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Research on Workload and Rewards

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Gender differences in task allocations may sustain vertical gender segregation in labor markets. We examine the allocation of a task that everyone prefers be completed by someone else (writing a report, serving on a committee, etc.) and find evidence that women, more than men, volunteer, are asked to volunteer, and accept requests to volunteer for such tasks. Beliefs that women, more than men, say yes to tasks with low promotability appear as an important driver of these differences. If women hold tasks that are less promotable than those held by men, then women will progress more slowly in organizations.

Based on a qualitative study of sixteen faculty of color at a private research university, this article argues that service, though significantly presenting obstacles to the promotion and retention of faculty of color, actually may set the stage fora critical agency that resists and redefines academic structures that hinder faculty success. The construct of `service,' therefore, presents the opportunity for theorizing the interplay of human agency and social structures. The article suggests that faculty may seek to redefine oppressive structures through service, thus, exercising an agency that emerges from the very structures that constrain it. Faculty of color, in particular, may engage in service to promote the success of racial minorities in the academy and elsewhere. Thus, service, especially that which seeks to further social justice, contributes to the redefinition of the academy and society at large.

Engineering education scholars have demonstrated an interest in broadening the scope of the field in multiple ways, including issues addressed and approaches employed. These scholars have argued the need to broaden the epistemological and methodological boundaries of the field. However, numerous challenges to such expansion exist, and they must be better understood if the potential of broadening the field’s boundaries is to be fulfilled. To that end, this paper has three aims: 1) to demonstrate how new metaphors can contribute to grounded theory development, 2) to explain the significance of such approaches, and 3) to identify challenges of introducing grounded theories and new metaphors in engineering education research. The paper begins with a discussion of the methodological justification for developing grounded theories via new metaphors. An overview of one of our prior studies that attempted to develop a new metaphor- based grounded theory is then presented. Based on our experiences with that project, as well as other prior work, the challenges encountered in this type of work are then discussed. The discussion also raises larger questions about the nature of theory in engineering education research.

Growing awareness of the underrepresentation of women in male-dominated fields like science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), has inspired universities across the United States to examine more carefully their strategies for recruiting, retaining, and promoting women students and faculty. To do so has required assembling personnel to organize and execute data collection, analyses, and interpretation. Not surprisingly, women faculty are the primary participants in this type of work. We examine the process of creating a status of women report at Iowa State University, including what this process means for institutional responsibility for gender issues and for the careers of women who produce such reports. We also recommend ways to address the problems associated with women's unrecognized service work. We refer to such work as "institutional housekeeping" because it involves the invisible and supportive work of women to improve women's status within the institution.

We find that faculty members are more satisfied with their jobs when they perceive that their colleagues respect their research work and they are paid what they are worth. Women tend to be less satisfied, and the tenured are more satisfied. Industry and university research center affiliations do not predict job satisfaction.

This study explored whether there is a gendered division of labor for faculty in academic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at research universities and examined the connections between time allocation and satisfaction for STEM faculty within the context of a critical mass of women in the discipline. Using a weighted sample of 13,884 faculty from the 2004 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF:04), we found a gendered division of labor that is mitigated by a critical mass of women faculty in the discipline. Results lend empirical support to theories that argue critical-mass attainment positively impacts equity in resource distribution and time allocation.

Scholarly productivity reaps tangible internal and external rewards, while the "reward" for excellent faculty committee work performance often is additional committee work. Some faculty members perform substantial institution-sustaining committee work while others are institutional service work “social loafers”. This essay suggests this traditional workload distribution model may be unsustainable. Innovations in legal education are resulting in increased committee work while reductions in full-time faculty at many schools leave fewer faculty members available to do that work. Those currently doing the lion's share of the work may be unable, or unwilling, to take on additional committee work responsibilities. This article examines methods for avoiding an institutional governance crisis. Grounding the discussion in social science literature, it explores ways to engage more faculty members in committee work by creating accountability structures via smaller committees and evaluation of committee work contributions. It posits that evaluating committee work sets normative standards, potentially changing cultural expectations about institutional committee work participation. The appendix contains a sample committee work contribution evaluative rubric. The article also discusses an equitable solution to disparate committee workloads – providing those who consistently take on significant committee work responsibilities with a temporary release from committee work. This kind of workload release could help level the playing field and allow those who carry heavy committee workloads the opportunity to engage more fully in their scholarship. Throughout, the article discusses the implications of failing to address committee workload inequities and proposes ways to engage more faculty in the work necessary to maintain thriving self-governing educational institutions in today's changing legal environment.