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Motives and performance: why academics research
journal contributionposted on 2017-06-08, 01:51 authored by Inglis, Loretta
The Australian higher education system has changed considerably since the late 1980s as a result of government policy. One consequence for academics has been much greater emphasis on research activity as the major indicator of performance. Engagement in research was a completely new requirement for many academics from the colleges of advanced education. However, it is also the case that many university academics had not been involved in research activity. Analysis of interview data, from sixteen academics working in a large university, reveals that differences in orientations to particular work activities are strongly related to their previous experiences and to their reference groups. It also reveals that, for more than half of those interviewed, orientations remained stable once formed. Those who went straight from study into a position in a university or college of advanced education developed work orientations as a result of this experience, and they have remained stable. Those who came to academia from other occupations are more likely to have dynamic work orientations that change according to circumstances.