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Job Satisfaction in Academia: Why Are Some Faculty Members Happier Than Others?

  • Vicki L. Hesli (a1) and Jae Mook Lee (a2)
Abstract

In studying the correlates of job satisfaction among political science faculty we confirm some findings from other disciplines, such as the relationship between institutional type and satisfaction. We demonstrate that those working in top-ranked departments or in private institutions tend to have higher levels of satisfaction with their jobs and with their contributions to the profession. Both job satisfaction and professional satisfaction tend to be highest among full professors; and greater productivity in terms of publishing is independently linked to greater levels of professional satisfaction. In contrast, comparatively higher undergraduate teaching loads undermine professional satisfaction. We also determine that men and women do not differ systematically from one another in their satisfaction levels. We do, however, document significantly lower levels of satisfaction among racial minorities in political science departments. In exploring this finding, we uncover reports of discrimination and dramatic differences in levels of collegiality experienced by different subgroups of faculty members. Experiences with discrimination undermine job satisfaction and are more frequently reported by women than men and are more common among minority faculty than nonminorities.

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PS: Political Science & Politics
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