Job Satisfaction among High School Athletic Administrators

Article excerpt

Coaching and supervising high school sport programs can be a rewarding but stressful career.

Many researchers have identified a close relationship between occupational stress and job satisfaction, or how one feels about the job(Burke 1971; Buck, 1972; Howard, 1978). Most studies of job satisfaction in education have tended to focus on teachers. Much less attention has been paid to the effects of a stressful environment on the effectiveness of high school coaches and other athletic administrators, particularly those serving in a dual or multi-role capacity. There is not an abundance of data that has indicated a strong relationship between job satisfaction, performance, stress, and health. Nevertheless, the job satisfaction problems often seen in the business world, are also present in the highly visible, competitive world of athletics.

Hoppock (1935) defined job-satisfaction as any combination of psychological, physiological, and environmental circumstances that causes a person to say "I am satisfied with my job." Similarly, Locke (1969) viewed overall job satisfaction as "the pleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job as achieving or facilitating the achievement of one's values" (p.316). He explained that values exist in relation to their perceived effects on the individual. Thus, "the causes of job satisfaction are not in the job nor solely in man but lie in the relationship between them" (p.319).

Davis (1981) surveyed 246 public school teacher/coaches to determine their job satisfaction levels. The researcher's survey identified relationships with coworkers and challenging work as being more valuable than resource adequacy or financial rewards. The investigator further reported that the work climate, morale, and communication patterns also affected overall job satisfaction.

Parkhouse and Johnson conducted a study of 37 departments and 229 athletic administrators from large schools throughout the nation. The Job Descriptive Index (JDI) was used to evaluate job satisfaction levels. Personal growth and autonomy were the top items indicated or desired for high job satisfaction.

The above studies gives support to Herzberg et. al., (1959) theory which indicated that factors relating to job satisfaction were intrinsic (e.g., the work itself, personal growth and development) in nature. Those factors that were concerned with job content and job dissatisfaction were extrinsic in nature. These studies were further supported by the research of Johnson, Oliver, Herman, & Levick (1982). They noted that the work environment, relationship with co-workers, and a person's perceived position within the organization may affect job satisfaction levels the most.

Much of the literature has indicated that much of the dissatisfaction of athletic administrators comes from performing dual or multi-roles. Most athletic administrators including coaches are required to perform some teaching duties in their work setting. Rog (1984) emphasized that teaching and coaching are separate jobs with some very large and critical differences. An athletic administrator job duties include planning and conducting interscholastic practice sessions, motivating highly skilled athletes, preparing the athletic program budget, fund-raising, scheduling games, teaching, and many other pertinent duties.

Many educators use the term "role conflict" to identify any situations where there are incompatible expectations for the different roles--for example, high expectation for the athletic programs and lower expectation in the academic programs. …