The Development of an Employee Satisfaction Model for Higher Education

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TQM 18,5

The development of an employee satisfaction model for higher education Shun-Hsing Chen
Department of Industrial Engineering, Chung-Yuan University, Chung-Li, Taiwan, Republic of China and Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Chin-Min Institute of Technology, Chung-Li, Taiwan, Republic of China


Ching-Chow Yang and Jiun-Yan Shiau
Department of Industrial Engineering, Chung-Yuan University, Chung-Li, Taiwan, Republic of China, and

Hui-Hua Wang
Department of Applied Foreign Languages, Chin-Min Institute of Technology, Chung-Li, Taiwan, Republic of China Abstract
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 benefits, 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. Findings – The analytical results showed that higher education employees focus on high salaries and fair promotion 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. Keywords Employees, Job satisfaction, Higher education, Quality Paper type Research paper

The TQM Magazine Vol. 18 No. 5, 2006 pp. 484-500 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0954-478X DOI 10.1108/09544780610685467

Introduction Improving customer satisfaction not only raises company profits, but also facilitates company development (Dubrovski, 2001). Previous studies have proposed that employees are the greatest assets of a company, and that satisfied customers must satisfy employee requirements (Nebeker et al., 2001). Employee satisfaction influences 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 fulfilled 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...
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