Age and productivity of academics: A case study of a public university in Malaysia

Yan, Siew Hwa, Lim, Hock Eam and Campbell, James K. 2015, Age and productivity of academics: A case study of a public university in Malaysia, Malaysian journal of economic studies, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 97-116.

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Title Age and productivity of academics: A case study of a public university in Malaysia
Author(s) Yan, Siew Hwa
Lim, Hock Eam
Campbell, James K.
Journal name Malaysian journal of economic studies
Volume number 52
Issue number 1
Start page 97
End page 116
Total pages 20
Publisher Malaysian Economic Association
Place of publication Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Publication date 2015
ISSN 0126-5350
Keyword(s) Academics
Key performance indicators
Life-cycle productivity JEL classification: D91
Summary This study examines the relationship between age and productivity measured based on key performance indicators (KPI) amongst academic staff at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). Three models were used in the analysis: linear, quadratic and piece-wise spline. The linear model indicates that age is negatively related to KPI. The quadratic model shows an inverted-U shaped relationship where KPI peaks at age 41 years. The piece-wise spline model indicates academic staff reach the peak of their productivity between ages 46-50 years with another productive age interval between 36-40 years implying 10 golden years when KPI could be harvested fruitfully. There is a significant downtrend in the KPI after 50 years of age. Other factors that have significant influence on KPI are gender, academic rank and discipline. The sub-models show that the influence of age on KPI is more significant amongst academic staff in the arts compared to the science stream. Age influence on KPI is significant amongst female staff but not male staff. We conclude that assessing performance in the workplace with regard to age requires complex methodological engagement and also needs to be based on a wider lens which recognises and includes within the discussion, the intangible and social dimensions of performance.
Language eng
Field of Research 160809 Sociology of Education
Socio Economic Objective 930499 School/Institution not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Malaysian Economic Association
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