Original Research

Tracking the employee satisfaction-life satisfaction binary: The case of South African academics

Chengedzai Mafini
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 40, No 2 | a1181 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v40i2.1181 | © 2014 Chengedzai Mafini | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 November 2013 | Published: 05 November 2014

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Chengedzai Mafini, Logistics Department, Vaal University of Technology, South Africa

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Orientation: The study tests a conceptual framework that suggests a positive interplay between life satisfaction and five employee satisfaction dimensions, namely workplace flexibility, skills utilisation, teamwork, remuneration and autonomy.

Research purpose: The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between employee satisfaction and life satisfaction amongst university academics in South Africa.

Motivation for the study: The study occupies the gap in literature focusing on the interaction between employee satisfaction and life satisfaction amongst South African university academics.

Research design, approach and method: A three-section survey questionnaire was administered to 273 academics recruited from three universities in Gauteng, South Africa. After a confirmatory factor analysis, hypotheses were tested using a combination of Kendall’s tau correlation coefficient and regression analysis.

Main findings: Correlation tests revealed strong positive relationships between life satisfaction and three factors: workplace flexibility, skills utilisation and autonomy. Regression analysis showed that workplace flexibility, skills utilisation and autonomy were statistically significant.

Practical/managerial implications: Research findings could expedite the generation of strategies for meeting the employment needs and expectations of university academics, thereby reducing the shortage of university academics in South Africa.

Contributions/value-add: The conceptual framework proposed in this study is a useful tool for conceptualising the relationship between employee satisfaction and life satisfaction in the higher education environment.


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