Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instruction & Curriculum Leadership

Committee Chair

Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw

Committee Member

Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw

Committee Member

Leigh Harrell-Williams

Committee Member

Clifton Mims

Committee Member

Sandeford Schaeffer, III


The United States community college student population is a broad demographic that continues to grow. The result is a higher demand for classes and an increasing reliance of college administrators on temporary, part-time adjunct instructors. Temporary employees are found to exhibit a low organizational commitment (OC) to their employers. The social exchange theory and the concept of reciprocity served as the framework for studying OC of adjunct instructors in a mid-south community college system. A regression analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between three hiring orientation characteristics and OC, while controlling for years of teaching experience. Each variable was linearly associated with OC. A descriptive study was then employed to examine employment issues important to adjunct instructor commitment. Results demonstrated that adjunct instructors rated insufficient rates of pay, job insecurity, and a lack of respect as still significant in their perceived relationship with hiring institutions. Without making efforts to improve hiring orientations and other factors for adjunct instructors, hiring administrators risk losing their availability to other institutions or more satisfying work outside of higher education. The results offer administrators potential avenues for change.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.