A mixed methods study examining the social cognitive factors that influence faculty members' research self-efficacy and research productivity
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Research is one of the primary job functions of faculty members in institutions of higher education. To implement effective policies and practices that promote research productivity, administrators of institutions of higher education need to be aware of the relationship between research self-efficacy beliefs and research productivity. Several studies have examined the relationship between research self-efficacy and research productivity (e.g. Bailey, 1999; Kahn, 2001; Kahn & Scott, 1997; Landino & Owen, 1988; Vasil, 1992). However, the social cognitive factors within the higher education environment that influence research self-efficacy and research productivity have not been examined. This study has two primary purposes; the first is to add to the existing knowledge base on research self-efficacy beliefs of faculty members, its sources and its influence on research productivity. The second purpose is to inform higher education administrators about the social cognitive factors that influence the relationship between research self-efficacy beliefs and research productivity. A two phase mixed methods research study was conducted. One hundred and nine faculty members completed the Research Self-Efficacy Inventory and Research Productivity Index. Based on the results, eight faculty members were selected for in-depth interviews. Quantitative analysis indicated that there is a significant but small correlation between research self-efficacy and research productivity. Qualitative analysis revealed that the higher education environment experienced either as a graduate student or as faculty members plays an important role in research self-efficacy development and research productivity. Identifying and understanding factors that influence research self-efficacy within education environments provide a better understanding of the factors that facilitate research productivity among faculty members with implications for understanding the nature of work among faculty members in higher education.