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The problem that is discussed in this research article concerns the challenges that teachers in China face in the course of their work. The article notes that “college teachers in China are confronted with a lot of pressure from teaching, researching, and living” (Liu, Wang, Shen, Li, & Wang, 2015).
Consequently, most of these teachers have to contend with deteriorating mental and physical health. There are a myriad of stress issues that are connected with the teaching profession in China and they have since formed a popular perception regarding the essence of this practice. Furthermore, the article notes that college teachers’ quality of life (QOL) is lower than the national average among the general population. The college teachers’ QOL is the main problem in this article. The researchers seek to identify methods of improving college teachers QOL and health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
The study hypothesizes that there is a relationship between variables of organizational behavior (group identification, PsyCap, psychological empowerment, and organizational justice) and college teachers’ health related quality of life. Furthermore, the researchers sought to observe if there are any resources that can improve teachers’ HRQOL positively. It is important to know that any the improvement of teachers; QOL and HRQOL is a top priority for colleges, especially in their quest to improve organizational effectiveness. Organizational behavior (OB) is a relevant field of study because it seeks to improve the wellbeing of an individual, organization, and interrelationships. The article’s focuses on various aspects of OB including PsyCap (psychological capital), organizational justice, group identification, psychological empowerment, and organizational support. All these aspects of OB have a varied level of impact on the wellbeing of college teachers.
Need for the Study
Other research studies have focused on the factors that influence QOL among individuals in the teaching profession. The authors of this article take note of the fact that previous studies have addressed important QOL factors such as demographics, level of physical activity, chronic diseases, and stress. This research was conducted with the view of concentrating on organizational factors as opposed to individual factors. Stress in teaching is often blamed on individual factors as opposed to organizational behavior factors. The authors of this article have realized that “studies conducted to explore the effects of these organizational behavior variables on college teacher’s health related quality of life are rarely found” (Liu et al., 2015, p. 88). Therefore, there is need to investigate the significance of the relationships between selected OBs and teachers’ HRQOL.
The design for this study is cross-sectional and it includes samples from various colleges across China’s Liaoning Province. The sample size consisted of 965 teachers from 5 random colleges. Data for the research was collected with the assistance of Shenyang Science-Education-Culture-Health Union through self-administered questionnaires by teachers from the selected colleges. The initial targeted sample size was 1500 but useful responses were obtained from 965 teachers only.
The constituents of the study were also pre-approved by the relevant authorities. The pre-qualifiers for the sampled demographics included age, gender, marital status, chronic diseases, educational level, and life events. The study’s design also involved a thorough assessment of QOL using measures such as vitality, general health, mental health, physical functioning, and role limitations. All of the identified OBs were also assessed using various instruments of measurement. Consequently, average scores for all OBs were coded so as to differentiate between levels of construct.
Summary of Literature Review
The article reviews literature on the “influences of demographic variables (age, gender, marital status, and education), work-related factors (role overload, job rank, role boundary, and number of SCI papers), and chronic disease on college teachers’ QOL (Liu et al., 2015). The review of this literature provides an overview of the variables that relate to OB. In another review, the authors of this article sample a study that was conducted on how physical activity affects the QOL among teachers. In this study, the study found that there was also a negative correlation between weight, QOL, and the level of activity among those in the teaching profession. This study also touches on the interpersonal aspects of stressors among teachers and not on the OB.
Another one of the reviewed studies indicated that the high levels of stress among teachers as a result of overworking, and negative organizational climate, all contribute to QOL. This study also focuses on the factors that influence teachers’ QOL from personal perspectives and not on the organizational level. In relation to OB, the article reviews literature on how this aspect can affect the essence of QOL and HRQOL among teachers.
Consequently, the literature reviewed in this article provides a long list of variables for considering OB. For example, the article explores Luthans views on the “positive psychological state of an individual in the process of growth and development and is a higher-order core construct drawn from positive organizational behavior” (Liu et al., 2015, p. 85). In this study, the authors identified that there is a connection between the psychological constructs of PsyCap and the amount of confidence that teachers have when they want to succeed. In regards to organizational justice, the reviewed literature indicates that there are four different types of this form of justice including distributive, procedural, information, and interpersonal.
Study’s Assumptions, Limitations, and Potential for Future
One of the assumptions that were made in regards to this study is that Chinese college teachers are less likely to encounter factors that lead to diminished QOL as compared to the rest of the population. On the other hand, it is assumed that the mental QOL of college teachers was worse that their physical QOL.
There are several limitations in this study. First, the use of a cross-sectional research design makes it difficult for the researchers to utilize causal statements concerning OBs and QOL. Another limitation is that using common method variance can potentially inflate the connection between variables. Furthermore, all the sampled participants in this study were from Shenyang and this is another limitation to the study. There is potential for future research studies in specific OBs such as psychological empowerment and group identification as methods of improving HRQOL.
Conclusion of the Research Findings
According to the article, the findings of this study are that “college teachers experienced relatively low level of HRQOL and their mental QOL was more impaired more seriously than physical QOL” (Liu et al., 2015, p. 94). The research findings also indicate that some of the sampled OB factors (such as Pos, PsyCap, group identification, and psychological empowerment) had more significance than others. Consequently, these factors had the potential to be strong predictors of teacher’s mental and physical QOL. The article finds it necessary for some of the outlined OB factors to be included within any strategy that aims to improve college teachers’ HRQOL.
This article provides an insightful look into the connection between OB factors and QOL or HRQOL. Most of the previous research on the subject has mostly focused on the connection between individual factors and stressors in teachers. Although the research for the study is centered on the situation in one province in China, the components of this study are applicable to a wide variety of teaching scenarios. For example, the pressure that comes with teaching, research, and living among college tutors is a universal matter. This scenario makes the hypothesis of this study applicable to a universal problem that touches on the subject of teachers QOL.
One of the insightful aspects of this article is that it addresses the common problem of teachers’ QOL from the perspective of organizational behaviors. In recent times, most organizations are concerned with improving their overall functionality by harnessing their levels of organizational management. However, the researchers in this article introduce a relatively fresh outlook by handing teachers control when it comes to OB factors. On the other hand, this means that teachers have a relative level of control when it comes to their HRQOL but in the context of their interaction with organizational factors as opposed to individual situations.
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The methodology that is employed in this article is quite simplistic. However, this approach is subject to both weaknesses and strengths. First, the use of cross-sectional research design is effective for a small and simple study such as the one in this article. This research design covers a sample size of 965 and this makes it necessary for the researchers to use a study that covers the basic components of the hypothesis.
Using a more comprehensive research methodology would have translated into a more complex study that would have potentially deviated from the study’s main hypothesis. However, using a simplistic research design also means that the study loses some a great deal of credibility. For example, the cross-sectional design that is used in this study tends to simplify the data analysis by ignoring important correlations between factors. These correlations can also be used as basis for future research if they are harnessed.
One of the most interesting aspects of this study’s findings is the fact that OB factors have been found to have a greater impact on mental QOL than they have on general health QOL. This is an interesting development given that teaching is mostly associated with physical strain including overworking, fatigue, and lack of physical exercises. Most of the previous studies on this topic have concentrated on the physical aspects of teaching stressors. However, this article introduces a new dimension by introducing the relevance of diverse psychological OBs such as group identification and PsyCap. These insights are particularly important to future research directions in regards to teachers’ QOL.
This article is a great effort in the demystification of the connection between OB factors and teachers QOL. The article can be mostly recommended to scholars and other academic stakeholders when it comes to teachers’ QOL. It is important to note that the research that is utilized in this article is quite balanced. Nevertheless, the article has some analytical gaps that are mostly related to its research design. Overall, the article offers a pioneering research direction and it is up to other researchers to continue exploring this topic.
Liu, C., Wang, S., Shen, X., Li, M., & Wang, L. (2015). The association between organizational behavior factors and health-related quality of life among college teachers: a cross-sectional study. Health and Quality of Life outcomes, 13(1), 85-97.