The Limited Use of Research Evaluation Systems for Managerial Control in Universities
This chapter suggests how the different evaluation techniques used in research evaluation systems (RES) affect their informational yield for the exercise of authority by university management. It compared three peer review-based and two indicator-based systems according to their informational yield and to the use to which the information is put by university management, and uncovered clear differences between the informational yields of varied RES for universities and between the ensuing usability of information for different purposes. The clear superiority of peer reviews was demonstrated by the range of changes it enabled in the German state of Lower Saxony, as well as by the distortions resulting from the internal use of quantitative indicators in Australia. Further indirect confirmation stems from the widespread ad hoc use of peer reviews in structural decisions, and decisions about promotions to professorial levels in Australia.
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