Interim Report for the Quality Assessment of Research



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Section A




Research Profile of the Faculty

1 Mission statement

The Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (FEWEB) aims at theoretical and applied research of high quality in the various fields of economics, econometrics and business administration. In this light it maintains a policy of a balanced division of research and educational tasks among staff, such that students are taught by staff members with strong research qualifications and the practice of teaching is fed by the latest insights from research. In addition to covering the various fields of education by strong research groups, the faculty aims at hosting some excellent research groups in fields that do not necessarily have a strong representation in education. Examples are the research groups in labour economics, regional and environmental economics, and development economics.

In line with current developments within the discipline, FEWEB invests a fair amount of energy in the creation of networks with regard to multidisciplinary research. Important networks include among others the Amsterdam Institute for International Development, which was created by the two Amsterdam universities, and the co-operation between the FEWEB Information Technology group and researchers from the Faculty of Science. Within the fields of environmental economics and regional economics ties have been established with the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM-VU), Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Utrecht and the Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies, Delft University of Technology.

The Faculty attaches considerable importance to the societal relevance of its research, next to theory development. A focus on current and latent social issues can go hand in hand with the development of fundamental insights. Compelling examples of this merger can be found among the publications by researchers from labour economics, regional economics, development economics and business economics. The double focus on applied research and theory development has attracted numerous sources of external funding (notably within the research institutes connected with FEWEB), and programmes sponsored by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The faculty will continue to encourage its researchers to seek both types of funding.


2. Leadership
The Board of Faculty is the most important administrative instrument of the faculty. All the important decisions are taken by this Board. The Board consists of the dean of the faculty, the research director, the teaching director, and a student (non-voting member). The board is assisted by the management director of the faculty, who is also directing the faculty’s office. The board is accountable to the Executive Board of the Vrije Universiteit (College van Bestuur).
Director of Faculty: Drs. F.A.M. Snijders
Board of Faculty:

  • Prof. dr. H. Verbruggen, dean

  • Prof. dr. J.W. Gunning, research

  • Drs. P. Sneep, teaching

  • Drs. F.A.M. Snijders, director

  • K. Anev, student

The Faculty of Economics and Business Administration has 7 departments and each department has at least one head of department.


Heads of departments:

  • Prof.dr. T.L.C.M. Groot (Accounting)

  • Prof.dr. G. van den Berg (Economics)

  • Prof.dr.ir. G. van der Laan (Econometrics)

  • Prof.dr. M. van der Nat (Finance)

  • Prof.dr. B. Compaijen (BFS)

  • Prof.dr. A.R. van Goor (as of September, 1 2005, Information systems and logistics)

  • Prof.dr. P.G.W. Jansen (Management and Organisation Studies)

  • Prof.dr. R.T. Frambach (Marketing)

  • Prof.dr. P. Rietveld (Regional Economics)

Each department has one or more research programme, and each research programme has one or more programme leader. Currently, the faculty has 13 research programmes:




  • Strategic and Co-operative Decision Making (Prof.dr.ir. G. van der Laan)

  • Time Series Econometrics: methods, computations and applications (prof.dr. S.J. Koopman)

  • Applied Labour Economics (prof.dr. M. Lindeboom)

  • Farms and Firms: The Microeconomics of Poverty, Risk and Development (prof.dr. J.W. Gunning)

  • Regional Economics and Networks (Prof.dr. P. Rietveld)

  • Environmental Economics (prof.dr. J.C.J.M. van den Bergh and prof.dr. C.A.A.M. Withagen)

  • Finance and Banking (prof.dr. A. Lucas)

  • Operations Research and Information Technology (prof.dr. H.C. Tijms)

  • Accounting and Decision Making (prof.dr. T.L.C.M. Groot)

  • Strategy & Organization (Dr.Ir. B.A.G. Bossink)

  • Marketing Strategy (Prof.dr. R.T. Frambach)

  • Human Resources (prof.dr. P.G.W. Jansen)

  • Information Systems for Organisational Networks (prof.dr. Y.H. Tan)


3. Strategy and Policy
The Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (FEWEB), aiming for high quality theoretical and applied research in economics, econometrics and business administration, maintains a policy in which the research and teaching tasks among staff members are well divided. Both students are taught by staff members with strong research qualifications as well as the practice of teaching is fed by the latest insights from research.
The latest research assessment was in August 2002 (Economics) and December 2002 (Business Administration and Management). Partly in response to these assessments of research quality, nearly all the research programmes of the faculty were changed, both in content and in name.
The Research Programme “Transition and development in international perspective”, which was not very well evaluated during the last assessment in 2001, has been discontinued in 2002. Most of the researchers of this programme were able to fit in other research programmes.
The following economic research programmes changed their names:

  • Competition and Cooperation has become Strategic and Cooperative Decision Making;

  • Applied Econometrics has become Time Series Econometrics;

  • Spatial Dynamics has become Regional Economics and Networks;

  • Economic Dimensions of Sustainable Development has become Environmental Economics.

The following business administration and management research programmes have been changed:



  • Stochastic Operations Research is now called Operations Research and Information Technology;

  • Dynamic Organisations and Markets has been split into three programmes:

  • Strategy and Organisation,

  • Marketing Strategy, and

  • Human Resources.

  • Information Technology and the Changing Organization has become Information Systems for Organisational Networks;

  • Financial Markets and Institutions has become Finance and Banking.

Of these changes the most important one is the split of the “Dynamic Organisations and Markets” programme (which suffered from excessive heerogeneity) into three well-focused programmes. This is considered a great improvement.
A detailed description, and strategies and policy, and plans for the short and long term are given in the research programmes documentation section.
4. Researchers and other personnel
The Faculty of Economics and Business Administration maintains a system of assessment of the research output of its members of staff that enables the (re)distribution of research funding according to individual achievements. The system comprises the rating of the five best publications of a researcher over the five past years, based on a journals- and publishers list (see enclosures). It was faculty’s policy to ask only for the five best publications, and not all the publications in order to give a proper incentive to researchers.

 

The periodic reallocation of research funding used to take place every five years. Starting 2005, however, the procedure will be followed every three years, to allow more dynamics and to align with the national agenda for internal and external research assessments.



 

In 2003/2004 a new journals- and publishers list has been established. The former list was created in 1992 and did no longer meet the requirements for accurate output assessment. For the fields covered by the faculty's research school, the Tinbergen Institute, the TI journals list was adopted (In exceptual cases journals were added to this list and the classification of the Journal of Urban Economics, a B-journal on the I list, was changed to A. As the fields covered by the TI list do not include the entire range of fields covered by the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, it has been supplemented with the core journals for Business Administration and Econometrics. For more information about the creation of the faculty’s list and the Tinbergen list, see the website of the faculty (http://www.feweb.vu.nl/link.asp?itemnumber=4946) and the Tinbergen Institute (http://www.tinbergen.nl/home.html).

 

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