Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal (Print ISSN: 1087-9595; Online ISSN: 1528-2686)


Empirical Investigation of Management Support and Academic Staff Engagement of Selected Private Universities in Southwest Nigeria

Author(s): Abaye Friday Igbadumhe, Tina Martha Akinbo and Omoseni Oyindamola Adepoju

Employee engagement is a smart strategy for creating and maintaining a competitive advantage. However, recent studies have consistently reported declining employee engagement in many tertiary institutions worldwide. This study examined the perceived influence of management support on academics' engagement in selected private universities in Southwest Nigeria. The study adopted a descriptive research design and Social Exchange Theory as a conceptual guide. One hundred and nine (109) respondents were surveyed across the selected private universities in Southwest Nigeria using a stratified sampling technique. The questionnaire was used as a research instrument and a Smart Partial Lease Square (SPLS) to test the perceived influence of management support on academics' engagement. The findings of the study showed that management supports significantly influenced Academic Staff (teaching, research, and community service) engagements at (β= 0.732, R2=0.535, t-statistics=19.020>1.96, P-value=0.000<0.05). The findings also revealed that management supports have significant influence on Academics’ research output at (β= 0.619, R2=0.383, t-statistics=11.508>1.96, P-value =0.000 <0.05).Statistical analysis also revealed that management supports have a significant influence on Academics' community service engagement at (β=0.538, R2=0.290; t-statistics=9.495>1.96, P-value =0.000 <0.05). The findings further revealed that teaching engagement of the Academic Staff has the most predictive value, followed by research and community service engagement, respectively. The result implies that the institution supports provided by the management of universities in Nigerian private universities contributes significantly to the teaching engagement of Academic Staff. The study concludes that management support in terms of a research grant, publication support, enabling environment, and conference support significantly affects academics' engagement in teaching, research output, and community engagement. The study recommends the need for management and stakeholders of universities to develop an appropriate strategy for academic engagement.

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