The Interplay Between Academic Citizenship and Knowledge Transfer in Business Schools

Cutolo, Donato; Tagliaventi, Maria Rita and Carli, Giacomo (2019). The Interplay Between Academic Citizenship and Knowledge Transfer in Business Schools. In: Academy of Management Proceedings, Academy of Management, 2019(1), article no. 11983abstract.



Professional autonomy has always been a privilege pertaining to academics, but the diffusion of evaluation systems based solely on publication outcomes has constrained individual decisions, jeopardizing the potential beneficial effects deriving from more complex patterns of behaviors. Along with knowledge transfer, academic citizenship, i.e., the service activities and roles carried out within and outside organizational boundaries, is a cornerstone of university functioning, but in the literature, it has been largely overlooked so far. This study investigates the complementarity, substitution, and independence effects between academic citizenship and knowledge transfer in a sample of 752 Italian academics working in business schools. We collected data combining different sources including CVs, publication records, and national evaluation datasets. A system approach based on a multivariate path analysis was employed to measure the covariances between academic citizenship and knowledge transfer, and the effects of a set of antecedents related to previous pathways, research grants and awards, visiting scholarships, international collaborations, and some contextual features. We revamp the debate on academic citizenship by showing that public and discipline-based service are complementary to knowledge transfer activities, while institutional service is independent from knowledge transfer. We disclose that activities and roles are influenced by academics’ previous pathways, rather than by individual features or contextual characteristics, and we discuss the main implications for performance evaluation systems in the Academia.

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