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

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 lies at the centre, which provides latest intellectual products for teaching on one hand, and support 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 a 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 structure 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 trainings and supports to shorten the assimilation time and to increase maximal recruitment rate to response to the requirement of teaching and projects more promptly.