The influence of research collaboration and networking (RECON) on research productivity at an accredited South African tertiary education institution.

Across the globe, academic staff members of accredited tertiary education institutions are expected to perform tasks pertaining to teaching and learning, research, and community engagement. Particularly in a South African dispensation, research shows that many accredited tertiary education institutions’ academic staff members have excessive teaching and learning workloads which, in turn, adversely affect their research productivity – their abilities to publish research outputs (e.g. articles, conference papers, and books). It should be noted that for every accredited research output produced by a South African accredited tertiary education institution, it is entitled to subsidy income from the Department of Higher Education and Training. Regardless of the foregoing, there is a reported decline in research productivity of South African accredited tertiary education institution academic staff members. As such, for this study, the phenomenon of Research Collaboration and Networking (RECON) was explored as an intervention to overcome this problem. Empirical research was conducted through means of mixed-method research from where data were collected from a RECON group attached to the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences at an accredited South African tertiary education institution. Stemming from the results, RECON appeared to have a positive influence on the research productivity of sampled academics; alluding to the recommendation that dedicated time should be allocated for RECON-related tasks on individual teaching and learning timetables of South African accredited tertiary education institutions’ academic staff.