Diversification requires universities to focus on their strengths, but if each university usesthe same measures to determine those "strengths", then the rigid frameworks of "best journals" and "best conferences" will see best-fit modified to match the "best journals".In other words, diversification will result in the uniform pursuit of the same goals, witheveryone citing the same strengths to see themselves competitive on the same scorecard.Rewarding quality by assessing it against a rigid criteria of "best" will simply result inmore of the same outcomes - rejection slips from the same "top tier" journals.
The Standardised Journal Ranking Schema
Journal ranking schema are old news in the business academic sector, with the firststudies of journal quality appearing in 1974, and continuing unabated through to thecurrent paper (Koojaroenprasit et al, 1998, Polonsky and Whitelaw, 2006). To quotePolonsky and Whitelaw (2005):
…with Hawes and Keillor (2002) identifying that between 1980 and 2001 there were at least 16 journal ranking studies in marketing published in academic journals and conferences. Since 2002 there have been additionalranking studies, including; Baumgartner and Pieters (2003), Theoharakis and Hirst (2002), Mort et al. (2004) and Polonsky and Whitelaw (2004). It appears that ranking journals may in fact be a predisposition within business faculties in general (Armstrongand Sperry 1994, Van Fleet et al. 2000).
Twenty two years, twenty journal rankingsystems exist in the published field, with a few more proprietary research ranks existingwithin different universities around the globe. As Polonsky and Whitelaw (2005) note,once the reader looks outside of the top three or five journals, the inconsistency of theselists stand as a tribute to "one size fits nobody" production orientations. Even within thequality index industry there is a mute acceptance of one-dimensional measures of “best”,based on the respondent's perception of "quality" (Baumgarter and Pieters, 2003). Wouldthe academic who endorses this list for funding back the same single item measure from astudent project? For most aspect of the marketing disciplines, the use of a one-dimensional scale of "best" is inconsistent with the fundamental principles of thediscipline and the practice of the industry (Corfman, 1991). Does the systematicavoidance of accepted methodology maintain the relevance of the discipline? One wouldthink not, unless the methodological two-step assists in the creation of "quality index" for