The purpose of this study is to determine the factors associated with faculty's perceptions of their roles as researchers at a Thai private university, Assumption (AU). In recent decades there has been a dramatic increase in the size of Thailand's higher education sector reflecting both the trends of massification and privatization. One of Thailand's leading private universities is Assumption with a new world-class campus located in Bang Na near the new Bangkok international airport.The university is Thailand's first international university and grew out of Assumption College (an elite private Catholic P-12 school) and ABAC (a highly successful business college and university). The institution has a long tradition of attracting top students and offering them a quality education that prepares them well to join the elite in business, government, and academic sectors. Despite the rapid growth of Thai higher education, Thai universities do not fare well in international ranking systems. The major reason is the lack of research productivity of Thai faculty in higher education. It is a key assumption of this dissertation that effective research and development contribute to national productivity and competitiveness.In this research the methodology is case study research and there is the use of triangulated qualitative research methods including extensive document analysis and interviews with diverse stakeholders such as AU administrators and faculty. Also interviewed are national and international experts knowledgeable to the Thai higher education landscape. A total of individuals were interviewed with a 100% response rate. Overall, it is found that research productivity is highly skewed with a small number of faculty actively engaged in research, while the majority are much less active or inactive. A tetrahedron model is used to reflect the four key factors found to influence the productivity of faculty, namely, 1) motivation and incentives, 2) resources, 3) skills, and 4) Thai politics and culture. Various suggestions are presented to enhance research productivity at AU such as the development of a long-term plan to give greater priority and resources to research. The plan would include activities such as special training and grant development workshops, mentoring, hiring outstanding faculty with proven research records, and the promotion of research collaboration with international scholars. The "triple helix model" is also presented reflecting the need for much greater cooperation among the business, government, and academic sectors in conducting and impactful and innovative research.The data presented in this dissertation indicate that Thailand in general and AU in particular are not realizing their R & D potential. This places Thailand at risk in terms of what has been termed the middle income trap (Gill & Kharas, 2007). Thus, as many countries such as Japan and Korea developed industrial policies, Thailand critically needs a national research policy to foster excellence in research, particulary quality applied research which will enhance Thailand's national competitivenss and facilitate its escaping the middle income trap. The designation of nine institutions as research universities is a step in the right direction. Assumption University, a private institution and Thailand's first international university, with its strong Catholic heritage of ethics and teaching and its new world-class campus, has also the potential to strengthen its research profile to enhance even more the quality of its teaching and learning environment. For that goal to become a reality, AU must give higher priority to creating a favorable academic research climate with increased funding and incentives for doing useful impactful research.