‘Environment’ Submissions in the UK’s Research Excellence Framework 2014

17 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2018

See all articles by Andy Thorpe

Andy Thorpe

University of Portsmouth - Faculty of Business - Department of Economics

Russell Craig

University of Portsmouth

Dennis Tourish

Robert Gordon University - Aberdeen Business School

Glenn Hadikin

University of Portsmouth

Sasa Batistic

Tilburg University

Date Written: July 2018

Abstract

There has been much debate about university research assessment exercises. In the UK, a major element of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) has been the research environment. Here we analyse 98 REF2014 ‘environment’ submissions in Business and Management Studies. We explore whether there are distinctive language‐related differences between submissions of high and low ranked universities and conclude that submission writers have a strong incentive to exaggerate strengths and conceal problems. In addition, innate biases such as the ‘halo’ and ‘velcro’ effects may distract the attention of assessors from a submission's strengths and weaknesses, since they are likely to influence their pre‐existing impressions. We propose several changes to improve how environment is evaluated. We also argue that the research environment would be more likely to be enhanced if the number of outputs submitted in future was an average of two and a maximum of four per academic, rather than the maximum of five currently being considered.

Suggested Citation

Thorpe, Andy and Craig, Russell and Tourish, Dennis and Hadikin, Glenn and Batistic, Sasa, ‘Environment’ Submissions in the UK’s Research Excellence Framework 2014 (July 2018). British Journal of Management, Vol. 29, Issue 3, pp. 571-587, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3208430 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8551.12248

Andy Thorpe (Contact Author)

University of Portsmouth - Faculty of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

Portsmouth PO4 8JF
United Kingdom

Russell Craig

University of Portsmouth ( email )

University House
Winston Churchhill Avenue
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 2UP
United Kingdom

Dennis Tourish

Robert Gordon University - Aberdeen Business School ( email )

Garthdee Road
Aberdeen AB10 7QE
United Kingdom

Glenn Hadikin

University of Portsmouth

University House
Winston Churchhill Avenue
Portsmouth, PO1 2UP
United Kingdom

Sasa Batistic

Tilburg University

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands

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