Author(s):Linda Evans

Conference:ECER 2010

Network:26. Educational Leadership


Session Information

26 SES 08 C, Job Satisfaction and Motivation amongst European Education Professionals: Developing Theory and Theoretical Perspectives



Room:U40 SALI 24, Metsätalo

Chair/Discussant:Ciaran Sugrue/ Hugh Busher


Job Satisfaction and Motivation amongst European Education Professionals: Developing Theory and Theoretical Perspectives

The central focus of this symposium is the enhancement of our understanding of job satisfaction and motivation amongst two groups of European education professionals: schoolteachers and academics. Knowing what influences education professionals’ motivation and job satisfaction has always been a matter of concern to their employers, leaders and managers. It is even more so in the current global economic climate. In schools and universities across Europe, actual or threatened job losses, public sector funding cuts, and – in some contexts – pay cuts, have the potential to demotivate. Conventional wisdom contends that job-related attitudes are influenced by monetary rewards. But the jury is still out on this matter. On the one hand, the policy of performance-related pay is based on the belief that pay is a motivator; on the other hand, research has shown - and given rise to a well-known theory that posits – that, although it has the capacity to de-motivate, pay is not a motivator (Herzberg, 1968).

Identifying what does influence job satisfaction and motivation is dependent upon what we mean by these terms and how we define them. When occupational psychology was establishing itself as a field of study in the 1930s-1960s researchers and analysts devoted much time and effort to examining conceptions and formulating definitions of job-related attitudes such as morale, job satisfaction and motivation (e.g. Katzell, 1964; Locke, 1969; Schaffer, 1953; Vroom, 1964). Today very little attention is paid to conceptual clarity and definitional precision, but this lacuna poses a serious threat to construct validity within empirical research in the field (Evans, 1997). This, in turn, threatens to impoverish the quality of research and, as a result, to undermine any findings that are generated. This symposium contributes towards addressing these shortcomings and enhancing our understanding of job satisfaction and motivation. It will combine the presenters’ empirical research findings and original theoretical perspectives in order to address the questions:

  • What are job satisfaction and motivation? How are they defined?
  • What influences these job-related attitudes?
  • How does this influence occur?
  • What are the implications of this understanding for educational leaders and managers and professional developers?

More specifically, the symposium will examine: the strengths and weaknesses of Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory; how job satisfaction and motivation are related to professional development, and how examination of these issues has led to the development of theory and theoretical perspectives.


Evans, L. (1997) Addressing problems of conceptualisation and construct validity in researching teachers’ job satisfaction’, Educational Research, 39 (3), 319-331

Herzberg, F. (1968) Work and the Nature of Man. London: Staples Press.

Katzell, R.A. (1964) Personal values, job satisfaction, and job behaviour. In: H. Borrow (Ed.) Man in a World at Work. Boston: Houghton Muffin.

Locke, E. (1969) What is job satisfaction? Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 4, 309-336

Schaffer, R.H. (1953) Job satisfaction as related to need satisfaction in work, Psychological Monographs: General and Applied, 67(14), 1-29

Vroom, V. H. (1964) Work and Motivation, New York: John Wiley & Sons

Author Information

Linda Evans

University of Leeds

School of Education


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