Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Richard Huff

Second Advisor

Farrah Graham

Third Advisor

Cheryl MaGill

Fourth Advisor

Nancy Stutts


In an attempt to transition from its oil-based economy, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is taking further steps towards building a knowledge-based economy. Saudi universities play a pivotal role toward the country’s attempts to achieve the desired sustainable economic growth. And because knowledge production is dependent on the human capital embedded in faculty members working at theses universities, the recommendations of the Saudi National Science and Technology Policy stressed the importance of enhancing research skills of faculty members and researchers at public universities using different means and initiatives. However, a little is known about the impact of the implemented initiatives to promote research on the actual research outcomes of faculty members working at these universities. This study examined the impact of research promoting practices, and faculty personal characteristics (i.e., age, gender, marital status, academic rank, citizenship, and origin of PhD degree) on the levels of faculty

research productivity at four Saudi Arabian public universities: King Saud University (KSU), King Abdulaziz University (KAU), King Khalid University (KKU), and King Faisal University (KFU). All PhD holder faculty members working at these universities were included in the sample of the study. A self-administrate web-based survey questionnaire was used to collect data for this study. Out of 7072 distributed questionnaires, 389 answered questionnaires were used for the data analysis.

Multiple regression results revealed that the following research-promoting practices have positive and significant relationships with faculty research productivity: supportive collegial environment, the high perception of the academic editing and translating services, the positive perception of the research funding process, the rate of participation in collaboration programs, and conference attendance. Faculty’s perception of the role of research centers and research financial incentives revealed reverse relationships with certain types of faculty research productivity.

Among the personal characteristics of faculty members, full professors were found to have the highest levels of research productivity. Citizenship (tenure status), and origin of PhD degree were found to have positive relationships with certain types of faculty research productivity. Male faculty were found to have more publications in refereed journals compared to female faculty. Also, older faculty were found to have more publications in refereed journals compared to junior faculty.


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