Sawtooth Software: The Survey Software of Choice

Laura Graf

Laura is a doctoral candidate at TUM School of Management (Technical University of Munich, Germany). She received her diploma in psychology from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. Her research focuses on human resource management in higher education institutions.

 Laura studied psychology at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany, with a focus on human resource management, social and organizational psychology as well as educational psychology. Since 2014 she is a doctoral candidate at TUM School of Management (Technical University of Munich, Germany). As a research associate at the Chair of Strategy and Organization, she works in the project „The many faces of academic success“ (funded by the Germany Ministry of Education and Research) and conducts research on performance management in higher education. Apart from her interest in research, she enjoys singing and doing sports.

Laura’s dissertation centers on human resource management at higher education institutions. Using Adaptive Choice-Based Conjoint Analysis, she investigates the evaluation of scientific performance during appointment procedures, that is, the selection of candidates for a tenured professorship at universities. She decided to use ACBC because it resembles the process of personnel selection decisions: from the first step of defining a set of desired competencies (= “Build-Your-Own”) until the last step of inviting a small subset of possible candidates to a job interview (= “Choice Tasks”).

Appointment decisions are among the most important strategic decisions of universities. Because tenured professorships are life-long employments, professors may stay at the same university for several decades, contributing to the performance of their department and the university. Moreover, getting appointed to a tenured professorship constitutes a major performance evaluation in the career of a scholar. Thus, the criteria that are considered important by appointment committees might impact career decisions of young scholars and they reflect which aspects of scholarly performance (e.g., publishing in top-tier journals, acquiring research grants) are highly valued by the scientific community.

The study will add to the transparency of appointment decisions which can be helpful for young scholars who make career decisions. Moreover, the study can point to current trends and recent changes in performance measurement in higher education.

Please feel free to contact Laura if you would like to learn more about her research:

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Lighthouse Studio is our flagship software for producing and analyzing online and offline surveys. It contains modules for general interviewing, choice-based conjoint, adaptive choice-based conjoint, adaptive choice analysis, choice-value analysis, and maxdiff exercises.

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