Tertiary teachers' motivation for choosing and remaining in teaching in a public university in Cambodia
The motivation of tertiary teachers in Cambodian higher education has not received much attention over the years. Specifically, very little is known about factors that motivate and de-motivate Cambodian tertiary teachers in choosing and remaining in their teaching careers. The purpose of the study is to investigate: 1) the factors which influenced teachers to choose teaching careers, 2) motivating and de-motivating factors associated with their teaching, and 3) motivations which may lead them to leave or stay in their teaching careers. It is important to examine the motivational factors that are influential for Cambodian university teachers in order to increase their teaching productivity so that the institutional effectiveness can be enhanced which will lead to improvement in the quality of Cambodia higher education. This research used a single exploratory case study within a qualitative methodology. The study was conducted at two departments in a typical public university in Cambodia. The data was collected through the implementation of one questionnaire that attracted 36 respondents and one semi-structured interview held with each of 8 volunteer participants. Thematic analysis was used to analyse interview data and open-ended questionnaire data. The findings of the study reveal that intrinsic factors were more important than extrinsic factors in influencing teacher motivation in becoming and remaining in teaching. However, extrinsic factors were de-motivating teachers in their teaching and may lead them to leave the profession. The findings are discussed in the context of some theories of motivation and previous empirical studies. Recommendations are made regarding strategies to be used and what further research can be undertaken to address the problem.