Job satisfaction

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Job satisfaction

  1. 1. Job satisfactionFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchJob satisfaction is how content an individual is withhis or her job. Scholars and human resourceprofessionals generally make a distinction betweenaffective job satisfaction [1] and cognitive jobsatisfaction [2]. Affective job satisfaction is theextent of pleasurable emotional feelings individualshave about their jobs overall, and is different tocognitive job satisfaction which is the extent of individuals‟ satisfaction with particular facets oftheir jobs, such as pay, pension arrangements, working hours, and numerous other aspects oftheir jobs.Contents 1 Definition 2 History 3 Models of job satisfaction o 3.1 Affect theory o 3.2 Dispositional theory o 3.3 Opponent process theory o 3.4 Equity theory o 3.5 Discrepancy theory o 3.6 Two-factor theory (motivator-hygiene theory) o 3.7 Job characteristics model  3.7.1 Motivating Potential Score 4 Factors that influence job satisfaction o 4.1 Environmental factors  4.1.1 Communication overload and communication underload  4.1.2 Superior-subordinate communication o 4.2 Effective human resources practices lead to positive financial outcomes o 4.3 Individual factors  4.3.1 Emotion  4.3.2 Genetics  4.3.3 Personality 5 Measuring job satisfaction 6 Relationships and practical implications 7 See also 8 ReferencesDefinition
  2. 2. At its most general level of conceptualization, job satisfaction is simply how content anindividual is with his or her job. At the more specific levels of conceptualization used byacademic researchers and human resources professionals, job satisfaction has varying definitions.Affective job satisfaction is usually defined as a unidimensional subjective constructrepresenting an overall emotional feeling individuals have about their job as a whole [1] [2] [3] [4].Hence, affective job satisfaction for individuals reflects the degree of pleasure or happiness theirjob in general induces. Cognitive job satisfaction is usually defined as being a more objectiveand logical evaluation of various facets of a job. As such, cognitive job satisfaction can beunidimensional if it comprises evaluation of just one aspect of a job, such as pay or maternityleave, or multidimensional if two or more facets of a job are simultaneously evaluated. Cognitivejob satisfaction does not assess the degree of pleasure or happiness that arises from specific jobfacets, but rather gauges the extent to which those job facets are judged by the job holder to besatisfactory in comparison with objectives they themselves set or with other jobs. Whilecognitive job satisfaction might help to bring about affective job satisfaction, the two constructsare distinct, not necessarily directly related, and have different antecedents and consequences [2].HistoryOne of the biggest preludes to the study of job satisfaction was the Hawthorne studies. Thesestudies (1924–1933), primarily credited to Elton Mayo of the Harvard Business School, soughtto find the effects of various conditions (most notably illumination) on workers‟ productivity.These studies ultimately showed that novel changes in work conditions temporarily increaseproductivity (called the Hawthorne Effect). It was later found that this increase resulted, not fromthe new conditions, but from the knowledge of being observed. This finding provided strongevidence that people work for purposes other than pay, which paved the way for researchers toinvestigate other factors in job satisfaction.Scientific management (aka Taylorism) also had a significant impact on the study of jobsatisfaction. Frederick Winslow Taylor‟s 1911 book, Principles of Scientific Management,argued that there was a single best way to perform any given work task. This book contributed toa change in industrial production philosophies, causing a shift from skilled labor and pieceworktowards the more modern of assembly lines and hourly wages. The initial use of scientificmanagement by industries greatly increased productivity because workers were forced to work ata faster pace. However, workers became exhausted and dissatisfied, thus leaving researcherswith new questions to answer regarding job satisfaction. It should also be noted that the work ofW.L. Bryan, Walter Dill Scott, and Hugo Munsterberg set the tone for Taylor‟s work.Some argue that Maslow‟s hierarchy of needs theory, a motivation theory, laid the foundation forjob satisfaction theory. This theory explains that people seek to satisfy five specific needs in life– physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, self-esteem needs, and self-actualization. Thismodel served as a good basis from which early researchers could develop job satisfactiontheories.Job satisfaction can also be seen within the broader context of the range of issues which affect anindividuals experience of work, or their quality of working life. Job satisfaction can be
  3. 3. understood in terms of its relationships with other key factors, such as general well-being, stressat work, control at work, home-work interface, and working conditions.Models of job satisfactionAffect theoryEdwin A. Locke‟s Range of Affect Theory (1976) is arguably the most famous job satisfactionmodel. The main premise of this theory is that satisfaction is determined by a discrepancybetween what one wants in a job and what one has in a job. Further, the theory states that howmuch one values a given facet of work (e.g. the degree of autonomy in a position) moderateshow satisfied/dissatisfied one becomes when expectations are/aren‟t met. When a person valuesa particular facet of a job, his satisfaction is more greatly impacted both positively (whenexpectations are met) and negatively (when expectations are not met), compared to one whodoesn‟t value that facet. To illustrate, if Employee A values autonomy in the workplace andEmployee B is indifferent about autonomy, then Employee A would be more satisfied in aposition that offers a high degree of autonomy and less satisfied in a position with little or noautonomy compared to Employee B. This theory also states that too much of a particular facetwill produce stronger feelings of dissatisfaction the more a worker values that facet.Dispositional theoryAnother well-known job satisfaction theory is the Dispositional Theory. It is a very generaltheory that suggests that people have innate dispositions that cause them to have tendenciestoward a certain level of satisfaction, regardless of one‟s job. This approach became a notableexplanation of job satisfaction in light of evidence that job satisfaction tends to be stable overtime and across careers and jobs. Research also indicates that identical twins have similar levelsof job satisfaction.A significant model that narrowed the scope of the Dispositional Theory was the Core Self-evaluations Model, proposed by Timothy A. Judge, Edwin A. Locke, and Cathy C. Durham in1997.[5] Judge et al. argued that there are four Core Self-evaluations that determine one‟sdisposition towards job satisfaction: self-esteem, general self-efficacy, locus of control, andneuroticism. This model states that higher levels of self-esteem (the value one places on his/herself) and general self-efficacy (the belief in one‟s own competence) lead to higher worksatisfaction. Having an internal locus of control (believing one has control over herhis own life,as opposed to outside forces having control) leads to higher job satisfaction. Finally, lower levelsof neuroticism lead to higher job satisfaction.[5]Opponent process theoryAccording to opponent process theory,[6] emotional events, such as criticisms or rewards, elicitstwo sets of processes. Primary processes give way to emotions that are steady with the event inquestion. Events that seem negative in manner will give rise to the feelings of stress or anxiety.Events that are positive give rise to the feeling of content or relaxation. The other process is the
  4. 4. opponent process, which induces feelings that contradict the feelings in the primary processes.Events that are negative give rise to feelings of relaxation while events that are positive give riseto feelings of anxiety. A variety of explanations have been suggested to explain the uniformity ofmood or satisfaction. This theory shows that if you try to enhance the mood of individual it willmore likely fail in doing so. The opponent process theory was formulated to explain thesepatterns of observations.[7][8]Equity theoryEquity Theory shows how a person views fairness in regard to social relationships. During asocial exchange, a person identifies the amount of input gained from a relationship compared tothe output, as well as how much effort another persons puts forth.[9] Equity Theory suggests thatif an individual thinks there is an inequality between two social groups or individuals, the personis likely to be distressed because the ratio between the input and the output are not equal.[10]For example, consider two employees who work the same job and receive the same benefits. Ifone individual gets a pay raise for doing the same or less work than the other, then the lessbenefited individual will become distressed in his workplace. If, on the other hand, oneindividual gets a pay raise and new responsibilities, then the feeling of inequality is reduced.[10].Discrepancy theoryThe concept of discrepancy theory explains the ultimate source of anxiety and dejection.[11] Anindividual, who has not fulfilled his responsibility feels the sense of anxiety and regret for notperforming well, they will also feel dejection due to not being able to achieve their hopes andaspirations. According to this theory, all individuals will learn what their obligations andresponsibilities for a particular function, over a time period, and if they fail to fulfill thoseobligations then they are punished. Over time, these duties and obligations consolidate to forman abstracted set of principles, designated as a self-guide.[12] Agitation and anxiety are the mainresponses when an individual fails to achieve the obligation or responsibility.[13] This theory alsoexplains that if achievement of the obligations is obtained then the reward can be praise,approval, or love. These achievements and aspirations also form an abstracted set of principles,referred to as the ideal self guide.[12] When the individual fails to obtain these rewards, theybegin to have feelings of dejection, disappointment, or even depression.[13]Two-factor theory (motivator-hygiene theory)Frederick Herzberg‟s Two-factor theory (also known as Motivator Hygiene Theory) attempts toexplain satisfaction and motivation in the workplace.[14] This theory states that satisfaction anddissatisfaction are driven by different factors – motivation and hygiene factors, respectively. Anemployee‟s motivation to work is continually related to job satisfaction of a subordinate.Motivation can be seen as an inner force that drives individuals to attain personal andorganizational goals (Hoskinson, Porter, & Wrench, p. 133). Motivating factors are those aspectsof the job that make people want to perform, and provide people with satisfaction, for exampleachievement in work, recognition, promotion opportunities. These motivating factors areconsidered to be intrinsic to the job, or the work carried out.[14] Hygiene factors include aspects
  5. 5. of the working environment such as pay, company policies, supervisory practices, and otherworking conditions.[14]While Hertzbergs model has stimulated much research, researchers have been unable to reliablyempirically prove the model, with Hackman & Oldham suggesting that Hertzbergs originalformulation of the model may have been a methodological artifact.[14] Furthermore, the theorydoes not consider individual differences, conversely predicting all employees will react in anidentical manner to changes in motivating/hygiene factors.[14] Finally, the model has beencriticised in that it does not specify how motivating/hygiene factors are to be measured.[14]Job characteristics modelHackman & Oldham proposed the Job Characteristics Model, which is widely used as aframework to study how particular job characteristics impact on job outcomes, including jobsatisfaction. The model states that there are five core job characteristics (skill variety, taskidentity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback) which impact three critical psychologicalstates (experienced meaningfulness, experienced responsibility for outcomes, and knowledge ofthe actual results), in turn influencing work outcomes (job satisfaction, absenteeism, workmotivation, etc.).[15] The five core job characteristics can be combined to form a motivatingpotential score (MPS) for a job, which can be used as an index of how likely a job is to affect anemployees attitudes and behaviors. A meta-analysis of studies that assess the framework of themodel provides some support for the validity of the JCM.[16]Motivating Potential ScoreThe motivating potential score (MPS) can be calculated, using the core dimensions discussedabove, as follows;Jobs that are high in motivating potential must be high on at least one of the three factors thatlead to experienced meaningfulness, and also must be high on both Autonomy and Feedback.[17]If a job has a high MPS, the job characteristics model predicts that motivation, performance andjob satisfaction will be positively affected and the likelihood of negative outcomes, such asabsenteeism and turnover, will be reduced. [17]Factors that influence job satisfactionEnvironmental factorsCommunication overload and communication underload
  6. 6. One of the most important aspects of an individual‟s work in a modern organization concerns themanagement of communication demands that he or she encounters on the job.[18] Demands canbe characterized as a communication load, which refers to “the rate and complexity ofcommunication inputs an individual must process in a particular time frame.”[19] Individuals inan organization can experience communication over-load and communication under- load whichcan affect their level of job satisfaction. Communication overload can occur when “an individualreceives too many messages in a short period of time which can result in unprocessedinformation or when an individual faces more complex messages that are more difficult toprocess.[19]” Due to this process, “given an individual‟s style of work and motivation to completea task, when more inputs exist than outputs, the individual perceives a condition of overload[18]which can be positively or negatively related to job satisfaction. In comparison, communicationunder load can occur when messages or inputs are sent below the individual‟s ability to processthem.”[19] According to the ideas of communication over-load and under-load, if an individualdoes not receive enough input on the job or is unsuccessful in processing these inputs, theindividual is more likely to become dissatisfied, aggravated, and unhappy with their work whichleads to a low level of job satisfaction.Superior-subordinate communicationSuperior-subordinate communication is an important influence on job satisfaction in theworkplace. The way in which subordinates perceive a supervisors behavior can positively ornegatively influence job satisfaction. Communication behavior such as facial expression, eyecontact, vocal expression, and body movement is crucial to the superior-subordinate relationship(Teven, p. 156). Nonverbal messages play a central role in interpersonal interactions with respectto impression formation, deception, attraction, social influence, and emotional.[20] Nonverbalimmediacy from the supervisor helps to increase interpersonal involvement with theirsubordinates impacting job satisfaction. The manner in which supervisors communicate withtheir subordinates non-verbally may be more important than the verbal content (Teven, p. 156).Individuals who dislike and think negatively about their supervisor are less willing tocommunicate or have motivation to work whereas individuals who like and think positively oftheir supervisor are more likely to communicate and are satisfied with their job and workenvironment. A supervisor who uses nonverbal immediacy, friendliness, and opencommunication lines is more likely to receive positive feedback and high job satisfaction from asubordinate. Conversely, a supervisor who is antisocial, unfriendly, and unwilling tocommunicate will naturally receive negative feedback and create low job satisfaction in theirsubordinates in the workplace.Effective human resources practices lead to positive financial outcomes[21] A Watson Wyatt Worldwide study identified a positive outcome between a collegical andflexible work enviornment and an increase in shareholder value. Suggesting that employeesatisfaction is directly related to financial gain. Over 40 percent of the companies listed in the top100 of Fortune magazine‟s, “America‟s Best Companies to Work For” also appear on theFortune 500. It is possible that successful workers enjoy working at successful companies,however, the Watson Wyatt Worldwide Human Capital Index study claims that effective human
  7. 7. resources practices lead to positive financial outcomes more often than positive financialoutcomes lead to good practices.Individual factorsEmotionMood and emotions form the affective element of job satisfaction. Moods tend to be longerlasting but often weaker states of uncertain origin, while emotions are often more intense, short-lived and have a clear object or cause.[22]Some research suggests moods are related to overall job satisfaction.[23][24] Positive and negativeemotions were also found to be significantly related to overall job satisfaction.[25]Frequency of experiencing net positive emotion will be a better predictor of overall jobsatisfaction than will intensity of positive emotion when it is experienced.[25]Emotion work (or emotion management) refers to various types of efforts to manage emotionalstates and displays. Emotion management includes all of the conscious and unconscious effortsto increase, maintain, or decrease one or more components of an emotion. Although early studiesof the consequences of emotional work emphasized its harmful effects on workers, studies ofworkers in a variety of occupations suggest that the consequences of emotional work are notuniformly negative.[26]It was found that suppression of unpleasant emotions decreases job satisfaction and theamplification of pleasant emotions increases job satisfaction.[27]The understanding of how emotion regulation relates to job satisfaction concerns two models: 1. Emotional dissonance. Emotional dissonance is a state of discrepancy between public displays of emotions and internal experiences of emotions,[28][29] that often follows the process of emotion regulation. Emotional dissonance is associated with high emotional exhaustion, low organizational commitment, and low job satisfaction.[30][31] 2. Social interaction model. Taking the social interaction perspective, workers‟ emotion regulation might beget responses from others during interpersonal encounters that subsequently impact their own job satisfaction. For example: The accumulation of favorable responses to displays of pleasant emotions might positively affect job satisfaction.[27]GeneticsIt has been well documented that genetics influence a variety of individual differences.[32] Someresearch suggests genetics also play a role in the intrinsic, direct experiences of job satisfactionlike challenge or achievement (as opposed to extrinsic, environmental factors like workingconditions). One experiment used sets of monozygotic twins, reared apart, to test for theexistence of genetic influence on job satisfaction. While the results indicate the majority of the
  8. 8. variance in job satisfaction was due to environmental factors (70%), genetic influence is still aminor factor. Genetic heritability was also suggested for several of the job characteristicsmeasured in the experiment, such as complexity level, motor skill requirements, and physicaldemands.[33]PersonalitySome research suggests an association between personality and job satisfaction. Specifically, thisresearch describes the role of negative affectivity and positive affectivity. Negative affectivity isrelated strongly to the personality trait of neuroticism. Individuals high in negative affectivity aremore prone to experience less job satisfaction. Positive affectivity is related strongly to thepersonality trait of extraversion. Those high in positive affectivity are more prone to be satisfiedin most dimensions of their life, including their job. Differences in affectivity likely impact howindividuals will perceive objective job circumstances like pay and working conditions, thusaffecting their satisfaction in that job.[34]Measuring job satisfactionHow job satisfaction is measured depends on whether affective or cognitive job satisfaction is ofinterest. The majority of job satisfaction measures are self-reports and based on multi-itemscales. Several measures have been developed over the years, although they vary in terms of howcarefully and distinctively they are conceptualized with respect to affective or cognitive jobsatisfaction. They also vary in terms of the extent and rigour of their psychometric validation.The Brief Index of Affective Job Satisfaction (BIAJS) is a 4-item, overtly affective as opposedto cognitive, measure of overall affective job satisfaction. The BIAJS differs from other jobsatisfaction measures in being comprehensively validated not just for internal consistencyreliability, temporal stability, convergent and criterion-related validities, but also for cross-population invariance by nationality, job level, and job type. Reported internal consistencyreliabilities range between .81 and .87 [1].The Job Descriptive Index (JDI)[35], is a specifically cognitive job satisfaction measure. Itmeasures one‟s satisfaction in five facets: pay, promotions and promotion opportunities,coworkers, supervision, and the work itself. The scale is simple, participants answer either yes,no, or can‟t decide (indicated by „?‟) in response to whether given statements accurately describeone‟s job.Other job satisfaction questionnaires include: the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ),the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS), and the Faces Scale. The MSQ measures job satisfaction in 20facets and has a long form with 100 questions (five items from each facet) and a short form with20 questions (one item from each facet). The JSS is a 36 item questionnaire that measures ninefacets of job satisfaction. Finally, the Faces Scale of job satisfaction, one of the first scales usedwidely, measured overall job satisfaction with just one item which participants respond to bychoosing a face..
  9. 9. Relationships and practical implicationsJob Satisfaction can be indicative of work behaviors such as organizational citizenship,[36] andwithdrawal behaviors such as absenteeism,[37] and turnover.[38] Further, job satisfaction canpartially mediate the relationship of personality variables and deviant work behaviors.[39]One common research finding is that job satisfaction is correlated with life satisfaction.[40] Thiscorrelation is reciprocal, meaning people who are satisfied with life tend to be satisfied with theirjob and people who are satisfied with their job tend to be satisfied with life. However, someresearch has found that job satisfaction is not significantly related to life satisfaction when othervariables such as nonwork satisfaction and core self-evaluations are taken into account.[41]An important finding for organizations to note is that job satisfaction has a rather tenuouscorrelation to productivity on the job. This is a vital piece of information to researchers andbusinesses, as the idea that satisfaction and job performance are directly related to one another isoften cited in the media and in some non-academic management literature. A recent meta-analysis found surprisingly low correlations between job satisfaction and performance.[42]Further, the meta-analysis found that the relationship between satisfaction and performance canbe moderated by job complexity, such that for high-complexity jobs the correlation betweensatisfaction and performance is higher than for jobs of low to moderate complexity. Additionally,one longitudinal study indicated that among work attitudes, job satisfaction is a strong predictorof absenteeism, suggesting that increasing job satisfaction and organizational commitment arepotentially good strategies for reducing absenteeism and turnover intentions.[43] Recent researchhas also shown that intention to quit alone can have negative effects on performance,organizational deviance, and organizational citizenship behaviours.[44] In short, the relationshipof satisfaction to productivity is not as straightforward as often assumed and can be influencedby a number of different work-related constructs, and the notion that "a happy worker is aproductive worker" should not be the foundation of organizational decision-making. Forexample, employee personality may even be more important than job satisfaction in regards toperformance.

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