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Perceived organizational support and organizational commitment among special education teachers in Pakistan

Akhtar Bibi (Department of Psychology, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Muhammad Adnan Khalid (Department of Psychology and Sport Sciences, University of Münster, Munster, Germany)
Amina Hussain (Department of Management Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 8 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between perceived organizational support (POS), organizational commitment and job satisfaction among special education teachers in Pakistan. The data were collected from 85 special education teachers from different special education centers in Punjab, Pakistan. POS was measured using a survey of POS developed by Eisenberger et al. (1986). Affective continuance and normative commitment are measured by affective continuance and normative commitment scales developed by Meyer and Allen’s (1984) and Allen and Meyer (1990), respectively. Results of the current study show that POS and job satisfaction are positively correlated with affective and normative commitment. POS and job satisfaction are not associated with continuance organizational commitment. This suggests that a teacher’s commitment can be improved by increasing organizational support, underprivileged working environment and job satisfaction. Limitations and implication of the study are discussed.


In the current study, cross-sectional research design and non-probability purposive sampling technique were used. A sample of 85 special education teachers was collected from different special education institutes of Punjab and federal, Pakistan. Inclusion criteria were teacher with specialization in all disabilities (mentally challenged, deaf, blind, physical handicapped and slow learners), informed consent and age range 20‒55 years, at least 6-month teaching experience in special education. Exclusion criteria were teaching experience less than 6 months and age less than 20 or more than 55 years. The demographic characteristics of teachers are presented in Table II.


Findings of the present study suggest a positive association between POS, affective commitment, normative commitment and job satisfaction, whereas there is no association between POS and continuance commitment as well as between job satisfaction and continuance commitment among special education teachers in Pakistan. Organization should consider the exclusive support of the special education teachers.

Research limitations/implications

The current study also has some limitation. The sample size is very small. In the current study, data are collected from 85 special education teachers from federal and few cities of Punjab, Pakistan. Hence, data are not true representative. Data for current study are collected through self-reported scales and only collected from academic staff.

Practical implications

In the current study, special education teachers have identified factors that promote organizational support, commitment and job satisfaction, such as reasonable workloads, sound working environment, unbiased and fair working conditions, and administrative support. It has been found that decreased level of POS, commitment and job satisfaction damage the organization, special educators and special students. Therefore, special education department should develop and implement policies that strengthen these dimensions. A broad recommendation can be made on the basis of these findings: affective and normative commitment increases when individuals have satisfying experience with organization. Thus, this may be improved by providing special educators with the opportunity to work in a better work environment, with proper work load, as it would increase emotional and normative attachment of the individuals with their institutes. The current study would be helpful for policy makers in the field of education and administration in order to work on these dimensions to increase the teacher’s job satisfaction and organizational commitment. It would also create awareness among the general public about the potential problems of special education teachers in Pakistan affecting the quality of life of children with special needs. Results suggest that by providing organizational support, appropriate work load and unbiased attitude, a teacher’s commitment can be improved.

Social implications

The current research helps academics and administration to improve social functioning of special education teachers by improving their job satisfaction and organizational support.


The prevalence rate of children with disabilities is increasing rapidly in Pakistan. Since stigma is associated with individuals with disabilities, parents hide disabilities of their children so that other relatives may not face any problems, such as being doubted of carrying defective genes. Families have to cope with financial crises due to lack of institutional support, extra expense to deal with disabled person and loss of work. In such circumstances, special education institutions are only hopes for such people to assist them in dealing with their disabled children. However, the strength of teachers in these institutions is not enough to fulfill needs of such children. A number of researches have examined the role of organizational support, job satisfaction and organizational commitment of teachers in western countries (Makanjee et al., 2006; Alijanpou et al., 2013; Batool and Ullah, 2013). However, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, no study has yet investigated this serious issue in Pakistan. This study provides valuable information on organizational support, commitment and job satisfaction among special educators, and recommendation on how organizational commitment can be improved.



Competing interests: the authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Consent for publication: consent to publish is not applicable.

The authors thank directorate, special education institutes of federal and Punjab and Gulmeena Tahir for all the support. Bibi and Hussain were responsible for the conception and design of the study. Bibi was responsible for the acquisition of data. Bibi analyzed and interpreted the data. Bibi and Khalid drafted the paper. Bibi revised the paper critically for important intellectual content. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors. Data will be made available on request through a proper channel.


Bibi, A., Khalid, M.A. and Hussain, A. (2019), "Perceived organizational support and organizational commitment among special education teachers in Pakistan", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 848-859.



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