The Development of an Employee Satisfaction Model for Higher Education

Purpose – Most studies on higher education focus on students as customers, and evaluate student levels of satisfaction/dissatisfaction with their programs, while generally neglecting teacher work satisfaction. Thus, this study evaluates how employee dissatisfaction with various investment items determines the improvement priority. Design/methodology/approach – This study used the academic literature to establish a satisfaction model for higher education employees.

The model is divided into six dimensions: organisation vision, respect, result feedback and motivation, management system, pay and bene ts, and work environment. Using a questionnaire based on the model, 248 teachers were surveyed to investigate and analyze their importance-satisfaction level. The importance-satisfaction model (I-S model) was then applied to place each quality attribute into the I-S model, and thus determine the improvement strategy.

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Findings – The analytical results showed that higher education employees focus on high salaries and fair romotion systems. Investigations of the job satisfaction of college teachers in Europe and America have produced similar results. Originality/value – The employee satisfaction model for the higher education sector not only considers satisfaction levels but also degrees of importance in deciding the improvement strategy.

Improving customer satisfaction not only raises company pro ts, but also facilitates company development (Dubrovski, 2001). Previous studies have proposed that employees are the greatest assets of a company, and that satis ed customers must satisfy employee requirements (Nebeker et al. , 2001). Employee satisfaction in uences organisational performance as much as customer satisfaction. Employees are the internal customers of the business; they satisfy the current working environment and are willing to cooperate with the business to accomplish business goals.

Teachers are the employees of education organisations, and teacher satisfaction with the working environment can promote teaching and research quality. Therefore, teacher requirements must be ful? lled to improve the working environment and enable teachers to achieve outstanding research and teaching performance. In higher education, most studies focus on students as “customers”, and evaluate their level of satisfaction/dissatisfaction with their programs of study (Comm and Mathaisel, 2000), while generally neglecting teacher work satisfaction.

While several employee satisfaction studies have been performed, very few deal with university teachers or academics in general (Ward and Sloane, 1998). Since employee satisfaction has been found to be as important as customer (student) satisfaction (Oshagbemi, 1997a), research on higher education quality has now also begun to considering academic satisfaction (Comm and Mathaisel, 2003). The literature on employee satisfaction remains immature compared to that on customer satisfaction. Therefore, employee satisfaction surveys, particularly on employee satisfaction in the higher education sector, still require study and survey.

Questionnaires, as well as employee interviews can also be applied to survey employee satisfaction. Businesses frequently design questionnaires from the perspective of managers, and thus the questionnaire items generally do not re ect real employee requirements (Comm and Mathaisel, 2000); thus, the survey results do not improve actual employee satisfaction levels. Consequently, this study evaluates how employee dissatisfaction with various investment items determines the improvement priority. Literature review Employee satisfaction for higher education Organisations strongly desire job satisfaction from their employees (Oshagbemi, 2003).

Job satisfaction has been found to signi cantly in uence job performance, absenteeism, turnover, and psychological distress (Andrisani, 1978; Davis, 1992; Spector, 1997). Dissatis ed workers are prone to excessive turnover and absenteeism. Understanding job satisfaction thus may be linked to performance, organisational productivity and other issues, including labour turnover (Dickter et al. , 1996; Lee et al. , 1999; Melamed et al. , 1995; Sekoran and Jauch, 1978). Employee satisfaction is as important as customer satisfaction in in? uencing organisational performance.

Lee (1988) showed that job satisfaction is among the best predictors of turnover. Job satisfaction also in uences customer perceptions of service quality (Rafaeli, 1989; Schneider and Bowen, 1985). Additionally, Williams (1995) found that employee bene ts in uence job satisfaction. Indirect costs associated with job dissatisfaction include training, recruiting and learning curve inef ciencies, as well as reduction in the client base (Brown and Mitchell, 1993). Conversely, employee satisfaction can improve productivity, reduce staff turnover and enhance creativity and commitment.

Therefore, employee satisfaction should not be ignored and yet very few businesses seriously consider employee satisfaction (Ulmer et al. , 1999). The objectives of higher education are to provide in-depth knowledge, seek academic development, educate students, and coordinate national development demands (Johnes and Taylor, 1990). Perkins (1973) proposed that university teachers ful? ll three major functions, namely teaching, researching and administration and management. Consequently, university teacher satisfaction is related to the functions of higher Employee satisfaction model 485.

TQM 18,5 486 education. Dalton and Pica (1998) found that the quality of faculty and instruction are important elements for satisfying business undergraduates and graduates, and that business placement and services were important to students. Similarly, in the higher education sector, Oshagbemi (1997a) investigated job satisfaction among university professors. Hagedorn (1994) examined the satisfaction of academic staff using various variables, including salary, perceived support from colleagues, satisfaction with administration, enjoyment of student interaction and perceived stress levels.

Employee importance and satisfaction survey The purposes of employee satisfaction surveys are not only to discover employee satisfaction levels, but also to determine necessary improvements via the results of employee satisfaction surveys. Employee satisfaction surveys commonly apply questionnaire and complaint analyses. However, complaint analysis is a passive method, which cannot fully determine employee satisfaction. Recently,  rms have increasingly started using questionnaire surveys (Yang, 2003a). Some businesses apply customer satisfaction survey models when devising employee satisfaction surveys (Lam et al. , 2001), as in this study.

The SERVQUAL model (Parasuraman et al. , 1985, 1988, 1991) is the best-known service quality measurement model. SERVQUAL measures the gap between customer perceptions and expectations of service quality to determine perceived service quality. Comm and Mathaiael (2000) applied SERVQUAL to devise employee satisfaction surveys, and de ne “employee satisfaction” as the gap between the works related perceptions and expectations of employees. Some studies apply the SERVQUAL method to carry out employee satisfaction surveys, which replace the expectation values with the importance values, and cite the theory of McDougall and Levesque (1992).

The author of this study recently conducted a study referring to customer satisfaction surveys in business, and showed that the importance and expectation values are not equivalent; therefore expectation values should not be replaced with importance values. Yang (2003b) also found that the importance and expectation values were not synonymous. As scholars study service quality, and businesses measure employee satisfaction, SERVQUAL is generally applied as an investigative tool. However, the SERVQUAL method is dif? cult to apply to business. Yang (2003b) indicated that the SERVQUAL questionnaire design has a number of limitations.

Customers and employees have dif? culties in answering the SERVQUAL questionnaire, particularly the “expectations” section. Taiwanese businesses generally apply traditional satisfaction surveys instead. For the above reasons, this study applies the I-S model rather than SERVQUAL to analyses employee satisfaction. Importance-satisfaction model (I-S model) Low-quality attributes should not be the only consideration when designing improvement plans.

Usually, the customer (employee) measures the quality of goods or services based on several important attributes or elements (Berry et al. 1990; Deming, 1986). The customer (employee) evaluates product or service quality by considering several important quality attributes; therefore  rms must take actions to improve the attributes that are important to the customer but which have low satisfaction levels.

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The Development of an Employee Satisfaction Model for Higher Education. (2016, Nov 13). Retrieved from