Committed and Engaged: A Mixed Method Phenomenological Study of the Perceived Roles, Responsibilities, and Contributions of Professional Support Personnel in Higher Education

Jami S. Rush, Dianne F. Olivier

Abstract


This is a mixed methods study exploring the experiences and perceptions of professional support personnel in higher education regarding their roles, responsibilities, and contributions to their institutions. A combination of surveys and interviews of current professional support personnel examined their job demands, job resources available to them, level of work engagement, and their participation in organizational citizenship behaviors. The major findings of this study show professional support personnel are highly engaged in their jobs and perceived their contributions to their institutions as positive. While professional support personnel indicated participation in organizational citizenship behaviors, further analysis showed the roles and responsibilities of professional support personnel in higher education are inherently comprised of organizational citizenship behaviors and thus are in-role behaviors. In contradiction to existing research, professional support staff described “other duties as assigned” as fun and a welcomed opportunity for professional development and networking.


Keywords


staff, professional staff, work engagement, higher education

Full Text:

PDF

References


ACPA. (n.d.). Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education. Retrieved June 20, 2018, from http://www.myacpa.org/commashe

Amey, M. J. (1990). Bridging the gap between expectations and realities. New Directions for Higher Education, 1990(72), 79–88.

Austin, A. E. (1984). The work experience of university and college administrators. Administrator’s Update, 6(1).

Bakker, A., & Demerouti, E. (2007). The Job Demands-Resources model: State of the art. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22(3), 309–328.

Bakker, A., & Demerouti, E. (2017). Job Demands-Resources theory: Taking stock and looking forward. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 22(3), 273–285.

Bakker, A., Demerouti, E., & Sanz-Vergel, A. I. (2014). Burnout and work engagement: The JD-R approach. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 1, 389–411.

Bakker, A., Demerouti, E., & Verbeke, W. (2004). Using the Job Demands – Resources Model to predict burnout and performance. Human Resource Management, 43(1), 83–104.

Bakker, A., Schaufeli, W., Leiter, M. P., & Taris, T. W. (2008). Work engagement: An emerging concept in occupational health psychology. Work & Stress, 22(3), 187–200.

Cameron, K. (1978). Measuring organizational effectiveness in institutions of higher education. Administrative Science Quarterly, 23(4), 604.

Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. (2018a). CAS Glossary. Retrieved November 30, 2018, from https://www.cas.edu/glossary

Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. (2018b). CAS Standards. Retrieved November 30, 2018, from https://www.cas.edu/standards

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2018). Research design, qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (5th ed.). Google Book version.

Davidson, D. L. (2009). National job satisfaction of entry- and mid-level student affairs professionals, PhD Thesis. Bowling Green State University.

Dobson, I. R. (2000). “Them and us” - general and non-general staff in higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 22(2), 203–210.

Fey, C. J., & Carpenter, D. S. (1996). Mid-level student affairs administrators: management skills and professional development needs. Naspa Journal, 33.

Gerda, J. J. (2006). Gathering together: A view of the earliest student affairs professional organizations. NASPA Journal, 43(4), 147–163.

Ginder, S. A., Kelly-Reid, J. E., & Mann, F. B. (2018). Enrollment and employees in postsecondary institutions, fall 2017; and financial statistics and academic libraries, fiscal year 2017: First look (preliminary data) (NCES 2019-021). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.

Glenny, L. A. (1972). The anonymous leaders of higher education. The Journal of Higher Education, 43(1), 9–22.

Hakanen, J., Bakker, A., & Demerouti, E. (2005). How dentists cope with their job demands and stay engaged: the moderating role of job resources. European Journal of Oral Sciences, 113, 479–487.

Hammons, L. R. (2013). Relationships among non-academic employee perceptions of manager leadership behaviors, meaningful work, and selected performance drivers. Texas A&M University.

Henkin, A. B., & Persson, D. (1992). Faculty as gatekeepers: Non-academic staff participation in university governance. Journal of Educational Administration ; Armidale, 30(2).

Jo, V. H. (2008). Voluntary turnover and women administrators in higher education. Higher Education, 56, 565–582.

Johnsrud, L. K., Heck, R. H., & Rosser, V. J. (2000). Morale matters: Midlevel administrators and their intent to leave. The Journal of Higher Education, 71(1), 34–59.

Knapp, L. G., Kelly-Reid, J. E., & Ginder, S. A. (2011). Employees in postsecondary institutions, Fall 2010, and salaries of full-time instructional staff, 2010-11: First look. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics.

Knight, W. E., & Leimer, C. L. (2010). Will IR staff stick? An exploration of institutional researchers’ intention to remain in or leave their jobs. Research in Higher Education, 51(2), 109–131.

Larkin, M., Watts, S., & Clifton, E. (2006). Giving voice and making sense in interpretative phenomenological analysis. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 102–120.

Mather, P. C., Bryan, S. P., & Faulkner, W. O. (2009). Orienting mid-level student affairs professionals. The College Student Affairs Journal, 27(2), 242–256.

Mello, J. A. (2013). In support of others: An examination of psychological capital and job satisfaction in academic staff. Journal of Academic Administration in Higher Education, 9(2), 1–9.

Morrison, E. W. (1994). Role definitions and organizational citizenship behavior: The importance of the employee’s perspective. The Academy of Management Journal, 37(6), 1543–1567.

Organ, D. W. (1988). Organizational citizenship behavior: The good soldier syndrome. Lexington, MA: Lexington.

Rich, B. L., Lepine, J. A., & Crawford, E. R. (2010). Job engagement: Antecedents and effects on job performance. The Academy of Management Journal, 53(3), 617–635.

Rizzo, J. R., House, R. J., & Lirtzman, S. I. (1970). Role conflict and ambiguity in complex organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 15(2), 150–163.

Rosser, V. J. (2000). Midlevel administrators: What we know. New Directions for Higher Education, 111(111), 5–13.

Rosser, V. J. (2004). A national study on midlevel leaders in higher education: The unsung professionals in the academy. Higher Education, 48(3), 317–337.

Rosser, V. J., & Javinar, J. M. (2003). Midlevel student affairs leaders’ intentions to leave: Examining the quality of their professional and institutional work life. Journal of College Student Development, 44(6), 813–830.

Schaufeli, W., & Bakker, A. (2003). Test manual for the Utrecht Work Engagement Scales. the Netherlands: Utrecht University.

Schaufeli, W., & Bakker, A. (2004). Job demands, job resources, and their relationship with burnout and engagement: A multi-sample study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25(3), 293–315.

Schaufeli, W., & Bakker, A. (2010). Defining and measuring work engagement: Bringing clarity to the concept. In A. Bakker & M. P. Leiter (Eds.), Work engagement : a handbook of essential theory and research. Google Books version.

Schaufeli, W., Bakker, A., & Salanova, M. (2006). The Measurement of Work Engagement With a Short Questionnaire A Cross-National Study. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 66(4), 701–716.

Scott, R. A. (1980). Lords, squires, and yeomen: Collegiate middle-managers in the U.S. Higher Education, 9(4), 385–398.

Spector, P. E., & Fox, S. (2011). Organizational citizenship behavior checklist (OCB-C). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from http://shell.cas.usf.edu/~pspector/scales/OCB-Cdevelopment.doc

Szekeres, J. (2004). The invisible workers. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 26(1), 7–22.

U.S. Department of Education. (2017). Other professional (support/service). In 2017-18 Survey Materials: Glossary. Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics.

Van Dyne, L., Cummings, L. L., & McLean Parks, J. (1995). Extra-role behaviors: In pursuit of construct and definitional clarity (a bridge over muddied waters). Research in Organizational Behavior, 17, 215–285.

Volkwein, J. F., & Parmley, K. (2000). Comparing administrative satisfaction in public and private universities. Research in Higher Education, 41(1).

Wilson, M. E., Liddell, D. L., Hirschy, A. S., & Pasquesi, K. (2016). Professional identity, career commitment, and career entrenchment of midlevel student affairs professionals. Journal of College Student Development, 57(5), 557–572.

Xanthopoulou, D., Bakker, A., Demerouti, E., & Schaufeli, W. (2007). The Role of personal resources in the Job Demands-Resources Model. International Journal of Stress Management, 14(2), 121–141.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2021 Research Issues in Contemporary Education