Identifying prototypic teachers with respect to their appraisal of the nature of people: Q-analysis results with implications for administrators

Robert Nick Black

Abstract

The purposes of the present study were to assess rural middle and high school teachers' beliefs concerning the true nature of people as related to McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y assumptions and to determine if those beliefs suggested person prototypes among the subjects. Subjects were 72 middle and high school teachers in three subject cohorts. Each faculty member sorted 36 statements on the nature of people from the Managerial Philosophies Scale according to their personal beliefs. The data were analyzed using Q-technique factor method. Two factors were extracted across each of the three subject cohort groups, and factor structure coefficients for each individual with the two factors as well as the scores for each item were determined using the SPSSx Statistical Package. Major findings of the study included the following: (1) Person prototypes for Theory X and Theory Y assumptions about the true nature of people were identified in each of the three groups. (2) Recognizable clusters of subjects were identified in each of the three groups even though some of the clusters were more clearly identified than others. It was recommended that the study be replicated with additional faculty groups in similar rural environments and that similar studies also be made in contrasting situations with more minority and male subjects. Administrators could potentially find the MPS items an effective way to determine the orientations of faculty regarding the nature of people. Hence. it was recommended that Q-analyses of faculty responses to the MPS items be utilized in assisting faculty and administrators' understanding of the people with whom they work.