Transference Teachers to Administration/Finance Positions

  • Mihail DiakomihalisEmail author
  • Eleni Bolovinou
Living reference work entry



“Transference is a form of mobility of employees and it means essentially resigning-leaving a job and re-hiring to a new working position.”

“Every transfer from one job to another, either within the public sector, or between the public and the private sector, or between the public sector and international organizations, is a form of mobility.”

“Professional Development is the improvement of the functioning of the organization along with the growth and increasing capabilities of employees through specific strategy and policy (i.e., education, training, etc.).”

“Job satisfaction expresses the feeling of employees regarding specific aspects of work such as physical and material working environment, administrative structure, organization and support, interpersonal relations between colleagues and management, salary, prospects, and development.”


Transference is a form of mobility of employees, and it means essentially resigning-leaving a job and rehiring to a new working position. Mobility may be applied so much in the public as in the private sector.

Transferences do not constitute a new procedure since they have been institutionalized for many years, during which they were a deliberate choice of workers. During the last decade, transferences of different nature have arisen, by which employees transferred either unintentionally and under the threat of being fired from their work, or “intentionally and unintentionally” under conditions of uncertainty about their work in the future. In the context of restructuring and reorganizing the public sector in Greece, redundant teachers moved by changing their professional position in order to fulfil the need for administrative staff for various public services and education administrative offices.

Conceptually, there are two types of transference in the public sector: those taking place in the education sector on the basis of an institutional framework due to a change in educational levels and those made mandatory, or almost mandatory, in the context of administrative restructuring of public administration. The result of both forms of transference is the modification of the professional status of employees, and it occurs as the issue of whether and what kind of professional rehiring there is and what the consequences are. This entry focuses on mobility within the public sector and the findings of the empirical study presented concern the primary and secondary school teachers’ transference from the class room to administration and financial positions.

The aim of this entry is to try to give answers on why some teachers either select or are being forced (?) to transference in different work position than teaching, which is the position they have been hired initially. Besides, the difficulties encountered with the decision of teachers to transfer as well as the opportunities for their professional development, irrespective of whether the decision was unintentional or deliberate, and ultimately their job satisfaction in the new administrative or financial positions are issues that need to be answered in this study.

Furthermore, this contribution aims to investigate the reasons which incited teachers to take the decision to transfer to administration/finance positions in primary and secondary education, but also the difficulties and problems arising from this exercise, whether the host organization applies policies for improving and increasing capabilities of transference teachers and what are they (education, training, etc.), to verify how easy or difficult the adaptation of the transference teachers is and if they feel welcomed and satisfied into their new working position. Τhe degree of job satisfaction, irrespective of whether the decision for transference was deliberate or not, is the issue to be investigated in this study.

Taking all these into consideration, it is realized that it would be appropriate and interesting to investigate the issue of the existence of a policy frame for the transference teachers in their new duties, or transference is simply considered as an emergency solution without the providence to promote the professional satisfaction and development of teachers as administration officials neither the development of the organizations (Diakomihalis et al. 2017, 2018).

The issue of job satisfaction of transference teachers is another subject of this entry. Transference teachers, regardless of the reasons which have led them to this decision, after their transference belong to the administrative staff of the Education Administrative offices and pursue a new profession. Thy have expectations from their new profession and engage in satisfying their needs. The achievement of these will affect, and at the same time will be affected by, the degree of satisfaction from the new working environment. The contribution of this entry refers to the investigation of whether and to what extent transference teachers are satisfied, what are the factors that cause satisfaction (salary, relations with colleagues, administrative support, prospects), taking into account their demographic characteristics, such as gender, age, marital status, years of work experience, academic qualifications, specializations, and level of education. Besides, the possibility of transference teachers to return to their previous professional status is a subject this entry is concerned about (Diakomihalis and Bolovinou 2017, 2018).

From the perspective of the organizations, professional satisfaction is a matter of major interest, and this is justified by the fact that human resources is a very important factor for their operation. This is because professional satisfaction is linked to their performance, leading to economic and organizational development of the organizations themselves.

From the perspective of the employees, professional satisfaction is also very important for themselves, if we consider that an employee devotes a large part of the day and his life in his/her working premises. Besides, labor matters frequently concern the employees beyond the working environment and the working period.

From the data collection and processing the views of the transference teachers about the reasons which led them to decide their transference, creating a wider concern for the conditions behind such a “decision of life,” will be recorded.

On the basis of the above mentioned issues and the individual objectives of this entry, the following arisen questions are expected to be answered:
  1. (a)

    For what reasons (professional, economic, personal) the teachers have chosen the transfer.

  2. (b)

    What is the treatment of transference teachers by the host institution? (colleagues, supervisors)

  3. (c)

    What are the adaptation difficulties encountered in their new position?

  4. (d)

    To what extent their professional development is supported.

  5. (e)

    With what procedures the organization supports their professional development.

  6. (f)
    The degree of satisfaction and the problems they face.
    • Is there business satisfaction with specific aspects of work? (physical and material working environment, administrative structure and organization, interpersonal relations developed both between colleagues and between workers and management).

    • Is there an overall professional satisfaction after transference?


Literature Theories

Each shifting from one job to another, either exclusively in the public sector (internal mobility), or between the public and the private sector (external shifting), or even between the public sector and international organizations is considered as mobility. Mobility can be applied to structures of the same hierarchical level (horizontal) or to shifting from a higher to a lower hierarchical level and vice versa (vertical). It may also be voluntary or obligatory, refer to functional diversification of working position or even be a geographical shift, with the aim of the best possible use of human resources. In certain cases, personal needs of workers might be satisfied through some forms of mobility. By reviewing the pertinent studies, it has been realized that there is no relevant research to study transference of officials and in particular, the issue of teachers’ transference to administrative positions has not been investigated. However, many studies regarding the abandonment of a profession and career change in general, as well as for school teachers, have been found. There are also many studies which are mainly aimed at the reception and integration of newly recruited and adjunct teachers into school units, and their professional satisfaction and development, while there is no such study for teachers which after some years decide or are “forced” to decide to serve the education sector through a different role and position. In the present entry, the reasons that incited school teachers to quit their teaching profession and “decided” to transfer into educational administration will be investigated, with the ultimate aim of contributing to the fulfilment of the research gap in the existing literature.

Professional Development

Professional development of personnel is considered an essential factor for both the development of the organization and the development and personal fulfilment of the employees. The increase in the qualifications and skills is undoubtedly beneficial for the utilization of the employees within the organization.

Several studies regarding the practical vocational development of human resources, comparing workers from different periods and from different working environments, have demonstrated the significance of personal motivation and coaching of workers. The conclusion in these kind of studies was that the main sources of learning come from the daily work procedure and the experience acquired by the workers through their cooperation with their closest-direct supervisors.

One of the objectives studied in this entry is the evaluation of transference in relation to the environmental and individual factors, and to what extent their needs and expectations are fulfilled.

Job Satisfaction

The degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction of school teachers who quit their profession and “decided” to transfer into educational administration, with the ultimate aim of contributing to the fulfilment of the research gap in the existing literature is also a subject to be investigated and presented in the present entry.

In several studies, salary and benefits as well as the confidence of the profession seem to have little relevance to the satisfaction, while autonomy has greater relevance. The working conditions are also related to the satisfaction of teachers is administrative support and leadership. The highest percentage of the most satisfied teachers of public schools indicate the existence of assistive administration. The lack of participation in decision-making seems to increase the degree of lack of satisfaction. Cooperation with colleagues is a positive experience for teachers (Klassen and Chiu 2010; Perrachione et al. 2008; Zembylas and Papanastasiou 2004). Even the possibilities of improving qualifications and skills (Perrachione et al. 2008) are positive experiences related to satisfaction.

However, in order to investigate the existence or not of job satisfaction for transference teachers, it is appropriate to refer to the factors contributing to this and to focus on some of them.

The Methodology Followed in This Entry

This entry aspires to contribute to Public Administration and Public Policy issues by revealing the findings from primarily quantitative researches, i.e., a form of social researches based on surveys. The researches’ tool is the structured questionnaire and has as a target group the transference teachers in administrative positions in Education Administration offices in Greece.

The Findings

The findings of the researches presented in this entry could contribute to a strategy for improving the functioning of the organizations while ensuring the development, growth, and development of employees. The professional development of workers is extremely beneficial for the organizations themselves. Therefore, the organization should follow strategies to promote achievement of professional satisfaction and professional development, in order to support and use effectively their human resources.

Reasons for the Decision to Transfer

Transference teachers were asked to indicate whether the transfer was a decision for voluntary or compulsory and then to express the degree of agreement in a series of proposals relating to the reasons which led to the transfer.

It seems that 70% of the transference teachers took the decision to shift from the education voluntarily and 30% said that they have been forced to this decision. It is interesting to note that 70% of the transference teachers declare that the choice of transfer is considered voluntary despite the fact that some of the recent years transferences are characterized by the state itself as mandatory.

The main reasons which led to transfer from teaching are mainly economic and family. In particular, the main reason that led the teachers to transfer was to reduce the distance from the place of the family residence. For two-thirds of the transferred teachers, the reduction of the distance from the place of residence played a very important role in the decision to transfer. The second key factor for the decision of the teachers to transfer was the reduction of cost of living, such as, for example, the avoidance of rent. The possibility of dismissal from the education was also a reason leading teachers to transfer. In particular, almost 60% of teachers believe that the possibility of dismissal from the education had affected “a little” to “very much” their decision to transfer to administrative positions. Finally, it is interesting that 60% of teachers has chosen to shift from the classroom because of their interest in the administration position. The reasons for transference “prospects for professional growth and development” in the new work, “lack of satisfaction from the teaching profession,” “limited prospects of education” and the “workload” in education seems to have influenced teachers “a little” in their decision to transfer. The lack of satisfaction as a factor for shifting depicts a small percentage.

Difficulties and Problems in the New Work

The transference teachers were invited to express their opinion referred to the difficulties and the problems they encounter in their new position as administrative officers.

The greatest difficulties faced by transference teachers in their new working position have to do with “working hours,” “paid holidays,” and “workload.” As to the subject of the new job, teachers do not seem to have serious problems since the majority of the respondents indicate that the new subject of their new work creates “not at all” to “a little” problems. It is important to mention that the majority of transference teachers declares that there is “not at all” difficulties in relation to colleagues, the supervisors, and the public transactors. The material environment and the natural environment of the new work appears not to create difficulties for transference teachers.

The results show that one-fourth of total transference teachers consider that there is no differentiation in their treatment from officials in their new working position. This diversification is mainly a result of the different culture between “old” and “new” employees (60%) and of the different culture between transference teachers and administrative personnel (47%). In addition, teachers who believe that they receive different treatment from current administrative employees (30%) consider that this behavior is due to the lack of administrative knowledge of transference, while 20% of them believe that the existence of this differentiation is due to the treatment by the head of the department and 20% believe that this is due to other reasons, such as the different educational level between old and new administrative staff.

Professional Development

The views of the teachers regarding the educational factors of professional development in their new job as well as the method and frequency with which their professional development is promoted by the host institution were investigated in this analysis.

The factor which obtains the highest percentage and the first ranking place is the “cooperation with colleagues.” Obviously, transference teachers believe that good cooperative relations in the workplace will help them learn better their duties and achieve their professional development.

The factors “continuing education and training,” “cooperation with colleagues,” and “introductory education and training” are considered by the teachers very important for their continuous professional development, as their ranking in the first three positions of the hierarchy reveals. The next important factor is the “guidance by experienced colleague in the particular work,” since the highest evaluations of this factor appear in the second, third, and fourth place. The “guidance from the supervisor” is also a significant factor for the teachers professional development, since it is ranked in third, fourth, and fifth position from about 50% of the responders. The factor “personal investigation on the subject of work” ranks in fourth and sixth place, indicating a moderate significance for the teachers. The factors “participation in scientific events,” “search for knowledge on the internet,” and “attending a master’s program” rank in the last three positions of the hierarchy, proving they are not considered important for the professional development of transferred teachers. This finding might be related to the fact that workers do not seek the acquisition of theoretical knowledge but the application of theory in practice. The classification of a “master’s program” in the last positions may be associated with both the previous finding and with the current economic situation, since most of the available programs require fee payment. Another reason could be the long time required for a master’s program study, since teachers seem to prefer educational programs of short duration.

Job Satisfaction

The findings of previous conducted researches (Koustelios 2001; Mondal 2015) supported the existence of an overall job satisfaction for school teachers, a result that is confirmed by the present analysis. Some of these indicate that teachers are not satisfied with salary, promotion opportunities, and the possibility of professional development as well as with the excessive demands of the profession (Mahmood et al. 2011).

The areas in which the teachers declare as most satisfied are those referring to communication, cooperation, and recognition from colleagues, the head and the public. The highest average value displays the variable “communication and cooperation with my colleagues,” which means that teachers declare that they are “much” to “very much” happy with the relationship with their new colleagues. The areas in which the transference teachers declare as less satisfied, i.e., show lower average prices, are “promotion of professional development,” “economic rewards,” and “working time.” The lowest average value shows the variable “promotion of professional development of workers,” which means that teachers are “a little” to “not at all” satisfied with the prospects and development offered in their new work. This finding may mean either that they do not expect to improve their knowledge or are not pursuing an occupation of higher administrative position.

The results of transference school teachers’ overall satisfaction from their current job show that about 50% of the respondents are rather satisfied by their current work and only 15% indicated to be fully satisfied. “Rather dissatisfied” to “very dissatisfied” from their new job declare the 37% of the transference teachers.

Conclusion: Discussion

The results of the research showed that the transference teachers driven this option for personal, family, and economic reasons, among which is the distance from the place of residence and the living cost. The feeling of security against the fear of dismissal, the interest for the new object desk is in addition to the reasons of the venture.

In accordance with the survey results, it is obvious that personal, family, and economic reasons, such as the distance from the place of residence and the living costs, play an important role for the decision to transfer. The transfer-retirement of workers seem to be linked to the general economic situation in Greece, as well as the sense of security of transference, since the fear of dismissal played a role to their shifting from one operation to another. The interest for the new working position is another reason which contributed to the decision to leave education. The lack of satisfaction from the teaching profession and the workload influenced very little their decision to transfer. The prospects for professional growth and development in the new task and the limited development prospects of teaching are also factors which led to the transfer. Professional development has been underlined by other researches as a factor related to the decision of abandoning the profession.

The teachers of primary education show more interest in the administration while their decision has influenced by the lack of satisfaction from the teaching profession, the limited prospects, the many requirements of teaching, and the workload. At this point, it should be noted that the teachers and preschool teachers have chosen deliberately to leave the profession without being affected by the process of the recent transferences. The reasons for shifting from the classroom are also mentioned by other researchers (Klassen and Chiu 2010), as the lack of satisfaction and opportunities for promotion, the desire to change career, family, personal reasons, the workload and requirements in teaching, as well as governmental and economic policy.

The reduction in the cost of living and the distance from the place of residence of the family were the decisive reasons for transference by the secondary education school teachers.

Regarding the reasons on the voluntary or compulsory choice of transfer, it is found that the voluntary versus compulsory has more to do with the lack of satisfaction, the many requirements of teaching and the workload in the education and the interest for the subject of administration. The reduction of the distance from the place of residence of the family and the reduction in the cost of living, were the greater incentives for teachers who have applied for voluntary transfer compared to teachers who have been forced to shift from the education. The compulsory transfer is relating more to the possibility of dismissal. Once again it seems that teachers who were forced to transfer have taken this decision with the fear of being dismissed.

The factor which obtains the highest evaluation and ranks first in significance for the professional development of teachers is “cooperation with colleagues.” Very important factors considered “continuing education and training” and “introductory education and training,” with the majority of the participants ranking them in the first three positions of the hierarchy. “Cooperation with colleagues” is a convenient strategy for development of the organization staff, rather effective and certainly inexpensive. The officials on the other hand perceived the “cooperation with colleagues” as more important because the colleagues seem to be almost the only experienced in the new working environment. However, both, “continuous” as well as the “introductory training,” are strategies, each organization should apply because these may expand the professional horizons of the employees. “Guidance from experienced colleague” and “guidance from supervisor” are important factors, while “personal investigation on the subject of work” is of medium importance. “Participation in scientific events,” “search of knowledge on the internet,” and “attending a master’s” are ranked in the last positions.

So much in the empirical researches analyzed in this entry, as in the research of Zaleska and de Menezes (2007), “guidance from experienced colleague” and “guidance from the supervisor” are important factors for professional development. “Continuing education and training” holds a leading position in the present study. In the same survey, “cooperation of colleagues” is only a very small percentage, while the factors in the lower evaluations for professional development are the same in both surveys.

It is worth at this point to point out that transference teachers believe that their professional development will be achieved mostly with the “cooperation with colleagues.” This may be due to the fact that they have not previous experiences, neither any general information for the functioning of the organization, the working conditions and the new duties of work, making them to rely mainly on the good will and the “diligent” of colleagues. It should be kept in mind that education of new hired colleagues is not an additional cost for the organization, on the contrary, it is considered a very constructive as in-service training.

Τhe most frequent method applied by the host institution for the professional development of transference teachers, is “guidance from experienced colleague” and “guidance from supervisor.” “Introductory education and training” was not applied in almost any case. It is worth repeating that about 95% of transference teachers stated that “education and training programs” and “participation in scientific events” are applied rarely to never. About 80% declared that “introductory education and training” has never been applied.

Organizations must provide incentives to meet the expectations of transference teachers and to keep in their new positions.

The organization is required to apply strategy for professional development of workers and support of employees career with the introduction of specific methods based on the real needs of every employee, in order to earn organizational commitment. Finally, the results of the present analysis show that “interpersonal relations in the working environment” is a significant factor for professional development. The organization should “exploit” talented and experienced staff by strengthening the mentoring and coaching.

Another issue the research is dealing with is the determination of the problems faced by transference teachers. It has been recognized that the “work schedule,” the “paid holidays,” and “workload” are the main factors considered difficult and keeping skeptical the administrative officials.

Τhe majority of transference teachers does not address any difficulties at all in their relations with colleagues, supervisors, and the transacted public. The “few” difficulties attributed to “material and the natural environment” of the new job are rather related to the overall logistical state of public services in Greece, taking into account the present economic circumstances of the country which have further reduce the associated operational costs. The researches of this entry reinforce the aspect that administrating offices suffer from lack of logistics.

To a large extent, transference teachers declare that there is no differentiation in their treatment by the permanent employed staff in the administration. However, the percentage of teachers which indicate that there is treatment diversification, believe that it is attributed mainly to the existence of a different culture between “old” and “new” officials and between transference teachers and administrative officials. This diversification is likely to be related to the fact that teachers have a more people-centered approach due to their studies and to their relation to children in contrast to the employee attitude of the administrative personnel toward common adults. Another reason to this diversion, even for a lesser extent, is the lack of administrative knowledge of transference and the treatment by the supervisor. The reception of new employed to the organization seems to be positive, and this explains to a large extent the positive view of the transference teachers.

The treatment differentiation regarding to gender is associated with the “problems with colleagues,” where women are facing more in relation to men. It is very possible that this is attributable to the different perception and treatment of relations and, more generally, to different characteristics of the personality of the two sexes. Transference teachers who have 3–5 years are facing greater difficulties with their colleagues, compared to those who have more or less years of administrative experience.

A statistically significant difference in the opinions regarding the “workload” has been detected in respect to the age of transference teachers. Those under 50 indicate that the workload creates a greater problem compared to those older than 50 years. Employees with at least 6-year experience in administrative posts judge “workload” as a lower significance problem.

Transference teachers in the secondary education administrative offices face greater difficulties regarding the “natural working environment” compared to those employed in primary education, probably because the logistical conditions are obviously worse in the secondary. The teachers of primary education face more problems with the transacted people compared to other disciplines.

The problems in the administrative position regarding the choice of transfer (optional or mandatory) appear to be related to the “natural environment” and are experienced to a greater extent by those who were forced to transfer and those who serve mainly to secondary education administrative offices. Perhaps this shows that the conditions in the primary education offices are better as it depicted in the previous finding.

The degree of satisfaction among transference teachers in various sectors of the new job does not differentiate statistically significant regarding the gender. The transference teachers without work experience or experience 1–2 years in managerial positions are more satisfied with the cooperation with their colleagues and the supervisor in relation to the transference teachers having from 3 to 5 years of experience in administrating positions. Also the transference teachers with over 21 years total service are more satisfied by the subject of their new work compared to those who work fewer years. This may be due to the experience they have gained over the years.

Regarding the demographic factors, not statistically significant difference was found. A marginal statistically significant difference appears as to the specializations of the teachers, with those of the Primary education showing greater professional satisfaction in relation to the others.

It has been realized that the teachers who decided voluntarily their transference are more satisfied overall with their new work as well as with the specific factors of their new working position. This perhaps is due to the fact that they were prepared at least psychologically and that they have been informed of their new duties.

The type of transference is also linked to the teachers’ intention to return to their prior professional position. The mandatory transference school teachers are more positive to this possibility. Finally, regarding the intention of the transference teachers to return to the classroom, great interest is shown by the particularly high rates of those who declare that “rather” and “certainly” will return, and that is a result perhaps of mandatory and unintended transference which did not satisfy them in all levels.

The dedication in many cases lowers the tendency for resignation even when the disappointment is obvious. In this entry, it is a clear finding that even when the satisfaction is apparent in some cases, the resignation is not unavoidable. In conclusion, the voluntary transference depends on the particular circumstances prevailing and must be examined in any case. The clearly voluntary option of a transference may lead to greater organizational commitment and reduce dissatisfaction from the new job.

Transference as a form of mobility of employees, by resigning-leaving a job and rehiring to a new working position, is a means of reorganizing the public administration. This massive movement of workers through transference could contribute to reduction as well as to the reformation of the public sector, if there is concern for employees redistribution based on the needs of organizations, on the qualifications, skills, and the needs of the employees.



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Accounting and FinanceTechnological Educational Institute (T.E.I.) of EpirusPrevezaGreece
  2. 2.Ministry of Education/Primary EducationPrevezaGreece