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Selected Research Project
Project Title
Teacher Commitment, Motivation, and Attributes: What Characterizes Teachers in Hong Kong Schools? Effects on Job Satisfaction, Psychological Health, Well Being, and Intention to Remain in the Teaching Profession and Current School
Principal Investigator

Professor Dennis McInerney

Area of Research Project Psychological Studies
Project Period
From 1/2012 To 12/2013
  1. To critically evaluate the Meyer and Allen (1997) Three-Component component Model of Organizational and Occupational Commitment when applied to the Hong Kong teaching profession;
  2. To validate an Educator Motivation and Attribute Profile Scale (EdMAPS);
  3. To use EdMAPS to investigate the motivational and attribute characteristics of teachers and administrators at the primary and secondary levels and their relations with affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organization (school) and occupation (teaching);
  4. To evaluate the extent to which commitment, motivation, and attribute characteristics vary as a function of school type, career level, career duration, and academic discipline;
  5. To evaluate the manner in which commitment, motivation, and attribute characteristics relate to the outcome measures of job satisfaction, psychological health and well being, and intention to remain in the profession; and
  6. To complete multi-level analyses to determine the extent that commitment and EdMAP ˇ§climateˇ¨ varies for different groups and environments (schools, departments), and the extents to which these vary between groups within the same level.
Methods Used

This research is designed as a 2-year study. A survey will be administered in hard copy and online to maximize recruitment of participants from as diverse a range of school settings and levels as possible. The ultimate sample size will be determined by the degree to which teachers and administrators respond to the open call. In order to meet the lower boundaries needed for single-level analysis, we plan to invite 16 schools that had participated in our previous GRF project (Optimizing Study). However, to examine contextual issues (i.e., the extent to which individual commitment, motivation, and attributes depend on the departments/institutions where people work), we will need a larger number of units.

A broad array of state of the art statistical analyses will be used, including confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to establish the validity and reliability of the scales for the Hong Kong sample; structural equation modeling (SEM) and exploratory SEM (ESEM, a combination of exploratory factor analysis and SEM) to examine the relations between commitments (affective, continuance, normative), predictors (motivators, attributes, demographics), and outcomes (satisfaction, well-being, and intentions); and latent profile/factor mixture analyses to identify teacher profiles and to relate these profiles to predictors (by way of multinomial logistic regressions) and outcomes. Multi-level analysis (MLM) and doubly latent modeling (an integration of SEM and MLM), which controls for measurement error at Levels One and Two and sampling error in aggregating L1 scores to form L2 constructs, will be used to examine several levels of analysis across grades, departments and schools. Analyses will be guided by the structural relations presented in Figure 1.

Expected Findings
  • A test of construct validity, reliability, and applicability of the Three-Component Model of Organizational and Occupational Commitment within the teaching profession in Hong Kong.
  • Development of psychometrically sound and valid questionnaires to assess the three-component model of organizational and occupational commitment of Hong Kong teachers, and motivational and attribute scales that describe the salient characteristics of teachers in Hong Kong.
  • A critical analysis of the commitment, motivation, and attribute characteristics of teachers that embody a taxonomy of values that are important for educators at different career levels within varied educational environments, and the interrelationships between these and desired outcomes, such as teaching satisfaction, psychological well being, and intention to continue in the teaching profession and current school.
Expected Impacts

The project will carefully examine the commitment, motivation and attributes of practicing educators at various career levels in primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong and relate these to important outcomes, such as teaching satisfaction, intention to continue in the profession, and psychological well being. In the Hong Kong context, the influence of affective, normative, and continuance commitments are likely to be different from that in the Western context. Given that the Hong Kong school context is characterized by strong inducements to teach (relatively high status and salary) and social obligations (the issue of not giving up and losing face because of job dissatisfaction), we anticipate that, contrary to Western findings, normative and continuance commitments may be stronger predictors of job satisfaction and intention to remain in the profession and current school than affective commitment, and that affective commitment will be a stronger predictor of psychological well being. Examination of these relationships is particularly important for the Hong Kong school system as it is currently striving to provide a strong teaching force while facing teaching redundancies through downsizing of schools.

Biography of Principal Investigator

Dennis McInerney is Chair Professor of Educational Psychology and Associate Vice President (Research and Development). He is Co-director of the Assessment Research Centre.

Prior to his current position, he was Research Professor and Associate Dean (Education Research) at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore having served for a period as Vice Dean (Research and Methodology) within the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice. Professor McInerney also served as  Research Professor and Associate Director of the Self Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney.

Professor McInerney has published over 200 research articles in refereed international journals, books, and conferences. He edits two international research series, Research on Sociocultural Influences on Motivation and Learning (Vols. 1–9) and International Advances in Self Research (Vols. 1–3). He has received numerous research grants, including seven Australian Research Council grants and two Hong Kong RGC GRF grants. He was awarded the University of Western Sydney’s Senior Researcher Award and was the first Professor to receive a Personal Chair at the University of Western Sydney, MacArthur.

Funding Source

General Research Fund