A transnational comparison of lecturer self-efficacy

Brian Hemmings, Russell Kay, John Sharp, Claire Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Benchmarking within higher education is now relatively commonplace, as institutions increasingly compete directly with one another to improve the overall 'quality' of what they do and attempt to establish and better their position among peers as measured against sector standards. The benchmarking of confidence among academic staff in relation to the skills associated with teaching, research and service tasks, at least as far as these three core functions are traditionally conceived and understood, is, however, an underdeveloped and somewhat sensitive field. In this article, findings from just such a self-efficacy benchmark study involving colleagues in the Education and Arts disciplines of one large Australian university and one relatively small English university college are presented for the first time. Responses were obtained from 132 participating lecturers across these institutions using a recently introduced 70-item self-efficacy questionnaire founded in social cognitive theory.Despite their obvious differences in size and cultural context, outcomes both within and between institutions/disciplines were remarkably similar in their apparent 'strengths' and 'weaknesses', particularly so in Education, with reported greater self-efficacy for teaching than for research and service tasks, which together lagged some distance behind. Within the various subscales and individual items of the questionnaire, particular challenges were observed in many of the more fundamental skills attached to research. As institutions which recognise the varied contributions their academic staff make towards achieving their missions, albeit with an eye on 'performance', the diagnostic value of the self-efficacy questionnaire as a transnational benchmarking tool is considered and outcomes are discussed in terms of their individual and departmental implications, particularly with regard to informing strategic decision-making in resource allocation and continuing professional development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-308
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Further and Higher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


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