Life Satisfaction and Job Satisfaction among University Faculty: The Impact of Working Conditions, Academic Performance and Relative Income

Abstract

This study examines the effects of work related factors (such as mobbing, job security and job concern) and academic related factors (such as publications, time for research and pressure) and relative income effect (social comparison and self-income evaluation) on life satisfaction and overall job satisfaction of young faculty members working at leading universities located in major cities in Turkey. The analysis is based on a unique survey conducted with 1215 research assistants. Separate regressions were run for the whole sample and for gender categories. Findings of the research revealed that life satisfaction and overall job satisfaction were strongly correlated with mobbing, time for research, formal and informal pressure and subjective job security. Separate regression results revealed that the significant predictors for overall job satisfaction differed among male and female respondents. In regard to relative income effect, findings were in line with the existing literature: attaching importance to income comparison has a negative impact on life satisfaction. In addition, downward self-income evaluation for the present has a negative effect on life satisfaction, whereas upward self-income evaluation for the future (expectations) has a positive effect on life satisfaction.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    For the leading studies in these fields please see Easterlin (1974), Veenhoven (1984), and Myers and Diener (1995).

  2. 2.

    The number of published articles referenced in EconLit in any given year that mention happiness, life satisfaction or subjective well-being in the title or abstract has increased from 3 in 1986–1990 to 146 in 2011 (Frey and Stutzer 2013).

  3. 3.

    For a detailed review for job satisfaction in the early period please see Rice et al. (1980).

  4. 4.

    Life satisfaction is conceived as the degree to which an individual judges the overall quality of his life-as-a-whole favorably (Veenhoven 1991).

  5. 5.

    In order to conform to the ordinal utility theory, ordinal statement was converted to a cardinal scale by asking respondents (through either direct or indirect questioning or personal interview) to evaluate their feelings on a detailed Likert-type scale (Michalos 1985). Interview techniques applied in anonymous questionnaire have allowed the quantitative measurement of life satisfaction. Empirical checks of the suspicions about the validity of self-reports of life satisfaction have not revealed great distortions (Veenhoven 1991).

  6. 6.

    Throughout the text job satisfaction and overall job satisfaction is used interchangeably.

  7. 7.

    These universities are: Istanbul University, Marmara University, Yıldız Technical University, and Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul; Gazi University, Ankara University and Hacettepe University in Ankara; Ege University and Dokuz Eylül University in Izmir.

  8. 8.

    At the time of the survey applied, only universities in big cities employed assistants with different contract types such as temporary and tenure track (in specific: 50d, 33a and OYP).

  9. 9.

    Ordered probit regressions are available upon request.

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Cerci, P.A., Dumludag, D. Life Satisfaction and Job Satisfaction among University Faculty: The Impact of Working Conditions, Academic Performance and Relative Income. Soc Indic Res 144, 785–806 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-018-02059-8

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Keywords

  • Life satisfaction
  • Job satisfaction
  • Mobbing
  • Job security
  • Formal and informal pressure
  • Time for research
  • Relative income
  • Income comparison
  • Income evaluation

JEL Classification

  • I23
  • J01
  • J28
  • J45