Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Rosemary Lambie


This study investigated the overall job satisfaction level and motivators of job satisfaction for elementary school principals in Central Virginia using the MinnesotaSatisfaction Questionnaire (1977) revision via Web-based survey through Virginia Commonwealth University's Inquisite Survey System. The research literature supports job satisfaction of school principals being a worthwhile topic of study. Researching aspects of job satisfaction is important because a job is not merely life-sustaining, but enriching and enhancing (Darboe, 2003), and the impact of leadership on everyone in schools is substantive. Elementary principals' general job satisfaction level was investigated using descriptive demographic data and the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) through Web-based survey. Using 4 of Frederick Herzbergfs (1959) 6 motivators from the MSQ (i.e., Achievement, Advancement, Recognition, and Responsibility), job satisfaction level was examined in terms of variance in relation to the respondents' gender, age, level of education, salary level, years of experience, number of full-time assistant principals, school socioeconomic status, school size, or accreditation status assigned by the Virginia Department of Education. This study collected information from 85 out of a possible 151 public elementary school principals across 14 school divisions in Region I of Central Virginia. The findings of this study suggest that on an overall basis respondents were satisfied with their jobs. They were also satisfied with their job as it relates to Herzberg's four motivators associated with those particular scales of the MSQ. Findings demonstrated that job satisfaction level did not significantly vary in relation to the nine demographic variables except in one category, level of education. Respondents with education beyond master's degrees were more satisfied with their sense of achievement. The response rate for this Web-based survey was 56%. This response rate contrasts with most literature that described Web-based surveys as having lower response rates than mailed surveys (Fricker & Schonlau, 2002). This indicates that principals will answer Internet surveys in higher numbers when asked to do so, when using repeated contacts, and/or when a colleague requests their participation. It would be worthwhile to replicate this study using a wider demographic area or through the use of qualitative methodology.


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Date of Submission

June 2008

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