Texas Tech University

Rawls College Professor Named Among Most Highly Cited Researchers in the World


Bill Gardner’s research papers rank in the top one percent of peer citations.

William_GardnerWilliam (Bill) Gardner, the Jerry S. Rawls Chair in Leadership and director of the Institute for Leadership Research at Texas Tech University's Jerry S. Rawls College of Business, has been named among the most influential scientists in the world according to the Highly Cited Researchers 2019 list from the Web of Science group. 

The highly regarded list recognized scientists and social scientists who produced multiple papers ranking in the top 1% by citations for their field from 2008 to 2018. This designation positions researchers in the highest strata of influence and impact. Gardner, a management faculty member, was previously included on the prestigious list in 2017, and is honored to be included again this year. 

"I am fortunate that throughout my career I have had great colleagues and doctoral students to conduct research with," said Gardner. "In fact, I've only single-authored three papers in my entire career, all the ones that are recognized and resulted in this award are co-authored papers. So, this really is a team award."

Gardner, whose research focuses on authentic and charismatic leadership, is one of only 113 researchers listed in the "Economics and Business" category of this year's list of 6,217 Highly Cited Researchers in various fields from nearly 60 nations.

In addition to his research partners, Gardner credits the usefulness of his research topics to both academics and practitioners in garnering citations.

"I think the reason they're highly cited is that others find them interesting too," he said. "Charismatic leadership involves leaders who have this gift to inspire people, and they can inspire them to do great things. Unfortunately, charismatic leaders can also be destructive and they can lead people astray. So it's something we need to understand, to make sure that we don't follow leaders who will lead us astray. Authentic Leadership is an ethical theory. And the basic notion is that you should be true to yourself as a leader and find a style of leadership that is genuine, and others will trust you. And you'll stick to your moral compass. So especially in our times, that has really resonated with people."

The methodology that determines the who's who of influential researchers draws on the data and analysis performed by bibliometric experts from the Institute for Scientific Information at the Web of Science Group - the world's largest publisher-neutral citation index and research intelligence platform.

David Pendlebury, senior citation analyst at the Institute for Scientific Information said, "Recognition and support of these exceptional researchers represents an important activity for a nation or an institution's plans for efficient and accelerated advancement. The Highly Cited Researchers list contributes to the identification of that small fraction of the researcher population that contributes disproportionately to extending the frontiers of knowledge. These researchers create gains for society, innovation and knowledge that make the world healthier, richer, more sustainable and more secure."

Margaret L. Williams, dean of Rawls College, said the importance of Gardner's honor for Rawls College and Texas Tech University cannot be over-stated.

"As a Tier I Research University, Texas Tech has made a commitment to support faculty who are conducting research that has an impact on our world," said Williams. "Professor Gardner's work is an excellent example of high-impact research."

Williams also expressed thanks to Mr. Jerry S. Rawls for supporting Professor Gardner's "excellent work in the area of leadership" through the establishment of the Jerry S. Rawls Chair in Leadership.

"Our ability to recruit and retain Professor Gardner, and other faculty like him, is due to the gift Mr. Rawls made to the college in 2000. We are grateful to Mr. Rawls for his support," said Williams. "As is evident by this recognition, Professor Gardner's presence at Texas Tech garners worldwide recognition for the college and the university."

Additionally, earlier this year Gardner was identified in an article published in The Leadership Quarterly as the fourth most influential leadership scholar for 2011-2017 based on weighted normalized citation by researchers Hao Zhao and Chaoping Li. He was also recognized in an Academy of Management Learning and Education publication as one of the top 100 most influential organizational behavior authors out of more than 16,000 authors based on citations in 38 widely-used organizational behavior, human resource management, strategic management, and general management undergraduate-level textbooks.

Over the span of his 35-year career, Gardner's research has been published in some of the top academic journals, including the Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, and the Journal of Organizational Behavior.

Since joining Texas Tech University in 2005, Gardner has won several awards for his exceptional research contributions, including Rawls College's 2013 Outstanding Researcher Award and 2014 Distinguished Faculty Research Award, and Texas Tech's 2015 Integrated Scholar award and 2016 President's Academic Achievement Award. He is currently serving as the editor-in-chief for Group & Organization Management and as an associate editor for The Leadership Quarterly.

Gardner said the positive culture, good colleagues and strong doctoral program at Rawls College have continued to positively influence his research and career.

"Doctoral programs are great because they keep you current on the field," said Gardner. "And you work with energetic, smart, talented students and have an opportunity to mentor them. So the fact that we have a good strong doctoral program has really, I think, contributed greatly to my research contributions."

The full 2019 Highly Cited Researchers list and executive summary can be found here, and the methodology can be found here.

About the Web of Science Group
Web of Science Group, a Clarivate Analytics company, organizes the world's research information to enable academia, corporations, publishers and governments to accelerate the pace of research. It is powered by Web of Science – the world's largest publisher-neutral citation index and research intelligence platform. Its many well-known brands also include Converis, EndNote, Kopernio, Publons, ScholarOne and the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). The 'university' of Web of Science Group, ISI maintains the knowledge corpus upon which the index and related information and analytical content and services are built; it disseminates that knowledge externally through events, conferences and publications and it carries out research to sustain, extend and improve the knowledge base. For more information, please visit www.webofsciencegroup.com.