TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Motivation, Not Teaching Load, Is Key to Research Productivity

Inside Higher Ed:  Why Some Academics Publish More:

Motivation and the ability to network have a far greater impact on research productivity than age, gender, job satisfaction, managerial support or teaching load. That is the central conclusion of work by researchers from University College Dublin. ...

Although time spent working on research was unsurprisingly linked with research productivity, "teaching or administrative workloads were not found to be predictors across any of the 12 countries," according to a paper presented at the Higher Education and Social Change Final Conference in Berlin last month. ... [I]f the fundamental drivers for research productivity are individual motivation and what amount to networking skills, do universities need to spend so much time and effort adjusting structures and incentives? Should they stop listening to gripes about teaching loads if the born researchers are going to keep delivering the goods anyway?

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