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Leadership Behaviors of East Tennessee Directors of Public School and the Job Satisfaction of Principals

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TITLE: Leadership Behaviors of East Tennessee Directors of Public School and the Job Satisfaction of Principals
RESEARCHER: Gerald G. Miller
School of Education
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Doctoral Dissertation: May 2003

The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between the leadership practices of public school district directors and the job satisfaction of school principals.

The sample consisted of all principals in East Tennessee with at least one year of service (N=526), of which 329 participated (63% response rate). They completed the Leadership Practices Inventory-Observer in regards to their district director and the Job Satisfaction Survey (Spector, 1985).

Each of the five leadership practices of the district director, as measured by the LPI-Observer, was significantly correlated with principals’ total job satisfaction score (p<.01). The more the superintendent is perceived to be engaged in leadership with principals, the higher the satisfaction of principals.

The correlations are significant between leadership practices various job satisfaction facets/dimensions. For example, satisfaction with the supervision of the principal’s immediate supervisor, communications, contingent rewards, operating conditions, promotion and coworkers. Generally there is no relationship between leadership practices and the job satisfaction dimensions of nature of work, fringe benefits, and pay.

The author concludes: “The more involved the superintendent is in using leadership practices, the greater the likelihood that principals will have higher total job satisfaction” (p. 72). Modeling the Way was the leadership practice with the strongest correlation with job satisfaction.


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