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Quality of Work Life among Academicians in Selected Public Institutions of Higher Learning in Sarawak.

Background

The quality of work life (QWL) is characterized as the degree to which an employee is happy with their personal and working needs while accomplishing the objectives of the organization. QWL has been found to influence the commitment and productivity levels of employees in academic institutions, as well as in other industries. However, reliable information on the QWL of academicians is limited. The purpose of this study was to assess the QWL among academicians in the selected Public Institutions of Higher Learning in Sarawak. Under the Eleventh Malaysian Plan 2016-2020 (RMK-11), an emphasis was given on anchoring human growth. In that respect, the quality of academicians should be highlighted for achieving its goal. It is a norm for academicians to perform a lot of roles and shoulder responsibilities which may cause them to become pressured due to workload (Panatik, Rajab, & Shaari, 2012). QWL is a complex entity influenced by and interacting with, many aspects of work and personal life. Brooks defined the QWL as "the degree to which individuals are able to satisfy important personal needs through their experiences in their work organization while achieving the organization's goals." Therefore, the concept of employee satisfaction is not about providing people with a job and a good salary. It is about providing people with a better place where they feel accepted, wanted and appreciated (Almalki, Fitzgerald, & Clark, 2012). In Malaysia, reviewing previous studies of QWL identified differing numbers of factors that have an impact on the QWL of the teacher (Bujang, 2010), academic staff (Daud, 2010; Nikam, 2013; Diyanna et al., 2016) and librarians (Aziz & Nadzar, 2011). To date, the prior study on QWL is broad yet moderately little work focus QWL among academicians in Malaysian Public Institutions of Higher Learning. The nature of academicians work was another factor that affects the QWL of academicians. Therefore, studies that are aimed to investigate and assess the perception of QWL among academicians are very important. This research will also help academicians examine important aspects of their QWL and understand how they relate, encouraging them to look at their lives as a whole to improve their QWL.

Methods

Design and Sample

A descriptive research design, namely a cross-sectional survey, was used in this study. Data were collected using Brooks' survey of quality of work life and demographic questions. This research involves the utilization of questionnaires which were administered among two hundred and seventy-eight (278) academicians currently working in a selected Public Institutions of Higher Learning in Sarawak. Data analysis consisted of descriptive statistics and Independent t-test. Total scores and subscores for QWL items were computed and reported using SPSS version 23.

Instrument

The research instrument used in this study was adapted from the Brooks' survey of quality of work life. It is a self-completion questionnaire with 35 items divided into 4 subscales (a) work life/home life, (b) work design, (c) work context and (d) work the world. According to Almalki et al. (2012), work life/home life can be understood in terms of the border concerning the life of both at the workplace and at home. In other words, it can be seen as a domain that touches towards the aspect of work life balance. On the other hand, another domain known as work design can be understood as the arrangement of the job along with the realistic description of the job. This domain generally views about matters, such as, workloads, time adequacy to conduct such tasks as well as quality. The third domain is work context that involves a situation of job conducting whereby one works while exploring the job surroundings' influence towards such structures of several parties. Elements such as the achievements in getting recognitions, feedback, communication skills, relationship with colleagues and job opportunities are being emphasized within this domain. The fourth domain is work world that can be comprehended by the means of the impacts within the influences of wide communal together with the alterations of job practices. In this study, the questionnaire employed the six-point Likert-type scale, as follows: 1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Moderately Disagree, 3=Disagree, 4=Agree, 5=Moderately Agree, and 6=Strongly Agree.

Data Analysis

Data gathered were analyzed using Statistical Software for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 22. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were employed to analyze the data. Descriptive statistics were used to describe selected demographic characteristics and the factors influencing the QWL. Meanwhile, comparative between QWL and selected demographic profile (Gender and Marital Status) was analyzed using the Independent t-test.

Findings and Discussions

Data were collected from 74 male and 204 female respondents (with a total of 278 respondents), aged between 25 to 53 years old. A majority of them were Malays, having Master's degree qualification, and permanent job status with 42.4% of them had been in service for (6-10) years.

Rating of QWL among Academicians

Table 1 indicated that work context domain (Co-worker) scored the highest mean score with (M=4.84, SD=.76), followed by work Life domain (M=4.74, SD=.53) and Work context domain (Development) (M=4.69, SD=.64). The total mean QWL for the Brooks' scale (M=4.42, SD=.46) indicates that the respondents satisfied with their total QWL.

Findings suggested that the respondents were dissatisfied with their work design. The major factors includings the workload is too heavy and not enough time to do jobs (teaching, research, academic publication, professional services, lifelong learning, leadership and administration contribution). However, more positively, the majority of academicians have the good relationship with co-workers, students, support staff and another stakeholder. These findings were supported by Yang, Shen, Zhu, Liu, Deng & Chen (2016) which highlighted relational connections among employer and employee is critical to decrease absenteeism. This study proposes that peer support plays an important role in contributing the achievement of QWL.

An independent t-test was conducted to determine the difference between QWL and (Gender and Marital Status). Results revealed there are significant differences between QWL and Gender (M = 4.55, SD = .50) and Female (M= 4.38, SD = .44 ; t(276) = 2.65, p = .09). The finding is also supported by a study done by (Tabassum and Rahman, 2011; Ganesh & Ganesh, 2014), indicated that there is significant difference exists between male and female employees and QWL. This can be best explained by referring to social setting of the study. Malaysia still expect men is sole family breadwinner.

In addition, as depicted in Table 2, there are no significant differences between QWL and marital status, with a p-value of >.05. This is similar to a study done by Moradi, Maghaminejad, and Azizi-fini (2014), who stated that there is no difference between QWL and marital status. However, these findings contradict with a study by Amin (2013) which indicate that worker who has been married more able to survive in a work environment compared to unmarried.

In this study, the QWL was higher among who are unmarried than who has been married. Although the difference was not statistically significant, this could perhaps because those who are single receive greater emotional support from their family and colleagues and this decreases their stresses and burden in working life and thus, they experience a better QWL. In addition, factors dual role demands and expectation from a spouse may lead to work-family conflict especially to married academicians and this factors decrease their level of QWL.

Conclusions

This study aim to discover factors influencing the QWL among academicians and to determine the differences between QWL and selected demographic profile (Gender and Marital Status). Result revealed that the major influencing factors that contribute to QWL were among others having good communication and relationship with students, support staff, and other stakeholders. The results also revealed there are significant differences between QWL and Gender while there are no significant differences found between QWL and Marital status.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Universiti Malaysia Sarawak for providing the finanical support under its Small Grant Scheme (SGS) Project (F04(S151)/1132/2014(16)).

References

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Arriffin, D. N., Bandar, N. F. A., Sabil, S., Jayos, S., Amaran, M. A. and Rosita Hamdan. (2016). The Relationship between Flexible Working Arrangements and Quality of Work Life among Academicians in a Selected Public Institution of Higher Learning in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Journal of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development, 1(2), 46-55.

Aziz, R. A. and Nadzar, F. M. (2011). Quality of Work Life of Librarians in Government Academic Libraries in the Klang Valley, Malaysia RAFIDAH. Asia Pacific Conference Library & Information Education & Practice, 521-529.

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Moradi, T., Maghaminejad, F. and Azizi-fini, I. (2014). Quality of Working Life of Nurses and its Related Factors. Nursing and midwifery studies, 3(2).

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Panatik, S. A., Rajab, A., Shaari, R., Shah, I. M., Rahman, H. A. and Badri, S. K. Z. (2012). Impact of Work-related Stress on Well-being among Academician in Malaysian Research University. 2012 International Conference on Education and Management Innovation, 30, 37-41.

Tabassum, A. and Rahman, T. (2011). Quality of Work Life Among Male and Female Employees of Private Commercial Banks in Bangladesh. Int.Journal of Economics and Management, 5(1), 266-282.

Yang, T., Shen, Y., Zhu, M., Liu, Y., Deng, J. and Chen, Q. (2016). Effects of Co-Worker and Supervisor Support on Job Stress and Presenteeism in an Aging Workforce: A Structural Equation Modelling Approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(72), 1-15.

Nur Fatihah Abdullah Bandar (*)

Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Email: abnfatihah@unimas.my

Surena Sabil

Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Email: ssurena@unimas.my

Samsiah Jayos

Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Email: jsamsiah@unimas.my

Mazdan Ali Amaran

Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Email: amazdan@unimas.my

Rosita Hamdan

Faculty of Economics & Business, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Email: hrosita@unimas.my

(*) Corresponding Author
Table 1: Factors Influencing the QWL among Academicians

STUDY INSTRUMENTS           Mean  SD

Work Life(6 items)          4.74  .53
Work Design (7 items)       3.89  .61
Work Context
Management (6 items)        4.15  .83
Coworker (4 items)          4.84  .76
Development (5 items)       4.69  .64
Work Environment (7 items)  4.49  .67
Total QWL (35 Items)        4.42  .46

Table 2: Results of Independent Sample t-test of QWL and Selected
Demographic Profile (Gender & Marital Status)

VARIABLE          n  Mean  SD

Gender
Male             74  4.55  .50
Female          204  4.38  .44
Marital Status
Single           84  4.48  .43
Married         193  4.40  .47
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Article Details
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Author:Bandar, Nur Fatihah Abdullah; Sabil, Surena; Jayos, Samsiah; Amaran, Mazdan Ali; Hamdan, Rosita
Publication:Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal
Article Type:Survey
Geographic Code:9MALA
Date:Apr 1, 2018
Words:1904
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