Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD, Director; Edward F. DeRoche, PhD; Raymond F. Latta, PhD


comparative study, job satisfaction, Leadership studies, perception, site administrators, San Diego (California)


The purpose of the study was to identify the characteristics of the administrator's job that were the sources of satisfaction and hence motivation and those characteristics of the administrator's job that were the sources of dissatisfaction for the 277 school-site administrators in the San Diego Unified School District. The intent of the research was to identify the wants and needs of the site administrators as they pertained to job satisfaction. One hundred fifty-eight administrators (57%) returned surveys. Of those returned, 144 were used in the study. A revised version of the Job Characteristics Model developed by Hackman and Oldham in the late 1970s provided the theoretical foundation for the study. School level, gender, age, restructuring, school calendar, administrative position, socioeconomic status of the students, and ethnic diversity were used as the independent variables. Measures of satisfaction on 40 dependent variables were used to identify areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Eight primary hypotheses were tested using one-way ANOVAs and produced 41 significant differences. Fifteen secondary hypotheses were tested using two-way ANOVAs and produced 21 significant interaction effects. The study found that the administrators expressed relatively low satisfaction on several variables such as task identity, feedback from supervisors or other administrators, communication, role overload, and openness of expression. Analysis of these variables indicated a trend or theme of dissatisfaction with aspects of communication within the district. In the comparative analyses, each of the eight independent variables produced significant differences. However, significant differences were most abundant for the administrator position variable with principals generally expressing greater satisfaction than vice principals (α =.05) on 10 dependent variables. The perceived socioeconomic status of the student population variable was next with seven significant differences. Restructuring interacted significantly (α=.05) with administrative position on eight variables indicating that principals were less satisfied than vice principals in restructuring schools. Similarly, restructuring and school level interacted to indicate that restructuring at the senior high school level was creating some administrator dissatisfaction. However, within all senior high schools, principals expressed greater satisfaction than vice principals on three variables. The significant interaction effects provided evidence that restructuring, administrative position, gender, and school level were creating differences in perceived satisfaction. As a result of the findings, 13 recommendations were made directly to San Diego Unified School District. An additional 8 recommendations for further study were also made.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access