Climate and research productivity of collegiate nursing faculty: implications for educational and administrative interventions

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The purposes of this study were to (a) explore the relationship between the nursing faculty member's perception of the climate for research and the research productivity of nursing faculty members; and (b) identify educational and administrative interventions possessing the potential for increasing research productivity.

The questionnaire consisted of a modification of Likert’s Profile of Organizational Characteristics Form S, perceptions of the influence of organizational climate on research productivity, several aspects of institutional support, job-related data, and research productivity for the period June 1980-May 1983.

Data were analyzed using Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient. Descriptive statistics were compared for types of institutional support.

Research productivity ranged from 0-40 research publications and presentations in the 3 year period. Twenty-five percent of the faculty produced 80 percent of the research. Almost half of the respondents did no research for the period studied.

Organizational climate ranged from System 1 (Exploitative-Authoritative System) to System 4 (Participative Group) with the predominate climate being System 3 (Consultative System). Although faculty perceived components of organizational climate as affecting their research productivity, the finding revealed only a low positive correlation (.173, p <.05) between organizational climate and research productivity.

The relationships (p <.05) between two other measures of climate (number of current facilitators and number of additional research knowledge needs) and research productivity were low (.252, -.162 respectively). No relationship was found between other climate measures (number of facilitators needing change and number of types of research training faculty desired) and research productivity.

Faculty indicated that primarily monetary-related facilitators and rewards for research were most frequently available and that time-related and knowledge and skill-related facilitators were least frequently available. High producers had some of the same needs as other producers, e.g., workload policy providing time for research. Other needs, particularly knowledge and skill needs, differed by productivity level.

Two interventions were suggested: (a) a workload policy with time for research, and (b) educational interventions for faculty with various productivity levels.