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Positive Management of Universities: A Model of Motivation to Strive for Scientific Excellence




Objective: The aim of the article is to conceptualise a model of work motivation in the management of universities striving for scientific excellence.

Research Design & Methods: The most relevant for our aim is the self-determination theory that is applied to the work and organisational domain. We used a narrative literature review.

Findings: The proposed model is derived from the self-determination theory. It includes three types of motivation: autonomous motivation, controlled motivation, and amotivation, as well as three psychological needs, i.e. autonomy, mastery, and purpose. These motives and needs can interact to enhance scientific effectiveness further.

Implications & Recommendations: Universities need innovative staff who can contribute to strengthening scientific productivity and enhance the influence of the university at the international level.

Contribution & Value Added: Connection of three perspectives – institutional, individual and scientific disciplines – will capture the complexities of managing work motivation oriented to scientific effectiveness.



motivation, university management, scientific effectiveness, psychological needs, positive organisational scholarship, self-determination theory

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Author Biography

Beata A. Basińska

Faculty of Management and Economics

Gdansk University of Technology

Associate Professor 

Master of Social Science in Psychology (University of Gdansk, Poland ); PhD in Psychology (University of Gdansk, Poland); Doctor habilitatus in Psychology (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw, Poland); Associate Professor of Gdansk University of Technology (Poland). Her research interests include positive management and organizational psychology.   

Krzysztof Leja

Master of Applied Physics (Gdansk University of Technology, Poland - GUT), PhD in economy (GUT), habilitation in management (University of Economics in Katowice, Poland), associate professor and vice-dean for research at the Faculty of Management and Economics, GUT. His fields of interest include research HEIs and policy studies. He is an expert of Polish Rectors Foundation and Ministry of Science and Higher Education. He is a national expert in “European Tertiary Education Register” (ETER) 2013-2020.

Magdalena Szufllita-Żurawska

Master of Science in Digital Library Management and Information Science (University of Boras, Sweden); Her research interests include scholarly communication, bibliometrics, open and data science.


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