Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft

, Volume 17, Supplement 6, pp 25–45 | Cite as

When qualitative productivity is equated with quantitative productivity: scholars caught in a performance paradox

Article

Abstract

In this paper, we argue that, due to the increasing implementation of governance logic of entrepreneurial universities, there is a growing tendency within the public sector to equate qualitative productivity with quantitative productivity. This makes scholars behave less like Homo academicus and more like Homo strategicus and encourages them to pursue a gaming strategy and play safe. A performance paradox then occurs. Our aim is to provide a framework that examines causes of a performance paradox and analyses possible unintended behavioural effects on scholars. Drawing on case material from German universities and comprising data from 30 narrative interviews with university professors, we combine theoretical reasoning on performance measurement research and studies on dysfunctional effects with qualitative data analysis in order to elaborate causal patterns of a performance paradox and its dysfunctional consequences. By setting this research in the university governance context, our findings give a rather contradictory picture: due to the implementation of quantitative governance logics, scholars’ productivity may increase. Despite this, the implementation has dysfunctional effects on the progress of knowledge and innovations in the scientific community.

Keywords

Performance Measurement Higher Education Performance Paradox Strategic Behaviour Dysfunctional Effects 

Wenn Qualität von Forschung, Lehre und Bildung mit quantitativer Produktivität gleichgesetzt wird – im Leistungsparadoxon gefangene Wissenschaftler

Zusammenfassung

Im Hochschulmanagement ersetzt die vom New Public Management dominierte Steuerungslogik der Entrepreneurial University zunehmend die der traditionellen Republic of Science. Die Folge: Es gibt eine steigende Tendenz, Qualität von Forschung, Lehre und Bildung als quantitative Produktivität zu messen. Die Orientierung an den damit verbundenen Kenngrößen führt dazu, dass Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler einen Anreiz haben, sich weniger als Homo academicus, sondern eher als Homo strategicus zu verhalten und sich auf die gut messbaren Aufgabenbestandteile zu konzentrieren. Solche Verhaltensstrategien können ein Performanzparadoxon auslösen. Ziel des Beitrags ist es, einen Bezugsrahmen zu entwickeln, der die Ursachen für das Auftreten eines Performanzparadoxon analysiert und mögliche nicht-intendierte Verhaltenseffekte in der Wissenschaft aufzeigt. Grundlagen des Bezugsrahmens bilden zum einen Forschung zu Performance Management und Gaming Strategien, zum anderen die Ergebnisse aus 30 narrativen Interviews mit Professorinnen und Professoren deutscher Universitäten. Die Ergebnisse vermitteln ein eher widersprüchliches Bild: Obwohl durch die verstärkte Anwendung quantitativer Steuerungslogiken die Produktivität von Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern durchaus steigt, fördert sie zugleich dysfunktionale Effekte auf Innovation und Wissensprozesse in einer Forschungsgemeinschaft.

Schlüsselwörter

Leistungsmessung Hochschulbildung Leistungsparadoxon Strategisches Verhalten Dysfunktionale Effekte 

References

  1. Alexander F. K. (2000). The changing face of accountability: Monitoring and assessing institutional performance in higher education. The Journal of Higher Education, 71(4), 411–431.Google Scholar
  2. Alvesson M., & Sandberg J. (2011). Generating research questions through problematization. Academy of Management Review, 36(2), 247–271.Google Scholar
  3. Alvesson M., & Sandberg J. (2013). Has management studies lost its way? Ideas for more imaginative and innovative research. Journal of Management Studies, 50(1), 128–152.Google Scholar
  4. Bevan G., & Hood C. (2006). What’s measured is what matters: Targets and gaming in the English public health care system. Public Administration, 84(3), 517–538.Google Scholar
  5. Bleiklie I., & Lange S. (2010). Competition and leadership as drivers in German and Norwegian university reforms. Higher Education Policy, 23(2), 173–193.Google Scholar
  6. Bourdieu P. (1988). Homo academicus. Frankfurt: Suhrkam.Google Scholar
  7. Brennan J., & Teichler U. (2008). The future of higher education and of higher education research. Higher Education, 56(3), 259–264.Google Scholar
  8. Butler L. (2003). Explaining Australia’s increased share of ISI publications—the effects of a funding formula based on publication counts. Research Policy, 32(1), 143–155.Google Scholar
  9. Camerer C. F. (2003). Behavioral game theory: Experiments in strategic interaction. New York: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Caron P. L., & Gely R. (2003). What law schools can learn from Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics. Texas Law Review, 82(6), 1483–1554.Google Scholar
  11. Clark B. (2001). The entrepreneurial university: New foundations for collegiality, autonomy, and achievement. Higher Education Managment, 13(2), 9–25.Google Scholar
  12. Crane D. (1972). The invisible colleges. Diffusion of knowledge in scientific communities. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  13. Daft R. L., & Lengel R. H. (1986). Organizational information requirements, media richness and structural design. Management Science, 32(5), 554–571.Google Scholar
  14. Davis J. H., et al. (1997). Toward a stewardship theory of management. The Academy of Management Review, 22(1), 20–47.Google Scholar
  15. Deci E. L. (1972). The effects of contingent and noncontingent rewards and controls on intrinsic motivation. Organizational Behaviour and Human Performance, 8(2), 217–229.Google Scholar
  16. Deci E. L., & Ryan R. M. (2004). Handbook of self-determination research. Rochester: University of Rochester Press.Google Scholar
  17. Ebrahim A. (2005). Accountability myopia: Losing sight of organizational learning. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 34(1), 56–87.Google Scholar
  18. Eisenhardt K. M. (1991). Better stories and better constructs: The case for rigor and comparative logic. Academy of Management Review, 16(3), 620–627.Google Scholar
  19. Eisenhardt K., & Graebner, M. E. (2007). Theory building from cases: Opportunities and challenges. Academy of Management Journal, 50(1), 25–32. (A. M. Huberman & M. B. Miles, eds.).Google Scholar
  20. Elstad E., & Turmo A. (2011). Obeying the rules or gaming the system? Delegating random selection for examinations to head teachers within an accountability system. Education, Knowledge and Economy, 5(1), 1–15.Google Scholar
  21. Enders J., et al. (2012). Regulatory autonomy and performance: The reform of higher education re-visited. Higher Education, 65(1), 5–23.Google Scholar
  22. Espeland W. N., & Sauder M. (2007). Rankings and reactivity: How public measures recreate social worlds. American Journal of Sociology, 113(1), 1–40.Google Scholar
  23. Frey B. (2003). Publishing as prostitution?—Choosing between one’s own ideas. Public Choice, 116(1–2), 205–223.Google Scholar
  24. Goodall A. H. (2009). Socrates in the boardroom. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Heinrich C. J., & Marschke G. (2010). Incentives and their dynamics in public sector performance management systems. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 29(1), 183–208.Google Scholar
  26. Heintz B. (2008). Governance by numbers: Zum Zusammenhang von Quantifizierung und Globalisierung am Beispiel der Hochschulpolitik. In U. Lehmkul, et al. eds. Governance von und durch Wissen. Baden-Baden: Nomos-Verlag, pp. 110–129.Google Scholar
  27. Heinze T., et al. (2009). Organizational and institutional influences on creativity in scientific research. Research Policy, 38(4), 610–623.Google Scholar
  28. Hofstede G. (1981). Management control of public and not-for-profit activities. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 6(3), 193–211.Google Scholar
  29. Holmstrom B., & Milgrom P. (1991). Multitask principal-agent analyses: Incentive contracts, asset ownership, and job design. Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization, 7(Special Issue), 24–52.Google Scholar
  30. Holmstrom B., & Milgrom P. (1994). The firm as an incentive system. The American Economic Review, 84(4), 972–991.Google Scholar
  31. Hood C. (1991). A public management for all seasons? Public Administration, 69(1), 3–19.Google Scholar
  32. Hood C. (1995). The “new public management” in the 1980s: Variations on a theme. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 20(2–3), 93–109.Google Scholar
  33. Hood C. (2000). Paradoxes of public-sector managerialism, old public management and public service bargains. International Public Management Journal, 3(1), 1–22.Google Scholar
  34. Hoskins K. (1996). The “awful idea of accountability”: Inscirbing people into measurement objects. In R. Munro & J. Mouritsen, eds. Accountability: Power, ethos and the technologies of managing. London: International Thomson Business Press, pp. 265–282.Google Scholar
  35. Houston D. J. (2005). “Walking the walk” of public service motivation: Public employees and charitable gifts of time, blood, and money. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 16(1), 67–86.Google Scholar
  36. Jaeger M. (2006). Leistungsbezogene Budgetierung an deutschen Universitäten. Wissenschaftsmanagement, 3(Mai/Juni), 32–38.Google Scholar
  37. Jaeger M., & Leszczensky M. (2006). Hochschulinterne Steuerung durch Finanzierungsformeln und Zielvereinbarungen. In M. Jaeger & M. Leszczensky, eds. Hochschulinterne Steuerung durch Finanzierungsformeln und Zielvereinbarungen (pp. 5–20). Hannover: HIS: Forum Hochschule.Google Scholar
  38. Jansen D., et al. (2007). Drittmittel als Performanzindikator der wissenschaftlichen Forschung. KZfSS Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 59(1), 125–149.Google Scholar
  39. Jaworski B. J., & Young S. M. (1992). Dysfunctional behavior and management control: An empirical study of marketing managers. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 17(1), 17–35.Google Scholar
  40. John L. K., et al. (2012). Measuring the prevalence of questionable research practices with incentives for truth telling. Psychological science, 23(5), 524–532.Google Scholar
  41. Kehm B., & Lanzendorf U. (2007). The impacts of university management on academic work: Reform experiences in Austria and Germany. Management Revue, 18(2), 153–173.Google Scholar
  42. Khalifa R., & Quattrone, P. (2008). The governance of accounting academia: Issues for a debate. European Accounting Review, 17(1), 65–86.Google Scholar
  43. Krempkow R., et al. (2012). Steuerung durch LOM? Eine Analyse zur leistungsorientierten Mittelvergabe an Medizin-Fakultäten in Deutschland. In U. Wilkesmann & C. J. Schmid, eds. Hochschule als Organisation (pp. 245–260). Wiesbaden: Springer VS.Google Scholar
  44. Lukka K. (2010). The roles and effects of paradigms in accounting research. Management Accounting Research, 21(2), 110–115.Google Scholar
  45. March J. (1999). The pursuit of organizational intelligence: Decisions and learning in organizations. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishing Inc.Google Scholar
  46. March J., & Olsen J. (1989). Rediscovering institutions: The organizational basis of politics. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  47. Mayring P. (2008). Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse Grundlagen und Techniken. Weinheim: Beltz.Google Scholar
  48. McCaskey M. B. (1991). The challenge of managing ambiguity and change. In L. R. Pondy, ed. Managing ambuguity and change. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  49. Merchant K. A. (2010). Paradigms in accounting research: A view from North America. Management Accounting Research, 21(2), 116–120.Google Scholar
  50. Merton R. K. (1973). The sociology of science: Theoretical and empirical investigation. Chicago: Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  51. Meyer M. W. (2005). Can performance studies create actionable knowledge if we can’t measure the performance of the firm? Journal of Management Inquiry, 14(3), 287–291.Google Scholar
  52. Meyer M. W., & Gupta V. (1994). The performance paradox. Research in Organizational Behavior, 16, 309–369.Google Scholar
  53. Middlehurst R., & Elton L. (1992). Leadership and management in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 17(3), 251–264.Google Scholar
  54. Moosmayer D. C. (2010). Professors as value agents: A typology of management academics’ value structures. Higher Education, 62(1), 49–67.Google Scholar
  55. Mora J. -G. (2001). Governance and management in the new university. Tertiary Education and Management, 7(2), 95–110.Google Scholar
  56. Münch R. (2011). Akademischer Kapitalismus: Über die politische Ökonomie der Hochschulreform. Frankfurt: Surhkamp.Google Scholar
  57. Noordegraaf M., & Abma T. (2003). Management by measurement? Public management practices amidst ambiguity. Public Administration, 81(4), 853–871.Google Scholar
  58. Olssen M., & Peters M. (2005). Neoliberalism, higher education and the knowledge economy: From the free market to knowledge capitalism. Journal of Education Policy, 20(3), 313–345.Google Scholar
  59. Osterloh M. (2010). Governance by numbers. Does it really work in research? Analyse und Kritik, 32(2), 267–283.Google Scholar
  60. Osterloh M., & Frey B. S. (2004). Corporate governance for crooks? The case for corporate virtue. In G. Grandori, ed. Corporate Governance and Firm Organization (pp. 191–211). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Osterloh M., & Frey B. S. (2009). Are more and better indicators the solution? Scandinavian Journal of Management, 25(2), 225–227.Google Scholar
  62. Parker M., & Jary D. (1995). The McUniversity: Organization, management and academic subjectivity. Organization, 2(2), 319–338.Google Scholar
  63. Perry J. L. (2000). Bringing society in: Toward a theory of public-service motivation. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 10(2), 471–488.Google Scholar
  64. Perry J. L., & Porter L. W. (1982). Factors affecting the context for motivation in public organizations. The Academy of Management Review, 7(1), 89–98.Google Scholar
  65. Pidd M. (2005). Perversity in public service performance measurement. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 54(5–6), 482–493.Google Scholar
  66. Polanyi M. (1962). The republic of science: Its political and economic theory. Minerva, 1(1), 54–73.Google Scholar
  67. Polanyi M. (2000). The republic of science: Its political and economic theory. Minerva, 38(1), 1–21.Google Scholar
  68. Power M. (1994). The audit explosion. London: Demos.Google Scholar
  69. Propper C., & Wilson D. (2003). The use and usefulness of performance measures in the public sector. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 19(03), 215–267.Google Scholar
  70. Radnor Z. (2008). Muddled, massaging, manoeuvring or manipulated? A typology of organisational gaming. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 57(4), 316–328.Google Scholar
  71. Rainey H. G. (1983). Public agencies and private firms: Incentive structures, goals, and individual roles. Administration & Society, 15(2), 207–242.Google Scholar
  72. Rothstein R. (2010). Holding accountability to account: How scholarship and experience in other fields inform exploration of performance incentives in education. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 125(1), 175–214.Google Scholar
  73. Sandberg J., & Alvesson M. (2011). Ways of constructing research questions: gap-spotting or problematization? Organization, 18(1), 23–44.Google Scholar
  74. Schimank U. (2005). “New public management” and the academic profession: Reflections on the German situation. Minerva, 43(4), 361–376.Google Scholar
  75. Schon D. A. (1971). Beyond the stable state. London: Temple Smith.Google Scholar
  76. Slaughter S., & Leslie L. L. (1999). Academic capitalism: Politics, policies, and the entrepreneurial university. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  77. Slaughter S., & Rhoades G. (2004). Academic capitalism and the new economy: Markets, state, and higher education. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  78. Smith P. (1993). Outcome-related performance indicators and organizational control in the public sector. British Journal of Management, 4(3), 135–151.Google Scholar
  79. Smith P. (1995). On the unintended consequences of publishing performance data in the public sector. International Journal of Public Administration, 18(2–3), 277–310.Google Scholar
  80. Tahar S., & Boutellier R. (2012). Resource allocation in higher education in the context of new public management. Public Management Review, 25(1), 1–27.Google Scholar
  81. Ter Bogt H. J., & Scapens R. W. (2012). Performance management in universities: Effects of the transition to more quantitative measurement systems. European Accounting Review, 21(3), 451–497.Google Scholar
  82. Townley B. (1997). The institutional logic of performance appraisal. Organization Studies, 18(2), 261–285.Google Scholar
  83. Vakkuri J., & Meklin P. (2003). The impact of culture on the use of performance measurement information in the university setting. Management Decision, 41(8), 751–759.Google Scholar
  84. Vakkuri J., & Meklin P. (2006). Ambiguity in performance measurement: A theoretical approach to organisational uses of performance measurement. Financial Accountability and Management, 22(3), 235–250.Google Scholar
  85. Van Slyke D. M. (2006). Agents or stewards: Using theory to understand the government-nonprofit social service contracting relationship. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 17(2), 157–187.Google Scholar
  86. Van Thiel S., & Leeuw F. L. (2002). The performance paradox in the public sector. Public Performance & Management Review, 25(3), 267–281.Google Scholar
  87. Vaughan D. (1992). Theory elaboration: The heuristics of case analysis. In C. Ragin & H. Becker, eds. What is a case? Exploring the foundations of social inquiry (pp. 173–203). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  88. Vogel R. (2012). The visible colleges of management and organization studies: A bibliometric analysis of academic journals. Organization Studies, 33(8), 1015–1043.Google Scholar
  89. Wadmann M. (2005). One of three scientists confesses to having sinned. Nature, 435(7043), 718–719.Google Scholar
  90. Wankhade P. (2011). Performance measurement and the UK emergency ambulance service: Unintended consequences of the ambulance response time targets. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 24(5), 384–402.Google Scholar
  91. Weick K. E. (1995). Der Prozess des Organisierens. Frankfurt am Main: Surhkamp.Google Scholar
  92. Whitley R., et al. (2010). Reconfiguring knowledge production: Changing authority relationships in the sciences and their consequences for intellectual innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  93. Willmott H. (2011). Journal list fetishism and the perversion of scholarship: reactivity and the ABS list. Organization, 18(4), 429–442.Google Scholar
  94. Wilson J. Q. (1989). Bureaucracy: What government agencies do and why they do it. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  95. Yin R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods 4th ed. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Hamburg, School of Business, Economics and Social SciencesHamburgGermany

Personalised recommendations