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Danish students perceive the governmental proposal of the SU reform an individuals know-how

Abstract
This project aims at investigating how the Danish students perceive the governmental proposal of the SU reform, which has the intention to stimulate human capital ( an individuals know-how). Through the students e es, the project will demonstrate their perception on which incentives are the ones that can motivate them to complete their degree within the nominated time, as well as ac!uiring the sufficient amount of human capital directed towards the Danish industr . Through the method of focus groups, we discovered that the Danish students regard the governmental proposal as "eing an appropriate method to get students faster through their educational program. # using Daniel $. %in&s theor on Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose we have realised the e'istence of other methods to get students faster through the educational program. (dditionall , the students e'pressed that when it comes to ac!uiring the needed human capital towards the Danish industr , the governmental proposal will not provide the ade!uate human capital. )n the other hand, to o"tain the sufficient human capital the theor on Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose is, according to the students, one of the right incentives to ac!uire such.

Acknowledgements
*irst of all we would li&e to than& the students from +os&ilde Universit and

,openhagen #usiness School, for participating in our focus groups, " sharing their e'periences and opinions, which have ena"led us to conduct this investigation. -e would also li&e to than& .esper .espersen, .ens %eter Thompsen and $ans (age for providing &nowledge on the matter, and for enlightening us on our field of investigation. Special than&s go to #elisa /te0erote 1arochi, our supervisor, for the guidance and support, during the entire process.

List of Contents
1./ntroduction.................................................................................................................... 2 1.1 %ro"lem (rea........................................................................................................... 2 1.2 %ro"lem *ormulation............................................................................................... 2 1.3 +esearch 4uestions..................................................................................................3 +esearch Design ............................................................................................................... 5 2.#ac&ground ,hapter.......................................................................................................6 3.Theoretical ,hapter........................................................................................................ 7 3.1 /ntroduction to Theoretical *ramewor&................................................................... 7 3.2 Description of Theor 8 ......................................................................................... 7 3.3 (utonom , 1aster and %urpose " Daniel $. %in&............................................... 9 3.5 (nal tical *ramewor&............................................................................................1: 3.; )perationalisation of the Theories ........................................................................11 5. 1ethodolog ................................................................................................................13 5.1 The )ntolog and <pistemolog ........................................................................... 13 5.2 1ethods .................................................................................................................13 5.3 *ocus =roup /nterviews.........................................................................................13 5.5 The *ocus =roup /nterview Structure....................................................................15 5.; ,riteria to *ocus =roups .......................................................................................15 5.6 ,ollection and %rocessing of %rimar Data...........................................................15 5.> Data (nal sis......................................................................................................... 1; 5.7 +elia"ilit and ?alidit .......................................................................................... 1; ;.%re@anal sis...................................................................................................................16 6.(nal sis........................................................................................................................ 1> 6.1 ,#S 1aster............................................................................................................1> 6.2 ,#S %hD................................................................................................................2:

6.3 +U 1aster..............................................................................................................22 6.5 +U %hD..................................................................................................................25 6.; %art@,onclusion......................................................................................................26 6.6 Discussion A %art 2.................................................................................................2> >.,onclusion....................................................................................................................27 7.%ost@,onclusion............................................................................................................29 9.#i"liograph .................................................................................................................3:

1. Introduction
1.1 Problem Area
During the financial crisis in Denmar&, the ongoing de"ate is now how to enter a sustaina"le period of economical growth. /n the centre of the de"ate is how Denmar& can uphold and &eep its competitive advantages within the &e competence fields of the Danish industr (SBrensen, 2:1:). (mong the political parties in Denmar& there is a consensus regarding an increased educational level of the individual citi0en (D+, 2:11), also recognised as Human apital, as the catal st to stimulate the Danish industr and its competitive advantagesC there" increasing the productivit and the overall economical growth (*1, 2:1:). $uman capital is associated throughout the de"ate as an individuals Dknow-how, (E) a !uired and use"ul abilities o" #an$ inhabitant (E) (Smith, 2::3)1. The essentialit to human capital should "e to diminish the gap "etween the structures of !ualification, meaning the !ualification an individual gets from learning, to the la"our mar&et. The human capital !ualifications should "e made more efficient and transfera"le for the la"our mar&et, instead of the &nowledge "ecoming wasteful and placed within a "oo& that onl collects dust on a shelf (Dahl, 2:11). Therefore, an agreed purpose has "ecome to diminish the e'istent gap "etween the structure of !ualification and the needs of the Danish industr of the Danish industr in the world spectrum (*rederi&sen et al., 2:11). (s an incentive to reduce the former mentioned gap and stimulate human capital, the current government (The Fi"eral %art , ,onservative %art ) and the Danish %eoples %art , have proposed a political reform of the Danish students grants and loans scheme (SU) in the alread emplaced educational s stem. The reform depicts a governmental reduction on e'penditure of the SU, corresponding to the *inancial Faw 2:11 proposition of a reduction on e'penditure within the educational sector. The reform has, among others, two measuresC (1) to allow the mar&et (industries) a greater connection to
1(dam SmithG The ac!uisition of such talents, " the maintenance of the ac!uirer during his education, stud , or apprenticeship, alwa s costs a real e'pense, which is a capital fi'ed and reali0ed, as it were, in his person. Those talents, as the ma&e a part of his fortune, so do the li&ewise that of the societ to which he "elongs (Smith, 2::3).

(la"our mar&et).

)"taining such is recognised as "eing one motive to ac!uire the competitive advantage

education " increasing students lowest marginal earning (2) to motivate students to ac!uire their educational degree faster, ma&ing them more rapidl availa"le for the la"our mar&et2. (Uvm, 2:1:). To motivate the students to ac!uire their Universit degree more rapidl , in order to gain human capital, the government follows a motivational approach corresponding to Douglas 1c=regors theory % on reward and punishment (Findemann, 2:1:) H ((ndersen <. <., 2::;) H (Dalsgaard, 2:1:). 1c=regor argues that in order to motivate another individual, e'trinsic 3 factors in form of reward and punishment are the attri"utes of importance. -ithin the reform, the government has as a reward included a monetar "onus to those students capa"le of completing their degree within the nominated timeframe set to the program. 1eanwhile, as a punishment, the reform emplo s a reduction of the SU to the nominated time of the stud programC a student was previousl granted a ear longer SU than the nominated time of the stud program (+egeringen, 2:11). The SU reform and the motivational approach that the reform emplo s have created a de"ate among different parties in the societ C the students, the political parties, the opinion formers, the companies, and more. The concerns are whether this reform will actuall reach the intended goals that have "een considered " the government. The parliamentar opposition is not convinced that the reform will achieve the intended macro@economical goals, alongside this view is supported " <conomists such as .esper .espersen, who argues towards the management of unemplo ment. The pu"lic deficit should, according to .espersen, not "e constrained " simple household economical argumentation, li&e the SU reform doesC i" there is a de"i it you need to save money on your e&penses (.espersen, 2:11). $e perceives that the &e emphasis should "e given to the creation of jo"s, there" reducing unemplo ment and solving the competitive advantage issue that the Danish industr is presentl facing (.espersen, 2:11). (dditionall , to the counter arguments to the governments proposal, 1ette Ilingse , .ournalist with &e focus on environmental and educational aspects and <s"en <hmsen,
2The 1inistr of <ducation pu"lished a report statingC ( Danish student ta&es up to four ears longer to finish hisJher studies compared to other <uropean countries. 3<'trinsic motivation refers to factors coming outside of an individual, e.g. another individual providing income.

Spo&esman for Danish students living conditions, !uestion whether the motivational approach set " the government will affect the individual students to "ehave the wa the government e'pects them to "ehave (Ilingse , 2:11) H ((ndersen <. <., 2::;). 1a&ing changes in the SU law will "e a controvers to the fundamental purpose of its implementation. The initial thought "ehind the introduction of the SU was to provide e!ual opportunit for individuals with different socioeconomic "ac&grounds to ta&e an education. This was introduced to ma&e sure that economical hindrance should not "e a "arrier for those with desire and s&ill wanting to o"tain an educational degree (%reisler, 1996). $owever, as illustrated " (Ilingse , 2:11). +eflecting on the disagreeing propositions towards the governments approach, to stimulate human capital and to motivate students, a variet ac!uire such has "een up to de"ate. -hile the governments, reward and punishment, approach is ta&en up for argumentation, the consensus to fill in the gap "etween structures of !ualifications and the la"our mar&et is still present. -hilst this perception maintains its emphasis in order to improve the competitive advantage in Denmar&, Daniel $. %in&, motivational spea&er and graduate in Faw from Kale Universit , proposes an alternative wa to motivate students. $e directs the attention towards an emphasis on intrinsic 5 factors of an individual in form of Autonomy (the urge to direct our own lives), Mastery (the urge to get "etter and "etter at something that matters) and Purpose (the earning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves) (%in&, 2:11). -hile the most appropriate approach, to stimulate human capital and to motivate students, has "een ta&en up for discussion, it "ecomes interesting to e'amine what factors, from the perception of the &e @sta&eholders @ namel the students, are capa"le of motivating them to ac!uire an educational degree that will fill in the gap "etween structure of !ualifications and la"our mar&et, since e.g. students mi'ht have "inished on 5/ntrinsic motivationG refers to factors that come from inside an individual rather than from an e'ternal or outside rewards, such as mone or grades (%in&, 2:11). of alternative wa s to Ilingse , changes of the SU will worsen the conditions and reduce the amount of individuals see&ing to o"tain an educational degree

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the nominated time but it is !uestionable i" they have a !uired the skills needed "or "illin' in the 'ap (=reve, 2:11). (ccording to the *inancial 1inistr on the decomposition of the socio@economical "enefits in emplo ment and productivit efficienc , figures illustrate that the higher education ou o"tain, the more societ "enefits in regards to emplo ment and productivit efficienc ((ndersen H 1adsen, 2:11). Therefore, for our investigation it will "e relevant to investigate 1aster students as the are the ones societ will "enefit the most from A concerning higher income, greater ta' returns as well as longer la"our mar&et attachment. Ta&ing into consideration the a"ove mentioned aspects in regarding the challenges on the macro@scale and the argumentations towards and against the governmental incentives to provide the la"our mar&et with Dhighl L educated potential emplo ees, the following investigation will e'plore and e'amine various motivational factors that are, " 1aster students, considered "eing the appropriate approach to motivate and diminish the gap. )ur investigation will "e conducted with the purpose in mind of producing a proposal, which can "e presented to the Danish government, for them to implement, on how to motivate the Danish students to terminate their master degree within the nominated time. This should "e conducted in order for the Danish industr to gain as stated a"oveC the re!uired Dhighl L educated potential emplo ees. /n approaching this field, Daniel $. %in&s motivational wor& on Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose and Douglas 1c=regors (heory % on reward and punishment, will "e utilised for e'amining the following investigation.

1.) Problem *ormulation


$ow do individual students perceive the motivational incentive in the governmental planC terminating a master degree on nominated time, and how does it, according to the students, respond to the need for human capital re!uired " the Danish industr M

1.+ ,esear h -uestions


+esearch 4uestion 1G a) $ow does the individual student perceive the e'trinsic motivational incentive proposed " the governmentC reducing the SU of a master degree to the nominated timeM

") $ow does the individual student perceive the intrinsic motivational factors to terminate a master degree within the nominated timeM

+esearch 4uestion 2G $ow does the human capital ac!uired " industr M the individual students, unfolded the Danish

within their motivational statements, respond to the need "

Main .e"initions
Economic growth: is the process " which a nations wealth increases over time. $uman resources, capital resources and technological development can influence the rate of economic growth (#usinessdictionar , 2:11). igher educationG in our case we define higher education as "eing a two@ ear graduate program to "e entered after three ears of undergraduate studies. # having completed this two@ ear graduate program, a student will receive a master degree that can provide one with a jo" in line with ones education (<nc clopedia, 2:11). uman capital: is considered as a "an& of s&ills that can "e increased through education. The &nowledge and s&ills cannot "e separated from individuals as opposed to financial and ph sical assets. *urthermore, human capital provides an increased economical production at the same value of ph sical capital, "ecause the s&ills increase

productivit , and assuma"l there is "oth a private and socio@economical production gain in education (#ec&er, $uman ,apital, 2:11). !ominated timeG to finish the education degree within the time set for the education, plus an additional si' months. SU reformG is a contractionar fiscal polic introduced " the Danish government in 2:1:. /ts aim is to create economic growth and emplo ment " ma&ing students finish their education to the nominated time (Uvm, 2:1:). "arget group A -e define our target group as "eing 1aster and %hD students from +os&ilde Universit (+U) and ,openhagen #usiness School (,#S).

1:

#esearch Design
/hapter ) - 0a k'round /hapter The content of the "ac&ground chapter consists of several sections that each aim at e'plaining how the concept of human capital and how universities provide it. *urthermore, the concept of human capital and its attachment to the notion of economical growth will "e illustrated. (dditionall , it serves to provide a fundamental understanding of the governmental reason for implementing the SU reform as a mean to achieve economical growth. /hapter + - (heoreti al /hapter This chapter aims to portra the workin' tools on how to manage our e'planator investigation. /t will provide an insight into the theories " Douglas 1c=regor and Daniel $. %in& in depth as well as the operationalisation of the two theories. The chapter commences with a description of different wa s of loo&ing at human "eings, followed up " introducing the theoretical concepts. There" , we go on to implement the anal tical framewor& and the operationalisation of the theories. (t the end of this section, the aim is to have provided a sufficient understanding of the theoretical "ase for the investigation. /hapter 1 - Methodolo'y This chapter will provide the reader with how we have conducted and uncovered our findings. This includes the ontological stance, methodological approach, guidelines to focus groups, collection and processing of primar data, data anal sis and relia"ilit and validit . /hapter 2 - Pre-Analysis This chapter will provide an overview of the themes, within the concepts of our chosen theories, which were detected during our coding process. (dditionall , a figure will present the structure of the anal sis.

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/hapter 3 - Analysis The first part of our anal sis is "ased upon research !uestion 1 part a) and "), as&ing how the students perceive the intrinsic and e'trinsic motivational factors to terminate a master degree at the nominated time. This part of the anal sis has "een separated into four parts, each one representing one of the four focus groups that have "een conducted. -ith the statements on motivation we have coded various themes. The second part of the anal sis answers the second research !uestion "eingG how the human capital, ac!uired " the students through their statements, responds to the need of the Danish industr , " using the findings from the first part of the anal sis. # using the themes created to answer the second research !uestion, the intention is to discuss how the students see their ac!uired human capital responding to the Danish industr . /hapter 4 - /on lusion /n the overall conclusion, we summarise our findings from the anal sis and discussion to provide a reflection upon our pro"lem formulation. /hapter 5 - Post /on lusion The post conclusion serves to portra a reflection upon our choices, which we have ta&en throughout our research and the effects the have had on our investigation. -e discuss what other choices could have "een implemented and how the investigation could "e carried out further. (s we approach the research field !ualitativel , we will e'amine how this field, given the results, could have "een conducted !uantitativel .

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$. %ackground &hapter
(s the aim of the government is to gain competitive advantage, the concept of $uman ,apital and its relation to economic growth "ecomes essential. The government relies, among others, on an e!uili"rium model, which proposes a change in fiscal polic " reducing the time spent ac!uiring a master degree. The governments strateg is to arrive at this result, " their proposal of the SU reform, which intends to reduce the time spent ac!uiring a master degree. The aim with the following chapter is to provide the reader with an understanding of the conte'tual framewor& that our investigation operates in. -ithin this realm, it is necessar to demonstrate the human capital concept in an economical growth perspective and wh the government considers it to "e of importance to motivate students to finish a degree within the nominated time. uman &apital The concept of human capital stems "ac& from the 19;:s, where leading economists such as (lfred 1arshall and 1ilton *riedman assumed that la"our power was a given entit and not augmenta"le. (t that time it was not considered that human@"eings could educate, train, have medical care and incorporate other methods to augment their &nowledge and health to increase their own productivit (Schult0, 1963, pp. 1@2:). (lthough the comparisons were made according to land, la"our, enterprise and capital, the implication of e'plaining the economical s stem simpl lac&ed this dimension of human capital. The economical s stem was not a"le to e'plain wh national output differed from one another. (ccording to Theodore -. Schult0, human capital is a su"stantial part of production in deli"erate investments, and therefore it is to "e considered an aspect of the economical s stem (Schult0, 1963). =ar S. #ec&er formulated in his No"el price lecture, (he 6 onomi 7ay o" 8ookin' at 8i"e9 :;< =ndividuals ma&imi>e wel"are as they on eive it, whether they be sel"ish, altruisti , loyal, spite"ul, or maso histi . (heir behavior is "orward-lookin', and it is also onsistent over time. =n parti ular, they try as best they an to anti ipate the un ertain onse!uen es o" their a tions :;< (#ec&er, The <conomic -a of Foo&ing at Fife, 1992, p. 53). The ramifications to the term of human capital entails that at the centre of the concept lies the assumption that human@"eings are weighing the "enefits

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and the costs in regards to education, training and investing in medical care. The "enefits include, for instance, cultural and other non@monetar value of the time spent on these investments. *urthermore, #ec&er distinguishes "etween general and specific &nowledge in the creation of human capital. Specific &nowledge is understood as &nowledge that can onl "e utilised in a conte't dependent situation. )ne e'ample is firm@specific &nowledge, which is onl useful in the firm providing it. =eneral &nowledge on the other hand can "e utilised in a conte't independent situation e.g. ac!uiring &nowledge on how to operate a personal computer is considered general &nowledge, which can "e utilised not onl in one specific conte't (#ec&er, $uman ,apital, 1993). Inowledge, in terms of specific and general, can "e ac!uired at universities, where it is considered that providing &nowledge can enhance large and diverse sets of s&ills (#ec&er, $uman ,apital, 1993, p. ;1). uman &apital and Economical 'rowth /n Denmar& the correlation "etween human capital and economical growth can "e seen in the wor& proposed " Fars (ndersen and 1artin 1adsen in the "oo& .en ?""entli'e @ektors Akonomi. The showcase that firms utilise more efficientl their monetar capital per wor&ing hour with a "etter educated la"our force. This can, according to (ndersen and 1adsen, "e seen in that the Danish firms have increased their profit " 2.3O in the period "etween the ears 19>: A 2::>, and in addition a relative constant contri"ution from the heightened la"our forces educational level has occurred. $owever, the la"our forces educational level will slowl change over time, as the process of education, in an economical perspective, is a long@term investment. Therefore, educating in a faster pace will contri"ute to more productivit economical growth ((ndersen H 1adsen, 2:11, pp. 122@123). (ccording to (ndersen and 1adsen, education and research are the central engines to create economic growth. /t is assumed that enhanced education, research, innovation and investments in new technolog are the central elements in order to strengthen and gains along with improvements in earnings and occupations, and some of the costs include the foregone

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productivit in the societ and there" growth and prosperit ((ndersen H 1adsen, 2:11, pp. 122@123). "(pe of education: Uns&illed ?ocational <ducation Short@term $igher <ducation 1edium@term $igher <ducation Fong@term $igher <ducation Disposable life income) m. kr.: 9.2 11.: 11.7 13.1 1>.6

The ta"le a"ove portra s the private economical profit measured in disposa"le income after ta' for five different education categories ((ndersen H 1adsen, 2:11, p. 119). +espectivel , it is to "e seen that there is a causal relationship "etween an increased education, productivit and income. This ta"le as well confirms our choice for choosing master students as "eing the focal point in our research, as the ta"le illustrates that their contri"ution is the most essential to societ (long@term higher education). <ducation also has an impact to the attachment to the la"our mar&et. The average ears spent on the la"our mar&et is higher for wor&ers with an education compared to uns&illed wor&ers, appro'imatel " ten ears ((ndersen H 1adsen, 2:11, pp. 122@ 123). (s a general rule, higher education results in higher salar and generall reflects higher productivit as well. $igher salar and productivit are "eneficial for the individual and the societ as a whole, and thus it stimulates economical growth. The current government assumes that the right strateg , in order to gain economical growth, is to heighten the education level in societ . This will increase human capital responding to the demand for !ualifications, and there" growth (D+, 2:11). $owever, this correlation is "eing disputed in a nouvelle de"ate. 1assachusetts Secretar of <ducation and the %resident of the New <ngland ,ollege of #usiness and *inance presented Pnew trends in their 2::6 <conomic +eport ($orton, 2::9), which the Danish industr can ac!uire competitive advantages over its foreign rivals, which will lead to economical

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showed that the average wages of college graduates declined after adjusting for inflation. *urthermore, over the past !uarter@centur , the average cost of higher education has increased at a rate four times faster than inflation Q and twice as fast as the cost of health care. *rom an economic point of view, a college degree costs more and more and the rates of returns are "ecoming less. %ut "luntl , in an op@ed " .oseph 1arr ,ronin and $oward <. $orton in the ,hronicle of $igher <ducation titled 7ill Hi'her 6du ation be the Be&t 0ubble to 0urstC the proclaim that investments in education will result in an economical "u""le as seen with the housing mar&et during the financial crisis ($orton, 2::9). Nevertheless, we cannot su"scri"e to this argumentation for three reasonsG the first reason "eing that empirical evidence (availa"le in@large) su"stantiates the correlation "etween an increased human capital and economical growth (Iat0, 2::9), and the second reason "eing that human capital "asicall cannot "e sold as a normal asset, "ut is rather rented through wages. This implies that human capital is not detacha"le from the "eholder (#ec&er, $uman ,apital, 2:11). The final reason is that the current Danish government also assumes this correlation to "e factual (D+, 2:11). uman &apital and !eoclassical "heor( The current govermental political parties, the Fi"eral %art and ,onservative %art , emphasise the use of neoclassical theor to achieve a state of increased welfare for societ (?enstre, 2:11) H (Ionservative, 2:11). 1ost importantl , neoclassical theor assumes that mar&et e!uili"rium is achieved

through rational choice theor and (dam Smiths invisi"le hand (<con, 1976). The assumption here is that the mar&et, through demand and suppl , will regulate itself. This former assumption is viewed in the government utilising the D+<(1 model (Danish +ational <conomic (gents 1odel) (D+<(1, 2::7). The D+<(1 model is "ased on a general e!uili"rium theor constructed from the "asic principles of neoclassical theor C here the features consist of consumers having an optimising "ehaviour and thus there is a cost@minimising "ehavior " producers and average@cost pricing (1itra@Iahn, 2::7, p. 51). The model accounts for varia"les that do not onl ta&e the individual human "eing into consideration, "ut as well the societ as a whole.

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*urthermore, it incorporates suppl and demand as not necessaril attaining mar&et e!uili"rium when suppl and demand e!ual each other, "ut indicates that another possi"le e!uili"rim is of e'istence. The model contains data from the most significant mar&ets, such as the financial A and goods mar&et, allowing mar&ets to effect one another. The implication, for the economical s stem anal sis, is su"stantiated within the following paragraph (D+<(1, 2::7, p. 11). The model claims to "e a"le to provide valua"le &nowledge as to where the mar&et potentiall can allocate resources for a "etter e!uili"rium in order to attain an educational level that "enefits "oth the individual and the societ (/"id.). ( report pu"lished " the Fa"our 1ar&et ,ommision anal ses, through D+<(1, the socio@economical conse!uences of students finishing their education faster as well as starting it in an earlier age, " utilising other compounds developed to ena"le studies of socio@economical prediction. The compounds are among othersG e'trapolation of population, the education model, population accounting, and the "asic D+<(1 model ; (The Fa"our 1ar&et ,ommission, 2::9, p. 2). -ithin these compounds The Fa"our 1ar&et ,ommission anal sed a simulation of one scenarioG the scenario involved getting students faster through !ualif ing educations6. This entails that the actual time spent on ac!uiring a degree, which !ualifies to a wor& in line with ones education, will "e shortened with one ear compared to 2::9 and toda (The Fa"our 1ar&et ,ommission, 2::9, p. ;). The results from the scenario will have a significant effect on the num"ers of students. *rom ear 2:1; @ 2:3;, there will "e a diminishment of ;:.::: students enrolled at a universit , this corresponds to a permanent reduction " 12O of students enrolled in a !ualif ing education. Despite the former, an increase in the overall education level will occur as more people will o"tain a master degree as well as a %hD (The Fa"our 1ar&et ,ommission, 2::9, pp. ;@>). #ased on the a"ove principles, the current government assumes that the right strateg is to fasten students completion rate (Uvm, 2:1:). The D+<(1 models calculation
;Details of the compounds mentioned are availa"le at (D+<(1, 2::7, p. 11) 6Iompetencegivende uddannelser R !ualification giving education

1>

indicates that this will heighten the education level, which will increase human capital and there" the Danish industr can ac!uire competitive advantages, which will lead to future economical growth. *romoting uman &apital through +otivational Incentives needs to

/n order to fasten students completion rate, the governmental strateg

incorporate students "ehaviour as an essential dimension. Dependent on how the students "ehave, whether the finish their degree on nominated time or not, has a direct impact on human capital. Therefore, to achieve the positive impact, the government needs to motivate the students to fasten their completion rate (Uvm, 2:1:). 1otivation "ecomes the essential su"ject of investigation, as it is a wa to promote or change a certain &ind of "ehaviour. 1otivation is a tool that the government can use to o"tain its goals and o"jectives. 1otivation needs to "e stimulated towards the o"jectives otherwise the "ehaviour of those supposed to "e motivated, will onl remain constant. The governmental strateg utilises, to reach its o"jectives, motivational incentives proposed within the SU reform, the aspects of, diminishing the distri"ution period of the SU and a "onus provision. This approach is conducted on the premises to stimulate more human capital to ena"le more productivit (Uvm, 2:1:). and economical growth

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,. "heoretical &hapter
The first section of this chapter provides an introduction to the fundamental assumptions that is rooted in motivational theories. The second section ela"orates on how different theories argue on how emplo ers can motivate emplo ees. -e argue that the relation "etween emplo ers and emplo ees are seen as e!ual to the relation "etween the government and the students. Therefore, in the following chapter and throughout the project, the relations will "e seen as interchangea"le.

+.1 =ntrodu tion to (heoreti al *ramework


/n its simplest sense, motivation can "e defined as the mechanisms that drive one to "ehave in a certain wa or ta&e a particular action. There are a variet of different motivational theories that offer different e'planations on how to direct human "ehaviour. -hen investigating motivationC the essential !uestion is how a theor sees individuals. Theories can "e classified to mechanistic and organismic theoriesG Me hanisti theories tend to view the human or'anism as passive, that is, as bein' pushed around by the intera tion o" physiolo'i al drives and environmental stimuli, where as or'anismi theories tend to view the or'anism as a tive, that is, as bein' volitional and initiatin' behaviours (+ an, 197;, pp. 3@5). )rganismic theories see that individuals have intrinsic needs that the aim to satisf . (ccording to this perspective, the fulfilment of the intrinsic needs is self@initiated. /n contrast, mechanistic theories assume that individuals react to e'ternal factors. /t is perceived that individuals are passive and driven " their environment (+ an, 197;, pp. 3@5). #ased on this distinction, "etween mechanistic and organismic wa of viewing individuals, e'trinsic and intrinsic motivational theories have "een developed. The !uestion is whether individuals are motivated intrinsicall or e'trinsicall . /ntrinsicall motivated "ehaviour can "e defined as hoi e behaviour, whi h is

e&hibited "or no apparent e&ternal reward (+ an, 197;, pp. 3@5). (n intrinsicall motivated person e'periences interest and enjo ment in the action itself, and is therefore not motivated " e'ternal factorsC they per eive the lo us i" ausality "or their behaviour to be internal (+ an, 197;, p. 35). /ntrinsicall motivated persons find the

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action itself satisf ing as the are fulfilling their natural needs. These needs could e.g. "e the need to learn something new and to see the purpose in ones actions. /n contrast, e'trinsicall motivated "ehaviour can "e defined as behaviour dire ted toward some e&ternal reward (+ an, 197;, p. 1:6). <'trinsic motivation is triggered " might perform a tas& that (s)he might not find interesting. -hen investigating motivation within the stud conte't we aim to e'amine whether students are merel motivated " intrinsic or e'trinsic factors. /n order to do this we have chosen two opposing motivational theories, which provide us frames to investigate "oth intrinsic and e'trinsic motivation. Douglas 1c=regors theory % (representing the governmental incentives) and Daniel $. %in&s theor on Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose e'plain what motivates individuals in their wor&ing place. These theories consider the major assignment of an enterpriseC to organise human effort in the service of the o"jectives settled " the enterprise. #oth propose alternative wa s of managing a corporation, outlining different perspectives on how to run an enterprise and motivate the emplo ees to reach the o"jectives of the enterprise. 1c=regors classification of theory %, discerns itself with the uncertaint and insecurit that e'ist in the relationship "etween the manager@emplo ee. The manager should, so the theor goes, operate the enterprise in an authoritarian wa , e'ercising e'trinsic values in form of punishment and reward on the "asis of the "ehaviour of the emplo ees. /f the emplo ee performs well, (s) he should "e provided with a reward DcarrotL, or a punishment Dstic&L in the vice versa situation. %in&s theor on Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose holds the former aspect of DcarrotL as a similarit . (ccording to %in&, a manager should regard the intrinsic values of the emplo ees e.g. self@respect, confidence, recognition etc. as the most optimal wa within man situations on how to stimulate motivation. The outcome of such a focus will accordingl enhance the common understanding of the o"jectives of the enterprise "etween the manager and the emplo ees (1c=regor, 196:, pp. 33@35). the surrounding environment of an individual and serves to e'plain wh an individual

+.) .es ription o" (heory %


(s alread mentioned, 1c=regors theory % is consistent with the Danish governments motivational incentives, as it assumes that individual motivation can "e adjusted " reward and punishment. (ccording to 1c=regor, the wa to manage the firms

2:

emplo ees is " control and authorit . This fundamental assumption of managers is "ased upon the personalit of the emplo ee, which is "rought into the wor&place. -hen an emplo ee goes to wor&, wherever that ma "e, he "rings with him the personalit that onl considers the monetar gains. This "elief can "e connected to viewpoints of (dam Smiths 6 onomi Man where a man onl has the interest of ma'imising gains at the lowest cost or within this case, effort, as possi"le. To displa this viewpoint on emplo ees, 1c=regor illustrates three dominant characteristics on human "ehaviour that managers consider when managing the firm and its relationships. 1. (he avera'e human bein' has an inherent dislike o" work and will avoid it i" he an. This assumption is related to the da of sin, as portra ed in the "i"le. (s a conse!uence of not o"e ing the rules laid down " =od, (dam and <ve were sentenced to provide and wor& for themselves as a punishment. (dditionall , the common use of reward in present societ is, within 1c=regors perception, an indicator on attempting to ma&e individuals wor&, reach productivit levels, and contri"ute with the sufficient effort (1c=regor, 196:). ). 0e ause o" this human hara teristi o" dislike o" work, most people must be oer ed, ontrolled, dire ted, and threatened with punishment to 'et them to put "orth ade!uate e""ort towards the a hievement o" or'ani>ational obDe tives. The pursuance for ma'imisation and greed of individuals are confronted within this assumption. (s individuals have a difficult in determining the sufficient level of ma'imisation, there will alwa s "e an inevita"le demand for getting more. The provision of a reward or an increase in the wage of the emplo ee will onl provide a short@term satisfaction "ut never reach the intended effort level. The emplo ee will eventuall , after a while, feel that he either deserves or wishes for another reward or a greater raise in his wage. /n order for the manager to avoid a fre!uent increasing demand and a sta"ilised effort level, punishment, also &nown in other occasions as Dstic&L, will "e the most efficient method of use for o"taining the firms o"jectives (1c=regor, 196:). +. (he avera'e human bein' pre"ers to be dire ted, wishes to avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambitions, wants se urity above all.

21

(ccording to 1c=regor, this line of assumption can "e connected to paternalism, which, despite its less appropriate recognition of the pu"lic, is a concept that is strongl considered to "e of use in the managerial world. The Social ,ontract " .ean .ac!ue +ousseau further supports this assumption, on how the procurements of certain rights from an individual to a sovereign, in order to achieve certain common ends. These illustrative characteristics are "ased on empiricism in relation to individual "ehaviour. (ccording to 1c=regor, there is a tendenc among individual actors to predict with a close precision, how others will react and "ehave to certain situations that the are "eing confronted with. Therefore, having in mind the e'pected "ehaviour of the emplo ee, the manager can manipulate through the mean of control, to accomplish the desired o"jectives that the enterprise has set forth (1c=regor, 196:, p. 6). The accomplishments of o"jectives set forth " the manager are dependent upon two principles, a gradual change in the s&ills of the emplo ees and the fulfilment of re!uired needs. (ccording to 1c=regor, modifications are capa"le of providing the desired justifications e.g. throu'h the o""er o" a produ t, the provision o" the pro"essional advi e, or the promise o" a reward (1c=regor, 196:, p. 2:). Throughout the following investigation, we will refer to this aspect as DrewardL. +espectivel , as alternatives to o"tain the desired matters, 1c=regor recognises curtailments, such as dis iplinary a tion, a Dail senten e, the termination o" employment, or the threat o" a punishment , to "e means for the Dstic&L of individuals, in order to achieve the desired outcome. This aspect will "e &ept in line with 1c=regors conceptual utilisation, and therefore related to as DpunishmentL throughout the investigation. *or the manager to settle authorit , 1c=regor characterises the dependenc relationship. ,ontrol and authorit are onl factor

"etween two individuals, as an essential aspect in the construction of control in a possi"le to "e of e'istence when dependenc occurs, ma it "e a low or high ratio. /f the dependenc does not occur, the emplo ee can for e'ample easil choose to find another emplo er and vice versa, with the manager finding a new emplo ee. The e'ception to dependenc is onl , according to 1c=regor, if an individual considers that another individual has the possi"ilit provide satisfaction for ones needs (1c=regor, 196:, p. 2:). to

22

,hoosing the conte't on when to manage

our emplo ees, through control and level, which can "e fulfilled. /n ("raham $.

authorit , can "e determined on the satisfactor

e'plaining satisfactor levels and the conte't on when to use control and authorit in form of management, 1c=regor draws upon wor& constructed " 1aslows DHierar hy o" Beeds.L The theor "ehind the Pyramid o" Beeds was presented " ("raham 1aslow in which 1aslow clearl distinguishes "etween five different human needs. (ccording to 1aslow these needs drive and motivate human "ehaviour. 1aslow argues thatG Endoubtedly the physiolo'i al needs are the most prepotent o" all needs (1aslow, 1953). These ph siological needs ma&e up a long list "ut can "e summed up to the most important needG *ood. 1aslow argues furtherG =" the physiolo'i al needs are relatively well 'rati"ied, there then emer'es a new set o" needs, whi h we may ate'ori>e rou'hly as the sa"ety needs, (1aslow, 1953). This second need ma prove to "e more important than the first need, "ecause it provides survival of the human. 1aslow introduces a third drive asG =" both the physiolo'i al and the sa"ety needs are "airly well 'rati"ied, then there will emer'e the love and a""e tion and belon'in'ness needs, (1aslow, 1953). This third drive indicates that humans will then strive for social relations. *rom then, 1aslow introduces a fourth drive, the esteem needs, which according to 1aslow can "e divided in two su"sidiar setsG (hese are, "irst, the desire "or stren'th, "or on"iden e in the "a e o" the world, and "or a hievement, "or ade!ua y, "or

independen e and "reedom. @e ond, we have what we may all the desire "or reputation and presti'e, re o'nition, attention, importan e, or appre iation, (1aslow, 1953). *inall 1aslow argues that9 D6ven i" all these needs are satis"ied, we may still o"ten e&pe t that a new dis ontent and restlessness will soon develop, unless the individual is doin' what he is "itted "or :;< (his need we may all sel"-a tuali>ation ,L (1aslow, 1953).

23

The manager is, according to 1c=regor, capa"le of providing means to support an individual with the ph siological and to a certain e'tent, safet needs. The manager satisfies these levels, " offering Demplo mentL and various "enefits that follow as a conse!uence of emplo ment, e.g. wages and wor&ing conditions. The fulfilment of these needs is possi"le " the use of control and authorit management, however to fulfil the other need levels, displa ed within 1aslows hierarch , another t pe of managerial approach is needed. The following section will touch upon Daniel $. %in&s theor on Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose, to illustrate how this proposed managerial approach is capa"le of fulfilling the other need levels.

+.+ Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose by .aniel H. Pink


This is an outline of wh the theor of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose was developed on the "asis of human motivation. The line of argumentation " %in& "uilds on scientific research within different social conte'ts such as, families, athletes, "usinesses and in particularl students in order to grasp varieties within the societ . %in& argues that the principles are applica"le to all learning environments, and he argues further for the relevance within the "usiness world, which his "oo& .rive, is aimed at. -ithin his "oo& he e'plains how emplo ers can motivate their emplo ees to increase productivit . -e assume that the concepts used "etween emplo ers and emplo ees, also applies to the relation "etween the government and the students, and therefore we find it relevant to use this theor to investigate what motivates students to finish their master degree.

25

/n 2::9 %in& pu"lished his "oo& .rive - the surprisin' truth about what motivates us , in which he presents the theor of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose as an alternative operating s stem to the theor of +ewards and %unishments. $is theor , as well as +ewards and %unishments, "uilds on 1aslows Pyramid o" Beeds, however the put emphasis on different levels of the p ramid. %in& focuses on the fifth level of needs, the self@actualisation, where emplo ees have alread fulfilled the underl ing four levels within 1aslows Pyramid o" Beeds. #oth theories demonstrate how individuals can "e motivated to strive for a particular o"jective. Due to the comple'it of the 21st centur , %in& has developed seven reasons for wh +ewards and %unishments no longer wor&. These areG 1. The can e'tinguish intrinsic motivation 2. The can diminish performance 3. The can crush creativit 5. The can crowd out good "ehaviour ;. The can encourage cheating, shortcuts, and unethical "ehaviour 6. The can "ecome addictive >. The can foster short@term thin&ing Due to these seven reasons, %in& introduces 1otivation 3.:, the third drive, which is a new operating s stem, designed to match the world of toda . This operating s stem "uilds on self@determination theor , which categorises "ehaviour as either e'trinsic or intrinsic motivated, which has later "een re@categorised as controlled and autonomous. *rom these terms %in& uses the concept of (utonom as one of his three &e concepts within his theor of motivationG Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose (%in&, 2:11). Autonom( means self@direction and is an intrinsic motivator. (ccording to %in& it is the movement awa from authorit management, towards an idea which emphasises that emplo ees are willing to act on their own, and should "e a"le to do their jo", within their own terms. %in& argues that for emplo ees to "e self@directed the need control over four essential parts for them to master autonom over task, time, te hni!ue and team. (askG is, according to %in&, when emplo ees are a"le to decide which &ind of tas&s the want to perform. This has "een utilised " firms allowing its emplo ees to spend 1;@2:

2;

percent of their time to wor& on a tas&, which the find interesting. These e'periments have often led to increased productivit and the inventions of new products. This happens "ecause emplo ees often get e'cited when wor&ing on a tas& the have chosen on their own, and feel dedicated to finish the project (%in&, 2:11). (imeG can, according to %in&, create autonom for emplo ees when the are a"le to create their own wor& schedule. -hen it comes to creative thin&ing it is difficult to dictate people to start "eing creative from eight to five, "ut instead the should have the possi"ilit to find their own natural flow of wor&ing, which should also "e compati"le with their famil life and other free time activities (%in&, 2:11, p. 96). (e hni!ueG is, according to %in&, when emplo ees do their jo" " using the techni!ue the prefer. # having autonom over their techni!ue, the decide how the want to do their jo". The important matter is that the do their jo", how the do it, is up to them (%in&, 2:11, p. 1:6). (eamG is, according to %in&, important for creating autonom for emplo ees "ecause it allows emplo ees to wor& with the &ind of people the prefer to. This method is possi"le within firms, which allows its emplo ees to wor& 1;@2: percentage of their time on a tas& that the themselves choose. -hile wor&ing on these tas&s, the are a"le to team up with people the prefer to wor& with. This ena"les people from different departments within the same firm to cooperate, and allows creativit to grow (%in&, 2:11, p. 1:;). /f emplo ees are a"le to utilise all four aspects within their jo", the o"tain autonom and "ecome self@directed instead of "eing managed. This will often lead to higher productivit and increased creativit , which most -estern firms need in order to compete in a glo"al mar&et. # having autonom over tas&, time, techni!ue and team, emplo ees often find themselves more engaged with the firm and are willing to produce the "est possi"le outcome. This "ehaviour fosters 1aster (%in&, 2:11). +aster( is the pursuance of getting "etter and "etter at something. 1aster is the pleasure people get from doing something the are passionate a"out, and " doing so their wor&ing routine converts into a flow. *low is how people wor& when the are full committed to achieve master . /t is a mindset, which occurs when emplo ees are

26

wor&ing on a project the find interesting. Therefore, to achieve master it is crucial to wor& in a flow, otherwise it will not "e satisf ing enough to &eep moving towards master (%in&, 2:11). The D=oldiloc&sL tas&s mean Dnot too easy, not too hard, but Dust ri'ht "or you . This is how %in& argues that ever tas& should "e li&e, in order to achieve master . <mplo ers should ma&e sure that the emplo ees alwa s wor& on projects which encourage them to develop and "ecome wiser, "ut without giving them projects which will frustrate the emplo ees "ecause of their lac& of s&ills to complete the project (%in&, 2:11, p. 11;). (ccording to %in&, in order to achieve master , there are the three laws which must "e understoodG Mastery is a mindset, meaning that the emplo ee should recognise that it is possi"le to "ecome wiser and increase master . )pposing this mindset is, that intelligence is fi'ed and cannot "e increased and this mindset will not allow master to evolve (%in&, 2:11, p. 12:). Mastery is pain, meaning that the wa to achieve master consists of long and hard wor&ing hours. /t means dedication for a long period, where some of the tas&s ma not "e enjo ed (%in&, 2:11, p. 123). Mastery is an asymptote, which means that ou can come close to reach master , "ut ou can never full achieve it. Therefore, it "ecomes a pursuit of getting there, and the jo lies within this pursuit (/"id.).

*urpose is to wor& in the pursuance of a greater o"jective. ( higher purpose motivates emplo ees to wor& and %in& emphasises three aspects which can clarif the purposeC goals, words and policies. Foals can "e defined as serving a higher purpose. This can inspire and motivate emplo ees to &eep wor&ing, "ecause the &now it will serve some greater purpose (%in&, 2:11, p. 13;).

2>

7ords can "e a stepping stone towards serving a higher purpose. %in& writesG DHumani>e what people say and you may well humani>e what they do (%in&, 2:11, p. 139). This thought indicates that it matters to formulate into words how ou want to act, and hopefull ou will act upon our words.

Poli ies can enhance a firms purpose, " stating within the policies the greater purpose. *urthermore, " letting the emplo ees have autonom to decide how the firm should serve a greater purpose, it motivates the emplo ees (%in&, 2:11, p. 139). The three main concepts have "een presented asC (utonom , 1aster and %urpose, which will "e conceptualised and operationalised in the following sections. The will further "e used, within the anal sis, in order to answer the !uestion on how to motivate students to terminate their master degree within the nominated time.

+.1 Analyti al *ramework


The following section will provide insight to the framewor& that has "een chosen to set the direction and shape of the anal sis. /t is the interest, to illustrate the anal tical frame and to enlighten the theoretical conceptual definitions that the anal sis will put emphasis on. The operationalisation of the theoretical concepts, which are ta&ing into consideration, are dealt within the ne't section (theoretical operationalisation) to indicate the degrees of adaption to our framewor&. The anal tical framewor& that has "een chosen to "e the setting in this investigation is the five motivational conceptsC reward, punishment, autonomy, mastery, purpose set forth " 1c=regor and %in&. #oth theories clarif that motivation is a d namic process in a manager@emplo ee relationship and ought to "e stimulated and maintained, to ensure a high outcome of wor& " the emplo ee. 1c=regor assumes, on the "asis of human "ehaviour as seen in the previous sections, that motivation can "e enhanced if the manager introduces incentives in form of reward and punishment, for the emplo ee. 1eanwhile, %in& argues that the rightful stimulation process does not occur when an e'ternal intervention (manager) tries to set forth incentives, "ut that the emplo ee must place his own recognition to the conte't that needs motivation. This recognition is constructed " the emphasis on Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. The degree of

27

conte'tualisation of these theoretical concepts to the investigative framewor& will "e enlightened in the following section. The following section will provide a conceptual definition of the five concepts that are at wor&, which will provide the reader with a more general understanding of the concepts. #ewards: The five concepts are all defined as a certain feature to an individuals motivation and originate in different "ases that determine the nature of the concepts. +eward is, in accordance with .erem #entham, defined as an element which is "estowed upon someone in order to ma&e an individual perform a tas& that otherwise would not have "een rendered (#entham, 173:). This definition assumes a modification of reinforcement to "ehaviour, " which "ehaviour "ecomes strengthened in regards to intensit in commitment of a tas&. /n line with this, (ustin -. #err recognises that this element is capa"le of "eing Ddesi'ned by onesel" or "rom others (#err , 2::7). +espectivel , rewards can, according to David #eswic&, "e perceived and classified in intrinsic and e'trinsic terms. #eswic& defines the intrinsic separation as "eing the Dpro ess o" arousal and satis"a tion in whi h the rewards ome "rom arryin' out an a tivity rather "rom a result o" the a tivity (#eswic&, 2::3). 1eanwhile, the e'trinsic is perceived as when the task #is$ bein' a means to an end that is rewarded or satis"yin' (/"id.). *unishment: %unishment is, according to #urrhus *. S&inner a pro edure in whi h responses are "ollowed by either :a< the removal o" a positive rein"or e, or :b< the presentation o" a ne'ative rein"or e :or aversive stimulus<L (S&inner, 2::;). This definition is respectivel considered " Iarl 1ar', who recognises that punishment has "een a mean to either ameliorate or intimidate (1ar', 17;3). +o"erta (llen further recognises S&inners (a) the removal of a positive reinforce, " e'emplif ing that D whenever an individual is deprived o" somethin' they would like to retain , #then$ this is the essen e o" modern punishment ((llen, 2::5). The procedure, as S&inner reflects upon, is " "oth $enr Fefton ($enr , 2::3) and Nanc Schimelpfening (Schimelpfening, 2::>) ac&nowledged as a onse!uen e, delivered a"ter a behavior, whi h serves to redu e the

29

"re!uen y or intensity with whi h the behavior o urs L ($enr , 2::3). -ithin an economical dimension, Schimelpfening argues, that punishment is painful and that this cost will "e avoided whenever possi"le. $ence, if punishment is associated to a specific t pe of "ehaviour, pain will not "e felt if one chooses not to perform the specific "ehaviour. Autonom(: The term autonom ma refer to individuals, groups or governments position that allows the entit to "e in charge of its actions. <dward F. Deci and +ichard 1. + an define autonom , in terms of an individuals possi"ilit , to control own actions. (ccording to %in&, autonom can "oth refer to the ur'e to dire t our own lives and to our ability to be sel" dire ted. Deci and + an define an autonomous person as bein' sel"-initiatin' and sel"-re'ulatin' o" ones own a tions (+ an, 197;, p. 327). (ccording to them, autonom is unlikely to "un tion under onditions where ontrol or rein"or ements are e&perien ed ause o" a tion (+ an, 197;, p. 29). Deci and + an distinguish autonom from independence as the see that a person can "e autonomous as well as interdependent at the same time. Deci and + an distinguish four aspects of autonom C autonom over tas&, time, techni!ue and team. Therefore, a person who has autonom over all these four aspects decides himself what he does, when he does it, how he does it and with whom he does it (+ an, 197;, p. 29). +aster(: Through the e es of Dur&heim, ,ladis e'plains that master :;< in ludes the ability to resist the emotional tides within onesel" and the apa ity to a t "rom a ons ious and sel"-determined sour e that is not disproportionately in"luen ed by the "or es that are outside us (,hallenger, 1995). /n this lies that master is a"out doing something that defines ou, which can resist e'ternal changes. %in& descri"es it as the ur'e to 'et better and better at somethin' that mattersL (%in&, 2:11, p. 56). 1aster something the is the pleasure people get from doing are passionate a"out, also referred to as the Dflow,L which tells

something a"out the state of mind people are in, when deepl involved in a su"ject. The

3:

poet - stan $ugh (uden e'plains this state of mind as "or'ettin' themselves in a "un tion, descri"ing flow not as a single moment "ut as something that maintains (%in&, 2:11). 1aster also indicates that the jo" should "e challenging enough for the person to learn something new, without it "eing too difficult, which can result in an unenthusiastic "ehaviour towards the jo" (Feading (nswers, 2:1:). *urpose: %urpose is according to %in& defined as the yearnin' to do what we do in the servi e o" somethin' lar'er than ourselves (%in&, 2:11, p. 9>). $e continues " sa ing that the most deeply motivated people G not to mention those who are most produ tive and satis"iedH hit h their desires to a ause lar'er than themselves (%in&, 2:11, p. 133). -illiam Damon, a %rofessor at Stanford Universit , has a similar perception of the concept of purpose, as he states that purpose is a stable and 'enerali>ed intention to a omplish somethin' that is at the same time meanin'"ul to the sel" and onse!uential "or the world beyond the sel" (Damon, 2::7, p. 33). %in& and Damons viewpoints on purpose have similar features in that the "oth

emphasise that purpose goes "e ond personal meaning and reaches out to the world "e ond the self. /t implies a earning to ma&e a difference in the world, perhaps " contri"uting something to others or creating something new.

+.2 ?perationalisation o" the (heories


-hen loo&ing at the five concepts possessed " the different aspects, the original framewor&s simpl discern "etween the presence and a"sence of reward, punishment, autonom , master and purpose. Ta&ing up this view, we will use our empirical data of the four focus groups conducted at +U and ,#S, to argue of the e'istence of an of the five concepts, using our framewor& on stud completion. -e perceive from the theoretical assumptions on emplo ee@manager relationship, an identical formation imposed in a student@government relationship. -e ac&nowledge this relationship on the "asis of the principals of A'en y-(heory, suggesting a relationship is made up " a principal and an agent. The government within our framewor& is recognised as the principal and the students "eing the agent. The relationship "etween the two parties is

31

structured with the universit "eing an actor or a form of DfacilitatorL acting in the interest of the government in the middle of the two partiesC the universit is thus "eing an agent in the government relationship, and principal within the student relationship. The essentialit to this relationship is the principals desire to direct the agent to perform an appropriate "ehaviourC respectivel , "oth actors have to reach a settlement on what is the re!uired "ehaviour (contract). The principal is in this process faced with as mmetrical information, in which he has a hard time monitoring the full performance of the agent. -ithin the government@student relationship, this as mmetrical information is present within two factors (1) the government cannot full monitor whether a student attends lectures, participates activel as in accordance with the law and (2) the cannot full monitor whether the human capital of the students, which the invest in, provides the necessar output. To minimise the effects of as mmetrical information and have greater monitoring, the government has ta&en the incentive of the SU reform. $ence, the government directs a certain t pe of "ehaviour, which the students must come to terms with (to settle the contract). )n the "asis on what has "een set forth " the student@ communit , we will therefore argue for the students recognition towards the governmental incentives and those set forth " %in&, in terms of settling the contract. The "asis of the anal sis originates from the theoretical assumptions, in line with the ontological considerations, the identification of codes within the empirical data, which does not !ualif within an of the five concepts will "e recognised as an emergent realit (criteria esta"lished from the definition of each concept will "e discussed later in this section). Using this as point of departure, the following section will now proceed to operationalise the concepts for further use in the anal tical part of our investigation. )ur aim is to create measures for all five concepts that are "oth consistent with the original definitions as given " 1c=regor and %in& (and the others that is "eing used), as well as "eing applica"le to our empirical data. #ewards: -hen classif ing reward, on the "asis of motivation, there is a general tendenc that it is connected to an e'pectation on receiving. /n line with #err s definitional part, we ac&nowledge that a reward is desi'ned by others than the individual and, in accordance with #eswic&, is regarded as "eing a motivational attri"ute when the tas& is "eing a

32

means to an end that is rewarded. *urthermore, we agree with #entham on the assumption that the introduction of a reward is fundamentall implemented to promote a "ehaviour that otherwise would not have "een performed. -e recognise within our framewor& that the concept of reward is the governments "onus incentive within the SU reform that is targeted towards students, as "eingC firstl ( desi'ned by othersI namely the 'overnment), providing a "onus when ou have completed our educational degree faster (ma&ing the more rapid completion a mean to obtain the bonus), and secondl , the introduction of the "onus is an attempt to promote another t pe of "ehaviour.

*unishment: /n regards to punishment, we agree with S&inner and (llens similar definitions that punishment is a procedure in which responses are followed " either (a) the removal of a positive reinforce, or (") the presentation of a negative reinforce. /n line with S&inners (a) argumentation, we perceive (llens assumption as "eing appropriateC whenever an individual is deprived o" somethin' they would like to retain :then< this is the essen e o" modern punishment. +espectivel , we regard the introduction of punishment as "eing a conse!uence directed towards a specific "ehaviour, which serves to reduce the fre!uenc or intensit in which the "ehaviour occurs. Throughout our investigation, the concept of punishment will "e referred and connected to the governments incentives within the SU proposal. These incentives are connected to the former illustrations that we have agreed upon, " is regarded " which the diminishment of SU gratification to the nominated time is firstl C a removal of a positive reinforcer. The SU Danish students as a positive attri"ute to their well@"eing hence or intensit of students (diminishing it, deprives the individual student from what (s)he would li&e to retain), secondl C the incentive aims at reducing the fre!uenc graduating at post@nominated time. =iven the two conceptual definitions on reward and punishment, we perceive within our conte't that e.g. the SU can "oth "e related to as a reward as well as a punishment (providing and retaining the SU from the students). -e ac&nowledge this principal throughout our coding process, "ut leave the conte't settled

33

" the students to determine and identif whether the phenomenon is a reward or a punishment. Autonom(: -e perceive autonom , in the conte't of students motivation, from an individual angle. -e agree with %in&s definition of autonom as the urge to direct our own lives, and with Deci and + ans four aspects of autonom C Dtask, time, te hni!ue and teamD. -e consider an individual see&s to o"tain autonom " referring to one of the four aspects, these areG autonom over tas&, which means that students have the a"ilit to choose which tas&s the want to accomplish. /n its widest sense, tas& could refer to stud program and in a narrow sense to project report or courses. Therefore, a student who has the a"ilit to choose the courses and su"ject of a project report has autonom over tas&. The second aspect, autonom over time, implies in a stud conte't that e.g. students have the a"ilit to choose when the accomplish their stud activities. /n e'treme this could mean that students have no deadlines and are never forced to attend lectures at a specific time, "ut can instead e.g. listen to lectures online. The third aspect, autonom over techni!ue, entails that students can choose themselves the most appropriate method for learning. This means that students can choose if the want to wor& in groups or individuall , and the can decide whether the want to have a written or an oral e'amination. The last aspect, autonom over team, involves that students are a"le to choose whom the want to wor& with. This indicates that students have the a"ilit to form their project groups and in e'treme this can also mean that students are a"le choose their teachers. +aster(: -e agree with %in& on the perception of master as the urge to get "etter and "etter at something that matters, and that master is the pleasure people get from doing it. -e ac&nowledge that master can "e perceived as an attri"ute within the concept of purpose, as master can "e seen as something meaningful, which can "e ac!uired in order to accomplish a greater purpose. Nevertheless, despite this awareness and ac&nowledgement of the intertwinement of the concepts, we stic& to %in&s division.

35

$ence, this concept shares similarities to purpose and we will distinguish it within the parameters of o"taining &nowledge, s&ills, wisdom etc. *urpose: -e agree with the definition put forth " Damon that a purpose can "e "oth self@ fulfilling and at the same time serve a purpose "e ond the self. Transferring this &nowledge to the field of education, students can " their own

creation, have e'trinsic aspirations e.g. to "ecome wealth , to achieve fame, or to accomplish a certain image or status, these e'amples are what %in& refers to as Dprofit goalsL (%in&, 2:11, p. 152). (dditionall , students can have intrinsic aspirations such as to help others, to learn, and gain personal growth, these aspirations are referred to as Dpurpose goals.L

3;

-. +ethodolog(
1.1 (he ?ntolo'y and 6pistemolo'y
The theories of +eward, %unishment, and (utonom , 1aster , %urpose are "uilt on the premise that there is a causal relation "etween one factor and the outcome. /t is necessar to illustrate the different varia"les that are of significance in order to approach the constructed research !uestions successfull and to approach the ontological stance correctl . -hen considering varia"les, there are three different ones to ta&e into account. There are the independent (8), the dependent (K), and the e'traneous (h) varia"les to ta&e into consideration (Saunders, Fewis, H Thornhil, 2::>, p. 361). The dependent varia"le regulates in accordance with a change in other varia"les, here" either the independent or the e'traneous varia"les. This relationship can "e illustrated in an e!uationC 8 S h R K. -ithin our case, it is possi"le to identif our independent varia"le (8) to "e 1aster students, as the are the ones that sta constant within our chosen framewor&. The h varia"le is a com"ination of the five concepts proposed " the two theories that we are using (+eward, %unishment and (utonom , 1aster , %urpose). +espectivel , the dependent varia"le (K) is the ratio of getting finished with the enrolled program. $aving settled the varia"le relationship, it is now possi"le to clarif that a change in the h varia"le, should presuma"l have an effect on the ratio of completion, e.g. if students consider the motivational aspect of more autonom to "e necessar in order to finish the enrolled program !uic&er, it will "e the "elief that as h increases, so does K. This is the underl ing assumption that the investigation is "ased upon when investigating how to get students faster through their enrolled programs. -e direct, throughout the investigation, attention to what our conte'tual framewor& defines as the casual varia"lesC in our case the h varia"le (1c=regor, 196:). Since we see that there is causalit "etween the factors mentioned a"ove, we address our ontological consideration towards the premises of critical realism. (ccording to +o #has&ar, critical realism is a"out the D on ern with dis overin' 'enerative me hanisms within an obDe tively e&istin' so ial reality (Tan, 2:1:). ,ritical realism sees that there are different la ers of realit . (ccording to #has&ar, there e'ist three levels of the social worldC the Preal, the Pactual and the Pempirical. The Preal level consists of hidden

36

mechanisms and structures, the Pactual level consists of the events produced " hidden mechanisms and the Pempirical level consists of o"serva"le events (Tan, 2:1:). -ithin our framewor&, we identif the governments incentive, as "eing placed on an empirical level, where it is assumed that " promoting the h varia"le in form of reward and punishment, it will cause a faster completion rate. -here critical realism "ecomes meaningful, within our framewor&, is that it provides us with the notion to ta&e into account hidden me hanisms in the causalit e!uation that the government proposes, while providing wider e'planations a"out human interpretation of a social phenomenon. These hidden mechanisms, which ma e'ist within the real level to the motivational e!uation, will "e approached through the framewor& of %in&s theor ((utonom , 1aster and %urpose). /n order for us to approach such an investigation, we consider it "eing relevant to e'amine social actors interpretation of what the perceive as "eing motivating. Through the e es of the students, we will discover possi"le hidden mechanisms that the government has not ta&en into its causalit relationship to motivate the students (Tan, 2:1:). -hen e'amining social actors interpretation, within our given conte't, we assume that through the conducted method of focus groups, we will uncover hidden mechanisms (these are identified through our open coding processC see themes page 57). -here a focus group provides uni!ueness in order to reveal hidden mechanisms, compared to other methods of collecting empirical data, is "ased upon the relationship "etween social actors. ( social actor, among a group of other social actors "eing present, is challenged to reflect upon his as well as other actors perception towards motivational mechanisms. (s critical realism holds a notion of constructivism, the former can also "e e'plained " social actors &nowledge "eing in a constant state of revision when challenged " others. -e ac&nowledge that interpretation differs from social actor to social actor. Therefore, having a focus group will com"ine social actors interpretation at the given moment. # that we can presuma"l unfold a more generalised perception towards various hidden mechanisms within the real level of the causalit e!uation of our population sample. This means, for our project, that social phenomenon is constructed through the e es of the students as an entit , and we &eep this throughout the entire investigation.

3>

1.) Methods
)ur investigation ta&es point of departure in the governmental planC terminating a master degree on nominated time in order to respond to the needed human capital " the Danish industr . Upon entering the field of investigation we !uestion whether the overall goal of enhancing economical growth in societ nominated time of a master degree. /n our investigation, we e'amine how individual students enrolled at a master degree perceive which incentives and motivational factors promote the students to finish their master degree on nominated time. /n addition, %hD students are considered on what the thin& could have motivated them to finish their master degree on nominated time. The motivational theories that we have utilised to investigate our social phenomenon are the two theories of Douglas 1c=regor and Daniel $. %in& which have "een presented in the theoretical chapter. The theories have "een applied to our collected empirical data. These theories have "een confined to the methods for collecting data from realit to Pprove the theories validit . Su"se!uentl , the empirical data collected has "een thematised to adjust the theories into the conte'tual framewor& that our social phenomenon operates in. This indicates that our approach to the investigation is an a"ductive methodolog ($aig, 2::;). The nature of the research engaged, provides insight into wh the investigated students "ehave the wa the do in a situation of learning at the universit . /n the search of appropriate methods of investigation, it is relevant to state that the nature of !uantitative methodolog does not provide &nowledge as to why su"jects "ehave the wa the do, "ut instead provides &nowledge on numerical data (how<. /n the "ac&ground chapter the &nowledge provided a"out how universit students ought to "ehave in a learning situation stems from !uantitative methodolog . This process was made deli"eratel to incorporate, firstl a macro@economic dimension to the research, in order to "e a"le in future research to connect our findings with a larger set of data than onl the ones "eing investigated, and secondl to put forward a heavier argument into wh this research is relevant to investigate. $owever, the central part of our research is concentrated around wh students "ehave the wa the do in a learning situation, here !ualitative can "e achieved " the governmental plan to enhance human capital with its proposalC reducing the SU to the

37

methodolog

and its methods will provide the necessar

tools to the investigation

(Silverman, 2::;, p. 1:9). (s the nature of the investigated phenomenon was the perception of our su"jects on motivation, it was important that the method chosen could reveal e'periences and displa relevant statements, "oth within the su"ject itself and how the su"ject perceived its environment within the social phenomenon, which we were investigating. /n our search for an appropriate method, we were aware that an interview would "e a"le to provide &nowledge on e'periences and interaction "etween the interviewer and the interviewee "ut not on the interaction on interviewee and its environment. $owever, we found that focus group interviews are a"le to provide this tas& and therefore we decided (after reflecting on the implication to future results in terms of validit and relia"ilit ) that the method of focus group interviews was appropriate to our investigation (Silverman, 2::;, p. 1:9).

1.+ *o us Froup =nterviews


-e conducted focus group interviews, " including the considerations made in the following sections. -ithin this we have weighted the pros and cons to conduct focus group interviews and not to conduct a pac&age of individual interviews. *ocus groups are normall a method used to test a certain product within mar&eting research, however in the Social SciencesC the method can "e "eneficial to investigate perceptions, opinions, "eliefs and attitudes toward societal issues (1arshall, 1999, p. 11;). *ocus groups often "ring out usersT spontaneous reactions and let ou o"serve the group d namics revolving the theme presented. /t shows how individuals utilise the stream of argumentation, forwarded in the room, and su"se!uentl organise the issues presented in the individual argumentation, ena"ling to challenge or "uild upon the alread made argument. This creates an atmosphere where &nowledge is produced rapidl and ena"le the individual to reflect on issues, that otherwise would have "een a longer process, to arrive (if ever) at the same conclusion. /n an individual interview, this situation is not possi"le (1arshall, 1999, p. 11;).

39

The re!uirement was, for our research, in@depth &nowledge on a particular topic as we researched the why (!ualitative method). *or this consideration, as mentioned a"ove, we were faced, with the choice, to conduct a pac&age of individual interviews or focus group interviews. /n individual interviews, the interviewer is interested in the co@ production "etween the interviewer and the interviewee, as opposed to a focus group interview, where the interviewer is interested in the interaction among the participating interviewees. -hen having a large target group, li&e in our case, focus groups are prefera"l used. David Silverman refers to e'amples li&e politicians using focus groups, in the conte't of gaining a picture of the pu"lic opinion, which for us is a similar target. (ccording to Silverman, a focus group is defined as D:;< en'a'in' a small number o" people in an in"ormal 'roup dis ussion :or dis ussions< "o used around a parti ular topi or set o" issues (Silverman, 2::;, p. 11>). /n our conte't, the discussion evolved around which motivational factors pla ed a role, in the participants education. The pre@conditions, for collecting the &nowledge at the focus group interviews, were that the &nowledge surrounding the specific topic should "e produced in the room. /t should not "e forced or influenced " opinions formed " the interviewer, "ut preceded openl . /n regards to this schedule, the researcher(s) should function as a moderator, not controlling the conversation, "ut to &eep it going. 1eaning that, when the focus groups are done discussing one topic, or the conversations starts to fade out, the moderator should lead the conversation with point of departure in the focus group schedule. (lso, when dealing with a focus group, the moderator should have in mind that, though a focus group can "e viewed as a Dgroup interviewL, he or she should not "e as&ing each individual, "ut facilitate the discussion among the participants, and ta&e up new !uestions when needed. This is of great importance, since the interaction of each focus group mem"er, can "e used in the anal sis and research (Silverman, 2::;). None the less, there are some challenges one might e'perience when handling more than one participant. *irst of all the moderator should "e prepared to "ring the !uiet mem"ers of the group into the conversation, and to ensure confidentialit among the group mem"ers. *urther, the moderator needs to "e prepared, to prevent conflicts among the participants or even "etween the researcher and the participants. (Silverman, 2::;).

5:

-ithin ever focus group the duration should "e in "etween :,5 to 1,; hours depending on the duration of the discussions, and how much time the respective participants can set off for the focus group. (#r man, 2::5, pp. 121@126).

1.1 (he *o us Froup =nterview @tru ture


%revious to the conduction of our focus groups, we created overall !uestion guidelines for the focus groups, which have "een conducted in a semi@structured method. These were created to enlighten what could and would "e the motivational factors for Danish students to finish their master degree within nominated time. The were to "e used " the moderator, to facilitate the answers and provide data directed towards our conte'tual framewor&. The guidelines formulated through the !uestions can "e heard from an audio fileC disc attached. -hat motivates ou to finish our stud within nominated timeM -hich factors have influenced the pace of stud M -hat do ou thin& a"out the governmental proposal to reduce the SU in order to ma&e ou finish our master degree within nominated timeM

1.2 /riteria to *o us Froups


The ne't step was to narrow down our su"jects of investigation to a sample, that would ena"le our research to displa a relevant answer to our pro"lem formulation and at the same time "e relia"le. *or this purpose the &nowledge, produced in the field of investigation, was to displa relevance to a trend among students in Denmar&. Therefore, the chosen strateg , for selecting a sample had to ena"le information from a small sample of single cases and provide the ma'imum amount of possi"le information. /n our case the sample represents su" groups within the student population, where there is a ma'imum of variation, displa ing student trends in general. This approach is ta&en in order to get a wider scope of motivational factors of the entire student population, which can further "e verified " !uantitative methods. This assumption is in line with #ent *l v"jerg ?ne an o"ten 'enerali>e on the basis o" a sin'le ase, and the ase

51

study may be entral to s ienti"i development via 'enerali>ation as supplement or alternative to other methods (*l v"jerg, 2::5). To o"tain this information, a"out the significance of various circumstances of our sample, we showcase their different dimensions towards student trends, in regards to finishing their education on nominated time /n our investigation, it is relevant to state that, the students we gathered originate from different universit institutions where the variations in preferences for general and specific &nowledge offered to the students are the most prevailing. /n this conte't +os&ilde Universit descri"e itself (+os&ilde@Universitet, 2:11) as an institution that puts emphasis on offering more general &nowledge than specific to its students. +espectivel , ,#S descri"es itself as an institution, which puts emphasis on offering more specific &nowledge than general to its students (,openhagen #usiness School, 2:11). -e thin& that " ma&ing this deli"erate choice, we too& into account cases with the ma'imum variation. The students gathered are therefore originating from those universities. /n our consideration we found it necessar to have students reflecting "ac&ward in time, on what could and would have motivated them to finish their master degree within nominated time. *urthermore, we found it necessar to have students that can foreshadow what can motivate them to finish on nominated time. Therefore, we have chosen to com"ine samples with %hD students and 1aster students from "oth institutions. These students were all re!uired to receive, or have received SU, as otherwise the governmental proposal would not have an effect on them. (dditionall , we have randoml selected the students at the institutions, regardless if the will or have terminated their 1aster degree within nominated time.

1.3 /olle tion and Pro essin' o" Primary .ata


The projects anal tical content is "ased upon empirical data, collected in the period from end of (pril to the "eginning of 1a , 2:11. During this period, we conducted four semi@structured focus groups with a variet of students from +os&ilde Universit (+U) and ,openhagen #usiness School (,#S).

52

The focus groups were carried out in settings, which were considered to "e natural to the participants. The two focus groups, containing +U students, were carried out at the campus at Tre&roner and respectivel with the ,#S students at the campus on *rederi&s"erg. This consideration was made, to ensure that each participant felt comforta"le in a rela'ed atmosphere. *or e'ample, we strategicall offered them lunch, if the participated in the focus group during lunch time. This was done to motivate them, and none the less to show appreciation for the time the spent " participating. %rior to the conducted data for the anal sis, we approached our chosen field of research, " performing short conversations with +U <conomists .esper .espersen, %rofessor in <conomics $ans (age as well as contact per mail %rofessor in educational cultures .ens %eter Thompsen, to e'perience perceptions and attitude towards our field of research. The perceptions received from these latter three %rofessors, served us with inspiration and "ecame a contri"utor to gain understanding on the national wealth, provided " education and the culture of education, possessed " different students. (dditionall , it facilitated us to construct our !uestion guidelines. (n essential d namic for the process of the focus groups, has "een to investigate the perceptions of +U and ,#S students a"out motivational factors to educational completion, in their viewpoint. /nspired " assumptions and procedures within =la0er H Strausss Frounded (heory, we have had it as an ideal to limit our intervention level and pre@conceived &nowledge as much as possi"le when collecting empirical data (Strauss H =laser, 196>). +espectivel to this, we recognise from a constructivist perception that social actors are in a d namic process where realit is in a constant state of revision, and thus it is the ideal to let the participants create and set the direction for which &nowledge is regarded relevant. (lthough we do enter our field with pre@e'isting &nowledge and interests on field, we have constantl reflected and revised our area of operation, "eing open to new emergent &nowledge. (llowing the empirical data to set the direction and structure for the anal sis, the methodological approach has restricted im"alances of realit , hence, &eeping our own interpretation of realit at a minimum. (s researchers, this has "een a d namic process to ac!uire, where" we reflected at each session on the !ualit of performance and possi"le adjustments for the following session in order to improve and

53

successfull accomplish our ideal. <ach focus group was carried out " three mem"ers, where one was set as a moderator, whose jo" it was to activate the group. The second administrator served as a co@advocate, ensuring possi"le assistance in case something was forgotten to "e ta&en into consideration, as well as &eeping trac& of who of the participants are spea&ing in order to discern the answers from the participants. The third administrator was not activel involved, "ut placed within the room as a note ta&er, while &eeping trac& of the Dictaphone(s) that was used. -hile approaching the fields empirical data with the ideal to ac!uire it with openness, we do not discard nor neglect that o"taining such is comple', as going into the field "eing full o"jective, is to a certain e'tent hardl achieva"le. +espectivel , we recognise that we, as social actors, also stimulate and construct realit in a d namic societ , where &nowledge is in a constant state of revision A meaning that our understanding also influence another persons understanding on a social phenomenon and vice versa. )ur am"ition is to go into the focus groups openl , and do our "est not to let ourselves "e "iased " ta&ing part on one side of the discussion. -e hope that " "eing aware of this pitfall, we will reduce the ris&, and there" we will "e a"le to ma&e the focus groups with as little influence on the participants as possi"le. )ne wa of doing this is tr ing to avoid leading !uestions, meaning that we will &eep them open, and the !uestions will there" not indicate one DrightL answer. /n addition to the former, we ac&nowledge the comple'it involved when understanding and anal sing other social actors perceptions, and that it re!uires a form of interpretation on interpretationC the social actors will perceive a phenomena in a certain wa , which has to "e interpreted " the ones anal sing the collected data. /n aiding the processing of the focus group, we considered it helpful to prepare a set of guidelines for the moderator, which was possi"le to use i" the focus groups did not follow a natural flow (see focus group section for the guidelines that was esta"lished). (lthough our precautions and considerations, it has "een the ideal to &eep our intervention involvement at a minimum. The collection of empirical data was made possi"le on e'ternal sources that allowed us to include them as a part of our data. -e were given acceptance " four %h.D. students at +os&ilde Universit to include them into one of the four focus groups that we

55

conducted. *urthermore at +U, two 1aster students signed up voluntaril to participate. (s we had targeted +U and ,#S as the two institutions in our population, we o"tained contact at ,#S to five %h.D. students to our third focus group and four 1aster students to our fourth focus group. Due to difficulties in collecting students to conduct the focus groups, the differ in num"er of participantsC "etween 2@6 per focus group. The selection process of the participants involved in our sampling was chosen on the set of criteria alread mentioned. The &indness and willingness to participate from all our participants have "een a remar&a"le support in e'ploring motivational factors that can enhance the completion rate of Universit students in Denmar&. The four focus groups, that were conducted, all lasted appro'imatel 6: minutes and were all transcri"ed in order to comprehend them te'tuall . -hen finished, each one of them were cross@chec&ed " another mem"er of the group, to ensure that the understanding of the conte't did not include errors such as misinterpretation, grammar etc. (dditionall , as illustrated in the transcripts, we do not cite the name of the participants, as we were not given permission. $owever, we were allowed to have a Dictaphone present, recording the conversation from all enrolled within the focus groups. (ll of the conducted focus groups were processed in Danish, meaning that we utilised free translation when !uoting. The translation has carefull "een evaluated " a plural amount of mem"ers in order to reduce and avoid an lost meaning from translation. -hen conducting each transcription, we have put emphasis on what has "een enlightened and e'pressed " the participants (*airclough, 1992, p. 229) and disregarded elements such as tone, "od language and possi"le mood status. -e ac&nowledge that e'cluding elements such as these might affect to a certain degree the interpretation process, "ut regard that the chosen elements ta&en into consideration are sufficient to provide a comprehensive image of the various perceptions that are of e'istence.

1.4 .ata Analysis


/nspired " illustrations from -illiam Fawrence Neuman, we approached the collected data with a com"ination of open, a'ial and selective@coding process (Neuman, 2::6, ss. 522@525). (dapting such an approach allowed us to inherit new emergent perspectives,

5;

which had previousl

not "een recognised, while it challenged the prior e'isting

&nowledge of ours. -e decided within this com"ination of open, a'ial and selective@ coding, to divide our process into various stages, consisting of individual and colla"orative wor&. The first stage consisted of reading the original transcript ta&ing into consideration, without ma&ing an notes, the overall assumptions portra ed in the e'tract, which was then followed up, within the second stage, " re@reading the e'tract while ma&ing notes and indicating relevant aspects. The third stage consisted of two or three mem"ers going through the o"served codes, ensuring that elements that would provide new perspectives were not left out. The codes that were processed from these stages were all ta&en up on the wall within one of the rooms at +U, in order to facilitate a division process, where we identified themes that were present within each theoretical concept (+eward, %unishment, (utonom , 1aster , and %urpose). The division of the codes into various themes was created to ela"orate the theor into the conte'tual framewor& of our investigation. The structure of the anal sis has "een constructed into where the statements of our participants met our operationalised conceptual definitions. These can "e seen further down. <ach theme, which emerged from this process, has "een selected on the "asis of relevance to our investigation and its implications (see also focus group section). -e ac&nowledge the possi"ilit that some of the themes might "e intertwining, "ut it has "een the ideal to tr and &eep them as separated as possi"le. The various themes that have "een undergone from the coding process are illustrated and descri"ed in the "eginning of the anal tical chapter.

1.5 ,eliability and Jalidity


)ur empirical data, collected with the method of focus groups, provides us with insight to the intended field of investigation. -e consider that the answers provided " our participants are relia"le in terms of 1) Trustworth , as the participants had no other motive, than providing answers that profoundl are their own perception. 2) # having a com"ination of 1aster and %hD students, the answers gave us validit in terms of receiving prospective and reflecting answers, which were capa"le to "e cross@ referenced. 3) =iven the two institutions, our participants, as mentioned earlier, had a vast variation. This provides our results with validit for further stud .

56

)ur theoretical assumptions are displa ed in how we operationalise our concepts. $owever, this process in which it was made, ma&es it transparent for the reader. The process was made with inspiration from previous research, to ensure that the result of operationalisation can "e recognised in other conte'tual framewor&s. -e ensured that the data collected was relia"le in the following wa G *irstl , the sampling was collected in a random process that would ensure that the participants are representative of the intended stud . Secondl , the data was processed " si' researchers with different "ac&grounds. *urthermore, the conducted focus groups were made " a change in roles " all researchers. /n the coding process, the tas& of gathering statements, that would ena"le our research to "e accomplished, was deli"eratel made, " having the researchers that conducted the focus groups at ,#S to code the focus groups that were conducted at +U and vice versa. This was done in order to distance the individual researchers from the &nowledge received from conducting their own focus groups. -e cannot ensure that the data collected is replica"le, as the sampling process was made randoml . The data can further "e argued to represent D"lac& swansL. *urthermore, we cannot guarantee that all mechanisms relevant to the causalit e!uation have "een ta&en up " our participants, and in addition, the coding process ma have neglected some dimensions. (lthough the coding of our collected data might not entail the most suita"le wording when descri"ing a theme, we regard that "eing si' researchers going through the same collected data, should provide the most proper understanding.

5>

.. *re/anal(sis
# this chapter we wish to present to the reader, how different statements, made " the different focus groups, match with our concepts defining the different intrinsic and e'trinsic motivations. -e will outline the themes, we found represented in the different focus groups and ela"orate on how the are seen as a motivation, according to the students, and " which concept it represents. -e will start " introducing the various themes, and how we have operationalised them. #eward 0inancial incentive *inancial incentive comes in the form of a reward, "ecause it is 'iven by another individual, the government, to enhance a certain "ehaviour of a student. *inancial incentive is given as state education grant (SU) *unishment 0inancial incentive *inancial incentive can further "e introduced in form of a punishment, "ecause a punishment is seen as the removal o" a positive rein"or e, which in this conte't is the removal of the state education grant (SU). # removing the state education grant, the government is a"le to punish the students, since a punishment is perceived as something which serves the purpose to redu e the "re!uen y or intensity of a certain "ehaviour.

Autonom( Institutional structure /nstitutional structure represents the structure given " the universities for the students to follow and act in accordance with, when participating in a master degree program. This structure has potential to influence the autonom of the students, " either hindering or enhancing students autonom over tas&, time, techni!ue and team.

57

+aster( Interest -ithin the concept of master , we recognise the theme interest as "eing, the students perception of their own curiosit as a motivational factor. -e perceive it as the students ur'e to 'et better and better at somethin' that matter, according to the student. Ambition The concept of master is seen as an ur'e to 'et better and better at somethin' that matters, and from this we have detected the theme ambition, as "eing in line with the concept of master . -ithin this conte't, am"ition is categorised as having an urge to achieve good grades, to "ecome wiser, as well as having an urge to attain a good jo". This is seen as an inner drive.

*urpose &areer The concept of purpose is defined as sel"-"ul"illin' and at the same time, servin' a purpose beyond the sel", which we see within the theme areer. %urpose can "e categorised as either a pro"it 'oal or a purpose 'oal, and within the theme areer, we see profit goals as dominating. The students strive to finish the education in order to get a good jo", start a career and to earn mone . Determination The theme determination is seen as something the students can persist, and as something which can "e enhanced " other individuals. Determination, within this conte't, is characterised as the students "eing a"le to identif advantages of their stud program, which is perceived as a motivational factor. Self/reflection

59

The theme of sel" re"le tion is attached to the concept of purpose, as we see that sel" re"le tion acts as a catal st to personal growth, which is an intrinsi aspiration. %ersonal growth occurs when an individual reflects "ac& on e'periences and thus e'pands the wa of thin&ing. The figure "elow illustrates the structure of the first part in the anal sisG a) $ow does the individual student e'trinsic perceive the motivational

incentive proposed " the governmentC reducing the SU to the nominated time of a master degree to terminate a master degree within timeM ") $ow does the individual student intrinsic perceive the motivational the nominated

factors to terminate a master degree within the nominated timeM

CBS Master Reward and Punishment Financial incentive utonom!

CBS PhD

RU Master

Financial incentive

Financial ince

"nstitutional structure

"nstitutional structure

Pur#ose

;:

Career Determination

Career

Career

Master! "nterest m$ition

"nterest

1. Anal(sis
Using the operationalisation of the former mentioned themes, we will use them to anal se the statements of the respective students, in order to showcase how the perceive motivational factors, which have or could have had an influence on their studies.

3.1 /0@ Master


The following section will portra the four ,#S 1aster students perception towards the motivational attri"utes that are at wor&. Through our open@coding process, three of five attri"utes were detected as "eing considered, " the students, to have a relevant impact on their motivational "ehaviour. These three were detected as "eingC reward, master and purpose.

#ewards:
Su$-theme% Financial "ncentive The rewarding incentive is recognised among the ,#S master students as an essentialit for the continualit of their studies. The SU, whether it "eing the amount ou receive

;1

for living at home or vice versa, is a &e component for some of the students for not !uitting their studies, ta&ing a jo" instead, as illustrated " one sa ingG =" = had not re eived @E, it would have a""e ted me so mu h that = would Dust have !uit, and 'one out to "ind a Dob ; leavin' the studies behind, to be "rank (*ocus@ group1, 2:11, pp. 6@>). This indication, portra ed " the student, remains valid to our operationalised

definition, on how the stud "ecomes a mean to receive the financial "enefit. The statement e'emplif that if the incentive was not present, the student would direct his "ehaviour towards another field, which could provide sufficient amount of utilit . (dditionall , what the former statement illustrates along with another students indication on you need @E, otherwise you annot survive (*ocus@group1, 2:11, p. >) is the dependenc relationship. This relationship is ade!uate, in accordance with the theoretical framewor& of 1c=regor, to settle the students safet needsC the wording DsurviveL is a strong indicator to the satisfaction of this need level. +espectivel , this is further recognised " another student as "eing an appropriate incentive, to ensure sta"ilit of an individuals private econom (*ocus@group1, 2:11, p. >). The incentive there" diminishes the individuals focus from putting emphasis on the la"our mar&et for private economic sta"ilit , "ut allows a greater focus towards education. /t is therefore argua"le from these perceptions, that a greater degree of insuring a sta"ilised private econom would conse!uentl get more students directing emphasis towards their studies.

+aster(
Su$-theme% "nterests Two of the participants, within the focus group, highlighted how essential it is to have a profound interest in what ou choose to stud , as this interest can help ou through our entire education. )ne of the participants stated, that the prominent reason for him

;2

choosing to stud #usiness (dministration and /nformation S stems at ,#S, "oth at the "achelor degree, as well as the master degree, was simpl that this was and still is his area of interest, e'pressed in his own wordsG = "ound it interestin' :;< this is my area o" interest, =( (*ocus@group1, 2:11, p. 1). (nother participant showed same line of thought, when she e'pressed that one of the reasons for choosing #usiness (dministration and /nformation S stems at the master level was out of interestG = have always had "un playin' around with omputers :;< ?ne day, = had to do somethin' with the network, and it worked, so then = thou'ht to mysel", this is !uite e& itin', let me try and move "orward with this (*ocus@group1, 2:11, p. 2).

-hen all of the participants were as&ed, what motivates them to commence and finish an education, these two participants forwarded, that having a profound interest in what ou learn is a motivational factor to finish ones stud within the nominated time.

Su$-theme% m$ition Two out of the four participants remar&ed, that at ,#S there is a high am"ition level settled " the environment. This is occasionall , during the focus group, referred to as having a particular mindset, which is indicated " one of the students statingG ;but yeah, = do "eel that you want to end up with a 'ood 'rade, = do not want to end up with a two or a "our, it is a seven and up, and this mindset you really be ome a part o" (*ocus@group1, 2:11, p. 1:). (dditionall , the participant ela"orates that this mindset of course differs, depending on the educational program ou are enrolled in. She clarifies " giving an e'ample of how the students enrolled in the program /nternational #usiness and %olitics (/#) have a mindset determined to o"tain high grades. This is represented " the student sa ing that the /# D(;< is very, very hard ore, it is very mu h #like$ 'et a twelve or die (*ocus@ group1, 2:11, p. 1:). $aving this determined mindset is in regards to "ecoming "etter and wiser, the students want to surpass their previous results and not lower their am"ition. <ach semester the re!uirements are raised and thus the students am"ition

;3

level rises as well. This means that the students alwa s have to surpass themselves and do their "est not to "e left "ehind. This internal drive to achieve the "est result, continuall "ecome wiser, as well as Dcrossing the finish line first,L is an am"ition set " the students themselves, which, in the end, motivates them to complete an educational program within the nominated time, with the "est result possi"le. (nother participant stresses her am"itions towards having a student jo" alongside the studies, as havin' a student Dob, :;< really helps you onward, be ause it shows you how an enterprise operates (*ocus@group1, 2:11, p. 7). This !uotation highlights the foundation of the $D program at ,#S (a diploma in #usiness (dministration). The aim of this particular program is to gain practical &nowledge and e'perience from the la"our mar&et, while stud ing, and transferring this practical &nowledge and e'perience to the academic world. ,ompared to the ordinar universit degree, which usuall ta&es five ears to complete, the $D program onl ta&es four ears to complete (Thorn, 2:11). This means that " ta&ing a $D program, students, find that having a student jo" relevant, have the possi"ilit of finishing their studies faster than the nominated five ears.

*urpose
Su$-theme% Career (ll of the participants could recognise career as "eing an important factor, in order to complete a degree within the nominated time. )ne of the participants statedG = have pretty mu h studied all the way throu'h, and this = have hosen be ause = want to "inish !ui kly :;< = Dust want to enter the labour market. (his is my 'reatest drive ri'ht now, and that is also why = hose to do this edu ation "aster (*ocus@group1, 2:11, p. 1). (nother participant states something along the same linesG ;so, the motivation has pretty mu h been that = should "inish and then enter the labour market (*ocus@group1, 2:11, p. 2). 1an of the participants perceive career as "eing the cherr on the ca&e, and this also implies that the are to a certain degree ver goal orientedG

;5

Here it is very mu h tar'eted, it is very ambitious, also in relation to the other students, :;< there is a very 'eneral understandin' that one must strive "or9 areer, the 'ood Dob, and the money, you should strive "or all o" these thin's (*ocus@group1, 2:11, p. 9). (lthough, the students themselves have constructed this line of thin&ing, at least to some e'tent, the are constantl "eing reaffirmed, from all sorts of places, that ,#S integrit and reputation will ensure them a sustaina"le future within the la"our mar&et. (s all of the participants strive for career and see this as a motivating factor to finish the degree within the nominated time, some also !uestion the hindrance of the current jo" situation in Denmar&. )ne, of the participants, statesG ;there has always been 'reat Dob opportunities, and then when = "inished my ba helor de'ree, there was suddenly not so 'reat Dob opportunities unemployment ((ppendi' 1, focus group 1, pp. 5). -hile one participant sees the current jo" situation as a hindrance to achieve career, another participant sees it as an opportunit to wor& and achieve career a"road. This student reflects, that one should not "e constrained " national "ordersG :;< i" = do not 'et a Dob here in .enmark, then there is always an option o" 'oin' abroad. = always see it as an option, 'oin' abroad (*ocus@group1, 2:11, p. 12). /t has, from the previous statements, "een esta"lished that career is an important attri"ute when tal&ing a"out finishing an education to the nominated time. /f students could "e reassured that there is a jo" for them when the finish their education, then this would "e the accurate wa to motivate them to finish their studies to the nominated time. /f no jo"s are availa"le, the students should see& opportunities a"road.

Su$-theme% Determination -hen the participants reflected "ac& on their studies, the identified that having a determined mindset, pulled them through their studies. (dditionall , the a"ilit of "eing a"le to see the li'ht at the end o" the tunnel made them even more determined, meaning that the farther along the were in the process of their education, the more targeted the

;;

also "ecame, as further e'pressed " one of the participantsG =t has also in"luen ed me to "inish my edu ation, = only have one year le"t o" my studies, there is no reason "or me to !uit now (*ocus@group1, 2:11, p. 12). <arlier in the process of his education, the same participant did however show some dou"ts, and was just a"out to !uit (*ocus@ group1, 2:11, p. 1). Therefore, it can "e stated that the determination first appeared in the later stages of his education, and not until he was a"le to clearl visualise the fruits of his la"our. )ther students showed, determination and a strong@will character, throughout the entire process of their educationC one girl mentions = have never onsidered whether = should drop out, be ause = never thou'ht this as bein' an option ( (*ocus@group1, 2:11, p. 3). <ven though the student does not insinuate how she o"tained this determination, it is evident that this motivates her to complete her education. 1an of the participants recognised that a determined mindset to create and o"tain an image is an important aspect at ,#S. )ne girl reflects "ac& thatG ;there used to be a little ompetition between the 'irls :;< it was about who 'ot the hi'hest 'rade :;< it was a tually a little bit about who was the best :;< it was !uite surprisin' that people would "i'ht ea h other over a 'rade, but = do think that this type o" behaviour is represented in every lassroom G who is the best (*ocus@group1, 2:11, p. 1:). The image is a"out ac!uiring a status s m"ol of "eing the positive deviant compared to our fellow students. (s man of these students compete for the same positions out on the la"our mar&et, the determined mindset to generate good results is a measure to ma&e ou more attractive to hire. There is an o"vious Dsurvival of the fittestL state of mind, and in line with the am"ition theme indication on Dreaching the finish line firstL, the a"ilit to finish on nominated time and achieve good grades stimulate greater attractiveness to the la"our mar&et.

Summar(

;6

Through the three concepts mentioned a"ove, the students recognised these underl ing themes as "eing the most important. /n regards to the motivational incentive of the 1aster students at ,#S, it has "een illustrated, through their statements, that financial incentive in form of the SU is an approach that can aid the process for graduating to the nominated time. *urthermore, there is a determined mindset from the students to achieve success and not to !uit. This determination is, as illustrated " some of the students, triggered " their pure interest to the field of research. This interest su"se!uentl adds an am"ition to o"tain certain !ualificationsC com"ination "etween practical and theoretical &nowledge. (dditionall , this mindset can "e constructed through the increasing provision of financial incentives for the individual student, here" allowing the student to put more emphasis on the educational program, than using time to assure the esta"lishment of the ph siological as well as safet needs somewhere else. +espectivel , it has also "een indicated that the students perceive the la"our mar&et and the opportunit to ac!uire a good jo" as an essential d namic to their determination. The do ac&nowledge, to this matter, the present ris&s that the Danish la"our mar&et has, in form of high unemplo ment.

3.) /0@ Ph.


The following focus group was conducted with five %hD students at ,#S. Through their reflections, on motivational incentives, three concepts were detected as "eing prominentC punishment, autonom , and purpose.

*unishment:
Su$-theme% Financial incentive During the focus group the concept of punishment was introduced " the theme

financial incentive. *rom the students perception, a deadline can "e introduced as a punishment since a punishment is seen as the removal o" a positive rein"or ement. This &ind of punishment has forced a student to finish his degree, which is indicated " him statingG D.urin' my thesis the state edu ation 'rant :the @E< was runnin' out, so there

;>

was a deadlineL (*ocus@group2, 2:11, p. 1). (nother deadline which can "e introduced as a punishment, and that the students reflect upon, is a thesis contract. ( student ela"orates accordingl G D= also think that = ould have "inished my thesis sooner, i" there had been these theses ontra ts, there should have been a @upervisor to 'et the pro ess 'oin', it was very individual at that time, it was entirely up to ones own work ethi and then = met with my @upervisor on e in a while but it was not his Dob to 'et me "aster throu'h L (*ocus@ group1, 2:11, p. 3). /t is possi"le to identif , within the former statement, a need for a deadline to help the students to finish their thesis. /n order to avoid issues in relation to Dghost studentsL > and de@motivation, we su"scri"e to the view, on the "asis of the former statements, that the functionalit of a deadline is a proper method for adjusting student "ehaviour.

Autonom(:
Su$-theme% "nstitutional Structure -e define throughout our investigation, autonom , to have a separation "etween tas&, time, techni!ue and team. -hen loo&ing into the coded material of the %hD students, it was detected that a student regarded the lac& of autonom for tas&, as "eing an appropriate feature for finishing on the nominated time. -hile holding the tas&@ autonom constant, the same student recognises that the individual wor&ing procedure at ,#S is a hindrance for completing the educational degree within the nominated time. This is illustrated " the student statingC =t is also individuallyI :;< there are many assi'nments that may take a lon' time to do durin' the thesis, assi'nments you an spend a lon' time on, so nobody "inishes on nominated time (*ocus@group2, 2:11, p. 6).

>( student who is still registered at the stud program, "ut does not attend lectures or e'ams.

;7

)ne wa of reducing such an o"stacle is, in accordance with %in&, to stimulate team@ autonom , allowing the individual to choose whom to wor& with. This aspect is also drawn upon " another student who ma&es an advantage distinction "etween individual and cooperative wor&ing procedures. (ccording to the student, thenC =" the 'oal is to 'et as many people as possible throu'h on the nominated time, then you ould also enli'hten the !uestion about individual versus 'roup e&aminations. =" the edu ational pro ess was made ooperative rather than individually, then we know a lot o" resear h indi atin' the possibility to in rease the amount #o" people ompletin'$ (*ocus@group2, 2:11, p. ;). -e su"scri"e to the perception that through an enhancement of team@autonom , the optional opportunit to wor&, within a cooperative wor&ing environment, will contri"ute as an aspect to get an individual student educated on the nominated time. /n line with the former arguments of autonom , another student reflects upon the assistance, that the Supervisor provides during an assignmentG D(he @upervisor was interested in, that you 'ot as 'ood a proDe t as possible and maybe not so mu h about when you were "inished :;< =" you have to think as a re'ulator, they are ertainly a lump to bump into be ause they do not surrender as someone who Dust says yes here is a ontra t and si& monthsL (*ocus@group2, 2:11, pp. 7@9). The opinion e'pressed " the student, indicates that the Supervisor could have a do not

positive effect, "ut are considered at times, as an o"stacle "ecause the

encourage the students to "ecome faster. The Supervisor is, within this perception, sometimes regarded as "eing someone who through his position, neglects and resists an increasing degrees of regulation. -e su"scri"e to the view that there is a desire for an enhancement of time autonom , as this will provide the individual student with an independenc to choose, when to finish the education. (lthough, this viewpoint of the Supervisor and the need for a change in "ehaviour, some of the students do recognise that it is not solel the Supervisors responsi"ilit to get the students faster through. *urthermore& a student indicated among the pro"lematic structural "arriers, the element of getting points transferred "etween institutions and universities. The student reflected upon this matter " statingG

;9

D= would say that = bumped into on rete bureau rati thin's, whi h made me spend lon'er time. Amon' other thin's, = was "or ed to throw away 12 points as :;< the study abroad ould only be merited to 12 pointsL (*ocus@group2, 2:11, pp. 6@>). (rgua"l , this statement is a form of punishment, as the student is retained of an asset, which has value to the individual. -ithin the conte't to motivate students and get them rapidl through, there is an indicator that the individual student is neglected the <,TS (<uropean ,redit Transfer S stem) points on "ehalf of the lac& of tas&, and techni!ue@ autonom . This designates that he is not capa"le of doing something within free parameters. This structural argumentation pro"lem is further reflected upon, " another student, indicatingG D(he whole !uestion is about real ompeten es, bein' "or e&ample an internship, you do not know how to a redit it, it means nothin'L (*ocus@group2, 2:11, p. >). The student here" calls in the !uestion if more diverse s&ills should "e accredited, as a form of reward, for generating new &nowledge through e'change programs or internships. Therefore, we ac&nowledge this indication as an argument towards greater tas& and techni!ue@autonom , as the student through such an enhancement will "e capa"le of choosing an alternative universit Jwor&ing institution, as a part of the process to "e educated and not to "e faced with "arriers hindering the process to finish within the nominated timeframe.

*urpose
Su$-theme% Career -ithin the concept of purpose, the coded theme of career was identified in relation to the conte't of %in&s identification of pro"it 'oals. This profit goal is, su"scri"ed " the students, to "e in relation to the "uild@up of a rUsumU. )ne student e'pressed this matter asG

6:

D:...< "or many /0@ students, it is a strate'y to build up a rKsumK, whi h e&presses a parti ular kind o" per"orman e, ompletion, result, result, result and it is here, this ulture an be "ound at /0@L (*ocus@group2, 2:11, p. >). This illustration reflects upon the culture seen at ,#S, where man students attend courses with a profit goal in mind. The culture is further ela"orated upon, " a second student, who recognises that some students at ,#S perceive the educational program, as the "eginning of the career. This perception of some students at ,#S is, according to the students illustration, a relevant element also portra ed within a slogan at ,#S the areer starts at the study (*ocus@group2, 2:11, p. >). $aving the career in mind is e'pressed " a studentG D0ut as it is now, when one has "inished his thesis, then you will also automati ally 'et hi'her seniority, so i" you leave it #the thesis$ behind, then you will start out with a lower pay s ale, so now when = look ba k = mi'ht have handed it in ri'ht away instead L (*ocus@group2, 2:11, p. 1). These statements illustrated in the a"ove mentioned, all indicate the dominant characteristic of career, within the mindset of the students, as a leading purpose for finishing their degree as soon as possi"le. -hile holding the career in mind, some of the students illustrated the utopia of having a jo" waiting for them when the graduate, and as to how, this would, in addition, ma&e them strive for faster completion. (c&nowledging the present difficulties and insecurities, of whether ou get a jo" once ou have graduated, is a d namic that was ta&en into consideration " some of the students within the focus group. )ne student mentioned this aspect " statingG D=" = an dra' it :the edu ation<, as ri'ht now it is di""i ult "or 'raduates to 'et Dobs, there"ore i" = an "ind some hal"-borin' story, whi h enables me to dra' it a little lon'er and ontinue my student Dob a little lon'er and su h, why should = "inishC L (*ocus@ group2, 2:11, p. 7).

Summar!

61

The students perceived punishment, autonom , and purpose as "eing the most important concepts according to the themes presented a"ove. -ithin the motivational incentives portra ed " the %hD students at ,#S, illustrations pointed towards the Supervisors role during the thesis writing. The students recognition towards the deadlines, in form of a thesis@contract and the SU made " the government, are perceived as elements pushing them forward to o"tain their degree. (long with this, the students ac&nowledged the Supervisors possi"ilit to allow the individual student to ac!uire the educational degree at the nominated time. #esides the role of the Supervisor, there is a consensus among the students that allowing autonom over team, in form of choosing whether to wor& independentl or cooperativel , will promote student "ehaviour in the direction of rapid completion. This direction is also capa"le of "eing fulfilled, from the perception of some of the students, if the dilemma of the missing accreditation of internships and e'change programs to <,TS points at the universit , is properl adjusted to "e given as credit. *urthermore, the insurance of availa"ilit on the la"our mar&et when graduating also pla s significance to their career dreams, within their statements, as to how to promote a faster pace. /f this can "e provided (the students ac&nowledge the unemplo ment rate during the financial crises), then this would "e an incentive for not reducing their stud pace and conse!uentl ma&e them a Dghost studentL.

3.+ ,E Master
The following statements are coded among 1aster students at +os&ilde Universit , with the prospective on what could motivate them to finish their degree at the nominated time. /n this section, we have coded statements according to our defined themes under the conceptsG punishment, autonom , master and purpose. (mong the masters at +U, four of the five concepts are presented.

*unishment
Su$-theme% Financial "ncentive

62

(n aspect which was put forward among one of the students present, was the push@ factor of the limitation of the SU. The limited amount of lips, meaning the amount of times ou are capa"le to receive SU, is illustrated " the student mentioningG At the moment, this is the reason why = am in the pro ess o" "inishin' my studies. As it looks like ri'ht now = am simply runnin' out o" @E. = simply annot a""ord to ontinue my studies, as it looks now, sin e = already took hal" a year o" @E loan. :;< what motivates me now ; uh, interest. 7ell, =m already ; no, not ryin' about it, but = am sad that =, at least a ordin' to my @E lip annot study "or a lon'er period o" time (focus@group3, 2:11, p. 3).

The illustration remains valid to our operationalised definition of punishment, as it is an indication of a removal of a positive reinforce. The statement illustrates the incentive as "eing a punishment, as the limitation of the SU forces the student to finish the master degree.

Autonom(
Su$-theme% "nstitutional Structure (mong the various features enlightened " the students, one student ela"orates upon the difficulties and economical downsides present when com"ining a higher education with an internship. This is touched upon " the student sa ingG = would ertainly strike a pin "or that there was a better 'rip on the e onomi aspe t o" internships on the hi'her edu ation, be ause it will mean that people would have a 'reater opportunity to 'et a real Dob a"ter trainin'. And this will a'ain en oura'e them to enhan e their trainin' to "inish "aster :...< = know at least what = would rather do, is to "inish my de'ree and 'et out and work with somethin' = think is e& itin' (focus@ group3, 2:11, p. 33). /t is possi"le to detect, within this statement, the students perception towards the adjustment of integrating an internship into the educational s stem. Su"se!uentl , this

63

would enhance the completion rate of the stud . -e argue this perception as "eing in relation to an enhancement of techni!ue@autonom , as it indicates a desire for an alternative option, on how to complete the educational degree. This adjustment is accordingl capa"le of providing greater "eneficial outcomes, if implemented correctl (+os&ilde@Universitet, 2:11). The procedure on how to accomplish such is e'amined " the student through a suggestive proposal, entailing prospects of "etter preparation and adapta"ilit when a student enters the la"our mar&et. :;< so, maybe i" a basi s heme was presented at other universities as well, so that students would not be "or ed to hoose somethin' spe i"i :;< then they an investi'ate the di""erent areas and then hoose somethin' spe i"i to spe ialise in :"o us-'roup+, )L11, p. ++<. This would, according to the masters at +U, help students to find their area of interest faster, which also would enhance the pace of which the finish their education. The structure at +U the sa , gives the student an academic introduction to the stud fields. This helps them to choose their field of interest, and su"se!uentl gives them autonom over tas& and techni!ue.

+aster(
Su$-theme% "nterest ( perception e'pressed " one of the 1aster students at +U was the d namic of interest. /f an individual is stimulated, with pure inspiration, to enhance ones curiosit towards a field, then this is a strong motivational incentive. The student recalls upon the tas& thatG :;< it is about "indin' the ore interest within ea h person, = think :;< i" this ould be worked on, = think many would have an eye-opener :;< then they would maybe start on the 1st or )nd year a"ter upper s hool, instead o" on the 1th or 2th year :"o us-'roup+, )L11, p. +1<

65

,onsidering the suggestion of the student, we ac&nowledge this as "eing in the sense of finding our own interest. The lac& of interest is li&ewise argued to conse!uentl "e reflected within the grades of the e'ams (focus@group3, 2:11, p. 23) . ( proposal on how to achieve interest is, suggested " the student, to direct attention towards each individual in upper school or earlier. This proposal should ta&e into consideration, the interest of the student and what does heJshe want to "e in the future (focus@group3, 2:11, p. 33). Ta&ing such an approach is regarded as "ringing forth the students interest in relation to what could "e their future education.

6;

*urpose
Su$-theme% Career (ccording to the interest, which was touched upon in the former section, it creates good results which can "e used to set, what %in& refers to, as purpose goals. (ccording to one of the master students, the possession of aspiration is of significanceC :;< when = "inished upper s hool = had a bi' dream o" be omin' a hotel mana'er, so when = started, = did an AP pro'ram in Hospitality and Mana'ement, and = shi"ted my thesis to tourism, in order to a hieve this 'oal :"o us-'roup+, )L11, p. ))<. *ollowing the achievement of ac!uiring interest, ou can start to set goals for how to utilise the s&ills given, which according to the master student is an important mindset in the sense of "eing motivated to finish our education on the nominated time. MAbsolutely, i" there was work = "ound interestin', then = would not be able to wait to 'et started with what = like to do.:...< =t would be a hu'e motivation, but = have trouble seein' how one ould ensure that there was a Dob waitin'. 7ell, then you, you should o" ourse have unemploy-ment to "all, = am aware o" that (focus@group3, 2:11, p. 33). -ith this statement the student is putting forward that a future prospect of a career would give more purpose and ena"le the student to "e motivated to finish the stud on the nominated time. -hile on the other hand, the student is impl ing that if there is not an prospect of ac!uiring jo"s, then the motivational strive would "e more limited. (s in regards to one of the former illustrations put forward " another focus group, the students here also reflected upon the essence of jo" securit . (ccording to one of the students, the present situation of high unemplo ment within the la"our mar&et is regarded as a de@motivational factor. This principal is related to the conte't of completing our educational degree and conse!uentl having the ris& of "eing unemplo ed. This is illustrated " a student statingG @o it is not a very motivatin' "a tor to say, = have spent "ive onse utive years on my study and now =m on unemployment bene"its (focus@group3, 2:11, p. 33).

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/t is argua"le to perceive, on the assumption of the a"ove illustration, that an insurance of a jo" would provide a greater dimension to the career purpose of the students. /f this was the case, the student would "e more motivated to complete his education at a faster pace.

Summar(
(s showcased a"ove, the four concepts mentioned are those found most prominent from the perception of master students at +U. The conducted focus group illustrated a variet of incentives capa"le of stimulating their motivation to graduate within the nominated time. (mong these aspects, the prospect of either reducing or enhancing financial incentives had an essential dimension. (dditionall , an aspect pointed out " students, was a restructuring of the Universit the institution in order to facilitate a

program, where the students own interests are in focus. (n e'ample mentioned was the possi"ilit to com"ine an internship with the theoretical part of an education. The students further indicated that an enhanced understanding of interests, "rought forward " the universit , could eventuall encourage the students own curiosit . /t was suggested that this curiosit could "e constructed " the individual student, if heJshe alread had a "etter understanding of the universit s stem "efore the introductor period. /n this aspect, suggestions were made to incorporate a course to students enrolled within an upper school level, where" introducing them to the possi"ilities that a universit has to offerC "eing a general overview of what a universit is and how it can appl to someones personal interest. *urthermore, the students mentioned that the prospects of an easier transference to the la"our mar&et would facilitate their career and there" as a result, terminate the degree within the nominated time.

3.1 ,E Ph.
The following statements portra the %hD students at +os&ilde Universit , and their perceptions towards the investigated field. /n this section we have statements within two of the five defined concepts "eing autonom and purpose.

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Autonom( @ub-theme9 =nstitutional stru ture


Throughout the coding process, the universit s institutional structure was identified as having an influence on the rate of completion. (ccording to one of the students, the comple'it involved with ta&ing a semester a"road and transferring it to +U, was due to structural pro"lems. This prospect is illustrated through the students statementG A"ter = ame ba k "rom my semester abroad, = noti ed that there had been made some han'es in the study stru ture :;< (his resulted in that ourses were not o""ered in the same way, whi h meant that = had to wait a hal" year to take a ourse (*ocusgroup5, 2:11, p. 53). (ccording to this statement, the person did not have autonom over time as the

structure hindered the student to accomplish his tas& at the time that was suita"le for him. The pro"lematic incorporated within the institutional structure, is in similarit ac&nowledged " another students emphasis upon the re!uirements that the universit sets within the nominated timeframeC @tudies need to be arran'ed in su h a way that it is a tually possible to "inish studies within nominated time, thats "or instan e not possible on mathemati s, as the ourses are o""ered so seldom that you need to stret h your studies (*ocusgroup5, 2:11, p. ;2). The student "rings forth a critical !uestion on whether the re!uirements should be de reased (*ocusgroup5, 2:11, p. ;2) in order to finish the education within the nominated timeframe. (ccording to this student, the re!uirements that the universit incorporates within the nominated timeframe are considered as "eing unrealistic to "e met and fulfilled within the given period. The structure of the institution seems to "e a factor creating this im"alance "etween e'pectations and the time needed to finish. (t +U the universit structure is hori0ontal, which according to the statements from the students, is a motivational factor. The students seem to prefer a structure that gives them

67

direct access to people who are emplo ed in higher ran&s at the universit themselves. This is e'pressed " a student statingG

than

7hat helped me was that = ould ome to the @upervisors with my small problems as there were no stupid !uestions (*ocusgroup5, 2:11, p. 52). The hori0ontal structure seems to "e motivational factor as it gives the students an eas access to Supervisors, who can assist in facilitating an assignment. This might, assuma"le, increase the students speed, e.g. as when Supervisors are involved in the process, students strive for greater results in order to meet the Supervisors e'pectations. (t +U, cooperation with Supervisors does not decrease students autonom , as the relationship is rather vertical than hierarchical. Supervisors can for e'ampleC help a student to find the right techni!ue to solve an assignment, "ut eventuall it is the students own decision on how the project is realised. /t is, "esides the former aspects, ac&nowledged " one of the students that the e'pectations to a new assignment should "e agreed upon "etween the student and the Supervisor. This is indicated through the students illustrationG = think it is important that the @upervisor and the student 'o throu'h the e&pe tations to'ether. As = think that sometimes it is the @upervisor who is more ambitious. :;< @o, one way to 'et people "aster throu'h their edu ation :;< ould be to mat h their e&pe tations with @upervisors e&pe tations in the be'innin' o" their studies (*ocusgroup5, 2:11, p. 55). This line of argumentation is further reflected upon " another participantG = think that students attitude has be ome more loose, as they do not e&pe t to use that mu h time on it :;< (his an result in lon'er time to "inish their studies (*ocusgroup5, 2:11, p. ;;). (s unfolded in these statements, the students indicate the e'istence of a gap "etween the Supervisors and students understandings on what are the e'pectations. Students might find stud ing de@motivating if the e'pectations are unclear or unrealistic. (s suggested a"ove, an incentive to increase motivation could "e accomplished " having the student and the Supervisor to discuss and find an appropriate as well as realistic e'pectation

69

towards the assignments. This will also ma&e the student more goal@oriented, as the "ecome aware of what the need to accomplish. +espectivel , another student perceives the %rofessors as well as the Supervisors to have a role to parta&e, for getting the students finished within the nominated timeframeG :;< = think it is important, as = said be"ore, that the @upervisors and the tea hers a t on how we an adapt, so you are sure they will be "inished at the nominated time. = do not know how it is at NE, but at ,E/ ; there is a tenden y to e&tend some o" the theses and ba helors and perhaps it is also a little annoyin', so there mi'ht be more to itI to keep it within the nominated time, so the proDe ts are ombined to, so it an be done at nominated time, i" there is people who have ome so "ar :*o us-'roup1, )L11, p. 21<. The statement portra s, that if the theses and "achelor projects could "e adapted " having the Supervisors and teachers to interact, this would promote them to finish at nominated time. This clearl shows that if the institutional structure was changed, accordingl , it would permit the student to finish the stud on nominated time.

*urpose
Su$-theme% Sel'-re'lection /t appeared, from the statements, that an important motivational factor for the %hD students at +U is the consideration of reflecting upon their choices. )ne student mentionedG At my basi studies = was re ommended to write a study des ription, whi h a tually helped me a lot. = was "or ed to re"le t upon how = wanted to use my ombination ourses and how = wanted to do thin's. At that time, = thou'ht it was irritatin', but a"terwards = ould see that it was 'ood (*ocusgroup5, 2:11, p. ;5). The a"ove statement illustrates that it is important when students reflect upon their choices, as it ena"les them, to see a purpose in their actions, thus ma&ing them more goal@oriented. This person found the stud @plan to "e motivating, as it gave the

>:

possi"ilit

to see a long@term purpose. /n line with this argumentation, another

participant found the stud plan to "e motivating as wellG Ph. students are shortly a"ter they have started, asked to write a plan "or their Ph.. (hat "or es them to re"le t upon what they want to do :;< and they keep status meetin's that ensure that thin's do not 'et out o" ontrol. (hat = think will ensure that time plans are kept (*ocusgroup5, 2:11, p. ;5). (ccording to a"ove statement, an important motivational factor is when students have small goals along the wa . Small goals will enhance students speed, as the ena"le the students to see the results of their wor&, along the process. /f students were onl striving for the main goal, the might find it de@motivating, as it could "e hard to see the result of the wor&.

Su$-theme% Determination (mong one of the students present, within the focus group, an aspect which proved to "e capa"le of providing motivation, was admiration towards another person. )ne student reflected thatG 7hile = was studyin' = ould have used a role model in whom = ould re o'nise mysel" :;< = rather wanted to have a youn' resear her to whom = ould mirror mysel" and think that this is what = an be ome i" = study here (*ocusgroup5, 2:11, p. ;>). (s stated a"ove, a role model ma have provided a sense of motivation, as it would have ena"led the student to see where the studies could lead to. /t will refresh ones motivation, as it helps to recognise the purpose of the studies, while ma&ing the student more goal@oriented.

Summar(
The two concepts (autonom , purpose) and their underl ing themes, as demonstrated a"ove, are those found the most important " the %hD students at +U. -hen e'amining the motivational incentives portra ed " the %hD students at +U, it is possi"le to

>1

identif

an argumentation towards the insurance of the personal econom

of the

individual student. This prospect allows, the individual student to direct more attention towards the educational program, rather than concentrating on earning monetar capital from the la"our mar&et, there" providing potential time for the education. (t +U, the hori0ontal institutional structure has also a fundamental impact upon the students perception of motivational incentives. The open approacha"le relationship "etween a student and a %rofessor is regarded, as a "eneficial attri"ute to the environment and to motivate ones strive for ac!uiring new &nowledge. -ithin the line of relationship argumentation, a proportion of the students perceive the necessit to negotiate the terms and e'pectations "etween the Supervisor and the student, in regards to assignments. /f the have agreed upon a settlement in the start@up process, the Supervisor will not in the latter stage of the process, stall the student for graduating on the nominated time, if this is the aim of the student. +espectivel , it is argued, that the Supervisors as well as %rofessors, have a need to negotiate the degrees and terms of adjustment in order for the students to graduate within the nominated time. -hile ac&nowledging the "eneficial aspects of the structure at the institution and the stud plan for providing purpose, some of the students put emphasis towards, the comple'it of adapting an e'change programs courses to the structure at +U. The indication that one of the students had to wait a semester, "efore the right course was offered, after the return of an e'change program, it is possi"le to identif from the former, a desire for time@autonom in order to precede the educational program at a faster pace. (dditionall , it is further recognised, among the students, a need for reconstructing the amount of material re!uired to "e learned within the nominated time, as the amount is considered to "e unrealistic.

3.2 Part-/on lusion


-hen e'amining the ,#S and +U students statements, on the "asis of our first research !uestion, there are a set of commonalities and differences, among these focus groups, regarding the two motivational approaches to stimulate human capital. To approach an understanding, on which theoretical concepts (ma it "e e'trinsic or intrinsic) have a greater significance than others, we assume that those with the greatest commonalit to

>2

it, are supposedl the most functional to stimulate students "ehaviour to ac!uire their degree within the nominated timeframe. (dditionall , we recognise, in line with our ontological assumptions, the viewpoints shared solel , as "eing an essential factor for the stimulation of human capital, within the nominated timeframe. To illustrate the differences "etween the four conducted groups, we o"served, among the students, a thematicall recognition to the operationalised definition of reward. -ithin this concept, a shared commonalit , among the focus groups, was the increase in form of a financial incentive. The argumentation pointed towards the recognition, that sta"ilisation of the individual students private econom , would provide more availa"le time to "e utilised, for the educational program. This line of thought holds that there is a constant suppl of financial incentives, to the individual student, in order to sustain such a prospect. -ithin the concept of punishment, students were identified as recognising this aspect on a common "ase, in regards to the functionalit of having a deadline to the SU and the thesis contract. This aspect of having a deadline was regarded, as promoting the students to complete their educational degree "efore ending, in a situation with de"t. The students regarded the individual prospects of importance, within the theoretical concept of autonom , to "e the attri"utes of team@ and time@autonom . /n line with the former aspect, the students shared the conte't on how more tas&@ and techni!ue@ autonom would provide the necessar element to ac!uire <,TS point from an internship or an e'change program. (dditionall , a shared "elief, among the students, was the impact that a Supervisor has on promoting faster completion or not. The students portra ed within their statements, the Supervisor as having, to some e'tent, a control over, when the student can graduate. Therefore, the enhancement of tas& as well as techni!ue autonom would provide the students with the a"ilit to graduate, within the nominated timeframe. The themes touched upon, in regards to the concept of master , were am"itions and interests. (mong these two, interest was shared as an aspect, capa"le of providing greater stimulation.

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+espectivel , we perceived through our anal tical procedure, the importance of a variet of themes, within the concept of purpose. The independentl constructed themes, which were argued upon, within one of the four focus groups, were a thematic representation of self@reflection. The aspects, which were enlightened " the students as a commonalit , were the themes of career and determination. These two aspects "oth pla a significant role for the students perception on the value of completing the educational degree. *rom these illustrations provided a"ove, it is possi"le to e'amine the distinction "etween two dominant incentives (reward, purpose and autonom ). -e therefore recognise, among these three dominant characteristics, that the students enrolled within our focus groups, perceive that the are capa"le of "eing motivated to complete their educational degree, within the nominated time, through a com"ination of "oth e'trinsic and intrinsic incentives. (long with 1c=regors assumption upon reward, we perceive this e'trinsic incentive as motivating the safet level of the individual student and "eing "ased upon a relationship of dependenc , " which the students recognise the dominant theme as "eing an essential aspect for survival when stud ing. %urpose is strongl driven through the students determination and pursuance for a proper career. -e recognise to this intrinsic incentive that there is, in accordance with the theoretical framewor& of %in&, a com"ination "etween the orientation of goal measures and the contingenc of the individual flow. (long with the former aspect, autonom shares the same measure of intrinsic incentive to it. -e perceive, on the terms laid down " the students that autonom needs to "e enhanced, in order to reduce o"stacles of institutional "arriers that ma contradict of getting them through on the nominated time.

3.3 .is ussion G Part )


*rom the statements, given " the students, in the focus groups that we conducted, we recognise some tendencies, which clarif how human capital, ac!uired " the individual student, responds to the need " the Danish industr . -e see that the students strive toward attaining the human capital, which the individual student perceives as "eing re!uired " the Danish industr , which ma&es it possi"le for the student to enter the la"our mar&et.

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)verall, the students state that the perceive the financial incentive, reducing the SU to the nominated time, as "eing a"le to enhance their speed to finish their degree to the nominated time, which is re!uested " the Danish government. $owever, at the same time the students also perceive the incentive as diminishing their a"ilit to gain the human capital, which the consider is re!uired " the Danish industr . (mong the students there is a clear tendenc , which shows that the perceive the re!uirements from the Danish industr as "eing a"le to attain a universit degree while gathering !ualified e'perience. # reducing the SU to the nominated time, the students will not "e a"le to e'tend their studies to include other activities, which the perceive as "eing necessar , to meet the re!uirements from the Danish industr . This "ecomes apparent, when the students see the possi"ilit of com"ining a universit degree with a student jo", in order to gather !ualified e'perience while receiving SU. The students state that this will in fact increase their human capital and this human capital will then correspond to, what the perceive the Danish industr demands. $owever, one should not forget that the original goal of the Danish government is to decrease the time spent on a higher education to the nominated time, and not to prolong the time spent. )ne aspect that the students find relevant is the possi"ilit of com"ining practical &nowledge, which can "e achieved " completing an internship, with the theoretical &nowledge one is taught within an educational program. /n order for this to "e implemented, the students highlight that a modification within the institutional structure needs to ta&e place. # offering internships, as an elective course, the students themselves would have the option of choosing among, a theor "ased elective or a practical "ased elective and there" o"tain the e!uivalent <,TS points the elective offers. Their choice will as well reflect what the consider as "eing important to put emphasis on during a stud . The argument from the students standpoint, as to wh the find practical &nowledge pertinent, is that it provides them with a greater opportunit to ac!uire a jo" after completing a higher education. -ithin this point of view, it is here" insinuated that the students perceive practical &nowledge as "eing e!uall important as theoretical &nowledge, and one must em"race "oth aspects, to meet the demands " the Danish industr . The students see that " implementing internships as an elective, the

>;

get the opportunit appl for a jo".

to o"tain practical as well as theoretical &nowledge and thus

increase their own human capital, as well as ma&ing them more attractive when the

(long with internships "eing accredited a certain num"er of <,TS points, for the reason that students find it relevant to gain practical e'perience, the students also draw attention to how an e'change program can add relevant &nowledge to their accumulated human capital. $owever, several students encountered that the electives the too& a"road were not full accredited when the returned home, as the universit did not see the electives as meeting the specification re!uirements. This meant that the students in !uestion did not get the full <,TS points, which the felt the were entitled to. (ccording to the students, this meant that the human capital gained from the e'change trip a"road, was not full represented in their diploma. To some e'tent, the students here impl that some of the human capital gained from the e'change program was D lost,L as the institutions did not approve the human capital, which the had ac!uired from the e'change program. #ased on this, the students suggest that it should "e made possi"le, to give the individual student his or her own right to choose, which electives the find as "eing important for their further studies and careerC %in& refers to this as having autonom over tas&. -ithin this line of thin&ing, the students argue further that " having autonom over tas&, it will ma&e them complete their degree within the nominated time. $owever, in order to achieve this, the students should "e a"le to choose their electives on the "asis of what the see as "eing pertinent for their further studies and career and thus, what the perceive as promoting their own human capital to match the demands from the Danish industr . The students also touched upon how Supervisors, in some cases, can act as an o"stacle and "e the reason for the student not finishing their degree within the nominated time. This is su"stantiated, in the fact, that Supervisors can prolong the thesis period if the find it necessar , however, several students e'pressed that prolonging the thesis period was not in the students own interest. Therefore, the students stress that " introducing a contractual agreement, "etween the student and the SupervisorC unnecessar human capital does not have to "e produced over a prolonged period, "ut can instead "e of use out on the la"our mar&et. The contractual agreement should put emphasis on the

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re!uirements e'pected " "oth parts, however, a student ac&nowledges that if the two parts must come to an agreement, the Supervisors are o"ligated to disregard the !ualit of the thesis. /t is argua"le that a diminishment of the !ualit within the education will not "enefit the individual student, as this ma "e an o"stacle to ac!uire the desired jo". (nother aspect that the students highlight is how a hori0ontal structure, within an educational institution, can promote students human capital. The argue that " having an eas access to Supervisors and %rofessors, who possess an advanced academic &nowledge, it would produce a positive impact on the ac!uired human capital. Some of these individuals, incorporated within the staff, ma have e'perience from the la"our mar&et, therefore, an eas access to these, ma enhance the understanding of what is needed out on the la"our mar&et. This colla"oration "etween two entities is regarded as a d namic to get the students to complete their education within the nominated timeframe. ( student ac&nowledges that going from wor&ing colla"orativel to independentl , can "e !uite difficult to adapt to, as ou all of the sudden need to find a new wor&ing flow. This consideration depicts, upon the essentialit that a student needs to ac!uire human capital, which is compati"le "oth within an individual as well as a colla"orative wor&ing environment. (mong the students, there is a tendenc to have their individual interest as point of departure for enrolling in a universit program. *rom their interests, curiosit arises. Students perceive this curiosit to have an effect on their grades, caused " the individual students curiosit to immerse within the field of their interest. # letting the students engage in their interest, inspired " their curiosit , the o"tain a flow, which according to (uden is to D"or'ettin' themselves in a "un tion, and " %in& Dnot as a sin'le moment but as somethin' that maintains. (ccording to the latter, the "est wa to gain &nowledge within a field, and there" human capital, is to wor& in a flow, which will cause the students to attain "etter grades at their e'aminations "ecause the strive towards mastering their interest. Students, among the different focus groups, state that the have chosen their field of stud "ecause the thin& that interest and curiosit can lead the wa to "etter grades, which the perceive as necessar to meet the re!uirements from the Danish industr . The students have the perception that the leading companies within the Danish industr re!uires, and onl hires the students with the highest grades,

>>

and this produces the students am"itions to rise. The students high am"itions transpire, in an increased effort to sustain high grades throughout their education, which is perceived as necessar to meet the re!uirements from the Danish industr . /f the students are encouraged to master their field of interest, the will "e a"le to meet, what the perceive as the re!uirements of the Danish industr .

/n order for the students to achieve a career, the perceive it as necessar to have a universit degree. $aving the purpose of a career in mind, the students tr to accomplish what the recognise as the re!uirements from the Danish industr . (ll of the students ac&nowledge that ac!uiring a universit degree ma&es them strive to get the "est theoretical &nowledge availa"le, " focusing their time on their studies. (mong these students, some of them perceive, as earlier stated, that along with theoretical &nowledge, one must also have practical &nowledge to achieve their purpose of starting a career, while "eing enrolled in a universit program.

The students regard it as necessar

to have a universit

degree for meeting the

re!uirements from the Danish industr . This ac&nowledgement has made the students determined to accomplish a universit degree, "ecause the perceive it as an advantage over other individuals who have not accomplished a degree. *urthermore, the argue that it is necessar to "e the "est among our fellow students, in order to o"tain the "est possi"le jo", "ecause the Danish industr is a"le to pic& the students the would li&e to hire, due to a high unemplo ment rate. This determination to "ecome the "est among the students can, according to the participants, "e accomplished through self@reflection. The students argue, " reflecting upon ourself, ou will "ecome more aware of our s&ills, of what ou have accomplished so far, and in which direction ou are going. # reflecting upon ourself, the purpose of our education "ecomes clearer, and the students argue that this will ma&e ou determined, to reach our goal. This is " the student seen as a process, which forms the human capital re!uired " the Danish industr .

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2. &onclusion
To conclude on the a"ove findings, it is necessar to ta&e into account our pro"lem formulationG How do individual students per eive the motivational in entive in the 'overnmental planI terminatin' a master de'ree on nominated time, and how does it, a ordin' to the students, respond to the need "or human apital re!uired by the .anish industryC Throughout our investigation we have uncovered, that the students perceive the motivational incentives in the governmental plan, terminating a master degree on nominated time and the additional "onuses, as an appropriate measure. (ccording to the students, the e'trinsic motivational incentive in the governmental proposal will result in the students terminating a master degree within nominated time. *urthermore, we have in accordance to Daniel $. %in&s theor Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose detected the following themesC /nstitutional Structure, /nterests, (m"ition, ,areer, Determination and Self@+eflection, as incentives which also stimulate motivation and su"se!uentl result in students terminating their master degree within the nominated time. (s the government aims to provide the Danish industr with the re!uired human capital, we have discovered that, according to the students, the e'trinsic motivational incentives in the governmental proposal will not respond to the need for human capital re!uired " the Danish industr . $owever, we have discovered among the students perspectives, the themes of /nstitutional Structure, /nterest, (m"ition, ,areer, Determination and Self@ +eflection as responding to need for human capital re!uired " the Danish industr . These incentives are respectivel considered " the students, as promoting the motivation to gain the re!uired human capital. )n the "asis of the a"ove illustrations, the intrinsic motivational factors can, according to the students, achieve "oth the governmental plan on terminating a master degree on nominated time, while responding to the need for human capital re!uired " the Danish industr

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3. *ost/&onclusion
-ith the results showcased from the former illustrations, we are capa"le to propose a recommendation, which will "e "eneficial for the government to use, within a strateg on motivating students to complete their master degree within nominated time and, at the same time, respond to the need for human capital, re!uired " the Danish industr . /n particular, within the theme of /nstitutional Structure, the government has the possi"ilit to adjust this prospect to reach a new e!uili"rium point, in terms of economical growth. This point is capa"le of "eing constructed on, the "asis of, what the students have identified, to correlate towards the Danish industr e.g. "etter integration of <,TS points. This addition, to their strateg , will at the same "enefit the goal of getting students to terminate their master degree within nominated time. (s mentioned in our methodolog chapter, the results gathered can "e transformed into a !uantitative stud , where we could investigate the overall position toward the themes developed within our stud among students in Denmar&. This stud can "e done " developing a !uestionnaire that will "e answered " a proportion of the total students in Denmar& (appro'G 1:::). (dditionall , it can "e measured " anal sing the data produced, " some !uantitative methods in form of ordinalJ interval scaling. This method is a meaningful wa of which it creates an overview if our findings are applica"le for all students in Denmar&. During our investigation, we have discovered that the methods used in our research can "e improved. -e have, while conducting focus groups, "een confronted with some o"stacles. /n the conducted focus groups, we discovered that the participants of the focus groups had a tendenc of creating a s nerg among each other. This effect can "e positive, "ut can also have a conse!uence, meaning that if one participant shifts hisJher focus awa from the intended focus area, this will influence the other participants to perhaps direct their attention towards this area. *urthermore, we have discovered, that the participants in our focus groups did not onl answer !uestions in the relevant area of interest, "ut also on matters, which the participants considered "eing relevant for them to forward in the arena of conversation.

7:

-ithin the choice of theor we operationalised the concepts into definitions, which were utilised to anal se our empirical data. (lthough, this process too& general understandings into consideration, our "ias might have "een su"ject of influence. /n this matter, the concepts can "e interpreted in a different wa , depending on the conte'tual situation. *urthermore, the theor defining the concepts leaves room for interpretation " the individual who applies and utilises the concepts. The range of our investigation remains, in the conte'tual framewor&, a case stud and not a universal on how students "ehave. $owever, as mentioned, a !uantitative stud will ela"orate the conte'tual framewor&. The investigated su"jects, according to our selection, can "e replica"le as the criteria for selection are not uni!ue cases "ut rather representing a larger sample of the same population. $owever, we cannot assure that the cases are not bla k swans. (s a supplement to our theoretical framewor&, it could have "een possi"le to incorporate A'en y-theory more thoroughl , to provide a greater understanding of the student@government relationship and how a contract "etween two actors is constructed. /n order to achieve the overall picture of what the needed human capital is, an investigation must include, apart from the students perceptions, the Danish industr s viewpoint to this framewor&. (s the students perceptions have "een conducted through focus groups, we regard this method as "eing appropriate as wellC these could include $uman +esources 1anagers from the Danish industr .

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