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A conducive environment? The role of need support in the higher education workplace and its effect on academics’ experiences of research assessment in the UK

Weinstein, Netta, Chubb, Jennifer, Haddock, Geoffrey and Wilsdon, James R. 2020. A conducive environment? The role of need support in the higher education workplace and its effect on academics’ experiences of research assessment in the UK. Higher Education Quarterly 10.1111/hequ.12259

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Abstract

Little is known about how researchers in higher education institutions (HEIs) experience and respond to support received from their departments. The present study investigated how support for researchers' autonomy (choice and self‐expression), relatedness (through connections with colleagues) and competence (feeling effective in one's work) influenced their attitudes towards an external assessment of research. To do so, we surveyed 598 academics from four HEIs in the UK about their attitudes towards one such external assessment: the Research Excellence Framework (REF), a nationwide assessment of research quality and the subject of debate about research evaluation. Our findings, drawing on self‐determination theory, show that departments can shape responses to the REF: individuals whose psychological needs were supported by their academic departments held more positive, and less negative, attitudes towards the REF. This occurred both directly and indirectly through researchers' recognition that the REF had a more positive influence on their research activities and outputs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0951-5224
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 April 2020
Date of Acceptance: 20 March 2020
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2020 09:11
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/131110

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