Motives and performance of academics
journal contributionposted on 06.06.2017 by Inglis, Loretta
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
This paper examines the motives academics have for engaging in research activity and how motives affect research performance. A conceptual model is presented in order to clarify the processes that lead to the formation and maintenance of different types of motive. It is then argued that motivation derives from variations in orientations to work and these develop because of the influences of opportunity structures and reference groups. It is orientations to work which determine work behaviour. Analysis of interview data, from sixteen academics working in a large university, reveals that differences in orientations to work are strongly related to experiences of different opportunity structures and reference groups. It also reveals that, for more than half of those interviewed, orientations remained stable once formed. Their orientations then led to different interpretations of their role and the performance expected of them, and thus to difference work behaviours.