Title: 'Fitting in': Does it make a difference for teachers' job satisfaction? (Work in progress)
Authors: Meredith, Chloé ×
Struyve, Charlotte
Gielen, Sarah #
Issue Date: 2015
Conference: The International Sunbelt Social Network Conference edition:35 location:Brighton, UK date:23-28 June 2015
Abstract: For many years, educational research has focused on the job satisfaction of teachers to explain wellbeing,absenteeism, the decision to stay or leave the profession and most importantly, school quality (Ingersoll & Smith, 2003). Job satisfaction is therefore one of the most frequently investigated job attitudes and can be defined as “the pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job and job experience” (Locke, 1976, p.1300). In organization studies, there has been a growing attention for the concept of ‘fit’ or integration in the organization to explain job satisfaction from a contextual perspective. Based on the literature, this fit in an organization can be captured in several ways. One way is person-organization fit (P-O fit), which reflects the compatibility between a person and the organizational culture (Kristof, 1996). Multiple studies already provided evidence that the POfit of employees is linked to their commitment, and in turn to their job satisfaction (e.g. Silverthorne, 2004). A second way to conceptualize the integration of an individual is by looking at the socialstructural fit in the organizational network. Studies using embeddedness theory as a framework indicated that the ‘links’ a person has are crucial for the social integration in the organization (Granovetter, 1985). In educational research, limited attention has been paid to the integration or fit of teachers in the school. For example, Bakkenes, De Brabander & Imants (1999) showed how teacher isolation causes absenteeism and low job satisfaction, while Xin and MacMillan (1999) have indicated that collegial relationships and social integration are important predictors for the satisfaction teachers perceive from doing their job. However, the relation between teachers’ PO-fit, social-structural fit and job satisfaction has, within our knowledge, never been explored. Given that attitudes are partly socially constructed, this study therefore aims to provide clarity on whether and to what extent the fit of teachers in the school team can be associated with their job satisfaction. In order to fully comprehend the relation between fit and job satisfaction, we further investigated whether this relation can be (partly) explained by affective commitment. To answer our research questions, both attribute and social network data of approximately 930 teachers, working in 14 secondary schools in Flanders, were gathered. The attribute data that were collected concerned several attitudes about the profession and the school as a workplace, such as job satisfaction, affective commitment and the desired and actual collaboration in the school. Based on the latter two, the objective PO-fit of a teacher in the collaborative culture of the school can be calculated (O'Reilly, Chatman, & Caldwell, 1991). Relational data were derived from a sociometric question concerning the information network and were analyzed using the UCINET 6.504 software (Borgatti, Everett, & Freeman, 2002). Based on the regression models, we can conclude that ‘fitting in’ matters for teachers’ job satisfaction. Further, the results indicated that affective commitment indeed partly explains the relation between integration and job satisfaction.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Educational Effectiveness and Evaluation
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Campus Kulak Kortrijk – miscellaneous
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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