Quasi-Experimental Investigation of an Interaction Effect between Autonomy and Instructor Conscientiousness to Student Satisfaction
Paul Rader, Northcentral University, United States
Northcentral University . Awarded
The job characteristics model (JCM) is one of the most researched theories in organizational behavior. Recently, the model was extended by adding worker dispositional elements to better reflect a modern work environment and to make the model more complete. Extended JCM studies reports on interaction effects between job characteristics and personality elements to job performance have been inconsistent. Specifically, the utility of the extended JCM model has been constrained by ambiguity in the interaction between the job characteristic autonomy and the dispositional factor conscientiousness. A recent development in delivery of higher education courses, blended learning, provided an objective measure for low autonomy work environments when compared to the same courses taught traditionally (i.e., where more autonomy tends to exist). This quantitative quasi-experimental field study was employed to investigate an interaction effect between two independent variables, the job characteristic autonomy and the dispositional factor conscientiousness, on a dependent variable, student satisfaction with instructor performance. Participants in the study were 74 volunteer instructors at a for-profit institute of higher education in the Western United States. Results reported no significant relationship between student satisfaction and high and low levels of autonomy Z = -.392 and p = .695. No significant relationship between instructor conscientiousness and student satisfaction Z = -.383 and p = .702 was also found. However, results did report a negative significant interaction effect between high and low levels of autonomy and high and low levels of conscientiousness to student satisfaction Z = -2.270 and p < .05. Reasons for the first two unexpected results of finding no significant relationship between conscientiousness and autonomy to student satisfaction included a low sample size of instructors exacerbated by the use of quartiles for conscientiousness scores along with the possibility that instructors may be more conscientious than workers in general. These concerns provide direction for future research. Replication of this study in other environments could strengthen support of the negative relationship between instructor conscientiousness and autonomy to student satisfaction. This study along with future research will help explain ambiguity in prior studies and strengthen the predictive power of the extended JCM.
Rader, P. Quasi-Experimental Investigation of an Interaction Effect between Autonomy and Instructor Conscientiousness to Student Satisfaction. Ph.D. thesis, Northcentral University.
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