The association between change styles and job satisfaction among teachers working in international schools

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(1)UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN CHANGE STYLES AND JOB SATISFACTION AMONG TEACHERS WORKING IN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS A dissertation submitted by Marie E Davis BEd (University of Missouri), MEd (University of Missouri) In partial completion of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Education February, 2009 ii

(2) ABSTRACT This research was conducted among the population of teachers working in international schools around the world, focusing on change, job satisfaction and the transition process. Change style is believed to be an innate aspect of personality, which influences the preferences, attitudes and emotions surrounding change (Musselwhite, 2004). Although these change style preferences are manageable and fluid within our lives, knowledge of them can assist in greater self-awareness and professional satisfaction. The purpose of the study was twofold. First, it aimed to determine if an association exists between an individual’s change style and job satisfaction. Secondly, it aimed to provide a more comprehensive understanding of cultural, technical and political factors connected with professional satisfaction and the relocation process. The research was guided by an interpretivist lens. An exploratory case study was conducted, incorporating both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Quantitative data collection included a psychometric assessment tool on change styles and a survey questionnaire, completed by 204 respondents. The qualitative element consisted of semi-structured interviews with seven volunteers, identified from the quantitative data set. Communication with participants was conducted through the Internet so as to reach a globally diverse sample of teachers. Qualitative responses were separated by themes, which in turn were refined into broader categories, leading to systematic interpretations of change styles among this specific group of international teachers. Quantitative data provided descriptive statistics with which to compare iii

(3) qualitative interpretations. Quantitative and qualitative data were compared and contrasted throughout, leading to greater credibility and applicability of the study. The research contributed to existing knowledge in three ways. Methodologically, it demonstrated the value of using mixed data sets in interpretive inquiry. Theoretically, it added to the existing research into and application of change styles. Empirically, it offered understanding and interpretations of international school employees as they experience the relocation process and job satisfaction. Generally, the research contributes to a broader understanding of international school teachers which could enhance professional development opportunities and self-awareness and thereby promote increased levels of job satisfaction. iv

(4) CERTIFICATE OF DISSERTATION I certify that the ideas, experimental work, results, analyses, software and conclusions reported in this dissertation are entirely my own effort except where otherwise acknowledged. I also certify that the work is original and has not been submitted for any other award, except where otherwise acknowledged. ___________________________ Candidate ______________ Date ENDORSEMENT ___________________________ Co-Supervisor ______________ Date ___________________________ Co-Supervisor ______________ Date v

(5) ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Although I always believed I would one day finish, the sense of relief in completing this doctoral work is beyond description. As with all challenges in life, there are many who contribute, support and encourage. For this particular journey I would like to recognize the following. First, the members of the Faculty of Education at USQ, many of whom have helped me along this path. Particular thanks goes to Patrick Danaher and Marian Lewis, my saintly, patient supervisors. Their unfaltering communication, insights into academic writing, constant support and sense of humor are appreciated. Although managing the work in the isolation of distance learning, I have never felt alone. This study would not have happened without the alliance and guidance of Greg Holliday at the University of Missouri- Columbia. As a long-time mentor and friend, his belief in my abilities and support in my academic, professional and personal life have been invaluable. Thanks also goes to Chris Musselwhite and the staff at Discovery Learning, who granted the license for use of the Change Styles Indicator and whose previous research provided a framework for this study. To family and friends, who over the years have been encouraging and understanding of my academic habit and always supported my dreams. Thank you. Finally, a big ‘merci bien’ to Gilles, who has been a part of this journey from the start. Though not an easy one, we’ve reached the end of this particular stage; and still we wonder “what next”… vi

(6) Table of Contents Abstract iii Certificate of Dissertation v Acknowledgements vi Table of Contents vii List of Tables x List of Figures xi CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8. 1 5 8 10 11 12 16 17 Setting the background of change Impetus for the study Conceptual framework Research questions Researcher’s personal note Outline of the method ology Delimitations and limitations of the study Overview of the dissertation CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 20 2.1 2.2 20 22 22 24 27 30 34 37 39 47 53 55 56 58 59 60 63 68 Introduction Change: Theories and understanding 2.2.1 Change theories 2.2.2 Change and transition 2.3 Emotion 2.4 Job satisfaction 2.5 Cultural considerations 2.6 Personality theory: Carl Jung 2.7 Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) 2.8 The Change Styles Indicator (CSI) 2.8.1 Change style descriptions 2.8.2 Conservers 2.8.3 Pragmatists 2.8.4 Originators 2.8.5 Summary of change styles and types 2.9 School change: Cultural, technical and political 2.10 International schools 2.10.1 Teacher hiring and recruitment vii

(7) 2.11 Teacher roles and stress 2.11.1 Teacher retention 2.12 Summary 2.13 Justification of the research 70 73 75 76 CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH DESIGN 79 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Introduction to research design The background of the pilot study Research paradigm Case study 3.4.1 Sample population 3.5 Incorporating quantitative data in the research design 3.6 Information collection 3.6.1 Quantitative data collection 3.6.2 The dialogical process 3.6.3 Semi-structured interviews 3.6.4 Personal interviews 3.7 Data analysis 3.8 Interpreting qualitative data 3.9 Additional considerations 3.9.1 Position of the researcher 3.9.2 Peer debriefing 3.9.3 Ethical considerations 3.10 Summary 79 82 83 87 91 92 94 96 98 100 101 102 106 111 111 113 118 120 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS – RESEARCH QUESTION 1 121 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 121 123 128 129 131 137 138 139 143 148 Overview Demographic information Overview of research question 1 Change styles and international school teachers Change styles and job satisfaction Change styles and academic level Change styles and number of schools Change styles and adjustment Job satisfaction – descriptive results Summary of results of research question 1 CHAPTER 5: RESULTS – RESEARCH QUESTION 2 151 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 151 154 157 158 159 Overview The interview participants General results Individual results 5.4.1 Conservers viii

(8) 5.4.1.1 Conservers: Emergent themes 5.4.1.2 Conservers: Discussion 5.4.2 Pragmatists 5.4.2.1 Pragmatists: Emergent themes 5.4.2.2 Pragmatists: Discussion 5.4.3 Originators 5.4.3.1 Originators: Emergent themes 5.4.3.2 Originators: Discussion 5.4.4 Pragmatist-Originator 5.4.4.1 Pragmatist-Originator: Discussion 5.5 Summary 5.5.1 Cultural factors 5.5.2 Technical factors 5.5.3 Political factors 163 164 168 171 172 175 180 181 185 192 195 196 199 202 CHAPTER 6: DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS 205 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Overview Methodological contributions Theoretical contributions: Research question 1 Empirical contributions: Research question 2 6.4.1 Conservers 6.4.2 Pragmatists 6.4.3 Originators 6.4.4 Pragmatist-Originator 6.5 Cultural themes 6.6 Technical themes 6.7 Political themes 6.8 Additional contributions 6.8.1 Professional development 6.8.2 Retention 6.8.3 Interviewing and hiring 6.9 Recommendations for further study 6.10 Researcher’s reflection 205 208 209 213 214 215 216 218 220 225 228 230 231 234 235 236 238 REFERENCES 241 LIST OF APPENDICES 257 Appendix A: MBTI-Job satisfaction chart Appendix B: MBTI-CSI comparison Appendix C: CSI sample questions Appendix D: Survey 2, The Personal Information & Rating Scale Appendix E: Ethical clearance form Appendix F: Consent from Head of School Appendix G: Consent from participating teachers ix 258 259 260 263 268 269 270

(9) List of Tables CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW Table 2.1 Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as related to global nomads Table 2.2 Hofstede’s five dimensions of cultural values Table 2.3 MBTI Scales: A brief description Table 2.4 Change style preferences distribution: Three perspectives Table 2.5 Adjective pair and change style preference distributions Table 2.6 MBTI-CSI comparison Table 2.7 CSI distribution and mean score by MBTI dimension Table 2.8 Change style preference distributions and descriptions Table 2.9 Incentives and conditions motivating teachers to join and/or remain in an international school 26 35 41 49 50 52 53 54 74 CHATPER 3: RESEARCH DESIGN Table 3.1 Outline of research methodology Table 3.2 Strengths and weaknesses of case study Table 3.3 Continua of data collection, types and analysis in case studies Table 3.4 Information collection process Table 3.5 Peer debriefing notes about change styles 81 89 95 96 116 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS – RESEARCH QUESTION 1 Table 4.1 Distribution of gender Table 4.2 Distribution of ages Table 4.3 Distribution of number of years working internationally Table 4.4 Distribution of teaching levels 124 125 126 127 CHAPTER 5: RESULTS – RESEARCH QUESTION 2 Table 5.1 Demographic data about the interview participants Table 5.2 Conservers: Emergent themes Table 5.3 Pragmatists: Emergent themes Table 5.4 Originators: Emergent themes 154 164 172 181 CHAPTER 6: DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS Table 6.1 Outline of conclusions as presented in chapter 6 207 x

(10) List of Figures CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Figure 1.1 Representation of interrelatedness among theory, method and data CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW Figure 2.1 Schematization of Lazarus’ social-psychological emotion theory Figure 2.2 Schematization of social-psychological emotion theory, including change style Figure 2.3 The change styles continuum CHAPTER 4: RESULTS – RESEARCH QUESTION 1 Figure 4.1 Distribution of CSI scores among the respondent population Figure 4.2 Percentage of teachers choosing factors of successful transitions Figure 4.3 Range and mean of CSI scores in transition choices Figure 4.4 Association between job satisfaction and age Figure 4.5 Association between job satisfaction and teaching level xi 14 29 38 47 130 140 142 145 147

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