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2018, Cilt 8, Sayı 1, Sayfa(lar) 117-126
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DOI: 10.5961/jhes.2018.254
The Influence of Academicians’ Individual Professional Role in Formation of Academic Culture
Aksaray University, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Aksaray, Turkey
Keywords: Academic culture, Professional well-being, Model
Cultural theory suggests subtle and complex interactions between individual and the culture. We tested the academicians’ individual role to understand the nature of this interaction so that we intended to make a new contribution into a body of existing knowledge from a different cultural context. We used academic culture scale and academicians’ professional well-being scale as data gathering instruments, which were implemented in 2016 spring term. By using multiple regression analysis and path analysis, we analysed data belonged to 303 academicians selected by cluster and random technique. We found a reciprocal impact between culture and individual, and we also identified much more powerful effect of perceptions of academicians’ professional well-being representing the individual characteristics on the academic culture. Thus, we had a result supporting individualistic views in ongoing historical debate. Based on the findings, designing incentive mechanisms and introducing rules and responsibilities appeared as two administrative tools in forming academic culture. In addition, we suggested that if academicians have better collaboration and their accomplishments are recognised, academic culture would be more positive.
  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Disscussion
  • References
  • Introduction
    The relationship between individual and culture is a controversial issue going back to the past (Kogan, 1999). Culture is defined as a social control mechanism that manipulates members into perceiving, thinking and feeling in certain ways (Schein, 2010; Smith, 2001). Whereas, individuals are proposed as the agents of culture (Dill, 1982; Maassen, 1996). Individualist views emphasized the importance of “individual actors rather than institutional aggregates” in terms of constructing culture (Kogan, 1999). As the levels of “interaction”, “sharing” and “compliancy” among group members increase, enculturation process becomes faster and it then supports the cultural power on the individual (Hofstede, Hofstede, & Minkov, 2010). Even if individuals behave and practice independently, which creates a culture anyway, but it has a limited potential of affecting members’ behaviours. As the interaction between group members diminishes, thus the cultivation process becomes weaker. The level of interaction among members as a group is a key role in establishing norms and rules that organize social life in a particular place. However, the density of interaction among group members is not the same under all circumstances. In higher education context, differently from others, it is anticipated that interaction between individual and culture may work differently. For instance, Valimaa and Ylijoki (2008) suggested that “lack of interaction between academicians in higher education institutions negatively affects the spread of academic norms and behaviours. If we enlighten this phenomenon in higher education institution located in a different cultural context, we would have a new contribution in understanding the nature of phenomenon. This study primarily examined the interaction between individual and organizational culture and depending on individualist argument, we hypothesized that academicians individually have much more powerful effects on the academic culture. Although some studies supported this hypothesis (Lai & Lee, 2007; Maassen, 1996; Tan, 2016), literature review indicated the need of testing this hypothesis in different cultural context (Kogan, 1999; Valimaa & Ylijoki, 2008). In the study, individual professional efforts and organizational culture were represented by academicians’ professional well-being and academic culture, respectively.

    Academic Culture
    According to Bourdieu (1988), many different elements integrating each other constitute the culture of a social unit. In an academic unit, members interact with each other and share common things. Therefore, academic culture (AC) can be defined as sharing core norms, values and goals in an academic unit (Zilwa, 2007). AC refers to the norms, values, beliefs, and practices associated with the working lives of faculty members at higher education institutions (Maassen 1996; Szelenyi & Rhoads, 2013; Valimaa & Ylijoki, 2008; Yung, 2015).

    According to Szelenyi and Rhoads (2013), the culture of higher education institutions today has significantly been shaped by the interaction of profit oriented goals and public good-oriented goals. Furthermore, problematic complexities of interactions among different dimensions such as expectations of society, roles of academicians, changing functions of universities should be considered in the context of academic culture (Valimaa & Ylijoki, 2008). Since the university is an open social system (Parsons, 1991) it is susceptible to external developments. Each university, as global institution embedded in local context (Leibowitz et al., 2015), adjusts global imperatives for its own conditions. Because of different goals and missions, universities experience global imperatives differently. Global tendencies in higher education drive universities to innovate, cooperate with industry and market and compete (OECD, 2009; Wissema, 2009). Policy makers and administrative bodies exert globally driven changes on higher education institutions (HEIs) (Çetinsaya, 2014). These changes affect researching and teaching activities, which mainly shape academic life (Deem & Lucas, 2007). Performance based incentives, competition and marketization have caused pressure on academicians to work harder (Fredman & Doughney, 2012; Anderson, 2008). While they have been competing to be more productive, positive environment in academic units and cooperation among academicians have been weakening. Shared things have become fewer and along with it, individuality is more prominent. This tendency is in line with the individualistic views in explaining interaction between individual and culture (Dill, 1982; Maassen, 1996). At the same time, academic profession has been tended to be more stressful that, in turn, affects their professional well-being (Bentley et al., 2013; Locke, Cummings & Fisher, 2011; Lyons & Ingersoll, 2010; Shin & Jung 2013).

    Professional Well-Being
    Professional well-being (PWb) refers positive emotions and it is perception about possessing the qualities needed for a particular profession (Aelterman et al., 2007). Professional achievements are strong indicators of PWb. If people have feelings such as confidence to take on new roles, encouragement to initiate new things and desire to take challenges in professional development, their perceptions of PWb would be positive (Aelterman et al., 2007; Horn et al., 2004; Yıldırım, 2015). Job satisfaction, self-efficacy, aspiration, recognition, trust and autonomy are constitutive components (Aelterman et al., 2007; Butt & Retallick, 2002; Horn et al., 2004; Soini, Pyhaltö, & Pietarinen 2010; Yıldırım, 2015). Cooperation among staff, fair-helpful assessment, positive climate, useful professional development activities and being more productive, hardworking and successfulness supports someone’s perceptions of PWb (Aelterman et al., 2007; Wan et al., 2015; Yıldırım, 2015).

    While impositions by global challenges have forced academicians to be more productive and more competitive that, in turn, result in decreasing cooperation among academicians. Naturally, it is possible that the weaker AC, but a much stronger professional well-being will happen. Therefore, we supposed that academicians’ individual professional activities shape academic culture. Hence, we put forward two hypotheses to test: (i) AC and APWb has a reciprocal positive effect; (ii) APWb, as a representative of individual professional characteristics, better predicts AC than AC does. We assumed that if we make some fairly accurate predictions, we might practically be able to suggest some improving measures so that we would have more positive AC and more academicians with better professional well-being.

  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Disscussion
  • References
  • Methods
    Research Design
    This research was carried out along with the correlational research design in the case study pattern. In correlational research, the relationships among two or more variables are studied without any attempt to influence them. It indicates causes for later search (Fraenkel, Wallen, & Hyun, 2012). The current study was also a case study in which researcher can study a particular problem in a single instance (Creswell, 2005).

    Population and Sampling
    Population of this study consisted of academicians working in a young state university. We deliberately chose as it has the vibrant cultural process, sensitive to external developments, and easily accessible and manageable. History of Aksaray University, which is located in Cappadocia region of Anatolia Turkey, goes back 1970s as subsidiary institution. It became an independent university in 2006 and it has currently offered 74 undergraduate programs in eleven colleges and nine faculties. The university has also 12 doctorate programs and 35 master’s programs. While it has had international students, it is also overwhelmingly a nation-wide university. The student population has included some 14600 undergraduates and about 1900 postgraduate students. ASU has employed 21 professors, 72 associate professors, 232 assistant professors, 161 lecturers and 198 researchers and there are only four contractual foreigner academicians (http://www.X.edu.tr/tr/ genel-tanitim).

    Participants of the current study were selected using cluster and random sampling design (Creswell, 2005; Fraenkel et al. 2012). First, each institution was considered as an individual layer, and we selected academicians from the list of faculties and colleges by a simple random sampling. Considering the total number of academicians (688) we have got nearly half of the academicians (320). After eliminating improper forms (blank, same coded), we took the data belonged to totally 303 of them into analyse. Table 1 shows demographic characteristics of volunteer participants who came from seven faculties and two colleges. Slightly more than half of the participants were assistant professor, 16% of them were researchers, nearly 18% were associate professor and only six percent of the participants were professor. One fourth of the participants were female (f=76), and more than half of them were between 30-39 years old. Only 15% of them were younger than 30. Nearly one fourth of participants had at least five-year experience. Nearly 40% of the participants have been working at the same department for five or less than five years. The proportion of very experienced (more than 16 years) academicians was 26%.

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    Table 1: Demographic Breakdown of the Participants

    Data Gathering Processes and Instrumentation
    According to Valimaa and Ylijoki (2008) only very few quantitative instruments have been developed to assess culture in higher education field. Data of this study were collected by a questionnaire including AC scale and APWb scale. AC scale was adapted from the scale developed by Güçlü, Yıldırım and Daşcı (2016). Original instrument consists of 28 items under five dimensions namely positive relations, professional development, student oriented, adhesiveness to rules and symbols-heroes. Items were designed in Likert type questions with five scale (1: never; 2: rarely; 3: sometimes; 4: often and 5: always). The reliability score (Cronbach’s Alpha) for the original study was α=.95. For the current study, we found four dimensions namely climate, development, responsibility and symbol. Item-total correlation coefficients were between .45 and .85 and reliability analysis was α=.97.

    The instrument of academicians’ professional well-being was adapted from the scale developed by Yıldırım (2015). The original scale consisted of 28 items under five dimensions namely self-efficacy, job satisfaction, authority, recognition and aspiration. Items were designed as Likert type questions with seven scale (“1” refers “never represents me” and “7” refers “completely represents me”). The internal consistency coefficient for original scale was .91. For the current study, exploratory factor analysis produced four dimensions including 21 items. Based on its content, dimensions were named as self-efficacy, innovation, cooperation and recognition. Itemtotal correlation coefficients varied between .45 and .74 and reliability score (α) is .93.

    Since the either original instruments were designed for teachers working in compulsory formal education, so we needed to adapt them for academicians. As it was in the study by Li and Tu (2016), we replaced “school” by “institution” and preferred “profession” instead of “teaching profession”.

    Items of AC propose statements involving academicians as a group in their institution (e.g. academicians in this institution produce original things using their creativeness; academicians in this institution share knowledge, experience, material etc.; new and original things are welcomed and stimulated in this institution). Items of professional well-being demands individual responses (e.g. I have been performing my professional objectives in this institution; I receive appreciations because of my professional success; I always have an enthusiasm for doing professionally new things).

    For both scale, higher scores indicated strong academic culture and better professional well-being. “A strong culture” has been explained by Hofstede, Hofstede, & Minkov (2010: 355) as “homogeneous culture in which all respondents gave about same answers regardless of the questions’ content”.

    When we interpreted continuous scores of AC, we considered those of 1.00-1.80: Weak culture; 1.81-2.60: Slightly weak culture; 2.61-3.40: Moderate culture; 3.41-4.20: Slightly strong culture; and 4.21-5.00: Strong culture. And for APWb score, we attributed the following descriptors: 1.00-1.80: Very bad; 1.81- 2.60: Bad; 2.61-3.40: Fair; 3.41-4.20: Good; and 4.21-5.00: Very good.

    Data were collected between April and May in 2016 in real environment of academicians. We visited academicians in their office, then gave short information about the study. Following their acceptance, we delivered the paper questionnaire. Each questionnaire took nearly 40 minutes to complete.

    Data Analysing
    Before starting analysis, we encoded all questionnaires filled properly. Then, we entered the data into SPSS 22.0 package programme. Based on checking data considering missing, outliers and duplication, we cleaned data of three participants because of duplication. The proportion of missing for each variable is not exceeded five percent. Missing were replaced with the mean score. Statistical analysis was performed on data belonged to totally 303 academicians. In data analysing, we employed descriptive statistics (f, x, SD), exploratory factor analysis, multiple regression analysis and path analysis. Significance was evaluated on error margin of .05.

    We performed exploratory factor analysis for data reduction. In factor analysis, we preferred principal component technique with varimax rotation and we shaded scores under .30. We moved the item out of analysis if its loads in different dimension less than .10. We carried out standard multiple regression analysis (enter method) to detect the significant predictors. To be able to test possible theoretical models based on the significant predictors, we performed structural equation modelling (LISREL 8.7 with moment matrix, covariance, normal scores). We considered goodness of fit indices (χ2/ df≤5, p=0.000, .05≤RMSEA≤.10, .95≤CFI≤.97, .95≤NFI≤.97, .90≤GFI≤.95) in making decision about which model is better (Kline 2011). In order to evaluate the magnitude of predictor’s effect on criterion variable we examined the path coefficients, which are in fact standardised regression coefficients.

  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Disscussion
  • References
  • Results
    AC in the Case University (ASU)
    Descriptive scores indicated that the case university has a moderate AC (x=3.27, SD=1.06). There was no statement happening “always” or “never”. 17 statements took place above average and 12 were below. Academicians often involved in their main responsibilities and student related issues. They often involved in students’ problems, response help demands (mentoring, guiding, studying etc.), spontaneous communication, study on their specific field (researching, testing, publication etc.), carrying out scheduled events (lecturing, meeting, visiting etc.), working on institutional goals (writing reports, filling the forms, marking etc.). The less frequently experiencing statements were belonged to symbolic elements of AC such as reminiscent of noteworthy people or places of university’s past (x=2.31, SD=1.09). Academicians perceived neither supportive nor threatening environment. An individualist culture seemed to be dominant that nearly ¾’th of academicians sometimes or less frequently experience supportive and protective behaviours. Most of the academicians (.70) sometimes or less frequently came to the institution in enthusiasm and excitement. Their one-fourth rarely experience honesty and solidarity and 66% of them sometimes or less frequently encountered joyful, compassion and courtesy. Many of academicians (63%) perceived that their happiness, achievement and professional enrichment are sometimes or less frequently considered. 67% of them perceived that they are sometimes or less frequently treated in fair and objective way. According to 45% of the academicians, “the new and original things were ‘often or always’ welcomed” in the university but less number of them (31%) perceived that they often or always produce original things. 42% of academicians thought that knowledge, experience and material with other academicians are often or always shared. Competition among academicians was not so clear but academicians individually tried to develop their knowledge and skills. Many academicians often or always spent effort for institutional goals and they easily expressed their demands to managerial bodies. Academicians emphasized on responsibilities and rules that indicate a relative strong bureaucratic structure. However, hierarchical structure and control in institutions were weak.

    We used exploratory factor analysis (EFA) as dimension reduction technique. EFA (KMO=.95, Bartlett sphericity test=.000, explained total variance=69.0) produced four dimensions. When we compared these dimensions with those of original scale, we noticed a great deal of similarity between them but the items of student oriented in the current study went under the dimension of responsibility. Table 2 shows descriptive information about dimensions of AC, which consists of climate, development, responsibility and symbol. The most prominent and relatively strong dimension was responsibility (x=3.53, SD=.79). It encapsulates items related with teachers’ professional responsibilities such as concerning for students’ problems, considering students’ well-being, regarding help demands, caring for ceremonies, obeying the rules, and putting emphasis on responsibilities. Development (x=3.39, SD=.84) is the second most frequently occurring dimension that consists of creativeness, using technology effectively, sharing knowledge and material, specialization, using new methods and techniques, welcoming new and original things, sustainable development and making effort for institutional goals. The third dimension, climate (x=3.19, SD=.86) includes trust and friendly environment, honest behaviour, open spontaneous communication, fair and objective treatment, joyful, compassion and courtesy, solidarity, warmer behaviour, and enthusiasm. The last dimension is symbol (x=2.72, SD=.89) which consists of using symbols, having common symbols, reminiscent, and reminders of noteworthy people worked for university in the past.

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    Table 2: Factorial Dimensions of Academic Culture

    Academicians’ Perception of Professional Well-Being
    Academicians perceived themselves at the very good level (x=4.25; SD=.91) in terms of professional well-being. Mean scores varied between 3.25 and 4.69 across the scale items. Academicians asserted that they have very adequate knowledge and skills required by their profession. They believed that they could perform the profession successfully anywhere even with the most difficult conditions. In addition, they had an enthusiasm to do new things, they had exciting plans and they could put the theoretical knowledge into practice. Lower mean scores (3.25≤x≤3.54) belonged to work conditions and recognition. Academicians perceived that neither administrators nor someone else does not appreciate them for their accomplishments. According to them, work conditions did not meet their expectation in terms of their professional goals. They needed technical infrastructure. They also stated a dissatisfaction about making decision with and asking help from colleagues. Academicians also perceived that environment, which indicates inhabitants of Aksaray province, evaluate their professional statute lower.

    EFA, as dimension reduction technique, produced four dimensions (KMO=.92, Bartlett Sphericity Test=.000, Explained total variance=61.6). Table 3 shows descriptors of the dimensions of APWb, which consists of self-efficacy, innovation, cooperation and recognition. The highest mean score (x=4.51) belonged to innovation, which taps trying new things in job, having ongoing enthusiasm to do professionally new things, seeking new ways to do job more effectively, following latest innovations in profession etc. Academicians’ perception of self-efficacy was at the very good level, too (x=4.49). It consisted of having technical knowledge, skills and rules required for performing the profession successfully. Cooperation among academicians was at good level (x=4.16). It covered making decisions together with colleagues, exchanging views with them and sharing knowledge, perspective etc. The last dimension of APWb is recognition, which has the lowest average score (x=3.58). It consisted of appreciation by others because of professional accomplishments. Its relatively lower score indicates their unsatisfied expectations.

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    Table 3: Factorial Dimensions of Academicians’ Professional Well-Being

    Correlations Between AC and APWb
    In order to check how AC and APWb predict each other we employed multiple regression analysis. Table 4 shows the results of the multiple regression analysis for both sides (AC and APWb as dependent variable). According to the results, both model was significant (Fmodel1=40.118, p<.05; Fmodel2=56.691, p<.05). According to Table 4, AC together with sub-components accounts .34 (R2) of the variance in APWb score. The significant predictors were AC1 (climate), AC2 (development), AC3 (responsibility) at .05 significant level. However, AC4 (symbol) was not a significant predictor of APWb. β values referred the amount of effect size of explanatory variables on criterion variable. AC3 (responsibility) made the strongest positive effect on APWb (β=.26, p<.05). The second strongest positive effect was made by AC2 (development) (β=.22, p<.05). AC1 (climate) had a positive effect on PWb, too (β=.20, p<.05).

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    Table 4: Results of Multiple Regression Analysis

    When we looked at the second part of the Table 4, we notice that APWb with two predictor variables significantly explain .43 of the variance in AC score (criterion). The strongest predictor, APWb4 (Recognition), was responsible for 51% of one unit change in AC (β=.505, p=.000). The second strongest effect was made by APWb3 (cooperation) (β=.305, p=.000). The other predictors had no meaningful effect on AC.

    Multiple regression analysis indicated that responsibility, development and climate, as cultural characteristics, are significant predictors of APWb. In addition, recognition and cooperation, as features of professional well-being, were meaningful predictors of AC. Results of multiple regression analysis lead us to consider a model in which APWB predict AC.

    Following the results of regression analysis, we needed path analysis to test a theoretical model about the correlation between AC and APWb. We tested the below suggestions:

    i) When academicians have better cooperation and if their accomplishments are recognised, climate in their institution would be better, academicians give much more importance on fulfilment of their responsibilities and much more development in the institution would be satisfied.

    ii) When academicians perceive better professional wellbeing, culture in their institution would be more positive.

    In order to test the above suggestions, we carried out path analysis. We took significant variables into analyse as observed variables. Latent variables were AC1, AC2, AC3, APWB3, APWB4, AC and APWB. In the theoretical model APWB3, APWB4 via APWB predicted AC (AC1, AC2, and AC3). First trial produced a good fit model (χ2=1509.23, df=458, χ2/df=3.30, p=0.000, RMSEA=.08, CFI=.97, NFI=.96, GFI=.76) but modification developed the goodness of the model. After making two modifications, we had a better model.

    Figure 1 shows the causal structures, the standardised coefficients and fit indices. Results informed that the theoretical model has good fit indices (χ2=1325.72, df=455, χ2/df=2.91, p=0.000, RMSEA=.08, CFI=.97, NFI=.96, GFI=.76). Since t values were significant, we did not have to omit any variable from analysis. Path coefficient indicated that APWB had a big positive direct effect on AC.

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    Figure 1: Results of path analysis for theoretical model.

  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Disscussion
  • References
  • Discussion
    This research basically aimed at testing a theoretical model suggesting that individual professional characteristics of academicians better predict academic culture in higher education context. Along with this aim we first described the academicians’ perceptions about academic culture and professional well-being. We performed regression analysis to detect the possible predictor variables. Then, using path analysis, we finally tested the theoretical model confirming research hypothesis.

    In this study, we found a moderate academic culture (x=3.27, SD=1.06) that is harmonious with the results of prior studies (Ira, 2011; Oran, 2016; Sckerl, 2002). We outlined four dimensions: Responsibility, development, climate and symbol. This structure is in line with those of prior studies focused on organizational culture. They were: innovativeness (creativity, adaptability, entrepreneurship, dynamism), effectiveness (goal achievement, production, competition, rewarding, benefitoriented measures), contingency (order, rules, regulations, uniformity, ceremonies, symbols) and cooperativeness (teamwork, information sharing, empowerment) (Cameron & Quinn, 2011; Chang & Lin, 2007; Deal & Kennedy, 2000; Harrison, 1972; Hofstede, Hofstede, & Minkov, 2010; Schein, 2010). It can be said that there is not a strong academic culture in the case university. Among the main reasons of this situation, flexible nature of academic world and effects of global imperatives can be mentioned. Global imperatives such as performance based incentives and competition were proposed to weaken the cooperation among academicians and positive climate (Bentley et al., 2013; Locke et al. 2011; Lyons & Ingersoll, 2010; Shin & Jung 2013). In the current study, we detected the weak positive climate and symbolic culture as the power reducers. We found a moderate level collaborative culture; frequency of interaction among academicians as a group is low and their behaviours are not warm. In addition, academicians do not have strong enthusiasm when they come to the institution and they do not often experience joyfulness, courtesy and compassionate. Moreover, they also have expectation for fair and objective treatment that refers academic cronyism. These results are largely consistent with the results of previous studies. It was specified lack of solidarity, common norms, teamwork and inadequate communication among academicians in previous researches (Bakan et al., 2004; Fredman & Doughney, 2012; Higher Education Board, 2007; Ira, 2014; MacFarlane, 2017; Tan, 2016).

    Despite the weak climate, collaboration and solidarity, academicians put emphasis on following the rules and carrying out official responsibilities, which encompasses the duties mainly related with teaching, relations with students and responding students’ demands. Academicians care about implementing the teaching oriented official duties and development activities individually. These features overlap with the characteristics of hierarchy culture, which refers internal and mechanistic process. This type of organizational culture is matched with low effectiveness (Valimaa & Ylijoki, 2008). The result of current study supports the result of Bakan et al. (2004) that academicians work along with organizational norms, rules and targets. Although we found teaching oriented culture, incentive mechanisms drive academicians to emphasize publication. Lo (2014), verified this situation arguing that academicians in Taiwan put more emphasis on academic publication, rather than teaching because of academic ranking system.

    In this study, we found that academicians perceived a very good level of professional well-being. It means that they perceive to possess all the necessary professional characteristics and perform them very well. Professional well-being, as a super concept, consists self-efficacy, job satisfaction, aspiration, authority, professional development and recognition. In this study, we revealed a four-factorial structure including self-efficacy, innovation, cooperation and recognition. These results are harmonious with the results of previous studies. Although most of them focused on teachers, their results are compatible with those of current results (Butt & Retallick, 2002; Munn, Clifton, & Janet, 1996; Aelterman et al. 2007; Yıldırım, Arastaman, & Daşcı, 2016). Although global imperatives on academic life, academicians, in case university, perceive themselves at very good level in terms of professional characteristics. It seems that performance based incentives, competition and marketization did not affect them negatively. One of the reasons of this situation might be that the requirements of the global imperatives have not been fully put into practice in the case university. Another reason can be attributed to high control over the job. According to Fredman and Doughney (2012), increasing work demand may result in high control over work that in turn develops employee’s selfefficacy. For academic profession, workload is a fact and this may feed their perception of PWb. In addition, lack of challenging tasks and unrealistic but sentimental perceptions might lead to employee’s perceptions of very good level of professional wellbeing (TED, 2009; Yıldırım, Arastaman, & Daşcı, 2016). Among the sub-dimensions, the power carrier is self-efficacy, which also contains items of authority. Academicians may perceive that if they are professionally competent, it helps them to make their own decision. This interpretation is in line with the academic autonomous. Relatively independent nature of academic profession feed their authority, however in market driven universities, external stakeholders have empowerment, so that academics lose their power of authority (Shin & Jung, 2014). Authority, in western studies, appears as a sub-dimension of PWb that refers a subject of cultural phenomenon (Soini et al. 2010). Academicians in case university perceived themselves as innovative. They asserted trying new things, seeking new and effective ways and following latest innovations in their professional area. Wan et al. (2015) found that researching is a source of academicians’ satisfaction in Malaysian context. Research also helps productivity of academicians (Kwiek, 2016). Recognition is one of the motivator factors and they are primary cause of satisfaction (Herzberg, 1968) and it also influences sharing knowledge among academicians (Tan, 2016) and helps professional developments (Leibowitz et al. 2015). However, we found that recognition has the lowest average score that can be interpreted as academicians’ unsatisfied expectation of appreciation. This result is also harmonious with the prior results (Bakan et al. 2004; Yıldırım, 2015). The other power reducer is collaboration, by which academicians claimed that they individually share knowledge, experience, and views with colleagues at good level. However, they also expressed the inadequate cooperation activities at institutional level. Quimbo and Sulabo (2014) suggested an enhanced collaboration among academicians in order to promote the research culture. According to Tan (2016) collaboration of academicians feeds trust, and their self-efficacy. Thus, collaboration appears as key concept for adopting habitus of academic culture and professional well-being. But previous studies indicated inadequate collaborative culture among Turkish academicians, too (Bakan et al. 2004; Ira, 2007). Similar result is also stated by Tan (2016) for Malaysian academicians. At different perspective, Macfarlane (2017) discussed a paradox related with collaboration amongst academicians. In terms of academic performance, individuals and collective goals can contradict each other. So incentive mechanisms should be designed to encourage collaborative performances.

    We found a statistically significant positive and modest relationship between AC and APWb. As AC becomes more positive, academicians feel themselves professionally better. Moreover, good level of APWb indicates positive AC. This result is in line with suggestions of Fullan (2001) and Turner, Barling and Zacharatos (2002) that positive organization culture is related with members’ well-being. But Engels et al. (2008) and Wong and Zhang (2014) found no or weak relationship between members’ well-being and organization culture. The current study confirmed the positive relationship between AC and APWb. Based on the correlation coefficient scores, we argue that positive environment of organization feed employee’s well-being, and then it supports positive organizational culture. This result also supports the widespread agreement on this relationship (Hakanen, Bakker, & Schaufeli 2006; Kardos et al. 2001; Pablos Pons et al. 2013; Sadeghi, Amani, & Mahmudi, 2013). Multiple regression analysis indicated that responsibility, development and climate are significant predictors of APWb. On the other side, recognition and cooperation are meaningful predictors of AC. In terms of the amount of effect size (β), APWB makes better prediction of AC. Therefore, we can say that individual professional features are more effective in shaping AC. The main pillars of this argument are as follows: (i) academicians are tend to behave individually; (ii) lack of group activities and (iii) stronger individual goals instead of common institutional goals. Likewise, Li and Tu (2016) and Kwiek (2016), indicated the role of individual features rather than institutional. Finally, path analysis confirmed the theoretical model suggesting that when academicians have better cooperation and if their accomplishments are recognised, culture in their institution would be more positive.

    At the end of the study we concluded that AC and academicians’ well-being are positively correlated with each other. In addition, APWb was comparatively better predictor. The study verified research hypothesis that (i) AC and APWb have reciprocal effects on each other; (ii) APWb better predicts AC than AC does. The bigger effect of APWb on AC leads us to say that in interaction between individual and culture, individual side is more formative in case university context. Thus, the result supports the individualist views in explaining the relationship between individual and culture (Dill, 1982; Maassen, 1996).

    This study indicated two managerial tools in forming academic culture: Incentive mechanisms and rules. Using incentive mechanisms and rules, administrators can shape the academic culture via affecting academicians’ professional practices. Because we learned academicians are very susceptible for these tools. Therefore, initiatives should focus on enhancing incentive mechanisms and introducing rules and responsibilities that encourage academicians to collaborate. If academicians have better collaboration and if their accomplishments are recognised, culture in their institution would be more positive. In addition, leaders and administrators must consider how to satisfy academicians’ individual expectations of recognition. On the other side, administrators and policy makers can use “the size of cultural effect” as an indicator of organizational effectiveness.

    We have limitations in generalizing the results because we studied a very particular case (ASU), which can represent teaching oriented, young small size national universities and Turkish cultural context differs from Western and East-Asia cultural contexts.

    Further researchers who want to use these results can prefer the action research design by observing and interviewing academicians regarding criteria. In addition, by controlling personal characteristics, the influence of professional qualifications can be examined. Thus, it makes a contribution to understand the nature of interaction between the individual and academic culture.

  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References
  • References

    1) Aelterman, A., Engels, N., Petegem, K. V., & Verhaeghe, J. P. (2007). The well-being of teachers in Flanders: The importance of a supportive school culture. Educational Studies, 33(3), 285-297.

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  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References
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