What limit the research productivity of universities? A case study of a Chinese university

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In the era of knowledge economy, university plays an important role in the development of community. Generally, universities are responsible for three missions, i.e. teaching, research and social service. Among them, research lunes at the centre, which provides latest intellectual products for teaching on one hand, and supports social service with advanced practices on the other hand. Critical and influential as it is, after investigation we found that the research productivity of the leading research universities in China is quite stable and thus may not meet the expectation of stakeholders. To address this issue, first we conduct an unstructured interview to conclude the limiting factors and causal loop diagram is built. Then a simulation model is developed and alternative polices are tested. It is founded that there are four limits to growth structures in the system, which help to explain the stagnant performance of research productivity. Based on sensitivity test and analysis of implementation cost and risk, we suggest university to provide training and supports to shorten the assimilation time and to increase maximal recruiting rate to response to the requirement of teaching and projects more promptly.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecord of the 37th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society 2019
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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