A generalized categorization of intellectual contributions includes contributions to learning and pedagogical research, contributions to practice, and discipline-based scholarship. Institutions customize these contributions, indicate their relative importance, and add additional responsibilities in their mission statements. The portfolio of faculty contributions must fit with the prioritized mix of activities as stated in the mission statement and demanded by the degree programs and other activities supported by the school. While not every faculty member must contribute in each of the three categories, the aggregate faculty must provide sufficient development in the past five years. The school’s mission determines the appropriate balance of activity among the three types of contribution. The portfolio of faculty contributions should reflect that balance.
The school’s mission or supporting materials, including stated policies, should clearly indicate the nature and focus of the intellectual contributions that are expected from its faculty. Three types of intellectual contributions are described below and the actual portfolio may include all three types; however, the school’s mission and array of degree programs should influence the school’s policies and the mix of actual intellectual contributions that are produced:
- Learning and pedagogical research contributions influence the teaching-learning activities of the school. Preparation of new materials for use in courses, creation of teaching aids, and research on pedagogy all qualify as learning and pedagogical research contributions.
- Contributions to practice (often referred to as applied research) influence professional practice in the faculty member’s field. Articles in practice-oriented journals, creation and delivery of executive education courses, development of discipline-based practice tools, and published reports on consulting all qualify as contributions to practice.
- Discipline-based scholarship (often referred to as basic research) contributions add to the theory or knowledge base of the faculty member’s field. Published research results and theoretical innovation qualify as discipline-based scholarship contributions.
The three forms of intellectual contributions outlined above (learning and pedagogical research, contributions to practice, and discipline-based scholarship) are not intended to narrow the scope of the research mission of a business school. Many of the major issues that are the subject of faculty inquiry and subsequent intellectual contributions require cross-disciplinary approaches and perspectives. Intellectual contributions that are cross-disciplinary in scope are appropriate outcomes for faculty scholarly activity and are consistent with the spirit and intent of this standard.
Schools should have clear policies that state expectations to guide faculty in the successful production of a portfolio of intellectual contributions that are consistent with the school’s mission and insures that a "substantial cross section of the faculty in each discipline" is producing intellectual contributions. Generally, intellectual contributions should meet two tests:
- Exist in public written form
- Have been subject to scrutiny by academic peers or practitioners prior to publication
The policies that guide the development of intellectual contributions should clearly specify:
- The expected targets or outcomes of the activity.
- The priority and value of different forms of intellectual contributions consistent with the school’s mission and strategic management processes.
- Clear expectations regarding quality of the intellectual contributions and how quality is assured (e.g., specific target journals or outlets, selectivity requirements, etc.).
- The quantity and frequency of outcomes expected over the AACSB Accreditation review period.
- Guidance to ensure that intellectual contributions reported to AACSB International include peer reviewed discipline-based scholarship, contributions to practice, and/or learning and pedagogical research are produced by a substantial cross-section of the faculty in each discipline consistent with the school’s mission. The portfolio of intellectual contributions is expected to include a significant proportion of peer reviewed journal articles and/or scholarly books, research monographs, or sections/chapters of such publications that are also subject to a peer review process described below.
Peer review is defined as a process of independent review prior to publication of a faculty member’s work by an editorial board/committee widely acknowledged as possessing expertise in the field. The peer review should be independent; provide for critical but constructive feedback; demonstrate a mastery and expertise of the subject matter; and be undertaken through a transparent process notwithstanding that the individuals involved may be anonymous. Such a review ensures the work is subjected to the expected "scrutiny by academic peers or practitioners prior to publication." Peer review is one important way in which the individual and institution can demonstrate overall quality of intellectual contributions.
The portfolio of intellectual contributions should reflect the mission of the school. The relative emphasis on the different forms of intellectual contributions (e.g., discipline-based scholarship, contributions to practice, and/or learning and pedagogical research) will also vary with the array and level of degree programs offered.
Examples of outcomes can include, but are not limited to:
- Peer-reviewed journal articles (e.g., discipline based scholarship, contributions to practice, and/or learning and pedagogical research)
- Research monographs
- Scholarly books
- Chapters in scholarly books
- Proceedings from scholarly meetings
- Papers presented at academic or professional meetings
- Faculty research seminars
- Publications in trade journals
- Book reviews
- Published cases with instructional materials
- Technical reports related to funded research projects
- Instructional software that is widely used
- Publicly available materials describing the design and implementation of new curricula or courses
- Non-peer reviewed intellectual contributions for which the school can provide substantive support for quality