A Multi-level Exploration of Organisational Climate and Well-Being: a Mediated Analysis within New Zealand Tertiary Education Institutions
Bentley, T; Haar, J; Teo, S; Rasmussen, E
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Higher education institutions have undergone massive changes, which leads to a greater focus on accountability, effectiveness, and efficiency. Hence, institutional staff face heightened burdens due to external and internal environmental pressures to enhance student learning and grow employee productivity. This managerial focus leads to a lack of trust in academics and teachers as professionals, and a lack of understanding of the nature and value of their work. Furthermore, other research has shown that following the adoption of a managerialist approach in higher education institutes, non-academic staff also experienced an increasing level of work-related stressors and incivility. We used the Conservation of Resources, Spillover and Organisational Support theories to develop a multi-level mediation model to test the positive impact of organisational climate on employee wellbeing in a sample of higher education institutes in New Zealand (N=2,694 academic and non-academic staff). The hypotheses were tested using MLWin software. This paper makes three contributions. First, we explore organizational climate as a core antecedent of employee wellbeing at the institutional-level. Second, we examine the influence of a number of potential mediators: hindrance stressors, bullying, and work-family conflict, on fatigue as the employee wellbeing outcome. Third, we find strong empirical evidence that while organizational climate dimensions are related to individual fatigue, they are best understood as operating via hindrance stressors, bullying, and work-family conflict. Implications are discussed in relation to how senior management could maximise employees’ wellbeing in the higher education institutions.