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The importance of teachers' perceived organizational support to job satisfaction: What's empowerment got to do with it?

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Purpose ‐ The paper aims to investigate the mediating effect of teacher empowerment on the relationship between teachers' perception of their school support and their intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Data were collected from a sample of 2,565 teachers affiliated with 153 Israeli elementary schools. A path analysis procedure was employed to test the mediating effect of teacher empowerment on the relation between perceived organizational support and job satisfaction. Findings ‐ The results reveal that teacher empowerment mediated the relations between perceived organizational support and satisfaction, adding more than 30 per cent to the explained variance of each of the satisfaction types. Teacher empowerment shows different relationships when intrinsic versus extrinsic type of satisfaction is considered. The most influential dimension of empowerment predicting teacher intrinsic satisfaction is self-efficacy, a psychologically oriented variable, while the most powerful dimension of empowerment predicting extrinsic job satisfaction is earned status and respect, a sociologically oriented variable. Research limitations/implications ‐ The results reinforce the notion that both types of job satisfaction are two different entities that should be addressed differently. Taking a theoretical perspective, it appears that teacher empowerment should be conceived as a multi-dimensional scale, where its various components are differently associated with the two types of satisfaction. Practical implications ‐ Moreover, it seems that teacher empowerment has a much stronger impact on teacher satisfaction when it takes place in an organizational context that supports individuals. Hence, school leaders need to focus on different qualities of teacher empowerment, depending on the qualities of satisfaction that they wish to promote. Originality/value ‐ Little is known about perceived organizational support in the educational realm. Studying it in relation with teacher empowerment and job satisfaction, key concepts in the school arena, is unprecedented.
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Keywords: Empowerment; Israel; Job satisfaction; Perceived organizational support; Satisfaction; Teachers

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 4, 2012

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