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A Study of Impact of Moonlighting Practices on Job Satisfaction of the University Teachers.

Byline: Kaukab Ara and Aisha Akbar


This paper is an effort to explore the impact of moonlighting practices on job satisfaction of teachers of public sector universities of the province of Punjab and Federal Capital. Only main campuses of universities were included and the sample of the study consisted of all four categories of university teachers, Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors and Lecturers of the target area. Twenty percent of the population was taken as sample, 533 teachers were studied to discover the impact that moonlighting has on job satisfaction. In order to identify factors responsible for moonlighting among university teachers, four factors including additional income, blocked promotion, skill diversity and job autonomy were studied. Overall the major findings of study revealed that there is significant impact of moonlighting on job satisfaction.

Keywords: Moonlighting, job satisfaction, additional income, blocked promotion, skill diversity, Job autonomy.


Moonlighting is understood as holding a second job outside of normal working hours. Numerous members of labor force contribute to the secondary market by working additional hours either through additional jobs or through self- employment. It has been observed that it is a common practice to hold second job in addition to primary job in both developed and developing countries. Betts (2006) found that it was a persistently well-established global trend and moonlighting practices were found in both skilled and unskilled labor. Teaching profession has been termed as the one with highest number of moonlighters.

Over the past decade job satisfaction has generated a lot of interest among researchers. With the passage of time seeking second job is a rising trend among professionals. The popularity of the concept of moonlighting has stemmed from its relationship with several important employee behaviors particularly job satisfaction. According to Lambert (2003), Lambert and Hogan (2009), the trend of moonlighting is on the rise in education sector and specifically in public sector organizations. The reasons behind moonlighting are thought to be financial, intellectual or social. Further, Cooper-Hakim and Viswesvaran (2005) say that in the competitive market employees have become the only source of sustainable competitive advantage to organizations, therefore predicting employee satisfaction and commitment is important. Employee job satisfaction becomes critical when an organization expects to sustain and compete in the market.

Workforce of an organization plays a vital role in the achievement of its objectives and smooth functioning. Moonlighting practice reflects the level of satisfaction of employees with their organization. The reasons of moonlighting can be explored by analyzing the relationship between the job satisfaction and moonlighting. If an employee is not motivated enough and not satisfied with work hours or work conditions on primary job, he will opt to seek additional job with the first job. It has been observed that motives of employees who seek second job or decide to continue the same are related to the level of job satisfaction with the organization. Meyer and Allen (1991) have depicted that work related factors are some of the major determinants of job satisfaction. According to Lambert and Hogan (2009) work related factors may be economical, psychological or social in nature.

Their research depicts moonlighting as a result of "financial gluttony", but this is not the only reason that motivates people to seek second job in addition to the first permanent job. Job satisfaction is an important factor which needs to be extensively researched to pinpoint reasons for planners and managers to improve the organizational effectiveness and efficiency. According to Tetty (2006) moonlighting might be caused by labor market conditions because insecure workers hedge their risk of unemployment due to escalated sense of uncertainty and for others it might be a way of gaining satisfaction by development of skills or credentials.

A study by Figlio (2002) states that teacher attitudes, teacher morale, teacher motivation, teacher efficacy, teacher job satisfaction may be considered essential and fundamental to the teaching occupation. The added desire of seeking second job in addition to the first permanent job may directly affect these teachers. Thus they undertake important work in building knowledge, skill and behavior. Teachers touch the lives of thousands of students in each teaching hour so it is essential to find out how satisfied teachers behave in their work place. As far as teacher's satisfaction in their workplace is concerned, the time dedicated to work by teachers is substantial. University teachers are asked to do more than ever despite shrinking budgets, scarce resources, greater accountability and increasing class size. For the public sector university moonlighting teaching faculty, job responsibilities go far beyond the classroom.

Mostly their work hours are extended into evenings. As long as the higher education sector is dependent on the commitment of hard work, there is a great need to further understand how teachers maintain required standard expected out of them. Producing knowledgeable and skilled manpower is the main objective of faculty of higher education. This objective can only be met by finding reasons for teachers' moonlighting and formulating polices for effective and efficient outcome.

The Objectives of the Study

Following were the key research objectives of the study:

(a) To identify factors responsible for moonlighting among university teachers.

(b) To establish impact and relationship between moonlighting and job satisfaction.

Moonlighting is perceived both as a negative and a positive practice. Research shows that the trend of moonlighting is on the rise and University teachers in Pakistan have also started to moonlight. There is a need for an in-depth study to explore implications and consequences of this practice on organizations as well as individuals.

Literature Review

Job satisfaction is the phenomena of human behavior which reflects the attitude of an individual to its workplace. Kreitner and Kinicki (2006) described job satisfaction as the pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job or job experience. In a nutshell, it may be stated that it is an emotional state related to positive or negative appraisal of job experience. Employee behavior for different professions and workplaces differ, as situation and work environment is different.

Job satisfaction can best be understood as the way employees feel about their jobs and different aspects of their job. Spector (1997) identified a shift that has taken place in the last decade and job satisfaction is considered as an attitudinal variable. As a psychological construct it was defined by Dawes (2004), as having two components; a cognitive component that is the perception that one's needs or requirements are being fulfilled and an affective component that is the feeling that accompanies the cognition. According to McNamara (1999) job satisfaction can be influenced by a variety of factors including ones feelings or state of mind regarding the nature of their work.

He further says that quality of one's relationship with their superior, the quality of physical environment in which they work and degree of fulfillment of their work are some of the factors that influence job satisfaction. But the responses vary in different environment and situations show irregular pattern in regular workplace situation.

In the classical sociological study of school teachers Debrah (2007) discussed this issue in detail and asserted that there are three types of rewards that meet job related needs which professionals expect in their careers; "extrinsic, ancillary and psychic or intrinsic". Extrinsic rewards in his findings, deal with money income, prestige and power over others and generally are objective since every employee experiences them. Job satisfaction was interpreted by Pennington and Riley (1991) as an external or internal value and in their view, a person's general assessment of how satisfied he/she is on the job is made according to an absolute frame of reference, while a person's assessment of level of satisfaction with individual job facets is based on a relative standard that is specific to the work context and that involves comparison with the situation of other employees.

The prestige, power and the financial reward are extrinsic, similarly the quality of work may be seen as intrinsic reward. Psychic rewards are seen as subjective appraisal made in day to day routine of employees work, it is considered formative and is an ongoing process. Grivan (2003) described job satisfaction as reflection of an attitude and state of mind determined by the extent to which the individual perceives one's job related needs being met. Lambert (2003) states that work environments are composed of social and psychological factors, they may be reflected in tangible physical structures. Factors which are expected to influence employees' attitudinal mindset in the work environment consist of job characteristics and role stressors. Lambert further added that job autonomy, role conflict, and work overload play important role in defining the level of job satisfaction.

Many researchers have observed different behavior in employees who moonlight, through the progression of their career. Mathieu and Zajac (1990); Meyer and Allen (1997) stated that employees in their workplace exhibit high levels of commitment and job satisfaction, when they are expected to perform challenged and complex jobs. It was observed that the more challenged an employee is he would have a feeling of advance learning and professional growth. It is observed that job variety and job autonomy lead to higher levels of job satisfaction. Lambert (2003) found that job variety and job autonomy lead to positive effect on job satisfaction among employees. Studies by Lincoln and Kalleberg (1990) show that tasks which are repetitive become boring and provide little opportunity for mental and intellectual growth or stimulation.

Therefore when organizations plan and provide periodic development training sessions and job rotation or guide employees through different job opportunities it leads to increased job satisfaction.

Kim and German (2003) are of the view that for academic profession autonomy at work place is important. Due to increasing trend of competition in the national and international markets, emphasis on efficiency has increased many fold. Moreover there is greater focus on income generation and autonomy which is under threat and academicians have less control over their work. When academicians feel that teaching is rewarded at their departments, they feel more satisfied with their instructional autonomy. Therefore Kim concluded that creativity and autonomy of faculty members should be guarded by respective universities and policy makers.

According to Al-Omari (2008), job satisfaction increases, where environment of autonomy exists and itleads to enhanced motivation. The reason behind this practice seems that academicians find space for professional freedom on their jobs, where they can apply their specialized knowledge in appropriate atmosphere without any fear or stress. Al-Omari and others finally concluded that providing academics with open environment of autonomy, where equity in rewards and workload is ensured, job expectations are mutually negotiated job satisfaction has increasing trend. Support by co-workers and Head of the Department are positive predictors of job satisfaction.

In work place where positive support from supervisors is provided, employees are more likely to accept and foresee their jobs and employing agencies in a more favorable way. On the contrary in work atmosphere with harsh and non-cooperative supervision, employees will blame the organization for any eventuality and will be dissatisfied. Mowday, Porter andSteers (1982), found that seniors who allow their subordinates greater autonomy over their work increase the employees feeling of ownership with the organization and sense of responsibility is positive.


This research was conducted to have deep insight into the relationship and impact of moonlighting on job satisfaction of university teachers. The study remained both qualitative and quantitative, so descriptive methodology was used to make study convenient for conducting research. To measure job satisfaction the questionnaire developed by Spector (1997) was used.

The population of the study were all Deans/Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors and Lectures of all public sector universities of province of Punjab (24) and Federal Capital (13) World Economic Forum ( At first stage, 17 universities were randomly selected. At second stage sample was drawn from all categories of academic heads and university teachers who were teaching at post graduate level only. Twenty percent of the total population of all four teaching categories was selected as sample.

The questionnaire had 25 items with reliability coefficient of 0.92 (Cronbach alpha). Antecedents of moonlighting were measured by a self-developed questionnaire with the help of related literature. The questionnaire had seven items for moonlighting and reliability coefficient found after pilot testing was 0.74. Both the questionnaires were on five point Likert scale.

Creswell (2009) quotes that scale questionnaire used as research tool is helpful in providing quantitative and numeric explanation of the data in terms of trends, opinions and attitudes of the selected population by analyzing the sample of that main population. Hence from this sample analysis the researcher can generalize or make the claims reflecting on the results obtained about the population. The adapted questionnaire was pilot tested, refined and finalized as final research tool. Statistical data analysis was done in two phases, first relationship between variables was obtained by applying Pearson Product Correlation. To study the impact of moonlighting on job satisfaction linear regression analysis was applied. Moonlighting and its four antecedents being addition in income, blocked promotion, skill diversity and job autonomy were independent variables.

Moreover, the dependent variables were job satisfaction and its components; rate of pay, promotion, personal objectives, job autonomy, work load and management tools.

Analysis and Interpretation of Data

Data analysis has been done in three steps. The first part is presented in Table 1. It describes correlation between moonlight and job satisfaction. Part two is presented in Table 2. which depicts results of regression analysis showing impact of antecedents of moonlighting on job satisfaction. The third part consists of Table 3 to Table 7. These tables show results of regression analysis reflecting impact of antecedents of moonlighting on different components of job satisfaction.

Table 1 Correlation between job satisfaction, components of job satisfaction and antecedents of moonlighting (N=533).



Job Satisfaction###.463***###.271***###.120**###.326***

Rate of Pay###.072*###.168***###-.016###.057


Personal Objective###.396***###.247***###.090*###.238***

Work Load###.346***###.188***###.020###.181***

Management Tools###.403***###.223***###.075*###.265***

The values reveal the following facts;

1. Moonlighting has significant positive relationship with job satisfaction. All the antecedents of moonlighting; additional income, blocked promotion, skill diversity, job autonomy are significantly and positively related with job satisfaction.

2. The antecedents of moonlighting, additional income, blocked promotion have positive significant relationship with rate of pay. But it has insignificant relationship with skill diversity and job autonomy.

3. Promotion has positive and significant relationship with the antecedents of moonlighting which are additional income, blocked promotion, job autonomy. The relationship with skill diversity is insignificant and negative.

4. The correlation values show that personal objectives and all the antecedents of moonlighting, additional income, blocked promotion, skill diversity and job autonomy have positive significant relationship with personal objectives.

5. The tabulated values of correlation reflect that moonlighting has positive significant relationship with workload. The three factors of moonlighting, additional income, blocked promotion and job autonomy are positively and significantly related with workload.

6. The values obtained from correlation table reveal that moonlighting has positive significant relation with management tools. All the four antecedents of moonlighting, additional income, blocked promotion, skill diversity and job autonomy have positive significant relationship with management tools.

Table 2 Impact of moonlighting on job satisfaction (N = 533).


Additional Income###0.409***###0.259###0.009

Block promotion###0.102*

Job autonomy###0.196***

Skill diversity###-0.083***

The three antecedents of moonlighting which are addition in income, blocked promotion and job autonomy have significant impact and skill diversity has negative impact on job satisfaction.

Table 3 Moonlighting and rate of pay (N= 533).


Additional Income###0.168***###0.028###0.028

Block promotion###0.101**

Job autonomy

Skill diversity

Moonlighting has positive impact on rate of pay for addition in income and blocked promotion but skill diversity and job autonomy have no impact on rate of pay.

Table 4 Moonlighting and job promotion (N= 533).


Additional Income###0.285***###0.067###0.012

Block promotion###0.245***

Job autonomy###0.162**

Skill diversity###0.123**

Addition in income, blocked promotion, job autonomy and skill diversity have positive and significant impact on job promotion.

Table 5 Moonlighting and personal objectives (N=533).


Additional Income###0.365***###0.185###0.008

Block promotion###0.114**

Job autonomy###0.109*

Skill diversity###-0.154**

Addition in income, blocked promotion and job autonomy have significant positive impact on personal objectives whereas skill diversity has significant but negative impact on moonlighting.

Table 6 Moonlighting and workload (N=533)


Additional Income###0.382***###0.147###0.007

Block promotion###0.081**

Job autonomy###0.100*

Skill diversity###0.194**

Addition in income, blocked promotion, job autonomy and skill diversity have significant and positive impact on workload.

Table 7 Moonlighting and management tools (N=533)


Additional Income###0.402***###0.193###0.019

Block promotion###0.399***

Job autonomy###0.168***

Skill diversity###-0.182***

Addition in income, blocked promotion and job autonomy have significant and positive impact on management tools while skill diversity has significant negative impact.


Impact of Moonlighting on Job Satisfaction

The results revealed that there was significant impact of moonlighting on job satisfaction. Addition in income was found to be dominating factor as far as measuring job satisfaction was concerned, which reflected employees were not satisfied with their pay packages and they felt the salary they were drawing was less as compared to their needs as a result their job satisfaction level fell down. It can therefore be inferred that all antecedents of moonlighting contribute to enhancement of job satisfaction. When promotion policies were well defined and elaborate and employees were aware of what they were to expect out of the organization job satisfaction was high.

Impact of Moonlighting on Rate of Pay

It has been empirically identified that rate of pay offered by organizations was a foremost priority and employees felt the level where their needs were satisfied through the pay they were offered for the hours they gave to their organization. Therefore rate of pay had impact on job satisfaction.

Impact of Moonlighting on Job Promotion

As far as the factor of promotion is concerned it has been observed that antecedents like addition in income and skill diversity were found to have significant impact on promotion for job satisfaction. Promotion and addition in income were observed to parallel each other and travelled in the same direction reflecting that promotion was more of ceremonious value than giving benefit of increase in income.

Impact of Moonlighting on Personal Objectives

It is an observed human factor that people working in different organizations have their personal goals to meet besides working for organizational goals. It was observed that all four antecedents of moonlighting had significant impact on personal objectives. A natural phenomena observed through findings was that employees were seeking promotion staying within their organizational setup. Promotion and income enhancement were observed to be parallel. One of the personal objectives was found to be the autonomy one enjoyed as a professional. The job satisfaction level was high where an employee felt he had a certain level of liberty and was trusted for his performance at workplace.

Impact of Moonlighting on Workload

The amount of work a person could take on depended on his efficiency and willingness to accept the additional responsibility. It was observed to be regular phenomena in organizations where job description and job specifications were well defined. However it was observed where work load was more, employees felt pushed and as a result output suffered. Employees offered to give more time to work, where financial incentives were offered. Yet seeking opportunity to learn new skill at the cost of giving additional time to their organization remained a point of concern for employees. The employees remained keen to work in the environment where they enjoyed autonomy to a certain extent. Here it is important to mention that organizations where performance appraisal methods were well defined and practiced in true letter and spirit organizational outcome were better. It was observed that autonomy factor had influence on workload.

People were prepared to work as long as they enjoyed their work and did not feel the burden of putting extra hours to work. Promotion was not found to be a concern, as long as the employees earned the required income and enjoyed trust and ownership with their organization.

Impact of Moonlighting on Management Tools

Management policies and tools which defined the character of employees played pivotal role in any organization. The findings depict that it was important to have proper management tools defined. It was observed to be a dominating factor where incentive of addition in income was found; it encouraged people to continue offering their services. Effective managers offering training and development programs could act as an incentive for employees, who will in return feel the commitment with the organization to continue. An important management tool was, how elaborate appraisal policies were defined. Well defined appraisal policies provided employees with the environment where they were found to be more satisfied. The reason was that they will be clear what to look for and it further created atmosphere of trust.

In such work environment the employees were observed as willing workers. Findings depicted that organizations practicing well defined human resource policies will experience employees with no fear of promotion.


Findings of the present research show that moonlighting enhances the satisfaction level which is in line with the findings of Kreitner and Kinicki (2006) who identified five predominant causal reasons: need fulfillment of salary needs and family needs, discrepancies between what is expected and what actually happened, fulfillment of work values, equity and fairness of treatment, and dispositional components where certain personality traits which led to job satisfaction. The four antecedents of moonlighting were significantly supporting the same results.

The rate of pay was one of the reasons which led to decreased job satisfaction. It was found to be a reason for seeking other opportunities of job. A thorough review of all the related literature on job satisfaction, revealed a fair evidence of empirical research in the context of organizational behavior. This finding was in line with researched findings of Wisniewski andHilty (1987).

Promotion is one factor that led to employees' reduced level of satisfaction at work place. It reflected that organizations where these practices were not spelled out in detail which laid down national or international parameters the organization's work environment would not be effective. Promotion at times was more ceremonious than giving real financial benefit to the employee. Such policies led to reducing the satisfaction level of employees. Promotion policies needed to be designed in line with the inflation trends in the goods and services sector, and revisited periodically for fulfilling of the employee demand and for better organizational outcome. This finding was in line with the researched facts of Weiss (1999) and Cropanzano, Rupp and Byrne (2003), who found that job satisfaction referred to a person's evaluation of his or her time allocated to job and work context.

A person enters into an organization to fulfill two goals, organizational and personal both. When personal objectives were met along with fulfilling organizational objectives the employee had a certain satisfaction level. As far as attaining personal objectives was concerned the four antecedents of moonlighting showed significant impacton the job satisfaction level. The employees would be at a higher level of job satisfaction, when provided with the environment to perform meaningful enriched jobs which were characterized by task variety, challenge, regular feedback and provided them with opportunity to satisfy their self-esteem. The finding was in line withSchuring (2007) who found gaining social status, which may be economical or psychology in nature to be important.

Work related factors were found to be directly linked to job satisfaction. It was found that when employees worked under stress would be a negative predictor of job satisfaction. Until work load was managed well as quoted by Meyer andHescovitch (2001) and enough time was provided for teaching and service as well as scholarship and research, factors which were highly valued by academicians, their satisfaction with teaching as a career choice would be affected. Therefore universities are to tie up work load with efficiency and define clear policies. Workers who worked under stressful conditions were likely to be dissatisfied with their organization and hence were found to perform at lower level.

Management tools are human resource policies that organizations have in place and are followed in true letter and spirit. Organizations where policies were spelt out, there was no fear of promotion as it was taking place periodically as expected through policy. Such practices led to systemic quality assurance and improvement of higher education institutions. It was observed that with proper and effective performance appraisal methods employees' satisfaction level and productivity increases. The findings are in line with Frye (2004) who defined human resource practices and said since universities were labor intensive organizations, remuneration and compensation practices was of great help in hiring and retaining highly skilled and competent faculty. Kuo (2009), researched and found that human resource management practices were associated with positive operational environment.

Policy Implications

1. Increase in income is found to be one factor dominating moonlighting practice, agency defining policy may offer certain incentives, for example, Offering permanent faculty project of external funding. This practice will not only bring about increase in income but will also provide opportunity of enhancing relevant skill. Hence moonlighting practice will be discouraged.

2. Review policies to re-train administrators, senior staff and lecturers. Retaining program might be envisaged.

3. Moonlighters were found unhappy with promotion practices, therefore it is felt this aspect needs elaboration and implementation in true letter and spirit. Promotion policy and its prevalent practice need to be revisited and implemented in true letter and spirit.

4. Level of job satisfaction may be researched with acceptable level of work load professionals willingly agree to.


The following recommendations can be made on the basis of findings:

1. Job satisfaction has been extensively researched in the management studies. Yet there are gaps in identifying employee behavior and outcome with reference to moonlighters.

2. Promotion policy and its application need real implementation. Rate of inflation and its representation in promotion policy may be a point of consideration for further research.

3. Human resource management policies may be further researched keeping in view recruiting and hiring practices.Promotion, tenure and salary deliberations may be closely related to institutional mission.


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Author:Ara, Kaukab; Akbar, Aisha
Publication:Bulletin of Education and Research
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jun 30, 2016
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