Friday, October 22, 2010

Job Satisfaction of Teachers

In reviewing the literature on job satisfaction, there are numerous studies in the United States that addressed job satisfaction of students, teachers, staff and principals serving in the education context (Berwick, 1992; Santos & Eddy, 1992; Singh & Green, 1995; Leckie & Brett, 1997; Brewer & Clippard, 2002; Ernst, 1998; Robertson & Bean, 1998).
Definition of Job Satisfaction
Hoppock (1935) defined job satisfaction as any combination of psychological, physiological and environmental circumstances that causes a person truthfully to say, ‘I am satisfied with my job. Locke (1976) defined job satisfaction as an emotional reaction that results from the perception that one’s job fulfills or allows the fulfillment of one’s important job values, providing and to the degree that those values are congruent with one’s needs. Hackman & Oldham (1980) looks at job satisfaction as a result of some aspects of job characteristics which includes skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy in doing the task, and feedback of supervisors on the task done. These aspects or characteristics of the job result in four kinds of satisfaction: (1) internal work motivation (the work itself is rewarding and satisfying); (2) growth satisfaction (experience of personal learning and growth at work); (3) general satisfaction (the worker decide not to quit the job and feels satisfied); and, (4) work effectiveness (satisfaction on the quantity and quality of goods and services produced).
Job satisfaction has been a historical by-product of the Human Relations Movement which studied the behavior of people in groups, particularly the workplace groups. It originated in the 1920’s Hawthorne studies which examined the effects of social relations, motivation and employee satisfaction on factory productivity. This movement has the following principles: social aspects take precedence over functional organizational structures; communication is two-way; and, good leadership is needed to communicate goals and to ensure effective decision making (Davis, 1972; Schermerhon et. al., 1985; Greenberg, 1994; Greenberg & Baron, 1995; Hanson, 1996; Lowenberg & Conrad, 1998).
Job Satisfaction Theories
According to Scitovsky (1992), modern economics and psychology originated with the rationalist philosophers of the 18th century and especially through Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) (Russel, 1945). At first, the psychologists chose “instinct” as a starting point for studying motivation, but later replaced it with the concept of the “drive” based on biological disturbances (hunger, thirst, pain, sex, etc.). But since biological “drives” cannot explain all human behaviors, “learned drives” were added to the biological disturbances. But even these biological or learned drives cannot explain all behavior that a more general framework of motivation is needed (Franken, 2007).
Maslow’ Hierarchy of Needs. Abraham H. Maslow, founder of humanistic psychology, used “human needs” as the starting point for studying motivation ( wiki/Abraham_Maslow). Maslow’s theory assumes that individual’s need affect behavior in accordance with two basic principles. The first is the deficit principle where people act to satisfy deprived needs where satisfaction deficit exists. The second is the progression principle where needs exist in a strictly ordered hierarchy of potency. A need at any one level only becomes activated once the next lower-level has been satisfied (Schermerhonn, 1985). These needs, from lower to higher, are physiological needs, safety needs, needs of love, affection and belonging, need for self-esteem, and needs for self-actualization.
Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory. In 1959, Frederick Herzberg distilled Maslow’s motivation theory in the context of work. Herzberg proposed the Motivation-Hygiene Theory, also known as the Two-Factor theory of job satisfaction. According to his theory, people are influenced by two factors ( hygiene factors and motivator factors.
Hygiene factors are seen as producing short-term changes in job attitudes and had no effect on employee motivation. Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory is seen to be one of the most influential models for explaining the psychology of human motivation at work (Schermerhonn, 1985). Hygiene factors in the job are related to the context, circumstances and conditions surrounding the job (Gomez-Mejia, 2002). Hygiene factors or job comfort factors are extrinsic in nature (Chandan, 2001; Massie, 1979). According to Herzberg, hygiene factors are not motivators, but dissatisfiers. When inadequately met, insufficient or absent, they dissatisfy employees or lead to job dissatisfaction or discomfort; but will not motivate or contribute to job satisfaction if they are adequately met or present (Nelson & Quick, 2005; Nickels, et. al., 1996). These factors do not produce growth (Chandan, 2001). Their presence does not ensure high level job satisfaction and motivation to work but simply prevents dissatisfaction and maintains the status quo or neutral state (Akpa, 2006). These factors can not stimulate psychological growth or human development (Nelson & Quick, 2005). Hygiene factors or job comfort involves the environmental circumstances of the job (Bilge, et. al., 2007). Greenberg & Baron (1995) looks at the hygiene factors as the organizational determinants of job satisfaction. They include pay, supervision, nature and level of work, working conditions, relationships. Hygiene factors are necessary at work or else they will serve as a significant distraction to employees (Newstrom & Davis, 1997). They should not be lacking, underprovided or ignored in the workplace (Griffin, 1990) for they are at least a minimum degree provided and enforced by the law of the land. In the context of the poor countries like the Philippines where employment is scarce or limited, so many organizations still provided lower provisions for the hygiene or comfort of employees. Andres (1992) noted that most of the strikes and production slowdown of factory workers in the Philippines are due to poor working conditions, inequitable or low salary, lack of benefits and poor supervision. Even the Bible gave instructions to employers for the benefits of the workers. The qualities of good employers emphasized are prompt payment of wages (Deuteronomy 24:15, James 5:4), consideration for workers (Job 31:13-14), refraining from threats (Ephesians 6:9), and just dealings and payment of proper salary rates (Colossians 4:1, Malachi 3:5, Luke 3:14).
            Motivation factors are directly related to both the content of the job or associated with the work itself and what the employee actually does on the job. They are intrinsic in nature and employees find to be intrinsically rewarding (Akpa, 2006). Motivation factors at work cause job satisfaction and motivate employees to perform better or put forth superior effort (Herzberg, 1973). The absence of these factors from a work situation will not lead to dissatisfaction; it only makes them feel neutral toward their job and demotivated to perform better well (Champoux, 2000; Chandan, 2001; Nelson & Quick, 2005). Motivators encourage an employee to strive to do his best in his job, challenge people to grow, contribute to the work environment, and invest himself in the organization (Nelson & Quick, 2005). Herzberg used the term “motivators” because they have a positive effect on job satisfaction, often resulting to an increase output (Hersey & Blanchard, 1988). These factors which include achievement, recognition for achievement, work itself, responsibility, advancement and possibility for growth provide opportunities for personal or inner satisfaction (Cornelius, 1999) and are a source of personal growth (Attwood, 1987). The Bible gave instructions some attitudes that Christian should have at work. Some of the virtues required of workers are honesty (Leviticus 19:35-36, Deuteronomy 25:15, Nehemiah 5:12), respect for authority (1 Timothy 6:1) and hard work (Genesis 3:19, Proverbs 14:23, Ecclesiastes 9:10, Ephesians 4:28). Herzberg looks at motivating factors as connected with the essence of the job which increases performance in the job. These motivational factors are associated with the employee’s need for personal growth. These motivating factors include the job itself, success, recognition and appreciation at the job, taking responsibility, and possibilities for advancement (Bilge, et al., 2007).
Spector’s Nine-Facet Theory of Job Satisfaction. Paul E. Spector (1985) developed the Nine-Facet theory of job satisfaction specifically for human service, public and nonprofit organizations. Locke (1976) discovered a total of 3,350 articles written about job satisfaction in 1972 and it went up to 4,793 in 1985 (Spector, 1985). During that time, the focus of job satisfaction are factories and business organizations, and little amount of research had been written with human services. The instruments commonly used are the Job Descriptive Index (JDI) and the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire designed for business organizations (Spector, 1985). Spector (1985) designed the Job Satisfaction Survey instrument to fill-up the gap for investigating job satisfaction of those in the human services. Spector (1985) looks at job satisfaction as a cluster of evaluative feelings about the job that includes (1) pay, (2) fringe benefits, (3) supervision, (4) co-workers, (5) communication, 6) work conditions, (7) nature of work itself, (8) contingent rewards, and (9) opportunity for promotion. The first six facets deal with Herzberg’s hygiene factors, while the last three facets deal with Herzberg’s motivation factors.
Factors of Job Satisfaction
            Paul E. Spector (1997) provided nine facets or factors of job satisfaction. These nine factors are pay, benefits, contingent rewards, opportunity for promotion, communication, co-workers, operating conditions, supervision, and the work itself.
1.      Pay. Research has found that satisfaction is enhanced by the use of pay systems believed to be fair (Miceli & Lane, 1991; Berkowitz et. al., 1987). Morice & Murray (2003) found out three things researches on job satisfaction and pay. First, although most teachers are attracted to the profession by the intrinsic satisfaction of working with students, research has found that teachers cite low pay as one of the major reasons for leaving (quoted Goodlad, 1984; Harris and Associates, 1995). Second, though teachers derived satisfaction from seeing students learn more, but they also valued salary (quoted from Heneman, 1998). Third, though pay did not have an appreciable effect on the way teachers work, monetary incentives do affect recruitment, retention and attendance (quoted from Jacobson, 1995).
2.      Fringe Benefits. Avila (1989) identified the job satisfaction factors of agricultural extension workers out of the extension work in Catanduanes. She found out that the degree of satisfaction of the workers was affected by their personal and occupational characteristics except fringe benefits; responsibility, nature of work and total life space were the highest ranking satisfaction factors of the extension workers; majority like and were satisfied with their present job; and, the workers’ suggestions were centered on salary, promotion, advancement, scholarship, personnel development and fringe benefits among others. On the other hand, Arbolares (1999) studied the perception of teachers on factors relevant to their job satisfaction; to find out if there is a significant statistical correlation between teachers’ rating on job satisfaction factors (working conditions, teachers’ welfare, supervision of instruction, administrator-teacher relationship, teacher-teacher relationship, teacher-pupil relationship, teacher-parent/community relationship) and their ratings on teaching efficiency as given by the school administrators. She found out that there was a moderate correlation between the teachers’ perception on job satisfaction and their teaching efficiency. Her study concluded that the level of job satisfaction as perceived by teachers is not as high as expected and their feeling of satisfaction was affected by their dissatisfaction on teachers’ welfare.
3.      Supervision. This refers to the perceived quality of supervision. Studies have determined that satisfaction tends to be higher when people believe their supervisors are competent, have their best interest in mind, and treat them with dignity and respect and when they have opportunities to communicate with their supervisors (Tempre, et al., 1985; Callan, 1993). Included in the style of supervision is the decentralization of power a certain degree is given to teachers to make decisions for their own work (Locke & Schweiger, 1979).
4.      Co-workers. Barth (2006) concluded that relationship has a greater influence on the character and quality of the school and on student accomplishments than anything else describing four options for relationships: parallel play or “living is separate caves”, adversarial, congenial, and collegial. The indicators of collegial relationship include talking about teaching experiences, sharing craft knowledge, observing one another while teaching, and rooting for another’s success. In the study of Calera (2000) among public elementary school teachers, two of the most satisfying in their work are students and coworkers relationship. She found out the following as contributing to the job satisfaction of teachers: administration, curriculum, job tasks, coworkers, communication, school building, supplies and maintenance. She also found the following to be cause of stress among teachers: student-related issues, social factors, public pressure, professional image, and lack of administrators’ recognition and role in government.
5.      Communication. A study on teacher attitude indicates the importance of communication skill which encompasses the teacher characteristics (http://www.valdosta.peachnetEdu-whuitt/pay702/teacher/char.Htm, 2001). David (2001) defined communication as the process of transferring or transmitting views and information to and fro. It refers to the openness in the communication system which provides the avenue to teachers and administrators for brainstorming and feed-backing.
6.      Work Conditions. Handley (2002) looks at the small teacher-student ratio as beneficial and satisfying to the teacher sue to the ease of establishing successful classroom community, more time for individual students, fewer discipline problems, personalized assessment, more opportunities to maximize best teaching practices. According to Sundstrom (1986) job satisfaction is positively related to pleasant working conditions. Jacuis (1989) found out that workers gain personal satisfaction when working conditions are worthwhile and safe.
7.      Work Itself. Eisner (2006) mentioned six things that provide deep satisfaction among teachers about the work of teaching: (1) great ideas; (2) remembered forever by students; (3) very personal performance at work; (4) artistry; (5) sharing what you really feel; and, (6) making a difference to the life of others. Provenzo (2002) showed that what attracted teachers from 1964 to 1984 to teaching is consistently their awareness that they served and facilitated the learning of a student or group of students. Teachers entered their profession with an interest to meet specific needs of the students (Pryor & Pryor, 2005). Akpa (2006) conducted a research on the motivation of the workers of Northern Luzon Adventist College, Philippines. She found out that the top five motivation factors of NLAC workers are competence or knowing the job, importance of the task, work enjoyment, having enough freedom, responsibility, and authority to do the job. The rule given to work is that the level of work and social stimulation referring to jobs where the level of variety is not so low as to be boring and not so high as to be overwhelming and over challenging (Greenberg, 1995; Curry, et. al., 1986). Dajoc (1997) conducted a research in six commercial banks in Metro Manila to find out what motivates their employees. The findings include sense of self-fulfillment, growth opportunities and recognition. Limbong (2000) conducted a research on job satisfaction among the employees of Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, Philippines. The findings reveal that the top five factors that motivate them are (1) importance of task, (2) work environment, (3) competence, (4) having enough freedom, and (5) originality.
8.      Contingent rewards. Provenzo (2002) discovered also the three most important rewards for a teacher are as follows: opportunity to study, plan, master classroom management, reach and associate with students and colleagues (73%); salary and respect and the position of influence (11.6%); and, economic security, time, freedom from competition (11.6%). Santiago (198) research on the teacher-stayers and leavers in Metro Manila and found out that non-monetary considerations were found to be the source of satisfaction of public elementary school teachers such as achievement, responsibility, interpersonal relations and supervision. Teachers stayed in teaching because of the increased skills in the profession and adjustment through the years of teaching. Shiming Tan (2000) made a study on job satisfaction of the local government employees of Baguio City. She found out that the said government employees have high level of satisfaction. They project the highest satisfaction in the area of intrinsic satisfaction including the items of ability utilization, achievement, activity, authority, creativity, independence, moral values, responsibility, security, social service, social status and variety. Their level of job satisfaction is not affected by gender, age, civil status, educational qualification, years of working experience, office where working, ethnic group and religious affiliation. Further, the subjects demonstrate a high level of job performance including both sub-scales of duties and responsibilities and behavioral dimensions. Comparatively, they manifest better performance in the area of courtesy, human relations, punctuality and attendance, and initiative in the area of quantity, quality and time. There are moderately high levels of correlation between work values and job satisfaction, and between work values and job performance. There is a high level of correlation between job satisfaction and job performance.
9.      Opportunity for promotion. Gurney (2007) made a survey examining the work setting in terms of social support, job stress, promotion opportunities, professional values, disposition, direct patient care, job hazards, pay and fairness of pay and benefits. She found out that certain personal characteristics were associated with satisfaction such as race (non-Hispanic blacks were less satisfied) and overall physical health (those who described themselves as poor in health). Although pay did not influence work satisfaction but the fairness of pay did. Other organizational factors seen that can enhance work satisfaction are paid time off, supervisory support, work group cohesion, reduction in the interference of work with family, autonomy, variety, and promotion opportunity. Baldwin (1982) noted some work motivation in the Asian context: (1) compensation policy (an important motivator because actual wages paid simply satisfy a need); (2) security of stability (due to unemployment and underemployment issues in Asia); (3) Affiliation need or the desire to belong to a group is high; and, (4) Career advancement or promotion is very much acceptable to Asians.
Measurement of Job Satisfaction
The researcher used the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS; Spector, 1971) in this paper. Job Satisfaction Survey is chosen because it yields not only an overall measure of job satisfaction, but measures the nine factors of job satisfaction mentioned above. Additionally, Job Satisfaction Survey is freely available for use for academic studies and the author has published norms to allow comparisons between the sample group and the general population.

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