Faculty job satisfaction : retaining faculty in the new millennium

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


It is not known to those in higher education at Montana State University-Bozeman (MSU-Bozeman) why tenured faculty chooses to remain in the field of higher education at MSU-Bozeman. Twenty tenured faculty members from five different disciplines in the liberal arts, humanities, social sciences, fine arts, and education programs at this land grant, Doctoral II University were asked to participate in the study. Professors were selected purposefully from liberal arts, humanities, social sciences, fine arts, and education faculty who were tenured and had at least ten years experience and were available for interview in the spring/summer of 2004. Participants were asked to respond to open ended questions and statements. Data were collected through one-on-one interviews. The purpose of this grounded theory study is to investigate why tenured faculty at MSU-Bozeman choose to remain in their faculty positions and to generate a motivational theory using a construct-oriented approach. An audit of the study's data collection processes, analysis, and conclusions was conducted to confirm the validity of the findings. The results of this study revealed that tenured faculty at MSU-Bozeman were motivated to remain in their positions by, (1) their families, (2) a desire to remain in the geographical area, and, (3) as a result of having achieved tenure. These three facets of employment at MSU-Bozeman were overwhelmingly cited by study participants as motivation to remain in their positions. These three motivational factors evidenced underpinnings of need, emotion, and intellectual evaluation. The participants were motivated by the interaction of emotion, need, and intellect. In this respect, the theory of motivation generated as a result of the data unearthed by this study took a new step in the development of motivational theory, and moved beyond the boundaries set by Maslow (1943), Herzberg (1966), and Goleman (1998) to define a new paradigm of motivational theory, functional within the context of higher education, as well as a new definition of human behavior applicable within the confines of an industrialized society, inclusive of elements of all three theories. The new three-pronged theory defines need, emotion, and intellect as three interactive motivational forces determining human behavior within the context of the university in industrialized society.




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