Date of Award

Spring 1985

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Few researchers have addressed teachers' perceptions of specific aspects of their profession through the use of a tested model of worker motivation and behavior which would employ individual difference variables. The present study attempted to redress these shortcomings through the use of the Job Characteristics Model of Work Motivation. The purposes of this study were to compare teacher job perceptions to that of private industry employees; to establish the applicability of the Job Characteristics Model to a teacher sample; to explore the relationships between task attributes, internal and external to the job, and job outcomes for high and low growth need strength (GNS) employees; and to improve upon the predictability of the model for low GNS employees through a test of the Extrinsic Job Characteristics Model. An expanded version of the Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) incorporating relatedness need strength (RNS) and existence need strength (ENS) scales was administered to 292 elementary and secondary public school teachers in a middle-income suburban school district within the Milwaukee metropolitan area yielding quantitative measures of specific aspects of job satisfaction. Nineteen hypotheses were tested through correlational analyses, multiple regression analyses, and multivariate analysis of variance procedures. It was concluded that there were substantive differences in job perceptions, satisfactions, and need strength between teachers and private sector employees; the aforementioned differences were exacerbated by increased educational attainment to the detriment of the teacher sample; there were substantive differences between the characteristics and perceptions of elementary and secondary teachers and to a lesser extent between regular and exceptional education teachers; overall support for the Job Characteristics Model was obtained although there was evidence for revision of several relationships within the model due to the dynamic nature of the constructs; a revision of the Extrinsic Job Characteristics Model was supported using the same teacher sample; ENS, RNS, pay satisfaction, and perceived nature of supervision were particularly important factors within the job characteristics framework; and an employee GNS dichotomy was found to exist implying the importance of the Job Characteristics Model for high GNS employees and the Extrinsic Job Characteristics Model for low GNS employees.



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