Developing a student-doctoral education fit analytical model to assess performance

Ann-Marie Ward, Niamh Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding factors that cause students problems throughout their doctoral education is of benefit to doctoral educators striving to improve doctoral completion rates. In this paper, Baker and Pifer’s (2015, “Antecedents and Outcomes: Theories of Fit and the Study of Doctoral Education.” Studies in Higher Education 40 (2): 296–310.) multidimensional framework of student-doctoral fit is extended to create a more nuanced framework comprising student-doctoral environment fit (including the sub-dimensions: student-organisation fit, student-private environment fit and student-people fit), student-vocation fit (including the sub-dimensions: student-motivation fit and student-learning environment fit) and student-doctoral culture fit (including the sub-dimensions: student-learning identity fit, student-(academic)writing fit and student-personal characteristics fit). We then operationalise the framework to create a doctoral student education fit analytical framework for providing insights on the association between fit and doctoral student performance. Our analytical model provides a springboard for fieldwork to examine student-doctoral education fit and doctoral student performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1448-1460
Number of pages13
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number7
Early online date15 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Chartered Accountants Ireland Educational Trust. We acknowledge helpful comments on earlier drafts of the paper from participants at the following conferences/seminars: European Accounting Association Annual Congress 2016, British Accounting & Finance Association Accounting Education SIG Conference 2016, British Accounting & Finance Association Annual Conference 2017 and the Irish Accounting and Finance Association Conference 2017.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Analytical framework
  • doctoral education
  • doctoral student performance
  • fit theory


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