Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Ph.D. programs have always been difficult and stressful. However, as a variety of factors have led to a tightening of the academic job market, there is increased pressure on Ph.D. students to conduct innovative research that results in top-tier publications. Yet, there is a dearth of research analyzing how Ph.D. students respond to these demands and why some are able to successfully translate this pressure into publications, while others are not. In this study we integrate literatures on job satisfaction, intrinsic motivation, engagement, and thriving in order to conceptualize and empirically test a model of research productivity in Ph.D. programs. Our findings illustrate that Ph.D. students with higher levels of intrinsic motivation and satisfaction with their programs are more likely to be fully engaged in their scholarly work. In turn, the heightened engagement facilitates higher levels of thriving and ultimately higher research productivity. Using a sample of business Ph.D. students across the U.S., Europe, and Australia (N=259), we find support for all of our proposed relationships. We highlight several theoretical and practical implications of our study that can enhance business Ph.D. programs and students' scholarly success.


Paper presented at the Academy of Management Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, August 1-5, 2014.

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