Changing patterns of publication productivity: Accumulative advantage or institutional isomorphism?

Eric L. Dey, Jeffrey F. Milem, Joseph B. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The study presented in this article investigated two competing perspectives - accumulative advantage and institutional isomorphism - on the relationship between publication productivity and institutional hierarchy. Accumulative advantage suggests that increased institutional differentiation should occur over time as highly ranked institutions extend their advantage, whereas institutional isomorphism suggests that social processes will cause institutions to become increasingly similar. Institutional data, derived from three national surveys of American college faculty, conducted between 1972 and 1992, were used. The results provide support for both perspectives, which is perhaps best explained by the open yet competitive nature of the American higher education system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-323
Number of pages16
JournalSociology of Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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