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The academic work environment in Australian universities: a motivating place to work?

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journal contribution
posted on 07.06.2017, 05:51 by Winter, Richard, Sarros, James C.
This paper presents findings relating to academics' work environment perceptions and work attitudes in Australian universities. Findings relate to a correlation field study of the academic work environment designed to understand how university work environment characteristics relate to full-time academics' work attitudes and job performance. Academics reported both positive (motivating) work environment characteristics (i.e., role clarity, autonomy, job challenge, task identity, supervisory consideration) and negative (demotivating) characteristics (i.e., role overload, role conflict, low job feedback, low participation in decision making). Respondents indicated strong positive opinions to sectoral changes such as the rise of managerialism in academe, academic entre pre neural ism and institutional pressures. Academics reported strong levels of job involvement and neutral organisational commitment. Item analysis indicated academics were willing to exert considerate effort on the university's behalf (positive commitment) but felt the university did not inspire the best in them in terms of job performance (negative commitment). Commitment responses indicated an imbalance in the 'psychological contract' between the academic and his/her university. The paper concludes by discussing the positive and negative aspects of university work organisation.


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Working paper series (Monash University. Department of Management).

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