Higher Education Ph.D. Dissertations


International Faculty – Chair Relationship: Job Satisfaction Relative to Leadership and Communication Quality

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Higher Education Administration

First Advisor

Kenneth Borland (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Mohammadali Zolfagharian (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Conor Mclaughlin (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Jared Tuberty (Committee Member)


International faculty and their stories are becoming a topic of interest for many academics (Kim et al., 2011). Due to their cultural background, international faculty experience academia differently than their U.S. counterparts. It is becoming crucial to understand international faculty and how their experiences affect their job satisfaction, and the institutional initiative to recruit and retain members of this group. Prior studies have found that many factors affect job satisfaction, such as low salaries, lack of cultural understanding, lack of training, communication with peers, and overall disorganization (Lawrence et al., 2013; Mamiseishvili & Rosser, 2008a). The purpose of this study was to examine international faculty-department chair relationships within U.S. workplace settings, more specifically, their job satisfaction relative to faculties' perception of communication and leadership quality of their chairs. Participants completed a web-based survey that measured the communication and leadership quality from the perspective of international faculty and how it affected job satisfaction. Descriptive statistics and a regression model were performed to analyze the results. The results have confirmed some of what has already been written in the literature. When international faculty perceive leadership and communication as positive, job satisfaction increases. The results showed that for every leadership unit, satisfaction would increase by .136 when controlling for communication. Additionally, for every unit of communication, satisfaction will increase for .419 when controlling for leadership. Corley & Sabharwal (2007) wrote that leadership quality and communication quality is important for job satisfaction. Furthermore, the results from the study also showed the difference between international faculties' country of origin and relationship to job satisfaction, however, no significant difference was found. The findings of this study offer suggestions for departmental chairs and institutional leaders to improve office culture, retention, and recruitment of international faculty members.