The Role of Workplace Spirituality in Stress and Job Satisfaction in Higher-Education Tenure-Track Faculty
School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Bork, Pamela J.
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A challenge faced in American society is satisfaction within professional work life. Although there is an abundance of research on workplace wellness, relatively few studies have focused on wellness factors that influence stress and job satisfaction of tenure-track faculty employed at universities. This study examines one area of wellness, spirituality within the workplace, and how it relates to faculty stress and occupational satisfaction. A nonprobability sample was obtained of tenure-track faculty at two midwestern universities. The University Faculty Spirituality Survey consisting of items from existing surveys and newly developed open-ended items was distributed to 1,775 faculty with 255 surveys completed and returned (14%). The research questions were addressed using multiple regression and grounded thematic analysis. The findings demonstrate that despite experiencing prevalent stress related to academic responsibilities, faculty members that report a spiritual connectedness to their work community (e.g., feeling valued and being treated equitably), experience higher levels of job satisfaction compared to faculty who do not report such support. Furthermore, faculty reporting more connectedness to their workplace perceive lower levels of stress compared to faculty who do not feel connected. Female as opposed to male faculty, and untenured compared to tenured faculty, report higher levels of stress related to academic responsibilities. In summary, the results lend support to the value of spirituality, operationalized as workplace connectedness, as a factor enhancing job satisfaction and potentially as a factor mitigating work-related stress.