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Title: Job satisfaction of university academics in China
Authors: Yu, Xinying
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Higher education systems throughout the world are experiencing a difficult process of change that is impacting significantly on employees. This has meant that university academics have to do complex work in an increasingly demanding environment. The issue of academic job satisfaction is of growing concern because it has significant quality implications for universities. Many research studies of job satisfaction have looked at varied applications to the Western context, however, in the Chinese context, it is still relatively unclear what accounts for academic job satisfaction. This study can fill a gap in the previous job satisfaction literature in China and explores the idea that the influences upon this factor are culture related. This study investigates job satisfaction among university academics in China, It adopts a mixed methods approach which combined qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis techniques. The qualitative data were collected by semi-structured interviews with a total of fourteen academics in North University. Specifically, the interviewees were asked to consider the factors impact on their job satisfaction. NVivo 7 was used to categorize the qualitative data for analysis on the basis of the work related factors. The quantitative data were collected by questionnaires. A sample of 204 academics from six universities in Northeast China was sampled. The quantitative data were analyzed based on the factor analysis of principal components to derive groups of variables. Simple percentages, means and t-test were then used for data analysis. The findings revealed that academics'job satisfaction has strong relationships with their perceptions to a number of factors. Although there were no significant differences with respect to personal characteristics relating to overall job satisfaction, age had significant influence on job satisfaction with self-esteem and self-efficacy. Work related factors that prompted academic job satisfaction related to work groups, work itself and to intrinsic factors such as self-esteem, self-efficacy and self-actualisation, while the factors that contributed to dissatisfaction were mostly extrinsic factors related to pay and promotion. These findings are discussed in the light of motivation theories, higher education changes and cultural context. Cultural factors, such as power-concentrated, group-oriented, holistic relationships, have significant influences on Chinese academics' perceptions of their work. As these effects are particularly relevant to China, not all Western models of job satisfaction can be applied to the Chinese context. This thesis concludes that intrinsic factors tend to be dominant in Chinese university settings and are more likely to evoke university academics' job satisfaction rather than extrinsic ones, academics are satisfied with overall levels of job satisfaction, although not with pay and promotion.
Description: PhD
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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