Developing a Research Culture in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the Central University of Technology, Free State: Implications for Knowledge Management
The 13th year of the Central University of Technology, Free State’s (CUT) transition from a vocational and professional training orientation institution (i.e. a technikon) into a university with a strong research focus has neither been a smooth nor an easy one. At the heart of this transition was the need to transform the psychological faculties of academic and research staffs compliment who were accustomed to training graduates for industrial placement. The lack of a research culture that fully embraces the strong solid ethos of conducting cutting-edge research needs to be addressed. The induction and socialisation of academic staff into the development and execution of cutting-edge research also required the provision of research support and the creation of a conducive academic environment for research, both for emerging and non-research active academics. Drawing on ten cases, consisting of four heads of departments, three seasoned researchers, and three novice researchers, this study explores the challenges faced in establishing a strong research culture at the university. Furthermore, it gives an account of the extent to which the current research interventions have addressed the perceivably “missing research culture”, and the implications of these interventions for knowledge management. Evidence suggests that the capability of an ideal institutional research environment, consisting of mentorship of novice researchers by seasoned researchers, balanced effort into teaching and research responsibilities, should be supported by strong research-oriented leadership. Furthermore, recruitment of research passionate staff, adoption of a salary structure that encourages the retention of excellent scholars should be matched by a coherent research incentive culture to growth research publication outputs. This is critical for building new knowledge and entrenching knowledge management founded on communities of practice and scholarly networking through the documentation and communication of research findings. The study concludes that the multiple policy documents set for the different domains of research may be creating pressure on researchers to engage research activities and increase output at the expense of research quality.Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 209
 Du Pre, R. (2010). Universities of technology in the context of the South African higher education landscape. In The Kagisano series. Universities of Technology – the deepening debate 1-41. Auckland Park: Council on Higher Education.
 Badat, S. (2010). The challenges of transformation in higher education and training institutions in South Africa, Available at http://www.dbsa.org/pdf (Accessed 11 February 2015)
 Ngowi, A. (2012). A word of welcome from the Dean. In: Proceeding of the 15th FEIT Annual Research Seminar 2012. Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, 22 October 2012.
 De Jager, H.J. (2014). Progress report on Academic Plan Achievements – Academic Portfolio, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein.
 Evans, L. (2007). Developing research cultures and researchers in HE: the role of leadership. University of Leeds. UK
 Bako, S. (2005). Universities, Research and development in Nigeria: Time for a paradigmatic shift. Mozambique, Paper prepared for 11th General Assembly of CODESRIA, on Rethinking African Development: Beyond Impasse: Towards Alternatives, Maputo.
 Lategan, L.O.K. (2016). Research Development and Postgraduate Studies Annual Report to Senate. Central University of Technology. Bloemfontein: Central University of Technology.
 Ngowi, A. (2014). Message from the Dean: FEIT. In: CUT Annual Research Report. Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein.
 Mthembu, T. (2014). Message from the Vice-Chancellor and Principal. In: Research and Innovation 2014 Annual Report. Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein.
 Lategan, L.O.K. (2015). Research and Development Review Report to Senate. Central University of Technology. Bloemfontein: Central University of Technology.
 Joshi, A., Dencker, J.C., Franz, G. and Martocchio, J.J. (2010). Unpacking generational identities in organizations. Academy of Management Review, 35(3), 392-414.
 Linder, F. and Wald, A. (2011). Success factors of knowledge management in temporary organizations. International Journal of Project Management, 29, 877-888.
 Ntshoe, I.M. and Selesho, J.M. (2014). Institutional ranking in a differentiated higher education in South Africa. South African Journal of Higher Education, 28(5), 1554–1574.
 Schein, E. (1992). Organisational Culture and Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey
 Cheetham, A. (2007). Growing a Research Culture. Address to Academic Senate, Friday 4th May 2007, 1-7.
 Connell, H.M. (2004). University research management: meeting the institutional challenge. Paris: OECD Publishing.
 Hazelcorn, E. (2005). University Research Management: developing research in new institutions. Paris: OECD.
 Jenks, C. (2009). Building a University Research Culture In W. Elali, A. Y. Al-Hawaj and E. H. Twizell (Eds.), Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century: Issues and Challenges: CRC Press
 Alavi, M. and Leidner, D.E. (2001). Knowledge management and knowledge management systems: Conceptual foundations and research issues. MIS Quarterly, 25(1), 107–136.
 Hemmings, B.C., Rushbrook, P. and Smith, E. (2007). Academics’ views on publishing refereed works: A content analysis. Higher Education, 54, 307-332.
 Mullen, C.A. (2009). The handbook of formal mentoring in higher education: a case study approach. Norwood, Mass: Christopher-Gordon Publishers.
 Bland, C.J. and Ruffin, M.T. (1992). Characteristics of a Productive Research Environment: Literature Review. Academic Medicine, 67(6), 385-397.
 Mbeo, M. and Rambe, P. (2016). Assessing the feasibility of a knowledge management model for research knowledge retention at a university of technology. In: A. Strasheim, A. Nel and E. Koekemoer (Eds.). Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Southern African Institute of Management Scientists (pp. 606-616). 4 – 7 September 2016, University of Pretoria
 Hanover Research. (2014). Building a culture of research: Recommended practices. Available at http://www.hanoverresearch.com/media/Building-a-Culture-of-Research-RecommendedPractices.pdf (Accessed 28 February 2017)
 Freedenthal, S., Potter, C. and Grinstein‐Weiss, M. (2008). “Institutional Supports for Faculty Scholarship: A National Survey of Social Work Programs.” Social Work Research, 32(4), 226.
 Mintrom, M. (2008). Managing the research function of the university: pressures and dilemmas. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 30(3), 231-244.
 Madden, A.D. (2009). Managing for the ideal research environment. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 31(3), 271-282.
 Bland, C.J., Center, B.A., Finstad, D.A., Risbey, K.R. and Staples, J.G. (2005). A Theoretical, Practical, Predictive Model of Faculty and Department Research Productivity. Academic Medicine, 80(3), 225-237.
 Keeves, J.P. (1999). Overview of issues in educational research. Keeves, J.P. and Lakomski, G. (eds.) Issues in Educational Research (pp. 3-13). The Netherlands: Pergamon.
 Salazar-clemeña, R.M. and Almonte-Acosta, S.A. (2007). Developing Research Culture in Philippine Higher Education Institutions: Perspectives of University Faculty.
 Khatri, N., Ojha, A.K., Budhwar, P., Srinivasan, V. and Varma, A. (2012). Management research in India: current state and future directions. IIMB Management Review, 24, 104e115.
 Shanklin, C. (2001). A Faculty Perspective: Intrinsic Research Rewards that Make a Successful Faculty Member Tick. Available at http://merrill.ku.edu/publications/2001 whitepaper/shanklin.html (Accessed 13 July 2007)
 Taylor-Powell, E. and Renner, M. (2003). Analysing qualitative data. University of Wisconsin-Extension. Available at http://learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/g3658-12.pdf (Accessed 16 March 2017)
 Sikes, P. (2004). Methodology, procedures and ethical concerns. In C. Opie (Ed.), Doing education research, 15-33. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
 De Jager, H.J. (2016). Research Breakaway 2016 – Looking Back to Planning Forward for Central University of Technology. Leopards and Lace, Bloemfontein.
 Central University of Technology, Free State. (2016). Policy on Publication incentives. Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein.
 Lategan, L.O.K. (2013). Research and Development Annual Report to Senate. Central University of Technology. Bloemfontein: Central University of Technology.
 Marchant, T. (2009). Developing Research Culture – Overcoming Regional and Historical Obstacles. Chapter Five in Professional Doctorate Research in Australia: Commentary and Case Studies from Business, Education and Indigenous Studies, 6. Lismore: Southern Cross University Press.
 Rosas, N.L. (2007). Enhancing the Culture of Research in Higher Education Institutions. The Normal Lights, 1(1).
 Lategan, L.O.K. (2014). The Research and Development strategic breakaway – themed “Fingerprints” held on 4 August 2014, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein.