Predicting job satisfaction among Iowa community college adjunct faculty members: Use and application of Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory

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Schulz, Steven
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Larry Ebbers
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Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Over the past few decades, institutions of higher education have increased their dependence on part-time faculty members (Gappa & Leslie, 1993). Factors influencing this trend include: (a) increases in instruction-related costs relative to revenues; (b) efforts by academic administrators to achieve staffing flexibility; (c) the number of individuals who have been unable to obtain full-time teaching positions; and (d) the growth of community colleges which traditionally have employed large percentages of part-time faculty members (Valadez & Antony, 2001; NCES, 2000).

The purpose of this study was to examine the current level of adjunct faculty >bold>job satisfaction in Iowa's 15 community colleges and to determine if satisfaction variables can be used to predict overall job satisfaction. The unit of analysis was the adjunct faculty members who responded to the Iowa Community College Adjunct Faculty Survey 2009.

The population of adjunct faculty members targeted for this study included all adjunct faculty members employed at one of Iowa's 15 community colleges during the 2008-09 academic year. The final sample included all of Iowa's 15 community colleges, and 3,412 adjunct faculty members were eligible to complete the survey. For the purpose of this survey, respondents who did not complete questions regarding job satisfaction were eliminated from the sample. A final sample of 930 participants was included in the data set.

The survey respondents' ratings on how job satisfaction was perceived were regressed on six independent variables associated with job satisfaction. The six independent variables (gender, age, benefits, instruction, relationships, and physical environment) accounted for 56% of the variance explained in the regression model and were statistically significant at the last step. Findings reveal a strong relationship between independent variables and the dependent variable, overall job satisfaction.

Finally, the findings of this study provide valuable information to human resource directors and other campus administrators. The information from this study provides empirical data that can be used to inform hiring practices and guide programming designed to improve the job satisfaction of adjunct faculty members.

Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2009