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Southern African Business Review

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Intrinsic antecedents of academic research productivity of a large South African university

C Callaghan

Abstract


Across different contexts, the human resources literature suggests that a range of intrinsic factors – typically measured as psychographic, or intrinsic, variables – are antecedents of individual job performance. What is not clear from this literature, however, is the relative contribution of different dimensions of these factors to research output as a measure of individual job performance in the South African academic context. This research seeks to address this lack of knowledge. A large South African university was comprehensively sampled. Structural equation modelling was used to test a model of these relationships predicted by this body of theory. The fi ndings contest certain predictions of seminal theory. This context is found to potentially be atypical of other work contexts. It is argued that certain theory and research fi ndings might not all necessarily generalise into this context because (i) research productivity as a form of job performance may differ from other forms of job performance, and (ii) a cohort of academics may differ from other professional cohorts in other contexts. New insights into the antecedents of research productivity in this context are offered, and recommendations are made for how academics might increase their research productivity.

Key words: job performance, South Africa, research productivity, human resources management




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