Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


School principals--Job satisfaction--Iowa; Public schools--Employees--Job satisfaction--Iowa;


In recent decades, job satisfaction has been the theme of numerous studies in both public and private organizations. As some researchers report, the examinations into the job satisfaction of school administrators have been frequently overlooked. Little attention has been given to job satisfaction among public school principals serving at elementary and secondary levels.

On a daily basis a wide variety of demands are being placed on principals. The legislature and taxpayers demand more services, industry expects competent workers, parents insist that social issues ought to be addressed, and the public wants achievement scores to improve. As a result, principals are incredibly pressed for time and energy. Determining the job satisfaction level of principals in Iowa this study provides insight into the situation in the principalship and the support that principals need in order to feel satisfaction in their jobs.

The primary purpose of this study was to examine the job satisfaction of Iowa public school principals and contrast the current job satisfaction to the perceptions six years previously. Additional study allowed a look at the demographic components of Iowa public school principals as contrasted with the 1999 study. Further analysis examined the job satisfaction of Iowa public school principals based on sex, years served as a principal, years served in present school and type of school. Finally, it was intended to determine the relationship between overall job satisfaction and leadership and management tasks and whether there is a significant change from the 1999 to 2005 study in motivators and hygiene factors for principals' job satisfaction as defined by Herzberg's theory.

The population for the 1999 and 2005 study was a sample of principals from Iowa public elementary, middle/junior high, and high schools. With 894 surveys completed and returned in 1999, this study proceeded with a 76% response rate. In 2005 study the response rate was 64.3%.

The results of the study showed that in spite of new added responsibilities and accountabilities principals are overall more satisfied in the 2005 than they were in 1999. Principals were very satisfied in both studies with the relationships with teachers, parents, administrative team/cabinet, board of education, with the quality of relationship with the superintendent, and with sense of accomplishments. They were less satisfied with time community demands placed on principals, salary, and the community's image of school administrators. The time available for activities that put balance in the life of principals, extracurricular demands, and time spent on leadership and management tasks were factors that were rated with lower satisfaction in both studies. The findings confirmed the trend that principals spent more time on the management of their schools than on leadership tasks. Principals were more satisfied with hygiene factors than with motivators in the 1999 and the 2005 studies. This contradicts Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory. Those principals who spent more time on management and leadership activities were more satisfied overall in both studies.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Postsecondary Education

First Advisor

David Else, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (xvi, 319 pages)



File Format