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Performance indicators for research and cultural creation activities in polytechnic higher education institutions: a consensus building approach

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This article presents a set of performance indicators based on the Portuguese case for managing the performance of research and cultural creation activities and their impact on the regional context in polytechnic higher education institutions. Five theoretical dimensions have been proposed and empirically validated to frame the diversity of these activities and, for each one of them, a set of performance indicators (which total 29) was defined. The Delphi technique was applied to reach consensus among specialists (polytechnic higher education institutions’ presidents) on the performance indicators; two rounds of the technique application have led to a final set of indicators (comprising 23 indicators). The final set of performance indicators emerged as valid to actually be used by polytechnic higher education institutions, not only as a self-instrument to assess and improve their performance, but also as a management tool allowing the institutions to establish goals, define their own profile and the strategies to achieve it.

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Fig. 1


  1. 1.

    The main theoretical explanations regarding the differences between commercialization and engagement activities and the main inspiration for the framework can be found in Perkmann et al. (2013).


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This research was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under grants 02/INDICADORES/2014 and 05/INDICADORES/2014. It has also been supported by FCT through project PEst-OE/CED/UI0757/2013 (funded by the Programme COMPETE). This work was also financially supported by the project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029427- funded by FEDER, through COMPETE2020 - Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI), and by national funds (OE), through FCT/MCTES.

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Correspondence to Ricardo Biscaia.

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Biscaia, R., Melo, A.I., Machado, I. et al. Performance indicators for research and cultural creation activities in polytechnic higher education institutions: a consensus building approach. Tert Educ Manag (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11233-019-09035-y

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  • Performance management
  • Performance measurement
  • Higher education policy
  • Performance indicators
  • Higher education institutions
  • Research policy