Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Policy and Leadership

First Committee Member

Jessica Word

Second Committee Member

Christopher Stream

Third Committee Member

Helen Neill

Fourth Committee Member

Gwen Marchand

Number of Pages



The intent of this research is to offer a quantitative analysis of self-determined faculty motivation within the current corporate model of higher education across public and private research universities. With such a heightened integration of accountability structures, external reward systems, and the ongoing drive for more money and institutional prestige, this study examines faculty attitudes towards their work and the institution using Deci and Ryan’s (1985) self-determination theory (SDT).

Under the corporatized model of higher education, a gap is found in the literature that explores the role of SDT’s three innate needs (i.e., autonomy, competency, and relatedness) and their effect upon tenured or tenured-track academic faculty across public and nonprofit research institutions. This dissertation explores the following four questions: 1) what differences, if any, exist in the fulfillment of basic psychological needs and experiences of corporatization between the public and nonprofit sectors academic faculty; 2) how does corporatization directly impact job involvement and intentions to leave; 3) what role do the three basic psychological needs of self-determination theory play in faculty job involvement and turnover intention; and 4) does self-determined motivation mediate the impact of corporatization.

A faculty survey is applied as the research tool with the purpose of accessing the appropriate data to answer the four research questions. Three basic innate needs of self-determination theory and the construct referred to as corporatization are used as the predictor variables. In order to determine the impact of corporatization across the sectors and the role of self-determined motivation, job involvement and intentions to leave are used as the criterion variables. Data was collected from four private nonprofit and four public four-year research institutions across the United States.


basic needs; corporatization; employee motivation; nonprofit; self-determination theory


Education | Public Administration | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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