An evaluation of Employee Commitment of Part-Time Faculty (PTF) in Hong Kong’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Sector
Economic crises in recent years have exposed the presence of a large number of poorly educated workers who can barely meet the needs of Hong Kong’s knowledge-based economy. In response, in April 2002 the HKSAR Government set up a HK$5 billion Continuing Education Fund to encourage and subsidize those who want to improve themselves through continuing education. This policy presents unprecedented opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD) course providers. To grasp these opportunities, they must act quickly to develop program mixes that match the education needs of potential students and demonstrate excellence in teaching quality by recruiting and retaining well-qualified faculty. As the majority of the courses are designed for those who seek to improve themselves after work, most of the courses are extramural courses conducted by part-time faculty (PTF). Recruitment of PTF raises an employee commitment problem which might affect their performance in teaching and also subsequently the effectiveness of those part-time courses. In addition, the various backgrounds of PTF also might affect the effectiveness of delivering of those CPD courses. So the objectives of this study are to examine the extent of employee commitment of those part-time staff and also the relations of their background towards the employee commitment. A quantitative study was used by applying Wang’s (2004) five-component commitment model to test employee commitment of PTF in Hong Kong. An online questionnaire was used to collect sample data from a population of PTF working at the 450 registered CPD course providers in Hong Kong. The data were analyzed and tested by means of factor analysis, correlation tests and structural equation modeling (SEM). Based on the data collected from 270 respondents, the study suggests that Wang’s five-component model is better than other models for explaining employee commitment in Hong Kong’s CPD industry. All five components of employee commitment of PTF and demographic variables were concluded to have no association with passive continuance commitment, but have varying levels of influences on different components of employee commitment.
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