عنوان مقاله [English]
Retaining the talented academicians is a troubling and worrying phenomenon in most developing countries, including Iran; hence, exploring the barriers to retention of the talented academicians of top Iranian universities can provide one of the infrastructures for improving their effective retention. Having taken the interdisciplinary and multifaceted nature of the subject into consideration, the present paper aims to investigate the various aspects of executive, administrative, academic, educational, economic, and social, at both individual and organizational levels, and from both micro and macro dimensions. Data collection was conducted via concourse development in Q methodology for the barriers to their retention, and the Q-sample was introduced to the participants, i.e. the former faculty members of top 20 Iranian universities who have emigrated to top 100 universities of the world. Factor extraction and factor rotation revealed that there exist seven types of perceptions among former Iranian faculty members on barriers at organization level against their retention in their source universities in Iran. Analysis of each cluster of perceptions based on employee retention in human resource management and along with the demographic characteristics of the individuals in each cluster was the main contribution of this quali-quantitative study.
The present paper aims to explore a typology of perceptions of Iranian faculty members about the barriers to their retention in their source universities; through a Q-methodology approach, a list of various barriers, including executive, administrative, academic, economic, and social, at organizational level and mainly from micro organization dimensions, is presented to the emigrated faculty members of selected Iranian top universities, in order to explore their perceptions regarding which barriers hindered their stay in their source universities. Analysis of each explored perception type, with regard to retention function in human resource management and along with the demographic characteristics of the individuals in each cluster is the main contribution of this paper.
The number of participants who accepted to take part in this study was 17 of the former faculty members of top 20 Iranian universities who have emigrated to top 100 universities abroad, whose demographic characteristics (e.g. gender, age, major, and department in their source university) were also provided. Selection of the top universities was based on the world university ranking systems of QS, Laiden, and Shanghai 2015, and a total number of 100 Q-cards were sorted and submitted using an online Q-study tool developed by the authors.
Materials and Methods
The present research applied a Q-methodology approach. After developing the concourse (Q-items), the Q-sorting was performed on a 9-point Likert scale by the participants. Factor extraction, factor rotation, and factor analysis were performed using PQmethod and SPSS v.18 software, and the interpretation of factors was carried out with regard to qualitative explanations provided by the participants, as well as their demographic characteristics. To measure the content validity of this Q-study (Dennis, 1988), the first draft of the concourse was reviewed and revised by a number of the participants and their comments were applied to the final Q-items prior to getting presented to all participants for Q-sorting. The reliability of this study was also measured through test-retest: the Q-sorting was administered to 4 of the participants (23% of the total) twice, with a 1-month gap in-between the tests, and the correlation coefficient was estimated as 87% , showing a good reliability for this Q study (Brown 1980).
Discussion and Results
According to the Q analysis of the attitudes of the former faculty members of top Iranian universities about the barriers against their retention in their source organizations, the seven clusters of perceptions were extracted and the following typology was provided:
1-Perception Type I) Strong believers in effect of educational barriers, strong disbelievers in effect of political barriers: "Disbelievers in effect of retention function"
2-Perception Type II) Firm believers in effect of economic barriers, strong disbelievers in effect of executive barriers, strong believers in effect of academic barriers: "Believers in effect of retention function"
3-Perception Type III) Firm disbelievers in effect of economic barriers, strong disbelievers in effect of administrative barriers
4-Perception Type IV) Strong believers in effect of macro organizational barriers (esp. the administrative ones)
5-Perception Type V) Disbelievers in effect of academic barriers, disbelievers in effect of macro organizational barriers (except for administrative ones)
6-Perception Type VI) Strong disbelievers in effect of micro academic barriers
7-Perception Type VII) Uncertain and neutral
Among these explored clusters, faculty members with Type II perception, including individuals below the age of 40 years and from non-engineering fields, believed the most firmly in influence of micro-organizational barriers as a cause for their emigration, and thus, for retention initiatives, can be targeted at the highest priority. On the other hand, Perception Type I, including faculty members above the age of 40 years and largely from humanities fields, are strong believers in the effectiveness of fundamental educational barriers that cannot be removed at organization-level management for their retention. Nevertheless, all the studied faculty members shared the common perception as "Believers in the effectiveness of campus climate, firm disbelievers in the effectiveness of political barriers, and strong disbelievers in the effectiveness of educational barriers".
To conclude this paper, since the studied faculty members shared the common perception as believers in the effectiveness of campus climate on their retention, the managers of universities can reduce the barriers to retention of their talented faculty members, in general, by providing a more favorable campus climate, while, in particular, taking into account the existence of varying perceptions among their faculty members.