The ownership perception gap
Exploring teacher job satisfaction and its relationship to teachers’ and principals’ perception of decision-making opportunities
Research has shown that when principals provide teachers with opportunities to participate in meaningful decision-making opportunities, it leads to teachers’ feeling a greater sense of ownership and commitment to their profession and school. These positive feelings may in turn improve teachers’ job satisfaction. This paper investigates this theory by examining the relationship between the difference in teachers’ and principals’ perceptions of teachers’ involvement in decision-making and teachers’ reported job satisfaction. We used data from the OECD’s Teaching and Learning International Survey of 2013 (TALIS 2013) to study the relationship between the gap between teachers’ and principals’ perception of teachers’ involvement in decision-making and teachers’ reported job satisfaction. We employ descriptive and inferential statistics to investigate this question in 29 countries. Our study finds large, cross-national differences in teachers’ and principals’ perceptions of teachers’ involvement in decision-making. Our findings show that though principals believe they are providing teachers with increased decision-making opportunities, teachers report that they still do not feel included in decision-making opportunities. Our results lend empirical support to the call for policies that support greater opportunities for shared decision-making as a policy lever that can be used to improve teacher job satisfaction.