Cynicism, autonomy and job satisfaction: Evidence from teaching profession
Research published in the International Journal of Management in Education has sought to ascertain whether there is a relationship between the psychological characteristics of cynicism, autonomy, and job satisfaction in teachers. Navaneethakrishnan Kengatharan of the University of Jaffna in Sri Lanka has integrated the theories of conservation of resources, reasoned action and affective events to see whether this is a valid hypothesis.
The research collected data from more than 700 teachers working in state schools across Sri Lanka. A statistical analysis then revealed a positive relationship between cognitive cynicism and affective cynicism. Further, it confirmed a mediating relationship between cognitive cynicism and teacher job satisfaction through affective cynicism. In other words, feeling cynical and being actively cynical feed on each other and lead to dissatisfaction in the workplace for teachers so affected.
Such findings can be used to guide management style and have the aim of avoiding complacency and failures at that level that lead to frustration, irritation, and cynicism in teachers. Conversely, mentoring or counseling of teachers would also improve autonomy and their perception of their work given such improved management and thus lead to better teaching standards and students in their charge who are ultimately more academically successful.