An investigation of the relationship between the satisfaction with school communication system and teachers' work motivation

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The study was designed to investigate the relationship between the school communication system and teachers' work motivation. The theoretical basis for the study was Barnard's (1938) contention that communication is a vital element in organizations in that it serves as a vehicle for transmitting knowledge of purpose and as such is necessary for willingness to serve.

The sample was composed of 234 elementary teachers from eleven randomly selected schools in the Norfolk school district. Downs' and Hazen's (1978) Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire, adapted for educational settings was used to collect data on the school communication system. The Teachers' Work Motivation Questionnaire (Miskel, et. al. 1980), based on Vroom' s expectancy work motivation model, was used to gather data on teachers' work motivation. Additional questions were asked to obtain demographic data and job satisfaction. data. A 70 per cent return of questionnaires was received.

Multiple regression analysis was used to determine the separate and collective contributions of the independent variables to the dependent variable. The independent variables were the seven factors of the school communication, two job satisfaction measures, years of experience at the present school, and she of school enrollment. The dependent variable was teachers' work motivation which was composed of three factors, instrumentality, valence and expectancy. Three regressions were conducted, one with each of the factors in teachers' work motivation. Frequencies and means were obtained for the demographic variables.

The results revealed that there was a significant relationship between the school communication system and teachers' work motivation in that some of various factors in both variables were significantly related. A significant relationship was found between horizontal communication and all three of the factors in teachers' work motivation--instrumentality, valence and expectancy. Media quality was related to two of the factors in teachers' work motivation-- instrumentality and valence. All but one of the factors in the school communication system were related to instrumentality.

A second analysis of the data using the combined model of teachers' work motivation revealed similar results. Horizontal communication and level of satisfaction for the last six months were related to teachers' work motivation.

Based on the results of the study, it was suggested that the study. be replicated to test the relationship between the school communication system and teachers' work motivation in secondary schools. In addition, it was suggested that further research be conducted to test the relationship between horizontal communication and teachers' work motivation. It was also suggested that administrators interested in developing higher levels of teacher work motivation advocate and foster horizontal communication and that school districts increase the number of desirable job outcomes.