Perceived job characteristics and emotional labor as factors of teachers’ work engagement
Katja Košir, Sara Tement & Marina Horvat
Abstract: Teachers’ work engagement determines the quality of their teaching and classroom behavior. Understanding the factors that contribute to a high level of teacher engagement is thus crucial to promoting quality educational work. The existing research shows that the perceived characteristics of the working environment are an important factor of work engagement in teachers. At the same time, an important characteristic of teachers’ work is the need for emotional labor; the latter can represent either a job demand or a job resource. Based on the job demands-resources model, the purpose of the present research was to examine perceived job demands (workload) and job resources (autonomy, coworker and supervisor support) as factors of teachers’ work engagement on a sample of 344 teachers from 22 Slovenian elementary schools. In addition, we aimed to examine the potential of emotional labor strategies as either a risk factor or a protective factor for teachers’ work engagement. The results indicated that perceived autonomy positively predicted teachers’ work engagement and that emotional labor had the potential to represent both a job demand and a job resource. Surface acting was found to negatively predict work engagement, whereas deep acting was a positive predictor of work engagement. Based on our findings, we propose some measures to increase teachers’ work engagement.
Keywords: teachers, work engagement, job demands-resources model, emotional labor
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