Job satisfaction among academic staff members in state universities in Sri Lanka

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Author: 
Sujeewa Kodithuwakku
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Academic staff is an essential and the most important component in the process of achieving the mission and vision of an educational institute. Because academic staff members are the first line of contact with students and requires complex work in an increasingly demanding environment (Fang-Mei Tai, 2014). At present satisfied academic staffs form the sources of competitive advantage. To meet the required standards of education sector the academic staff members need a working environment that allows them to work freely without problems that may restrain them from performing up to the level of their full potential. This study has made an attempt to identify the job satisfaction among the academic staff members in state universities in Sri Lanka. This study is based on both primary and secondary data. A cross-sectional survey among university teachers was conducted from May 2016 to July 2016 in Sri Lanka. For this study, ten universities were selected out of 16 state universities and 30% of the full-time academic members were randomly sampled from each university selected. Anonymous self-administered questionnaires were distributed to 880 academic staff members after obtaining their written consent. Out of this a total of 720 effective responses were obtained (effective response rate: 78.5%). The study procedures were in accordance with ethical standards. A questionnaire was developed with variables in two dimensions to analyze job satisfaction i.e.12 intrinsic job satisfaction items and six extrinsic job satisfaction, with each item being rated on a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from 1 (strongly dissatisfied) to 5 (strongly satisfied).The distributions of job satisfaction in categorical variables were examined by the Student’s t-test and one-way ANOVA. Pearson Correlations method was used to measure the relationship between independent and dependent variables. Hierarchical linear regression analyses were performed to explore the factors associated with job satisfaction. Statistical significance was defined as p < 0.05 (two-tailed).The field survey revealed that Sri Lankan university academics have an average level of satisfaction (the average score of job satisfaction was, SD = 59.5). Over-commitment was found to have a negative association with job satisfaction. Perceived Organizational Support was found to be associated with overall job satisfaction among Sri Lankan university academic staff members. Specially, academic staff members expect a high level of organizational support and it tends to feel confident and hopeful about their desired job goals and are able to have both the motivation and plans to achieve their goals. Psychological Capital was also found to be positively associated with job satisfaction. As a recommendation it is suggested that measures such as establishing flexible work schedules for academic members, introducing rewarding methods on the basis of their academic and administrative contribution, provide more funds for scientific research and higher education, increasing opportunities for career advancement and encouraging them for administrative involvement of department/faculty in decision-making might increase academic members’ job satisfaction. Furthermore, improving Psychological Capital might be more effective for enhancing the overall job satisfaction.

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