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School retains No 1 business school ranking
Published: 04 May 2007
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Dean Professor Frank Scrimgeour

Waikato Management School has been re-confirmed as New Zealand’s No 1 research-based business school in the latest tertiary rankings released today.

The independent results of the 2006 Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF), published by the Tertiary Education Commission, saw Waikato Management School’s research performance increase by 41 percent since the last rankings were published in 2003. The School also topped the 2003 rankings.

Waikato Management School was ranked first in research quality in the two largest business-related categories. These are Management, Human Resources, Industrial Relations, International Business and other business, and Accounting and Finance.

These two areas account for more than 70 percent of New Zealand’s academic staff in management and business.

It was ranked third in the remaining two subjects – Economics, and Marketing and Tourism.

Waikato Management School achieved the top quality scores of 4.4 for the Management and related disciplines category, and 3.5 for Accounting and Finance.

It scored 4.6 for Economics and 4.1 for Marketing and Tourism.

The total quality score over the four categories was 16.6, compared to 11.8 in 2003. [Please refer to explanation of quality scores at the end of this release.]

Waikato Management School doubled its number of world class or ‘A’ rated researchers from five to ten. The number of ‘B’ rated or high quality researchers increased by 51 percent.

Dean of the business school, Professor Frank Scrimgeour, said the result was a reflection of the commitment of staff across the school.

“We have a substantial commitment to research that connects to real world business. We have passionate and dedicated staff and our PBRF results are an outcome of that.”

Maintenance of No 1 status by the School reflected a commitment to excellence, he said.

Waikato Management School is one of only three institutions in Australasia to hold the elite Triple Crown accreditation from all three of the world’s leading quality assurance bodies in management and business education.

Professor Scrimgeour said a current key area of focus at Waikato Management School is sustainable business.

“Our goal is to be recognised globally as a leading school for sustainable business. Sustainability is central to the future of business.”

Other current research areas include research into the wealth and health effects of migration; a major study on the impact of technology on work and communities and Maori sustainable development.

In other areas, there is ground-breaking research occurring into the saving habits of New Zealanders; research into the mapping of poverty and environmental change in China, marketing research on sales promotions and brand switching, and an extensive programme on organisational communication in a crisis and working in teams.

Quick Facts about Waikato Management School Rankings



  • 99.49 FTE (full-time equivalent) staff at Waikato Management School were assessed by the PBRF process in the Business and Economics Panel.

  • Waikato Management School was ranked first in two of the four categories -- Management, Human Resources, Industrial Relations, International Business and other business, and in Accounting and Finance.

  • It was ranked third in the remaining two subject areas of Economics, and Marketing and Tourism.

  • The School’s combined Quality Score for these subjects increased by 41 percent to 16.6.

  • 10 percent or 10 staff were rated as ‘A’ researchers (compared with 5.4 percent or 5 staff in 2003).

  • 38.5 percent or 38.32 staff were ranked as ‘B’ researchers (29.3 percent or 25 staff in 2003).

Quality Assessment

PBRF-eligible staff who submit evidence portfolios for a specific subject area are rated on the quality of their research. Each grade is given a weighted score. These scores then allow the calculation of an overall Quality Score for the subject.

Ratings for individual researchers are as follows:

- A – 5 (researches rated ‘A’ are considered “world class”)

- B – 3 (researchers rated ‘B’ are considered to produce outputs of a “high quality”)

- C – 1 (researchers rated ‘C’ are considered to produce a “reasonable quantity of quality-assured research”)

- R – 0 (where the research does not demonstrate the quality standard required for a ‘C’).

The ‘C’ and ‘R’ ratings are further split to include NE or new and emerging researchers, to indicate staff who will not have had an opportunity to fully develop research portfolios .

The overall QE score for a subject area is calculated by adding the weighted scores of the staff concerned, multiplying by 2, and then dividing by the number of staff. This means subject area scores are reported on a scale of 1 to 10.

The maximum quality score that can be achieved is 10, however to obtain this all PBRF-eligible staff in the relevant TEO would have to receive an ‘A’ Quality Category. This is extremely unlikely, with the exception of very small academic units.

It is also suggested that just as a quality score between 8 and 10 is not realistically achievable and that it is not necessarily something to which it would be prudent to aspire. An academic unit (or TEO) concerned about its longer-term viability and future research capability has a strong interest in ensuring that it not only has within its ranks a sufficient number of experienced and well-respected researchers but also a pool of new and emerging researchers (who would not achieve an ‘A’ ranking).