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Darla Moore School of Business

Moore School management faculty among most productive researchers

March 3, 2020

The Moore School management department faculty is among the most productive researchers in U.S. business schools, according to the Texas A&M/University of Georgia Rankings of Management Department Research Productivity released last month.

In 2019, the Moore School management faculty ranked tied for No. 21 in the list; they were ranked No. 25 in 2018. Their ranking has improved in recent years, as they were No. 46 in 2016.

“The ranking is further confirmation that our management department is one of the most productive research departments in the world,” said Sherry Thatcher, Moore School management department chair and professor and the J. Henry Fellers Professor of Business Administration. “It is particularly gratifying because this ranking only captures a portion of the extraordinary publications by our faculty. In general, publishing in top journals is one indication that authors are leading conversations that are important to academia and to business leaders, and this ranking is a further indication that our faculty are world-class.”

Among the 11 SEC schools featured in the rankings, USC’s management department was ranked No. 4. They were ranked No. 5 out of 23 colleges and universities in the Southeast.

Thatcher said the Texas A&M/University of Georgia rankings provide objective evidence that the Moore School management faculty are leading subject matter experts.

“Members of the business community can be confident that the management department at the Moore School is a trusted source of cutting-edge thought and advice,” she said.

Rankings such as these also help recruit top-notch faculty to come and teach at the Moore School and emphasize the importance of raising money to support further research, Thatcher added.

“What the ranking obviously shows is that the management department faculty are competitive with the very best and most impactful business schools,” she said. “However, what is not obvious is that these competitor schools tend to have more faculty and often, more resources. When you consider that we are competitive with the best business schools, and we are doing it with fewer resources, it is truly an impressive accomplishment.”

The Moore School management faculty have also received other notable accomplishments in recent months.

Management professor Robert Ployhart is one of five USC faculty honored with the 2020 Breakthrough Leadership in Research Awards. The Moore School Bank of America Professor of Business Administration, Ployhart was also recognized as being among the top 1 percent of researchers, according to the Web of Science Group.

Ployhart’s research interests include recruiting, personnel selection, analytics, performance management and leadership development. He recently published a paper in the Journal of Applied Psychology that compares individuals’ success within various occupations based on personality characteristics.

In the past, researchers “have looked at matching people to jobs or occupations, but they’ve not given enough attention to the characteristics of the people in them,” Ployhart said. “We know that people with similar characteristics gravitate toward similar occupations. But their similarity to others in the occupation will influence how long they stay in the profession.”

Thatcher, recently appointed the incoming editor for the Academy of Management Review, focuses some of her recent research on how new employees are integrated into their new workplace cultures.

“When someone is new to a team, there is a period of time when they’re trying to make sense of where they fit in and how they belong,” Thatcher said. “We’ve noticed in a lot of research that there is a focus on the newcomer and what they do to get integrated. But the incumbents and existing team members may also have an agenda in terms of getting the newcomer to identify with their own agenda that’s not necessarily in the best interest of the team overall.”

The management faculty undertake a variety of research topics from human resources and C-suite management to workplace culture and pay and performance management. Most of their research is published in the top management journals.

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