International Collaboration Among Social Science Scholars: Opportunities to Bridge Institutional Goals of Internationalization with Faculty Research Agendas

King, Karen Marsh, Education - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Pusser, Brian, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Faculty of universities throughout the world form scholarly networks to exchange ideas, research, and build a knowledge infrastructure that supports the scholarly activities for their subject discipline. Merton describes this phenomenon in his theory of the Sociology of Knowledge as a social organization of scientific research in which “groups organize around distinct subject orientation (Merton, 1968).” Many higher education scholars have written about the ongoing challenges that universities face in their efforts to internationalize. Although internationalization is a common institutional priority, many universities are unable to accomplish the unilateral involvement of their faculty in international initiatives. One strategy aimed at increasing faculty participation in international initiatives involves bridging individual research agendas with the institutional mission to internationalize (Childress, 2010). The ultimate goal of this research was to inform the development of institutional policies and programs aimed at encouraging faculty to participate in collaborative research projects with their international colleagues. This research was focused on individual social science scholars who were involved in international collaborative research projects that resulted in a co-authored article. One aspect of the research concentrated on understanding the scholar’s motivation for participating in the international collaboration. Additionally, the research gathered data related to university research policies including funding for participation in international collaborative projects and the value of participation in international collaborations related to the tenure and promotion review. This research incorporated the cross sectional survey design of quantitative methodology. The unit of analysis was an individual social science scholar involved in a specific international collaborative research project that resulted in a co-authored article published in a scholarly journal. Descriptive statistics along with an explanatory regression model were developed. The results of this study may be used to develop institutional research policy aimed at expanding faculty research activities associated with international research collaboration and co-authorship thereby enabling universities to advance towards their institutional missions and goals related to internationalization.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
international collaboration, co-authorship, internationalization, higher education, research policy, social science scholars, quantitative methodology, cross sectional survey, multiple linear regression
Issued Date: