Examining factors affecting the quality of work life of lecturers: Case study from University of Somalia in Mogadishu, Somalia

Abdulkadir Mohamud Dahie1, Ali Abdi Mohamed (Aligees)2, Hassan Bedel Khalif3

1Master of Developmental Study, Kampala University, Uganda, 2Master of Education in Educational Management, Kenyatta University, Kenya, 3Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Address for correspondence: Abdulkadir Mohamud Dahie, Master of Developmental Study, Kampala University, Kampala, Uganda. E-mail:
Submitted: 22-11-2017, Accepted: 09-12-2017, Published: 29-12-2017


During the past few years, quality of work life (QWL) has received significant attention among both academic and business environment due to its key role on the success of organizations. A rise in the QWL would help employees’ well-being, thereby the well-being of the whole organization. This is an attempt to capitalize the human assets of the organization. These days, for an organization to be successful and achieve its organizational objectives, it is imperative that its employees are satisfied with their work, since work occupies an important place in many people’s lives, such conditions are likely to affect not only their physical but also a high level of social, psychological, and spiritual well-being. The aim of this paper is to examine factors affecting QWL of the lecturers at the University of Somalia in Mogadishu-Somalia. The paper has three main objectives which are as follows: To determine the role of general well-being of the lecturers at the University of Somalia, to investigate the impact of career and job satisfaction of the lecturers at the University of Somalia, and to examine the effect of working condition of the lecturers at the University of Somali. The researchers utilized convenient sampling to collect 95 questionnaires from University of Somalia in Mogadishu, Somalia. These respondents were provided a questionnaire with three main constructs which measuring general well-being, career and job satisfaction, and working condition. However, the study found that general well-being, career and job satisfaction, as well as good working condition workplace have a significant impact on QWL.

Keywords: Career and job satisfaction, general well-being, quality of work life, working condition


Education is the backbone of any country and educational industry works as a supplier for other industries. In comparison to primary and secondary education, higher education plays a major role in the growth of a nation’s economy. This has a direct and a deep relation to the industry. Higher education is working as an interface between students and industries. Here, students are trained for the specific subjects, technologies, sectors, and domains as per the current industry requirements. Higher education is the first and foremost which faces the requirement and challenges of the industry and society.[1-3] The effectiveness and efficiency of education industry are directly dependent on employees only because the infrastructure and technology are lesser required in comparison to other industries.

Globally, quality of work life (QWL) has been a cause for concern in recent years. This has captured the attention of employees and employers, more so due to workplaces competing for suitably qualified and competent employees. Employers have utilized QWL factors as a tool for attracting and retaining talented employees. Higher education institutions have not been an exception to this growing phenomenon. Organizations need to seek ways of improving their employees’ QWL through healthy and safe working conditions, better conditions of service, and adequate and fair compensation among other factors. Institutions of higher education in the public sector in South Africa, which is the focal point of this study, have to adopt these to survive in this competitive environment.[4-8] Universities need to utilize their autonomy to develop and maintain QWL by offering a wide range of support systems to address issues such as absenteeism, sick leave, and turnover to improve performance.

Pandey and Jha (2014)[9] investigated the employee’s perception of their work-life quality in the Razak University, Malaysia. The prime objectives of this study were to see whether the university environment influences employees’ perception of job satisfaction, second, to find the different sources which arise stress among university employees, and finally, to calculate employees level of satisfaction with regard to various job-related aspects. In this study, 10 QWL variables (work-family interference, quality of relationship, meaningfulness, pessimism about organizational change, self-competence, impact, self-determination, access to resources, time control, and support) were used to test the relationships of QWL with job satisfaction. The study is based on the 251 questionnaires which were based on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 to 5. To check the validity of relationship, correlation test and multiple linear regressions were used. The multiple linear regressions indicated that only QWL variables (meaningfulness, pessimism about organizational change, and self-determination) were significantly related to job satisfaction. This study indicated that the QWL variables only are insufficient to measure employees’ job satisfaction.

Pani (2015)[10] inspected the perception of college teacher toward QWL. This aim of the study was to analyze the QWL under various dimensions. Data were collected from 12 colleges located in Tiruchirappalli city, and 239 respondents’ data were selected of 1279 college teachers. The researcher created a standard questionnaire of 116 questions which was based on 16 different dimensions. Questioner consists of questions on socioeconomic characteristics, various dimensions of QWL, and QWL in a teaching environment. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS and various statistical tests were applied based on hypotheses, and the matching variables descriptive cum diagnostic research design method was used to understand the characteristics of a particular individual or a group and the association between the variables. This study revealed that overall 59.0% of the respondents have high levels of QWL and 41.0% have low levels of QWL.

Phan and Vo (2016)[11] examined the QWL of university employees and the relationship between QWL and job satisfaction. The researcher was very careful in data collection. She considered literate and experienced persons who understand the significance of questioner and fill up the data correctly. She designed the questioner in Bengali, a regional language of employee for better understanding and thought flow. The results indicated that the employees are not happy with the degree of autonomy, personal growth, and superior support. The employees were not satisfied with their job and unhappy with QWL of the university.

Punia and Kamboj (2013)[12] did a research on faculty of higher education institutions in CAPIZ state province of the Philippines. Data are gathered through a descriptive survey, informal interviews, and documentary analysis. The significance of differences and relationships between QWL and productivity was tested by t-test, ANOVA, and Pearson tests. He took age, gender, year of experience, and income as parameters for the analysis. This study revealed that the degree of QWL was very good and level of productivity was “satisfactory in these institutions. He analyzed and found that there is a positive relation between QWL and satisfaction and QWL and productivity. This study recommended that the more Faculty Development Program should be run on these institutions for research and community service.

In Kenya, Africa, a study was conducted to establish working environment factors that affect QWL among petrol station attendants in Kitale town. The objective of the study was to identify working environment aspects that affect QWL among petrol station attendants. This study was an exploratory survey, carried out in 17 petrol stations that are located in Kitale Town, Kenya. The target population comprised 17 station managers and 170 attendants, of which a sample of 102 respondents was selected: 17 petrol station managers using non-probabilistic purposeful sampling and 85 attendants using simple random sampling. The study used a questionnaire as an instrument for data collection. Data collected were both quantitative and qualitative, and analysis was basic descriptive in nature.[13]

The study revealed that poor safety and health, work pressure or stress, and provision of inadequate working tools are environmental aspects that bring about the poor quality of working life experiences at petrol stations. In conclusion, the findings were examined, and then, the implications discussed. General recommendations were made for the improvement of QWL among petrol station attendants.

Singh and Singh (2015)[14] have traced the origin of the term “QWL” as first being introduced in 1972, during an international labor relations conference in Rome, though it had been in existence since 1960s. QWL received more attention after United Auto Workers and General Motors Company in the United States of America (USA) initiated a QWL program for work reforms to make work pleasant. Robbins (1989) defined QWL as a process by which an organization responds to employee needs by developing mechanisms to allow them to share fully in making the decisions that design their lives at work. The author adds that QWL is specifically related to the level of happiness a person derives for his career. QWL has been well recognized as a multidimensional construct and it may not be universal or eternal. Each person has different needs when it comes to their careers; the quality level of their work life is determined by whether those needs are being met. While some people might be content with a simple minimum wage job as long as it helps pay the bills, others would find such a job to be too tedious or involve too much physical labor and would find such a position to be highly unsatisfactory.

As the work culture changes drastically in the recent years, the traditional concept of work to fulfill humans’ basic needs is also facing out. Basic needs have continued to diversify and change according to the evolution of the work system and standards of living of a workforce. Seelan and Ismael (2008) note that, from the mid-1990s to date, employees are faced with challenges of downsizing and corporate restructuring. As a result, QWL is reemerging where employees are seeking out more meaning in their work. Besides, with rising educational levels and occupational aspirations in today’s slow economic growth and reduced opportunities for advancement, naturally, there are rising concerns for QWL.

Theoretically, this study will use the famous theory of organizational theory. Organizational theory is one of the theories to help our understanding of the work life of teachers. An understanding of organizational and systems theory is, thus, important, if we are to have a clear picture of the interplay of factors (both external and internal) that impinge on the QWL in schools. Katz and Kahn (1966) and Hoy and Miskel (1996) provided an open systems scheme for studying organizations. They espouse that organizational behavior is the result of the dynamic interplay of bureaucratic expectations, individual needs informal norms, and external influences. All these factors have a significant impact on the quality of working lives of members in an organization. Many supportive studies have examined the QWL of teachers within the framework of the organization as open systems (de Villiers, 2009, Tarter and Hoy, 2004). Other researchers have underscored the reciprocal influences between the school and the external environment in creating and maintaining healthy schools and positive teachers’ working lives (DiPaola and Tschannen-Moran, 2005).

Specific Objective of the Study

The specific objectives of this sdtuy are as follows:

  1. To determine the role of general well-being of lecturers in higher education at the University of Somalia in Mogadishu, Somalia.

  2. To investigate the impact of job and career satisfaction of lecturers on higher education at the University of Somalia in Mogadishu, Somalia.

  3. To examine the effect of working condition of lecturers on higher education at the University of Somalia in Mogadishu-Somalia.

General Well-being

According to the World Health Organization (2002. p. 2), health can be defined as “a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being and not just the absence of disease.” Well-being as part of QWL refers to the physical and psychological factors of an individual in any working environment. To Meyer and Botha (2000), wellness refers to a state of being that must be reached for well-being to be experienced, and this can be realized by through appropriate policies and legislation as they will be discussed in the next chapters. In a study by Botha and Brand (2009. p. 1) that assessed the wellness behaviour and health risk levels of managers in two South African universities, the findings indicated that physical fitness, nutrition, medical self-care, and wellness behavior levels were identified as weak among managers for which urgent control measures were required.

While most empirical studies on the relationship between QWL and employee well-being have been conducted in developed countries, there is little research carried out in developing countries (Rathi, 2010. p. 59). Employee well-being will be discussed under the following dimensions: Physical and physiological; emotional; intellectual and mental; social; ethical; spiritual; and well-being.

Career and Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction can be described as the satisfaction that employees receive from the internal and external factors of their career including pecuniary and non-pecuniary needs such as fair remuneration, training, development opportunities, management style, and organizational culture (Chitakornkijsil, 2009. p. 215). It is the feelings and attitudes of how people perceive their work psychologically and it is a known fact that job satisfaction results in qualitative and quantitative improvement in performance.

When people are satisfied with the job that they are performing, they tend to be motivated and are more interested in the job, which in turn gives them the psychological satisfaction (Ganguly, 2010. p. 210). Even the satisfaction of academic employees is an important factor that must be assessed, quality higher education globally depends on the steady and supportive academic work environment and academic staff performance (Winter et al., 2000. p. 281).

Employees may believe that their job is satisfying, interesting, motivating, and stimulating, if there are cognitive aspects that represent their beliefs about the job or job circumstances. By actively attending work regularly, working hard to stay motivated and planning to remain in the organization for a long period are an indication of job satisfaction. Rethinam and Ismail (2008. p. 63) argue that job satisfaction of individuals is different in importance and meaning, according to the work circumstances. Competencies can be developed by the nature of the job that one performs and if that job provides stimuli for skills development, motivation, knowledge, and opportunities for career or organizational development. Learning opportunities and skills development have been proven to have a positive effect on job and career satisfaction and less job stress which results in better QWL (Rethinam and Ismail, 2008. p. 64). In-service training workshops as well as “personal development plans” at University “A” may assist employees to acquire new skills that will advance their career. Furthermore, this could possibly enhance University “A” staff with opportunities for career growth and advancement, job enrichment as well as personal development.

Working Condition

Paoli and Merlie (2000. p. 10) confirm that, in general, worker perception of health and safety has increased in the past 10 in the 15 member states of the European Union countries. However, there is a deterioration of working conditions such as intensification of work, high prevalence of repetitive work, high paced work, work speed determined by others, and continued exposure to chemical and physical hazards which have a detrimental effect on employees. Moreover, fatigue and musculoskeletal disorder that are caused by intensification of work are on the increase. Incidents that occur in higher education libraries can be attributed to the inherent nature of the operations, there are a lot of tasks that require manual handling, and library staff should take adequate preventative measures (Maclean, 2011. p. 219). A safety culture must be promoted through proactive approaches by management such as provision of information, training, and conducting inspections.

A study by Fetcher and Bryden (2007. p. 1158–1159) on safety issues in a university campus in Central Ontario Canada showed that most university staff reported that lighting, signage, and the availability of emergency phones were inadequate safety features on campus. The results indicated that safety was compromised on campuses and a majority of female staff felt that they were more victimized than others. Malone et al. (1997. p. 25-30) have identified the physical aspects of work-related noise, unfavorable thermal conditions, and lighting in the workplace as occupational stressors.

The USA government demonstrated its seriousness in the enforcement of health and safety laws by increasing their budget for such purposes by 14 million dollars (Neuman, 2010). Perceived health risks that are associated with the use of computers does not deter library based Nigerian university staff from using information system due to their benefits compared to the manual system (Uwaifo, 2008. p. 68). Even though a wide range of health hazards were identified in the libraries, the level of availability of ergonomic programs to control them was low.

Another study revealed that the majority of employees spend more than 95% of their time indoors and the indoor air quality adversely affects their health comfort and QWL (Steenkamp, 2002. p. 80). Employees feel a sense of achievement and change when their workplace hazards are corrected and this leads to a feeling of satisfaction. Poor working conditions such as high noise levels, badly designed workstations, and long working hours can have a negative impact on employees at work and at home.


Rossmiller (1992) did a study of secondary teachers and principals. He focused on great workplace and found that there is a positive influence between QWL and teacher’s participation, professional collaboration and interaction, use of skill and knowledge, and teaching environment.

Dex and Scheibl (1999) depicted, in their research, that the availability of QWLBPs reduces employee absenteeism and enhances organizational productivity. This study was undertaken to find the impact of QWLBPs on academic performance and to identify most critical factors related to work life to maintain a balance between work and family.

Kumar and Shanubhogue (1996) studied and compared the existing and expected QWL in universities and found an extensive gap between employees. They defined the QWL programs “an approach helps in improving the life of employees and improves the overall universities performance.”

Ramezani (2004) studied the relationship between principals’ quality of life and their performance in high schools of the city of Hamedan in Iran and concluded that, if the quality of working life increases, performance will improve.

Buffardi et al. (2004) conducted a survey on the task force in George Mason University’s employees to correctly measure the QWL. Using Eisenberger’s construct of perceived organizational support, survey was conducted to know which key factor influences employee commitment to the organization, job satisfaction, and general QWL. According to this survey, researcher said that employees are looking for various factors which come under the QWL constructs these are as follows: Salary, healthcare benefits, retirement benefits, job security, workspace, special recognition for achievements, availability of on-campus child care, adequate input in the decision process, and fair and equitable performance appraisal equitable distribution of resources.

Shahrashob (2006) did his thesis on the “relationship between QWL and organizational commitment among high school teachers in Gonbadkavus city in Iran.” The findings indicated that there was a positive relationship between individual’s QWL and organizational commitment.

Hong et al. (2010) explained that respondents only had moderate work life quality. There were also moderate relationships between work life quality and work commitment, stress, and satisfaction, but there were no differences in the QWL based on demographic variables. On studying the work commitment based on gender, the researcher found the difference in the level of commitment. Research also revealed that there were also no differences in work stress and satisfaction based on the same demographic variables. Similarly, the findings suggested that work commitment, work stress, and satisfaction were not significantly correlated. Improvement in QWL of the teachers will ensure that students gain benefits from teaching.

Balasundaram and Nimalathasan (2010) identified four factors of QWL practices. These four practices such as job benefits for family, physically safe, payment for work, and creativity of outside. Policy implications may be useful for overall improvement of QWL of academic professions. The research suggests universities should provide job security, conducive working environment, research facilities, and overall career advancement opportunities for their academic professionals. The study suggests universities should offer minimum reasonable salaries and benefits to their academic professionals.

Gangly and Mukherjee (2010) the researcher aimed at the study of nature of the perceived QWL of the university employees, the nature of their job satisfaction, and the nature of association between QWL and job satisfaction. The results indicate that the selected group of university employees perceived different aspects of their QWL as either uncongenial, namely, autonomy, top management support, and worker’s control mainly or they have had a certain amount of dilemma to comment on a few other aspects such as personal growth opportunities and work complexity mainly bearing the potential involving a slight trend of negative opinion.

Mirkamalia and Thani (2011) a study with the sample unit professor reveals no significant difference between the levels of QWL. Of the eight factors of QWL, a noticeable difference can be seen only between social integration and cohesiveness.

Kumar and Deo (2011) did a study to measure the effect of stress on QWL of college teachers. They took 100 college teachers of universities of Bihar and Jharkhand and studied their different perception of QWL. Findings exposed that junior teachers had more stress than senior teachers. As well as female teachers were feeling more stress in their job in comparison to male teachers.

Shahbaji et al. (2011) identified the relationship between the QWL and performance of Esfahan University and Esfahan medical University employees. According to this study, performance was directly related to adequate and fair compensation, safe and healthy work environment, development of human capacities, growth and security, social integration and work environment, constitutionalism (rule of law), work-life space, and social relevance of work life. Of these constructs, developments of human capacities, social integration, constitutionalism, and work and life space were more effectively related to performance. They concluded that the level of QWL was different from university to university.

QWL incorporates a hierarchy of perspectives that not only include work-based factors such as job satisfaction, satisfaction with pay, and relationship with work colleagues but also factors that broadly reflects life situation and general feelings of well-being.

QWL is a comprehensive concept that includes an individual’s job related well-being as well as the extent to which work experiences are rewarding, fulfilling, and devoid of stress and other negative personal consequences (Reddy and Mohan, 2010).

QWL refers to the level of satisfaction, motivation, involvement, and commitment and individuals experience with respect to their lives at work (Srivastava and Kanpur, 2014).

Johnsrud (2006) studied on quality of faculty work life: The University of Hawaii to describe the changes in QWL from 1998 to now. The objective of the study was to find the current level of satisfaction. Variables were used relations with the department chair, campus service, community service, faculty relation, salary, and demographic factor. The result showed that salary was the main variable for satisfaction from the year 1998 to 2006. Faculty relations and community services are the most positive elements in faculty work life and other finding was campuses’ faculty which is generally more satisfied than others.

QWL is often considered in two directions, one is of removal of negative aspects of work and working conditions, and other is the modification of work and working conditions to enhance the capability of employees and to promote behavior which is important for individual and society (Islam, 2012).

Watson (1975) identifies eight dimensions that make up QWL framework as adequate and fair compensation, safe and healthy working conditions, immediate opportunities to use to develop human capacities, future opportunities for continued growth and security, social integration in the work organization, constitutionalism and rights for privacy in the work organization, work and the total life space refer to the balanced role of work, and social relevance of work.[15]


This study was conducted through case study method to examine QWL of lecturers at the University of Somalia in Mogadishu-Somalia. The study utilized descriptive analyse to answer the research objectives.

The researchers utilized convenient sampling to collect 95 lecturers from the University of Somalia in Mogadishu-Somalia. These respondents were provided a questionnaire with three main constructs which measuring general well-being, career and job satisfaction as well as working condition. The researchers’ utilized Cronbach’s alpha to investigate the internal consistency of the questionnaires collected from the respondents. All variables of the study gained high inside reliability as shown in Table 1, and this allows as to make further analysis and discussion.

Table 1: Reliability test



Demographic Profile

According to the gender respondents, 90.5% were male while 9.5% was female. 20.0% of the respondent’s age was between 18 and 25 years old, 57.9% was between 26 and 35 years, 11.6% was between 36 and 45 years, while 10.5% were above 46 years. In terms of the marital status of the respondents, 66.3% were married while 33.7% were single. In terms of educational background, 47.4% of the respondents were bachelor degree, and 52.6% were master degree level (Tables 2-5).

Table 2: Demographic of the respondents


Table 3: Descriptive analyze of general well-being


Table 4: Descriptive analyze of general career and job satisfaction


Table 5: Descriptive analyze of working condition



This research study is tried to examine the factors that have an impact on QWL of lecturers at the University of Somalia in Mogadishu-Somalia. There are three factors which we examined in this study are as follows: Employee general well-being, career and job satisfaction as well as working condition. The outcome of the research indicates that these three factors have a significant influence on QWL.[16]

From the finding, it can be recommended that QWL is such a critical concept that might be disturbed due to dissatisfaction of mindset. However, the University of Somalia can focus on their lecturers’ welfare by providing them a better and attractive well-being, career and job satisfaction, and working condition.

The University of Somalia should create a career growth opportunity within their environment that may lead to a better performance and therefore a better competence. Moreover, participation management will increase the enthusiasm of lecturers as they will have an opportunity to participate with their ideas.

There is need to improve the working environment at the stations by ensuring that employees work under safe and healthy conditions. This can be achieved by developing highly professionalized occupational safety and health policies that guarantee the safety of all employees at work. Alongside that, employees should be given a stress-free environment, which can be achieved by enriching their jobs by allowing them to choose and plan for a work schedule that fits their convenience. Employees should also be provided with adequate tools that will enable them to perform their work efficiently.

QWL is a very crucial factor in determining employee satisfaction in almost in each and every organization. The above discussion concludes that in today era QWL holds great significance and if it is undermined then it can affect the organization adversely.

Finally, the findings indicated that general well-being, career and job satisfaction as well working conditions of lecturers of the University of Somalia have a positive relationship with QWL.


This paper conveys further researchers who are interested to do research on QWL and having a confusion how to relate a QWL with their dimensions because there have been done more research on QWL and their variables. There are some dimensions, i.e. have been used by mostly researchers continuously such as participative management, pay and benefits, job satisfaction, organization commitment, growth and development, safety and healthy environment and participative management, salary, social integration, employee participation, welfare opportunities, rewards, teamwork, attitude, and perception. There are many dimensions still untouched which affect QWL such as growth and profitability of organization, organization citizenship behavior, and personality.


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