A Mixed Method Study of the Environmental and Personal Factors that Influence Faculty Research Productivity at Small-Medium, Private, Doctorate-granting Universities

Problem: This study sought to determine what organizational factors and personal characteristics of faculty members most relate to research productivity at small- to medium-sized not-for-profit, private, doctorate-granting universities.

Method: A mixed methodology was used that included an online survey, follow-up email surveys, and two face-to-face interviews. The main statistical tools used were multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and regression. The final sample carne from 12 small- to medium-size, private, not-for-profit doctorate-granting American universities. A group of 277 professors responded to the online survey. An online follow-up qualitative survey was conducted with 34 replies. Two additional face-to-face interviews were performed to complete this mixed-method study.

Results: The independent variables for this investigation were socio-demographic, career-achieved experience, self-knowledge, social knowledge, environmental conditions, environmental responses, social contingencies, and behavior. The dependent variable, research output, was the number of scholarly articles, books authored or coauthored, conference proceedings, and books edited within the last 2 years. The multivariate analysis of variance indicated that the highest research productivity was among faculty with the following profile: ages 41 to 50, male, from science departments, having 6 to 15 years at a university, tenured, in some level of administration, ranked as professor, and teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The six constructs of factors for the regression model explained 50.1% for article production (q34) in the last 2 years and a 61.4% for articles in the whole career (q38), respectively. The main constructs producing regressions were self-knowledge and scholarly behaviors. This model explained 23.7% of the conference proceedings (q36). Models for books authored (q35) and books edited (q37) were not significant. Qualitative data showed that: (a) human resources, such as good students and colleagues from the same fields, (b) lower teaching loads, (c) supportive and mentoring environments, and (d) clear expectations built into departmental mission statements were most helpful to create research productivity.

Conclusions: Both quantitative and qualitative results indicated a high relationship between self-perception and research productivity. Professors who were self-committed to advancing knowledge generated more scholarly work. Recommendations, discussions, and suggestions for further studies are supplied.

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G Gregorutti
Andrews University Press
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Full text available online through ProQuest Digital Dissertations. Completed through Andrews University.
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Papers & Plans; Internet Resources
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Religious Origin:
Seventh-day Adventist