Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Factors Affecting Research Productivity in Public Universities of Kenya: The Case of Moi University, Eldoret

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Factors Affecting Research Productivity in Public Universities of Kenya: The Case of Moi University, Eldoret

Article excerpt

Abstract

The importance of research to a University cannot be overemphasized; it leads to generation of new knowledge, engenders innovations, enhances the quality of teaching staff, increases an institution's reputation and its economic status. However, there has been a low level of research production and a contraction in participation in research activities by Moi University. It is therefore pertinent to understand the factors that influence research productivity by university staff. The aim of this study was thus to investigate the factors affecting research output in Moi University. Specifically, the study aimed at determining the relationship between accessibility to research funds, the amount of time allocated for research, the qualifications of the researchers and the research environment with research output by the staff. The study used a descriptive survey design to collect the pertinent data. The target population consisted of all the 1424 academic staff of Moi University. A combination of stratified and simple random sampling methods was used to select 242 respondents. Stratified sampling was used to divide the university teaching staff into categories as per their levels of employment. Random sampling was then used to select the respondents proportionately from each category. Data was collected using structured questionnaires. The data collected was analyzed using Descriptive statistics (frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations) and inferential statistics (ANOVA, Pearson Correlation and Multiple Regression). The Pearson Correlation (r) indicated that research environment (r=0.417, p < .000), funding (r=0.367, p = <0.000), researcher's qualification (r=0.486, p = .000) were significantly and positively related to research output. Nevertheless, time (r= -.0.383, p = .000) was negatively related to research output .MLR results reported that time allocated to research, researchers qualification, research environment and funding explain 50.9% variation of research output (R squared = 0.509). Further, MLR showed that the staff qualifications positively influenced research output the most (? = .441), followed by research environment (? = .200), and lastly funding (? = .145). Time negatively influenced research output (? = -.433). The study concluded that the staff qualifications, research environment, funding, and time available to staff could predict significantly the research output by the university staff. The study therefore recommended that universities and the government must improve the research environment, funding, time availability and hire qualified staff in order to improve research output in the universities; further, it also recommends that more studies should be conducted to identify other ways of dissemination research output other than publications and other measures of research productivity such as optimization of funding, as well as comparative studies which will give more comprehensive results to guide further improvement.

Keywords: academic staff, research output, public universities, factors affecting research, university qualifications, research management.

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

INTRODUCTION

Research is described as a systematic attempt to provide answers to questions. Tuchman (1978:1). It comprises of creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of people, cultures and societies, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications. Research aims at producing new and better goods and services and developing new and better ways of offering or distributing them. It also results in efficient use of present resources and waste products. University laboratories have become the scene of many technological breakthroughs, including hybrid seeds, satellite communications, genetic engineering, nuclear energy, and the internet, among others. The entire high tech industries such as computers and biotechnology have their roots in major research universities (McConnell 2002). …

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