Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Childcare Teachers' Job Satisfaction: Effects of Personality, Conflict-Handling, and Organizational Characteristics

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Childcare Teachers' Job Satisfaction: Effects of Personality, Conflict-Handling, and Organizational Characteristics

Article excerpt

Quality childcare plays a significant role in children's well-being, work-family balance, and socioeconomic development. Given that job satisfaction affects the professional practices of childcare teachers, a clear understanding of factors conducive to job satisfaction appears to be crucial. Job satisfaction is defined as "the extent to which a person likes (satisfaction) or dislikes (dissatisfaction) his/her job" (Spector, 1997, p. 2), and has been found to be associated with various individual personality traits, interpersonal factors, and organizational environments.

Previous researchers of job satisfaction have been focused primarily on the effects of individual personality components, such as self-esteem, emotional intelligence, self-efficacy, and professionalism (Park, Yang, & Wee, 2014; Youssef & Luthans, 2007). In particular, the DISC model of behavior, devised by Marston (1928), is regarded as one of the most powerful personality theories of job satisfaction (de Jonge & Dormann, 2003; Kim, 1998). Marston's classical model became a theoretical base for other personality assessment tools, such as the Personality Profiles System, DISC Classic, and Everything DISC. DISC-based instruments focus on four behavioral dimensions, namely, dominance (D), influence (I), steadiness (S), and conscientiousness (C). The dominance dimension is related to direct, forceful, determined, and task-oriented characteristics; the influence dimension is related to sociable, interactive, persuasive, and relationship-oriented characteristics; the steadiness dimension is related to gentle, reserved, accommodating, and cooperative characteristics; and the conscientiousness dimension is related to cautious, objective, analytical, and logical characteristics. Combinations of these dimensions can be used to explain why people behave as they do in various situations. In spite of the effectiveness of the DISC model, to our knowledge, it has not been applied in childcare settings in Korea. Childcare teaching is a caring profession that requires high levels of patience and empathy, and supportive and friendly characteristics (Lee & Yang, 2012; Park et al., 2014). A childcare teacher must understand the needs of both the children and their parents and interact positively with them. Considering the nature of childcare teaching, we thought it relevant to use the DISC model to analyze how each dimension affects the job satisfaction of childcare teachers.

Although personality traits are recognized as fundamental factors of job satisfaction, interpersonal relationships have also been demonstrated to have a unique predictive value. Researchers of the influence of social relationships on job satisfaction have tended to focus on the conflict-handling styles of employees (Corvette, 2007; Robbins & Judge, 2007). Classic conflict theorists have regarded conflict as dysfunctional and harmful to organizations, but in studies conducted after the 1990s the premise was accepted that interpersonal conflicts are natural and inevitable. Recent researchers have focused more on conflict management because it affects organizational efficiency, commitment to the organization, and employee job satisfaction (Corvette, 2007). Likewise, childcare teachers interact with children, parents, colleagues, directors, and other staff at childcare centers. It can be assumed that teachers' conflict-handling styles affect comradeship, professional satisfaction, and even teaching practice (Kwon, 1999). To date, however, researchers of the job satisfaction of childcare teachers have not explicitly examined the impact of conflict-handling styles as an interpersonal factor.

Furthermore, previous researchers have shown that organizational characteristics can have a profound impact on job satisfaction (Kusma, Groneberg, Nienhaus, & Mache, 2012; Kusma, Mache, Quarcoo, Nienhaus, & Groneberg, 2011). Organizational characteristics refer to structural components or operating conditions of work, and include the following: benefits and remuneration; career development opportunity; supervision, management, and the decision-making styles of directors; the support of colleagues and directors; and communication within the organization. …

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