Effects of generation on tenure-track faculty satisfaction

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Emily Elizabeth McCullough (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Bianca Montrosse

Abstract: The academy is generationally diversifying as Baby Boomer faculty members continue to move into retirement and younger faculty enter the workforce. People are dispositionally inclined to explain differences they perceive in others, but oftentimes these judgments are based on assumptions and stereotypes. Consultants and practitioners predict that generational diversification will lead to employee friction. The reality is that at this time the proposed relationship is not well understood and substantial systematic evidence supporting the hypothesis is limited. However, if administrators continue to consider the generational recommendations published in the popular press, it may be an indication there truly is some phenomenon occurring in higher education employees. Therefore, understanding and addressing generational differences becomes increasingly more important for the good of faculty and administrators alike, as employees across a broad age range will be working together. This quantitative study explored the effects of demographic variables, namely generation, on tenure-track faculty job satisfaction. Aside from obtaining a much-needed generational snapshot of tenure-track faculty, this study sought to determine if generation could be utilized to predict a variety of job satisfaction indices. Multiple regression analyses were conducted on variables obtained from a pre-existing aggregated COACHE Tenure-Track Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey dataset. Statistically significant demographic effects emerged in seven job satisfaction indices, but multiple regression results provided little evidence to suggest demographic variables, which have frequently been used to explain differences between groups, are strong predictors of tenure-track faculty satisfaction. Obviously, these findings raise questions about the credibility of claims coming from generational practitioners and consultants and signify that more research is urgently needed. Future researchers may consider capturing information on a variety of work-related outcomes, not just job satisfaction, on a broad age-range of faculty members over an extended period of time. However, before any meaningful advances in answering questions about entire groups of employees based solely on their generational membership can be made, researchers must come to an agreement on the exact taxonomy, attributes, and boundaries of the generations.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Universities and colleges -- Faculty -- Job satisfaction -- Age factors
College teachers -- Job satisfaction -- Age factors
College teachers -- United States -- Attitudes

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