Title: What motivates young researchers in Japan?

Authors: Daisuke Kanama

Addresses: Department of Business and Information Systems, Hokkaido Information University, 59-2, Nishi-Nopporo, Ebetsu 069-8585, Japan

Abstract: In this study interviews were conducted with 19 young researchers and engineers at universities and a public research institute in Japan to find R&D environments, rewards and evaluations that enable such individuals to demonstrate a more creative performance. As a result, this study has confirmed that there are three types of young researchers and engineers - the problem-finding type, the problem-solving type and the co-ordinating type. All types indicate high-intrinsic motivation. Factors to either improve or impede motivation as well as responses to impediments were different between the types. One finding was that young researchers and engineers can improve their motivation for R&D efforts by sharing technological and social challenges, visions and values with the organisations or research communities to which they belong. Another finding was that motivation for research can decline substantially due to unclear performance evaluation standards and benchmarks in an increasingly competitive environment.

Keywords: intrinsic motivation; extrinsic motivation; young researchers; creativity; vision; competitive environment; university research; public research institutes; R&D; research and development; rewards; performance evaluation; creative performance; young engineers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTIP.2013.052619

International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 2013 Vol.9 No.1, pp.26 - 36

Published online: 14 Mar 2013 *

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