Composition of Junior Research Groups and PhD Completion Rate: Disciplinary Differences and Policy Implications

University of Zurich, Institute of Business Administration, UZH Business Working Paper No. 388, 2015

30 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2021

See all articles by Kerstin Pull

Kerstin Pull

University of Tuebingen - School of Business and Economics

Birgit Pferdmenges

University of Tuebingen - Department of Business Administration and Economics

Uschi Backes-Gellner

University of Zurich - Institute for Business Administration; Swiss Leading House

Date Written: February 2015

Abstract

This paper explores the link between the composition and the performance of junior research groups. We argue that the heterogeneity-performance link depends on the type of heterogeneity (cultural vs. study field) and on the disciplinary area. We test our hypotheses on a data set of 45 junior research groups and find a U-shaped relation between cultural heterogeneity and performance in the humanities and social sciences, but no link between the two in the natural sciences. The link between study field heterogeneity and performance in the natural sciences is negative, in the humanities and social sciences study field heterogeneity and performance are not related. Interaction within the group helps reap the benefits of heterogeneity. Our results are derived in the context of junior research groups in Germany, but are generalizable to other countries and contexts where PhD education is taking part in groups.

Keywords: research groups, disciplinary areas, study field heterogeneity, cultural heterogeneity, performance, group interaction

Suggested Citation

Pull, Kerstin and Pferdmenges, Birgit and Backes-Gellner, Uschi, Composition of Junior Research Groups and PhD Completion Rate: Disciplinary Differences and Policy Implications (February 2015). University of Zurich, Institute of Business Administration, UZH Business Working Paper No. 388, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3726001 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3726001

Kerstin Pull (Contact Author)

University of Tuebingen - School of Business and Economics ( email )

Nauklerstr. 47
Tuebingen, D-72074
Germany

Birgit Pferdmenges

University of Tuebingen - Department of Business Administration and Economics ( email )

Mohlstrasse 36
Tuebingen, D-72074
Germany

Uschi Backes-Gellner

University of Zurich - Institute for Business Administration ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
8032 Zurich
Switzerland
+41 44 6344281 (Phone)
+41 44 6344370 (Fax)

Swiss Leading House ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland

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