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South African Journal of Higher Education

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Exploring the postgraduate research climate and the postgraduate research experience: A conceptual model

KK Govender

Abstract


The objective of this article is to develop a conceptual model aimed at improving the postgraduate research students’ experience. Since postgraduate students ‘vote with their feet’ an improved understanding of the postgraduate research service encounter may result in improving the quality of the encounter and so increasing throughput and the
number of postgraduate students. By drawing on and distilling the organizational behavior and services marketing literature, more specifically literature pertaining to organizational socialization, organizational culture and climate, role, and the service encounter and service quality,
relationships are explored among the aforementioned variables in the context of the postgraduate research service encounter and these are postulated to impact on the post graduate students’ service experience. Since employees are one of the key elements in the operation of successful service organizations, this article is an attempt to improve the
postgraduate students’ service experience through an improved understanding of the role of the postgraduate research supervisor (service employee) as it is influenced by or impacted upon by the postgraduate research (organizational) climate and the process of organizational socialization. If the conceptual model can be validated thorough empirical studies, then higher education institutions could use it to improve the postgraduate students’ research experience and by implication increase the number of postgraduate students and throughput.



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