Workshop Series: Richard Vidgen
Assessing a scholar’s productivity and impact is both an essential task for academic administrators, funding agencies and promotion and tenure committees’ worldwide. This paper takes the position that no clear, transparent, or ‘fair’ standard for guiding that process yet exists. Given the lack of a theory of academic quality or clearly accepted criteria of academic quality, we submit that, rather than attempting to measure the quality of a scholar’s output, we assess his/her ability to influence developments in their research field. This change of focus allows us to move from the quixotic quest to identify quality in scholarly output to the more realizable quest of how the field has responded to the scholar’s proposals. We identify three dimensions of influence: ideational (who uses your work?), social (who do you work with) and venue (where do you publish your work?). The paper provides operational measures and replicable analytical techniques that are used to assess scholarly influence and are applied empirically. We further test the hypotheses that each of the three forms of scholarly influence is positively associated with the other two.
Richard Vidgen is Professor of Systems Thinking in the Hull University Business School. Following fifteen years working in the IT industry he studied for a PhD in Information Systems at the University of Salford and has worked at the School of Management, University of Bath and the Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales. He has published research articles in leading journals such as Information Systems Research, Information & Management, European Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Information Technology, Omega, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, and the Information Systems Journal. His current research interests include: the application of complex adaptive systems theory and social networks to the study of information system development and to organizations in general; Internet quality and Web site usability; and, the assessment of scholarly influence and journal quality.