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Jafari M, Laei S, Kavyani E, Jalali R. Exploring Components, Barriers, and Solutions for Faculty Members’ Research Empowerment Programs Based on the CIPP Model: A Qualitative Study. J Occup Health Epidemiol 2020; 9 (4) :213-218
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1- PhD Student in Educational Management, Dept. of Educational Sciences, Kermanshah Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah, Iran.
2- Assistant Prof., Dept. of Educational Sciences, Kermanshah Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah, Iran. , susanlaei100@gmail.com
3- Assistant Prof., Dept. of Educational Sciences, Kermanshah Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah, Iran.
4- Associate Prof., Dept. of Nursing, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran.
Article history
Received: 2020/12/8
Accepted: 2021/01/18
ePublished: 2021/06/21
Subject: Epidemiology
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Exploring Components, Barriers, and Solutions for Faculty Members’ Research Empowerment Programs Based on the CIPP Model: A Qualitative Study  

Mostafa Jafari1, Soosan Laei2*, Elham Kaviani2, Rostam Jalali3
 
1. PhD Student in Educational Management, Dept. of Educational Sciences, Kermanshah Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah, Iran.  
2. Assistant Prof., Dept. of Educational Sciences, Kermanshah Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah, Iran. 
3. Associate Prof., Dept. of Nursing, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran.

* Corresponding author: Soosan Laei; E-mail: susanlaei100@gmail.com

Abstract
Background: Accurate knowledge of barriers and solutions for faculty members' research empowerment programs will lead to the promotion and development of universities. This study aimed to explore components, barriers, and solutions for faculty members’ research empowerment programs in Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences based on the context, input, process, and product (CIPP) model.
Materials and Methods: In this qualitative study, 15 faculty members, who had participated in research empowerment programs as participants and lecturers, were recruited using the purposive sampling method in 2020 based on semi-structured interviews. Analysis was performed using the content analysis method with MAXQDA software V.20.
Results: The results of the interviews were extracted in eight main categories, including four barriers and four solutions. The barriers included learners' problems, resource constraints, planning weaknesses, and performance weaknesses. The solutions included structural improvement, human resource improvement, workshop improvement, and performance improvement.
Conclusions: The results showed that there are barriers and solutions for improving research empowerment programs, which could be used for further improvement. It is recommended that this study be conducted in other universities to accurately identify barriers to executing research empowerment programs.
 
Keywords: Empowerment, Solutions, Qualitative Research

Introduction
Empowerment is the most important factor leading to the success and progress of any organizations [1]. Besides, human resource empowerment is a new approach to creating opportunities for the flourishment of individuals' talents, abilities, and competencies [2]. In addition, human resource empowerment is one of the major components organizations can employ to enter national and international arenas. Faculty members play a crucial role in producing science in any society and in formulating policies and strategies, as well as conducting fieldworks [3]. Universities should possess capable faculty members to train and empower human resources in the fields of education and research [4]. Faculty members are basic assets of a university, so promotion of their educational capability depends on the capability of the educational system and the training of skilled manpower. Therefore, running training courses aimed at empowering professors seems necessary [5]. Faculty empowerment programs based on a research-based learning approach can lead to the achievement of educational research goals through creating an opportunity for applying learnings and transferring knowledge to the real environment [6]. Empowerment workshops held for faculty members have been able to improve teaching and evaluation skills, thereby leading to employee satisfaction [7]. Therefore, it is clear that upon changing some components, faculty members' ability will increase, thereby making them derive more satisfaction from the courses. To examine variables of an educational course, there is a need for a model to examine the course [8]. Among these models, one can refer to the CIPP model that includes four main components of context, input, process and output, which are presented and designed to facilitate decision-making among managers. The reason for choosing this model in the present study is its being comprehensive and useful for systematically examining educational and research programs [9]. Lee et al (2019) used the CIPP model to make decisions on improving learning programs [10]. Identification of research challenges and empowerment of faculty members lead to the spotting of fundamental weaknesses for planning to overcome them to pave the way for changes in empowerment programs [11]. Overcoming challenges, such as poor participation, lack of training, and lack of evaluation strategies are important barriers to the development of empowerment programs [12].
Universities of medical sciences in Iran have seriously conducted research and run empowerment programs for faculty members in the last few years; however, no fundamental analysis has been made to improve these programs, identify barriers, and come up with effective solutions for the programs. Therefore, the present study was conducted to explore components of, barriers to, and solutions for research empowerment programs for faculty members of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences (KUMS) based on the CIPP Model.
 
Materials and Methods
This qualitative study was conducted using a content analysis method, with its statistical population having been composed of 15 faculty members of the KUMS. These faculty members were chosen from faculties of Health, Nutrition, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing and Midwifery, Medicine and Paramedical, as well as centers of Health Technology Research and Medical Biological Research in 2020. Using content analysis, individual interviews with faculty members continued until data saturation, yet no new codes were produced. Ethical considerations of this study were approved by the Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah branch. Moreover, consent forms were obtained from the participants. In this study, the only inclusion criterion for selecting the interviewees was the experience of participating in empowerment workshops or teaching in empowerment workshops for 10 sessions. In contrast, the exclusion criterion during recording the interviews was the interviewees' unwillingness to continue the meeting to withdraw from the interview at any time. The interviewees were selected purposefully in terms of age, gender, education, job title, work experience, and job location so that the results obtained from the sample would represent the study population. The sample size of the interviewees was determined based on the saturation limit of the data extracted from the interviews. To meet the objectives of the research and answer the questions of the semi-structured interview, the participants were determined based on the specified characteristics. Besides, the duration of the interviews was determined according to their participation, which lasted an average of 30 to 60 minutes.
At the beginning of the interviews, the interviewers were asked to provide their demographic information, and then the interview questions were asked. They were provided with a question guide, which consisted of 4 main questions, such as, "what are the barriers to and solutions for input components of a research empowerment program?" The results were recorded with prior notice and upon an agreement between the interviewee and the interviewer. By summarizing meaning units in relation to each other, research codes were prepared. Besides, by examining differences and similarities between the extracted codes, they were divided into different subcategories and main categories. In addition, the interviews were conducted in a comfortable environment in terms of the ambient temperature (18-21 °C) and noise (less than 65 dB).
For post-performance data management, the content of the interviews was analyzed using MAXQDA software V.20. Firstly, the codes extracted from the text were shared with the interviewees by a research member who checked to ensure that the codes extracted from the text of the interviews were what the interviewees needed. In case of any disagreement, necessary corrections would be made. Next, to determine reliability of the coded data by the researcher, extracted codes were given to an expert in the qualitative research to examine the same understanding, and the data were re-examined.
Written informed consent was obtained from all participants in this study that was conducted in the Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah Branch. Besides, an identity letter was obtained from the deputy of research and technology for collecting data. In addition, this study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah Branch (Code 19221212981016).

Results
In this study, 15 faculty members of the KUMS who had participated in research empowerment programs were interviewed (Table 1).
 

Table 1. Frequency and relative distribution of demographic variables of the participants

Variables

 

Number

%

Gender

Male

6

40

Female

9

60

Scientific rank

Instructor

1

6.7

Assistant professor

5

33.3

Associate professor

7

46.7

Professor

2

13.3

Scientific group

Clinical sciences

13

86.7

Basic sciences

2

13.3

Responsibility of interviewees

Faculty member

5

33.3

Faculty member and research manager

10

66.7

Status of interviewees

Participant in workshops

6

40

Instructor and participant in workshops

9

60

Faculty of center

Health

3

20

Nutrition

1

6.7

Pharmacy

1

6.7

Dentistry

1

6.7

Nursing and midwifery

2

13.1

Medicine

1

6.7

Paramedics

3

20

Health Technology Research Center

1

6.7

Medical Biological Research Center

1

6.7

 

After data analysis, the results of the interviews were extracted in 4 main categories of barriers. These barriers were learners' problems, resource constraints, planning weaknesses, and performance weaknesses, which were effective in the research on empowerment programs based on the CIPP model (Table 2).
 

 
Table 2. Primary extracted codes, subcategories, and main categories

Primary extracted codes

Subcategories

Main categories

Components

Weaknesses in need assessment

Need assessment and informing weaknesses

Learners' problems

Context

Weaknesses in the informing method

Earned research points

Motivational weaknesses

Lack of motivation

Structural motivation

Irresponsibility

Learners’ weaknesses

Absence in workshops

Weaknesses in interactions

Content weaknesses

Content weaknesses

Resource constraints

Input

Poor educational tools

Structural content

Support restrictions

External constraints

Restrictions on execution

Resource constraints

Potential reductions

Lack of expertise

Internal constraints
 

Lack of mastery

Incompatibility

Heterogeneity of participants

Individual differences

Lack of interactions

Weak supervision

Monitoring weaknesses

Planning weaknesses

Process

Inability to teach

Holding repetitive workshops

Structural weaknesses

Inappropriate content

Lack of familiarity with teamwork

Group weaknesses

Performance weaknesses

Product

Lack of teamwork

Lack of consensus

Differences in performance

Ignoring creativity

Management weaknesses

Lack of completion of assessment tools

Evaluation weaknesses

Lack of evaluation

Lack of feedback

 

The results of the interviews were classified in 4 main categories of solutions. These solutions included structural improvement, human resource improvement, workshop improvement, and performance improvement, which were effective in research empowerment programs based on the CIPP model (Table 3).

 
Table 3. Primary extracted codes, subcategories, and main categories

Component

Main categories

Subcategories

Primary extracted codes

Context

Structure improvement

Group performance

Doing teamwork

Group participation

Scoring

Structural modification

Will to reform

Fundamental study

Appearance deformation

Information update

Research culture

Priority of quantity over quality

Intelligence

Providing suitable conditions

Electronic checklists

Increasing budget

Voluntary participation

Scheduling

Best time

Timing in programs

Input

Human resource improvement

Teaching skills

Teacher empowerment

Supporting teachers

Using guidelines

Teaching skills

Teaching experience

Increasing motivation

Internal incentives

Understanding interests

Individual creativity

Process

Workshop improvement

Splitting

Special workshops

 

Separation of learners

 

Sub-special workshops

Product

Performance improvement

Specialization

Expert meetings

Research expert

Skilled expert

Quality improvement

Applied research

Taking advantage of opportunities

Process upgrade

Quality upgrade

Feedback


Discussion
This study aimed to explore components of, barriers to, and solutions for the research empowerment program of the faculty members of the KUMS based on the CIPP Model. Interview results were categorized based on appropriateness of the main categories of empowerment barriers. These barriers included learners' problems, resource constraints, planning weaknesses, and performance weaknesses based on the CIPP Model. Katarzyna (2020) emphasized that lack of participation by members in the decision-making process about education was one of the obstacles [13]. Similarly, Ahmadi and Sayyah Berger (2017) considered educational components, insufficient coordination, and inefficiency of the information system as the major obstacles [14]. Hidaka et al (2015) identified limited resources as major obstacles to program development [15]. Mahboubi (2015) enumerated several barriers in terms of personal, motivational, educational, and behavioral aspects to program development [16]. Hamdipour et al (2019) reported psychological, individual, process, communicational, organizational, innovational, and technological barriers as the most important challenges to knowledge empowerment [11]. Results of another study indicated that managerial, organizational, financial, and professional barriers had the greatest impact on the process of doing research activities [17]. Fotouhi (2020) concentrated on removing obstacles to providing evaluation and empowerment feedback to university faculty members [7]. Asadollahi (2019) alluded to the effective factors in empowerment programs, including lack of motivation, inadequate welfare of faculty members, weak educational and research systems, lack of supervision, poor communication, and lack of participation by faculty members [18]. As can be seen, the results of past research are consistent with the present one. Accordingly, it would be difficult to achieve goals without identifying resource constraints as well as planning and performance weaknesses.
The interview results were categorized based on the appropriateness of the main categories of empowerment solutions. Accordingly, these solutions included structural improvement, human resource reforms, workshop improvement, and performance improvement based on the CIPP Model. Ahmadi and Sayyah Berger (2017) identified that the main factors of performance improvement strategies was components of content improvement, executive improvement and evaluation concepts [14].
 According to Khodabakhshzadeh et al (2015), planning to change and create a positive attitude in the category of human resource productivity and its promotion is among the most effective strategies for improving productivity [19]. Mohammadi (2016) believe that performance appraisal, feedback, and development have the greatest impact on the variable of employee empowerment [20]. Waruni and Rod (2020) believe that revision following corrective feedback can improve activities [21]. As can be seen, the results of past research are consistent with the present one. According to the results, components of implementation method improvement, structural improvement, human resource improvement, workshop improvement, and performance improvement are required for any programs. Thus, paying attention to them not only increases the quality of the programs, but it also provides a basis for increasing the quality of education and research among faculty members. Accordingly, identifying barriers to and effective strategies on research empowerment among faculty members using the CIPP model improves the quality of research, thereby promoting research performance in universities and the country.
Environmental characteristics as well as motivational, personality, and extra-organizational factors affecting research empowerment were not considered in the present study. This study coincided with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Conservatism on the part of the participants could be a limiting factor as well. Given the limitations, it is necessary to pay attention to the main factors of the solutions, including improvements in the structure, human resources, workshops, and performance before executing the research empowerment program. It is suggested that this study be conducted in other universities to accurately identify barriers to program execution. Selecting a larger statistical community can significantly reduce the conservative role of the participants.
 
Conclusion
According to the results of this study, learners' problems, resource constraints, planning weaknesses, and performance weaknesses were considered as the main obstacles to the execution of empowerment programs. To remove the mentioned obstacles, solutions, such as effective implementation methods, structural reforms, human resource reforms, workshop reforms, and performance improvements should be considered. It is expected that policymakers in the field of higher education give priority to improving research empowerment programs.
 
Acknowledgement
This article was extracted from the results of a doctoral dissertation at the Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah Branch. Accordingly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the faculty members who cooperated in conducting interviews in the present research.
 
Conflict of interest: None declared.
 
References

  1. Sahraei RM, Erfani N, Shabanibahar G, Monsef Ali, Hosein Nezhad AA. The Relationship between Empowerment and Perceived Organizational Support Job Satisfaction of Physical Education Teachers in Hamedan. Organizational Behavior Management in Sport Studies 2015; 2(6):81-91.

  2. Hosseinpour J, Ebrahimi M. Investigating the Factors Affecting the Empowerment of the Staff of the I.R.I Police Special Forces. Resource Management in the Police 2018; 1397(21):161-86.

  3. Mirmohammadi SM, Hosseinpour D, Ghasemi Banabari H. Key Success Factors of Employees' Empowerment in Cooperation. Management Studies in Development and Evolution 2017; 25(83):93-114.

  4. Fotohi M, Akbari A, Cherabin M, Maghool A. Presentation of Faculty Member’s Empowerment Model of Farhangian University. Quarterly Education Development of Jundishapur 2020; 11(2):219-32.

  5. Karimian Z, Abolghasemi M. Comparison between the Viewpoints of Faculty Members Regarding the Share of Scholarship Functions in Different Disciplines. Journal of Medical Education Development 2018; 11(29):63-76.

  6. Keshmiri F. Faculty Development course based on Project-based Approach: A Strategy for Implementing Educational Scholarship in Universities of Medical Sciences. The Journal of Medical Education and Development 2019; 14(3):208-197.

  7. Eslami N, Hoseini M, Makarem A, Gholami H. A Survey on the Effect of In-Service Training Courses on The Satisfaction, Educational, and Assessment Skills of the Academic Staff of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences. Journal of Mashhad Dental School 2020; 44(1):3-13.

  8. Bentley PJ, Kyvik S. Individual Differences in Faculty Research Time Allocations Across 13 Countries. Res High Educ 2013; 54(3):329-48.

  9. Stufflebeam DL, Coryn CLS. Evaluation Theory, Models, and Applications. 2nd ed. Hoboken, New Jersey, United States: Wiley Press, 2014.

  10. Lee SY, Shin JS, Lee SH. How to execute Context, Input, Process, and Product evaluation model in medical health education. J Educ Eval Health Prof 2019; 16:40.

  11. Hamdipor A, Zavareghi R, Moradi S. A Pathologic Study of Knowledge-based Empowering Challenges between Humanities Faculty Members of Tabriz University. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities 2019; 11(2):129-50.

  12. Kian M. A Comparative Study of ICT Programs in Basic Education in Australia, Finland and Iran Iranian Journal of Comparative Education 2019; 2(3):383-406.

  13. Piwowar-Sulej K. Human resources development as an element of sustainable HRM – with the focus on production engineers. J Clean Prod 2021; 278:124008.

  14. Ahmadi S, Sayyah Baragar M. Understanding Faculty Members Attitude on Empowerment Programs at Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences: A qualitative study. Quarterly Educational Development of Judishapur 2017; 8(3):356-66.

  15. Hidaka BH, Asghar A,  Aktipis CA, Nesse RM, Wolpaw TM, Skursky NK, et al. The status of evolutionary medicine education in North American medical schools. BMC Med Educ 2015; 15:38. 

  16. Mahboobi M, Kianoosh P, Abedisarvestani A. Barriers to Empowering Clients in Agricultural Employment Plans of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee in Golestan Province. Quarterly Journal of Social Work 2018; 7(1):46-55

  17. Safdari R, Ghazisaeidi M, Ehtesham H, Robiaty M, Ziaee N. Barriers to Research in Medical Sciences from the Viewpoints of Faculty Members of Birjand University of Medical Sciences in 2012. Journal of Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences 2016; 15(6):515-26.

  18. Assadullahi F, Shakeri M, Barzegar Bafrooei K. The Process of Forming Professional Development Challenges for Faculty Members of Ghazni University, Afghanistan. Iranian Journal of Comparative Education 2019, 2(3):362-82.

  19. Khodabakhshzadeh S, Amirzadeh Moradabadi S, khodabakhshzadeh S, Baniasadi M. The Study of Factors Affecting Productivity of Human Resources; Barriers and Solutions: (Case study: Education Deputy University of Medical Sciences Bam). Quarterly Educational Development of Judishapur 2015; 6(4):323-31.

  20. Mohammadi M. Identifying the effecting factors of education staffs empowerment in Tehran city based on Karakok. Journal of Science and Engineering Elites 2017; 1(2); 1-19.

  21. Ekanayaka WI, Ellis R. Does asking learners to revise add to the effect of written corrective feedback on L2 acquisition? System 2020; 94:102341.


References
1. Sahraei RM, Erfani N, Shabanibahar G, Monsef Ali, Hosein Nezhad AA. The Relationship between Empowerment and Perceived Organizational Support Job Satisfaction of Physical Education Teachers in Hamedan. Organizational Behavior Management in Sport Studies 2015; 2(6):81-91. [Article]
2. Hosseinpour J, Ebrahimi M. Investigating the Factors Affecting the Empowerment of the Staff of the I.R.I Police Special Forces. Resource Management in the Police 2018; 1397(21):161-86. [Article]
3. Mirmohammadi SM, Hosseinpour D, Ghasemi Banabari H. Key Success Factors of Employees' Empowerment in Cooperation. Management Studies in Development and Evolution 2017; 25(83):93-114. [DOI]
4. Fotohi M, Akbari A, Cherabin M, Maghool A. Presentation of Faculty Member’s Empowerment Model of Farhangian University. Quarterly Education Development of Jundishapur 2020; 11(2):219-32. [DOI]
5. Karimian Z, Abolghasemi M. Comparison between the Viewpoints of Faculty Members Regarding the Share of Scholarship Functions in Different Disciplines. Journal of Medical Education Development 2018; 11(29):63-76. [DOI]
6. Keshmiri F. Faculty Development course based on Project-based Approach: A Strategy for Implementing Educational Scholarship in Universities of Medical Sciences. The Journal of Medical Education and Development 2019; 14(3):208-197. [DOI]
7. Eslami N, Hoseini M, Makarem A, Gholami H. A Survey on the Effect of In-Service Training Courses on The Satisfaction, Educational, and Assessment Skills of the Academic Staff of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences. Journal of Mashhad Dental School 2020; 44(1):3-13. [DOI]
8. Bentley PJ, Kyvik S. Individual Differences in Faculty Research Time Allocations Across 13 Countries. Res High Educ 2013; 54(3):329-48. [DOI]
9. Stufflebeam DL, Coryn CLS. Evaluation Theory, Models, and Applications. 2nd ed. Hoboken, New Jersey, United States: Wiley Press, 2014.
10. Lee SY, Shin JS, Lee SH. How to execute Context, Input, Process, and Product evaluation model in medical health education. J Educ Eval Health Prof 2019; 16:40. [DOI] [PMID] [PMCID]
11. Hamdipor A, Zavareghi R, Moradi S. A Pathologic Study of Knowledge-based Empowering Challenges between Humanities Faculty Members of Tabriz University. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities 2019; 11(2):129-50. [DOI]
12. Kian M. A Comparative Study of ICT Programs in Basic Education in Australia, Finland and Iran Iranian Journal of Comparative Education 2019; 2(3):383-406. [DOI]
13. Piwowar-Sulej K. Human resources development as an element of sustainable HRM – with the focus on production engineers. J Clean Prod 2021; 278:124008. [DOI] [PMID] [PMCID]
14. Ahmadi S, Sayyah Baragar M. Understanding Faculty Members Attitude on Empowerment Programs at Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences: A qualitative study. Quarterly Educational Development of Judishapur 2017; 8(3):356-66. [Article]
15. Hidaka BH, Asghar A, Aktipis CA, Nesse RM, Wolpaw TM, Skursky NK, et al. The status of evolutionary medicine education in North American medical schools. BMC Med Educ 2015; 15:38. [DOI] [PMID] [PMCID]
16. Mahboobi M, Kianoosh P, Abedisarvestani A. Barriers to Empowering Clients in Agricultural Employment Plans of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee in Golestan Province. Quarterly Journal of Social Work 2018; 7(1):46-55 [Article]
17. Safdari R, Ghazisaeidi M, Ehtesham H, Robiaty M, Ziaee N. Barriers to Research in Medical Sciences from the Viewpoints of Faculty Members of Birjand University of Medical Sciences in 2012. Journal of Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences 2016; 15(6):515-26. [Article]
18. Assadullahi F, Shakeri M, Barzegar Bafrooei K. The Process of Forming Professional Development Challenges for Faculty Members of Ghazni University, Afghanistan. Iranian Journal of Comparative Education 2019, 2(3):362-82. [DOI]
19. khodabakhshzadeh S, Amirzadeh Moradabadi S, khodabakhshzadeh S, Baniasadi M. The Study of Factors Affecting Productivity of Human Resources; Barriers and Solutions: (Case study: Education Deputy University of Medical Sciences Bam). Quarterly Educational Development of Judishapur 2015; 6(4):323-31. [Article]
20. Mohammadi M. Identifying the effecting factors of education staffs empowerment in Tehran city based on Karakok. Journal of Science and Engineering Elites 2017; 1(2); 1-19.
21. Ekanayaka WI, Ellis R. Does asking learners to revise add to the effect of written corrective feedback on L2 acquisition? System 2020; 94:102341. [DOI]

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