Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department or School

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

Dr. Ronald Williamson, Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Gary Marx

Committee Member

Dr. Nelson Maylone


Recent research identified two broad categories of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic. These two forms of personal motivation play a large role in determining individuals‟ level of job satisfaction. By affording a level of perceived empowerment, the environment of the workplace is a contributing factor toward encouraging or discouraging individual satisfaction.

This study demonstrates the relationships that exist between personal motivation needs, workplace empowerment, and the attempted job mobility or stability of assistant principals, a select group of public school administrators.

Prior studies have argued that when an individual possesses both high levels of personal intrinsic motivation needs and high levels of workplace empowerment, individuals are more likely to achieve a state of “flow” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990) and demonstrate greater job stability.

In the American public school setting, many districts employ assistant principals, who are often viewed as members of the building leadership and administration, but who also leave their position after a relatively short time period. This study shows that although there is no statistically significant relationship between personal motivation needs and the mobility of assistant principals, the intrinsic motivation needs for assistant principals are not being met by employers, resulting in high levels of job mobility, making it unlikely that expertise can be acquired in the role. Future studies should examine the relationships between motivation and job mobility in other geographic regions and pursue the topic from the perspective of building principals and district level leadership.


Additional committee member: Dr. Jaclynn Tracy