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ERIC Number: ED531484
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 245
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-2341-6
Academic Work in Transition: An Examination of Virtual Faculty Job Satisfaction
Lefebvre, Lauryl A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University
The increased demand for postsecondary education in the United States and abroad and the availability of new teaching and learning technologies are having an indelible impact on the nature of faculty work. As distance education becomes more prevalent, a growing number of faculty are facing new challenges and opportunities, especially those working within virtual university settings. For these settings, faculty are generally part-time appointees and geographically separated from both their administrators and students. Using survey research methods including online questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, faculty demographics, employment motivations, and job satisfaction specific to their existence needs are examined and compared with those of their part-time colleagues who work on campus. The results of the study reveal virtual faculty are older, more educated, more experienced, and slightly less satisfied than their part-time, bricks-and-mortar peers. Overall, they are somewhat satisfied with their appointments and, as predicted by Herzberg's two-factor theory, motivator factors contribute to their job satisfaction and hygiene factors contribute to job dissatisfaction. Of their existence needs, that is physiological and security needs, rate of pay and benefits are dissatisfiers and geographic freedom and flextime are satisfiers. However, positive views of flextime are tempered by the cyclical nature of teaching workload, that is, the unpredictable and uneven demands on their time limit their use of flexible working hours. Surprisingly, virtual faculty are neither satisfied or dissatisfied with workload and institutional support including orientation, professional development, and services; existence factors commonly reported as faculty barriers in the adoption of distance education at bricks-and-mortar postsecondary institutions. The findings inform administrative best practices in the structuring of extrinsic rewards for optimal faculty job satisfaction, a precursor to employee retention and productivity. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States