The importance of productivity for researchers extends to every aspect of their job. Since the career of a scholar is comprised of both micro and macro management roles, this can be a difficult endeavor to keep organized. According to studies, though, there is a correlation between the productivity of a scholar and the prestige of the job and institution in which they work. Further studies have been completed attempting to link the departmental factors that drive this correlation, working towards understanding how certain elements seem to encourage or inhibit productivity of an individual.
What it seems to narrow down to is that it takes a team for a person to be successful, regardless of whether the research is collaborative or individual. When an entire department works together for the good of the whole, the overall institution benefits as scientific productivity increases.
The Impact of a Scholar’s Success on the Whole Team
In a “you versus me” mindset, competition becomes fierce. Scholars are not only fighting to get a leg up over the global competitors in their field, but they’re also struggling to overcome obstacles in their own department or research team. When the leadership of an institution or department switches the focus to team-wide appreciation as a result of an individual’s success, this pressure to compete changes to a more manageable problem.
Good leaders in any institution understand that an individual researcher’s success can impact the entire team. The more encouraging and supportive the team is, the better functioning the entire system inside the institution will be. Each person’s role contributes to overall success, and one person’s failure can bring down the attitudes and productivity of an entire department. By working together, individual contributions increase the potential for the team to be better motivated, navigate through conflicting personalities, and make the most of each member’s strengths while mitigating their weaknesses. All of this success, however, depends on the departmental factors surrounding each individual and how the institution itself role models leadership and support of all for the common good.
Factors That Can Influence Productivity
Productivity of an individual scholar is influenced by many external and internal stimuli. While the personal issues surrounding a scholar’s life can’t be controlled by the department, there are factors that can be instituted to encourage success and productivity while they are at work, such as:
● Implementing reward systems to let staff and faculty know they are appreciated when they work hard and attain goal and mission-oriented results
● Providing formative leadership from top-down structures that demonstrate and role model working together, encouraging individual accomplishments, and integrity
● Offering training and learning opportunities for faculty and staff to continue to develop in their field and emphasizing teamwork and how each person is an integral part of the team
● Setting goals in line with the mission of the institution and ensuring each member is working toward targets that are also part of the mission
● Keeping departments limited to small numbers so that everyone feels like a represented, known person amongst a large staff where it’s easy to become impersonalized
● Motivating teams and individuals to be productive by providing incentives, both intrinsic and extrinsic, modeling effective teamwork strategies, and regularly demonstrating appreciation for each person’s unique attributes and talents
● Ensuring state-of-the-art information and technology access is provided in each department
The presence or absence of these departmental factors have a strong correlating effect on the scientific productivity of individuals and teams within an institution.