Presents a narrative version of my CV
Narrative CVs are all the rage these days. So here is my attempt at mine. It started out as an endeavour to provide a succinct, and more interesting, version of my academic CV. However, when working on it, memories flooded back, and it mushroomed into what my husband calls my “academic autobiography”. I failed miserably on the succinct part, so I hope that it is at least somewhat interesting 😊.
For me, it served as a useful opportunity to reflect on more than 30 years of working in academia and a preparation for the last decade of my career. I don’t expect anyone to actually read this; it is way too long for that! However, you are welcome to dip in and out individual sections that are of interest to you. The links below will help you to do this.
Want to know more about me?
- IB Frontline interview: personal section: Part of an interview in three sections: personal, research, and mentorship. Talks about my childhood career dreams, how I ended up in the field of International Business, and my regrets and failures.
- This little girl: message to my younger self: Part of the Inspiring Girls International campaign in which women share their childhood ambitions.
- My career history: Part of an interview for the Academic Woman magazine, talking about my studies and PhD degree, job crafting, and the advice I would have liked to have early in my career.
High-quality thesis and dissertation work
An article based on my MA thesis dealing with the impact of national culture on organisational change was published in a special issue of the research annual Research in the Sociology of Organizations (1996). The SSCI lists more than 100 citations for this article, whereas Google Scholar reports more than 175 citations. It was included as one of the recommended readings for the Sociology of Culture course at Princeton University, for Theories of Organization taught at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Sociology and for several International Management courses in Europe.
Whilst I started my academic teaching career in 1991, immediately after completing my MA degree, I did not embark on a PhD until 1993. I completed my PhD in less than four years alongside a full-time teaching job. For my PhD work I received the award for the best thesis proposal at the 1994 European International Business Academy, and was one of the finalists for the dissertation awards of both the Academy of Management and the European International Business Academy.
My PhD dissertation was accepted without revisions and was published by Edward Elgar (1999) as Managing the Multinationals in the series Horizons in International Business, edited by Prof. Peter Buckley. The SSCI lists nearly 200 citations to this book, whilst Google Scholar reports well over 600 citations.
My six research programmes
My research interests have broadened over the years and now span topics that range from international and cross-cultural management to the international research process and the wider impact of academic research.
My approach to research has been guided by three principles: conducting innovative research in new areas; designing rigorous, systematic, and large-scale empirical tests of core models and theories in international management; and challenging commonly held beliefs through a critical evaluation of established work.
To keep things manageable, I tend to subdivide my research work into the following programmes. The boundaries between them are not rigid; much of the work I do extends over several areas.
|International HRM & Staffing Policies
|Focuses on the human dimension of International Business. Areas of interests include expatriates as control mechanisms in MNCs, expatriate failure, expatriate identity, staffing policies, the role of expatriates and inpatriates in MNC knowledge transfer.|
|HQ-Subsidiary Relationships in MNCs
|Investigates strategy, structure, and control mechanisms in MNCs. Areas of interest: country-of-origin effects, entry modes, subsidiary roles, knowledge flows, R&D internationalization, and MNC and subsidiary typologies.|
|The International Research Process
|Loosely coupled projects focused on academic referencing, experimental IB research, intl mail surveys, translation issues, stability of cultural dimensions, and the role of cultural distance.|
|Transfer of HRM Practices in MNCs
|Studies a central MNC question: the extent to which their subsidiaries act and behave as local firms (local isomorphism) vs the extent to which their practices resemble those of the parent company or other global standards (internal consistency).|
|Language in International Business
|Explores the importance of language diversity – as a barrier and resource – in HQ-subsidiary relationships, teams, and expatriate-local relationships. Draws on related disciplines of diversity & inclusion, sociolinguistics, and communication studies.|
|Quality & Impact of Academic Research
|Critical assessment of quality & impact of academic research, journals, and the role of editors/boards in the publishing process. Large-scale assessments of citation-based impact metrics, use of Google Scholar, and bibliometrics for the Social Sciences.|
My research in the field of International Management
The figure below shows the interrelationships between the first five of the above research programmes, all situated the field of International Management (shapes in yellow). Most of my research has focused on the human element of International Management, an area which is usually called International Human Resource Management (IHRM).
Traditionally, IHRM has focused on two main topics (shapes in orange). First, expatriates and their selection, training, adjustment, and compensation. Second, comparative human resource management and IR comparing practices between countries. Neither of these are where my research interests lie. I come to this field from a general management perspective and situate my research in International Management.
A key difference between International Business and International Management (IM) is that in IM we take the existence of the MNC for granted (see red boxes) and are mainly concerned with the management of the MNC. I see the MNC network as composed of different units connected by flows (purple), be they financial, material or knowledge flows. People (green) are a very important way to transfer knowledge and practices, and this is where much of my research lies. I have investigated the role of expats and inpats in knowledge transfer as well as the transfer of HRM practices.
Of course, the structure and importance of these flows is mediated by the MNC's strategy (green). I have studied strategy and structure in MNCs, focusing on MNC configurations and entry mode choices, as well as subsidiary roles. Second, I have researched how strategy impacts on people by focusing on staffing policies from a strategic perspective and looking at the role of expatriates in the HQ subsidiary relationships.
MNCs are also embedded in their home country with a specific culture, language, and set of institutions, while the same is true for subsidiaries. This distance needs to be bridged and is the source of many difficulties in the HQ subsidiary relationship. I have studied the various aspects of distance between home and host country, as well as the role of country-of-origin effects on different aspects of the HQ-subsidiary relationship.
Another important research stream investigates the role of language in the HQ-subsidiary relationship, teams, and expatriate-local relationships. Finally, a separate stream of research (yellow star) focuses on issues related to the international research process such academic referencing, response styles, survey translation and timing, and response rates.
My current research passion
Although I continue to do collaborative research in five of my six research programmes, my current research passion is more applied in nature and carries the grand title Transforming Academia. It focuses on helping individuals, institutions, and the Higher Education sector as a whole in three inter-related fields: EDI & Talent Management, Building inclusive and proactive research cultures, and Transforming Research Evaluation.
This field is where I believe I can make the strongest and most enduring contribution. These three themes also reflect my longstanding interest in supporting women and early career academics and research evaluation. As Transforming Academia links my daily academic practice and external engagement with my recent research interests, it is discussed on a separate page.
Publications in top journals
Since the mid 1990s, I have published well over ninety international journal articles, for an average of more than three articles a year. My publications have appeared in all the major International Business Journals (links are to the most recent paper): Jnl of International Business Studies (7), Jnl of World Business (7), Management International Review (6), International Business Review (4), European Jnl of International Mgmt (4), Asia-Pacific Jnl of Management (2), and Jnl of International Management. In 2019 I was awarded the JIBS silver medal award for having published five or more articles in JIBS.
I have also published in top journals in a wide range of other fields: Human Resource Management (Human Resource Management (5) and Human Resource Management Journal), Management Education (Academy of Management Learning & Education (3)), Organisation Studies (Organization Studies (2)), Organisational Behaviour (Journal of Organizational Behavior), Strategic Management (Strategic Management Journal), Marketing (Industrial Marketing Management), Information Science (European Journal of Information Systems and Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology), and Bibliometrics (Scientometrics (11) and Journal of Informetrics (2)). The fact that I have published in top journals in many sub-disciplines in Management as well as Bibliometrics illustrates the breadth of my scholarship.
Finally, my work has appeared in a range of specialised journals such as Intl Journal of HRM (5), Intl Journal of Cross-Cultural Management (5), Cross-Cultural and Strategic Mgmt (3), Journal of Global Mobility (2), Career Development International, Employee Relations, European Management Journal, European Management Review, International Journal of Manpower, and Personnel Review.
I have published single-authored publications in top journals such as Journal of International Business Studies, Strategic Management Journal, Human Resource Management, Organization Studies, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of World Business, and Scientometrics. Although early on in my career most of my research was conducted individually, many of my recent projects have involved very significant collaborations with academics in a multitude of countries (including countries in Asia, Europe, North America and South America). In her referee report for my promotion to full professor, Nancy Adler comments how unusual this collaborative effort is:
In IB it is possible to do research without engaging in actual data collection, working mainly with secondary data. Anne-Wil has chosen the more difficult, but ultimately far more rewarding, route of collecting primary data. What is very unusual is the breadth of countries in which she has conducted research. I do not know of anyone at her stage of academic career that has led research teams collecting data in more than 30 different countries. I know how difficult doing international research can be, and leading teams of academics in so many different countries with different academic traditions is an achievement in itself, and speaks volumes about her leadership skills.
Research that is highly cited
The Social Science Citation Index lists well over 12,000 citations for my work to date; another 500+ citations are listed for chapters in my edited IHRM book. Citations to my work continue to grow rapidly; between 2013 and 2016, my citations increased at a rate of more than 600 citations per year. Since 2017 citations have been increasing at 1,000-1,200 a year. I have been listed in ISI’s list of the top 1% most cited Academics in Economics & Business (i.e., Economics, Finance, Accounting, Management & Marketing) world-wide since 2007. In the 2022 Scopus-based ranking (the “Stanford ranking”), I am ranked 39th worldwide, 14th outside the USA, 8th in the UK and 2nd in the Netherlands in the discipline of Management.
My work is also cited regularly in research books (not included in the SSCI). Google Books lists over 400 books that included one or more references to my work. Google Scholar (which includes citation in books, non-ISI journals and conference/working papers) lists more than 25,000 citations for my work. My articles consistently exceed the expected average citation rate for the journals in which they are published; in many cases they appear in the top-10 or even top-3 most cited articles in the journal in question for the relevant publication year. For example, all three articles on expatriation that I published in 2001 were ranked first in the journals in which they were published (Journal of World Business, Human Resource Management, Employee Relations).
In addition, the reach of my work is truly international. Whereas around 23% of my citations come from authors based in the USA, 16%/10% come from authors in the UK and Australia, and 5-8% each from authors in Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, China, and Spain. My research has been cited in 144 countries and there are more than 80 countries in which my work has been cited at least 10 times.
Provocative research appreciated by academics
In addition to being highly cited, my articles have generated strong positive feedback from reputed academics. My first academic article (The Intl Journal of HRM, 1995) disproved the firmly entrenched myth of high expatriate failure rates, created by extensive (mis)-citations and careless referencing. Many academics have told me it was one of the most exciting (and entertaining) articles they had read in a long time. It was first-ranked in the Women in the Academy of International Business ranking of articles in global careers. For the background to this article, see: What is the story behind your first paper?.
A large-scale update (Journal of Organizational Behavior, 2002) placed the myth into the wider context of referencing errors undermining our academic credibility. Nancy Adler (McGill University) said: “Of all the papers I have reviewed over the years, this was one of the most important and intellectually courageous papers I had ever read. [...] The paper went on to change the very nature of scholarship in International HRM”. In commenting on this article and my articles on the impact of language on questionnaire response (see below), Michael Bond (Chinese University of Hong Kong), one of the most prominent researchers in Cross Cultural Psychology, called me “the conscience of cross-cultural psychology that keeps us all honest”.
In the area of entry mode studies, the Kogut & Singh index of cultural distance has reached an almost mythical status. My very detailed and critical review of research in this area (Advances in International Management, 2004) that showed that there is little or no evidence for the proposed relationship between cultural distance (measured by the K&S index) and entry mode choice has received very positive feedback. “I would like to compliment you on a very well-done paper addressing a very important issue. You have provided sound, logical and well-established arguments as to why the field should abandon the use of a construct that has become very popular and is also used without question.” (AIM reviewer).
In her reference for my promotion to Full Professor, Srilata Zaheer commented: “In choosing her research questions, she challenges taken-for-granted assumptions, and this makes her work particularly interesting and insightful. Her international reputation as a scholar and ability to continue to publish intriguing articles that challenge conventional wisdom are not in doubt.”
My recent work on the Quality & Impact of Academic Research generates attention well beyond the fields of Management and IB. Publications in Ethics in Science & Environmental Politics, Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology and Scientometrics, as well as white papers and software relating to this topic are generating citations in journals in fields such as Chemistry, Archaeology, Neurology, Safety Science, Immunology, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Forest Ecology, and Informetrics.
My article When Knowledge Wins: Transcending the Sense and Nonsense of Academic Rankings was published as an exemplary contribution in the Academy of Management Learning & Education, accompanied by five commentaries. A book review of my Publish or Perish Book in Scientometrics commented: "Harzing has certainly created a tool which can be used to blast paths through the evaluative defenses surrounding the entrenched positions of academia."
Award winning Research
Ten of my articles were reprinted in books/virtual journal issues and four were translated into Mandarin. My 2003 article on Country-of-Origin effects in MNCs won the Roland Calori Prize for the best paper published in Organization Studies 2003-2004.
This is an OS style scientific paper at its best. It fits perfectly the three criteria - rooted in Social Sciences, display methodological quality and theoretical innovativeness, highlight our understanding of differences and relatedness - and the EGOS values. It also addresses an issue that common sense had oversimplified in the past. In a way Harzing & Sorge's findings about MNCs could be a lesson for science and for what EGOS aims at in its field of knowledge; to give the floor to diversity of expressions so that they can dialogue and cross-fertilize. To avoid normal science syndromes, let us be multinational while keeping our research fertilized by our respective 'countries of origin' perspectives and traditions. Jean-Claude Thoenig
My 2007 article on HRM Practices in Foreign Subsidiaries won the Ulrich-Lake award for the best paper published in Human Resource Management in 2007 (see image above). My 2009 article on the sense and nonsense of Academic rankings won the outstanding article of the year award for the Academy of Management Learning & Education, as well as the decade award in 2019 (see image above).
My 2011 article in Journal of International Business Studies on inpatriation won the 2012 Academy of Management’s HR Division best paper on International HRM award and my 2016 article in Human Resource Management was a top-3 finalist for the same award in 2017. Seven of my conference papers have won or were nominated for conference awards including the Carolyn Dexter award for the paper that best meets the objective of internationalizing the Academy of Management.
My 2013 article Document Categories in the ISI Web of Knowledge: Misunderstanding the Social Sciences? was selected as containing one of the 100 sentences to remember in the first 100 volumes of Scientometrics. The volume Grandes Auteurs en Management International devotes an entire chapter to my contributions in IB. I am the youngest academic featured in the volume, which also includes prominent IB researchers such as John Dunning, Peter Buckley, Christopher Bartlett, CK Prahalad, Sumantra Ghoshal, Geert Hofstede, and Edward Hall.
I was listed #32 in a 2014 study of the top-50 of leading authors in International Business 1995-2011, based on quality of publications in IB journals, #28 in a 2016 study of the most prolific authors in International Strategic Management 2000-2013, and the 8th most prolific author in the MNE subsidiary literature 1990-2019. Two of my articles on expatriation were in the top-25 most cited papers in expatriation 1990-2000 & 2001-2010 respectively. Based on my contributions to the field I was elected Fellow of the Academy of International Business in 2018. More awards can be found here.
Practical research appreciated by managers
Although my research output is primarily aimed at academics, I have always been interested in sharing the results of my work with practitioners. In the mid-1990s I was Secretary of the Research vs. Practice committee of the NVP (Dutch Association for Personnel Management) and wrote a monthly column (From the Ivory Tower) in the practitioner journal Personnel Management. The results of my PhD thesis were written up in several business reports (see above) and I wrote more detailed reports for several the companies involved.
My work has been reviewed at websites of consultancy firms and semi-governmental organisations, e.g., expatica.com on determining success in expatriation; Primacy Relocation on “Are you globally assigning bees, spiders or bears”; CILT (National Centre for Languages) on language in international business surveys. The European publisher Business Digest featured a dossier based on my articles on language management with a commentary of a former IBM USA vice-president. It also discussed one of my other articles on country-of-origin effects on MNC strategy and structure. Four of my articles on the role of language barriers in HQ-subsidiary relationships have been translated into Chinese for English Career, published by the Global Education Association in Taiwan.
Attraction of research funding
My record in attracting research funding is modest. After finishing my PhD, I took the first available opportunity to apply for funding in the UK with a submission to the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council). At a time when international students were still a relatively new phenomenon, I proposed to study cultural differences in student learning styles, with a focus on Asian learners. My proposal was alpha-rated, but I was not successful (only 2 of the 11 alpha-rated proposals, i.e., less than 5% of the total proposals were funded). Since by that time I had decided I wanted to leave the UK, I had to postpone further attempts at securing research funding.
Once at the University Melbourne, I took every available opportunity to apply for research funding. I secured a University of Melbourne Early Career Grant (2001) of A$22,000 (one of only four proposals out of fourteen to be funded), and four competitive Faculty Research grants (2002, 2004, 2008, 2012) of A$10,000, A$8,000, A$19,450 and A$10,000. In 2004 I was also awarded A$191,000 in ARC Discovery Grant funding for a 3-year research project. This was the largest individual grant awarded for a project in Management since 2002 (no data available before that time). I received 98% of the funding I requested, which is rather unique as the normal funding level lies around 70%.
Since returning to the UK in 2014, I have submitted several large funding applications, all unfortunately unsuccessful. This included an ERC Advanced grant. It should be noted, however, that – as far as I am aware – to date no Business & Management academic in the UK has been successful in securing this prestigious grant.
Breaking into a new research field: Bibliometrics
After the launch of my Publish or Perish program in 2007 (see Service to the Academic Community), I started research in the field of bibliometrics, part of the broader field of Library and Information Systems. To date, I have published 15 articles in this field, including 11 in the field’s main journal (Scientometrics). One of those articles (Document Categories in the ISI Web of Knowledge: Misunderstanding the Social Sciences?) was selected as containing one of the 100 sentences to remember in the first 100 volumes of Scientometrics. Nine of my articles were cited a total of 18 times in the 2019 Handbook of Science and Technology Indicators.
This work displays high levels of citation impact; many of my papers in this field are amongst the top 1% most cited articles in their ISI subject category. The two 2013 articles in Scientometrics (dealing with document categories in the Web of Science and the use of Google Scholar as a source for citation data) are amongst the 25 most cited articles (out of nearly 400) in the journal that year. My 2016 article in Scientometrics, dealing with a systematic comparison of publication and citation coverage in Google Scholar, Scopus and the Web of Science for 150 academics in 37 different fields, is currently the sixth most cited article in the entire field of Library and Information Systems for 2016.
I am honoured to have been appointed as editorial board member for Scientometrics, as one of the very few academics from outside the discipline. In 2023, I was also one of the nominees for Derek de Solla Price Medal, the premier international award for excellence in scientometrics and related fields
I am particularly proud to have such impact in a field that is completely new to me and in which I have no background or formal education. My explicit aim is to introduce more Social Science perspectives in the field of bibliometrics, which has so far been dominated by research focusing on the Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
Teaching and research supervision
Providing high quality teaching at all levels
Even though I consider research the core of my academic job, I am passionately committed to delivering high-quality, research-based teaching. My teaching experience includes a variety of delivery modes and delivery of modules at all levels, including executive level. My teaching is consistently evaluated as excellent as is evidenced by the following representative comments:
Anne-Wil is a fabulous teacher and interesting person. She demonstrates the theory with relevant contemporary examples with MASSIVE enthusiasm. Obviously loves her job.
An interesting, well-rounded, and intellectually challenging subject. Dr. Harzing is an inspiring academic with a sound appreciation of diverse cultural backgrounds.
Really enjoy the way Ann taught and stimulated the students. She is very good at directing us thinking strategically and academically. Learned lots from her class, so well organised and prepared for each class.
I am encouraged by the students who tell me they have grown academically because of my high standards. The focused feedback I give for coursework seems to have created a strong desire to do well for my subjects, illustrated by comments such as: I’ll try to do better in the next assignment. I won’t let you down! and I am so encouraged by my high mark, since I know you have very high standards.
Since 1994 I also maintain an edited research-based textbook in IHRM, now in its 6th edition. In 2021 it was ranked in the top-250 most cited works in Business School syllabi by Open Syllabus Explorer. In addition, eight of my academic articles have been included in syllabi more than ten times (see below).
At Middlesex University I am mainly involved in PhD training, providing sessions on literature review and research strategies as well as using the Publish or Perish software and engaging with social media. These sessions are attended by students from across the university, from Computer Science and Medicine to English language and Creative Dance, Health and Education to Law and Business & Management. Hence, ensuring that all students benefit can be challenging. I was therefore very pleased with this recent unsolicited comment:
Throughout the sessions I participated in, you kept calm and caring and made all your hard work seem effortless. Even when we did not do our homework or finish the task given, you never got upset with us, yet you continued with a smile. Your sessions are similar to a dance performance when the ballet dancer is so natural in her movements that it seems easy and organic even though so much effort and training are involved. I am truly grateful for all the work you put into the sessions you do with us at Middlesex University and how generous and kind you are when sharing valuable resources you have worked and developed over the years. You are making a huge impact. I am forever grateful. Thank you!
My approach to research supervision is to ensure that my students develop themselves as well-rounded academics, rather than simply finishing their theses. I actively encourage them to join professional associations as early in their studies as possible, to go to Summer schools and conferences, and to build up their own networks.
In my positions at the Universities of Bradford, Maastricht, and Tilburg, I supervised some 25 MA dissertations (minor theses), mostly in international management and (international) HRM. In Bradford I started to supervise PhD students; this continued in Melbourne where I also supervised Masters by Research students. I have supervised a total of six students to completion. Since my move to Middlesex University, I have stopped RHD supervision, instead focusing on the development of early career academics.
PhD student support
I have always supported students both within and outside my university wherever possible. Ever since my academic web site went online in 1999, an increasing number of PhD students from other universities have contacted me for help. Even though this takes up a lot of my time, I feel it is part of creating a supportive academic community for young researchers. Over the past decades I have helped dozens of research students with suggestions, tips, writing and journal submission advice. Two representative comments of students – neither of whom were my own students – that I have supported over the years:
I very much admire your open-door-policy and it is my firm intention to practice it myself one day. You also seem to work as a central hub for postgraduate students in international management across Europe. I think you have a very commendable notion of what being an academic (and a host!) is all about. (A German PhD student)
Thank you once again for the interest you have shown in my work. Having seen how professional your own research has been, I take great pride that you saw something in my projects that persuaded you that there was an embryo of something interesting here. (A British PhD student)
When I was PhD director at the University of Melbourne, I instituted an informal seminar series: Academia Behind the Scenes (see image above), with sessions on publishing in good journals, research impact and citation analysis, finding your first job, building academic networks, constructing your identity as a scholar, working with industry, building non-traditional academic careers, and work-family balance. I took three sessions and convinced several of my colleagues to offer the other sessions. The series was very well-attended by both PhD students and ECRs, including some from other departments in the University and other Melbourne universities, and was very well-received:
You have really made a world of difference to the PhD program. Being a past PhD student in the department, where there were none of these initiatives, you have helped to make the PhD experience much less isolating for all students involved. Academia Behind the Scenes is one of the best initiatives I have seen. It is critical that students see what academia is all about and what to expect in the future…this program does this. All the initiatives that you have introduced have assisted students to come together, interact and form friendships. Your commitment to student and staff advice has also been invaluable. Your feedback is second to none and has assisted students to turn around their performance if they were in difficulty or excel further if they were performing well. (Associate Professor Angela Paladino, unsolicited email).
Academic leadership roles
From the start of my career, I have actively participated in a very wide range of committee roles as well as ad-hoc academic service positions. My more substantive leadership roles are detailed below.
Coordinator for international students
In my first permanent position at the University of Bradford in the UK, I job-crafted a role as coordinator for international students at a time when international student support was in its infancy. This meant I could combine my research in cross-cultural management with practical sessions on cross-cultural communication skills, as well as advocacy for international students.
I supplemented this role with more informal efforts to make (international) students feel at home in their new environment. Together with my husband I organised monthly international dinners at our home for groups of 20-35 students as well as a range of trips in the area. We also maintained a very extensive website (still online) with information about Bradford and surrounding areas, recipes, pictures etc.
PhD director and Assistant Dean RHD
At the University of Melbourne, I was PhD director for five years for a programme of over 70 PhD students. In addition to the many more routine aspects of the job, I dealt with some 150-200 applications a year, as well as 10-15 examinations and a similar number confirmations. Confirmations were very time-consuming as they required reading a 50-100-page report and writing a memo (typically 2-5 pages) about any potential problems in the research design. In addition, I provided individual advice and support to many students and introduced several strategic initiatives to make our PhD programme worthy of a world-class university. My work as PhD director led me to be asked as Assistant Dean Research Higher Degrees for our entire Faculty.
Under Anne-Wil’s leadership, the profile, content, and tone of the PhD program have been lifted, and with it, the morale, competence and confidence of the student cohort. She provides an inspirational role model, particularly to aspiring female academics, by demonstrating that it is possible to achieve excellence in all facets of academic life. [Christina Scott-Young, PhD student, feedback solicited for Professorial promotion]
I have always made a special effort to ensure that every single candidate in the program felt welcome and at ease and an integral part of the academic community. Two representative testimonials:
You simply took off my shoulders the responsibility of dealing with any problems caused by a possible delay, and at that point you didn't know me from Eve. In addition to the actual content of the email, the way you worded it conveyed to me not only that you took your responsibilities seriously but also that you really cared. In the past two and a half years nothing changed that first impression I had of you. In fact, it got confirmed over and over again. [Dinuka Wijetunga, Sri Lankan student with visa problems, unsolicited email].
[..] your presence really put me at ease when I first arrived here in Melbourne. I was really nervous and just listening to you since the first day of class makes me feel more comfortable and relieved. You are one of the nicest, most humble academician [sic] I have ever met in my academic life! I say this most sincerely. I hope someday I can practice what you practice in academic life. [Raida Abu Bakar, Malaysian student, unsolicited email]
Associate Dean Research
In recognition of my strong research record and knowledge of research evaluation I was appointed as Associate Dean Research at the University of Melbourne, responsible for developing policy in relation to the Faculty’s strategic research agenda. I also provided strategic direction and advice about research training and strategies to improve the dissemination of the Faculty’s research findings to the larger community.
In my tenure as Associate Dean Research, I developed a range of new initiatives and was repeatedly commended by the Dean for “taking this role to new heights” and “putting the role on steroids”. My formal job responsibilities were manifold, but my main achievements were:
- developing and documenting systematic policies and procedures after more than a decade of ad-hoc and fragmented research leadership,
- simplifying the preparation for the yearly government publication return as well as the 3-year ERA (Excellence in Research Australia) exercises,
- introducing a data-driven analytic approach to decision-making and key performance indicators,
- educating university senior management about research traditions in the Social Sciences and Business & Economics in order to ensure that our Faculty’s stellar performance was appreciated.
As a result, my successor was able to build on a very strong foundation, facilitated by a 12-page transfer memo outlining our key challenges and access to my Outlook archive and over 200 key documents. The anonymised transfer memo is available here for perusal by interested Business School Research Deans; you are likely to find that many of the challenges I experienced are similar in your institution.
REF submission UK
In my new position at Middlesex University, my main roles are Staff Development Lead (see below) and research mentor. However, inevitably – given my experience with research evaluation – I was drawn into preparation for the Business School’s REF submission. I played a major role in crafting our submission, taking responsibility for two of three components – output selection and research environment statement – allowing the Deputy Dean Research and Knowledge Exchange to focus on impact case studies. This led to stellar results, we were ranked #1 in the UK for impact (see below).
However, Middlesex Business School also achieved a stellar result overall.
- We doubled the proportion of our research ranked 4* (world-leading) to 34%, with another 49% ranked 3* (internationally excellent).
- Our GPA (Quality) ranking in Business & Management improved from 51 to 37.
- Our weighted Power ranking – the rating that determined our funding; with 4* counting 4 times as much as 3* – improved from 38 to 32.
- On a combined GPA/Power ranking, the Business School ranked eight in the Greater London area. We ranked below LBS, City, Imperial, LSE, KCL, Queen Mary, and UCL, but above Royal Holloway, Birkbeck, SOAS, Brunel, and Goldsmith, as well as all Greater London post-92s.
This latter performance is almost identical with our performance on the US News ranking of Global Universities, where - in the London area - we rank below only LSE, LBS, Imperial, UCL, City, KCL, and Queen Mary. More information about our performance can be found on this separate page: REF, rankings & reputation.
Staff development Lead
My current role in researcher development at Middlesex University uses all my prior experience in research leadership and research mentoring. I was appointed in 2014 to raise the Business School’s research profile and transform the research culture at this post-92 university. This is achieved by improving research skills and capabilities and creating a supportive climate for junior academics.
Without you and your resilient character which inspired me, I would have given up! You told me not to give up and I haven’t. I think one of the really amazing things about you is that you don’t make people feel they are a failure! (Middlesex colleague, unsolicited email)
Anne-Wil truly makes me want to be a better academic! She also helps me face my own limitations and those of the system and reflect on what can be changed. Through her role-modelling, she has transformed us and the way we work and also laid the groundwork so that we are empowered to help others. Dear Anne-Wil, thank you for being you! [LinkedIn recommendation by Clarice Santos].
In addition to an extensive programme of staff development (see: Reflections on staff development), I provide individual support for promotion applications. In 2022 I gave detailed feedback on 15 promotion applications to Associate and Full Professor, going through up to three drafts. In preparation, I had written up a blogpost series on writing effective promotion applications, which was subsequently converted into a book, which has received enthusiastic reviews.
While academics are not known for their emotional outbursts, it’s only fair to say that I absolutely LOVE this book – and have found it exceptionally helpful myself. Harzing guides aspirant applicants carefully and supportively through the promotion application process in a breezy and accessible style. She offers practical advice and encouragement, drawn from her own personal experience on both sides of the promotion ‘desk’, and the wisdom and authenticity of her voice leaps from the page. [Book review by Tim Freeman].
My work was recognised within the sector by invitations to present our approach to ECR support and staff development for the Chartered Association of Business Schools, the British Academy of Management/CABS, and European Foundation for Management Development. In the 2022-2023 academic year, I launched the “back to campus” initiative, which featured regular half-day meetings. Details can be found here.
I was elected by Women of the Future as one of 50 Leading Lights for my work with CYGNA and Middlesex University. This work combined with my research in International Business also led to my election by WAIB (Women in the Academy of Intl Business) as Woman of the Year, and by the Irish Academy of Management Distinguished International Scholar. Finally, I am also one of only 24 awardees – selected from 11,688 nominations – of the Inaugural Positive Leadership Award (see below). More information about my work as staff development lead can be found on this separate page: Reflections on staff development.
Research rankings and reputation management
As an expert in research evaluation and the major databases used in this area (Web of Science and Scopus), it was only natural that I ended up conducting benchmarking analyses and providing briefings to senior management on the major international research rankings (Times Higher Education, QS, ARWU/Shanghai and USNews).
This includes identifying problems with these rankings, such as the inappropriate definition of “young” universities in the THE Young Universities ranking. Pleasingly – partly through my own work in staff development – Middlesex has risen in each of these rankings since 2016.
However, even when new universities such as Middlesex are performing well on objective metrics such as publications, citations, and funding, their external reputation often lags behind their objective performance.
- In the 2022 US News ranking there are 39 universities in the UK that are ranked in Business & Economics. Middlesex ranks nineth in terms of citation metrics, but only 33 in terms of reputation.
- In the QS ranking Middlesex ranks identically to the University of Melbourne on citation metrics, but there is a vast difference in their reputation scores. As these reputation scores count for 80% and the metrics only for 20%, Melbourne ranks #26 overall and MDX 351-400.
Hence, I also engage in reputation building, showcasing Middlesex Business School as a research institution. I have written up dozens of blogposts about events I organised at Middlesex see e.g.
- Middlesex 2022 ECR event: back to Cumberland Lodge,
- How to create a sustainable academic career (see above)
- Reflections on a decade at the editor’s desk,
- You can’t be known if you don’t interact!.
Moreover, I opened up my blog to colleagues. This has led to contributions from ten MDX staff, see e.g.
- Friends and co-authors,
- Saturday night fever during a pandemic,
- Own your place in the world by writing a book,
- Research Academics as Change Makers.
I also maintain a very active social media profile (see Outreach through new technologies) where I share MDX successes including our excellent REF 2021 result and promote my colleagues’ achievements. Finally, I use prominent Middlesex branding on my many external speaking engagements and YouTube videos (see below).
Service to the academic community
Although I have carried more than my fair share of service to each of the universities I have worked for (see Academic Leadership roles), my most significant contribution has been to the wider academic community. I have been departmental editor for Jnl of Intl Business Studies, associate editor Strategy for the Australian Jnl of Management, associate editor for The Intl Jnl of Cross-Cultural Management, and consulting editor for The Intl Jnl of Management Reviews. I am or have been on the editorial board of more than a dozen journals and a regular reviewer for many more.
I displayed team management and research capacity building skills as co-founder of LAWN (Local Academic Women’s Network) in the UK in 1999. LAWN organised yearly UG workshops, quarterly research seminars, as well as skill development and informal networking sessions. The UK Athena projects (aimed at advancing women in Science, Engineering & Technology) liked our initiative so much that they set up a range of regional LAWNs.
My early service to the wider academic community also included being the inaugural Chair of the Membership Involvement Committee of the International Management Division of the Academy of Management (2001-2003). As MIC Founding Chair I recruited fifty country representatives and eight regional representatives, designed a website with pictures and bios, and developed job descriptions. Our initiatives included symposia on International Research and a yearly “Welcome to the Division” and “Take an Executive to Dinner” session.
Another very significant contribution is my personal website: www.harzing.com, a major resource site in international management, again started very early in my career in 1999. Its popularity is shown by its 100,000 page visits each month and 1,500-2,000 unique visitors each day, with visitors coming from more than 150 countries. There are over 5,000 web sites that include one of more links to the site.
Along with hundreds of web-links and an active blog with weekly postings (see also Outreach through new technologies) covering all things academia, it includes on-line versions of all my papers, and a Journal Quality List, a ranking of academic journals in the field of business and management. This list is the second most popular single download from the site, currently registering over 30,000 requests a year. The most popular download – the Publish or Perish software – is discussed below.
CYGNA women’s network
In 2014, I set up CYGNA, a network for female academics in the London area. This network has grown to more than 300 academics, with members coming from more than 30 countries and 100+ universities. As co-founder of CYGNA I have organised or co-organised more than 50 meetings, including a one-day bootcamp for our fifth anniversary. I also write up blogposts with resources after each meeting.
What does CYGNA mean to its members? At our 50th meeting we asked members to share what CYGNA meant to them on a Padlet. The word-cloud below is a perfect summary of what CYGNA aims to be: a friendly, kind, inclusive, and supportive community, providing a safe space/place to exchange ideas, share experiences, provide advice, inspire, and learn. We think that's pretty amazing :-). This succinct, but wonderfully evocative, comment by the equally wonderful Luisa Pinto says it all.
Belonging, learning, camaraderie, friendship and sharing. My academic family: I'm an only child who suddenly has a community of sisters. Thanks!
AIB Fellows community
Since being elected as AIB Fellow in 2019, I have been very active in the community of Fellows. I was the driver of a “surfacing committee”, locating high-performing academics in International Business that might have been overlooked for nomination as Fellows.
I am also chair of a new AIB Fellows EDI committee, charged with writing up a report on AIB Fellows from an EDI perspective, where I did all the data collection and analyses and provided advice on adjusting selection criteria to increase diversity. In addition I was an active member of AIB New Fellows committee, where I collected citation data for all Fellows.
Finally, I wrote up a blogpost for the AIB Ethics committee about the ethical obligation to keep your GS Profile clean and was appointed as the AIB Fellows Bibliometrician, writing obituaries for deceased Fellows, which are well-received by AIB members and the deceased’s families alike.
Publish or Perish: democratising research evaluation
Publish or Perish, a free software program that retrieves and analyses academic citations was launched in 2006 and was an instant success. Just over a year after introduction, the number of page hits already exceeded 15,000 per month. It currently has over a million users worldwide. Daily usage continues to be high, reflected in 5,000-10,000 downloads or update checks every single day. It has been used in more than 6,000 articles to collect citation data.
Now in its eight edition the software keeps finding new audiences, most recently in Indonesia, where it is now used by most PhD, Masters, and even UG students as evidenced by the popularity of this training video. Its development over the years is documented here: The changing usage of Publish or Perish over the years: where, why, when, what & who? I provide technical support and in 2022 wrote up a 15-part blogpost about its new features to supplement the Publish or Perish Book (2010) and the Publish or Perish tutorial (2016). The PoP book was reviewed in Nature, Scientometrics, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, and the Impact of the Social Sciences blog.
Harzing's book is an excellent introduction to the complex world of article level citation data. She does not overstate the case for her software or for using such data for a “mechanistic type of evaluation” [p.109]. Instead, she gives a pragmatic account of how academics can use citation data to show how their work is being read and referenced. I would highly recommend The Publish or Perish Book for any researcher who wishes to understand this growing field, and it is full of practical advice. Dave Puplett Academic Support Librarian, London School of Economics, United Kingdom.
Publish or Perish has also been covered repeatedly in journals and magazines such as the Italian magazines Linkiesta (which used Publish or Perish to compare the academic credentials of ministers in the new Monti government with those in the old Berlusconi government), L’Espresso (which used it to expose nepotism in Italian academia), and Panorama, the Hindu (online edition of the Indian national newspaper), and the România Liberă, suggesting readers to use Publish or Perish to promote a more meritocratic system of appointment. I was also interviewed for The Age on the related topic predatory open access publishers in Scams rock academic publishing.
Publish or Perish was featured regularly in the Higher Education section of the Australian, including on the cover page (see above). I was interviewed for the Association of Librarians magazine (see below). In the Times Higher Education, Patrick Dunleavy favours Publish or Perish over peer review for evaluation exercises. I was interviewed about the software and research evaluation for the Impact of Social Sciences Blog: Five Minutes with Anne-Wil Harzing. With the Publish or Perish software, I have democratised citation analysis and put research evaluation in the hands of individual researchers.
I have received hundreds of thank-you emails from grateful academics and Publish or Perish has been mentioned in countless blogs and personal websites. In addition, more than 2,000 libraries across the world list it on their pages as an alternative to ISI or Scopus. For a full overview see Publish or Perish in the news.
The software is used and praised all over the world, from individual academics and librarians to governments departments (e.g., US Dept of Energy, US Dept of Veteran Affairs, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Agency for International Development), from grant giving agencies (e.g., SSHRC in Canada, CNRS in France) to research laboratories (e.g., Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, IBM):
Official letter by Michael Porter: Your award is certainly well-deserved; we have benefitted from the use of Harzing’s Publish or Perish software. We have been fans of your work for some time now and have used your tools to inform our own benchmarking here at Harvard Business School.
Patrick Dunleavy (Political Science professor at LSE): It was a great pleasure to meet someone who has contributed so much, completely free of charge, to the development of the social sciences. Academic altruists are rare indeed, and your PoP programme is a huge advance.
Martin Ravallion (Director, World bank Development Research Group): As I am sure you realize, being able to demonstrate the influence of research is enormously important to supporting and expanding that research. [...] I have found your software Publish or Perish to be the single most useful tool available for these purposes.
Based on my work with Publish or Perish, I was also appointed as the AIB Fellows’ Bibliometrician. One of my tasks is writing up obituaries for deceased Fellows.
Invited talks and interviews
In the past 30 years, I have given dozens of seminar talks about my research at many universities world-wide (see e.g. here on experimental research, and here on English as a Lingua Franca). I contributed a key-note paper on International Human Resource Management to the second annual www.dialogin.com e-conference and was key-note speaker on the same topic at the 4th EIASM Workshop on International Strategy and Cross-Cultural Management. I also provided a keynote speech on The language barrier, solutions & its impact on HR policies, at the 2013 International AHRD Asia Conference.
In recent years, I have participated in various prestigious panels and roundtables such as Famous Academics in Expatriation and Language and Thinking in 2016 and Untwisting tongues: Language research in International Management in 2019. In 2021, I also gave a provocative presentation on Why (IHRM) research needs to change at the Henley PhD master class, as well as the IHRM webinar series by the Penn State Center for IHR Studies. This included reflections on how "daring to be different" might work out in practice and how to navigate academia as a PhD student/Early Career Researcher.
In the past 3-5 years, I have received many requests for keynote speeches and panels. However, I have decided to prioritise my blog and YouTube Channel to reach a larger audience and instead suggest my junior colleagues for these prestigious speaking opportunities.
Since 2007, I have been invited to give seminars on PoP and research evaluation at many universities all over the world, including an early high-profile event on Research Impact at Erasmus University in 2008 and a recorded event at LSE in 2014 on From publication to impact: Tools to measure research impact.
I was also invited to the 2013 Microsoft Faculty Summit in Seattle, spoke at the EFMD Research Leadership Programme on Benchmarking in 2014, the 2016 Assessment of Research and Teaching Outcomes at Higher Education Institutions and the 2017 LIS-Bibliometrics workshop on data-base coverage, on Best practices in impact assessment at the 2016 Workshop on the Impact of Academic Research, on Realising Google Scholar's potential to democratise citation analysis at the Google Scholar day in 2017, on Why metrics can (and should?) be used in the Social Sciences at the “The Future of Research Assessment Peer Review vs. Metrics" in 2017, on Building your academic brand through engagement with social media in 2018, and on How to use Publish or Perish effectively? at the Bibliometrics Summer School in 2019.
In recent years, my public speaking has concentrated in the area of inclusive research cultures and supporting junior academics. I have provided face-to-face sessions on Academic career strategies for women in the UK in 2018, on Supportive, inclusive & collaborative research cultures at a CABS/BAM course for Research Directors in 2022 and 2023, on Supporting Early Career Researchers at an EFMC course for Faculty Deans in 2022 and on How to improve your research profile, reputation and impact on a course for research-focused professors.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, I have also given a range of online interviews. In July 2020 I gave an interview on measuring research impact, discussing the Journal Quality List, the Publish or Perish software, journal impact factor, h-index, publication strategies, making your case for citation impact, and societal impact. In May 2021 I participated in the Frontline IB interview series with high-profile IB academics, which cover three sections: personal, research career and mentoring advice. In 2022 I gave an interview in honour of my first publication being selected as the #1 publication in global mobility by the Women in AIB organization, discussing publishing and impact strategies.
An interview with the Academic Woman magazine covered my career history, research passions, research cultures, and research mentorship. Finally, late 2022 the interview in honour of my election as Distinguished international scholar by the Irish Academy of Management covered my career trajectory & inclusion, inclusive research evaluation, supporting female academics, supporting early career researchers, proactiveness in academia, tips for junior academics, my advice for senior academics, and #PositiveAcademia: Towards a kinder academic world.
Outreach through new technologies
From the start of my academic career, I have embraced new technologies in reaching out to the wider academic community. I was an early adopter of personal websites and a later, but very enthusiastic, user of social media, including blogging and YouTube videos for research communication and outreach. Since 2010 I have also regularly used new technologies in publishing by self-publishing a wide range of books.
I have maintained my own personal website in 1999 (see below), at a time where this was still very unusual. Initially created to host student material, this was soon joined by resources such as collections of useful weblinks (remember Google search was still in its infancy), pre-publication versions of my papers, the Journal Quality List and later the Publish or Perish software.
Reflecting my international career and research interest in cross-cultural management and global mobility, I created the British culture, British educational system pages, and culture shock pages in 2001. This was followed by Working in the UK and Living and working in Melbourne page. The British culture page still attracts thousands of visitors per year.
Over the years my website has expanded its scope, adding an overview of my publications, my research programmes, as well as dedicated section for the CYGNA women’s network. Its biggest extension came when I started blogging in 2016 (see separate section below). My website now has nearly 700 pages and draws over a million page views a year.
I have embraced social media use for professional academic purposes for the last decade. I was one of the first adopters of Google Scholar Profiles, and am now an expert on this. I have written a range of blogpost about this topic (see e.g. Google Scholar Profiles: the good, the bad, and the better and How to keep your Google Scholar Profile clean?). Despite having my own personal website, I also have an active ResearchGate account, posting pre-publication versions of all my papers.
My most active social media profile is LinkedIn, where I have nearly 6,000 followers and post three times a week on new blogposts, videos and #Positive academia. However, I also use Twitter both for research communication and as a source of research information, especially for my work in bibliometrics. The next two sections discuss my engagement with blogging and video sharing through YouTube.
I started my blog on “all things academia” in March 2016, posting mainly in the following areas: academia behind the scenes, academic etiquette, research focus, publish or perish tips, and positive academia.
My blog is now in its eight year, its latest anniversary post with the most popular posts of the year is here: Harzing.com blog 7 years old!. I continue to blog weekly, and my blog now has nearly 400 posts. Page visits to my blog continue to be high (app. 100,000 page views per year) and I now have two dozen guest contributors, many of whom are Middlesex staff. In 2018 I started to write up multi-part blogpost series on:
- Internal vs. external promotion
- Creating social media profiles [also available as 8-part video series]
- Publishing in academic journals [also available as 7-part video series]
- Writing effective promotion applications
- Improving your research profile [also available as 8-part video series]
- The Academic Woman interview [also available as an 11-part video series]
- Inclusive academia [also available as a 6-part video series]
- Proactive academia [also available as a 6-part video series]
During the pandemic I embraced video recording and editing and opened my YouTube channel Harzing Academic Resources which includes more than 100 videos on topics such as:
- Publishing: publishing in top journals, choosing your target journal, writing boot-camp series on how to avoid a desk-reject
- Research impact: how to get cited, measuring research impact, Q&A on research impact, seven steps to impact, creating impact in little time
- Research profiles: Linkedin, ResearchGate and Twitter, Google Scholar Profiles, blogging, engaging with social media
- Research skills: doing a literature review, research strategies & trade-offs, using the publish or perish software, publish or perish for literature reviews
- Academic life: navigate academia as a PhD student, the UK REF, building a sustainable academic career, Q&A on working in academia
- Improve your research profile: 8-part series on how to improve your research profile
- WAIB interview, 7 questions on my early work, publishing, and creating impact
- Frontline IB interview, all sections of the interview: personal, scholar and mentor
Academic videos rarely acquire a large audience. Even most professional associations such as the Academy of International Business measure their subscribers in the low thousands; videos rarely exceed 1,000 views. So, unlike those publishing cat videos, I will never be a YouTube video-star, but with >70,000 views and >1,500 subscribers, the channel does seem to satisfy a need.
In 2009, when looking for a way to make guidance for using the Publish or Perish software more accessible, I stumbled upon CreateSpace (now Amazon Kindle Direct publishing). This offered the opportunity to make books available for a reasonable price whilst maintaining the flexibility of updating the books on a regular basis.
I therefore published five books providing support for the Publish or Perish software, using ready-made CreateSpace covers with a nature theme. The 2010 and 2011 books provide an overview of the software’s functions (part 1), explain how to use the software for author, journal, and keywords searches (part 2), and demonstrate how the software can be used for bibliometric research (part 3). The 2016 tutorial with 80 tips introduces the user to the main functions of Publish or Perish in short and easy chunks.
In 2022 I adapted my four multi-part blogpost series and self-published them as print (£7.95) and Kindle (£5.95) books. Books are reasonably priced to make them accessible for individual academics, as well as universities who would like to bulk-buy books for their staff members. This time I designed my own covers by converting relevant pictures through PowerPoint’s artistic effects. I am quite proud of the result 😊.
Copyright © 2023 Anne-Wil Harzing. All rights reserved. Page last modified on Sun 4 Jun 2023 10:28
Anne-Wil Harzing is Professor of International Management at Middlesex University, London and visiting professor of International Management at Tilburg University. She is a Fellow of the Academy of International Business, a select group of distinguished AIB members who are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the scholarly development of the field of international business. In addition to her academic duties, she also maintains the Journal Quality List and is the driving force behind the popular Publish or Perish software program.