Exploring graduate students' attitudes towards team research and their scholarly productivity: A survey guided by the theory of planned behavior

Tianlan Wei, Alime N. Sadikova, Lucy Barnard-Brak, Eugene W. Wang, Dilshod Sodikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explores the attitudinal and motivational factors underlying graduate students' attitudes towards team research. Guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior, we hypothesize that attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control are three major determinants of graduate students' intentions to conduct team research. An instrument was developed to measure the influences of these factors on students' intentions and relevant scholarly productivity. A total of 281 graduate students from a large, comprehensive university in the southwest United States participated in the survey. Descriptive statistics reveal that around two-thirds of graduate students have no co-authored manuscripts submitted for publication since they started graduate school. Factor analyses validated the factor structure of the instrument, and the results of Structural Equation Modeling show that (a) graduate students' attitudes towards team research have a positive correlation with their attitudes towards individual research; (b) attitude towards team research, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control, along with students' discipline/major areas and classification, account for 58% of the variance in the intention to conduct team research; and (c) subjective norm appears to be the most influential factor in the model, followed by attitude; while perceived behavioral control is not of much importance. These findings provide implications for academic departments and programs to promote graduate students' team research. Specifically, creating a climate for collaborative research in academic programs/disciplines/universities may work jointly with enhancing students' appraisals of such collaborations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Doctoral Studies
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Attitude
  • Graduate student
  • Intention
  • Perceived behavioral control
  • Scholarly productivity
  • Subjective norm
  • Team research
  • The theory of planned behavior

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