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Teacher Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction: Herzberg's 'Two-Factor' Hypothesis Revisited

Jennifer Nias
British Journal of Sociology of Education
Vol. 2, No. 3 (1981), pp. 235-246
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1392621
Page Count: 12
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Teacher Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction: Herzberg's 'Two-Factor' Hypothesis Revisited
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Abstract

An analysis of perceived causes of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction was derived from lengthy interviews with 100 graduates trained to teach in primary schools. Causes of satisfaction came mainly from the work itself (affective satisfaction; personal competence; extension of skills) but so did many of the causes of dissatisfaction (perceived inadequacy in teaching; institutional factors making it difficult to teach differently or well). In addition several main sources of dissatisfaction were contextual (interpersonal relations; physical conditions; promotion prospects; ill-health and fatigue). Herzberg's 'two-factor' hypothesis can be reconciled only partially with these findings--by distinguishing an absence of expected satisfaction ('negative satisfiers') from dissatisfaction ('dissatisfiers'), especially if, as is argued, teaching is taken to mean not just work with pupils but also adaptation to a wider social system (the school). In general dissatisfaction among these teachers was low; perceived lack of satisfaction was high.

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