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Job Satisfaction Of Teachers Education Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 5480 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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India is a developing country with a strong focus on improving its educational system because the quality of life depends on the quality of its educational system. Andaleeb (2003) [1] described that “education and development are intertwined and through education, a country develops its productive human resources that serve the engine of social and economic transformation” (p.487). In the case of teachers, the study of job satisfaction is relevant for understanding and improving higher education institutions and their core functions of teaching, research and service. Moreover, by studying teachers’ job satisfaction, it is also possible to improve our knowledge of the academic profession in general and to generate with the help of such knowledge more effective programmes for the recruitment, retention and improvement of its members.

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Teacher is the most vital single factor of influence in the system of education. It is the teacher who matters most as far as the quality of education is concerned. The educational process is governed by the extent of his/her receptivity and initiative. The well equipped and satisfied teacher is supreme in education. At all times the teacher is the pivot in the system of education.

For decades, job satisfaction has been one of the most extensively researched concepts in work and organized psychology. Job satisfaction is believed to reflect an individual’s affective and/or cognitive assessment of his or her working conditions and job attributes. Job satisfaction seems more difficult to measure in the academic field in view of the complexity of roles, duties and responsibilities. Job satisfaction has been described as favourable or positive feelings about work or the work environment. This study focuses on job satisfaction of teachers. The study attempts to analyze what indicators were contributing to job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction among the teaching community of (self-financed courses) in aided and self-financed colleges in Kanyakumari district.

Job satisfaction is considered now as an independent variable for various work-related behaviour such as productivity, absenteeism, turnover and organizational citizenship behaviour. Job satisfaction is tied to the development of teachers as persons and to their dignity, because it is related to quality of living in general and finally because a highly satisfied teacher will present more pro-organization behaviours than a less satisfied one. [2] 

Self-financing College

Higher education in India basically a state funded sector. But, over the years, there have been private initiatives in education initially for philanthropic reasons and eventually for commercial reasons in professional and higher education to meet the growing demands. There is a rationale for shifting the financial burden to the individual domain from the social domain. There is almost no government subsidy for such self-financing colleges. In the last few decades, there is a sprout of self-financing institutions and greater participation of the private players who have introduced self-financing programmes. At this moment of time self-financing programmes are being introduced by the government-sponsored colleges also in both undergraduate and postgraduate level and probably it will become the reality in the near future. Hence, at this point of time, it is important to understand the working condition and job satisfaction level of self-financed programme teachers by critically analyzing the determinant factors to improve the self-financed programmes competitiveness through the teachers’ performance.

Job Satisfaction in Teaching Profession

The factors that affect employee job satisfaction in other fields can apply in the field of education too. Employee job satisfaction is one of the most extensively researched areas in organizational literature because of its correlation to performance and productivity. Employee satisfaction depends on the type of leadership in an organization, working conditions, co-workers, organizational policy, independence and the work itself. [3] Teacher job satisfaction is an outcome of the various organizational factors previously mentioned and it is very critical in terms of making teaching and learning processes more productive thereby paving the way for creating effective schools.

It is widely acknowledged that teachers have a pivotal role in the development of an inclusive education system. The status that a teacher enjoyed in the yesteryears is not true now. Experts feel that increasing dissatisfaction among the teachers could be one of the reasons for cases of violence in the classroom. Colleges and universities are becoming increasingly accountable for teaching outcomes in order to meet rigorous accreditation standards. Recruiting and retaining quality teachers is a continuing concern that is facing educational institutions. There is relatively little scope for upward mobility within the Indian academic profession. Promotional opportunities are generally inadequate. It has also become a serious grievance for many teachers and over the years, it has become a major factor of teacher discontentment. Working condition for college teachers reveal their lack of control over their working conditions and over key elements of their teaching situations, such as curriculum, syllabi, examination and recruitment. [4] 

PROBLEM STATEMENT (Need for the Study)

Teachers are generally perceived as the key players in the development of education and the overall progress of a nation. They play a significant role in their students’ achievements and success in relation to their studies. A teacher, who is happy with his job, plays a pivotal role in the upliftment of society. Teacher job satisfaction has been recognized as extremely important for implementing any type of education reform, for involving the teacher in life-long learning, for the quality of the teaching-learning process and for satisfaction with life in general.

Teachers are arguably the most important group of professionals for a nation’s future. As far as self-financing institutions are concerned, they are promoted and solely controlled by private agencies. The government does not financially support these self-financing institutions. The job satisfaction of teachers working in such institutions is always questionable. [5] It is disturbing to find that many of today’s teachers are dissatisfied with their jobs. [6] Nowadays, there is, however, a general feeling that the teachers do not have satisfaction in their job. There seems to be growing discontentment towards their job as a result of which standard of education are falling.

Well-adjusted and satisfied teacher can contribute a lot to the well being of his/her pupils. Latham (1998) [7] and Mertler (2002) [8] suggested the best ways to strengthen the teaching profession would be to make teaching a more satisfying career. Job satisfaction is a significant phenomenon in educational institutions. Lowered job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are believed to influence staff member commitment, morale and turnover and this is particularly salient to the teaching profession. A dissatisfied teacher may create tension which can have negative influence on the students’ learning process and consequently affects their academic growth. Teachers having favourable attitude towards their profession are generally successful, properly adjusted and well satisfied with their job.

It is in the interests of educational institutions and the systems to ensure that levels of job satisfaction are high so that institutions are places of relative stability and student learning, arguably the main focus of educational institutions, is not hindered. The growth of children depends on the dedication and involvement of quality teaching staff. [9] It is harmful to children’s learning if the problems or satisfaction aspects of the teachers is not recognized and actions taken to resolve it.

Smith (1992) [10] noted that job satisfaction can be related to an individual’s happiness and trust, while quality of life is explicitly dealt within discussing the contribution that job satisfaction can make to life satisfaction in general. The study of job satisfaction can be highly pragmatic, as it can help identify organizational areas in need of attention, and because satisfied teachers, compared to non-satisfied ones, tend to more adaptable, cooperative and willing to accept change. In the case of teachers, the study of job satisfaction is relevant for understanding and improving higher education institutions and their core functions as teaching. Teachers, experience the nuts and bolts of higher education functioning and because of it, are in an advantageous position to provide a perspective that no other actor can produce. Taking into account academics perspective, thereby increased the possibility of detecting problematic areas and finding out appropriate solutions.

Since the quality of education affects the productivity of a nation’s labour force and ultimately, its prosperity, which is linked to the dedication and quality of teaching, which again is influenced by the job satisfaction of the teachers, the present study is important in examining the relationships between various variables and job satisfaction factors. Given the centrality of academics for the higher education enterprise and for that matter, for society in general, this type of effort is considered necessary and very important in their implications. [11] Given the situation, a study on teacher career satisfaction is warranted. Further, no study of such a nature has ever been conducted in the study area, Kanyakumari district.


The purpose of this study is to analyse the variance in the job satisfaction level of teachers (self-financed courses) from aided as well as self-financed colleges through Herzberg, Mausner and Snyderman’s (1959) job motivator and hygiene (or two-factor) factors. The study has three main goals in relation to teachers working in the self-financed courses of aided and self-financed institutions in Kanyakumari district. They are: (1) to determine the extent to which they are satisfied with the several aspects of their work, (2) to measure the overall job satisfaction level and (3) to identify the variables. The general purpose behind such goals was to understand the way in which the teachers perceive their work and the degree to which they are satisfied with it.


This study is designed to contribute to the growing literature in teachers’ job satisfaction in the aided and unaided colleges. The results of this research will provide educational authorities in the State and Centre with knowledge that might enhance teachers’ job satisfaction by identifying the lacuna and incorporating necessary corrective programmes in the Colleges. Empirical research that compares the teachers’ job satisfaction in aided and unaided educational institutions. Woods and Weasmer (2004) summed up the results of teacher satisfaction when they wrote, “teacher satisfaction reduced attrition, enhances collegiability, improves job performance and has an impact on student performance” (p.118). Nevertheless, there is far less literature exploring the self-financed course faculty members’ job satisfaction. The study investigates the levels and determinants of job satisfaction among the teachers working in aided and self-financed colleges in Kanyakumari district. It uses a modified research instrument based on the Herzberg, Mausner and Snyderman (1959) [12] theory of two-factors.

As this study is the first of its kind in Kanyakumari district, its contribution to the body of knowledge, research and literature in the area of job satisfaction is significant. This study can contribute, by way of the information generated and made public, to the participatory development of more adequate and realistic policies regarding faculty in particular and in general higher education. The study will also provide useful information for the institution administrators to develop strategies to assist their teachers in advancing their professional working conditions and to enable them to improve the teachers’ working and living conditions. The research findings could also provide useful guiding principles for improving teachers’ professional development programmes. It would be possible, on the basis of the information generated by this satisfaction study, for the management and members of the educational institutions to reflect and if necessary and possible, take action in those areas where a need for change is identified. Findings of this study would help institutions to formulate strategies and programme to improve the teachers’ involvement and dedication, which would result in improved learning skill of the student community, the final beneficiaries. In all, this study has a strong potential for supporting improvement in the overall faculty working environment of self-financing courses. It is hoped that improved job satisfaction of the teachers would lead to higher standard of education and student achievement. To summarize, this study would add to the literature in the general broad area of teachers’ job satisfaction and strengthen a literature trail on these variables in the Tamil Nadu educational system. The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

Research Questions

What is the overall job satisfaction level among (self-financed courses) teachers working in the aided and self-financed colleges in Kanyakumari district?

What are the dominant intrinsic factors involved in job satisfaction and dissatisfaction among the teachers?

What was the aided and self-financed college teachers’ level of job satisfaction with the job ‘motivator’ and ‘hygiene’ factors?

What was the relationship between the aided and self-financed college teachers’ level of overall job satisfaction?

How do the levels and factors of satisfaction vary with demographic background?

Are there gender differences in job satisfaction ratings of male and female teachers?

Are there differences in job satisfaction ratings across years of teaching experience?


Based on previous studies the author have developed the following research hypotheses that seek to test the details of how satisfaction levels vary across various gender, discipline and the relationship or influence of some attributes on the various domains of job satisfaction. The null hypotheses are:

H1o: There is no significant association between the various demographic variables and the overall level of job satisfaction.

H20: Women teachers experience, lower levels of job satisfaction than male teachers.

H30: There is no significant difference in the levels of job satisfaction between “Arts” and “Science” department teachers.

H40: There is no significant difference in the overall levels of job satisfaction between aided and self-financed college teachers, attached to self-financed courses.


Some theories of job satisfaction included discrepancy theory (Locke, 1969) [13] , equity theory (Mowday, 1992) [14] and the motivator-hygiene theory (Herzberg, Mausner and Snyderman, 1959) [15] also known as two-factor theory. Discrepancy theory, as described by Lawler (1973) [16] , was the result of the difference between an actual outcome a person received and some other expected outcome level – a comparison in which an actual outcome level would result in dissatisfaction. Maslow’s (1970) [17] hierarchical need theory has been used to conceptualize worker motivation based on the five levels of needs. Maslow’s theory constitutes the five levels of individual needs: self-actualization and esteem needs at the top level whilst social, safety and physiological needs at the bottom. Maslow assumes that some needs are more important than other needs and must be satisfied before the other needs can serve as a motivator. Inputs and outcomes were the premise of equity theory (Mowday, 1992). [18] Employees evaluated their inputs/outcomes by comparing them with the inputs/outcomes of other individuals. Perceptions of equity were associated with job satisfaction, while perception of inequity was associated with job dissatisfaction.

The present study is based on Herzberg’s two-factor or dual-factor or motivator-hygiene theory of job-satisfaction, which dates back to 1959 and is the outgrowth of a research study project on job attitudes conducted by Herzberg, Mausner and Snyderman. Herzberg expounds the concept that man has two sets of needs: his need as an animal to avoid pain and his need as a human to grow psychologically. Analysis of the responses led Herzberg and his colleagues to conclude that job satisfaction consisted of two separate independent dimensions: the first dimension was related to job satisfaction (motivators) and the second dimension to job dissatisfaction (hygienes). Motivating factors are those aspects of the job that make people want to perform and provide people with satisfaction. Hygiene factors include aspects of the working environment. Herzberg analysed and classified the job satisfying and dissatisfying factors as follow:

Satisfier Factors


Dissatisfier Factors




Work itself




Organizational policy and administration


Working conditions

Interpersonal relations (with peers, subordinates and superiors)


Job security


Personal life

For this study four domains were selected from each factor. They are:

Satisfier Factor: (i) Achievement, (ii) Recognition, (iii) Work itself and (iv) Growth.

Dissatisfier Factor: (i) Institution Policy, (ii) Working Condition, (iii) Interpersonal Relations and (iv) Salary and Benefits.


The following concepts/definitions are adopted for the purpose of this study.

Teacher: The term ‘Teacher’ used in this present study refers to the teachers working in aided and unaided arts and science colleges in Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu state.

The terms “Career” and “Job”: Teaching as a ‘career’ is more than just “work to keep people earning for a living”. ‘Career’ is defined as an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life with opportunities for progress. A ‘career’ is something that can provide a person with opportunities to progress and to gain social recognition. Whereas ‘job’ is defined as a paid position of regular employment, a task or piece of work, especially one that is paid for, here for this study it is the teaching work. From this perspective teaching is ‘not just a job’ which provides a person with remuneration but an opportunity for progress as well as advancement. In the current study, ‘career’ and ‘job’ are used interchangeably, in association with the term ‘satisfaction’.

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Job Satisfaction: Researchers have provided a wide range of interpretations of the concepts of job satisfaction. Locke (1969) [19] , for example, who looked at the effective aspect of the concept, defined job satisfaction as “the pleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job as achieving or facilitating the achievement of one’s job values”. Job satisfaction, for this study, is defined as the fulfilment of conditions or desires with reference to his/her job, here it is teaching job. Therefore, one would expect a person is satisfied when his or her expectations or desires have been met.

Achievement: The definition for ‘achievement’ given by Weiss et al (1967) [20] has been adopted for this study, which states, “The feeling of accomplishment one gets from the job”.

Recognition: Recognizing or honouring employees for the level of service achieved is meant to encourage the achiever. Hence, recognition is the praise or reward one gets from doing his/her job.

Responsibility: The concept responsibility is the duty or obligation of a person to satisfactorily perform or complete a task assigned with the opportunity to act independently and take decisions without authorization.

Advancement: Advancement is defined as activities that promote job growth (vertically), an improvement, or expansion of job roles or responsibilities.

Working Condition: It is the environment the staff works including but not limited to facilities, infrastructure, stress, job hours, responsibilities, organizational policy, and all existing circumstances affecting the outcome in the work place.

Creativity: Chance/freedom to try/implement one’s own methods of doing the job.

Independence: Chance to work on the job without interference.

Status: Status is defined as the position or recognition of an individual in relation to another or others in regard to social and professional position.

Institution Policy: A set of basic principles by which an institution, an establishment or organization, particularly for this study, the educational institution is guided by.

Participative Decision-making: Measures the degree to which teachers perceive they are involved in making decisions about issues of critical concern. The involvement is coupled with the belief that their opinions are critical to the outcomes of the decisions.

Inter Personal Relations: The relationship is the nature of interaction, cooperation and bond, primarily in the context of (but not limited to) work that occurs between the faculty members.

Aided College: College owned and operated by private agencies.

Self-financed College: College owned and operated solely by private agencies. The government does not financially support these institutions.

Self-financed Courses: Courses offered in the aided/self-financed colleges, which does not receive any kind of support from the University Grant Commission (UGC).

Population of the Study

The population of this study consists of all male and female teachers working in the aided and self-financed colleges in Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu.

Area of Study

The study was conducted in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu State. Kanyakumari district has a literacy rate of 87.6 per cent which is quite higher that the State’s average literacy and it is one of the most urbanized cities in Tamil Nadu state. A variety of colleges and higher education institutions are found throughout the district. No such study has so far been conducted in this district comparing the job satisfaction level of teachers employed in self-financed courses in aided and self-financed colleges. Hence, the researcher found Kanyakumari district a suitable area to carry out the study.

Period of Study

The research study was carried out from …………. to ……………


The study is a non-experimental quantitative descriptive correlational research design. According to Bickman and Rod (1988), “a descriptive approach is appropriate when the researcher is attempting to answer ‘what is’ or ‘what was’ questions, normative questions, or correlative questions” (p.15). The study was based on survey method based on quantitative approach. Survey method allows many questions to be asked about a given topic by giving considerable flexibility to the analysis. Quantitative approach is useful as it helps the researcher to prevent bias in gathering and presenting research data. The scope of the objectives of this study necessitates a quantitative research paradigm. Quantitative research involves the collection of data so that information can be quantified and subjected to statistical treatment in order to support or refute “alternate knowledge claims” (Creswell, 2003: 153). [21] 

The study involves both primary and secondary data. The survey questionnaire was prepared through analysis of secondary data and the area of study. Primary data was collected by the survey questionnaire. The data were processed and report prepared. The graphical representation of the research design is given below:


Secondary Research

Study Area Analysis

Plan of Action & Questionnaire Designing

Quantitative Data Collection

Data Processing & Analysis

Final Report

Figure: Research Design

Data Sources

To come up with pertinent findings and to provide credible recommendations, this study utilized two sources of data: primary and secondary. The primary data was collected by interviewing the sample respondent college teachers from aided and self-financed colleges in Kanyakumari district. The researcher visited the educational institutions, conducted interview with the respondents and collected the data from the sample respondents.

Secondary research is research based on secondary sources that already exist (Veal, 1997; Jennings, 2001). Secondary research methods in the current study included review of books, academic journals, government publications, periodicals and magazines, published/unpublished dissertations, and the web (Internet).

Primary Data Collection

During the primary data collection, the purpose of the study was clearly explained to the respondents and issues of concerns were resolved satisfactorily. Respondents were assured of anonymity and confidentiality. This encouraged frankness during interviews. The interview was conducted under conditions and in an environment acceptable to the respondents, and therefore ensured that the process was trustworthy. The primary data was collected from teachers working in both aided (self-financed section) and self-financed colleges in Kanyakumari district. The primary data collection was done from …………… to …………….

Primary Data Collection Instrument and Design

Survey questionnaire was used as the primary data-collecting instrument for this study. Cormack (1996) [22] states that questionnaire is a useful tool for obtaining background and behavioural information in addition to opinions, attitudes and beliefs. Questionnaire was selected as the most appropriate instrument for the research in view of the considerations needed for time available, scope of resources and level of research.

Once the pertinent literature had been reviewed and in the context of the study goals and purpose, it was considered limiting to include in the study only those variables that have been previously shown in the literature to be directly relevant for understanding job satisfaction. On the basis of information gathered from the literature reviews, the questionnaire (survey tool) was developed in such a way that respondents could indicate their opinions and experiences with minimal effort.

The questionnaire contained ….. questions, which was grouped in to three categories. The instrument itself was based on Fredrich Herzberg’s “Motivation-Hygiene” two-factory theory of job satisfaction. Part I of the instrument contained the demographic information. Demographic items were age, gender, marital status, years of experience, current salary, qualification, location of school (rural, suburban or urban). Part II consisted of ‘motivator’ (satisfaction) factors (…… domains). Part III consisted of ‘hygiene’ (dissatisfaction) factor, which contained …….. domains. Each domain consisted of multiple numbers of variables.

Demographic data were collected through close-end questions. A four-point Likert scale was used to collect data on the agreement level of the various job satisfaction factors. The points were: HS (highly satisfied), MS (moderately satisfied), MD (moderately dissatisfied) and HD (highly dissatisfied). The choices represent the degree of agreement each respondent has on the given question statement. Ranking scale was used to assess their priorities regarding the job satisfaction factors.


“The purpose of the pre-test was to ascertain the questions were understandable, unambiguous and that it was feasible to fill in the questionnaire within a certain time”. [23] The researcher conducted a pilot study in order to test the validity of the questionnaire used for this study. The pilot study was conducted at four colleges (two aided colleges and two self-financed colleges) with four respondents from each college. After the questions have been answered, the researcher asked the respondents for any suggestions or any necessary corrections to ensure further improvement and validity of the instrument. The researcher revised the survey questionnaire based on the suggestion of the respondents. The researcher then excluded irrelevant questions and changed vague or difficult terminologies into simpler ones in order to ensure comprehension.

Sampling Design

A sample is a subset of population (a representation of


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