WORK VALUES AMONG HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS OF INDIA AND IRAN - INFLUENCE OF AGE AND SUBJECT TAUGHT

F. Jolideh

K.Yeshodhara

 

INTRODUCTION

Values are concepts or beliefs that determine how we live in our life. At work, they are major influences on how individuals approach to work. Values drive our decisions and cause us to summon up energy to preserve what we believe in or what we want to defend. As such, they can be principal determinants of behaviour and will influence our views about people, situations or events. When team members share the same values, the team will have the energy to deliver outstanding performance. Where individual values clash, conflict will occur and teams are unlikely to reach their full potential. Work related demands appear in literature on the subject as work values. These can be readily characterized as relatively time-resistant and comprehensive interpretation patterns regarding work per se.  Work values represent our personal relation to what we want to achieve through our work and career (Sˇ verko 1999). They are acquired early in the process of socialization and are relatively stable in the personal system of values of each person. There has been growing interest, in recent years, in the analysis of human values in general ( Levy 1990;  and Shwartz and Bilsky 1990) and of work values specifically ( Elizur et al. 1991). Work values can be defined as generalized beliefs about the desirability of certain attributes of work (e.g. pay, autonomy, working conditions), and work-related outcomes (e.g. accomplishment, fulfillment, prestige). Like general values, work values act as the criteria that an individual uses in selecting appropriate work-related behaviours and goals. The match between teachers’ work values and supplies offered  by the schools is important for teacher’s outcomes like job involvement, work motivation, and turnover intentions. Values related to work have received considerable scholarly attention for many decades (Hofstede 1980). Work values are linked to motivation and job satisfaction, and others have demonstrated a strong link between having a high achievement value and being aggressiveness in and showing initiative in one’s work. Work values have also been related to organizational commitment (Elizur and Koslowsky 2001), vocational choice (Super 1970), ethical decision making (Shafer et al. 2001) and cross-cultural management (Mellahi 2001).  Tarnai (1995)  indicated that various authors have presented theoretical drafts of work value structures. Rosenberg  distinguishes a further construct termed social oriented, people oriented and value complex and categorizes work values using three components. The social oriented value complex represents the need for contact with others and activities benefiting society. Classifications of work values structurally similar to Rosenberg’s have been produced by Elizur (1984) and others. Alderfer introduces the three needs - existence, growth and relatedness, whereas Elizur distinguishes material or instrumental, cognitive and affective work values. Pawlowsky differentiates between acquisitive, non-acquisitive and social oriented dimensions. The concepts developed by Rosenberg, Alderfer, Elizur and Pawlowsky differ more in semantics and less in structure.

 

Work values   are goals that one seeks to attain to satisfy a need; they may be satisfied by more than one kind of activity or occupation. Theory of work values includes three categories, instrumental, affective and cognitive (Elizur 1999, p. 77; Elizur and Kowslowsky 2000, p. 594). In order to analyse work values systematically, two basic facts of the domain were distinguished : modality of outcome, and system performance contingency (Elizur 1984).  Modality of outcome includes various values. Instrumental (material) values  have some material return or outcome, such as pay and benefits. These values are more salient than other values and  are associated with Maslow’s physiological/safety/security needs. Various work outcomes are of material or instrumental nature.This class of outcome can be defined as material, or instrumental, in a sense that they are concrete and of practical use. Affective values deal with interpersonal relationships, which are less salient than the instrumental needs, and relate to Maslow’s interpersonal need categories of belongingness, love, and esteem. Most studies include items that ask about relations, and others. These items relate to social relations, and they are affective outcomes rather than material. Cognitive values include items that deal with contribution to society, achievement, personal growth, responsibility, independence, interest , and use some of the same descriptive words and concepts as Maslow’s levels. These items represent psychological rather than social or material outcomes. In today’s world, the efficiency of a country’s system represents the most important standard of assessment and comparison for societies.

 

The present study extends the existing empirical research about work values in the educational sectors by examining the influence of age and subject taught on work values of high school teachers. The aim of this study  is  to enable teachers to see themselves in perspectives and to identify and to explain features which seem to them to be significant for their country’s educational policies.

 

OBJECTIVES

1.To assess and find out the difference in work values of high school teachers in India (Bangalore) and Iran (Sanandaj);

2.To find out the influence of age on work values of high school teachers in India (Bangalore) and Iran (Sanandaj);

3.To find out the influence of subject taught on work values of high school teachers in India (Bangalore) and Iran (Sanandaj).

 

HYPOTHESES

1. There is no significant difference in the work values of high school teachers in India and Iran;

2. There is no significant difference in the work values of high school teachers of different age groups in India and Iran; 

3. There is no significant difference in the work values of high school teachers teaching different subjects taught in India and Iran.

 

METHOD

Sample

In India, data were collected in Bangalore city in south part of India. Iranian data were collected in Sanandaj city in west part of Iran.  A sample of 71 (37 Indian and 34 Iranian) high school was selected randomly. From the selected schools, 721 teachers were selected using stratified random sampling technique. While selecting teachers, consideration was given to their age and subject taught by them that is, science or arts group subjects.

 

Tools

The questionnaire having 24 items on work values developed by Elizur (1984), thoroughly tested in various cultural contexts (Borg, 1986; Elizur et.al 1991) was used for this study. The scale was administered to all respondents in its original English version for India and Persian version for Iran. The scale range is from 1 to 6 (1=very important to 6=very unimportant). The work value score of an individual is the sum total of item scores on all three areas included cognitive, affective and material component of work value. The range of scores is from 24 to 168 with the higher score indicating the more value toward work. Along with this, data on age and subject taught were also collected. 

 

Procedure

In Iran and India, one of the investigators personally visited all the selected schools  after  getting prior  approval  from the principals or vice-principals of the concerned schools for collecting data. Questionnaires were distributed to the teachers selected as described above. These teachers responded to the teacher’s version of the survey. Over five hundred sets of questionnaires were personally delivered to 50 randomly selected schools spread over the Sanandaj city (Iran) and over six hundred sets of questionnaires were personally delivered to 60 randomly selected schools spread over the Bangalore city (India). A total of 360 useable questionnaire sets were returned in Sanandaj city (Iran) and 361 useable questionnaire sets were returned in Bangalore (India), at a response rate of 72% for Iran and 60% for India.  Completed data sheets were scored according to the manual provided.  Later, a master chart was prepared and fed into computer for further statistical analysis.

 

Statistical Analysis

MANOVA (Multivariate Analysis of Variance) was employed to find out the significance of difference between countries, age groups and subjects taught for work values.  In the present investigation, countries (India and Iran), age groups and subjects taught (Arts and Science) were taken as independent variables and sub- component of work values were taken as dependent variables. SPSS for windows (version 11.0) was used for statistical analysis.

 

RESULTS

Main Effects

Between Countries: In cognitive component, Indian and Iranian teachers had statistically equal scores. In material component, high significant difference was obtained between Indian and Iranian teachers (F=31.844; P<.000), whereas Iranian teachers had significantly higher work value than Indian teachers did (means 9.80 and 7.98 respectively).   In affective component, Iranian teachers had significantly higher scores than Indian teachers (means 9.14 and 8.28 respectively) and high significant difference was obtained between Indian and Iranian teachers (F=9.096; P<.003). In case of total work values of Indian and Iranian teachers statistical significant difference was obtained (F =4.526; P<.034), whereas Iranian teachers had significantly higher work value  than Indian teachers did (means 43.64, and 40.81) respectively.

 

Between Age Groups: Age groups did not have any significant influence over any sub-component or the total scores as the obtained F values for all the sub-components and the total work value scores were found to be non-significant.

 

Between Subjects: As in the case of age groups, in subjects also, none of the sub-component and total work value scores and F values reached the significant level criterion.  In other words, subject taught did not have any influence over work values.

 

Interaction Effects

Country and Age Groups:  In rest of the sub-components and total work value, non-significant interactions were found. From the mean values, it is clear that in India as the age increases mean values of cognitive work values decreases linearly, whereas in Iran as the age increases this does not happen. From the mean value of sub-component and total work value of India and Iran, it can be seen that the age group of 30-39 is a different group that in all the score mostly has the upper score.

 

Country and Subject:  None of the interaction effects was found to be statistically significant as all the obtained F values for interaction effects were found to be non-significant indicating that pattern of work values was same for teachers with different subjects taught irrespective of the country they belonged to. Indian and Iranian science teachers in work value and in all sub- components had the highest score.

 

Hypothesis 1 was not accepted, as there were high significant differences between Indian and Iranian teachers in their material and affective sub-components of work values, and  as there was a significant difference for total work value. Hypothesis 2 was accepted, as there was no difference between teachers with different age groups in their work values in India and Iran.    Hypothesis 3 was accepted, as there was no difference between teachers with different subject taught in their work values in India and Iran.

 

DISCUSSION

Indian and Iranian teachers have equal work values in cognitive component. Iranian teachers have better work values in material and affective component compared to Indian teachers. There is a high significant difference between Indian and Iranian teachers in their affective and material component. There is a significant difference between Indian and Iranian teachers in their work values. Age groups and subject taught do not have any influence over work value. In total work value and affective and cognitive component, in the age group of the 50-59 for Iranian teachers, there is  mostly increase in score than other age groups.  Indian and Iranian teachers have significant difference in work value and in total mean, Iran has the higher score than India. Iranian teachers have higher score in material and affective component of work values. It is necessary to find the reason for which although position of salary, retirement, in India and Iran are almost same,what makes  cognitive level of  teachers of India  important.   The personal observations by the investigator revealed that perhaps the differences between the salaries, additional salary, and lack of facilities for a teacher in comparison with other jobs are some of the reasons. Another reason is the lack of appropriate jobs for those who have Bachelor in some subjects like social science, literature, mathematics, and physics in Iran. In India, job security is very high compared to Iran. People in Iran, when fail to find better job, join teaching job. Moreover, before their retirement, they think about one extra job, after retirement.  In India, teachers once join teaching profession, hardly think of alternate employment.  Most of them retire from jobs in the teaching profession only and they are satisfied with their job.  As far as the time factor for Iran is considered, Bachelor of Education takes same time as the time taken for other Bachelor degrees, but prestige and position of teaching subject is less than other jobs. Hence, there is a need to anlayse teacher policy in Iran and India.

 

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