Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Education


In recent decades, universities in many countries have been required to adopt systematic performance appraisal systems to increase quality and effectiveness of academics’ performances. Increasing attention has been paid to how intra-individual psychological factors and cultural orientations at the individual level are related to performance appraisal. With the aim to develop knowledge of self-efficacy in relation to academic performance appraisal from a cross-cultural perspective, this exploratory study investigated relationships between academics’ self-efficacy for research, self-efficacy for teaching, self-efficacy for performance appraisal, trust in performance appraisal, and cultural orientations at the individual level.

The samples comprised 249 Australian and 205 Vietnamese academics, randomly selected from schools or faculties of Social Sciences and Humanities, Sciences, and Education in three randomly selected public universities in each country. Data were gathered by an online survey. Quantitative data were analysed by correlational analysis, factor analysis, multiple regression, and discriminant analysis. Thematic analysis was used with free responses.

The study introduced a new construct, “self-efficacy for appraisal”, and investigated this construct in the Australian and Vietnamese university contexts. The main results were positive associations of self-efficacy for research, self-efficacy for teaching, and trust in appraisal, with self-efficacy for appraisal. In addition, academic qualification and rank were found to be associated with self-efficacy for research in the Australian sample, and age was positively related to self-efficacy for research and self-efficacy for teaching in the Vietnamese sample. The study also found moderating effects of idiocentrism and allocentrism in relation to self-efficacy beliefs. Free responses identified dissatisfaction, and concern about fairness of appraisal in both Australian and Vietnamese samples, and proffered suggestions for appraisal improvement in the universities. The study also provided new insights to psychological aspects of performance appraisal in the Australian and Vietnamese university contexts. Understanding how academics’ self-efficacy for appraisal is related to their self-efficacy for research and teaching is an important attempt to add to our knowledge of performance appraisal in universities, and may contribute to improving the quality of academic performance appraisal, and accordingly benefit academics and the organisations within which they work. In addition to informing policy makers of the importance of introducing systematic performance appraisal systems to ensure fairness, strategies to enhance academics’ self-efficacy for appraisal, self-efficacy for research and teaching, and potentially, improve the overall quality of performance appraisal were formulated from the results.