In recent years many educational institutions have increased their use of part-time adjuncts, especially with the introduction of distance learning courses. With this growing use questions about the efficacy of part-time and distance faculty have arisen. This paper tests whether organizational commitment, as described by Mowday (1979), differs between three groups of faculty: full-time, part-time, and part-time who work full-time for another organization. The authors used a 15 item, seven-point scale instrument to measure commitment of a sample of 479 full and part-time faculty at two midwestern universities. Those that worked full-time for another organization are more committed to organizations for whom they work part-time than are those working only part-time. No significant difference in commitment was observed between full-time and part-time employees.
Organizational Commitment of Part-Time and Full-Time Employees
Introduction and Literature
With the rapid growth of non-traditional educational institutions and enrollment, many educational institutions have added significant numbers of part-time adjuncts to teach courses.
With this growth a number of questions and rhetoric have arisen about the quality of instruction from part-timers (Rewick, 2001; Fulton, 2000; and Leatherman, 1998), "overuse and exploitation of part-time, non-tenure-track" faculty (Kavanagh, 2000, p. 26) and accusations about academic "sweatshops" (Cox, 2000, A-12). As institutions consider the proper use of part-time faculty, one underlying concern is whether part-time instructors, given their generally low pay and respect, are as committed to their work as full-time counterparts. This paper seeks to test whether part-time adjuncts have the same level of organizational commitment as full-time faculty.
Recent research shows that the United States Government defines part-time employees as those workers who work between one and 35 hours per week (Feldman & Doerpinghaus, 1992). Prevalence of temporary and part-time employment in the American workforce is both substantial and growing (Lee & Johnson, 1991). The number of...