Psychometric Analysis of a Proposed Model to Determine Factors Influencing Selection of a Research Supervisor
This paper found some factors which influence research supervisees’ selection of their research supervisors.
Research on supervisor-supervisee relationship is mostly conducted when research students have already initiated their studies. Research on how a supervisor is selected before the research begins is researched less. How do supervisees select their supervisors? Which factors do they consider important? These questions were not clearly answered in the literature so far.
A scale was developed to measure factors which influence the selection of research supervisors. Using an online survey, data was collected from 315 research students in Malaysia between August and October 2018. Psychometric properties of the scale were assessed using exploratory factor analysis followed by confirmatory factor analysis. Construct reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity of the scale were assessed using composite reliability, maximal reliability, average variance extracted, and maximum shared variance.
How research supervisees select their supervisors is an understudied area. Most of the research on supervisor selection is done after the research journey has begun. This research focuses on the thought processes before supervisor selection.
Demographics, expertise, and physical appearance emerge as important constructs that influence the thought process of a research supervisee. Each of these constructs is composed of several dimensions, each with its own weight and importance.
Research supervision is an integral part of contemporary teaching profession. To develop this important dimension of an academic’s career, this research holds high significance. The emerging factors will help researcher supervisors enhance their profiles and become more visible. This has practical implications for higher education institutions as well.
Further studies in this area can explore these factors across different cultures, distinction between undergraduate and postgraduate students, public and private higher education institutions, and scholarship or self-funded students.
Attracting better and relevant research students will result in a better match between researcher’s capability and supervisor’s expertise leading to high impact research.
This research was done on only 315 respondents. More respondents from diverse population might influence the outcome.