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Journal of Education for Business

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Factors That Motivate Business Faculty to Conduct

Research: An Expectancy Theory Analysis
a a a
Yining Chen , Ashok Gupta & Leon Hoshower
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
Published online: 07 Aug 2010.

To cite this article: Yining Chen , Ashok Gupta & Leon Hoshower (2006) Factors That Motivate Business Faculty to Conduct
Research: An Expectancy Theory Analysis, Journal of Education for Business, 81:4, 179-189, DOI: 10.3200/JOEB.81.4.179-189

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Factors That Motivate Business
Faculty to Conduct Research:
An Expectancy Theory Analysis
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ABSTRACT. In this study, the authors

used expectancy theory to examine key fac- A cademic institutions classified as
research universities are often per-
ceived as indicative of having quality
over time. In the second stream of
research, researchers (Buchheit, Collins,
& Collins, 2001; Hu & Gill, 2000) have
tors that motivate business faculty to con-
programs, faculty, and students (Hu & examined individual or institutional fac-
duct research. The survey results, from 320 Gill, 2000). As higher education institu- tors that most significantly influence the
faculty members at 10 business schools, tions compete with each other for research productivity of faculty mem-
showed that faculty members who assign resources, being known as a research bers. Certainly, personal characteristics
institution is becoming increasingly like intelligence, insight, curiosity, and
higher importance ratings to both the
important. Hermanson, Hermanson, work ethics have an influence, but other
extrinsic and the intrinsic rewards of Ivancevich, and Ivancevich (1995) noted observable and systematic traits can also
research exhibit higher research productivi- that many schools, which were formerly be important indicators of scholarly
ty. Study findings suggest that: (a) thought of as teaching oriented, required achievement. Many of the prior studies
publications in refereed journals for that examined influential factors of
untenured faculty members are motivated
tenure and promotion. Because scholar- research productivity were based on
by extrinsic rewards; (b) tenured faculty ly activities and research productivity anecdotal evidence (e.g., personal opin-
members are motivated by intrinsic are used to measure the success of insti- ions or experiences; Fox, 1985; McK-
rewards; (c) research productivity is posi- tutions, it is becoming increasingly eachie, 1979). The few studies (Bridge-
important for faculty to be more produc- water, Walsh, & Walkenbach, 1982;
tively correlated with tenure status and the
tive in research. Thus, an individual fac- Holly, 1977; Tien & Blackburn, 1996) in
percentage of work time allocated to ulty member’s compensation, promotion which researchers provided empirical
research activities and negatively correlated and tenure, prestige, and marketability evidence regarding faculty members’
with years in academic employment; (d) are very much related to his or her perceptions of research productivity and
research productivity. their motivation to conduct research
there is no relationship between research
There are two streams of research on were limited in external validity by
productivity and academic discipline; and faculty research productivity. In the first using a small sample from a specific
(e) there is no relationship between stream, researchers examined the field or in internal validity by lacking a
research productivity and gender. changes of research publication require- theoretical base.
ments in faculty tenure and promotion Expectancy theory (Vroom, 1964)
decisions (Campbell & Morgan, 1987; provides this theoretical basis. It con-
Copyright © 2006 Heldref Publications Cargile & Bublitz, 1986; Englebrecht, structs a conceptual framework of moti-
Iyer, & Patterson, 1994; Milne & Vent, vation as well as a measurable mathe-
1987; Read, Rama, & Raghunandan, matical model. In this study, we applied
1998; Schultz, Meade, & Khurana, expectancy theory to 10 college of busi-
1989). Those researchers have docu- ness faculties to provide a better under-
mented that publication requirements for standing of the faculties’ behavioral
promotions and tenure have increased intentions (motivation) to do research.

March/April 2006 179

We then examined the relationship of Perspective Behavioral Theories According to Vroom (1964),
these motivational factors to actual expectancy theory shows that the over-
A number of theories have been pro-
research productivity. all Motivation (M) of a faculty member
posed to explain individual motivation
to conduct research is the summation of
to perform. Equity theory (or theory of
Literature Review the products of the attractiveness of var-
fair exchange; Adams, 1963) and
ious individual outcomes associated
expectancy theory (Vroom, 1964) are
Factors Influencing Research with research (Ak) and the probability
the two theories most widely used in the
Productivity that research will produce those out-
research literature. According to equity
comes (Ik), which is expressed by the
theory, a person compares his or her
Researchers have examined the factors equation:
inputs into the situation and outcomes
that most significantly influence the from the situation (Outcomes A/Inputs n
research productivity of faculty members
(Cargile & Bublitz, 1986; Diamond,
A) with a similar ratio of a referent M= ∑ ( Ak * I k ), (1)
other (Outcomes B/Inputs B). Inequity k =1
1986; Goodwin & Sauer, 1995; Hu & exists when the perceived ratios of out-
Gill, 2000; Levitan & Ray, 1992). Some puts to inputs for a person and his or her where M = motivation for conducting
scholars believe that promotion has a referent are unequal (Adams). Perceived research; Ak = attractiveness (or value or
motivating effect on research productivi- importance) of outcome k associated
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inequity is the source of motivation to

ty: For instance, Fox (1985) suggested act to restore equity or fairness in the with research productivity; and Ik = the
that higher education institutions can exchange. Equity theory has been suc- perceived probability (or impact) that
influence faculty research behavior cessfully applied to study consumer dis- being productive in research will lead to
through the manipulation of the reward satisfaction, brand and retailer switch- outcome k.
structure for promotion. However, other ing, consumer complaining behavior, In our application of the expectancy
researchers have insisted that faculty pub- negative word of mouth communica- theory (see Figure 1), faculty members
lish not for external rewards but because tion, and several other marketing and evaluated the attractiveness of 13 possi-
they enjoy the process of inquiry (e.g., social exchange situations. ble outcomes resulting from performing
McKeachie, 1979). In summary, prior Expectancy theory has been recog- research. They then considered the likeli-
studies identified two categories of per- nized as one of the most promising hood that each of these outcomes would
sonal motivational factors that drive aca- conceptualizations of individual moti- occur. According to expectancy theory,
demic research: Investment factors, or vation (Ferris, 1977). Many multiplying the attractiveness of each
extrinsic rewards (e.g., income increase, researchers (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980; outcome by the probability of its occur-
tenure, promotion), and consumption fac- Brownell & McInnes, 1986; Ferris; rence and then adding the resulting prod-
tors, or intrinsic rewards (e.g., an individ- Hancock, 1995; Warshaw, 1980) have ucts yields total motivation to conduct
ual’s personal satisfaction from solving proposed that expectancy theory can research. On the basis of this systematic
research puzzles, contributing to the dis- provide an appropriate theoretical analysis, the faculty members deter-
cipline, achieving peer recognition). framework for research that examines mined how much effort they would like
In addition to personal motivation, an individual’s acceptance of and to exert in conducting research.
other factors also have a substantial intention to use a system (DeSanctis,
influence on faculties’ research produc- 1983). However, empirical research Research Objectives
tivity. One well-established research employing expectancy theory within an Although many prior researchers
productivity theory, Life-Cycle theory academe has been limited. This study (Buchheit et al., 2001; Cargile &
(Hu & Gill, 2000), suggests that, in gen- uses expectancy theory to examine fac- Bublitz, 1986; Chow & Harrison, 1998;
eral, the research productivity of a ulties’ motivation to conduct research. Fox, 1985; Hu & Gill, 2000; McK-
researcher rises sharply in the initial Expectancy models are cognitive eachie, 1979) examined factors that
stages of a career, peeks at the time of explanations of human behavior that influence research productivity, few
tenure review, and then begins a decline. cast people as active, thinking, predict- have examined faculty members’ per-
Pretenure research productivity is dom- ing creatures in their environments. ceptions of these factors from a behav-
inated by investment factors and post- They continuously evaluate the out- ioral perspective and how their percep-
tenure productivity by consumption fac- comes of their behavior and subjective- tions are translated into the motivation
tors. Researchers in prior studies ly assess the likelihood that each of their to exert themselves to publish. In the
(Buchheit et al., 2001; Cargile & possible actions will lead to various out- current study, we employed expectancy
Bublitz, 1986; Chow & Harrison, 1998) comes. The choice of the amount of theory to examine the motivational fac-
have identified the following factors as effort people exert is based on a system- tors and their relationship with actual
influencing research productivity: (a) atic analysis of (a) the values of the research productivity in a constructive
tenure status, (b) the allocation of work- rewards from these outcomes, (b) the manner. By successful application of
ing time to research activities, (c) length likelihood that rewards will result from expectancy theory, we were able to pro-
of the tenure probationary period, (d) these outcomes, and (c) the likelihood vide a better understanding of the
teaching loads, and (e) financial of attaining these outcomes through behavioral intention (motivation) of fac-
research support. their actions and efforts. ulty members’ devotion to research.

180 Journal of Education for Business

Proposition 2b: Among tenured faculty,
there is a positive correlation between
Attractiveness or Probability that research research productivity and motivation
importance of productivity will impact for intrinsic rewards. Those who show
research rewards × achievement of rewards higher motivation for intrinsic rewards
display better research performance.
Ak Ik Proposition 3: There is a relationship
between research productivity and institu-
tional and other factors.
Proposition 3a: There is a positive rela-
tionship between research productivity
Motivation for research Institutional and and tenure.
• Extrinsic motivators demographic factors:
(investment factors) Tenure status, years in Proposition 3b: There is a negative
• Intrinsic motivators relationship between research produc-
academics, gender,
tivity and years in academics.
(consumption factors) academic rank, time spent
on research, discipline Proposition 3c: There is a positive rela-
Xk tionship between research productivity
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and time allocated for research activities.

Proposition 3d: There is no relationship
Xk = Ak × Ik M = kΣ= 1(Ak × Ik)
between research productivity and aca-
FIGURE 1. Expectancy theory model. demic discipline.
Proposition 3e: There is no relationship
between research productivity and gender.
Our objective was to investigate the focus group of 20 business professors to To measure the relationship between
impact of the various potential rewards list motivational factors other than those motivation and research productivity, it
from research on faculty motivation. identified by prior literature. is important to define research produc-
The 13 rewards we tested in this study Our second objective was to discover tivity. Doctoral-granting colleges of
included 6 extrinsic and 6 intrinsic whether there was similarity between business and non-doctoral-granting col-
rewards. The 6 extrinsic rewards were tenured versus untenured faculty in their leges differ widely in their perception of
(a) receiving or having tenure, (b) being preferences of the rewards for research acceptable publication outlets. Includ-
full professor or receiving promotion, productivity or whether they have dif- ing both types of colleges in the sample
(c) getting better salary raises, (d) get- ferent motivations to conduct research. would distort the measure of research
ting an administrative assignment, (e) Our third objective was to examine the productivity. For example, within a
getting a chaired professorship, and (f) impact of influential institutional and given time, seven journal articles at a
getting a reduced teaching load. The 6 other factors (e.g., tenure status, years non-doctoral-granting college of busi-
intrinsic rewards were (a) achieving of academic employment, percentage of ness would likely represent more
peer recognition, (b) getting respect working time allocated to research research productivity than seven articles
from students, (c) satisfying a personal activities, academic discipline, and gen- in the same journals at a doctoral-grant-
need to contribute to the field, (d) satis- der) on research productivity. ing college of business. However, doc-
fying a personal need for creativity or On the basis of the literature reviewed toral-granting colleges are more likely
curiosity, (e) satisfying a personal need and research objectives discussed to have a more restrictive list of which
to collaborate with others, and (f) satis- above, we developed the following journals count than are non-doctoral-
fying a personal need to stay current in research propositions: granting universities. Thus, it would be
the field. The 13th reward, the ability to difficult to compare both quantity and
Proposition 1: There is a positive correla-
find a better job at another university, tion between research productivity and quality of research between these two
could be an extrinsic reward because a motivation for rewards. Those who show types of schools. To avoid this measure-
better job would likely translate into higher total motivation for research ment problem and to increase our power
more pay, better research support, and a rewards display better research perfor- to discern the relationship between
mance than otherwise.
lower teaching load. However, a better research productivity and motivation,
job could also mean higher status, Proposition 2: Pretenure research produc- we structured the sample to include sim-
which is an intrinsic reward. Conse- tivity is dominated by investment (extrin- ilar schools of business.
sic) factors and posttenure productivity
quently, we segregated this reward from
by consumption (intrinsic) factors.
the other 6 extrinsic rewards because, METHOD
unlike the others, it cannot be part of the Proposition 2a: Among untenured facul-
reward system of the faculty member’s ty, there is a positive correlation between We collected the data set for this
research productivity and motivation for
current university. We compiled this extrinsic rewards. Those who show study via a mail survey, which is shown
group of 13 factors from previous liter- higher motivation for extrinsic rewards in the Appendix. We mailed the ques-
ature and a pilot study, which asked a display better research performance. tionnaire in February of 2004 to 670

March/April 2006 181

business faculty members of 10 mid- of the 13 research rewards (Ak) to them Overall Motivation:
western universities with a balanced (Table 2), and their perceived probabil- 13 13
teaching and research mission. These ity that research productivity would MO = ∑ ( Ak * I k ) = ∑ ( X k ); (2 )
10 universities are Carnegie Research result in each of the 13 rewards at their k =1 k =1

Classification II research universities respective colleges of business (Ik; see

that do not offer PhD programs in the Table 3). Extrinsic Motivation:
business college. They have similar 6 6
research expectations and academic ME = ∑ ( Ak * I k ) = ∑ ( X k ); (3)
RESULTS k =1 k =1
standards. We omitted non-tenure-
track faculty from the sample. Between
Research Productivity and Intrinsic Motivation:
the original mailing and the one
Motivation for Research Rewards
reminder mailing, we received 320 13 12
usable questionnaires, representing a Table 4 shows Pearson’s correlation MI = ∑ ( Ak * I k ) = ∑ ( X k ). (4 )
k =1 k =1
48% response rate. In the question- coefficients between faculty motivation
naire, we collected information such as to conduct research and various mea- We measured actual research produc-
academic discipline, gender, time allo- sures of research productivity. Faculty tivity by the number of books published,
cated to research, academic rank, motivation to conduct research (M) was number of book chapters or cases pub-
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tenure status, research output during measured by multiplying the impor- lished, number of refereed journal arti-
entire academic career, and research tance of each research reward (Ak) by cles published, and dollar amount of
output during the past 24 months (see the probability of achieving that reward grants received. We used two time peri-
Table 1). In the questionnaire, faculty through research (Ik) and then summing ods to measure the outputs: academic
members also evaluated the importance the resulting 13 products. career to date and in the 24 months prior
to the study. The correlations between
TABLE 1. Demographic Information research motivation and total journal
articles published (Y3) and journal arti-
cles published in the past 24 months
Characteristic n % (Y7) were both positive and significant
at the .01 level. The other measures of
Discipline research productivity (i.e., grants,
Accounting 69 21
Finance 38 12 books, and chapters in books) were not
Management Information Systems 26 8 significantly correlated with research
Marketing 63 20 motivation at the .05 level and were
Human Resource Management 20 6 omitted from further analysis. This
Organization Behavior 17 5 result supported Proposition 1, that fac-
Business Law 17 5
Managementa 28 9 ulty who show higher motivation for
Other 42 13 research rewards display better research
Rank performance in terms of publication of
Full professor 137 43 journal articles both in the short term
Associate professor 113 35 and the long term.
Assistant professor 68 22
Tenure status For untenured faculty, the correlation
Tenured 245 77 between extrinsic motivation (ME) and
Untenured 74 23 journal articles published in the past 24
Gender months was significant at the .01 level.
Male 232 73 No other correlations were significant.
Female 88 27
Average research output during entire academic career There were no significant correlations
Books 1.18 between intrinsic motivation and
Book chapters or cases 2.41 research productivity for untenured fac-
Journal articles 17.93 ulty. This generally supported Proposi-
Grants (in $000) 81.92 tion 2a, that untenured faculty are moti-
Average research output during the past 24 months
Books 0.24 vated by extrinsic rewards, and those
Book chapters or cases 0.43 untenured faculty members who show
Journal articles 2.86 higher extrinsic motivation display bet-
Grants (in $000) 18.62 ter research performance in terms of
journal articles published in the past 24
Note. N = 320; average time spent in research = 29%; average number of years of academic months.
employment = 17.02.
Management includes decision science, production, operations management, and quantitative Table 4 shows that the intrinsic moti-
business analysis. vation (MI) of tenured faculty was posi-
tively and significantly correlated well

182 Journal of Education for Business

beyond the .01 level with both journal
TABLE 2. Importance of Research Rewards to Faculty publications within the past 24 months
and lifetime journal publications. Intrin-
Research reward M SD sic motivation of tenured faculty was
also positive, but not significant at the
Extrinsic .05 level, for the other six measures of
Receiving or having tenure 4.53 1.12 research productivity (not shown in
Receiving promotion 4.28 1.11 Table 4). There were no significant cor-
Getting better salary raises 4.18 1.09
Getting an administrative assignment 1.90 1.12 relations between extrinsic motivations
Getting chaired professorship 2.80 1.48 of tenured faculty and any measure of
Getting reduced teaching load 3.40 1.34 research productivity. These results sup-
Intrinsic port Proposition 3b, that tenured faculty
Achieving peer recognition 3.68 1.13 members’ research activities are moti-
Getting respect from students 3.53 1.28
Satisfying need to contribute 3.76 1.06 vated by intrinsic rewards. Those
Satisfying need for creativity or curiosity 4.06 1.02 tenured faculty members who have high-
Having collaborations with others 3.56 1.08 er intrinsic motivation display better
Satisfying need to stay current 3.99 0.95 research performance in terms of greater
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Finding a better job 2.76 1.46 number of published journal articles in

the short term as well as the long term.
Note. Responses were rated on a scale of 1 = not important at all to 5 = very important.

Research Productivity and

TABLE 3. Faculty’s Perceived Impact of Research Productivity on
Achieving Various Rewards To determine the effect of the demo-
graphic and institutional factors on
research productivity, we estimated a
Research reward M SD linear regression model. We used journal
articles published within the past 24
Extrinsic months (Y7) as the measure of research
Receiving or having tenure 4.57 0.83 productivity, which was the dependent
Receiving promotion 4.53 0.88
variable. This measure of research pro-
Getting better salary raises 3.57 1.43
ductivity had the highest correlation
Getting an administrative assignment 2.08 1.04
Getting chaired professorship 3.52 1.49 with research motivation (see Table 4)
Getting reduced teaching load 3.24 1.43 across both tenured and untenured facul-
Intrinsic ty. The five independent variables were
Achieving peer recognition 3.85 1.11 (a) tenure status, (b) years of academic
Getting respect from students 2.31 1.06 employment, (c) percentage of time
Satisfying need to contribute 3.76 1.11 spent in research, (d) academic disci-
Satisfying need for creativity or curiosity 3.88 1.06 pline, and (e) gender. There was a good
Having collaborations with others 3.44 1.09 fit between the observed data and the
Satisfying need to stay current 3.79 0.98 model, F(5, 315) = 7.984, p < .0001.
Finding a better job 3.24 1.56
The regression results in Table 5 show
that there was a significant positive rela-
Note. Responses were rated on a scale of 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree.
tionship between tenure status and
research productivity. The regression

TABLE 4. Pearson Product–Moment Correlations Between Faculty Motivation for Research and Research
Productivity Measures

All faculty Untenured faculty Tenured faculty

(N = 320) (n = 74) (n = 245)
Overall Extrinsic Intrinsic Extrinsic Intrinsic
motivation (MO) motivation (ME) motivation (MI) motivation (ME) motivation (MI)
Productivity measure r p r p r p r p r p

Journal articles published .159 .006 .127 .294 .048 .691 .064 .329 .270 .000
Articles published in past 24 months .197 .001 .283 .010 .044 .712 –.020 .762 .239 .000

March/April 2006 183

Effect of Institutional and Other
TABLE 5. Effect of Demographic and Institutional Factors on Faculty Factors
Research Output
Researchers (Buchheit et al., 2001;
Model B β t p Hu & Gill, 2000; Tien, 2000) have pre-
viously shown that faculty research pro-
Constant 1.609 2.827 .005
ductivity was a result of the interaction
Tenure status .950 .141 2.074 .039 among many endogenous and exoge-
Years in academics –.045 –.162 –2.296 .022 nous variables, including individual per-
% of time spent on research 4.715 .300 5.199 .000 sonal characteristics; academic disci-
Discipline –.082 –.080 –1.491 .137 pline; educational background; previous
Gender .403 .064 1.101 .272 employment; institutional characteris-
tics; and teaching, research, and service
Note. Dependent variable: Journal articles published in past 24 months; independent variables:
Tenure status, years in academics, percentage of time spent on research, discipline, gender. F(5,
assignments. All of our subjects were
309) = 7.984. R 2 = 0.114. Bold p values are significant at .05 level. from Carnegie Research Category II
non-doctoral-granting colleges of busi-
ness where many of the institutional
coefficient for the tenure status variable on research-related activities (Hancock variables or factors were similar. This
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was positive (0.950) and significantly et al., 1992; Lane et al., 1990). That is, enabled us to focus on personal motiva-
different from zero, p = .039 level. On faculty who display higher research pro- tional factors, which were the target of
the basis of this result, we concluded ductivity allocate more time to research our study. As a further simplification,
that our data supported Proposition 3a. activities. Our data in Table 5 show the we set our research objective to be iden-
This is consistent with the findings of same pattern. The regression coefficient tifying the variables that may have a sig-
Lane, Ray, and Glennon (1990) on sta- for the percentage of time spent on nificant effect on research productivity
tisticians, Levitan and Ray (1992) on research was positive (4.715) and sig- rather than quantifying such effects on
accounting faculty, and Hancock, Lane, nificant, p < .0001. In fact, the beta the productivity. For that reason, we
Ray, and Glennon (1992) on manage- coefficient for percentage of time spent chose a general linear regression model
ment science researchers, which suggest on research was the highest, indicating as the most appropriate tool for the
that tenured faculty members are more this was the most important variable in analysis. The regression model can be
productive than those without tenure. the model. Thus, we concluded that our expressed as:
data supported Proposition 3c.
Research Productivity and Years
in Academics Research Productivity and
Y = B0 + ∑ Bi Xi , (5 )
i =1
Academic Discipline
The life-cycle model (Diamond,
where Y is the dependent variable, Xi (i
1986) predicts that faculty research pro- In examining whether research pro-
= 1, 2 … n) are the independent vari-
ductivity will decline as an individual’s ductivity differs across disciplines
ables, and βi (i = 1, 2 … n) are the
academic experience increases. In Table within the business schools of our data
regression coefficients.
5, the estimated regression coefficient of set, we found that the regression coef-
In establishing the regression model,
the variable years of academic employ- ficient for discipline was not signifi-
we used the self-reported research pro-
ment was negative (−.045), which is sig- cantly different from zero at the .05
ductivity data collected from the ques-
nificantly different from zero (p = .022). alpha level, p = .137 (see Table 5).
tionnaire on refereed journal articles
One plausible reason for this decline in Thus, we could not reject Proposition
published in the past 24 months (Y7) as
research productivity is the decline of 3d and did not find a difference in
the dependent variable. We calculated
extrinsic motivation as a result of attain- research productivity among faculty
the 13 independent motivational vari-
ment of tenure and promotion and the from the various disciplines.
ables as the product of Ak (attractiveness
proximity of retirement. Another factor
of reward k associated with research
may be that senior faculty members tend Research Productivity and
productivity), which we collected from
to have more service and administrative Gender
Section 1 of the questionnaire, and Ik
responsibilities, which may hinder their
In examining whether research pro- (perceived probability that being pro-
research productivity. Overall, we can
ductivity differed between male and ductive in research would have an
conclude that Proposition 3b was sup-
female faculty of our data set, we found impact on outcome k), which was col-
ported by our data.
that the regression coefficient for gender lected from Sections 2 and 3 of the
was not significantly different from zero questionnaire. To test whether there was
Research Productivity and Time
at the .05 level (p = .272). Thus, we con- an order effect, we prepared the ques-
Allocated to Research
cluded that Proposition 3e could not be tionnaire in two versions, with the 13
Researchers have shown previously rejected by our data. We were unable to variables arranged in different orders.
that research productivity depends find a relationship between gender and The results from the two versions did
heavily on how much time one spends research productivity. not differ significantly, which indicated

184 Journal of Education for Business

no order effect. The questionnaire used .01. This indicated a good fit between sion coefficients for both variables were
for the study can be found in the Appen- the observed data and the models, and positive and significant at .05 alpha lev-
dix. In addition to the motivational vari- the independent variables are related to els. However, research productivity
ables (X1 to X13), discipline (X14), per- the dependent variable. Furthermore, we declined with the length of time a faculty
centage of time devoted to research found that R2 ranges from .140 to .141, member stayed in academics. The regres-
(X15), gender (X16), years in academic which indicated that about 14% of the sion coefficient associated with X17 was
career (X17), and academic rank (X18) variation in the number of journal arti- negative and significant at the .05 alpha
were included in the stepwise regres- cles faculty published in the preceding level.
sions as controlled factors for two sepa- 24 months was explained by the inde- The desire for tenure (mean impor-
rate analyses—one for the tenured and pendent variables. Given the large sam- tance rating of 4.53 out of 5) and pro-
the other for untenured faculty. ple size and the great heterogeneity of motion (mean importance rating of 4.28
Because the independent variables the respondents, these R2 values should out of 5) was great for all untenured fac-
may not be independent from each be considered satisfactory. ulty regardless of their research produc-
other and, therefore, correlation may be In terms of which variables con- tivity and, thus, did not explain variation
present among them, we adopted a tributed most to explain the variance in in research productivity. However, vari-
stepwise regression with a selection cri- publication of journal articles, we ation in research productivity in terms
terion of Cronbach’s alpha = .10. In observed that, after controlling for the of number of journal articles published
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doing so, only the independent vari- effects of demographic and institutional in the past 24 months was most
ables that have a significant contribu- variables, the three factors that had the explained by professors’ ambition to get
tion at the .10 alpha level can enter into most impact on explaining the variability chaired professorships and by the num-
the regression. Table 6 shows the para- in number of journal articles published in ber of years they had been untenured.
meter estimates and model statistics for the past 24 months by tenured faculty Those who were more motivated by the
the stepwise regression models. The were percentage of time spent on prospect of becoming a chaired profes-
independent variables are listed by the research, motivation to contribute to the sor and those who had waited longer in
order that they enter into the stepwise field, and years in academics, in that the tenure pipeline had published more
regression. order. The greater the percentage of time within the past 24 months. Regression
Table 6 shows model statistics for two that tenured faculty members spent on coefficients for both these variables
regressions, tenured faculty and research and the more motivated they were positive and significant at the .05
untenured faculty. For each regression were to make a contribution to the field, alpha level. Because those who had
model, the F statistic was significant, p < the more articles they published. Regres- been untenured longer were, presum-
ably, closer to the tenure decision, they
would have responded to the reward of
TABLE 6. Motivators of Journal Article Publications: A Stepwise tenure and the punishment of denial of
Regression Analysis tenure more strongly than would faculty
who were further away from the tenure
Independent variable B β t p decision.

Tenured facultya
Constant 1.642 2.502 .013
% of time spent on research (X15) 3.955 0.218 3.166 .002 Effective Use of Tenure and
Motivation to contribute to field (X9) 0.073 0.174 2.563 .011
Years in academics (X17) –0.045 –0.137 –2.150 .033 Promotion
There are two aspects to the motiva-
Untenured facultyb tional strength of any reward. Those fac-
Constant 1.102 1.582 .119 tors are the value of the reward to the
Motivation to get chaired professorship (X5) 0.112 0.298 2.497 .015 individual and the probability that the
Years in academics (X17) 0.133 0.280 2.346 .022 reward will occur if the individual is
successful in achieving the goal to
Note. Dependent variable: Journal articles published in past 24 months (Y7); independent variables: which the reward is attached. Of the 13
Receiving or having tenure (X1), receiving promotion (X2), getting better salary raise (X3), getting
administrative assignment (X4), getting chaired professorship (X5), getting reduced teaching load motivations examined in this study, fac-
(X6), achieving peer recognition (X7), getting respect from students (X8), satisfying need to con- ulty ranked tenure and promotion,
tribute (X9), satisfying need for creativity (X10), having collaborations with others (X11), satisfying respectively, as their two most valued
need to stay current (X12), finding a better job (X13), discipline (X14), % of time spent on research
(X15) gender (X16), years of academic employment (X17). X1 to X13 are the importance or attrac- rewards. They also assigned the highest
tiveness of the reward (Ak) multiplied by the perceived probability (Ik) that being productive will probabilities to these rewards; of the 13
have a high impact on receiving that reward. Therefore, Xk = Ak × Ik. In this survey, the maximum rewards, the faculty believed that
score is 25 (5 × 5) and the minimum is 1 (1 × 1).
F(3, 218) = 11.999, p < .000, R 2 = .141; number of observations = 222. bF(2, 61) = 5.034, p < research productivity would most likely
.009, R 2 = .140; number of observations = 64. lead to the rewards of tenure and pro-
motion. This made having or receiving

March/April 2006 185

tenure and promotion the two highest that they will receive a raise in a partic- One alternative to the current pay
motivational factors. By making the link ular amount (e.g., $1,000 raise) for each raise system is to give large one-time
between research productivity and the journal article published in a predeter- bonuses for research productivity (i.e.,
rewards of tenure and promotion so mined list of journals. Colleges of busi- publication) and smaller base increases.
clear in the minds of faculty, universi- ness could fund these pay raises by A bonus-based system would reward
ties are using these rewards very effec- deducting the total amount of these pub- faculty with a single, relatively large
tively to motivate research productivity. lication-based pay raises from their monetary reward for research produc-
However, the stepwise regressions did annual raise pool. The remainder of the tivity. Such a system would reward all
not show that the rewards of tenure and raise pool could then be distributed as faculty equally rather than giving de
promotion were the most important fac- before. facto greater rewards to younger faculty.
tors in explaining the variations in num-
ber of publications among faculty. We Unexpected Consequences of Time Spent Doing Research
supposed that this was because all fac- the Annuity Pay Raise System
The number of journal articles pub-
ulty were highly motivated by tenure Typically, universities give annual pay
lished or accepted within the past 24
and promotion and the standard devia- raises, which then become part of pro-
months is significantly (p < .001) relat-
tion of the force of this motivation was fessors’ base pay. This increase in base
ed to the percentage of work time that
relatively low. Thus, the difference in pay continues throughout the careers of
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faculty members spent on research. Fac-

number of publications was explained the professors, provided that they remain
ulty may increase the percentage of
by other factors. For example, all pro- at the university. Thus, each annual pay
work time devoted to research by work-
fessional athletic coaches want to win. increase is effectively an annuity. Conse-
ing additional hours and dedicating
Consequently, the will to win may not quently, faculty members could still be
those additional hours to research. Thus,
be an important factor in explaining the receiving rewards when aged 60 years
increased publications may come purely
variations in the win–loss records of for research that was published when
from additional effort. However, faculty
coaches. However, this does not mean they were aged 45 years. Such a system
members could also increase the per-
that the will to win is not critical. inadvertently gives a greater incentive to
centage of their time devoted to research
Occasionally, legislators and other faculty members who are both young
by decreasing their teaching and service
public figures question the value of the and intend to stay at the university for a
hours and substituting these additional
tenure system in academe. They suggest long time. In contrast, faculty who are
hours to research. Future research could
that, once tenured, faculty members close to retirement have fewer years to
examine the extent, if any, of the substi-
cannot be fired whether they work or reap the rewards of any increase in annu-
tution effect suggested earlier. If the
not. Consequently, tenured faculty al base pay and, therefore, effectively
hours substituted from teaching and ser-
members have little incentive to per- receive a lesser monetary reward for
vice are meaningfully large, administra-
form and may become semiretired while research productivity.
tors should modify their research
still employed by the university. This Another, and perhaps related, finding
requirements in light of their college
scenario seems plausible. However, the is that the number of articles published
mission’s balance of teaching and
data gathered by this study show the within the past 24 months decreases
opposite. As shown in Table 6, tenured with years in academe. One reason for
status is significantly and positively that may be that abilities and energy
related to the number of journal articles decrease with age. Another reason that
accepted or published by tenure-tracked publications decrease might be that In this study, we employed expectan-
faculty within the past 24 months. senior faculty members typically have cy theory (Vroom, 1964) to examine the
greater service requirements. However, a impact of various motivational factors
Ineffective Use of Pay Raises contributing factor to this observed on faculty research productivity. Our
Faculty ranked getting better pay decrease in research productivity with faculty survey data shows that faculty
raises as their third most valued reward. longevity in academe might be the with higher total (both intrinsic and
However, their subjective probability of “annuity” pay raise system. With extrinsic) motivation for rewards pub-
receiving pay raises from achieving longevity, a greater proportion of faculty lished significantly more articles within
research productivity ranked 7th out of members’ pay is derived from past the 24 months prior to the study and
13. Universities have not established a increases in base pay, which were pre- over their careers than did those with
strong link in the minds of their faculty sumably linked to past accomplish- lower motivation for rewards. However,
between research productivity and the ments. The benefits from any current or the category of motivation differs with
reward of pay raises. Thus, the motiva- future pay raises simultaneously tenure status. Tenured faculty members
tional effect of the pay raise system is decrease because older faculty members are motivated more by intrinsic motiva-
limited. Universities could, therefore, have fewer years to reap the benefit of tional rewards, whereas untenured fac-
increase the motivational impact of the annual increase in base pay. Perhaps ulty are more motivated by extrinsic
salary raises by making a clearer link the pay system is partially responsible rewards.
between raises and research productivi- for the decrease in older faculty’s Tenure and promotion are potent
ty. One possibility is to assure faculty research productivity. motivators of faculty research produc-

186 Journal of Education for Business

tivity, whereas pay raises are insuffi- Cargile, B. R., & Bublitz, B. (1986). Factors con- Orlando, FL.
tributing to published research by accounting Holly, J. W. (1977). Tenure and research produc-
ciently linked to research productivity faculties. The Accounting Review, 61(1), tivity. Research in Higher Education, 6(1),
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tributing to success in research and publica- productivity: Influential factors and implica-
factors, we found the number of journal tions: Insights of “influential” accounting tions. Information Resources Management
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(1994). An empirical investigation of the publi- chology: Financial incentives are ineffective for
NOTE cation productivity of promoted accounting fac- faculty. In D. R. Lewis & W. E. Becker (Eds.),
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Correspondence concerning this article should Ferris, K. R. (1977, July). A test of the expectan- bridge, MA: Ballinger.
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This brief questionnaire is designed to understand faculty motivation to conduct research. We greatly appreciate your taking time to
provide meaningful input. Your responses will be kept confidential. Your name will not be revealed in any of our reports or articles.

1. As a faculty member, please evaluate the importance of the following to you using a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being very important and
1 being not important at all.

Importance of the following to me: Not

Important Very
At All Important
a. Receiving or having tenure 1 2 3 4 5
b. Being full professor or receiving promotion 1 2 3 4 5
c. Getting better salary raises 1 2 3 4 5
d. Getting an administrative assignment 1 2 3 4 5
e. Getting a chaired professorship 1 2 3 4 5
f. Getting a reduced teaching load 1 2 3 4 5
g. Achieving peer recognition 1 2 3 4 5
h. Getting respect from students 1 2 3 4 5
(appendix continues)

March/April 2006 187

APPENDIX (continued)

Importance of the following to me: Not

Important Very
At All Important
i. Satisfying my need to contribute to the field 1 2 3 4 5
j. Satisfying my need for creativity or curiosity 1 2 3 4 5
k. Having satisfying collaborations with others 1 2 3 4 5
l. Satisfying my need to stay current in the field 1 2 3 4 5
m. Finding a better job at another university 1 2 3 4 5

2. Based on your experience and expectations of your college’s environment, please evaluate the impact of faculty research productivity
on achieving the following using a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being strongly agree and 1 being strongly disagree.

At my college or school, faculty research Strongly Strongly

productivity has a high impact on: Disagree Agree
a. Receiving tenure 1 2 3 4 5
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b. Receiving promotion 1 2 3 4 5
c. Getting better salary raises 1 2 3 4 5
d. Getting an administrative assignment 1 2 3 4 5
e. Getting a chaired professorship 1 2 3 4 5
f. Getting reduced teaching load 1 2 3 4 5

3. Based on your perception, please evaluate the impact of your research productivity on achieving the following using a scale of 1 to
5, with 5 being strongly agree and 1 being strongly disagree.

My research productivity has a high impact on: Strongly Strongly

Disagree Agree
g. Achieving peer recognition 1 2 3 4 5
h. Getting respect from students 1 2 3 4 5
i. Satisfying my need to contribute to the field 1 2 3 4 5
j. Satisfying my need for creativity or curiosity 1 2 3 4 5
k. Having satisfying collaborations with others 1 2 3 4 5
l. Satisfying my need to stay current in the field 1 2 3 4 5
m. Finding a better job at another university 1 2 3 4 5

4. Demographic Profile:
Discipline: ❑ Accounting ❑ Finance ❑ MIS ❑ Marketing ❑ HRM ❑ OB
❑ Business Law ❑ Decision Science/Production/Operations Mgmt/QBA ❑ Other

Please indicate the percentage of work time you spent on research in the past 12 months: %
Gender: ❑ Male ❑ Female

The year in which you started your first tenure-track faculty position:
Current academic rank: ❑ Assistant Prof. ❑ Associate Prof. ❑ Full Prof.

As applicable, please provide the year in which you were promoted from:
Assistant to Associate Professor rank:
Associate to Full Professor rank:

Tenure Status: ❑ Tenured ❑ Untenured but on Tenure Track ❑ Non-Tenure Track

If tenured, in which year did you receive tenure:

Your Research Output during your entire academic career:

Total number of books published or accepted for publication:
Total book chapters or cases published or accepted for publication:
Total number of refereed journal articles published or accepted for publication:
Total worth of research grants received: $

Your Research Output during the past 24 months:

Total number of books published or accepted for publication:
(appendix continues)

188 Journal of Education for Business

APPENDIX (continued)

Total book chapters or cases published or accepted for publication:

Total number of refereed journal articles published or accepted for publication:
Total worth of research grants received: $

To what extent do you believe that your efforts will achieve or have achieved research output that is:

Not to a To a great
great extent extent
a. Acceptable to your college’s standard 1 2 3 4 5
b. Acceptable to your own satisfaction 1 2 3 4 5
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March/April 2006 189