The secondary headteacher and time‐in‐post: a study of job satisfaction

David Mercer (Department of Curriculum Studies, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Publication date: 1 August 1997


Questions research from a number of countries which suggests that following an initial high level of job satisfaction, headteachers experience a diminution of job satisfaction over time‐in‐post. Using a grounded theory approach based on interviews with 39 secondary headteachers in the North East of the UK, identifies a number of satisfiers and dissatisfiers , an analysis of which indicates that while there is an initial high level of satisfaction, this would appear to dip before rising once again. Focuses mainly on the satisfiers and dissatisfiers experienced by the headteachers according to the time they have been in post. Explains in a detailed examination, the pattern indicates the need for support of headteachers in mid‐career if we are to avoid the loss of experienced staff as a result of early retirement.



Mercer, D. (1997), "The secondary headteacher and time‐in‐post: a study of job satisfaction", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 268-281.

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Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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