Career Plateauing and its Relationship with Turnover Intentions and Pursuit of Postgraduate Studies among Teachers in Nyandarua and Murang’a Counties, Kenya
Gaturu, Mary Wangechi
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Teachers in Kenya exhibit signs of career plateauing, and are registering for post-graduate courses in large numbers. This study investigated whether teachers‟ pursuit of post-graduate studies is a result of career plateauing, and whether this is associated with intentions to quit the teaching profession. The purpose of the study was to determine whether career plateauing relates with turnover intentions and teachers‟ decisions to pursue post-graduate studies. The objectives of the study were to: determine types and levels of career plateauing experienced by secondary school teachers of public schools in Nyandarua and Murang‟a Counties; establish the relationship between career plateauing and turnover intentions among secondary schools teachers; determine the influence of career plateauing on teachers‟ decisions to pursue various Post-Graduate courses; find out whether the structural or job content type of career plateau predicts turnover intentions and teachers‟ decisions to pursue various Post-Graduate courses; determine whether there are significant differences in career plateauing, intentions of turnover and teachers‟ decisions to pursue various Post-Graduate courses across: gender, age and academic qualifications. The study was based on the Managerial Careers Model by Ference, Stoner and Warren (1977), which sought to provide an understanding for the plateaued employee problem. The study employed the correlational research design. The target population of the study comprised of all the 5,022 teachers in all the public schools in Nyandarua and Murang‟a Counties (3,581 in Murang‟a County and 1,441 in Nyandarua County) except those which were used in the pilot. From this population, the sample size for each county was computed using the sample size computation formula by Krejcie & Morgan (cited in Cohen, Manion & and Morrison, 2007), which gave 304 teachers from Nyandarua County and 348 teachers in Murang‟a County. Stratified random sampling was used to select 304 teachers from Nyandarua County and 348 teachers from Murang‟a County giving a total of 652 teachers. In Nyandarua County, the sample size was 152 male and 152 female teachers, while in Murang‟a County there was 174 male and 174 female teachers. A questionnaire designed for teachers was used as the main tool for data collection. Prior to the actual data collection procedure a pilot study was carried out among 15 teachers in Nyandarua county and 15 teachers in Murang‟a county to assess reliability and validity of the questionnaires. The study generated quantitative data, which was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Qualitative data was reported according to themes and involved the use of frequencies and percentages. Pearson Product Moment correlation coefficient, linear regression, Analysis of Variance and chi-square tests were used at the 0.05 level of significance. The study revealed and concluded that structural and job content plateauing was found among the teachers though it was in the minority. There was a significant positive relationship between turnover intentions in both types of career plateauing. Further the study revealed that old teachers experienced more structural plateau and had lower turnover intentions and that the teaching experience the higher the level of structural plateauing. Gender had no significant influence of career plateau or turn over intention. Job content plateau did not differ significantly across the demographic variables. The study recommends that ministry of education improves working conditions of teacher through providing optimum number of teachers and providing adequate working tools and ensure regular teacher promotions while the school management seeks ways to improve job satisfaction for teachers.