Work-Life Balance among teachers of technical institutions.
In a society filled with conflicting responsibilities, chaotic roles and commitments, the balance between paid work and other activities of life has become a predominant issue at the workplace (Lockwood 2003). Organizations have attempted to ease this conflict by establishing work-family programs because employees' quality of work-life is becoming a business issue. With the rise in employment and complex patterns of work in the 21st century, human resource challenges are the biggest concern. Leading employers acknowledge that positive work-life outcomes for employees are key ingredients of a successful business strategy. In practice, improving the quality of work-life remains a tough task.
Work pressures have intensified in the past decades. Evidence suggests that the average time spent on job has increased drastically. As a result, work dominates the personal life (Guest 2002). This imbalance of work-life relationships can lead to severe health problems and hamper job performance (Singh 2010). Integration of personal and professional life has increasingly become important due to the lifestyle in changing times, competition for growth and changing patterns of work, family and business. These issues are gaining momentum in the emerging markets (Joplin et al. 2003). In Asia, there has been a surge of work-life balance research in the fields such as medicine, nursing & IT (Malik, Saleem & Ahmad 2010, Singh 2010). At the same time there has been no evidence of teachers' stand in terms of work-life research. The present study addresses issues related to the work-life balance among technical teachers in India.
Work-life balance has been a concern for all those interested in maintaining a fine balance between working life and its association with broader quality of life. The understanding of this delicate relationship can provide direct impact on person-organization fit. Hence, many organizations are in quest of increasing the standards of employees by improving their organizational commitment, enhancing job satisfaction levels and at the same time reducing the work related stress. According to Hart (1994) little work has been done to probe the role and the work relationships in determining the outcomes of work-life balance among the teachers. Further, the Indian education system, high on growth, however has its own challenges. One of the important reasons among them is related to the absence of skilled teachers. Hence, the main concern for this study is to provide information and implementation which enable the administrators to respond to the changing needs of employees and ensuring WLB.
Review of Literature
The term 'Work-Life balance'(WLB) has gained popularity in English language research and policy matters, facilitating the understanding of non-work concerns with the employment (Gregory & Milner 2009). According to them, WLB is the relationship between the institutional and cultural time and space of non-work and work in societies where income plays a major role. It is generated and distributed through labor markets. Traditionally work-life balance has been seen through the lens of women employment. Later on it broadened its horizons to men's and women's negotiation of the demands from paid employment and personal and domestic life. This concern has changed from the work-family to the work-life interface. Guest (2002) argues about the nature of work-life balance, considers why it is an issue of contemporary interest and examines the concept of balance and its implications for the study of the relationship between work and the rest of life. Guest (2002) also analyzed the model outlining the causes, nature and consequences of more or less acceptable work-life balance. The topic is linked to the field of work and organizational psychology and a number of theoretical concepts and issues relevant to research in Europe were raised in the article.
Fleetwood (2007) discusses the inevitable connection between WLB and other kinds of flexible working practices, and then discharge these practices. These practices are 'employee friendly' and sought by employees to enhance their WLB. On the other hand, 'employer friendly' approaches are sought by employers to enhance profit and then to enhance employees' WLB. The data reflected that flexible working practices are characterized as much by not so employee friendly working practices that tend to constrain WLB.
Bardoel, De Cieri and Santos (2008) have examined the work-life research within the Australian and New Zealand contexts between 2004 and 2007. Their review identifies the major themes and research methods that have dominated work-life research to a great extent. Researchers have studied psychological factors along with the work-family. Using cross-sectional data from 422 Hong Kong Chinese service employees, Cheung and Tang (2009) examined the relationships among emotional labour, work family interference and quality of work life. Their analysis showed that surface acting was a salient correlate of work-to-family interference, even when organizational display rules and employees' demographic information were controlled. This study provided the support to different emotional labour strategies related to work-family interference.
Shankar and Bhatnagar (2010) looked at the literature of WLB exhaustively and accentuated the importance of broadening the narrow focus to broader one beyond work and family. They have proposed a conceptual model of WLB to be tested empirically. This model focused on the WLB construct and its relationship with employee engagement, emotional dissonance and turnover intention. Zhang & Liu (2011) reviewed the antecedents of Work-Family Conflict from the perspective of individual, work and family. Findings revealed the effects of individual variables like demographic, personality variables, work variables like stress influences, family variables like family demands and spousal interactions.
Singh (2010) explored on the perception of work-life balance policies among the software professionals. The major contribution of this study was to provide an approach for the management of software organizations to assess the awareness levels of work-life polices and measure their perceived importance. The variables employed by the author in the study are not occupation specific and can be used to assess the WBL policies in other occupation too. In one of the studies on the attitudes of the software developers Scholarios and Marks (2004) examined the impact of employer flexibility to work-life issues and negative spillover from wok to non-work life. The results from this study project that even within industry, where employees are relatively individualistic in nature, highly marketable and unlikely to show attachment to a single organization. Mutual gains for employee and employer can be attained by an approach to non-work commitments which lead to greater organizational attachment.
Questions around variations of work-life balance constructs have been conceptualized and operationalized, the attributes, location and size of the study samples and the discipline areas where work-life balance research is published is not a new phenomena. Many researchers have concentrated on the methodological issues related to the work-balance constructs. Chang, McDonald and Burton (2009) reviewed methodological choices particularly the sampling frames, constructs investigated and measures used between 1987 and 2006. Results revealed that the work-life balance studies need to establish greater consistency between the conceptualization of constructs and the operationalization of measures.
Forsyth and Polzer-Debruyne (2007) argued that organizational pay-offs for visible work-life balance support of workers included reduced intention to leaving through increased job satisfaction and also the reduction of work pressures. Bilal, Zia-ur-Rahman and Raza (2010) examined the significant impact of family friendly policies on employee's job satisfaction and turnover intention in the banking industry. Long and inflexible work hours are the most consistent predictor of work-life conflict among banking employees. The evaluation provided prima facie evidence that alternative work schedules can improve banking employees' work-life balance, creating benefits for banking employees and corporate organizations.
There have been many changes in the workplace due to spurring of the economic development. And this has resulted in the generation of new jobs in Asia particularly in India. Both men and women made decisive advances in the labour market. IT industry has attracted greater number of women workforce in the past decade. Divya, Suganthi and Samuel (2010) illustrated the current workplace conditions and some of the reasons causing imbalances in work and life in the IT industry in India. Their study mainly focused on the working women in the age group 20-35 and the problems they face at work and family life. Results obtained from using factor analysis suggest that organizations may mitigate voluntary turnover among women belonging to IT sector and increase workforce diversity. Some studies have examined different professions and occupations with regard to WLB. Malik, Saleem and Ahmad (2010) examined the relationship of job satisfaction with the concept of work-life balance, turnover intentions and burnout level of teachers in Pakistan. The purpose of the study was to provide empirical evidence to prove the relationship. They concluded that higher the WLB higher will be the job satisfaction of the teachers.
Occupational stress can occur across a large and diverse set of occupations. These stress variables may include psychological well-being, physical health and job satisfaction. Johnson et al (2005) explored the relationship between physical and psychological stress and job satisfaction at an occupational level. Out of full ASSET database, 26 occupations were selected. Six occupations namely--ambulance, teachers, social services, customer services--call centres, prison officers and police were identified as having worse than average scores on each of the three factors. The ASSET scores also reveal that teachers are experiencing higher stress and lower job satisfaction levels than both head teachers and teaching assistants, neither of whom score above the norm on any of the factors. The changes within the teaching profession in the last ten years or so have been blamed for the high levels of stress reported by teachers.
Another study (Santiago et al. 2008) examines not only the role of students' disruptive behavior and attitudes but also the difficulties perceived by the teachers in managing conflicts of different occupational variables like gender, age, professional experience and teaching cycle. Results obtained from the vast sample concluded that the stress associated with students' disruptive behavior and to the difficulties faced by teachers in managing conflict has a greater incidence on female teachers. It further suggests that important prevention and intervention programs that are sensitive to these risk factors can be designed.
There has been little research done and less theoretical attention given to the relationship between occupational stress and a teacher's quality of work life. Hart (1994) hypothesized that psychological distress would be separate outcomes of positive and negative work experiences. Results revealed that they both operate on different dimensions. It also suggests that sustainable improvements in a teacher's quality of work life can only be achieved once this more systematic view has been taken.
Of late due to proliferation of educational institutions, there has been a greater mobility of teachers. Teacher attrition is a significant concern for the administrators of the educational set-ups. Sass, Seal and Martin (2010) studied the causes of job dissatisfaction and teachers leaving the profession. Theoretical models with variables related to teacher stress or support were tested using SEM to predict job dissatisfaction and eventual intention to quit. Findings revealed that the student stressors completely mediated the relationship between teacher efficacy related to student engagement and job dissatisfaction, with social support superiors and student stressors being best predictors of job dissatisfaction.
Based on the above arguments, the following is hypothesized:
H1: Work-life balance will have positive relationship with the Job satisfaction of Teachers.
H2: Higher the Burnout, lower will be the Job satisfaction of Teachers.
H3: Lower the Job satisfaction, higher will be the Turnover intention of Teachers.
Y (Job Satisfaction)
= a + [beta]1(WLB) + [beta]2(Burnout) + [beta]3(Inte ntion to leave) + e
The scope of the study is restricted to relationship of Job satisfaction with WLB, Turnover intentions and Burnout of technical teachers in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits of Andhra Pradesh, South India.
The study had following objectives:
* To assess the impact of Work-life balance on the Job satisfaction of the technical teachers.
* To determine the influential factors leading to Job satisfaction among the teachers.
* To look into the Turnover intentions of the technical teachers.
Sampling & Data Collection
The respondents were chosen from private technical institutes offering undergraduate and graduate level courses in engineering and technology. A survey method approach was used. Total 200 questionnaires were distributed among the technical teachers of private engineering colleges, out of which 152 teachers responded to the questionnaire. The response rate was 76%. A simple random sampling method was used to collect the responses allowing some degree of opportunity sampling bias.
The questionnaires were widely used within the work-related health and well-being literature (Symon Cassell 2006) and are useful for measuring attitudes of individuals. Data for the study were collected from the technical teachers working in different engineering colleges by the help of a questionnaire survey which measured the relationship of Job satisfaction with Work-Life, employee Burnout and employee Turnover intentions. Reliability of the measuring instruments was checked with the help SPSS after collecting responses. Interviews were conducted to fill a few of the incomplete questionnaires. The questionnaires were distributed manually by personally visiting the engineering colleges located in the vicinity of Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts and collected over two months period of time.
Job satisfaction describes how content an individual is with his or her job, i.e., the degree to which employees like their job (Spector 1997). The scale of global job satisfaction by Warr, Cook and Wall (1979) was used to measure Job satisfaction. This research tool asks informants to rate their satisfaction on a seven-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = extremely satisfied to 7 = extremely dissatisfied and 4 = neither satisfied, nor dissatisfied. It included the job characteristics like working conditions, rate of pay, and relationship with colleagues, including subordinates and seniors, working hours, promotion opportunities and job security, etc. Little changes have been made to the original scale for this study.
The global job satisfaction scale (Warr et al. 1979) has previously been demonstrated to have a high degree of reliability (Fields 2002). The coefficient alpha for this scale was a = .83, indicating high reliability. An item, question number 11(I am satisfied with my job security), was removed to get better reliability using descriptives for scales if item deleted under reliability analysis.
Work-life balance is the way through which the tensions between the work and non work related parts of people's lives are minimized (Guest 2002). A teacher's Work-life balance deals with maintaining the balance between class schedules, students' assignments and family relations. With the increase in student centric activities in colleges, there has been immense pressure for teachers to perform better and live up to the expectations of the college management. Ever increasing workload imbalances the work and family relationship. As technical education is becoming more and more advanced, the teachers in the technical disciplines need to pay attention to cope with the changing needs of the profession.
Items were rated on a seven- point Likert type scale ranging from 1 = strongly agree to 7 = strongly disagree, where as 4 = neither agree, nor disagree. The main items included were -support the family life, access to flexible working hours, organization support to pursue education and training opportunities, payment against extra hours worked, etc. The coefficient alpha for this scale was [alpha = .77, indicating high reliability. Two items, question number 1 (My job adversely affects my home life) and 7 (If I work extra hours, I am able to take off the time that I am owed) were removed to get better reliability using descriptives for scales if item deleted under reliability analysis.
Employee turnover is basically a signal to leave not the actual turnover (Weisberg 1994). The instrument was adopted from the study by Sang et al (2007) having two items asking the teachers about the intention to leave their current job. The coefficient alpha for turnover intentions was [alpha] = .78, indicating the reliability of the scale. Items were rated on a seven- point Likert type scale ranging from 1 = strongly agree to 7 = strongly disagree, where as 4 = neither agree, nor disagree.
Employee Burnout refers to the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest. Many studies of burnout include negative outcomes such as stress, health deterioration, mental depression, job dissatisfaction, low performance etc. Teachers' burnout has been found to be caused by excessive workload, inadequate salaries, poor college administration, lack of students' interest, overcrowded classrooms, unnecessary transfers, conflict of job perceptions, negative criticism of teachers and their work (Weisberg 1994). Employees in the helping professions want to fulfil tasks that would contribute to their professional image.
Burnout questionnaire was used to collect the responses adopted from the study of Weisberg (1994), including physical, emotional, and mental burnout measures. The coefficient alpha for burnout was [alpha] = .84, indicating the reliability of the scale. The burnout scale composed of 21-items which represent physical, emotional, and mental factors. Items were rated on a seven point Likert type scale ranging from 1 = never, 2 = once, 3 = rarely, 4 = sometimes, 5 = often, 6 = usually, 7 = always.
The normality of data has been analyzed through Levine's test; Skewness and Kurtosis were also observed and their values lie between +1 and -1. These tests confirm that the data is normally distributed. Thus parametric test for data analysis can be applied. The results of Levine's test for normality of data are presented in Table 1.
To find out the relationship between variables, Pearson Correlation test is applied. Job Satisfaction has negative correlation with Turnover intentions while WLB and Burnout has positive relationship with Job satisfaction. While WLB has negative relationship with Turnover intentions, Burnout has negative relationship with employee Turnover intentions. Results are presented in Table 2.
The result of multiple regression shows that WLB has strongest significant positive relationship with Job satisfaction (standardized [beta] = 0.46, p < 0.000). Burnout has a moderate significant relationship with job satisfaction (standardized [beta] = 0.22, p < 0.02). Employee Turnover intentions have low relationship with Job satisfaction. Hence H1 and H2 are supported and H3 is not supported. The [R.sup.2] of the regression model with p < 0.000 is 0.345. The results can be viewed in Tables 3, 4, 5.
The second test run was the independent sample t-test for male and female teachers. WLB (p > 0.05), employee Turnover intentions (p > 0.05), Burnout (p < 0.05) and Job satisfaction (p > 0.05), show that both male and female teachers have no significant difference in WLB, employee Turnover intentions and Job satisfaction. The only variable which shows that both males and female have significant difference is Burnout; female teachers feel less burnout compared to male teachers (Table 6)
One of the key findings of this paper is that WLB is a major contributor toward Job satisfaction and male teachers feel more Burnout compared to female teachers. According to Clark (2000) WLB is "satisfaction and good functioning at work and at home with minimum role conflict". When there is WLB there is Job satisfaction among the employees. In other words, WLB helps to generate Job satisfaction. Higher the WLB in the organization higher will be the Job satisfaction among the employees of that organization. This finding is consistent with the previous researches. According to Hochchild (1997) the employees were highly satisfied with work and family life as their working environments are filled with "friendly rituals and positive reinforcement".
Mixed results of Job satisfaction with respect to gender have been observed. Previous study supported that females are less satisfied compared to males in the construction industry (Sang et al 2007). Gold (1971) found that male and female Job satisfaction does not show any difference. In India engineering and medicine are considered as the most respectable professions. A vast majority of the males have inclination for engineering education whereas females go for medicine. However, when it comes to the technical teachers there is not much difference in the results of Job satisfaction. Both are satisfied with the job when WLB is placed well. There is also a direct correlation between on the job conditions and Job satisfaction, but there is not much difference between male and female views about a particular job especially in teaching at technical institution. Gold (1971) also argued that in general women job satisfaction is equivalent to that of men and women give importance to support from coworkers, job content and socio emotional aspects while men give importance to economic incentives, management responsibilities, prestige, recognition and independence. According to Bokemeier and William (1986), job reward, job values, work conditions and individual attributes are different for both males and females. The results reveal that these determinants have little influence on male and female Job satisfaction in technical education.
Employee turnover intentions have a negative relationship with Job satisfaction, WLB and Burnout. Both male and female teachers show no significant difference in WLB and Turnover intentions. These results shows that both male and female teachers have same type of WLB, Turnover intentions as they belong to same profession and usually the same duty hours and work and non-work demands of male and female teachers are the same. So these variables show no significant difference in male and female teachers. When employees are allowed to have some control in managing their potential conflicts between work and non-work demands, it not only helps to gain Job satisfaction but also reduces employee Turnover intentions and symptoms of stress, and it is rather an inexpensive way to gain long term commitment (Scholarios & Marks 2004). On the other hand, Burnout has a significant difference between the two genders. This could impact on the attitudes and behaviour of employees, and employees of service delivery organizations who have extensive interaction with demanding sub populations are more likely to have high degree of Burnouts and these Burnouts may be caused by excessive work, inadequate salaries, disciplinary problems and so on (Weisberg 1994). Workers Burnout has an impact on productivity, Job satisfaction and Intentions to leave the organizations. As educational institutions are service delivery organizations, the roles and responsibilities given to men and women differ a bit. In addition to taking classes and other academic work a male teacher should also look after the many co-curricular and extracurricular activities in the college, sometimes beyond regular college hours, which their counterparts may not like to share.
Limitations & Implications
The major limiting factors of this study are related to the generalization of the research results. The first generalization is related to the size of the sample. Greater sample size might have led to more defined research outcome. The results might have been different had it been more broad based with sample from other locations. Further studies may take care of the inherent research-practice gap and check different relationships of WLB and Job satisfaction with respect to marital status and parenting dimensions. A cross-cultural study may also be conducted by using the same variables.
The current study puts forward a number of implications that have practical relevance for the management of these educational institutions. Since the levels of awareness for the majority of the WLB policies were on the moderate or lower side, the management of the educational institutions should create awareness about these things to their employees.
The implications of these findings are also for the college management. They need to take care of both hygiene factors and motivators to reduce their Burnout. An evidence based approaches to HRM can be framed based on the results of this study. The managements should try to reduce the Burnout in male teachers by addressing the weak links like work timings, monetary benefits, support teams, support equipment etc. This study may set directions in designing an Equal Employments Opportunity program as Job satisfaction predictors of male and female do not differ significantly.
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Mohd Abdul Nayeem (Email:email@example.com) is Research Scholar & Manas Ranjan Tripathy (E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)is Professor (HRMArea), ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad.
Table 1: Independent Samples Test Levene's Test t-test for for Equality of Equality of Variances Means F Sig. t Df Sig. (2-tailed) WL Equal .003 .959 .942 150 .347 B1 variances assumed Equal .947 92.566 .346 variances not assumed JS1 Equal .168 .682 -.088 150 .930 variances assumed Equal -.085 85.017 .932 variances not assumed BO1 Equal .579 .448 -1.589 150 .114 variances assumed Equal -1.671 103.878 .098 variances not assumed TI1 Equal .052 .821 -.139 150 .890 variances assumed Equal -.139 91.969 .890 variances not assumed t-test for Equality of Means Mean Std. 95% Confidence Difference Error Interval of the Difference Difference Lower Upper WL Equal .16667 .17684 -.18274 .51608 B1 variances assumed Equal .16667 .17601 -.18287 .51620 variances not assumed JS1 Equal -.01381 .15723 -.32447 .29686 variances assumed Equal -.01381 .16212 -.33615 .30853 variances not assumed BO1 Equal -.23053 .14507 -.51718 .05612 variances assumed Equal -.23053 .13794 -.50408 .04302 variances not assumed TI1 Equal -.00561 .04036 -.08535 .07413 variances assumed Equal -.00561 .04027 -.08560 .07438 variances not assumed Table 2: Correlations JS1 WLB1 BO1 TI1 Pearson Correlation JS1 1.000 .549 .408 -.013 WLB1 .549 1.000 .392 -.047 BO1 .408 .392 1.000 -.044 TI1 -.013 -.047 -.044 1.000 Sig. (1-tailed) JS1 ... .000 .000 .439 WLB1 .000 ... .000 .281 BO1 .000 .000 ... .293 TI1 .439 .281 .293 ... N JS1 152 152 152 152 WLB1 152 152 152 152 BO1 152 152 152 152 TI1 152 152 152 152 Table 3: Model Summary Model R R Square Adjusted Std. Error of Durbin- R Square the Estimate Watson 1 .588(a) .345 .332 .73393 2.016 (a) Predictors: (Constant), TI1, BO1, WLB1 (b) Dependent Variable: JS1 Table 4: ANOVA Model Sum of Squares Df Mean Square F Sig. 1 Regression 42.064 3 14.021 26.030 .000 Residual 79.721 148 0.539 Total 121.786 151 (a) Predictors: (Constant), TI1, BO1, WLB1 (b) Dependent Variable: JS1 Table 5: Regression Model--Job Satisfaction as Dependent Variable Model Unstandardized Standardized t Sig. Coefficient Coefficients B Std. Error Beta (Constant) .257 1.832 .140 .889 WLB1 .408 .064 .460 6.364 .000 BO1 .245 .078 .228 3.152 .002 TI1 .076 .259 .019 .291 .771 (a) Dependent Variable: JS1 Table 6: Burnout Comparison "0 = Female, N Mean Std. Std.Error Sig 1 = Male" Deviation Mean WL1 0 48 3.3889 1.00459 .14500 .959 1 104 3.2222 1.01741 .09977 JS1 0 48 2.9167 0.95232 .13746 .682 1 104 2.9305 0.87663 .08596 BO1 0 48 3.1406 0.75397 .10883 .448 1 104 3.3712 0.86442 .08476 TI1 0 48 6.9271 0.23039 .03325 .821 1 104 6.9327 0.23169 .02272
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|Author:||Nayeem, Mohd Abdul; Tripathy, Manas Ranjan|
|Publication:||Indian Journal of Industrial Relations|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2012|
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