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Research On Teachers' Psychological Empowerment

Posted on:2010-02-19Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:J L WangFull Text:PDF
GTID:1117360275499016Subject:Development and educational psychology
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As a hot topic in the research area of organizational behavior and management psychology, psychological empowerment has an important influence on individual's working attitude, working behaviors and organizational performance. Studies on empowerment began in 1980s, which was based on the management practicers' and researchers' reflections on management empowerment, another perspective to study empowerment. With the ongoing of the educational revolution in Western countries in 1980s, studies on empowerment were also introduced into educational domain. However, most studies on empowerment in educational domain were conducted from the management empowerment perspective, not from psychological perspective, although management empowerment is important for psychological empowerment. In later 1980s, research on empowerment from a psychological perspective was introduced by Thomas and Conger. Previous studies have examined the factors influencing psychological empowerment and the working outcomes resulted from psychological empowerment, and several researchers have put forward their psychological empowerment models, theoretically or empirically. Research on psychological empowerment in China is just at its initial stage, and research about empowerment in educational domain in China is mostly conducted from the pedagogical perspective, not a psychological perspective. Based on the educational reality in China and previous studies on psychological empowerment, we had examined teachers' psychological empowerment. In details, exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis were used to obtain a psychometrical sound scale to measure teachers' psychological empowerment; the characteristics of the teachers' empowerment in China were explored; multiple regression and structural equation model technical were used to examined the relationship between teachers' psychological empowerment, self-esteem, attributional style and school organizational climate, the influence of psychological empowerment on individual and organizational performance; using the experimental paradigm borrowed from social cognitive psychology research, we found that individuals with lower level of psychological empowerment had bias on coding, recognizing and priming information related to psychological empowerment.This study consisted of six parts, referring to teachers' psychological empowerment's structure, influencing factors, characteristics, working outcomes resulted from psychological empowerment, and the characteristics of cognitive processing among individuals with lower level psychological empowerment. The following conclusions were made:Teacher's psychological empowerment was a multi-facet structure, including empowerment feeling dimension, empowerment skill dimension and empowerment behavior component, with these three dimensions having casual relationship and each dimension including its own factors.The teachers' psychological empowerment questionnaire was psychometrically sound and could be used to measure the psychological empowerment among teachers in China.According to the sample in this study, the development of teachers' psychological empowerment was at a middle level, with variance on each of its factors. The scores on self-efficacy factor and influencing instruction factor were at a top level, while scores on work influence factor and decision-making involvement factor were at a lower level.On a whole, the level of psychological empowerment improved with the increase of teachers' ages and tenures. Significant difference existed between male and female teachers on the scores of psychological empowerment. Teachers from primary schools reported higher level of psychological empowerment, compared with teachers from middle or high school. Teachers from key schools reported higher scores than those from non-key schools. Teachers' psychological empowerment increased with the improvement of teachers professional titles. Teachers on administrative positions reported higher level of psychological empowerment than teachers who are not on administrative positions.Teachers' psychological empowerment was significantly related to teachers' self-esteem, and teachers' self-esteem could be predictive of their psychological empowerment.Teachers' psychological empowerment was significantly related with school organizational climate. Specially, the performance recognition, colleague interaction, professional development, decision-making involvement, and supportive leadership had different predictive effects on different dimensions of psychological empowerment, respectively.Teachers' psychological empowerment could predict teachers' individual performance and school organizational performance.Teachers with low level of psychological empowerment had bias on processing information related to psychological empowerment.Overall, this study contributed to the research of teachers psychological empowerment in the following aspects: first, based on Zimmerman's empowerment theory, the teacher psychological empowerment questionnaire developed in this study measured not only the intrapersonal component of psychological empowerment, but also the interactional component and behavioral component, which had broken through the limit of previous measurement tools that only examined the intrapersonal component. Second, we had explored the characteristics of psychological empowerment among teachers in China, examined the relationship between teachers' individual variables and school organizational climate, studied the mechanism underlie which psychological empowerment influence individual performance and organizational performance and found that teachers with low level of psychological empowerment had cognitive bias when processing relevant information. Third, we had introduced methods used in social cognitive domain into psychological empowerment area and found the existence of negative self-schema among teachers with low level psychological empowerment. Fourth, based on previous studies and our empirical study, we put forward that teachers' psychological empowerment is that teacher has the belief that he or she has an influence on his or her work, and know to take appropriate actions to influence his or her work through practical behaviors.
Keywords/Search Tags:psychological empowerment, self-esteem, attributional style, performance, cognitive process
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