Benchmarking: An International Comparison

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Greg Tower
Brenda Ridgewell



The study examines the impact of national research assessment exercises for the accounting and visual arts disciplines. Analysis is also made of the impact of a national research quality assessment exercise of New Zealand and UK initiatives (Tertiary Education Commission. 2004; RAE, 2001) and well as the proposed Australian RQF (2005). We find that whilst the definition of research is broad enough to include most of the activities of accounting and finance, and visual arts academia the actual measures of research performance may be problematic. The need to clearly demonstrate quality peer review is the largest hurdle especially for visual arts academics with their individualist and independent mindset. Whilst visual arts and, accounting and finance academia research performance activity was ranked low in both the UK and NZ, we conclude that that the focus on output quality and peer assessment offers a potentially broader and more accurate depiction of activity. Obtaining a balanced broader assessment of both traditional performance measures such as research publications of accounting and finance along with the more creative elements of visual arts such as exhibitions is paramount. We also make a call for more research training for both disciplines to assist them in the recognition of quality research productivity.


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