This study examined the nexus between the public secondary school teacher and his/her work environment. To capture the nature and substance of this nexus, the study was mainly directed towards answering the following two research questions: Which attributes of work environment matter most to the public secondary school teacher? And why do they matter? The study was conducted on teachers in public secondary schools of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It adopted a qualitative case study design where data were collected through semi-structured interviews and then analyzed using a thematic analysis technique. The results show that basic school facilities, teacher-principal and teacher-student in-school inter-personal relations, financial and non-financial rewards, and the praxis of politics in a school setting are the attributes of the work environment that matter most to the study participants. Results also show that these attributes of work environment appeared as attributes of work environment with utmost importance to the teacher for they happened to be the basis of the teacher’s work motivation, job satisfaction, and work engagement. Findings further showed that the attributes of the work environment and the emergent causal consequences have both direct and indirect relationships. This study is expected to have empirical, methodological, and theoretical implications.


secondary school teacher, qualitative case study, thematic analysis, facilities, inter-personal relations, rewards, politics, work motivation, job satisfaction, work engagement

Author Bio(s)

I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Social Anthropology and a Master of Arts Degree in Sociology (Urban and Industrial Stream). Currently, I am a lecturer of Sociology at Mizan-Tepi University, SNNPR, Ethiopia. My research interest lays in subject matters pertinent to the Sociology of Education, Sociology of Work and Organization, Urban Sociology, and Industrial Sociology. I am the author of two research articles published by the Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Heliyon Journal. For direct correspondence, please, contact me at edomzorander@gmail.com.


My research could have not been completed and this article could have not been published without the support of two bodies to whom I owe special thanks. First and foremost, my gratitude goes to principals of the public secondary schools considered for this study. I am grateful for your approval and cooperation to collect data from teachers at your school. Second, I would like to mention that I take great pleasure in acknowledging the immeasurable contribution the public secondary school teachers have played. My article could have not been published if the teacher has not been willing to take his/her precious time to arrange an interview with me.

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