The forces that drive the impact of academic research articles in the marketing discipline are of great interests to authors, editors, and the discipline's policy makers. A key understudied driver is social network utilization by academic researchers. In this paper, we examine how activating one's social network can contribute to the impact of academic research and what factors lead researchers to utilize their social network. We treat social networks as a resource that researchers can potentially invoke to supplement other resources available to them. We propose a framework of antecedents for the use of professional social networks by academics. The framework captures researchers’ relevant personal and professional experience, as well as conditions associated with the project at hand. Specifically, we study an academic researcher's (1) personal background (gender and country of origin economic advancement), (2) professional development (time since PhD completion and editorial review board (ERB) membership), and (3) ad-hoc human capital directly involved in the research project (team size). The current study draws upon research from scientometrics, social networks, and resource availability and use, and involves an empirical analysis of a sample of 1329 articles published between 1980 and 2008 in top marketing journals. We predict and generally find that women researchers, researchers originating from less economically advanced countries, or those working with fewer co-authors on a research project are more likely to utilize their social network than their peers. We find weaker evidence for our prediction that years since PhD completion and ERB membership are negatively associated with social network utilization. Importantly, we further surmise and find that, in turn, social network utilization enhances the impact of a research article.
- Marketing publications
- Social networks