Organizational Sense Of Belonging And Affective Organizational Commitment Among Community College Faculty

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Community College Leadership Program


Doctor of Education

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the Organizational Sense of Belonging (OSB) and Affective Organizational Commitment (AOC) among adjunct faculty, compared to full-time faculty, at selected Mid-Atlantic community colleges, to determine if there were differences in the perceptions of belonging and commitment between these two groups of faculty. The theoretical framework for this study is based on the motivational theory of Maslow (1962) (i.e., Organizational Sense of Belonging) and the three-component model of organizational commitment advanced by Allen and Meyer (1990a) (i.e., Affective Organizational Commitment). This quantitative study employed a survey instrument derived from Merriman's (2010) original research at a four year private university, and modified to meet the needs of this study. Independent-samples t-tests were performed to measure Likert-scale response differences between groups of faculty, and a Pearson chi-square test was performed on categorical data between groups of faculty. Data analysis revealed that adjunct faculty expressed significantly lower levels of Organizational Sense of Belonging and Affective Organizational Commitment than their full-time colleagues. No significant differences with respect to gender and ethnicity between the two groups (i.e., adjunct and full-time faculty) were found. Since demographics are categorical, a Pearson chi-square test was also computed. A significant interaction was found with respect to highest degree earned. Full-time faculty members were more likely to have higher degrees than adjunct faculty. Ethnicity and gender were not significant between the two groups of faculty. The results presented in this study may have contributed new information to the educational literature about the self-identified perceptions of sense of belonging and affective commitment among community college faculty.