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Research Articles

Vol. 27 No. 4

Top-Down Motivation in University–Community Engagement

  • Andi Sri Wahyuni
  • György Málovics
July 13, 2022


This study aimed to investigate the process of a top-down motivational approach in university–community engagement (UCE). We conducted a qualitative single case study in Indonesia using direct observations and semistructured interviews with 16 informants in three categories of actors: university, local community, and intermediary. Our main finding is that all actors are motivated by a top-down motivational approach. The university provides service to the community to fulfill its obligation to the government, and the local community is obligated to follow the village chief’s directive to participate in community service. As an intermediary between the university and the community, the village chief supports community service because participation will make the chief (and community) eligible to receive grant funds from the central government. These empirical findings provide a new understanding of how UCE works in a country that employs top-down government to implement its regulation at the grassroots level.