Spiritual intelligence, workplace climate, and empowerment of teachers in higher education
Ekoto, Christian E.
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Empowered teachers are at the core of educational effectiveness at all levels especially at the instructional level. In the educational context, empowerment is understood as the “process whereby school participants develop the competence to take charge of their own growth and resolve their own problems” (Short, 1992, p. 6). Using a correlational design, the researcher attempted to address the scarcity of research on the relationships between spiritual intelligence, workplace climate, and empowerment of teachers of tertiary education. It therefore endeavored to investigate the extent to which potential variables—spiritual intelligence, workplace climate—predicted teacher empowerment. Four questions guided this study: (a) What is the level of spiritual intelligence, workplace climate, psychological empowerment, and teacher empowerment as perceived by Adventist teachers in Adventist Higher Education Institutions (AHEIs) in Southeast Asia? (b) Is there a statistical difference between categories of demographic variables and spiritual intelligence, workplace climate, psychological empowerment, and teacher empowerment? (c) Are the four variables—spiritual intelligence, workplace climate, psychological empowerment, and teacher empowerment—correlated? And (d) what is the best predictive model for teacher empowerment considering the three independent variables—spiritual intelligence, workplace climate, and psychological empowerment? The population of the study was Adventist teachers working in AHEIs in Southeast Asia. Data collection was be done using various instruments: a self-constructed Spiritual Intelligence measurement (2016); the School Participants Empowerment scale by Short and Rinehart (1992); the Psychological Empowerment scale by Spreitzer (1995); and the Higher Education Institution Organizational Climate survey by Natário, Araujo, and Couto (2014). Except for the self-constructed Spiritual Intelligence Measurement, written permission to use these instruments have already been secured from their various authors. The data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Studies. The respondents of this study showed a very high level of spiritual intelligence (M = 4.41), psychological empowerment (M = 5.73), high in workplace climate (M = 5.65), and teacher empowerment (M = 3.97). There were varied levels of perception of Adventist teachers working in AHEIs in Southeast Asia at the dimension levels of each construct. First, teachers showed the highest level of perception in the motivation dimension of the workplace climate construct followed by commitment, interpersonal relationships, working conditions, satisfaction, training, functions, leadership, benefits, and performance assessment respectively. Second, teachers showed the highest level of perception in the meaning dimension of the psychological empowerment construct followed by competence, self-determination, and impact respectively. Third, teachers showed the highest level of perception in the self-efficacy dimension of the teacher empowerment construct followed by status, impact, professional growth, autonomy, and decision-making respectively. Except for work conditions, the personal dimensions of workplace climate (motivation, commitment, interpersonal relationships, and satisfaction) had a higher level of perceptual precedence over the professional dimensions of workplace climate (functions, leadership, benefits, and performance assessment) among Adventist teachers in AHEIs in Southeast Asia. Except for age, there were no significant differences of spiritual intelligence among respondents in relation to their gender, educational qualification, and years of teaching experience. Except for years of teaching experience, there was no significant statistical difference of teacher empowerment among respondents in relation to their gender, age, and educational qualification. Also, the status dimension showed a significant statistical difference with teacher empowerment. The final predictive model of the study included impact, self-determination, competence, commitment, and performance assessment as the best predictors of teacher empowerment.