Bibliometric studies often measure and compare scholarly performance, but they rarely investigate why universities, departments, and research groups do have different performance. In this paper we try to explain differences in scholarly performance of research groups in terms of organizational variables. In order to do this, we extensively review the relevant literature, and develop a model using two theoretical approaches. A multivariate analysis shows which of the independent variables do play a role in the various scholarly performance dimensions. The study shows what organizational strategies may help in optimizing performance in various dimensions. Implications are discussed.