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A comparison of Chinese and Australian university academics' valence for teaching and cross-disciplinary research

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Corporate reforms have taken place in Australian and Chinese higher education

    systems to increase efficiency and productivity, and to accommodate the emergence of

    global markets by exposing universities to market competition. The competing demands of

    teaching and research arguably have emerged as an important issue for both Australian and

    Chinese higher education. This study provides insights into the two primary functions of

    higher education, namely teaching and research. Expectancy Theory is used to investigate

    Chinese and Australian university academics’ valence for teaching and cross-disciplinary

    research, with reference to the key individual cultural values at the individual level, allocentrism

    and idiocentrism. A two-stage cluster sampling method was employed to select

    Chinese and Australian university academics. The Chinese sample comprised 213 universities

    academics from Beijing and Hangzhou, and the Australian sample consisted of

    112 academics drawn from universities in Australia. Exploratory factor analysis was

    applied to identify factors in the Chinese and Australian data. The common factors

    identified for the Chinese and Australian samples were then compared, and posited

    hypotheses tested. There was no statistically significant difference between the Chinese

    and Australian participants’ valence for teaching. However, the Australian academics

    reported significantly higher valence for cross-disciplinary research than the Chinese

    academics. In general, the Australian academics scored significantly higher on idiocentric

    factors and lower on allocentric factors than their Chinese counterparts. Findings suggest

    that it may be helpful to categorise academic activities according to individual and group

    orientations and matching academic activities with academics’ cultural orientations may

    improve their motivation. In order to promote cross-disciplinary research, an environment

    of in-group cooperation may need to be fostered before any real progress can take place,

    especially when academics with allocentric orientations are involved.

Authors


  •   Li, Edward F. (external author)
  •   Barnett, Kerry (external author)
  •   McCormick, John M.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Li, E. F., McCormick, J. & Barnett, K. (2015). A comparison of Chinese and Australian university academics' valence for teaching and cross-disciplinary research. Higher Education, 69 (4), 583-605.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84924810887

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/1548

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 22

Start Page


  • 583

End Page


  • 605

Volume


  • 69

Issue


  • 4

Abstract


  • Corporate reforms have taken place in Australian and Chinese higher education

    systems to increase efficiency and productivity, and to accommodate the emergence of

    global markets by exposing universities to market competition. The competing demands of

    teaching and research arguably have emerged as an important issue for both Australian and

    Chinese higher education. This study provides insights into the two primary functions of

    higher education, namely teaching and research. Expectancy Theory is used to investigate

    Chinese and Australian university academics’ valence for teaching and cross-disciplinary

    research, with reference to the key individual cultural values at the individual level, allocentrism

    and idiocentrism. A two-stage cluster sampling method was employed to select

    Chinese and Australian university academics. The Chinese sample comprised 213 universities

    academics from Beijing and Hangzhou, and the Australian sample consisted of

    112 academics drawn from universities in Australia. Exploratory factor analysis was

    applied to identify factors in the Chinese and Australian data. The common factors

    identified for the Chinese and Australian samples were then compared, and posited

    hypotheses tested. There was no statistically significant difference between the Chinese

    and Australian participants’ valence for teaching. However, the Australian academics

    reported significantly higher valence for cross-disciplinary research than the Chinese

    academics. In general, the Australian academics scored significantly higher on idiocentric

    factors and lower on allocentric factors than their Chinese counterparts. Findings suggest

    that it may be helpful to categorise academic activities according to individual and group

    orientations and matching academic activities with academics’ cultural orientations may

    improve their motivation. In order to promote cross-disciplinary research, an environment

    of in-group cooperation may need to be fostered before any real progress can take place,

    especially when academics with allocentric orientations are involved.

Authors


  •   Li, Edward F. (external author)
  •   Barnett, Kerry (external author)
  •   McCormick, John M.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Li, E. F., McCormick, J. & Barnett, K. (2015). A comparison of Chinese and Australian university academics' valence for teaching and cross-disciplinary research. Higher Education, 69 (4), 583-605.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84924810887

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/1548

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 22

Start Page


  • 583

End Page


  • 605

Volume


  • 69

Issue


  • 4