Work-related resources among teachers. Resources predict work engagement among teachers (Bakker & Bal, 2010; Hakanen et al., 2006; Simbula et al., 2011). One representative study that focused on job resources and teachers was conducted with 805 elementary, secondary and vocational school teachers in Finland (Bakker et al., 2007). The Finnish version of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale was used to assess work engagement and job resources were measured using a self-report scale. The following resources were examined in relation to work engagement as well as the mitigating effect that they have on job demands: job control, supervisor support, information (i.e. the flow of information between management and employees), organizational climate (i.e. an encouraging and supportive climate), innovativeness, and appreciation (Bakker et al., 2007). Job resources were found to increase work engagement when demands were high and teachers were working under stressful conditions (Bakker et al., 2007). Resources reduced the negative effects of hindrance demands, such as student misbehaviour; therefore, when teachers were experiencing high demands, resources such as job control and appreciation were increasingly important. Job-related control, however, was found to not be a predictor of work engagement among teachers if pupil misbehaviour was not also reported (Bakker et al., 2007).
Teachers’ Job Demands
Job demands refer to those physical, psychological, social, or organizational aspects of the job that require sustained physical and/or psychological (i.e., cognitive or emotional) effort and are therefore associated with certain physiological and/or psychological costs (Demerouti et al., 2001). In the current study, we included three job demands three job demands that have been identified as major causes of psychological strain among teachers were included: (1) emotional demand (Boyle et al., 1995), (2) work overload (Borg ; Riding, 1991), and (3) pupils’ disruptive behavior (Friedman, 1991).
Work-related demands. Much of the research on work-related demands has been centered on the Job-Demands Resources Model (JD-R Model), however this model does not account for the direct, positive relationship that exists between some work-related demands and work engagement, and instead focuses on the negative effects of demands (Crawford et al., 2010).
Although demands have an important relationship with work engagement, the most effective method of increasing work engagement is not to reduce hindrance demands or increase challenge demands, but rather to increase job resources (Schaufeli et al., 2009). An increase in levels of resources, but not demands, was found to have a positive effect on future levels of work engagement (Schaufeli et al., 2009).
Work-related demands among teachers. There is limited research that focuses specifically on demands and work engagement among teachers. Demands are usually mentioned in relation to negative states such as dissatisfaction and burnout (Hultell & Gustavsson, 2011). Six job-demands (i.e. unmet expectations, workload, role stress, routinization, social isolation, and a passive coping strategy) were all found to be negatively associated with work engagement in a study of 1589 teachers (Hultell & Gustavsson, 2011). Teachers who experience imbalance between their private life and work life are less likely to be engaged in their work (Hultell & Gustavsson, 2011).
School climate is related to teacher work engagement. Work engagement also increases with opportunities for growth and development, and teacher input into decisions (Bakker & Bal, 2010; Rutter and Jacobson, 1986). A school environment that supports teacher autonomy is important for work engagement, as work engagement may increase as teachers have more opportunities to choose how their time and energy is invested (Kirkpatrick, 2007). The nature of work tasks is related to work engagement.
The positive effects of support, including organizational support, on work engagement among teachers have been illustrated in numerous studies (Bakker et al., 2007; Klusmann, Kunter, Trautwein, Lüdtke, & Baumert, 2008; Rutter and Jacobson, 1986). Support at the organizational level increases engagement and helps to buffer against stresses in the workplace such as student misbehaviour (Bakker et al., 2007). Teacher work engagement also increases when the teacher trusts in the principal (Chughtai & Buckley, 2009). Work engagement has also been associated with supportive principals. Research by Klusmann et al. (2008) found that when individual variables such as age, sex, and number of teaching hours were controlled for, schools with supportive principals had higher levels of work engagement among their teachers in comparison to schools with principals who were not perceived to be supportive.
Work engagement is defined as a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption (Schaufeli, Salanova, Gonza´lez-Roma, & Bakker, 2002).
Kahn (1990) pioneered the research on work engagement, describing the work-engaged person as one who maintains a personal identity separate from one’s work role and who does not sacrifice this identity through a strict identification with a chosen occupation. The experience of work engagement is typically stable and long-lasting although it can fluctuate over time (Kahn, 1990).
Engagement is characterized by absorption in one’s work, which allows for effortless concentration, a clear mind, as well as a sense of enjoyment and engrossment (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004). Employees who are absorbed in their work will be focused and may find themselves experiencing flow or loss of self-consciousness and a distortion in time, thinking that time is passing faster than usual (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, as cited in Schaufeli et al., 2002; Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004). Those who are engaged in their work experience feelings of vigour, with high energy and a resilience that propels them to persist when confronted with challenge and difficulty (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004). Feelings of vigour lead to increased effort in one’s work. An employee who is experiencing work engagement is dedicated; with a sense of pride and enthusiasm that pervades all work-related tasks (Schaufeli ; Bakker, 2004).
The Job demands-resources model illustrate job resources as the sole predictor of work engagement and specific job resources, such as social support by colleagues, supervisory coaching, performance feedback and time control have a significant opposite relation to turnover intentions and organisational involvement (Bakker, Demerouti ; Schaufeli, 2003).
Recently longitudinal studies have confirmed a positive relationship between job resources and work engagement. For instance, a study by Mauno, Kinnunen and Ruokolainen (2007), investigated work engagement and the antecedents among Finnish health care personnel, which indicated that job resources predicted work engagement better than job demands. In this study the best predictors of the three dimensions of work engagement were job control and organisation-based self-esteem. Another study also found that changes in job resources over a one-year period were predictive of work engagement (Schaufeli, Bakker ; Van Rheenen, 2009), whereby results indicated that job resources such as social support, autonomy, teamwork and supervisory coaching predicted work engagement two years later after controlling for concurrent job demands and resources.
Based on the review of related literature, it has been found that there is a dearth of materials related to the relationships of the three variables. Hence, this study is proposed to focus on the relationships of teachers’ job demands and job resources to their work engagement in the District of Molave, Zamboanga del Sur.