Date of Conferral







Michael Plasay


There is a considerable amount of research demonstrating important gender differences in job satisfaction and perceived leadership style. These critical relationships have not been sufficiently explored in correctional institutions, particularly as more women are entering corrections officer positions, and low job satisfaction can lead to risky and sometimes life-threatening consequences. The purpose of this ex post facto study was to investigate the relationship between correctional officers' job satisfaction and their perception of transformational leadership style in their supervisor and to explore how the interaction between leadership style and gender affects job satisfaction. The theoretical framework of transformational leadership was used to examine the hypothesis that transformational leadership would foster overall job satisfaction. Data were collected from 86 participants from a population of 180 county jail correctional officers using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire for leadership and the Job Diagnostic Survey for job satisfaction. A 2 x 2 ANOVA (male vs. female and transformational leadership vs. transactional leadership) was conducted. While the results were statistically non-significant, mean differences among the groups revealed an interaction effect, suggesting that women with a transformational leader have higher job satisfaction than do those with a transactional leader, while men with transactional leaders are more satisfied than are those with transformational leaders. It is suggested that future research utilize more rigorous sampling methods (e.g., stratified and cluster) to explore this potential interaction, and include qualitative interviews with officers to gain deeper insights into the meaning of leadership in the performance of these important, risk-filled jobs.