Dr. Robert Nicholson

January 31, 2022 – Chandler, AZ – Trident University International (Trident) Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) graduate Dr. Robert Nicholson presented research from his Doctoral Study Project (DSP), "A Case Study Exploring the Motivation of Acquisitions, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) Noncommissioned Officers in The Army Contracting Command."

This presentation was part of the Trident's CORE webinar series and was hosted by Dr. Indira Guzman, Doctoral Studies Director in Trident's College of Business.

In this qualitative study, Dr. Nicholson examined the influence of intrinsic/extrinsic motivators, job satisfaction, and grit on completing at least 20 years of service for this subset of noncommissioned officers (NCOs) in the U.S. Army.

People who are work self-determined tend to be driven and ambitious, explains Dr. Nicholson. This occurs when three innate and universal psychological needs – competence, relatedness, and autonomy – are fulfilled. Dr. Robert Nicholson

Dr. Nicholson's surveys commenced with questionnaires, which were followed by interviews with a portion of the population who displayed two key traits: high grit and work self-determination. Individuals considered "high grit" typically display a passion and perseverance for long-term goals. Work self-determined qualities are displayed through an individual's professional desire to grow and improve.

The findings of Dr. Nicholson's research suggest that motivations are based on how those surveyed perceive the external factors within the organization, which was particularly pronounced for the high grit and work self-determined individuals.

Evidence-based recommendations vis-à-vis the research include establishing a strong level of trust and building more confidence in the professional relationships between subordinates and leaders. Key to propagating an improved culture are increased introspection and the adoption of leadership philosophies such as transformational or servant leadership.

As a leader and mentor, Nicholson has embraced the core values of learning as the journey, excellence as the goal, and service as the measure of life, including as a current member of the U.S. Armed Forces, in academia, and in his personal life. In his free time, he mentors and motivates fellow students by running a Facebook group for Trident doctoral students and alumni.

He also serves as an academic mentor for higher education and self-development in the U.S. Army, as well as the Chairman and Chief Academic Officer for the Dr. Cindo Nicholson Memorial STEM Fellowship. This fellowship provides academic mentorship to international students from developing economies in Jamaica and the greater Caribbean region to pursue advanced studies in STEM.

In 2021, Dr. Nicholson was honored with the BEYA STEM Peer Reviewed Academia Award for Student Leadership - Graduate Level at the HBCU Engineering Dean's recognition event of the 35th BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference in February.

Dr. Nicholson graduated from Trident's DBA program in 2021. He also holds a Master of Science in Homeland Security and Master of Business Administration from Trident, a Master of Arts in Procurement and Acquisition Management from Webster University, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Southern Connecticut State University.

Click to via a a recording of Dr. Nicholson's presentation

About Trident University 
Founded in 1998, Trident University International (Trident) is a leading online post-secondary university serving adult learners. Trident developed the Trident Learning Model, which employs case-based learning in an online setting to teach real-world relevant critical thinking skills to enhance student’s lives and careers. Trident offers high-quality bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree programs, led by a qualified faculty team, over 80% of whom have doctoral degrees. Visit www.trident.edu, Trident’s Facebook page, or call at 800-579-3197 to learn more about Trident’s wide range of program offerings.

The experience of this alumnus is not representative of all students. This graduate story is unique and may not represent typical experiences or outcomes for our graduates.