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University corporatisation: The effect on academic work-related attitudes

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to examine the work-related attitudes (job satisfaction, job stress and the propensity to remain) of Australian academics and their association with organisational, institutional and demographic factors. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Data were collected by distributing a survey questionnaire to 750 academics, from 37 Australian universities. Findings ‐ The results indicate a moderately low level of job satisfaction, moderately high level of job stress, and high propensity to remain. The findings reveal that the organisational factors (management style, perceived organisational support, and the characteristics of the performance management system) exhibited the most significant association with academic work-related attitudes, with the only significant institutional factor, the declining ability of students, negatively impacting on job satisfaction and job stress. The findings revealed that work-related attitudes differ, based on discipline, with science academics found to be more stressed and less satisfied than accounting academics. Different organisational and institutional factors were associated with the work-related attitudes of academics from these two disciplines. Practical implications ‐ The findings will make university management aware of the work-related attitudes of staff, and the factors that are associated with such attitudes, thereby assisting management in developing management policies, and taking appropriate action to address the concerns of staff. Originality/value ‐ The study provides an initial comparison of the work-related attitudes (job satisfaction, job stress, and propensity to remain) of Australian academics across the accounting and science disciplines. The study also provides an important insight into the association between specific organisational and institutional factors, with the work-related attitudes of Australian academics across both disciplines.
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Keywords: Academic staff; Australia; Job satisfaction; Performance management systems; Retention; Stress

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-05-10

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