A mixed methods contribution analysis of UK students’ unions’ internal communications response to addressing staff motivation during the Covid-19 pandemic

  • Matthew Kitching Lancaster University, UK
Keywords: Students’ Unions, Covid-19 pandemic, mixed methods, Contribution Analysis, internal communications, motivation


This macro-level, mixed methods contribution analysis evaluates the influence of students’ unions internal communication response to the Covid-19 pandemic on staff motivation. Recognising the role individual interpretation and perception play in the receipt of such messages, this paper seeks to understand which motivating factors union managers sought to address through their communications, whether these efforts were recognised by staff and whether there is evidence they may have helped to alleviate employee concerns. The evaluation findings will be of interest to student union managers and professionals looking to enhance communications and improve employee motivation.

Received: 14 September 2021
Accepted: 27 October 2021


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Author Biography

Matthew Kitching, Lancaster University, UK

Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Students’ Union at Buckinghamshire New University (United Kingdom, UK). Simultaneously, Matthew is completing his MBA in the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University and undertaking his PhD in Higher Education at Lancaster University (UK). As part of the latter, his research focusses on projects concerning student unions, student leadership and engagement, as well as work on quality assurance, in particular student involvement in international QA. Matthew also works for a wide range of quality assurance agencies across Europe and previously worked for the European Students’ Union. He is also a Board member of EQ-Arts and the European Council for Business Education. In addition, Matthew is Regional Editor (Western Europe) of the Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, a peer reviewer for the Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal and a member of the Society for Research into Higher Education, the Consortium of Higher Education Researchers and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, where he holds the position of Graduate Student Co-Chair of the International Education Knowledge Community.


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How to Cite
Kitching, Matthew. 2021. “A Mixed Methods Contribution Analysis of UK students’ unions’ Internal Communications Response to Addressing Staff Motivation During the Covid-19 Pandemic”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 9 (1), 207-37. https://doi.org/10.18543/tjhe-9(1)-2021pp207-237.
COVID-19 Special Section Editorial