A precursory overview of what has been noted about religious service suggests that this profession can be notably challenging when it comes to achieving job satisfaction. According to Zondag (2001) “Pastors meet with little recognition, face heavy workloads, often have to go it alone, and promotion and career opportunities are few and far between” (p. 311). Based on the research provided by Zondag, many of the extrinsic variables that prompt satisfaction for other types of professions are not commonly present in religious service. With the realization that job satisfaction is such and important and integral part of individual well being and happiness (Zembylas & Papanastasiou, 2005), there is a clear need to understand the variables that impact job satisfaction for ministers. Significance of the Problem
A recent report released by the State of Minnesota (2007, Occupation profile) found that by 2014 close to 14,000 new clergy and religious leaders will be needed across the United States. This represents a 12 percent increase over the number of religious leaders employed in 2004. Given that such a large number of jobs will be available, current religious leaders and religious followers need to ensure that they will be able to effectively recruit and retain qualified personnel. Understanding issues of job satisfaction may provide a clear means for current religious leaders to improve working conditions such that more individuals could be recruited to this profession. In terms of psychology, this study represents an opportunity to understand the intrinsic dimensions of job satisfaction that are important for improving outcomes for employees. Research Question
The central research guiding the development of this investigation is: What specific factors contribute to job satisfaction for ministers working in Birmingham, Alabama? Supporting questions that will be used to facilitate answering this question include: 1.
What extrinsic aspects of religious service can provide job satisfaction? 2.
What intrinsic motivations serve as the basis for job satisfaction? 3.
What specific issues prompt religious leaders to continue service? Methodology
The central research question posed for this investigation will be answered by creating a mixed qualitative/quantitative case study. Information for this case study will be collected through semi-structured interviews with religious leaders and surveys of job satisfaction (quantitative) to determine what specific areas are important to creating job satisfaction. Questions one and two will be answered through quantitative surveys which measure specific aspects of job satisfaction. Question three will be answered through semi-structured interviews with religious leaders, which will be designed to elicit information about satisfaction and personal responses to job satisfaction. Rationale
Although job satisfaction has been identified as a pertinent issue of concern for all employees, few studies have considered the specific issue of job satisfaction in religious service. Thus, a general understanding of this topic must be garnered before extensive quantitative research can be undertaken. This is the central focus of this research. By focusing on an exploratory study which provides a general framework for understanding job satisfaction among ministers, a solid foundation for building further research in this area will be established. Constructs and Variables
The focal point of investigation in this research is job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is impacted by a host of intrinsic (personal) and extrinsic (environmental) factors. Job satisfaction has been widely examined in the literature. Although numerous definitions of this construct are present, Marriott, Sexton and Staley (1994) contend that job satisfaction is the positive effect that the individual holds toward a job. This is the operational definition that will be used for job satisfaction in this investigation....
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