The Stories of the Leavers and Stayers as “Pure” Researchers in Vietnamese Universities: Another Version of “The Dream of the Red Chamber”?

Trung Van Tran, Thien Hoang Nguyen


This research, through a case study, examined the work of “pure” researchers, who only performed research as their tasks without teaching at Vietnam’s higher education institutions, as well as the influence of institutional elements of their organization on their attachment to the workplace. Through the use of the theoretical framework that Scott proposes, the three pillars of institutions, this study revealed that the participants in this study worked at an organization with almost no specific rules for researchers, nor effective policies on developing those staff members. Expectations for researchers were also not clear and individually determined. Researchers had to undertake many different tasks that they thought were unimportant to the organization’s mission, obligatory, monotonous, or beyond their ability. All three pillars in the institutional life of the organization had an impact on the participants’ attachment to the institute, and enhancing the aspect of research required changes to some institutional elements.


Attachment, institutes, institutional elements, researchers, Vietnam higher education institutions

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