Quality of the Tertiary Academic Leader-Exchange Relationship: Satisfaction, overload and the moderating effect of globally-used teaching, research and funding performance measures

Published: 30-01-2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/g36hdnfg6b.1
Greg White,
Yuni Yuningsih,
Alina Lee


The importance of teaching, research and funding performance measurement for academic leaders is instilled by tertiary education funding models globally. The objective of this research was to examine the leader-member exchange relationship between Faculty-level and subordinate department managers in a large sample of tertiary colleges and particularly to examine the moderating effect of multiple performance measurement use on job satisfaction and perceived work overload. The sample consisted of responses to a self-administered questionnaire from 209 subordinate head of departments across 112 tertiary education institutions in a single country. Previously validated leader-member exchange, satisfaction and workload survey items were used with confirmatory factor analysis of tertiary education-specific teaching, research and funding performance measures creating a new validated model for measuring performance in a tertiary education context. Based on moderating multiple regression results a significant difference was discovered for the effects of teaching and internal funding performance measurement compared to the imposition of research and external funding performance measurement. Hypothesis 1: The quality of LMX is positively associated with the HoDs’ job satisfaction Hypothesis 2: The quality of LMX is negatively associated with the HoDs’ perceived work overload Hypothesis 3: LMX quality has a negative relationship with perceived work overload and we hypothesize that MPM use will strengthen this negative relationship. Hypothesis 4: LMX quality has a positive relationship with job satisfaction and we hypothesize that MPM use will weaken this positive relationship.


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Variable measurement The instrument for MPM use was purpose developed for the tertiary education sector based on previous studies (Chen, Yang & Shiau 2006; Badri and Abdulla 2004; Shao, Anderson, and Newsome 2007; Szeto and Wright 2003; Cullen et al. 2003; Papenhausen & Einstein 2006; Üçtug and Köksal 2003). The questions were adapted to ensure their relevance to the criteria used by the Indonesian National Accreditation Board for HE for measuring the MPM employed when evaluating the dimensions (service, teaching, research, and financial) of HODs’ performance. The process of the instrument development, resulted in 60 questions: 26 teaching performance items, 13 research performance items, nine service performance items, and 12 financial performance items (see appendix). Respondents are asked to indicate on a seven-point Likert-type scale (1 = not at all to 7 = to a very great extent) how frequently each performance measure is used to assess their performance. The average score was used in the analysis. Thus, a higher mean score indicates that the Dean uses all of the measures to a greater extent. A seven-item version of Graen’s LMX scale (Graen, Novak & Sommerkamp, 1982) was used to assess the HoD’s perceived quality of LMX. Follower outcomes were measured by two variables: perceived work overload (i.e. one of Kahn et al.’s (1964) job stress dimensions) and job satisfaction (20-item scales Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaires).