Section

Student experience

Abstract

This study focuses on investigating impact of supervisor – PhD student relationship on PhD students’ satisfaction with their supervisors’ supervisory styles and their skill development. A survey was conducted among 430 respondents who both finished or were doing their doctoral study at universities in Northern, Central and Southern cities in Vietnam in social science, economics and business management majors. Findings revealed that the leadership, helping, understanding and responsibility relationship between supervisors and PhD students were positively associated with PhD students’ satisfaction with supervisors’ supervisory style while the uncertain, dissatisfied and admonishing types of relationships were negatively associated with PhD students’ satisfaction. The strict relationship did not negatively affect PhD students’ satisfaction with their supervisors’ supervisory styles. Furthermore, PhD students’ satisfaction with their supervisors’ supervisory styles positively influenced their satisfaction with academic skill development during their PhD candidature. Implications and future research directions were then discussed.

Practitioner Notes

1. Leadership, helping, understanding and responsibility relationships are positively associated with PhD students’ satisfaction with supervisors’ supervisory style. Uncertain, dissatisfied and admonishing relationships are negatively associated with PhD students’ satisfaction. The strict relationship does not negatively affect PhD students’ satisfaction with their supervisors’ supervisory styles. 2. PhD students’ satisfaction with their supervisors’ supervisory styles positively influences their satisfaction with academic skill development during their PhD candidature. 3. PhD programs managers are can base on these findings to better select relevant supervisors and provide supervisors with general guidelines of standard supervisory styles. Besides, supervisors could base on findings of this research to train themselves for satisfactory supervisory styles with PhD students. 4. Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic context, technology mediated communication systems could be used to conduct frequent online academic interaction, share progress or updates on professional development. 5. Other support, including personal protective equipment and protocols, understanding and empathy, guidance and direction, timeline support, and financial support, could be provided for PhD students.

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