The relationship of teacher perceptions of organizational climate to job satisfaction in the elementary schools of a metropolitan school district



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Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of organizational climate in the elementary school to job satisfaction as perceived by teachers. One major research hypothesis was stated: Teachers' perceptions of organizational climate will vary concomitantly with their index of job satisfaction. Procedures A sample of teachers (N = 538) from 22 elementary schools of a metropolitan school district in Texas was randomly selected. The Smith, Kendall, and Hulin Job Descriptive Index (JDI) (1969) and the Halpin and Croft Organizational Climate Description Questionnaire (OCDQ) (1966) were administered to the total sample. Individual school profiles were described, and multiple regression analysis procedures were used to determine significance of relationships between subscale variables of both instruments. Findings Each of the 22 schools of the research sample was identified by the OCDQ as having a Closed or partly Closed (Paternal) climate. The job satisfaction of the teachers within these schools, as measured by the JDI, described neutral attitudes toward Work, Principal, and Co-workers and low satisfaction with Pay. In order to test the research hypothesis, 32 subhypotheses were elaborated which required significant relationships. Sixteen of the subhypotheses were accepted, nine of which described significant negative relationships. Sixteen were not accepted. Although this indicates that some relationships were established between teachers' perceptions of organizational climate and their index of job satisfaction, the variance attributable to the climate variables of OCDQ was minimal. Conclusions The teachers in each of the 22 schools of the research sample function within Closed or partly Closed (Paternal) climates. They experience low satisfaction with Pay and ascribe to neutral attitudes toward their Work, Principal, and Co-workers. The existence of low satisfaction, and of neutral attitudes (synonymous with apathy as described by Argyris, 1969), was supported by the findings of the subhypotheses. This indicated that these teachers function in a mechanistic manner, and that concerns of a humanistic nature receive less emphasis; while greater emphasis is placed on monetary reward. Apparently, they have withdrawn, psychologically, from the organization. Although significant relationships were established to support 16 subhypotheses, the variance attributable to organizational climate variables (OCDQ) was minimal. This indicated that the restricted variance may be attributed to construct validity of the OCDQ and the JDI, or to the sample itself. Recommendations The recommendations presented related to the instrumentation and to the sample: 1. Since the construct validity of the instrumentation was questioned, replication of the study is recommended, employing more sensitive instrumentation. 2. As no Open climate schools were identified by the OCDQ in the research sample, it is recommended that attempts be made to locate and include such schools in the sample for replication of the study. 3. As no Open climate schools were identified by the OCDQ in the research sample, it is recommended that a district-wide staff development program be organized and fully implemented to encourage the development of schools which contain elements of Open climate.