The Effects Individual, Institutional, and Market Factors on Business School Faculty Beliefs About Grades

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Review of Business Research




This study examines gatekeeper and frame-of-reference (norm versus criterion) grading beliefs of U.S. business school faculty using a web-based survey. We report that faculty in the business courses with a more theoretical pedagogy have a stronger gatekeeper and greater norm-referenced beliefs than do the faculty of the courses with a more skills-oriented pedagogy. We find that the individual attributes examined indicate that teaching load is associated with greater criterion-referenced grading beliefs. We also find that male faculty have greater gatekeeper and norm-referenced grading beliefs, and that faculty who experience more pressure from departmental grading policies revert to more criterion-referenced beliefs. Furthermore, we find that faculty in schools that service more national/international firms tend to have greater norm-referenced beliefs, and faculty whose graduates tend to go to small employers (i.e., regional and local firms) exhibit greater criterion-referenced beliefs, suggesting that larger firms would like colleges to rank students to allow for a more informed choice for their large employment needs.