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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 138-143

The cultural factors influencing the participation of university faculty members in the production of science


1 Cultural Management Khorasgan (Isfahan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Cultural Management Khorasgan (Isfahan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

Date of Web Publication26-Jul-2017

Correspondence Address:
Faezeh Taghipour
Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jepr.jepr_27_16

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  Abstract 

Background: One of the indicators for the development of any country is its scientific and technical production both on national and international levels. The universities play a pivotal role in the scientific productions of any country. Furthermore, the cultural factors have an immense influence on the production of science. In fact, scientific production and development cannot be achieved without accounting for the cultural and social issues. Aim: The aim of the present study is to determine the cultural factors affecting the participation of faculty members at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences during 2015 in the production of science. Methods: The research method of the study is descriptive-survey. The data collection tool was researcher-constructed questionnaire. After confirming the validity and reliability, the sample was considered to be 260 faculty members at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. Results: The results showed that behavioral patterns, attitudes, beliefs, values, and norms are respectively among the most important cultural factors affecting the participation of faculty members at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in the production of science. Conclusion: Accordingly, the following suggestions were made with regard to the role of cultural factors in the participation of university faculty members in the production of science: continuously selecting top researchers, allocating appropriate rewards for the production of science, improving the research skills of the faculty members, effective cooperation to improve scientific productions, trying to increase the most relevant scientific productions, interest and determining short- and long-term goals for the universities.

Keywords: Cultural factors, production of science, university faculty members


How to cite this article:
Omidi H, Taghipour F. The cultural factors influencing the participation of university faculty members in the production of science. Int J Educ Psychol Res 2017;3:138-43

How to cite this URL:
Omidi H, Taghipour F. The cultural factors influencing the participation of university faculty members in the production of science. Int J Educ Psychol Res [serial online] 2017 [cited 2017 Nov 19];3:138-43. Available from: http://www.ijeprjournal.org/text.asp?2017/3/2/138/211642


  Introduction Top


Culture is the accumulation of knowledge, beliefs, behaviors, morals, rules, customs, traditions and all the other capabilities and habits that members of a society accept. Culture includes involvement in work, adaptability, and commitment.[1],[2],[3] In fact, culture is an important component of a society which can lead to self-control, self-efficacy, innovation adaptability, consistency, mission, and creativity in the organizations and generally in the society itself.[4],[5] In organizations, culture implies acceptable values among all members which create behavioral pattern and solutions for the organizational problem.[6],[7],[8] Culture in the broadest sense can be defined in two ways: first, as the practices and customs which constitute the social reality itself and second, as something which used to be a separate domain in the past but has entered all aspects of social life).[9] Development requires a culture of development. The cornerstone of modern civilization is the production of science which is closely intertwined with the other realities of the society. The production, expansion, and development of science have had a profound impact on all economic, social, and cultural domains. In other words, the production of science and scientific development functions as the driving force behind the extensive and sustainable development of countries. Today, all countries, developed or developing, place science and technology at the center of their activities to establish or improve the basis of development and to strengthen their competition powers. Scientific development is one of the most components of comprehensive development and has a central role in the economic, political, social, and cultural growth and prosperity of society.[10] One of the indicators of development is the scientific productions both on national and international levels: “The scientific productions of any country is mainly done by the research and education centers as well as scientific and technological institutions. Therefore, the universities, as institutions of research and education, play an important role in the scientific production of any country under cultural levels of shine theory.[11] The universities are also a center of scientific activities in which the faculty members are considered the channels of transferring information to the students and to the world.”[1] The scientific and cultural structures are two interconnected systems; one cannot be of any use without the other. Scientific and technological development can lead to dynamism only if an ideal environment is prepared for it.[4] The problem of the production and development of science cannot be solved without recourse to cultural and social issues.[9] Therefore, cultural factors can have a huge impact on the production of science. Accordingly, the present study intends to investigate the role of cultural factors in the participation of faculty members of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences.


  Research Methodology Top


The research method is descriptive-survey. The population of the study includes all faculty members at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences during 2015. The number of faculty members in 2015 was 805 people. The study used the stratified random sampling method. Each faculty was considered as a category. The calculation was based on the sample size. To obtain the sample size, the Cochran formula was used. The total sample included 805 people which were reduced to 260 people according to the Cochran formula. The data collection method was researcher-constructed questionnaire which included 39 questions about the important cultural factors in the production of science. To check the validity of the questionnaire, the researcher-constructed questionnaire was supervised by certain experts in the field and having been confirmed they were used. To check the reliability of the study, the Cronbach's alpha method was used. To calculate the Cronbach's alpha, 30 questionnaires were distributed among the research sample. The obtained Cronbach's alpha was good for all aspects of the questionnaire. The following table shows the reliability of the different statements of the questionnaire [Table 1] and [Table 2].
Table 1: The reliability of the questionnaire

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Table 2: The descriptive statistics of the sample

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Research questions

  1. What is the cultural role of norms in the participation of the faculty members of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in the production of science during 2015
  2. What is the cultural role of values in the participation of the faculty members of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in the production of science during 2015
  3. What is the cultural role of beliefs in the participation of the faculty members of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in the production of science during 2015
  4. What is the cultural role of attitudes in the participation of the faculty members of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in the production of science during 2015
  5. What is the cultural role of behavioral patterns in the participation of the faculty members of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in the production of science during 2015?



  Results Top


The first minor question: What is the cultural role of norms in the participation of the faculty members of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in the production of science during 2015?

In analyzing this question, t-test was used. The results of t-test for the statements of norms in the first minor question are presented in the following table [Table 3].
Table 3: The t-test for the first minor question

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The second minor question: What is the cultural role of values in the participation of the faculty members of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in the production of science during 2015?

To analyze this question, t-test was used. The results of t-test for the statements of values in the second minor question are presented in the following table [Table 4].
Table 4: The t-test for the second minor question

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The third minor question: What is the cultural role of beliefs in the participation of the faculty members of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in the production of science during 2015?

To analyze this question, t-test was used. The results of t-test for the statements of beliefs in the third minor question are presented in the following table [Table 5].
Table 5: The t-test for the third minor question

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The fourth minor question: What is the cultural role of attitudes in the participation of the faculty members of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in the production of science during 2015?

To analyze this question, t-test was used. The result of t-test for the statements of attitudes in the fourth minor question is as presented in the following table [Table 6].
Table 6: The t-test for the fourth minor question

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The fifth minor question: What is the cultural role of behavioral patterns in the participation of the faculty members of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in the production of science during 2015?

To analyze this question, t-test was used. The results of the t-test for the statements of behavioral patterns in the fifth minor question are presented in the following table [Table 7].
Table 7: The t-test for the fifth minor question

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  Discussion and Conclusion Top


Given the above results, it is clear that among the effective norms for the participation of faculty members at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in the production of knowledge, some important ones are: commitment of the faculty members toward the students, university and society, integrity, acceptance of participation as a cultural norm among the faculty members. These findings are in line with the studies by Nowruzi et al. and Karimian et al. Similarly, the research done by Godazgar and Alizadeh Aghdam confirms the above findings. Accordingly, it is arguable that commitment toward the students, university, and society is effective in the participation for the production of science.[12],[13],[14] To improve the commitment toward the students, some points are important: the educational experience before the university, systematic education at the university and learning the patterns. The improvement of the commitment of the university toward the society can lead to the commitment of the faculty members toward the society too. In fact, the production of science without taking into consideration the norms and ethical principles can lead to invalid, unqualified, impractical productions, and thus may threaten the integrity of the scientific community. It is important to note that since a scientific community is a collective and ethical phenomenon, observing the ethical norms in the production of science is highly crucial. The ethics of research can contribute to the stability of the scientific community. The life of a scientific community is guaranteed by emphasizing the ethical norms and principles and monitoring the scientific activities. The validity of scientific productions depends on observing the shared ethical norms and principles as the requirement for seeking truth. Even to go beyond the framework of the shared community needs to be done in light of understanding the existing norms and rules. Some of the values which influence the production of science by the faculty members at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences include: the importance of production of science, observing the ethical values, the importance of scientific productions for practical projects, the degree of scientific productions, cooperation among the faculty members, overcoming the intra-university differences, honesty and integrity in doing a research, and openness toward criticism. These findings are in line with the studies done by Nowruzi et al. and Connelly and Kevin Kelloway The focal point in the issue of values is to believe and to practice them. Accordingly, the university values should be designed in line with the production and then certain practical ways are expected to be offered by the university to implement them.[12],[15] The cultural values should be institutionalized among the faculty members and become part of their behavior so that in the course time they come to practice these values. The improvement in the cooperation and communication among the faculty members can improve the relationships and facilitate the access to shared experience. This can direct the faculty members toward cooperation in the production of science. According to the results, these can be concluded: belief in the production of science as a fundamental duty, belief in the improvement of the country's scientific status as the most important duty of the faculty members, belief in the scientific production as the basic duty of a university, the importance of teamwork and meeting the needs of the society by improving the productions. These can be considered as the effective believes in the participation of faculty members at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. The findings are in line with the studies done by Nowruzi et al. and Rahimnia and Alizadeh Aghdam The beliefs affect the perception, thinking, and emotion of the members.[12],[16] The shared beliefs constitute the basis of a university and can be considered as an instrument for realizing one's role both on personal and group levels. The belief in the participation for the production of knowledge can be an initial step for participating in the production of science. Moreover, the faculty members should come to believe that the current status quo can be improved. Unless such a belief is adopted, one cannot expect the faculty members to have the motivation to participate in the production of science. They should also believe that they can play a pivotal role in the production of science. If the faculty members concern themselves with the needs of the society, they will be more motivated when they receive feedbacks for their scientific productions. Some of the effective attitudes for the participation of faculty members at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences include: Strong organizational commitment for participating in the production of science, increasing job satisfaction, attitude toward the production of science as an important duty, commitment toward scientific productions, keeping up-to-date with the scientific productions and continuity and constancy. These findings are in line with the study by Godazgar and Alizadeh Aghdam. An attitude is a somewhat stable inclination toward somebody or something which manifests itself in people's feelings and behavior.[14] In fact, a positive attitude toward the production of science gradually manifests itself in the behavior of the faculty members. Now if this attitude is positive, it can increase the participation of faculty members in the production of science. The existence of a positive attitude among the faculty members with regard to the scientific productions can prepare the ground for a continuous participation by the faculty members. The positive atmosphere of a university encourages the faculty members to participate in the production of science. According to the results, it is clear that the following are some of the effective behavioral patterns in the participation of faculty members at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences: holding sessions, selecting top researchers, rewarding the production of science, acceptance of scientific production among the faculty members as a good behavior, improving the research skills of the faculty members to increase science production, effective cooperation to improve scientific productions, trying to increase real scientific productions, interest and enthusiasm in carrying out one's duty and determining short- and long-term goals for the university. It is worth mention that these are changes in the behavior of people but are rooted in the changes in their beliefs and attitudes. Behavioral patterns can be used as the best option for evaluating the participation of faculty members at the production of science. Certain comprehensive plans are needed in this regard. When the faculty members come to recognize that there is a comprehensive system in the production of science they will try to willingly and enthusiastically participate in the system. The existence of short- and long-term goals indicates the existence of an efficient structure in the university. The short-term goals prepare the ground for conducting scientific research, and the long-term goals determine the direction of these productions.

Suggestions

  1. The commitment of the faculty members toward the students, university, and society. This can be done through certain regulations issued and announced to the faculty members so that the latter know about them and begin to practice them
  2. Aligning the process of rewarding and promotions with the principle of meritocracy. This can become the basis for a healthy competition among the members and encourage them for producing science
  3. Appreciating the top researchers in the production of science
  4. Aligning the scientific productions with the needs of industry and presenting practical suggestions. The university can develop certain plans with the cooperation of the industries
  5. Discussing the challenges in the conferences. This can create coordination among the university faculty members
  6. Improving the facilities of the university to increase the sense of confidence among the faculty members for the production of science.


Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7]



 

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