Antecedents of academic staff research productivity in chartered private universities in Uganda
Hiire, Geoffrey Boaz
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This study sought to establish the antecedents of research productivity among academic staff in chartered private universities in Uganda. Specifically, the study examined whether organizational factors, motivational factors, and demographic characteristics were significant antecedents of the research productivity of academic staff in those universities. The study was prompted by a reportedly persistent decline in the research productivity of academic staff in private universities despite the interventions by the Government of Uganda and other private organizations to spur research activity in such institutions. With the use of a descriptive cross-sectional survey design, data were collected using an adapted questionnaire and a researcher-constructed interview guide from 214 study respondents. The quantitative data were analyzed with the use of appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics while the qualitative ones were analyzed using the thematic content analysis technique. The study results revealed that research productivity was fair (mean=2.80), that among the organisational factors, only technological progress (β = 0.425, p = 0.000 < 0.05) and computer skills (β = 0.329, p = 0.000 < 0.05) were positive and significant antecedents of academic staff’s research productivity while research funding (β = 0.425, p = 0.000 < 0.05) and human resource (β = -0.073, p = 0.186 < 0.05) were respectively a negative and positive but insignificant antecedent of research productivity of academic staff. Secondly, the study results also showed that among the motivational factors, only intrinsic motivation (β = 0.279, p = 0.000 < 0.05) was a positive and significant antecedent of research productivity but not extrinsic motivation (β = 0.037, p = 0.620 < 0.05). Finally, the results also showed that none of the demographic factors studied was a significant antecedent of academic staff’s research productivity. This made the researcher conclude that while some aspects of organizational and motivational factors were significant antecedents of academic staff’s research productivity, others were not. Therefore, it was recommended that the management of chartered private universities in Uganda should embrace the use of more technologies and computer training to enhance the research productivity among their academic staff. Additionally, a conducive institutional environment should be created to enhance intrinsic motivation among the academic staff. Also, management of universities should not give priority to demographic characteristics while hiring staff, since they are not positive significant antecedents of academic staff research productivity in chartered private universities in Uganda.