An exploration of stakeholder perceptions on the link between student self-efficacy and their employability for MBA students in India

Shahani, A
(2019) An exploration of stakeholder perceptions on the link between student self-efficacy and their employability for MBA students in India. Doctor of Education thesis, University of Liverpool.

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An exploration of stakeholder perceptions on the link between student self-efficacy and their employability for MBA students in India This thesis explored the perceptions that the students, faculty and employers of a Mumbai based business school had of the possible link between student self-efficacy and their employability. Research indicates that employers place significant importance on communication skills, social skills and critical thinking abilities, among other attributes of job candidates, while making their hiring decisions. However, some surveys have indicated that a significant proportion of employers are dissatisfied with the employability of fresh college graduates. The disparity between university efforts to develop student employability and employers’ dissatisfaction indicates a possible gap in understanding among various stakeholders about the attributes needed for student employability. Much research has been done in western countries in this area, but there has been less research done in the Indian environment. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of those involved in the employment of fresh college graduates in India, and to offer insights that might inform university efforts to build student employability. The study was conducted via an interpretive phenomenological analysis of the perceptions of three sets of stakeholders of a Mumbai based business school on graduate attributes and employability. In particular, their perceptions of the graduate attribute of self-efficacy was explored as it has been shown to be a key contributor to the development of other graduate attributes and is considered to be malleable to external interventions. Data was collected through individual interviews with 10 employers and group discussions with 1 set of faculty members and 2 sets of MBA students. A thematic analysis of the similarities and differences in their perceptions was then conducted and the data was viewed in the context of employability research and research on self-efficacy done in other countries. Employers’ perceptions on the attributes that contributed to a graduate’s long-term performance on the job included communication skills, person-environment fit, academic performance, personal adaptability and self-confidence. This was in contrast to the perceptions of the students and faculty who focused mainly on the attributes needed to perform well in the job hiring process. This may be due to the limitations of the job hiring process, where employers often determine a graduate’s suitability for a job role through the signals given by the attributes that are more visibly apparent. All three-stakeholder groups agreed on the importance of self-efficacy and related self-concepts as key attributes that contribute to the development of the other attributes needed for employability, along with suggestions on how to enhance it. This indicates that the perceptions of Indian stakeholders on the importance of self-efficacy seem to agree with the research findings in western countries of similar groups of stakeholders. Employers viewed a job candidate’s visible self-confidence in the job hiring process as a signal of their level of self-efficacy, which may explain the importance that students and faculty placed on displaying self-confidence over developing other employability attributes. This could lead to employer dissatisfaction as the hired candidate may not actually possess the desired attributes needed. The findings of this research offer a perspective on employability in the Indian context along with recommendations for Indian institutions on ways they can develop graduate employability through enhancing student self-efficacy and recommendations for Indian employers on ways they can alter their hiring process to determine if job candidates actually possess the attributes they visibly display. KEYWORDS Graduate employability, graduate attributes, self-efficacy, business education

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Education)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2020 15:45
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 00:20
DOI: 10.17638/03060882
  • Hanson, Janet
  • Gough, Martin