FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Economia e Gestão

Unidade de I&D

Núcleo de Estudos em Ciências Empresariais - NECE [ECO-Centro-Covilha-403] visitada em 05/12/2008

Classificação: Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
NECE is the scientific research unit of the Department of Management and Economics of the University of Beira Interior. The group has 17 PhD members (now 21) with a huge number of groups (10) covering all the subfields in Management, which are actually the research projects of the unit. This creates a lack of visibility in the organization of the research in the unit and its true functioning. This is one of the main weaknesses of the unit, which however deserves in the panel opinion the classification of GOOD.
Positive points
The group demonstrates a real involvement in academic research, with a specific emphasis on entrepreneurship issues, as testified by recent publications and the organization of the RENT conference in 2008.

A doctoral program has been launched in 2005. It seems to work as an executive doctoral program, with classes of about 20 persons, all of them having a baseline professional activity. This should be a source of data and case studies to foster applied research in management. Several PhD students who are already working in private companies and who seemed quite happy with their academic environment took part in the discussion.

So did several PhD researchers, who appeared conscious of some of the unit weaknesses and ready to take up the corresponding challenges, in terms of research orientations and quality of publications. Most of the PhD researchers are involved not only in publication (at the national level) but also in different other relevant activities, like thesis supervision, research projects, conferences, and so on.

It seems that there is a good collaboration between the Economics and Management department and the research unit. 80% of the faculty belongs to the research unit.

The leadership is good, with a great awareness of the challenges faced by the unit and a good perception of the problems it is confronted to: too many heterogeneous research groups, lack of international publications, etc. The leader promotes a rather clear academic orientation and professionalism in terms of working conditions and methods. The unit researchers, possibly all of them, were present during the visit and seemed to be genuinely concerned by a common project.

The unit has created interesting links with other Iberian universities (Network CIBECEM).
Weaknesses

The unit had 10 research groups during the period 2003-2007. It was restructured for the period 2007-2010, but again in 10 different research groups comprising only 17 PhD researchers in 2007 (now 21). These groups correspond to 10 different lines of research, which are certainly too many, according to the unit coordinator himself. The thematic orientation is very dispersed indeed, not allowing for a clear identity of the unit. Hence, the claimed aim of restructuring these lines of research, in order to reinforce those where the unit is better seems highly commendable. A greater focus on a limited set of topics should be implemented in order to strengthen the unit, especially in management.

This might also be appropriate to attract good scholars from outside and so to avoid endogamic tendencies. Most of the PhD researchers were trained by three senior unit members, a fact that points to excessive inbreeding.

At the individual level, as already noticed, all or almost all PhD researchers are active, publishing however in national or rather low ranked international reviews, in a number that has admittedly increased in the two last years. The main incentive to publish is the financing of travel expenses.

The teaching load seems high, especially in management. Clearly the proportion of management students is higher than in economics. This may have an impact both on the quality and the quantity of research

The entry and exit rules remain purely implicit, although the coordinator insists on publication criteria (1publication/year).

Recommendations:

• The unit should merge the groups in two or three fields (e.g. Management and Entrepreneurship, Health, Education) in order to reach a sufficient critical mass and to clarify the image of the unit.

• The unit members have to balance their time between teaching and research: less teaching and more time for research, in order to concentrate the effort on good publications. Incentive mechanisms should be implemented, for instance by decreasing the number of teaching hours for the best publishers and, at the global level, by reducing the number of teaching hours.

• The principal aim should be to improve the quality of publications more than their quantity. In this respect, requiring 1publication per year to be considered a full member is not a very good criterion.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE [RG-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-2319]
Applicability of excelence models as a TQM implementation tool [RG-X-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-2149]
Better Health Promotion [RG-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-2389]
Creacion and development of small firms [RG-X-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-1645]
ECONOMETRIC TIME SERIES [RG-X-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-2057]
Economic and business cycles [RG-X-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-1875]
entrepreneurship and Growth [RG-X-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-1843]
Entrepreneurship and small business management [RG-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-1808]
Entrepreneurship Education [RG-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-2555]
Family Business [RG-X-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-1643]
Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship [RG-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-1889]
Knowledge Management [RG-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-1883]
Macrodynamics and energy [RG-X-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-2066]
Marketing in Higher Education [RG-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-2395]
Performance Evaluation [RG-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-2157]
PUBLIC POLICIES FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP [RG-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-2023]
quality management in portuguese manufacturing SME: a stakeholder approach [RG-X-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-2142]
Strategy and Logistics (STRALOG) [RG-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-1877]
The Logistic and its impact on performance: the case of Portuguese manufacturing firms [RG-X-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-2135]
Working arrangements [RG-X-ECO-Centro-Covilha-403-1587]