSs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Intellectual Capital Emerald Publishing

Human capital loss in an academic performance measurement system

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References (87)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1469-1930
DOI
10.1108/JIC-06-2017-0085
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of academic human capital (HC) towards a university’s research performance measurement system (PMS), in response to a national research assessment exercise (RAE).Design/methodology/approachThis paper draws on a subset of the data from a large mixed method case study research project about the impact of ERA on an Australian public sector university.FindingsThe findings reveal that the research PMSs were designed, implemented and used as a tool to measure and manage the research performance of HC within the university. The case study university performed well in the RAE. However, this also led to several unintended consequences in the form of fear and anxiety, gaming and strategic initiatives, a focus on quantity and not the quality of research, and increased workload, which led to a loss in the stock of HC.Practical implicationsThis empirical evidence can inform governments and policy makers of the unintended consequences of government research evaluations on academic HC. University managers could improve the design of HC management systems by not only measuring academic HC performance, but also providing training and resources to enhance, support and maintain the overall well-being of academics.Originality/valueThis study provides insights regarding the connection between a university’s PMS and academic HC and contributes to the academic literature on intellectual capital and PMSs.

Journal

Journal of Intellectual CapitalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 8, 2018

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