Researchers at the University of Cincinnati conducted a national survey of faculty at Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited colleges of business to investigate differences between faculty members who have published in top-tier journals versus those who are striving to do so.
Findings show that published authors are motivated by the personal satisfaction derived from conducting research, whereas strivers tend to cite external factors as primary motives, such as selling more textbooks, attracting more consulting projects, or increasing one’s political power.
The national survey was conducted by James Kellaris, the James S. Womack/Gemini Corporation Professor of Signage and Visual Marketing at UC’s Lindner College of Business, along with Riley Dugan, PhD ’14, assistant professor of marketing at University of Dayton. Their research report, titled “How Marketing Academics View A-Level Journals: Psychological Insights Into Differences Between Published and Striving Authors,” appears in the Fall 2015 issue of Marketing Education Review.
Authors and strivers were also found to differ in terms of what they think influences success in publishing research. For example, strivers tend to attribute the success of others to political connections, relationships with editors and working with good collaborators.
The researchers also examine the concept of “top-tier journals” and why they are important. Kellaris explains there is a hierarchy among academic journals, the outlets in which faculty publish their research.
“The top-tier is a small group of elite journals that are highly ranked, frequently cited, and have the greatest impact on the field,” he says. “They tend to publish path-breaking, front-page news. The second tier, or “B-level” journals, tend to publish work that makes smaller, incremental contributions to a field, or work that is of less general interest.”
So, whereas the top-tier Journal of Marketing is of general interest to people in the field of marketing, the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management – all good B+ level journals – tend to publish research that is of interest to people in those narrow sub-fields of marketing, Kellaris says.
Many colleges of business demand A-level journal publications from faculty as a condition for professional advancement; yet, nationally, only around 10 percent of marketing academics ever publish in the A-level journals.
Of course, some research-oriented institutions far surpass that average. For example, 100% of the tenure track marketing professors in the UC Lindner College of Business have published multiple articles in top-tier journals.
“Research contributions to top-tier journals are significant,” says Karen Machleit, head of the marketing department at Lindner. “They allow students to be exposed to cutting-edge knowledge in a particular field that isn’t known to faculty at non-research schools."