Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Does it take an expert to lead experts?: professionals versus managers in universities

By Amanda Goodall


This is an empirical study of leaders and how they affect organizational performance. Its context is the research university as a knowledge intensive organization. It appears to be the first of its kind. \ud The thesis explores whether the characteristics of a leader in position today can tell us about the future success of their institution. It asks the question: Should research universities be led by top scholars? One reason why universities are an interesting case is that, unusually for knowledge-intensive organizations, their leaders' technical expertise can arguably be measured reasonably objectively. \ud Using cross-sectional analysis, the first approach adopted in this thesis is to identify whether accomplished scholars are currently leading the world's top universities and business schools. It demonstrates -- using a variety of data sets, and in a variety of settings, including a check on the role of outliers -- that better universities and business schools are led by presidents and deans with systematically higher numbers of life-time scholarly citations. \ud Next the dissertation attempts to go beyond simple cross-sectional patterns to address the question of causality. It does so in a longitudinal study that follows the performance of a panel of 55 universities over a nine-year period from 1992 to 2001. Using regression analysis, this thesis uncovers some evidence that is consistent with the existence of a causal relationship between the research ability of a leader and the future achievement of their institution. The results suggest that a university tends to improve in the UK Research Assessment Exercise if its leader has been a successful scholar. \ud Qualitative evidence in the form of interviews with university leaders then motivates a theory of strategic leadership that might explain the statistical patterns. It is argued in the thesis that scholars may make effective leaders for reasons that are both internal and external to the individual. A scholar-leader, it is suggested, influences performance because of an inherent knowledge of the core business of a research university, and also through the extension of powers acquired by being viewed as credible by followers. Finally, the thesis concludes by asking whether university governing bodies appoint the right people. \ud The central argument being made in this thesis is that where expert knowledge is the key factor that characterises an organization it is expert knowledge that should also be key in the selection of its leader

Topics: HD28, LB2300
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. 159 Table 6.1 Participants in Qualitative Interviews With some exceptions, US interviews (in the first table) took place
  2. 18 Aston is not included in this sample because of the small number of departments it submitted to the three RAEs over the period 1992-2001.
  3. (1974). 18 There have also been a number of influential empirical studies that focus on leadership in higher education (for example, Cohen &
  4. (2005). 2.100 deans of business schools in the Financial Times MBA ranking and also 38 deans
  5. (1994). 30 The social sciences are patchier. For example, economics relies heavily on journal articles although, unlike the science publications that tend to publish quickly, in economics it can be over two years from submission to publication (Hamermesh
  6. (2005). 32 Why use citations instead of journal articles? There is a growing body of work that uses citations to assess intellectual output and productivity (see King 2004; Bayers,
  7. 37 Tahlp 2.1 Citation Thresholds for Scientists Across Different Disciplines Subject area Scientist Agricultural
  8. (1986). 45 Eleven presidents are from the arts and humanities. This group is noticeably smaller. Taylor
  9. (2004). 53 Table 3.1 Methodology used in SJTU ranking
  10. (2000). 74 Figure 4.1 The Relationship between Deans' Mean Lifetime Citations and Business School Quality
  11. (1992). 87 Results Table 5.2 gives means and standard deviations for P-scores and the performance variable -- the number of departments that scored a top-five grade in Research Assessment Exercises
  12. (1992). 93 Table 5.1 Description of the Data Means 1980's 1990's 2000-2005 Number of male 54 54 50 leaders
  13. (1977). A
  14. (2005). A CEO-adviser model of strategic decision-making,
  15. (2004). A comparison of journal submissions to the UK's Research Assessment Exercises
  16. (2002). A culture of favouring inside promotions has been shown to be prevalent in the Italian system of higher education, and has lead to inefficiencies (see Perotti
  17. (1974). A Further Check for Reverse Causality Care has to be taken to try to check for reverse causality. This is done earlier in the chapter by introducing a series of lags. But another test can be applied.
  18. (2003). A scholar's quest,
  19. (1967). A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness,
  20. (1973). A theory of marriage: Part I,
  21. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes,
  22. (1995). Accountable to none: The Tory nationalization of Britain,
  23. (1992). Adopting this position is not to deny the importance of TMT members, but, as argued, it is suggested here that the CEO, or president and dean is, in principle, more than a central member of the TMT (Jackson,
  24. (2004). Adverse social comparison processes and negative self-feelings: A test of alternative models, Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal,
  25. (2004). Agenda - The education of practicing managers,
  26. (1968). An academic patriarchate - vice-chancellors 1966-67,
  27. (2006). An examination of the reliability of prestigious scholarly journals: Evidence and implications for decision-makers,
  28. Appendix 2 Citation Thresholds for Scientists Across Different Disciplines (Created
  29. (2003). As higher education has become global, in the recruitment of international students and staff, so have league tables. International tables have existed for a number of years in areas such as business education through the Financial Times. In
  30. (1998). Assessing the social sciences: the use of advanced bibliometric methods as a necessary complement to peer review,
  31. (2006). Beyond private gain: The public benefits of higher education,
  32. (1999). Biology at Berkeley,
  33. (2003). Bridging scholarship in management: Epistemological reflections,
  34. (2001). Bridging the relevance gap: Aligning stakeholders in the future of management research,
  35. (2002). Business school research: bridging the gap between producers and consumers,
  36. (1994). CEO attitudes as determinants of organization design: An integrated model,
  37. (2001). CEO pay in the public sector: The case of vice chancellors in UK universities, Working paper, Newcastle University Discussion Papers in Economics.
  38. (2003). Citation counts and the Research Assessment Exercise V- archaeology and the
  39. (2002). colleagues suggest instead that, in the US, university positions actually change very little each year if a fixed method of analysis is used
  40. (1997). Comparative citation rankings of authors in monographic and journal literature: a study of sociology,
  41. (2005). Comparison of scientific impact expressed by the number of citations in different fields of science,
  42. (2004). Competing conceptions of governance: Negotiating the perfect storm,
  43. (1992). Consequences of group composition for the interpersonal dynamics of strategic issue processing. In
  44. (2003). Control- what control... " Culture and ambiguity within a knowledge intensive firm,
  45. (2004). Corporate elites and corporate strategy: How demographic preferences and structural differences shape the scope of the firm,
  46. (2005). Daily Princetonian Publishing Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any manner. Please use our Web-based Feedback Form for comments, questions and inquiries.
  47. (2005). Dangerous medicine: Problems with assuring quality and standards in UK higher education,
  48. (1974). describe the position of university presidents as leading in an 'organized anarchy'. In a similar vein Alvesson & Sveningsson
  49. (1996). Developing the strategic board,
  50. (2005). Distribution of Presidents' Lifetime Citations Follows Lotka's Power Law 4 -- -- - --- -- ---------3 -- ------------ -------2 -------- ----- ----- ---------- --- -- ---------- -------------------0 -1
  51. (1984). Education for management outside business, in S. Goodlad (Ed. ), Education for the professions, Guildford, Society for Research into Higher Education and NFER-Nelson.
  52. (2003). Evaluation of research performance: the danger of numbers, in Bibliometric analysis in science and research: Applications, benefits and limitations.
  53. exceptions, interviews with leaders in the US took place in 2005, between
  54. (1997). Explaining the premiums paid for large acquisitions:
  55. (1992). Extraordinary leaders in education: Understanding transformational leadership.
  56. (1994). Facts and myths about refereeing,
  57. (2005). Fatal attraction: Conceptual and methodological problems in the ranking of universities by bibliometric methods,
  58. (2002). First among equals: How to manage a group of professionals,
  59. (1989). Five approaches to think about: Lessons learned from experienced presidents,
  60. (1994). Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
  61. (1990). From transactional to transformational leadership: Learning to share the vision, Organizational Dynamics,
  62. (2004). From university to uni: The politics of higher education in England since
  63. (2003). Good visions, bad micromanagement and ugly ambiguity: Contradictions of non-leadership in a knowledge-intensive organization,
  64. (2005). Governance as leadership: Reframing the work of nonprofit boards,
  65. (2004). Governing Academia.
  66. (2001). her list and of relevance here, is individual legitimacy. She cites Birnbaum and Umbach
  67. (2004). Herding cats in university hierarchies,
  68. (2005). How business schools lost their way,
  69. (1988). How colleges work: The cybernetics of academic organization and leadership,
  70. (2002). How much do CEOs and top managers matter in strategic decision-making?
  71. (2003). Images of Strategy,
  72. (2005). Impact of bibliometrics upon the science system: inadvertent consequences?
  73. (2001). In a study by Dolton and Ma
  74. (1997). In looking at the presidents' P-scores, as mentioned earlier, what is again noticeable is the rise in mean P-score to 7.13 in the year 2001. This is due to an outlier effect in that one leader (Anthony Giddens, Director of London School of Economics from
  75. (1984). In more recent literature it has been discussed by Handy
  76. (2003). Inherent Preferences and Credible Leadership This thesis argues that if a governing body has decided upon a strategy of raising or maintaining the research status of their university then there may be a strong organizational `ethos' (Cummings and Wilson
  77. (1994). Inside the boardroom: Governance by directors and trustees,
  78. (2006). Integrating quantitative with qualitative research: how is it done?
  79. (2003). Introductory Econometrics,
  80. (2004). Knowledge work and knowledge-intensive firms,
  81. (2001). Language biases have been shown to exist within ISI
  82. (2001). Language biases in the coverage of the Science Citation Index and its consequences for international comparisons of national research performance,
  83. (1974). Leadership and ambiguity,
  84. (1986). Leadership and organisations,
  85. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectation,
  86. (1992). Leadership as social integrative action: A study of a computer consultancy company,
  87. (1990). Leadership in Context As mentioned above, leaders are discussed within a specified context not as a generic form (Pettigrew
  88. (1996). Leadership in organizations,
  89. (2000). Leadership in the North American environmental sector: Values, leadership styles, and contexts of environmental leaders and their organizations,
  90. (1993). Leading academics,
  91. (2006). Leading change in the new professional service firm: Characterizing strategic leadership in a global context, in
  92. (1992). Learning by knowledge intensive firms,
  93. (2003). Legitimacy in the academic presidency: From entrance to exit,
  94. (1996). Leveraging intellect,
  95. (1988). Limits to academic freedom: imposed upon or selfimposed?
  96. (1990). Longitudinal field research on change: Theory and practice,
  97. (2000). Making and measuring reputations - the research ranking of European business schools, Long Range Planning,
  98. (2005). Management as ideology: The case of 'new managerialism' in higher education,
  99. (1981). Management as symbolic action: the creation and maintenance of organizational paradigms.
  100. (2001). Management research after modernism,
  101. (1993). Managerialism and the public services: cuts or cultural change in the 1990s? Blackwell Business:
  102. (2003). Managing successful universities,
  103. (2001). Managing technology and innovation for competitive advantage, Prentice Hall Longman, Englewood-Cliffs:
  104. (1993). Managing the professional service firm, Simon
  105. (2003). Managing with style: The effect of managers on firm policies,
  106. (2002). Measuring Canadian business school research output and impact,
  107. (2004). Narcissus revisited: The values of management academics and their role in business school strategies in the UK and Canada,
  108. (2005). Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being,
  109. (2002). New CEOs and corporate strategic refocusing: How experience as heir apparent influences use of power,
  110. (1998). New managerialism in higher education - the management of performances and cultures in universities,
  111. (1994). Note to Table: The above citation thresholds represent approximately the top 3250 authors in each disciplinary field between
  112. (2005). notes the weaknesses of bibliometric measures, he also argues that citations are a good indicator of scholarly influence over long periods of time. His preference for evaluating science is to couple peer review with bibliometric analysis. King
  113. (1988). Of making many books there is no end: Bibliometrics and libraries,
  114. (1992). Of Nobel class: a citation perspective on high impact research authors,
  115. (1996). Of relevance here is the work on managing experts (Quinn,
  116. (1991). of research universities in the US and UK make their own appointments to business school dean although endorsement from faculty may be taken into consideration (Rosovsky
  117. Of the 100 business schools in the FT MBA (2005) ranking, sixty-five are located in North America. Fifty-eight of these are in the US and 7 in Canada. Twenty-six schools are based in European countries.
  118. (1996). Of these 322, or 18%, obtained a top score in the fives.
  119. (1989). On becoming a leader,
  120. (1988). On being economical with university autonomy, in M. Tight (Ed. ), Academic freedom and responsibility,
  121. (1986). Organisational culture and administrative leadership in universities, in
  122. (1972). Organizational structure, environment, and performance: The role of strategic choice,
  123. (2000). Paradoxes of public sector, old public management and public service bargains,
  124. (2003). Planned or prioritized? Two options in managing the implementation of strateqic decisions,
  125. (1988). Power and personality in complex organizations,
  126. (2006). President of Princeton, direct quotes have been included that were taken from an interview with her in the `The Daily Princetonian' (October 24,2005). President Tilghman was asked to comment on the author's work in
  127. (2004). Presidents and trustees,
  128. (2005). Pressure for relevancy at top-tier business schools,
  129. (2004). Qualitative research on leadership: A critical but appreciative review,
  130. (1994). Race of source effects in the elaboration likelihood model,
  131. (2001). Re-aligning the stakeholders in management research: Lessons from industrial, work and organizational psychology,
  132. (2001). Re-Doing the Testing with a Different Performance Measure (A) Regression Equations where the Dependent Variable is the Number of Departments Graded 5A*- 5E in the UK Research Assessment Exercise (A. 1) The Number of Grade Five De artment s in 199 6
  133. (2005). Reflections on (Schumpeterian) leadership: A report on a seminar on leadership and management education,
  134. (1985). Report of the steering committee for efficiency studies in universities, Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals.
  135. (1996). Results are presented for three time periods. The first is 1992 to 1996, followed by
  136. (2001). results available at www. hero. ac. uk/rae/Results/. For a review of UK management submissions to RAE
  137. (1996). Satisfaction and Comparison Income,
  138. (2001). Scholar, steward, spanner, stranger: The four career paths of college presidents.
  139. (1982). Scholarship, citations and salaries: Economic rewards in economics,
  140. (1984). School governing bodies,
  141. (2000). Selfcitations in six anaesthesia journals and their significance in determining the impact factor,
  142. (1996). Shared reality: How social verification makes the subjective objective, in
  143. (2006). Should top universities be led by top researchers and are they?
  144. (1974). Spurious regressions in econometrics,
  145. (1997). Strategic choice in the analysis of action, structure, organizations and environment: Retrospect and prospect,
  146. (1984). Strategic Leadership Most recent research on strategic leadership has focused on the top management team
  147. (1996). Strategic leadership: Top executives and their effects on organizations,
  148. (1997). Strategic management of professional service firms,
  149. (1994). Strategy and leadership,
  150. (1992). suggest that Cohen and March's description of a university as an `organized anarchy' is `a phrase that is both unfortunate in its connotations and contradictory in its form'
  151. (1992). Table 5.3 Regression Equations where the Dependent Variable is the Number of Top Departments in the UK Research Assessment Exercise in
  152. (2001). Table 5.6 shows a slightly different pattern. In
  153. (1998). Technocrats or intellectuals?
  154. (2004). The `Academic Ranking of World Universities'
  155. (1985). The awakening giant: Continuity and change in IC!,
  156. (2006). The best universities in the world are those of the American Ivy League, and they are run by academics. The connection is not hard to make. ' Terence Kealey, VC, Buckingham University quote (in the Times Higher Education Supplement 25
  157. (1971). The British academics,
  158. (1999). The citation culture,
  159. (1995). The citedness of publications by United Kingdom library schools.
  160. (1979). The Context Research universities are examples of knowledge-intensive organizations (Mintzberg
  161. (1995). The correlation between citation counts and the 1992 Research Assessment Exercise ratings for British library and information science university departments,
  162. (1997). The correlation between citation counts and the 1992 Research Assessment Exercise ratings for British research in genetics, anatomy and archaeology,
  163. (2002). The correlation between RAE ratings and citation counts in psychology, working paper,
  164. (1996). The data come from 55 UK research universities, namely, those institutions that competed in the RAE in 1992 and also
  165. (1991). The distribution and exercise of power in complex organizations: A MESO-theory,
  166. (1926). The distribution of citations across the 100 presidents fits Lotka's Law, an application that is often used in bibliometric research. Lotka
  167. (2001). The dynamic of collective leadership and strategic change in pluralistic organizations,
  168. (1997). The external ties of top executives: Implications for strategic choice and performance,
  169. (1994). The focus here is on strategic leadership in context (Fiedler 1967, Bass 1985, Pettigrew 1985,1990, Leavy &
  170. (1926). The frequency distribution of scientific productivity,
  171. (2001). The highly cited LSE president in
  172. (2002). The impact factors debate: The ISI's uses and limits,
  173. (2001). The impact of organizational revenue is likely explained by size. In each RAE, half of all fives awarded were top-five grades of 5A*, 5B* & 5A. Grade fives, per se, represented 30% of all submissions in 1996, and by
  174. (2002). The implications of strategy and social context for the relationship between top management team heterogeneity and firm performance,
  175. (1996). The importance of context: qualitative research and the study of leadership,
  176. (2002). The Italian university system: Rules vs. incentives, Paper presented at the first conference on Monitoring Italy,
  177. (2000). the last two decades there have been moves towards introducing a business culture into the public sector, often called `new managerialism' (Clarke & Newman, 1994,1997), or its less ideological counterpart, `new public management'
  178. (1996). The Leaders The sample includes 165 British university presidents19 . They have led the 55 universities over, approximately, a twenty year period. It is the presidents in place in 1992 and
  179. (1988). The leadership factor,
  180. (1997). The managerial state: power, politics and ideology in the remaking of social welfare,
  181. (1994). The managerialisation of public services,
  182. The methodology for the 2005 Global Ranking produced by SJTU has been slightly modified (see http:
  183. (2005). The relationship between top management demographics, rational decision-making, environmental munificence, and firm performance,
  184. (2005). The research university presidency
  185. (1997). The rise of American research universities: Elites and challengers in the post-war era, Johns Hopkins
  186. (2004). The scientific impact of nations,
  187. (2003). The state of the field in UK management research: reflections of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) panel,
  188. (1995). The strategy process,
  189. (1979). The structuring of organizations,
  190. (2003). The top American research universities, TheCenter,
  191. (2002). The top American research universities: An overview, TheCenter Reports,
  192. (2004). The UK based Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) produced a global ranking in
  193. (1994). The university grants committee.
  194. (1991). The university: An owner's manual,
  195. (2003). The use of bibliometric analysis in research performance assessment and monitoring of interdisciplinary scientific developments,
  196. (1992). The views of one long-standing UK vice chancellor interviewed for this research are interesting: ' In
  197. (1998). There is some evidence to suggest that universities in the UK have become more managerial (see Deem
  198. (2004). These figures date to
  199. (1984). This chapter's conceptual approach draws from Hambrick and Mason's
  200. This study uses panel data comprising 55 UK research universities observed three times - 1992,1996 and 2001. The lifetime citations of 165 UK university presidents have been hand-counted and normalized for discipline.
  201. (1990). To be adored or to be known? The interplay of self-enhancement and self-verification. In
  202. (2002). Top management team compensation: The missing link between CEO pay and firm performance,
  203. (1990). Top managerial prestige and organizational bankruptcy,
  204. (1993). Top-management team size, CEO dominance, and firm performance: The moderating roles of environmental turbulence and discretion,
  205. (1989). Toward a conceptual framework for mixed-method evaluation designs, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis,
  206. (1988). Toward an organizational theory of leadership,
  207. (2006). Towards a better list of citation superstars: compiling a multidisciplinary list of highly cited researchers,
  208. (2001). uk 84 Measure of Performance University improvement is measured here across three Research Assessment Exercises -- 1992,1996 and
  209. (1992). Understanding the spread of grades across the RAE is helpful. In
  210. (1994). Universities are governed by councils in the UK and by boards in the US. Governing bodies are generally accepted in the literature as being 'in charge' of universities in the long-term (Birnbaum 1988,
  211. (2003). Universities in the marketplace: The commercialisation of higher education,
  212. (1988). Universities in the UK have increasingly been seen as part of the public sector (Neave
  213. (1969). University chancellors, vice chancellors and college principals: A social profile,
  214. (2000). University leadership: The role of the chief executive.
  215. (1984). Upper echelons: The organization as a reflection of its top managers,
  216. (2005). Using ISI data in the analysis of German national and institutional research output,
  217. (1990). Ways women lead,
  218. (1990). What leaders do,
  219. (2005). Why integrating the leading and managing roles is essential for organizational effectiveness,
  220. (2004). World Rank Institution Country Total Score Score on Alumni

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.