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«Vera, María; Salanova, Marisa; Martín, Beatriz University faculty and work-related well-being: the importance of the triple work profile Electronic ...»

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Second, we tested whether these different work profiles of university faculty members are related with the experience of well-being at work (i.e., burnout, work engagement and intrinsic job satisfaction). Although differences were only significant for the absorption and intrinsic satisfaction dimensions, Figure 1 shows that there were differences and that these differences (i.e., percentage differences) are in line with what we expected in Hypotheses 2 and 3, i.e., those university faculty members whose management tasks dominate their work pattern present the highest values in burnout and the lowest in engagement and intrinsic satisfaction. In contrast, university faculty members whose research tasks dominate their work pattern present the lowest scores for burnout and the highest for engagement and intrinsic satisfaction. This also agrees with what other authors such as Caramés (2003) or Currie (1996) have postulated. Moreover, it is in line with Gozalo and León (1999), who stated that university faculty members may feel more satisfied with their work when they spend more time on research tasks, partly because the role of researcher is of great importance nowadays. Conversely, Winefield et al. (2003) proposed that stress in university faculty members has increased because they have to conduct higher quality research in order to obtain more external resources for the university. We also agree with Oshagbemi (1997) when he said that a research task is, in addition to a source of satisfaction, a cause of dissatisfaction among university faculty members, not because of the task per se, but because of the individual’s inability to allocate enough time to research.

Profesorado universitario y su bienestar laboral: la importancia del triple perfil laboral Finally, we confirmed a four-dimensional structure of burnout in our sample, composed of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, cynicism, and lack of professional efficacy. We firmly believe that the differentiation between depersonalization and cynicism is necessary for university faculty members since they may experience cynicism toward their work as teachers, researchers and managers, but might also experience depersonalization toward students, coworkers or service staff. Moreover, the four dimensions mentioned above have already been confirmed by Salanova et al. (2005) in two samples made up of 483 secondary-school teachers and 474 blue-collar workers.

Regarding the theoretical and practical implications, we agree with Johnsrud (2008) when she states that university faculty members are important because of the work they do, since they transform individual lives and improve the quality of life of the entire society, and hence the importance of studying this population. And we also agree with Guerrero and Vicente (1999) when they stated that it is necessary to conduct studies about university faculty members’ work. According to these authors, it is important to study the multiple roles of this particular group and the discrepancies between excessive demands and the limited personal, material and institutional resources available.

However, this study is not without its limitations. The first one is the crosssectional nature of the study, although the first two objectives of the studies are essentially exploratory. In this study we described that there are different working patterns and that such patterns have different levels of well-being. Of course it is necessary to confirm these four work patterns at other universities, whether Spanish or international, and to analyze the well-being in each work pattern in other samples. Second, observations were based solely on self-reports, which might have inflated the relationships among the variables. Harman’s single-factor test (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, & Podsakoff, 2003) was therefore conducted, the results showing that one single factor could not account for the variance in the data (Delta 2(3) = 81.97 p.001). So, common method bias is not a major drawback in this study. The third limitation is perhaps related to the sample size, since only a small percentage (18%) of university faculty members completed the scale. Moreover, we used a convenient sample and then included all the university faculty members so that they all had the chance to respond to the scale. This method is possibly not the most effective in terms of sample collection and we could have used another type of sampling. Furthermore, the ANOVA showed that the work María Vera et al.

pattern produces significant differences in intrinsic satisfaction and absorption, but the size of the effects that were measured (η2 =.056; η2 =.048) is low. This may be due to the relatively large sample size for the ANOVAs. Although not all the ANOVA values are significant, we can see clearly in Table 3 and Figure 1 that the optimal values for the university faculty members are in the cluster dominated by research tasks.

Regarding future research, we believe it is important to continue checking whether it makes sense to analyze the four dimensions of burnout in different samples. In addition, it is important to perform cluster analyses in other universities by analyzing the work situation in which there are other national and international faculty members.

Final Note

This study shows not only the reality of the triple work profile among most of the university faculty members in our sample, but also how the distribution of this triple job profile is not equal among all the faculty members, since there are four types of work patterns depending on the task which takes up the greatest amount of time. And most importantly, these members’ absorption and intrinsic satisfaction depend on the work pattern. In addition, this study has confirmed that among university faculty it makes sense to talk about the four dimensions of burnout by differentiating between depersonalization and cynicism.


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