The Effect of Service on Research Performance: A Study on Italian Academics in Management

Tagliaventi, Maria Rita and Carli, Giacomo (2021). The Effect of Service on Research Performance: A Study on Italian Academics in Management. Higher Education Policy, 34 pp. 812–840.



Academics all over the world are feeling the increasing pressure to attain satisfactory research performance. Since research is not the only activity required of academics, though, the debate on how it may be coupled with other knowledge transfer activities like teaching, patenting, and dissemination has been captivating scholars interested in higher education. Literature is surprisingly silent about the interplay between research performance and other roles and tasks that faculty are expected to carry out, namely academic citizenship, intended as the service that they provide to their institution, to the scientific community, and to the larger society. Through a negative binomial regression conducted on 692 Italian academics in management, this paper investigates both the direct and moderating effect exerted by academic citizenship on the relationship between research performance in two subsequent evaluation exercises, thus advancing our knowledge of the relationship between research and service. Findings show that institutional service acts as a pure moderator, discipline-based service is a quasi-moderator, while public service exerts only a direct negative effect on research performance. In light of the emergent interplay between research and service, the necessity to boost reflection on academic citizenship is discussed and suggestions for its acknowledgement and advancement are formulated.

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