UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Factors related to teacher job satisfaction Roberts, William John

Abstract

Classical management theory holds that an individual within a complex organization should receive orders from only one superior; thereby providing the worker with unity of command. While functional specialization within large organizations prevents the explicit application of the unity of command principle, current organizational theory recognizes the merit of the basic concept. The British Columbia Public Schools Act divides administrative functions above teachers between the Department of Education and local Boards of School Trustees. The Department is given complete authority for classification of teachers for certification, for curriculum content and textbooks, for work methods within the classroom, and for supervision and evaluation of teachers. The local Board is given complete authority for selection, hiring, promotion, assignment, and termination of teachers. This division of authority between the Department of Education and Boards of School Trustees violates the principle of unity of command; and produces fragmentation of authority in the administration of teachers and their employment. It was hypothesized that the degree to which a teacher recognized this fragmentation of authority would be directly related to the innovativeness of the teacher; and that job satisfaction would be inversely related to the recognition of authority fragmentation. Those teachers who are more innovative in their teaching methods should encounter the dichotomy in the process of obtaining authorization/equipment for novel teaching techniques. When the authority fragmentation thwarts the teacher's innovative efforts, job satisfaction should suffer. A teacher who is not innovative should have less opportunity to encounter the authority dichotomy, and should therefore feel greater job satisfaction. A questionnaire was designed to measure the degree to which teachers recognize authority fragmentation, the innovativeness of the teacher, and job satisfaction felt by the teacher. The questionnaire was validated using a panel who completed the form and were interviewed for their impressions of the items, and through a pilot mail survey. The questionnaire was then mailed to a random sample of B.C. school teachers. 121 useable responses were obtained from a total sample of 508 subjects. Item analysis was performed on completed questionnaires to detect set responses, and to establish construct validity. The items in the job satisfaction section of the form were factor analyzed to determine the number of satisfaction dimensions tapped by the instrument. The results of the questionnaires were scored to produce one score for innovativeness, five scores for recognition of authority fragmentation (one score for each dimension isolated), and five scores for job satisfaction (one score for each dimension of satisfaction isolated). Linear regression analysis was performed between innovation scores and authority fragmentation scores; and between authority fragmentation scores and job satisfaction scores. Regression analysis was also performed between job satisfaction and innovativeness directly to check for contradiction of the hypothesized mediating function of perception of authority conflict. Hotelling's T² statistic and t-tests were performed on job satisfaction scores when S's were sorted into subsets above and below the sample mean on both innovation and one authority fragmentation dimension at a time. Statistically significant correlations (p≤0.05) were found between innovativeness and four of the five dimensions of authority fragmentation, supporting the first stage of the hypothesis. Three of the twenty-five pairs of authority fragmentation dimensions and job satisfaction dimensions showed significant correlations, T-tests did not reveal significant differences between satisfaction scores when S's were sorted on innovation and authority fragmentation scores. The second stage of the hypothesis was not supported. The scatter of points around the regression line was large in each significant correlation. While the second stage of the hypothesis was not statistically supported, suggestive evidence was found which warrants further research.

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