Gary Hamel

Andrew Hill

David Willetts, Britain’s universities minister, has a bee in his two-brained bonnet about flawed incentives for British business academics.

Prestige in business schools comes from doing research and being published in peer-reviewed journals, he told an audience of managers, academics and members of parliament in London on Tuesday, launching a discussion of whether poor management is holding back growth. It’s a theme he’s touched on before in relation to wider scientific and academic research. Mr Willetts says that as the lead journals are US-based, they tend to be interested in sophisticated analysis of historical, mainly American, industry data:

We’re rewarding British academics and British business schools for analysing American industries… It’s not at all clear to me that this the right set of incentives.

This has an unwelcome tinge of nationalism but it is hard to argue with the underlying point.