The Relationship between Occupational Stress and Job Satisfaction: The Case of Pakistani Universities

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper aims to find out the relationship between occupational stress and job satisfaction based on age, gender, nature of job, cadre, work experience of university teachers, and sector of university. The Pearson correlation indicates: no significant relationship found between job satisfaction and overall occupational stress; inverse relationship is found between the occupational stress and overall job satisfaction in faculty members of private universities; is no relationship between the occupational stress and overall job satisfaction in faculty members of public universities; no relationship between the occupational stress and overall job satisfaction in case of both male and female faculty members of universities; young age university teachers are more sensitive to the occupational stress and job satisfaction; and no significant relationship is found between the occupational stress and overall job satisfaction in faculty members of universities across the nature of job; visiting, contract and permanent.

Keywords: Occupational stress, Job satisfaction, Demographics, Universities

1. Introduction

The developing countries are in transitional phase of development, newly exposed to economic integration and started experiencing workforce diversity to larger extent. Higher education sector is among the highly influenced sectors of this transition and takes major responsibility to direct the nation towards right path. Universities primarily play the role of promoting research and development, enhancing teaching capacity and developing management discipline in the countries. The faculty of universities promises to meet this great challenge of attaining objectives of higher education, which resultantly puts high stress on them. The stress bearing capacity is backed by their level of satisfaction to the institutions. The highly stressed and poorly satisfied faculty cannot help the universities to compete such global challenges. The universities in Pakistan and other countries particularly of developing nations need to adopt continuous job satisfaction and occupational stress assessment programs and investigate their causal relationship. In Pakistan higher education is dominated by two sectors: private and public. The open market policy has encouraged now to bring foreign universities to enter into Pakistani market. The competition has changed from bare buildings and enrolment to faculty, programs, contents, academic sources and reputation of institutes. The success of universities in near future will highly depend on the capacities and performance of their faculty. Due to the service oriented nature of the job, faculty of universities is in direct contact with graduates/customers, and highly satisfied faculty with low level of stress can produce stratified graduates and make long-term impact on university branding.

Moorhead and Griffin (2001) stated that "stress is caused by a stimulus, that the stimulus can be either physical or psychological, and that the individual responds to the stimulus in some way. Here, we define stress as a person's adaptive response to a stimulus that places excessive psychological or physical demands on him or her". Fleet Van (1991) has successfully tried to compose the various definitions of stress into single meaningful definition that "stress is a person's adaptive response to excessive psychological or physical demands caused by some stimulus". Occupational stress is the result of individuals to know alarming issue in their work environments. Obviously, it is stress on the job that occurs in a person. The worker when involved in problem, bring occupational stress as result (Arnold and Feldman, 1986). In the case of university teachers, the occupational stress is described as "university teaching is consistently reported to be a satisfying profession by its practitioners being a professor is accompanied by a certain trait with low occupational stress" (Greenberg, 2002). …