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University of Leeds University of Leeds
A featured institution from Essential Science IndicatorsSM

According to a recent analysis of Essential Science Indicators data from Thomson Reuters, the University of Leeds has entered the top 1% in the field of Economics & Business. The University's citation record in this field includes 366 papers cited a total of 1,675 times between January 1, 1998 and August 31, 2008.

In the interview below, ScienceWatch.com talks with Professor Peter Buckley, who is a Professor of International Business, the Director of the Centre for International Business, as well as the former Research Director of the Business School at Leeds, for his take on the University's citation achievements in this field.

How do you account for the University of Leeds's increase in the number of citations in the field of Economics & Business in recent years? Are there specific areas of research within the realm of Economics & Business on which the University particularly focuses?

There has been a concerted attempt to move researchers in the Business School towards publishing in high-quality journals and to engage with real-world issues. In addition, the research capacity of the School has been expanded following our high gradings in successive research-assessment exercises. Research has been a major strategic focus for the School and a number of significant research concentrations have arisen.

"This is a highly competitive field internationally and in order to move up the rankings, the University of Leeds will have to be increasingly focused and to invest larger resources in achieving research results."

Particular strengths are International Business, Finance, Human Resource Management and Organisational Analysis, and Transport Economics, with emerging research clusters in marketing and some areas of management. All of these are reflected in the citation pattern in the Essential Science Indicators database.

Does this reflect a deliberate plan to enhance the University's research effort in this field, or was this an unexpected or serendipitous development?

There has been a deliberate plan at the University level to move up the international rankings, and research has been a major focus of this effort. At the level of the Business School, initiatives have been taken to continue to provide a good research environment, to ensure adequate study leave, and to reward researchers in terms of workload provision. Again, concentration in certain areas of outstanding research capability is significant.

What factors or circumstances led the University to its work in this field?

A strategic view was taken in the mid-1990s for the University of Leeds to have an internationally competitive Business School. The then-Vice Chancellor invested resources in staff, buildings, and support facilities to achieve this goal. The current Vice Chancellor has maintained this stance.

What is your prediction for the state of our knowledge about this particular field 10 years from now?

A best guess would be that knowledge of management would be increasingly globalized and best practice in both academic research and in management practices themselves will diffuse more rapidly.

What research fields or capabilities do you see as critical for the future of the University?

Business-relevant research of the highest academic standard.

What are the implications of the University's work for the future of this particular field or neighboring fields?

This is a highly competitive field internationally and in order to move up the rankings, the University of Leeds will have to be increasingly focused and to invest larger resources in achieving research results. Retention of key staff and recruitment of capable younger staff is critical in what is, after all, a people-centered activity.

Professor Peter J. Buckley
Centre for International Business
University of Leeds
Leeds, UK

University of Leeds's current most-cited paper in Essential Science Indicators, with 26 cites:
Roberts J, McNulty T, Stiles P, "Beyond agency conceptions of the work of the non-executive director: creating accountability in the boardroom," Brit. J. Manage. 16: S5-S26, Sp. Iss., March 2005. Source: Essential Science Indicators from Thomson Reuters.

Keywords: international business, finance, marketing, transport economics, organisational analysis, human resource management, business school, academic research, management practices.

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Institutional Interviews : 2009 : University of Leeds - Interview