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Factors impacting on accounting academics’ motivation and capacity to adapt in challenging times

Beatson, N, De Lange, P ORCID: 0000-0002-7711-890X, O'Connell, B, Tharapos, M and Smith, J 2021 , 'Factors impacting on accounting academics’ motivation and capacity to adapt in challenging times' , Accounting Research Journal .

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Purpose:The purpose of this paper is to consider what factors influence the ability of academic staff toremain motivated and to persist in their work environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.We reconceptualise Tinto’s (2017) model of student motivation and persistence to apply toacademic staff by considering their self-efficacy beliefs, sense of belonging and perceptions ofcareer relevance on their motivation levels and adaption to a new environment. Design/methodology/approach:Utilising Tinto’s (2017) reconceptualised model for academics, we provide insights intomotivation and capacity to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper presentsobservations and reflections from five academics from three universities across two countriesin relation to self-efficacy, sense of belonging and perception of career relevance. Findings:We find that self-efficacy beliefs, a sense of belonging and perceptions of career relevancecombine to drive both academics’ motivation levels and their ability to adapt to the changinglandscape. Self-efficacy was influenced by factors such as struggles with adaptation to newonline technologies and researching and teaching in a virtual environment. Academics’ senseof belonging was found to be challenged in unprecedented ways due to physical isolation andsometimes unfavourable home working environments. Perceptions of career relevance werefound to be challenged by adverse developments such as reduced promotional opportunities,cuts in resourcing and job insecurity.Originality:Our paper makes three important contributions. First, we extend Tinto’s (2017) model ofstudent motivation and persistence to examine academic motivation, adaption, and persistence.Second, we apply the model to a crisis where staff face greater strain in maintaining connectionto their colleagues and their university. Third, we examine the influence of the COVID-19crisis using the reconceptualised Tinto (2017) model in the context of accounting, asaccounting international student enrolments and associated revenue streams have beenimpacted significantly more than those of many other disciplines.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Beatson, N and De Lange, P and O'Connell, B and Tharapos, M and Smith, J
Keywords: self-efficacy, sense of belonging, career relevance, academic motivation, academic adaptation
Journal or Publication Title: Accounting Research Journal
Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN: 1839-5465
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