Job satisfaction is among the most researched concepts in the study of organizational behavior, particularly because of managersí interests in the favorable consequences associated with high job satisfaction. However, job satisfaction research has largely overlooked part-time employees. This insufficiency is particularly problematic in the sport industry, which often relies heavily on part-time employees to fill specialized roles. Specifically, the university recreational sports department is primarily staffed by part-time student employees who are entrusted to fulfill a variety of responsibilities within the departmentís programs. The unique characteristics of student employees lead to unique challenges for administrators seeking to maximize program quality though personnel training, retention, and improvement. For managers with limited time and resources to improve staff performance, a better understanding of the factors that enhance job satisfaction is essential.
This research study was developed to assess the determinants of job satisfaction among part-time student employees of a university recreational sports department. The Collegiate Recreational Sports Student Employee-Job Satisfaction Questionnaire (CRSSE-JSQ), derived from two preexisting instruments, was provided to student employees of a recreational sports department at a large, public research university located in the southeastern United States (n=135). Following an internal reliability assessment, I performed data analyses to identify: the influence of external factors such as personal characteristics on job satisfaction; variations of job satisfaction among program areas; and overall predictors of job satisfaction. Examination of this data revealed several significant associations, including those between: gender and satisfaction with pay rate; supervisory job responsibilities and good feelings about the organization; supervisory responsibilities and satisfaction with pay rate; and program area and satisfaction with pay rate (p<.05). A regression analysis found six significant determinants of job satisfaction: program area (β=.12, p<.05), work itself (β=.12, p<.05), good feelings about organization (β=.39, p<.05), effective supervisor (β=.40, p<.001), good relationships with coworkers (β=.21, p<.05), and presence of core values (β=-.32, p<.05).
The results of this study have significant implications for the recreational sports field. A comprehensive understanding of the factors contributing to job satisfaction provides recreational sports administrators with the necessary tools to enhance satisfaction in the student workplace. Finally, I conclude the study by offering suggestions for further research designed to overcome the particular limitations of this study as well as to address new questions raised by its results.