Scholarly Communications Project



Debra M. Tucker

PhD Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Tech in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Doctor of Education


Adult and Continuing Education


Albert K. Wiswell, Chair
H. W. Stubblefield
R. L. McKeen
L. R. Hoffman
S. L. Patrick
M. P. Cohen

February 13, 1997
Blacksburg, Virginia


The workforce of today is a far cry from the workforce of yesteryear. Not only have there been changes in who works, but how one works as well. The traditional nine-to-five work day has been replaced by a plethora of flexible work options, including flextime, telecommuting, and part-time employment. Until recently, most part-time workers were those who worked in low-level, low-paying jobs. However, with the influx of women in the workplace, as well as the desire for more leisure time and the need for retraining and updating of skills, more people than ever before desire professional part-time jobs. Although considerable research exists comparing full-time to part-time workers, little research is available which examines the experiences of the professional part-time employee. The central question of this study concerned which factors exist within an organization, as well as within the part-time professional and supervisor, to influence levels of job satisfaction and commitment. A questionnaire was mailed to 805 members of the Association of Part-Time Professionals which gathered demographic characterics about the employee and supervisor, and the provision of benefits for employees. Additional questions concerned attitudes of co-workers, anticipated effects on career advancement, access to staff training, and provision of space, equipment, and clerical support. The final sample included 319 part-time professionals across the career spectrum. A variety of statistical techniques was used to examine the relationships among organizational and supervisor characteristics and the individual characteristics of the participants. Factor analyses were employed to identify the different participant attitudes. The bivariate relationships between attitudes and respondent and organizational characteristics were used to develop multivariate models. Participants generally had high levels of job satisfaction and relatively neutral levels of commitment. Part-time professionals felt positive about their access to equipment, clerical assistance, and office space, but less so about their economic compensation. They were generally satisfied with the work they were asked to do and their treatment by supervisors and co-workers. Access to benefits was variable. Implications for the Adult Educator/Human Resource Specialist are discussed with recommendations made as to how both can promote and advance the needs of the part-time professional. Areas for future research are also presented.

List of attached files

File NameSize (Bytes)
Body.pdf248,560 Bytes
back.pdf89,954 Bytes
etd.pdf12,086 Bytes

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