An Examination of Academic Job Satisfaction and Motivation in Portuguese Higher Education

Project acronym: 
Project start date: 
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Project end date: 
Saturday, March 31, 2012
External researchers: 
Rui Brites; Minoo Farhangmehr; Odília Gouveia (Grantee); Marvin Peterson (Consultant)
Proponent institution: 
CIPES - Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies
Participating institutions: 
CIPES, Portugal; Michigan University, US
Project description: 
An important constituent group contributing to the culture of an institution, along with students, is the faculty or academic staff. The academic staff is a key resource within higher education institutions and, therefore, it has a major role in achieving the objectives of the institution. The centrality of the faculty role turns it into a primary sculptor of institutional culture. The performance of academic staff as teachers and researchers determines much of the quality of the student satisfaction and has an impact on student learning and, thus, the contribution of the higher education institutions (HEIs) to society. Although several studies have examined this topic around the world, little is known in the higher education context in Portugal. This study aims at identifying the issues and their impacts on academic staff job satisfaction and motivation, offering additional insights into relationships and strategies that can promote these qualities and, thus, productivity. Project Objectives (description) The goal is to help Portuguese higher education understand the parameters of job satisfaction and motivation in the professoriate. Objectives are to: 1. Determine the dimensions associated with job satisfaction and motivation of academic staff; 2. Analyze how job satisfaction and motivation differ among sub-groups; 3. Determine the relationships between satisfaction and motivation; 4. Provide insights from the data that will focus attention on the strengths and weaknesses of the professoriate within the system; 5. Produce documents that can be widely disseminated for the use and benefit of the HEIs in Portugal.
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