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PhD students’ relatedness, motivation, and well-being with multiple supervisors


Khosa, A and Wilkin, C and Burch, S, PhD students' relatedness, motivation, and well-being with multiple supervisors, Accounting Education pp. 1-33. ISSN 0963-9284 (2023) [Refereed Article]

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© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License, (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

DOI: doi:10.1080/09639284.2023.2179889


While the quality and nature of a PhD students’ relationship with their supervisors is widely regarded as pivotal for successfully completing their studies, the increasing use of multiple supervisors may challenge this relationship. This is the first study to use interviews with students and supervisors to explore students’ motivation in such supervisory arrangements. Our study is framed by Self-Determination Theory (SDT) as a means for understanding factors that enable (or inhibit) individuals’ motivation to learn, and Social Penetration Theory (SPT) for its perspectives on the development of relationships. Findings show that students’ self-disclosure fosters relatedness and enhances autonomy and competence, with motivation and well-being as a function of their relational needs being satisfied. As such, complementarities between SDT and SPT provide more nuanced insights into the influence of relatedness on student motivation and well-being.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:PhD student–supervisor relationship, relatedness, self-determination theory, self-disclosure, social penetration theory
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Higher education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Higher education
UTAS Author:Khosa, A (Dr Amrinder Khosa)
UTAS Author:Burch, S (Mr Steven Burch)
ID Code:155499
Year Published:2023
Deposited By:Accounting
Deposited On:2023-02-24
Last Modified:2023-03-22
Downloads:5 View Download Statistics

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