The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - 34

Stephen A. Berg, Casey Graham Brown

Conflict between high academic
achievement and strong job
performance is a reality for RAs and
can impact their longevity in the
position.

cles and books on the subject (Locke & Latham,
1990). Among the many variables related to
job satisfaction that have been studied, some
of the more frequent include performance
(Judge, Thoresen, Bono, & Patton, 2001), turnover (Lambert et al., 2001), and organizational
commitment (Tett & Meyer, 1993).
A popular definition of job satisfaction was
developed by Locke (1976), who described it as
"a pleasurable or positive emotional state, resulting from the appraisal of one's job or job
experiences" (p. 1300). Job satisfaction according to Gruneberg (1979) is the "individual's
emotional reactions to a particular job" (p. 3).
There are a number of succinct scales available
that measure job satisfaction, so including them
in a study can be done easily. While job satisfaction has been well researched, little research
has been conducted in the field of higher education specific to RAs' job satisfaction (Anderson,
Guido-DiBrito, & Morrell, 2000).
Three major studies are indicative of existing research on RA job satisfaction. In a study
of 68 RAs, Butters and Gade (1982) examined
the relationship between job satisfaction and
leadership behaviors. Job satisfaction was positively correlated with both task and relationship leadership dimensions, which supported
the notion that RAs in the job are more satis-

34

fied if they are equipped to handle the different types of situations they may face (Butters
& Gade, 1982). In a study of 165 RAs from
public universities in Massachusetts, Onofrietti (2000) found that high job satisfaction
negatively correlated with stress and that RAs
with higher job satisfaction were more likely
to choose to return to their jobs the following
academic year. In a study of 200 RAs at public
universities, Morris (2009) found that RA satisfaction was related to the leadership style of
their RD. While more research on job satisfaction in student affairs is needed, researchers have demonstrated it as a useful measure
when exploring staff attrition.

Supervision in Student Affairs
One way organizations can attempt to mitigate
the impacts of low job satisfaction is through
quality supervision (Tull, 2006). Many researchers who have studied supervision in student
affairs have examined the role that supervision plays on the attrition and development of
professional staff (Barham & Winston, 2006;
Dalton, 2003; Stock-Ward & Javorek, 2003; Tull,
2006; Winston & Creamer, 1997; Winston &
Hirt, 2003), but few have examined the impact
of supervision on the attrition and development
of paraprofessionals. Further, little research has
been conducted from the perspective of the supervisor (Davis & Cooper, 2017).
Jenkins (2015) posited that "supervision is
the key for holistic development in the Division
of Student Affairs in order for professionals to
reach their potential to maximize performance
and delivery" (p. 2). Komives (1991) found
that the approach used by RDs in supervising
RAs impacted RAs' motivation in the position.
She examined the impact of transformational
versus transactional leadership in the super-

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Intro
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 1 - Cover1
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