Accueil » 37-2 ( 1982) » Les professeurs d’université et leur travail

Les professeurs d’université et leur travail

Jean-Yves Le Louarn


L'auteur analyse les résultats d'une étude faite auprès d'un échantillon de professeurs de l'Université de Montréal au sujet de leur satisfaction au travail. Les résultats révèlent des différences marquantes suivant l'aspect du travail considéré et les caractéristiques du professeur interrogé.


Are University Professors Satisfied with their Jobs?

This is an empirical study of faculty job satisfaction using a sample of professors working at the University of Montréal in 1977. The author wanted to test the hypothesis that faculty members differed on their satisfaction toward their job ac-cording to the aspect of the job considered and the characteristics of the respondents.

A questionnaire was mailed to 500 full-time professors during April and May 1977. 153 usable questionnaires were returned. The sample was representative of the population of professors at the University of Montréal. The questionnaire examined twenty facets of job satisfaction thought to be relevant to a professor's situation.

The results show that there are sources of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction among the respondents. A principal component analysis divided faculty job satisfaction into five dimensions. Two factors were sources of job satisfaction (intrinsic aspects and relationships with the students). One factor was both a source of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction: extrinsic aspects. Two factors were rather perceived as sources of dissatisfaction by the subjects: the relationships with the immediate superior and the internal administration of the university.

Moreover, it was found that faculty job satisfaction varied according to several individual characteristics of the respondents. Using analysis of variance and multiple regression, the author analyzed differences among professors along seven variables: age, sex, discipline taught, academic rank, last degree obtained, salary, and union membership.

First, the older the professors, the more satisfied he or she is with the internal administration of the university and the relationships with one's students. Second, women professors were less satisfied with the intrinsic aspects of their work than men. Third, those who taught in the Social Sciences were significantly more satisfied with 3 dimensions of their job than their colleagues: relationships with superior, intrinsic and extrinsic aspects of their jobs. Fourth, the higher the academic rank the more satisfied the professors were with the extrinsic aspects of their job and the less satisfied with the relationships with their students. Fifth, the members of the union were significantly less satisfied regarding all aspects of their work. The other two variables did not produce any significant results.

The study raises interesting questions for both the employer and the union. The author calls for more research in order to answer some of the questions raised by the study.