Term of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Devon Jensen

Committee Member 1

Mohomodou Boncana

Committee Member 2

Paulette Harris


The purpose of this mixed methodology case study was to determine the influence that leadership styles had on teacher job satisfaction. The study was conducted in two rural Title I Georgia districts, and the target population was 86 secondary teachers. The principals in the study completed the Path-Goal Leadership Questionnaire that was used to determine their leadership styles. The teachers completed the Teacher Job Satisfaction and Retention Survey that yielded their job satisfaction levels in six categories. The categories were: rapport with principal, satisfaction with teaching, teacher responsibilities and workload, rapport with teachers, curricular and organizational issues, and retention. The teachers’ job satisfaction ratings were compared to their principals’ leadership styles. All surveys were mailed to the five participating secondary schools, which were three middle and two high schools.

The quantitative data analysis that resulted from the leadership and teacher surveys were presented in narrative form with corresponding tables. The Path-Goal Leadership Questionnaire consisted of 20-items. The principals’ leadership styles were identified from the ordinal data. The teacher Job Satisfaction and Retention Survey consisted of 34-items that included demographic items. Also, the survey yielded the teachers’ job satisfaction levels for the six survey categories. From the Teacher Job Satisfaction and Retention Survey data, 10 teachers were purposefully selected to participate in interviews. The researcher conducted in-depth interviews were conducted to explore the reasons why teachers were satisfied with their teaching positions at their current schools.

The qualitative data from the interviews were analyzed by the researcher. The interview responses from all the teachers were categorized by recurring themes, related ideas, and responses pertinent to the purpose of the study. The intent of the analysis of the qualitative data was to further explore and identify the reasons why teachers were satisfied with their jobs.

The findings from the quantitative portion of the study yielded that the directive leadership style was the most dominant. The more directive principals were, the higher the teachers’ job satisfaction levels. In addition, the demographic data in the study were also used to identify job satisfaction levels. The data revealed that teachers who were teaching non-content related courses such as fine arts, physical education, and technical courses had higher job satisfaction levels. Also, teachers who had taught at their current schools for 16 or more years had a job satisfaction level of 3.14 on a four-point Likert scale.

The qualitative findings of this study revealed that the reasons the teachers were satisfied teaching at their current schools was because their principals were very supportive. They provided the teachers with the necessary materials that they needed to perform their jobs effectively. In addition, the principals allowed their teachers to participate in making instructional decisions that affected the teachers directly. The teachers were also satisfied with the rapport that they had with their students. Educators enjoyed teaching their content and their students. Teachers believed that the strong positive relationships with their students and colleagues were also reasons why they enjoyed teaching at their current schools. The results of this study were pertinent to school districts that want to maintain a positive school culture and retain their current teachers.