The Trade-Off Between Research and Academic Citizenship in Modern Universities

Cutolo, Donato; Tagliaventi, Maria Rita and Carli, Giacomo (2018). The Trade-Off Between Research and Academic Citizenship in Modern Universities. In: Academy of Management Proceedings, Academy of Management, 2018(1).



Academics have always been endowed with the privilege of autonomy, but the diffusion of evaluation systems based only on publication outcomes has constrained individual decisions, jeopardizing the potential beneficial effects deriving from more complex patterns of behaviors. Besides research and teaching, impact on society and academic citizenship, i.e., the service behaviors carried out within and outside organizational boundaries, are in fact cornerstones of university functioning. We rely on a dataset collecting publication records and data on 353 Italian scholars in the accounting sector in the period 2004-2013 to investigate the trade-offs between academic citizenship and research after the introduction of an evaluation system that rewards research performance. We use a cluster analysis to reveal different academics’ orientations, and we inquire into which factors affect the adherence to each pattern of behaviors using a multinomial logistic regression. We contribute to the debate on academic trade-offs by showing that the majority of academics tend to polarize on specific behaviors or remain stuck in the middle, without attaining satisfying performance in any domain. Moreover, we disclose that behaviors are path-dependent on previous performance rather on individual features or contextual characteristics.

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