Academic journal article IUP Journal of Soft Skills

Behavioral Intentions of Academicians towards Teaching and Research: A Study in the Indian B-School Context

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Soft Skills

Behavioral Intentions of Academicians towards Teaching and Research: A Study in the Indian B-School Context

Article excerpt


A large and growing body of literature has acknowledged the gap between research and teaching at various levels of schools and universities and raised our general awareness of its severity. Indeed, a significant portion of recent issue of Academy of Management Journal was dedicated to address this issue [AMJ, 2007). The focus of this issue was to lay out various possibilities for bridging this gap between research and teaching and making them a contributing factor for the industries. Several studies have investigated the nature and causes of this fissure between research and teaching. The size and causes of the research-teaching gap are based on the relative emphasis on teaching versus research across business schools. The gap may be more prominent in teaching schools than research-intensive schools. As a matter of fact, there is a link between research and teaching; almost everything that is taught in the colleges is a product of somebody's prior research and its publication. But the need to establish a strong, overt and enduring link between research and teaching at all levels has a wider agenda. Researchers are increasingly focusing on bridging the gap between research and teaching so that it can lead to effectiveness of college and the students' performance.

It is also confirmed that strengthening the teaching-research nexus holds vast potential to deliver not only the skills needed to understand research to upcoming generations of managers, but also to instill values that recognize the validity of research. The questions that need to be explored, however, are: What are the factors that influence the preferences of the academicians for research and teaching? Is the decision to select research and teaching dependent on some variables? What are the motivating and de-motivating factors that affect the choice of academicians towards research and teaching? What causes this gap and what efforts should universities take to reduce this gap? All these queries are not explored exhaustively. Very limited study has been done to investigate the academicians' intentions behind the choice of research and teaching. Thus, through this study we aim to explore these intentions of academicians which trigger the preference of academician for research or teaching.

Literature Review

Nature of Research-Teaching Linkage

There are varying degrees of debate about the relationship between research and teaching. Scholars vary widely in their views regarding the nature of the linkage. Some argue that university research is often moving away from the quality of teaching (Pocklington and Tupper, 2002, p. 7), while others believe that teaching imparted by those faculties who are at the cutting edge of research will necessarily be of higher quality than by those who merely use the research results of others irrespective of the quality of their style of delivery (Lee, 2004, p. 9). These strong views of the scholars have raised a concern for establishing a link between research and teaching (Henkel, 2000).

A number of terms are used in the literature to describe the research-teaching nexus. Griffiths (2004) explained the distinction between research and teaching in the following terms:

* Research-led: Here students learn about research findings from the curriculum content as governed by faculties' research interests. Information is transmitted through teaching, which is the dominant mode of transmission;

* Research-oriented: Here students learn about research processes and the curriculum focuses on the procedure by which knowledge has been produced. Faculty tries to develop a culture of research among the students through teaching; and

* Research-based: Here students explore like researchers and the curriculum is developed around inquiry-based activities. The gap between the roles of teacher and student is negligible.

Healey (2005a) argued that the complexity and linkage between research and teaching is due to many reasons. …

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