Do people stop publishing after tenure?


In JELS, Albert Yoon answers this question using data from US law schools:

In academia, a subset of faculty has tenure, which allows its beneficiaries to retain their professorships without mandatory retirement and with only limited grounds for revocation. Proponents of tenure argue it protects intellectual freedom and encourages investment in human capital. Detractors contend it discourages effort and distorts the academic labor market. This article develops a framework for examining academic tenure in the context of U.S. law schools. We construct a unique data set of tenured U.S. law professors who began their careers between 1993 through 2002, and follow their employment and scholarship for the first 10 years of their career. Across all journal publications, tenured faculty publish more frequently, are cited with roughly the same frequency, and place in comparable caliber of journal. These productivity gains, however, largely disappear when excluding solicited publications. These results suggest that legal academics continue to produce after tenure, but channel more of their efforts toward less competitive outlets.

New PAR symposium on publicness and universities

Derrick Anderson of Arizona State University and I have written the introduction to a new PAR symposium on publicness and universities. It’s now out on Early View. Here’s our abstract:

This introduction to the symposium on the institutional design frontiers of publicness and university performance summarizes the range of diverse intellectual and practical perspectives converging on the idea that issues of design and publicness are important for thinking about the future of higher education. Collectively, the articles featured in this symposium demonstrate that the challenges facing higher education exhibit assorted social, economic, and political complexities. Public administration perspectives can play a key role in understanding and reshaping our higher education system into a more responsive social enterprise.

IPMJ news

Special notice to our most-downloaded paper published in 2014-15: “Common Method Bias in Public Management Studies” (Jakobsen & Jensen) Vol. 18 (1) 2015

And our most-downloaded paper during the past three years: “Understanding Strategic Planning and the Formulation and Implementation of Strategic Plans as a Way of Knowing: The Contributions of Actor-Network Theory” (Bryson, Crosby, & Bryson) Vol. 12 (2) 2009

Learning about learning

Karl Weick has penned the 60th anniversary essay for the ASQ:

Jerry Davis’s (2015) question “What is organizational research for?” is ill-served by the narrow answer “settled science.” Constraints of comprehension may give the illusion that organizational research represents settled science. But the experience of inquiring actually comprises a greater variety of actions that increase the meaning of present research experience and the contributions it makes. I discuss acts of conjecture, differentiation, attachment, affirmation, complication, discernment, interruption, and representation to illustrate that meaningful contributions are generated by actions associated with connecting perceptions to concepts. ASQ’s 60th anniversary is an opportune time to make these interim contributions more explicit.

We’re rarely explicit about the nature of learning in PA. We are Bayesians, learning about a process that is itself moving in time. In classical inferential statistics, it’s thought that the parameters are fixed and the data are random. In Bayesian statistics, it’s reversed – the data are fixed and the parameters are unknown.

Sometimes we act as though everything that’s been done so far is wrong because our predecessors were dolts, used bad methods, were naive, etc. Maybe instead it’s because we are all operating inside a learning meta-process. We’re knitted together through time by our collective attempts (and misses) at learning about processes that change through time.

The upshot is that whatever we think is “truth” now will be revealed, at some later point, to be just as wrong as we think our predecessors were.

I’ve always been struck by the opposite – at the quality of many contributions from the 1950s or 1960s or even earlier time points given what they had to work with.

In any case, truth is far from settled and who knows what it will be ten years from now, but even so the Weick essay is a useful read for those trying to contribute to this body of knowledge.

JPART virtual issue on Citizen-State Interactions in Public Administration Research

In this virtual issue, we bring together a collection of research articles that—although not usually grouped together—all illustrate the importance of citizen-state interactions. Specifically, we include articles that directly incorporate citizens’ perceptions, attitudes, experiences of, or behavior related to public administration. About 10% of all JPART articles over the life of the journal so far (1991–2015) met our inclusion criteria. Of those articles, we selected seven for this virtual issue on the basis that they have offered important insights into citizen-state interaction at different stages of the policy cycle. We argue that public administration scholarship should focus much more on the role of citizens and citizen-state interactions at all stages of the policy cycle. This research should focus both on the different forms of interaction citizens have with administrators, and the outcomes of these interactions, for bureaucracy and for citizens themselves.

The issue is currently ungated.