First Advisor

Kenneth Kempner

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership


Teachers -- Washington (State) -- Attitudes, Teachers -- In-service training -- Washington (State), Teachers -- Training of -- Washington (State), Employee motivation -- Washington (State)



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, xii, 275 pages)


The major focus of this study was the identification of factors that motivate teachers to participate in professional growth and development activities. Although teachers may be motivated to participate in staff development for different reasons, it was hypothesized that common factors forming an identifiable incentive profile could be found. Within the focus of the study, three primary questions were asked: (a) What are the needs, incentives or motivators that influence teachers to further their professional development? (b) What are the relative strengths of the various needs, incentives or motivators? and (c) How do the incentive structures of teachers differ based on a set of demographic variables and attributes?

Answers to Question (1) were formulated in the process of conducting a literature review of staff development, general motivation theory and teacher motivation theory, and while developing the research instruments used in the study. Questions (2) and (3) were answered by analyzing the results of the research instruments after they were administered in survey format to study respondents.

The study instruments (Work Motivation Profile and Staff Development Motivation Profile) utilized the technique of paired comparisons. Respondents were asked to weight two statements that corresponded to levels of Maslow's (1954) and Herzberg's (1959) five-tiered motivation constructs.

The analysis unit examined in the research study consisted of all teachers, kindergarten through twelfth grade, in the state of Washington during the time period 1986-1987. A systematic sample of 2000 was drawn from the approximately 39,500 teachers in the state. Of the 2,000 surveys mailed to teachers, 770 were usable for the study.

There were four major findings from the study: (a) The strongest need that prompted teachers in this sample to participate in professional growth and development activities was the intrinsic motivation of Self-Actualization. The second greatest source of motivation was Social needs; (b) Basic, Status, or Security needs were secondary motivators; (c) Years of experience, major work assignment, size of school district and proportion of household income attributable to school district salary had significant, though weak, effects on the need structures of teachers; (d) Despite subtle differences, the basic teacher profile remained constant: the five needs motivating teachers to participate in professional growth and development, in descending order of strength, were Self-Actualization Needs, Social Needs, Basic Needs, Status Needs, and Security Needs.


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