Winter 2007 - Volume 10 Number 1
|Self-efficacy, motivation and their relationship to academic performance of Bangladesh College Students
This study was designed to examine how self-efficacy, motivation and academic performance interact among students enrolled in an introductory marketing course in a private university of Bangladesh. Data were collected through self-administered questionnaire from the students. Empirical results reveal that there are statistically positive correlations between self-efficacy and performance (r = .289), self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation (r=. 490), self-efficacy and extrinsic motivation (.297), intrinsic motivation and performance (.327), and extrinsic motivation and performance (.251). Consistent with our expectations, students high in self-efficacy and motivation performed better than those low in self-efficacy and motivation. Implications and recommendations for further studies based on findings are discussed.
Introduction- Purpose of the Study
Although there have been studies on students’ self-efficacy, motivation and their relationship to academic performance of the students in many countries such as Australia (Fuller, 1999), China (Rao, Moely and Sachs, 2000), Japan (Yamauchi et al, 1999), and Arabia (Almegta, 1997), we are unaware of any published research on the effects of these in predicting academic achievement of students in Bangladesh, which is a void in the literature that this paper attempts to fill. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to examine how self-efficacy, motivation and students’ academic performance interact among students of an introductory marketing course in a university in Bangladesh.
What is self-efficacy?
Motivation, on the other hand, is an inner drive that directs a student’s behaviour toward the fulfillment of a goal (i.e., academic success). Motivation is a goal-directed behaviour and indicates the willingness of the students to exert high levels of effort toward achieving goals. Motivation influences how and why people learn as well as their performance (Pintrich & Schunk, 1996)
Historically, teachers, trainers and academicians in any learning organization throughout the world have used self-efficacy beliefs of the students and motivation as techniques to encourage the tasks and duties of learning. Although self-efficacy has been found to be a significant factor in predicting academic achievement by enhancing motivation to achieve (e.g., Pietsch et al, 2003, Bandura, 1997; Schunk, 1991; Schunk & Zimmerman, 1994), still students’ self-efficacy and motivation have been of great practical concern to the academic institutions and of great theoretical concern to researchers, educators, and practitioners. Little is known about whether academic performance of students in the context of Bangladesh is based on their self-efficacy and motivation. The self-efficacy of the students alone will not insure success if the motivation is lacking. Achievement outcomes are considered to be the function of two characteristics,” efficacy and “will.” McCombs and Marzano, 1990). This study, therefore, investigates the relationships among the self-efficacy, motivation, and academic performance of marketing students in a university in Bangladesh.THEORY AND HYPOTHESES
“The evidence is relatively consistent in showing that efficacy beliefs contribute significantly to the level of motivation and performance. They predict not only the behavioural changes accompanying different environmental influences but also differences in behaviour between individuals receiving the same environmental influence, and even variation within the same individual in the tasks performed and those shunned or attempted but failed.”
Belief in the self appears to influence goals for which one strives. This relationship is consistent with that reported by Locke and Latham (1990) and Zimmerman et al (1992). Self-efficacy beliefs also determine how much effort people will spend on a task and how long they will persist with it. Numerous studies (e.g. Bandura and Schunk, 1981; Brown & Inouyne, 1978; Schunk, 1981; Weinberg, Gould & Jackson, 1979) have revealed that people with strong self-efficacy beliefs exert greater efforts to master a challenge while those with weak self-efficacy beliefs are likely to reduce their efforts or even quit. Opacic (2003) reports that self-efficacy is a significant predictor of students’ clinical performance.
Mitchell (1982) defines work motivation as the direction, intensity, and persistence of work related behaviours desired by the organization or its representative. One potential source of drive to perform is the incentive value (extrinsic motivation) of the performance. People will perform a specific task when its result is likely to result in some outcome they desire (Rotter et al, 1972; Overmier and Lawry, 1979). The distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is an acknowledgement of the role of the value of a behaviour in the determination of whether or not the behaviour is performed (Deci and Ryan, 1985). Intrinsic motivation is the tendency to engage tasks because one finds them interesting, challenging, involving and satisfying.
It is well documented in the literature that motivation plays an important role in influencing students’ academic achievement. Several researchers (Pintrich, 2000: Pintrich & Schunk, 1996: Garcia, 1995, Bandura, 1986) found that students use different motivational strategies in different learning situations. In general, students are found to value both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. An intrinsically motivated student might say things such as “The course materials really challenge me.” An extrinsically motivated student, on the other hand, might say things such as “My main concern is to get a good grade in this course.” Based upon a vast amount of literature in the field, we contend that to the extent such rewards (intrinsic and extrinsic) are important to students and likely to result in some outcome they desire, they engage themselves in learning so that such rewards can be achieved. When a college student is not motivated in a particular class, he or she loses a common outcome to attend the class and this results in frequent absences and plummeting grades (Brewer and Burgess, 2005)
Based on the above literature review, self-efficacy seems to be associated with motivation, which in turn, boosts the academic performance of the students. Therefore, we suggest that motivation in learning reflects a means for activating the ability of students’ academic achievement a key aspect of self-efficacy. Our goal was to examine the effects of self-efficacy and motivation on the academic performance of students of a university in Bangladesh.
H1: The greater the self-efficacy perceived to exist among students, (a) the greater will be the students’ intrinsic motivation, and (b) the greater will be the students’ performance.
H2: The greater the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation of a student, the greater will be his/her academic performance.METHOD
Respondents and procedures
**Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)
According to the findings, self-efficacy is found to be significantly correlated to students’ motivation (both intrinsic and extrinsic) and performance (grade). As expected, both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are positively correlated to academic achievement. Finally, regression analysis was performed to clarify the influence of the variables and students’ achievement. As Table 2 shows, significant effect was observed for all variables and students’ performance.
Implications & Recommendations:
Further studies should be done to determine whether the results of this study are representative. In the current study we used surveys to measure students’ self-efficacy and motivation. Since students may have answered the questions with socially desirable responses, perhaps interviews with students would have allowed for more contextual and thus more honest responses (Mattern, R, 2005). Moreover, the study focused on students’ GPA in their first year of study. Feedback from the teachers or the teachers’ instructional strategies might have influenced the higher GPA. These and other issues need to be studied further. Finally, further study is needed to look into the connections between self-efficacy and academic performance in more difficult and complex academic domains in this country (Bangladesh) such as computer, economics, mathematics and science courses.
The aim of teaching must transcend the development of academic competence. The schools in Bangladesh must have the added responsibility of preparing individuals capable of pursuing their hopes and ambitions on their own. Students who develop strong self-efficacy are well equipped to educate themselves when they rely on their own initiatives (Bandura, A, 1986, p417)References
Almegta, N.R. (1997). Relationship of self-efficacy, causal attribution, and emotions to female college students’ academic self-evaluations. Dissertation Abstracts International, 58 (01), 78A (UMI)
Andrew, S. (1998). Self-efficacy as a predictor of academic performance in science. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 27
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: the exercise of control. New York: W.H. freeman & Company
Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V.S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Behaviour, volume 4, and pp 71-81, New York: Academic Press
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Bandura, A (1977). Self-efficacy toward unifying theory behaviour change. Psychological Review, 84, 191-215
Bandura, A.(1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist, 37 (2), 122-147
Bandura, A. & Schunk, D.H. (1981). Cultivating confidence, self-efficacy, and intrinsic interest through Proximal self-motivation. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 41 (3), 586-598
Bandura, A. (1978). Reflections on self-efficacy. Advances in Behavioural Research and Therapy, 1(4), 237-269
Brewer, W.E. and Burgess, N.D. (2005), Professors’ role in motivating students, Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, Volume 42(3).
Brown Jr., & Inouyne, D.K. (1978). Learned helplessness through modeling: The role of perceived similarity in competence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36 (8), 900-908
Deci, E.L., & Ryan, R.M. (1985). Intrinsic Motivation and Self-determination in Human Behaviour. New York: Pelum Press
Fuller, R. (1999). Do university students’ conceptions of learning really influence their learning? Available at http://www.herdsa.org.au/vic/cornerstones/pdf/fuller.pdf.
Garcia, T (1995). The role of motivational strategies in self-regulated learning. In R.J. Menges & M.D. Svinicki (Eds) Understanding self-regulated learning, New directions for teaching
Gist, M.E., & Mitchell, T (1992). Self-efficacy: A theoretical analysis of its determinants and malleability. Academy of Management Review, 17(2), 183-211
Lent, R.W., Brown, S.D., & Larkin, K.C. (1987). Comparison of three theoretically derived variables in Predicting career and academic behaviour: Self-efficacy, interest congruence, and consequence thinking. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 34: 293-298
Locke, E.A., & Latham, G.P (1990). A theory of goal setting and task performance. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall
Mager, R.F. (1992). No self-efficacy, no performance, Training, April 32-36
Mattern, R. (2005). College students’ goal orientations and achievement. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 17(1), 27-32
1Marie, K. (2006). Examining an instructional strategy: relationship between feedback, performance and self- efficacy in a first year mathematics course, Conference Proceedings of AERA, available at www.sfu.ca/rethinkingteaching/publications/krbavacAERA.pdf. retrieved on January 03, 07.
McCombs, B.L., & Marzano, R.J. (1990). Putting the self in self-regulated learning: the self as agent in
Integrating will and skill. Educational Psychologist, 25, 51-69
Mitchell, T. (1982). Motivation: New directions for theory research and practice. Academy of Management Review, 7(1), 80-88
Opacic, D.A. (2003). The relationship between self-efficacy and student physician assistant clinical performance, Journal of Allied health, 32(3), 158-166
Overmier, J.B., & Lawry J.A. (1979). Conditioning and mediation of behaviour. In G.H. Bower (Ed). The Psychology of learning and motivation, volume 13, pp1-55: New York Academic press
Pajares, F. (2002). Self-efficacy beliefs in academic contexts: An outline. Available at
Pietsch, J., Walker, R. & Chapman, E (2003). The relationship among self-concept, self-efficacy, and Performance in mathematics during secondary school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(3), 589-603.
Pintrich, R.R. & DeGroot, E.V. (1990). Motivational and self-regulated learning components of classroom academic performance, Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 33-40
Pintrich, R.R., Schunk, D.H. (1996). Motivation in Education: Theory, Research, and Practice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall
Pintrich, R.R. (2000). Multiple goals, multiple pathways: The role of goal orientations in learning and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 544-555
Rao, N., Moely, B., & Sachs, J. (2000). Motivational beliefs, study strategies, and mathematics attainment in high and low-achieving Chinese secondary school students. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(3), 287-316
Rotter, J.B., Chance, J.E., & Phares, E.J (19992): Application of social learning theory of personality. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Schunk, D.H. (1991). Self-efficacy and academic motivation. Education Psychologist, 26 (3 &4), 207-231
Schunk, D.H. (1981). Modeling and attribution effects on children’s achievement: A self-efficacy analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 73 (1), 93-105
Schunk, D.H. (1994), & Zimmerman, B.J. (Eds). (1994). Self-regulation of learning and Performance: Issues and Educational Application. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Weinberg, R.S., Gould, D., & Jackson, A. (1979). Expectations and performance: An empirical test of Bandura’s self-efficacy theory. Journal of Sport Psychology, 1(4), 320-331
Wood, R & Bandura, A. (1989). Social cognitive theory of organizational management. Academy of Management Review, 14(3), 361-384
Yamauchi, J., Kumagai, Y., & Kawasaki, Y (1990). Perceived control, autonomy, and self-regulated learning strategies among Japanese high school students. Psychological Reports, 85(3), 779-798
Zimmerman, B.J., Bandura. A., & Martinez_Pons, M (1992). Motivation for academic attainment: The role of self-efficacy beliefs and personal goal setting. American Educational Research Journal, 29(3), 663-676
Dr. Mohammed S. Chowdhury is an Associate Professor of Management at Touro College, New York, NY and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A.M. Shahabuddin, a Lecturer of Marketing, at the International Islamic University Chittagong (IIUC), in Bangladesh
The views expressed by the authors are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of The College Quarterly or of Seneca College.
Copyright © 2007 - The College Quarterly, Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology