Leadership Styles and Faculty Job Satisfaction, Moderators and Mediators, in STEM-related Fields

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
A number of studies on leadership styles and job satisfaction have been conducted in higher education, but there has been less research on leadership styles in relation to faculty job satisfaction. In particular, there is a need for more knowledge about these issues in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and in developing country contexts. The purpose of this study is to investigate leadership styles of Heads of Departments (HODs) for improving faculty job satisfaction, in STEM-related fields. The influences of moderators and mediators on the relationship between HOD’s leadership styles and faculty job satisfaction are investigated and a new model is developed. Based on a predominantly post-positivist perspective, this study adopts an explanatory mixed methods approach. In the first stage, participants respond to a survey questionnaire on factors related to job satisfaction and HODs’ leadership styles. In the second stage, using a nested sequential sampling design, participants are interviewed to explore these two issues. The results show that the most effective leadership styles practiced by HODs in improving faculty job satisfaction are transformational leadership and transactional contingent rewards. Practicing laissez-faire and transactional passive management-by-exception behaviours has a significant negative effect on faculty job satisfaction. In addition, leadership styles have significant impacts on faculty job satisfaction and its elements including work and collegiality, supervision, and to a lesser extent, promotion. Moreover, investigation of the indirect impacts of leadership styles on faculty job satisfaction identified one partial moderator including work-life balance and seven partial mediators including achievement, responsibility, advancement, relationships, institutional and administrative culture, feedback, and autonomy on the relationship between leadership styles and faculty job satisfaction. A new model is developed to explain the relationships between leadership styles and faculty job satisfaction. Finally, recommendations are made for stakeholders and for future research.
College teachers -- Job satisfaction., faculty job satisfaction, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), higher education