There have been countless studies on how to improve the teaching profession. But what do educators themselves think What do they say they need to excel in their jobs And what obstacles do they commonly face
. Teachers want to work in schools where they can thrive, and they??™re not going to thrive and extend themselves if they don??™t feel comfortable with their colleagues and the management.
It comes down to leaders creating a clear and compelling vision around learning and really going to bat for teachers. They have to create a safe environment for teachers??”an environment where teachers feel they can make decisions that matter in both their classrooms and their institute.
More broadly, effective leaders create structures in which it??™s clear that teachers have a certain authority. In some states, according to our surveys, we have only a third of teachers agreeing that they are centrally involved in school decision-making. What they want from leaders is to have processes where they can really understand their role in learning and can really respond to situations and engage in ways that make sense to them.
The pressures on principals today are overwhelming. Principals must deal with federal and state accountability systems, assessments, parents and community, and in the end, they are ultimately accountable for performance. It is difficult to let go and empower others when you know it is your neck on the line for results. But of course, in the end, it is that team effort and drawing the best from staff that will generate improved performance. That??™s just a tough leap.
And it??™s even tougher for principals if they don??™t have supportive environments, either. Many were not prepared to serve as the visionary, instructional leaders we now expect. They receive little induction and professional development of their own, and are often not empowered to make decisions at their school that they believe are necessary due to local, state, and federal policy. This is why we have started to ask principals specific questions about their support and work environment on the survey. To better understand how to empower teachers we need to understand how to empower and support strong school leaders.
Are there things that teachers themselves can do to improve their career satisfaction
That??™s a great question, and it??™s something we??™ve had to think about a lot. I mean, can you have teacher empowerment when the school leadership isn??™t necessarily willing to create safe structures and engage teachers as partners I think the answer is yes, but it??™s not easy. I think teachers in that situation need to find other outlets to be advocates for themselves, for their profession, and for their students. Between opportunities at the state and district levels, and working with parents and other community members, I think there are ways teachers can be engaged in their work and take on more active roles even when not encouraged internally to do so.
The other thing we??™ve seen is teachers working with colleagues on their own to start creating the kind of environments they want in their schools. They create professional learning communities, finding time to collaborate. They seek out their own professional development opportunities and advocate for themselves to be able to go and learn, so they can bring that knowledge back to their colleagues. But again, this takes a lot of care and commitment??”and time. It??™s hard for teachers to sustain over the long haul if they aren??™t given support from leadership.
What changes do you see in the teacher profession in the years ahead
Schools and districts are already starting to look at recruitment and retention in very different ways. For a number of reasons, for a long time teaching has been viewed as a life-long career. We had this expectation that teachers would kind of come in on day one and have their classroom and then 30 years later they??™d be doing the same thing. But now you have younger people??”the Gen-X and Gen-Y folks??”who are looking at different ways of engaging in teaching and serving schools. The perception among many elite students who are interested in teaching is that it??™s less of a career and more of a short-term way to gain experience and engage in meaningful work. I think this is just reality, and schools are starting to acknowledge this and figure out how to leverage the staff diversity it creates??”and this involves using teachers differently.
There are still going to be a lot of amazingly accomplished teachers who want to make education their lives. The important question is going to be, how can we design schools to give these teachers the flexibility and leadership capacity to mentor and get the best out of younger teachers who are maybe only planning on being in the profession for two or three years
We need to draw upon our best teachers to ensure that these short-term educators are the best they can be and that they are really hitting on all cylinders while they are in the profession. We need to find new ways to identify these core, accomplished teachers and to give them new avenues to spread their expertise??”through technology, for example. We need to create new career-advancement opportunities for them, give them greater decision-making authority and responsibility, and allow them to be successful in their work. So I think we??™re going to see a greater diversification of roles for teachers.
Teaching and Teacher Education 20 (2004) 277??“289
Influence of teacher empowerment on teachers??™ organizational
commitment, professional commitment and organizational
citizenship behavior in schools
Ronit Boglera,*, Anit Somechb
aDepartment of Education and Psychology, The Open University of Israel, P.O. Box 39328, 16 Klausner Street, Tel Aviv 61392, Israel
b Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel
The present study focuses on the relationship between teacher empowerment and teachers??™ organizational
commitment, professional commitment (PC) and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). It examines which
subscales of teacher empowerment can best predict these outcomes. The data were collected through a questionnaire
returned by a sample of 983 teachers in Israeli middle and high schools. Pearson correlations and multiple regression
analyses indicated that teachers??™ perceptions of their level of empowerment are significantly related to their feelings of
commitment to the organization and to the profession, and to their OCBs. Among the six subscales of empowerment,
professional growth, status and self-efficacy were significant predictors of organizational and PC, while decisionmaking,
self-efficacy, and status were significant predictors of OCB. Practical implications of the study are discussed in
relation to teachers, principals and policy-makers.
r 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
During the past decade, teacher empowerment
has received a great deal of attention from
researchers who studied its relationship to various
organizational outcomes. In their extensive literature
review, Sweetland and Hoy (2000) state that
though a thorough examination has been conducted
to study the relationship between teacher
empowerment and various organizational and
personal characteristics, ??????[t]he results are confusing??™??™
(p. 710). The current study aims to examine
teacher empowerment in relation to outcomes that
reflect the behavior of teachers in school. These
outcomes??”teachers??™ organizational commitment
(OC), professional commitment (PC), and organizational
citizenship behavior (OCB)??”are key
factors in their performance in a school setting
(Howell & Dorfman, 1986; Diefendorff, Brown,
Kamin, & Lord, 2002).
1. Theoretical framework
1.1. Teacher empowerment
Research on teacher empowerment began to
appear in the literature in the late 1980s (Edwards,
ARTICLE IN PRESS
*Corresponding author. Tel.: +972-3-6460617; fax: +972-3-
E-mail addresses: [email protected] (R. Bogler),
[email protected] (A. Somech).
0742-051X/$ – see front matter r 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Green, & Lyons, 2002). Empowerment, as perceived
by Short, Greer and Melvin (1994) is
defined as ??????a process whereby school participants
develop the competence to take charge of their
own growth and resolve their own problems??™??™ (p.
38). It is individuals??™ belief that they have the skills
and knowledge to improve a situation in which
they operate. In their national study on empowerment
of teacher leaders, Rinehart and Short (1991)
found that reading recovery teacher leaders were
more highly empowered than reading recovery
teachers or classroom teachers. This finding was
explained as a result of reading recovery teacher
leaders??™ having more opportunities to make
decisions and grow professionally, having control
over daily schedules and feeling a high level of
teaching competency. According to Maeroff
(1988), teacher empowerment consists of improved
status, increased knowledge and access to decisionmaking.
Short and Rinehart (1992) identify six
dimensions of teacher empowerment: decisionmaking,
professional growth, status, self-efficacy,
autonomy and impact. In a study devoted to the
concept of teacher empowerment, Short (1994a)
describes the six dimensions in detail. Decisionmaking
refers to teachers??™ participation in critical
decisions that directly affect their work, involving
issues related to budgets, teacher selection, scheduling,
and curriculum. To be effective, teachers??™
participation in decision-making must be genuine,
and the teachers need to be confident that their
decisions actually impact real outcomes. Professional
growth refers to the teachers??™ perception that
the school provides them opportunities to grow
and develop professionally, to continue to learn,
and to expand their skills during their work in
school. Status refers to the professional respect
and admiration that the teachers perceive that they
earn from colleagues. Respect is also granted for
the knowledge and expertise that the teachers
demonstrate, resulting in support of their actions
from others. Self-efficacy refers to the teachers??™
perception that they are equipped with the skills
and ability to help students learn, and are
competent to develop curricula for students. The
feeling of mastery, in both knowledge and
practice, that results in accomplishing desired
outcomes is critical in the teachers??™ sense of selfefficacy.
Autonomy refers to the teachers??™ feeling
that they have control over various aspects of their
working life, including scheduling, curriculum
development, selection of textbooks and planning
instruction. This type of control enables teachers
to feel free to make decisions related to their
educational milieu. Impact refers to the teachers??™
perception that they can affect and influence
Teacher empowerment has been studied in
relation to job satisfaction (Rinehart & Short,
1994), participation in decision-making (Gruber &
Trickett, 1987; White, 1992), commitment (Wu &
Short, 1996), conflict (Johnson & Short, 1998;
Rinehart, Short, & Johnson, 1997; Short, 1994b),
instructional practice and student academic
achievements (Marks & Louis, 1997; Smylie,
1994), and principal leadership (Blas!e & Blas!e,
1996; Johnson & Short, 1998; Kirby & Colbert,
1994; Rinehart, Short, Short, & Eckley, 1998).
Previous research (Sweetland & Hoy, 2000),
supports four assumptions regarding teacher
empowerment: first, teacher empowerment is most
effective when it is oriented to increase teacher
professionalism; second, empowerment has at least
two dimensions: organizational and classroom;
third, empowering teachers has its greatest impact
on student achievement when the emphasis is on
the core technology of teaching and learning in
schools; fourth, to be effective, teacher empowerment
needs to be authentic (pp. 710??“711). Teacher
empowerment is, therefore, perceived as a crucial
factor that affects school effectiveness (Wall &
Rinehart, 1998). In the present study, we chose
three variables that the literature found as related
to school effectiveness: organizational commitment,
PC and OCB. Teachers??™ commitment to the
organization??”the school??”has been found to
predict school effectiveness (Howell & Dorfman,
1986; Rosenholtz, 1991). A positive relationship
has been found between organizational commitment
and regular employee attendance, and an
inverse relationship between organizational commitment
and turnover intention (Balfour &
Wechsler, 1996; Porter, Steers, Mowday, & Boulian,
1974). Employees who are highly committed
to both the profession and the organization were
found to perform better than the less committed
ARTICLE IN PRESS
278 R. Bogler, A. Somech / Teaching and Teacher Education 20 (2004) 277??“289
ones, a behavior which results in improved overall
effectiveness of the organization (Aranya & Ferris,
1984). Teachers??™ PC has been found to be critical
to good instruction (Firestone & Pennell, 1993).
Finally, the impact of OCB on the school
organization is ??????dramatic??™??™; it ??????contributes to the
overall effectiveness of the school and reduces the
management component of the administrator??™s
role??™??™ (DiPaola & Tschannen-Moran, 2001, p.
434). OCB promotes organizational performance
because it presents effective measures to manage
the interdependencies between members of a work
group, and consequently increases the outcomes
achieved by the collective (Organ, 1990, Smith,
Organ, & Near, 1983). This study aims to
investigate the relationship between teacher empowerment
and these three outcomes: teachers??™
organizational and PC and their OCB. More
specifically, we attempt to determine which subscales
of teacher empowerment can best predict
1.2. The relationship between teachers??™
empowerment and their organizational and PC
Organizational commitment, as defined by
Mowday, Steers and Porter (1979), is ??????the relative
strength of an individual??™s identification with and
involvement in a particular organization??™??™ (p. 226).
This concept is based on three factors: the
acceptance of the organization??™s goals and values
(identification), the willingness to invest effort on
behalf of the organization (involvement), and the
importance attached to keeping up the membership
in the organization (loyalty). These characteristics
imply that the members of the organization
wish to be active players in the organization, have
an impact on what is going on in it, feel that they
have high status within it, and are ready to
contribute beyond what is expected of them. This
is especially true when the leaders of the organization
are perceived as adopting consultative or
participative leadership behavior, where shared
decision-making is prevalent (Yousef, 2000). In
this case, when leaders are perceived as participative,
employees feel more committed to the
organization, express higher levels of job satisfaction,
and their performance is high.
Among the empowerment subscales, the literature
refers to a number of dimensions that relate to
organizational commitment. In a number of
studies (reviewed by Firestone & Pennell, 1993),
teachers??™ autonomy in making classroom decisions,
their participation in school-wide decisionmaking,
and their opportunities to learn were
among the organizational conditions that showed
a strong association with teacher commitment to
the organization. A positive relationship was also
found between organizational commitment and
job involvement (Blau and Boal, 1989).
PC is ??????the degree to which a person??™s work
performance affects his self-esteem??™??™ (Lodahl &
Kejner, 1965, p. 25). For a person who is
professionally committed, work is a vital part of
life. This means that both the work itself and the
co-workers are very meaningful to the employee,
in addition to the importance s/he attaches to the
organization as a whole. Active participation in
decision-making increases involvement and PC,
which result in a higher level of acceptance and
satisfaction. Evers (1990) suggested that teachers??™
successful participation in decision-making could
be explained by the feeling of ownership that
comes from initiating ideas rather than responding
to others??™ proposals. Gaziel and Weiss (1990)
claimed that teachers??™ participation, based on
establishing a strong voice in decisions and
policies, was a characteristic of ??????professional
orientation??™??™, and fostered better working relations
among staff members. With regard to self-efficacy,
studies have shown that teachers with a greater
sense of efficacy are more enthusiastic about
teaching (Guskey, 1984), report a higher level of
commitment to teaching (Coladarci, 1992; Evans
& Tribble, 1986), and are more likely to remain in
teaching (Glickman & Tamashiro, 1982).
Wu and Short (1996), who studied the relationship
between teacher empowerment and teacher
job commitment and job satisfaction, found that
among the six subscales that compose the teacher
empowerment scale (SPES), professional growth,
self-efficacy and status were significant predictors
of job commitment. We were interested to see
whether similar results would be found in this
study with regard to other outcomes, such as
organizational commitment and OCB.
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R. Bogler, A. Somech / Teaching and Teacher Education 20 (2004) 277??“289 279
1.3. The relationship between teacher empowerment
The concept of OCB, derived from Katz??™s (1964)
conception of extra-role behavior, was first introduced
by Organ (1977) who defined it as behavior
that is ??????discretionary, not directly or explicitly
recognized by the formal reward system, and that
in the aggregate promotes the effective functioning
of the organization??™??™ (Organ, 1988, p. 4). Researchers
have recognized the significant impact of
OCB on the success of an organization (e.g., Chen,
Hui, & Sego, 1998; Karambayya, 1989). As several
scholars have noted (e.g., George, 1996; Katz&
Kahn, 1966; Organ & Konovsky, 1989), OCBs are
important to the organization because through
formal job descriptions, organizations cannot
anticipate the whole range of behaviors needed
for the achievement of organizational goals
(Vanyperen, van den Berg, & Willering, 1999).
OCB provides the organization with additional
resources and eliminates the need for expensive
formal mechanisms otherwise crucial to successful
restructuring processes. Today, as schools move
into a new era of reorganization (Blas!e & Blas!e,
1996; Clement & Vandenberghe, 2000; Reitzug,
1994; Wall & Rinehart, 1998), performancedefined
as prescribed by task roles??”is necessary
but not sufficient for predicting school effectiveness.
Therefore, schools will have to be more
dependent on teachers who are willing to exert
considerable effort beyond formal job requirements,
namely, to engage in OCB. (Somech &
OCB refers to various dimensions such as
altruism, conscientiousness (also termed ??????generalized
compliance??™??™), sportsmanship, courtesy, and
civic virtue (Organ, 1988); obedience, loyalty, and
various types of participation (Van Dyne, Graham,
& Dienesch, 1994); and helping and voice
(Stamper & Van Dyne, 2001; Van Dyne & LePine,
The notion of behaviors directed towards the
individual and the organization was first introduced
by Williams and Anderson (1991), and in
the educational setting, it corresponds to behaviors
directed towards students, teacher colleagues,
and to the whole school. OCBs operate
indirectly; they influence the social and psychological
environment of organizations, which in turn
influence the technical core (Diefendorff et al.,
2002). OCB affects the technical core since it
involves extra role behaviors of some teachers
toward students and teachers. These teachers help
students with class materials, acquire expertise in
new areas that contribute to their work, prepare
special assignments for higher- or lower-level
students, volunteer for school committees, set up
learning programs for substitute teachers, help
absent colleagues by assigning learning tasks to
their classes, and work collaboratively with others.
All these OCBs relate to the technical core of the
organization. However, in the case of teachers who
exhibit OCBs, they also help to achieve organization
goals. This is reflected through extra role
behaviors toward the organization, expressed by
teachers organizing social activities for the school,
volunteering for roles and tasks that are not part
of their jobs, providing innovative suggestions to
improve the school and by organizing joint
activities with parents above the norm. Research
on OCB in schools is very limited (DiPaola &
Tschannen-Moran, 2001). In this study, we have
adopted the concept of OCB as investigated in
educational settings. Based on Zimmerman and
Rappaport (1988) who view the concept of
empowerment as a ??????sense of civic duty??™??™ involving
democratic participation and affecting community
life and social issues (p. 136), one can expect to find
a relationship between empowerment and OCB.
Participation in decision-making, one of the characteristics
of teacher empowerment, has been found
to lead to engagement in OCB in various contexts
(Porter, Lawler, & Hackman, 1996). Self-efficacy
has been found to be related to OCB toward the
team and the organization, but not related to the
student (Somech & Drach-Zahavy, 2000).
To date, limited research has been conducted on
the relationship between teachers??™ commitment to
the organization, their PC, OCB, and teacher
empowerment. Since the current literature cannot
lead to definite hypotheses regarding the relationship
between the subscales of teacher empowerment
and school outcomes, it is our goal to
determine which subscales best predict the three
outcomes: teachers??™ organizational commitment,
ARTICLE IN PRESS
280 R. Bogler, A. Somech / Teaching and Teacher Education 20 (2004) 277??“289
PC and OCB. The findings of the study may have
important implications for teachers and principals,
and consequently for the entire school.
The teachers in this study were sampled from a
random sample of schools located in the northern
and central parts of Israel. The sample consisted of
983 teachers in 25 middle schools (grades 7??“9) and
27 high schools (grades 10??“12). Although it was
not possible to reach a random sample of all
schools in Israel, care was taken to select urban,
suburban and rural schools from diverse populations
that represent the composition of teachers in
Israel with regard to gender and religion, age and
education. Seventy-two percent were women; 73
percent Jewish and the rest Arab. Of the Jewish
teachers, 78 percent were female, and of the Arab
teachers, almost half (46 percent) were male. The
average age was 38.5, with an average of 10 years
of seniority in the current school, and 13.5 years of
seniority as teachers. Sixty-four percent had a
Bachelor??™s degree, 26 percent had a Master??™s
degree and 10 percent had a ??????professional??™??™ degree
(equivalent to a junior college diploma, with
teaching credentials). These demographic characteristics
were similar to those found in comparable
studies on teachers in Israel (Rosenblatt, 2001;
Somech & Drach-Zahavy, 2000).
2.2. Research instrument
A quantitative questionnaire, combining four
Likert scales measuring OC, PC, OCB and teacher
empowerment, was mailed in 2001 to teachers in
52 middle and high schools. The respondents were
asked to refer to their current school, and to
answer a range of questions about their feelings of
empowerment, their commitment to the school
and the profession, and their OCB in school.
Teacher empowerment was measured using the
School Participant Empowerment Scale (SPES)
(Short & Rinehart, 1992). The SPES measures
teachers??™ overall perception of empowerment. It is
a 38-item instrument on a 5-point scale (scored
from 1=strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree).
Factor analysis of the SPES revealed six dimensions
at the basis of the construct. The dimensions
and their internal consistency estimates (coefficient
alphas) are: involvement in decision-making
(0.89); opportunities for professional growth
(0.83); status (0.86); self-efficacy (0.84); autonomy
(0.81); and impact (0.82). The overall scale has
reliability of 0.94 and the same reliability level of
alpha was found in the current study. Examples of
items are: ??????I make decision about the implementation
of new programs in the school??™??™ (decisionmaking),
??????I am treated as a professional??™??™ (professional
growth), ??????I believe that I have earned
respect??™??™ (status), ??????I believe that I am empowering
students??™??™ (self-efficacy), ??????I have the freedom to
make decisions on what is taught??™??™ (autonomy),
and ??????I believe that I have an impact??™??™ (impact).
Organizational commitment was measured using
Mowday et al.??™s (1979) Organizational Commitment
Questionnaire (OCQ). This 15-item instrument
measures affective rather than normative or
continuance commitment, by asking the respondents
to refer to their identification with and
involvement in a particular organization. Examples
of items are: ??????I tell my friends that this school
is a great school to work for??™??™ and ??????I feel very little
loyalty to this school??™??™ (reverse coded). A 7-point
scale (scored from 1=strongly disagree to
7=strongly agree) was used. Scores on the 15
items were averaged to yield a summary score
representing organizational commitment. The internal
reliability estimates for the OCQ scores were
strong across Mowday et al.??™s (1979) six samples
(ranging from 0.82 to 0.93) and resulted in a
single-factor solution. In the current study, the
reliability level of alpha was 0.87.
Professional commitment was measured using
Lodahl and Kejner??™s (1965) 20-item scale, specifically
adjusted to the educational setting. This
instrument focuses on teachers??™ job involvement
and on the importance of work to them in general.
Examples of items are: ??????I live my job as a teacher
24 h a day??™??™ and ??????Most things in my life are more
important than my work??™??™ (reverse coded). A 5-
point scale (scored from 1=strongly disagree to
5=strongly agree), was used. Scores on the 20
ARTICLE IN PRESS
R. Bogler, A. Somech / Teaching and Teacher Education 20 (2004) 277??“289 281
items were averaged to yield a summary score
representing PC. The reliability level of alpha in
this study was 0.87.
Organizational citizenship behavior was measured
using a 23-item scale developed and validated
in the school context (Somech & Drach-
Zahavy, 2000). This instrument refers to discretionary
behaviors that go beyond existing role
expectations and are directed toward the individual,
the group, or the organization as a unit. The
OCB scale consists of three subscales: (a) eight
items relate to students (e.g., ??????I stay after school
hours to help students with materials covered in
class??™??™), with a reliability level of alpha of 0.80; (b)
seven items relate to colleagues (e.g., ??????I help an
absent colleague by assigning learning tasks to the
class??™??™), with a reliability level of alpha of 0.77; and
(c) eight items relate to the school as a unit (e.g., ??????I
make innovative suggestions to improve the
school??™??™), with a reliability level of alpha of 0.87.
A 5-point scale (scored from 1=strongly disagree
to 5=strongly agree), was used. Scores on the 23
items were averaged to yield a summary score
representing OCB. The reliability level of alpha in
the current study was 0.92.
Preliminary analyses of t-tests were performed
to determine whether there were gender and type
of school (secondary/high schools) differences with
regard to the research variables (i.e., teacher
empowerment, organizational commitment, PC
and OCB). The results revealed no significant
differences (p > 0:05). In addition, the correlations
between the other demographic variables (education
and length of tenure) and the research
variables were marginal (below 0.09); hence, we
treated the participants as one group.
Means, standard deviations and intercorrelations
for the research variables are shown in Table 1.
An examination of the means of the subscales of
the SPES revealed that the subscales that received
the highest scores were status (M ? 4:1), professional
growth (M ? 3:8), impact (M ? 3:7) and
self-efficacy (M ? 3:7). The lowest average score
was ascribed to decision-making (M ? 3:1). The
Pearson correlation matrix revealed that all six
subscales were significantly (po0:0001) and positively
correlated with organizational commitment
(ranging from 0.34 to 0.65), PC (ranging from 0.37
to 0.68) and OCB (ranging from 0.21 to 0.61). The
more the teachers perceived themselves as practicing
any of the teacher empowerment components,
the more they expressed commitment towards the
organization, the profession, and OCBs. In addition,
the correlation between organizational commitment
and PC was positive and significant
(r ? 0:68).
Multiple regression analysis was employed to
identify which empowerment dimensions best
ARTICLE IN PRESS
Descriptive statistics and correlations
Variable Mean s.d. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1. Decision-making1 3.1 0.73 0.54 0.34 0.60 0.63 0.63 0.34 0.41 0.61
2. Professional growth1 3.8 0.69 0.72 0.74 0.55 0.73 0.65 0.60 0.36
3. Statusa 4.1 0.62 0.62 0.44 0.67 0.58 0.51 0.21
4. Self-efficacya 3.7 0.65 0.56 0.77 0.53 0.58 0.50
5. Autonomya 3.3 0.84 0.61 0.37 0.37 0.39
6. Impacta 3.7 0.72 0.50 0.54 0.44
7. OCb 4.3 0.83 0.68 0.41
8. PCa 3.4 0.59 0.20
9. OCBc 3.1 0.72
Variables 1??“6 are subscales of ??????teacher empowerment??™??™.
All correlations are statistically significant, po0:0001:
a Rating scale: 1=Strongly disagree; 5=Strongly agree
b Rating scale: 1=Strongly disagree; 7=Strongly agree
c Rating scale: 1=Very seldom; 5=Very often
282 R. Bogler, A. Somech / Teaching and Teacher Education 20 (2004) 277??“289
predict teachers??™ organizational commitment, PC
and OCB (see Tables 2??“4).
Tables 2??“4 show the results of the multiple
regression analysis for each of the outcomes:
organizational commitment, PC and OCB, respectively.
For each regression, all six components of
teacher empowerment were included in the equation.
Table 2 shows that three predictor variables??”
professional growth, status, and selfefficacy??”
were statistically significant predictors
of organizational commitment and explained 44
percent of its variance (F?3674? ? 173:65;
po0:0001). Results of the second multiple regression
analysis (Table 3) indicate that the same three
predictors??”self-efficacy, professional growth, and
status??”were statistically significant predictors of
PC and explained 40 percent of its variance
(F?3665? ? 148:1; po0:0001). Results of the third
multiple regression analysis (Table 4) indicate that
three predictors??”decision-making, self-efficacy,
and status??”were statistically significant predictors
of OCB and also explained 40 percent of its
variance (F?3640? ? 144:23; po0:0001). An evaluation
of the assumptions of each of the three
regression models yielded no violations of assumptions
of linearity, normality, and homoscedasticity
The findings regarding the means of the six
dimensions of teacher empowerment appear to be
consistent with previous studies. Wall and Rinehart
(1998), for example, found that the most
frequent dimensions of empowerment, amongst
high school teachers, were in descending order:
status (M ? 4:14; s.d.=0.51), self-efficacy, impact,
professional growth, autonomy and decisionmaking
(M ? 2:94; s.d.=0.72). In the present
study, we found very similar results: status
(M ? 4:10; s.d.=0.62), professional growth, impact,
self-efficacy, autonomy and decision-making
(M ? 3:06; s.d.=0.73). These findings imply that
teachers feel that they are respected (status), have
opportunities for professional growth, are effective
at their job (impact) and perform well (selfefficacy).
Yet, in both the American sample and
in our population, teachers did not feel that they
were involved in the process of decision-making.
We can speculate that either teachers are not
aware of their involvement, or that they really
ARTICLE IN PRESS
Regression coefficients and F-test value for organizational
Variable B SE b F R2
Professional growth 0.62 0.07 0.44___ 87.69 0.44
Status 0.36 0.07 0.22___ (6,671,
Self-efficacy 0.23 0.07 0.15
Autonomy 0.01 0.05 0.01
Decision making 0.03 0.06 0.02
Impact 0.12 0.07 0.09
Constant 0.63 0.20
Regression coefficients and F-test value for professional
Variable B SE b F R2
Self-efficacy 0.25 0.05 0.29___ 75.47 0.41
Professional growth 0.19 0.05 0.23___ (6,662,
Status 0.11 0.04 0.12_
Autonomy 0.05 0.03 0.07
Decision making 0.06 0.04 0.08
Impact 0.05 0.04 0.06
Constant 1.08 0.12
Regression coefficients and F-test value for organizational
Variable B SE b F R2
Decision-making 0.46 0.04 0.46___ 71.88 0.40
Self-efficacy 0.39 0.06 0.35___ (6,637,
Status 0.17 0.05 0.14___
Autonomy 0.002 0.04 0.002
Impact 0.003 0.06 0.003
Professional growth 0.04 0.06 0.03
Constant 1.04 0.16
R. Bogler, A. Somech / Teaching and Teacher Education 20 (2004) 277??“289 283
were not given the opportunity to participate in
various forms of school decision-making. (Wall &
Rinehart, 1998 suggest these considerations in
their discussion about the role of the school
councils in the schools they sampled).
The results of the present study showed that two
of the six subscales, self-efficacy and status,
significantly predicted all three outcomes: organizational
commitment, PC and OCB. Another
subscale, professional growth, predicted two of
the outcomes: organizational and PC. Participation
in decision-making predicted OCB. The
results regarding the criterion variable, organizational
commitment, correspond with earlier findings
that investigated the SPES subscales (Wu &
Short, 1996). In their study, Wu and Short found
that professional growth, self-efficacy and status
predicted organizational commitment and explained
45 per cent of its variance. These same
subscales were found to explain 44 per cent of the
variance of organizational commitment in the
Self-efficacy is one??™s perception of one??™s competence
and ability to act. In educational settings, it
was found that when teachers believe that they can
make a difference with their students, they do
(Gibson & Dembo, 1984). The importance of selfefficacy
as a predictor of all three outcomes can be
understood if we relate to the original concept of
self-efficacy developed by Bandura (1977). According
to Bandura, self-efficacy is based on two
dimensions that he labeled ??????outcome expectancy??™??™
and ??????efficacy expectancy??™??™ (p. 79). ??????Outcome
expectancy??™??™ implies that an individual estimates
that a given behavior will result in certain outcomes.
??????Efficacy expectations??™??™ refer to behaviors
toward the expected outcomes. Not surprisingly,
where teachers report higher levels of self-efficacy,
they exhibit more organizational behaviors. Teachers
who have high expectations of themselves to
perform effectively and successfully in school will
carry out extra functions beyond the formal ones
and will feel more committed to their school and
to the teaching profession.
With regard to status, our findings demonstrate
that teachers who have a high sense of status in
their work tend to invest in more OCBs and to feel
more committed to the organization and to the
teaching profession than teachers who do not
express that level of status recognition. Teachers
who perceive that they have the professional
respect and admiration of their colleagues, in
addition to acknowledgement of their expertise
and knowledge, will be more inclined to contribute
to their schools. Their contribution will be
exhibited in the expression of greater commitment
to the profession and the organization and in
practicing OCBs that reflect helping others (students,
colleagues, and the organization as a
Professional growth, one??™s belief that one works
in a supportive and nurturing environment that
stimulates professional growth and development,
may impact one??™s feeling of commitment to the
organization and the profession. The more teachers
perceive that they have opportunities for
professional growth, the more they will strive to
act for the good of the organization and the
profession. According to Firestone and Pennell
(1993), the knowledge demands of the new
teaching strategies have stimulated the need to
bring about the professionalization of teaching, of
which professional growth is one measure. Teachers??™
commitment depends on their drive and will
to grow professionally, a fact that has implications
for the quality of instruction that the teachers will
Lastly, participation in decision-making, the
subscale of teacher empowerment that was one
of the predictors of OCB, was found in previous
research to be linked to OCB (e.g., Vanyperen
et al., 1999). Participation in decision-making is
joint decision-making or decision-making that is a
product of shared influence by a superior and his
or her employee (Koopman & Wierdsma, 1998). It
was found to affect job satisfaction (Rice &
Schneider, 1994) and as such, it is reasonable to
assume that teachers satisfied with their jobs will,
among others, exhibit more OCBs. A number of
studies have shown a positive relationship between
participation in decision-making and organizational
commitment (e.g., Hoy, Tartar, & Bliss,
1990; Louis & Smith, 1991). In the present study,
there was significant positive correlation between
the two; however, decision-making was not found
to be a predictor of organizational commitment
ARTICLE IN PRESS
284 R. Bogler, A. Somech / Teaching and Teacher Education 20 (2004) 277??“289
but rather of OCB. One might expect that teachers
who report that they participate in decisionmaking
processes in their school will show more
OCBs that are reflected in activities beyond their
existing role expectations. However, it was surprising
that participative decision-making was not
found to be a predictor of organizational commitment.
One explanation for this finding may be the
fact that decision-making was treated as a onedimensional
construct rather than a two-dimensional
one. Decision-making in the school setting
involves participation in decision-making in the
technical domain (i.e., dealing with students
and instruction), and in the managerial
domain (i.e., dealing with school operations
and administration). By combining these two
dimensions, which may sometimes conflict, we
may have caused cancellation out of both. In
another study, Somech and Bogler (2002) found
that teachers??™ participation in technical decisions
did not predict organizational commitment; however,
teachers??™ participation in managerial decisions
was found to predict organizational
Findings regarding the significant positive correlation
between organizational commitment and
PC confirm previous research (e.g., Cohen, 2000),
and contradict other research that asserted that
there may be a conflict between the two concepts
(e.g., Wallace, 1993). The results of the present
study may imply that there is no inherent conflict
between organizational commitment and PC,
although a tension between the two may exist
(Aranya & Ferris, 1984).
Teacher??™s perceived autonomy and impact were
the least effective predictors of any of the outcomes
examined, since both these variables
were excluded from the regression equation.
Although these findings are consistent with
other research which examined the predictors of
job satisfaction and organizational commitment
among the six dimensions of teacher empowerment
(Wu & Short, 1996), they are somewhat
surprising. One would expect teachers who
experience a high level of autonomy and feel that
they have great impact on what is going in school,
to report higher levels of commitment to the
school and to their profession and to contribute
more than expected of them to the school. The
current results imply that the two constructs,
autonomy and impact, may not be directly related
to the outcomes examined here since individuals
who feel that they are autonomous and have
impact in their workplace do not necessarily
translate these feelings into behaviors that reflect
great commitment to the organization, to the
profession, or to OCB.
It is interesting to relate OCB to the concept of a
teacher professional community or a teacher
learning community (Darling-Hammond & Sykes,
1999). A professional community of teachers is
characterized by three key features: a common set
of activities that provide frequent face-to-face
interaction, specific organizational structures to
assist in developing common understandings,
values and expectations for behavior to evolve,
and a core of shared values regarding what
students should learn, how faculty and students
should behave and the shared goals to maintain
and support the community (Louis, Kruse, &
Bryk, 1995). Obviously, such a professional learning
community involves the establishment of a
school-wide culture that makes collaboration
expected, wide-ranging, authentic, continuing,
and focused on student outcomes (Toole & Louis,
2002, Chapter 8). In order for such a community
to exist, it is expected that extra-role behaviors, in
addition to in-role behaviors, should be implemented
in the school setting. Without applying
discretionary behaviors that go beyond the existing
role expectations, and that are directed to the
students, the teachers and the school organization
as a unit, it would be almost impossible for a
community of teachers to become a professional
learning community. Kruse, Louis and Bryk
(1995) indicate that one of the ??????preconditions??™??™
for the development of a professional learning
community is the openness to improvement, trust
and respect, access to expertise, supportive leadership
and socialization. To achieve these human
and social resources, it is crucial that teachers
demonstrate OCB, since this affects the social and
psychological environment of the organization
reflected in shared norms and values, a focus on
student learning, reflective dialogue with colleagues,
and peer collaboration.
ARTICLE IN PRESS
R. Bogler, A. Somech / Teaching and Teacher Education 20 (2004) 277??“289 285
5. Conclusions and implications
This study primarily investigated the relationship
between teacher empowerment and organizational
commitment, PC and OCB. The findings
demonstrate that a number of teacher empowerment
dimensions have an impact on these outcomes
in the school setting, but a number of
limitations should be considered when interpreting
these findings. First, since all measures used are
self-reports, common method variance is a problem,
as well as social desirability effects.
Although self-report data are commonly used to
measure individual self-perception (Spector, 1994),
one should bear in mind that they may not reflect
the actual performance of the respondents. Second,
although in selecting the sampled schools,
care was taken with regard to the representation of
urban, suburban and rural schools serving diverse
populations that represented the composition of
teachers in Israel with regard to gender, religion,
age and education, we cannot generalize from this
sample to all middle and high schools in Israel
since the schools were located in the northern and
central parts of Israel. Related to the issue of
sampling is our 41 percent response rate, a rate not
unusual in social science studies (e.g., Bogler, 1994;
Kidder, 2002; Williams & Shiaw, 1999), but a
factor which should be kept in mind when
attempting to generalize to a larger population.
A study that randomly and representatively
samples all the middle and high schools in the
country could allow such generalization. In addition,
this study viewed each variable as a single
scale rather than as a multi-faceted one. In
contrast, organizational commitment was studied
elsewhere (Hartmann & Bambacas, 2000) as a
multi-method scale with three dimensions: affective
commitment, continuance commitment, and
normative commitment. This multi-level method
may provide a better understanding of the
phenomenon than using a single scale.
One of the important contributions of the
present study is that it underscores the relative
effects of four teacher empowerment dimensions
on the important outcomes of organizational
commitment, PC and OCB in the school. These
outcomes have been found to be beneficial to
organizations. PC is considered a major determinant
of organizational effectiveness (Pfeffer, 1994)
and individual motivation (Hackman and Lawler,
1971). Organizational commitment has been found
to affect employee identification with the organization,
level of effort, and turnover (Stroh &
Reilly, 1997). OCB has been linked to increased
performance (Brief & Motowidlo, 1989). Two of
the teacher empowerment dimensions, self-efficacy
and status, appear to be crucial in predicting all
three organizational outcomes and should therefore
be strongly acknowledged by school principals
who strive to raise teachers??™ commitment to
the organization and to the profession and to
increase teachers??™ motivation toward OCB for the
benefit of the school. Principals need to establish
working conditions that will bring teachers to
perceive themselves as having a high level of
competency, and experiencing high status and selfesteem.
Second, teachers who view themselves as professionals
or perceive opportunities to grow professionally
may contribute more to the school as their
commitment to the organization and to the
profession increases. Principals need to recognize
that the feelings and perceptions of teachers about
their schools, and their desire to attain opportunities
for professional growth, are beneficial to the
organization itself. Finally, based on the finding
that participation in decision-making is a predictor
of OCB, school principals should acknowledge the
significance of the extra-role, rather than the inrole,
nature of OCB since it carries great advantages
for other members in the organization,
including other teachers, students and the school
as a whole. Thus, principals??™ practice of jointdecision-
making should be recognized as highly
important to the organization and its members.
The findings of the study should also be acknowledged
by policy-makers outside the school on the
assumption that achieving high levels of organizational
commitment, PC and OCB are important to
them. Thus, the Ministry of Education, as the
centralized office, and its operational units on the
local level, should encourage participation of
teachers in seminars and programs that stress
teachers??™ professional growth and self-efficacy. It
is assumed that once the teachers experience
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286 R. Bogler, A. Somech / Teaching and Teacher Education 20 (2004) 277??“289
greater opportunities for professional growth and
acquire greater trust in their ability to achieve
high-order goals (i.e., greater self-efficacy), their
status will rise as well. As a result, and in addition
to participating in shared decision-making with
the principal, teachers may feel empowered at
school, a fact that will reflect on their feelings of
commitment toward the organization, the profession
and their extra-role behavior.
Possible extensions of this study could be to
examine the effects of other variables, such as
perceived supervisory support (Vanyperen et al.,
1999) or job satisfaction, as mediating variables in
the relationship between teacher empowerment (or
its subscales) and school outcomes (either those
that were examined in the present study or others).
In addition, since the current study was conducted
in middle and high schools, it may be worthwhile
to investigate elementary schools to determine
whether the results presented here reflect the
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