Investigating the factors influencing academic staff attitudes toward the formation of a technological university

James Wallace, Gary Stack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Irish institute of technology sector is undergoing a major restructuringthat will culminate in mergers, to form technological universities (TU). It isessential that the perspective of key stakeholders is fully consideredthroughout this process, in order to facilitate a successful transition. Thisresearch investigates the factors influencing attitudes of academic stafftoward their institute becoming a TU. A theoretical model wasdeveloped, based on the extant literature, and validated using partialleast squares structural equation modelling. Academic staff attitudes tothe proposed change were found to relate to their sense oforganisational commitment and their contribution to teaching andresearch. Levels of happiness and job satisfaction were also found toinfluence their sense of organisational affiliation and belonging. Thosewith greater organisational commitment and a greater research focuswere more likely to report a positive attitude to the change. Academicstaff with a predominately teaching focus reported a relatively morenegative attitude to the change. These findings facilitate the prescriptionof targeted initiatives to secure stakeholder support, throughout thetransition. Staff wellbeing initiatives can improve job satisfaction andcement organisational commitment, positively influencing attitude tothe change. Promoting research activity, while reaffirming theimportance of teaching, can also serve to promote a positive attitude tothe change in status. The unique model presented in this research hasthe potential to inform stakeholder management in the implementationof major organisational change in higher education both nationally andinternationally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1025-1038
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number7
Early online date22 Feb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Feb 2023


  • Attitude to change
  • job satisfaction
  • organisational change
  • organisational commitment
  • partial least squares structural equation modelling
  • technological university


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