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Factors Affecting Job Satisfaction


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Job satisfaction has received substantial attention from both researchers and practitioners due to its significance in achieving organisational goals in the private and public sectors. Researchers in the human resource field have long probed the relationship between variables related to job satisfaction and employee performance (Locke, 1976; Currall, et al, 2005; Qureshi et al.,2011; Rehman & Waheed ,2011; Rehman, 2012), and productivity ( (Marks, 2006; Bataineh ,2011). However, there is little agreement on how contributory factors play a significant role in job satisfaction (Elding, Tobias, & Walker, 2006).

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Factors Affecting Job Satisfaction

  2. 2. Page 2 of 18 RESEARCH PROPOSAL - PRESENTATION AND FORMAT GUIDELINES Congratulationsonbeingenrolled into a higher degree byresearch program. Now that you have begun, you will embarkonthe candidaturephase. Thisphaseshouldbecompletedinatimelywayto ensurethat you canget on with your research and thesis writing. The candidature proposal is your opportunity to plan your research and present this plan to your academic colleagues in the faculty. It needs to convince the university that the research has merit and should be supported. Postgraduate committee members who read your proposal may not be expert in your particular field. It is therefore importanttheproposalbewritten in plainlanguage,notassumeanyprior knowledge,andanytechnical terms be kept to a minimum and be defined. Brevity is essential.Theproposaldocumentmustnotexceed12pages,excludingtitle page and reference list. It should be presented in 12-point typeface. Aminimum margin of 2.5 cm is suggested. Commentsreceivedfrom your mentorgroupshould be heeded and be reflected in amendments or redrafting as agreed with them. The proposal will then proceed to the faculty postgraduate research committee for consideration and approval. Sometimes revisions will be requested before the proposal can be finally approved. Do not be discouraged by this. Critical peer review is a normal part of the academic process and does not implythat you do not have the abilityor your researchwillnotbe successful.It is simplya wayof ensuring that the foundations for your research are as sound and strong as possible. Once your candidature is approved, you can commence the research (subject to ethics approval where relevant). We aim to ensure that you complete your thesis with the minimum of amendments and the most positive assessmentby examiners. Gainingcandidatureapprovalisthe first step onthe journeyto achievinganexcellent outcome from your research degree.
  3. 3. Page 3 of 18 SECTION 1: AIMS AND CONTEXT OF PROJECT Job satisfaction has received substantial attention from both researchers and practitioners due to its significance in achieving organisational goals in the private and public sectors. Researchers in the human resource field have long probed the relationship between variables related to job satisfaction and employee performance (Locke, 1976; Currall, et al, 2005; Qureshi et al.,2011; Rehman & Waheed ,2011; Rehman, 2012), and productivity ( (Marks, 2006; Bataineh ,2011). However, there is little agreement on how contributory factors play a significant role in job satisfaction (Elding, Tobias, & Walker, 2006). Therefore, one of the most challenges for any management or organization is to find out the factors that affect employees' job satisfaction and use them to motivate the workforce, and explore the consequences of job satisfaction to handle it in the appropriate way. Saari & Judge (2004) argued that, whilst there were many studies on job satisfaction, there was little on the causes, effects and measurement of employee attitudes and the relationship with job satisfaction. This study aims to establish the level of job satisfaction in a range of public sector workplaces in Saudi Arabia, and identify the intrinsic and the extrinsic factors that influence job satisfaction among middle managers in the public organisations. It also aims to explore the effects of job satisfaction on both organizations and the middle managers in the Saudi public sector. The public sector in Saudi Arabia is the direct source of civil services, encompassing health, education, security, transport, and in some cases, accommodation; or indirectly through the joint venture system between the Saudi elite and their partners, global firms. Whilst the government provider system is devolving towards the private sector to share responsibility for services, citizen satisfaction requires a high standard of such services for the country to function successfully and to continue to grow. There is a therefore need to understand the perceptions of public middle managers toward their employment, and towards the population they serve. There are few recent studies on job satisfaction in the public sector in Saudi Arabia. Recent studies on public sector satisfaction in Saudi Arabia relate to nurses (Alasmari & Douglas, 2012; Michell, 2009), and academics (Al-Rubaish et al., 2011; Iqbal et al., 2011). On the other hand, Job satisfaction has been identified as a factor in both employee absenteeism and intention to leave a job (Murrells, Robinson, & Griffiths, 2008; Consiglio, Borgogni, & Alessandri, 2010). In Saudi Arabia, up to a quarter of the workforce is frequently absent, and employees quit without notice (Alnaqbi, 2011). As an example, Iqbal, Kokash, and Al-Oun (2011) studied organisational commitment and job satisfaction in Saudi
  4. 4. Page 4 of 18 universities, finding high dissatisfaction, and the authors recommended tenure, increased monitoring of the faculty’s perceptions on their jobs, greater communication between the administration and faculty, and reduced wasta (nepotism). This study proposes to investigate the factors that contribute to employee satisfaction in the Saudi public sector, and from the findings, make recommendations to the Ministry of Civil Service. In the private sector, the lack of interest of Saudis and their indifferent commitment to employment is being addressed through “Nitaqat”, a government policy to attract and retain Saudis in the workplace; however, there may also be a trend toward decreased public sector commitment such as depicted by Swales and Al Fahdi (2011) in Oman and Al-Yahya (2009) in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia this is of concern, particularly given the sector’s perceived highly attractive remuneration and working conditions. To achieve these aims, it should be answered the following questions: 1. What is the level of job satisfaction in the Saudi public sector? 2. What factors that influence job satisfaction in Saudi public sector? From this question emerge the following sub-questions: - Does job satisfaction have significant correlations with intrinsic factors? - Does job satisfaction have significant correlations with extrinsic factors? - Which factors (intrinsic or extrinsic factors) are more significant among middle managers in the public sector? 3. What are the effects of job satisfaction on both organizations (in terms of turnover and organizational) commitment and middle managers (in terms of level of stress)?
  5. 5. Page 5 of 18 SECTION 2: CONTRIBUTION TO KNOWLEDGE & STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE 2.1 Contribution to Knowledge (Academic Contribution) This study derives its importance from that human resource is a corner stone and valuable element in any organization, and plays a vital role in its success. Middle Managers are responsible for inputs and outputs of their domains. They have goals and targets to achieve, given the control they have over their resources. However their performance depends on their motivation level and their job satisfaction. Whilst there is a considerable body of evidence regarding job satisfaction that is national-based and industry-based, there appears to be a gap in the managerial research on middle managers and job satisfaction in the public sector of Saudi Arabia. This includes lack of data on current job satisfaction of public servants and how to resolve the issues that arise from job dissatisfaction. Therefore, this proposed study adds to the body of knowledge on job satisfaction within the public sector, and its constituent factors in relation to the unique contribution of Saudi Arabia’s public servants. 2.2 Statement of Significance (Practical Contribution) The proposed research aims to identify factors relating to public sector employees that are seen to instil a sense of pride and accomplishment, and factors that may produce negative outcomes: stress, employee turnover that could impact both organisations and employees. The aim is to identify interventions that may improve employee commitment to their work and their organisations, thus, this study has a practical and humanistic application: Firstly, it will identify issues in managers' job satisfaction and offer recommendations regarding job satisfaction for public sector that could contribute in improving performance in client services. Secondly, in humanistic side, lock (1976) indicates that job satisfaction can influence employees’ attitude toward life, family, and themselves. In addition, it may have effects on their health. Therefore' it is important to understand the consequences of job satisfaction and handle it in appropriate way.
  6. 6. Page 6 of 18 SECTION 3: LITERATURE REVIEW AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK There are several themes concerning job satisfaction and these have been thoroughly explored: environmental relates to the socio-economic environment; organisational refers to policies and practices of the workplace; relationships between the employee, the immediate team and the supervisor; and motivational factors that include attitude and intent (Clark, Kristensen, & Westergård-Nielsen, 2009; Coomber & Barriball, 2007; Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001; Steers, 1977). In this proposal, socio-economic factors differ from the broad contexts of the literature, as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has an Islamic constitution and a stratified society. In the following will review to the previous studies that addressed the factors affecting job satisfaction according to intrinsic factors originate from within the individual and have psychological value and extrinsic factors originate from outside the individual, and also studies relating to the problems that could arise as result of job dissatisfaction. 3.1 Intrinsic and Extrinsic factors In 1959, Herzberg categorized the factors related to job satisfaction to a hygiene factors (e.g. organisational policy, remuneration, working conditions, and interpersonal relations) which were often subject to negative perceptions and thus job dissatisfaction. Addressing hygiene factors may remove job dissatisfaction; however, the resolution of these elements did not necessarily promote job satisfaction. The motivators include the nature of the work, achievement, recognition, responsibility and career openings. Rafiq et al (2012) supported Herzberg’s hygiene and motivational factors model in studying motivation in a call centre in Pakistan, whilst Sledge, Miles and Coppage (2008) used the two factor theory of motivation to assess job satisfaction in the Brazilian hotel industry, finding partial support for the theory and suggesting that culture influences job satisfaction. In successfully testing Herzberg’s model, Lundberg, Gudmundson, and Andersson (2007) studied seasonal workers in the hospitality industry, finding that the seasonal workers were more concerned about meeting new people than the long-term employees, and less concerned about remuneration than the control group. Lundberg et al. (2007) suggested that management in the hospitality industry should recognise that a contract workforce consists of different kinds of worker subgroups, which have different needs to be satisfied. This finding is relevant to Saudi Arabia’s highly expatriate proportion of its labour force, although the proportion is lower in the broad public sector. In other context, Yu (2009) conducted study in Chinese academics, finding that work related factors that prompted academic job satisfaction related to work groups, work itself and to intrinsic factors such as self-esteem, self-efficacy and self- actualisation, while the factors that contributed to dissatisfaction were mostly extrinsic factors related to pay and promotion.
  7. 7. Page 7 of 18 In Iran, Rad and De Moraes (2009) studied job satisfaction and found that employees were moderately satisfied with their jobs and their immediate relationships; however they were critical of ‘hygiene’ factors such as remuneration and working conditions. Janus et al (2008) conducted cross-national factors, monetary and non-monetary affecting job satisfaction in Germany and USA, finding commonality in participation in decision making, although other factors such as working conditions, pay and workplace resource availability predictably varied between the two populations. Similarly, in a study of independent Pakistani medical centres, Khan, et al. (2011) found a list of ‘hygiene’ factors of pay and working conditions affect job satisfaction. Khan et al.’s study was preceded by a similar study by Kaya, Koc, and Topcu (2010) regarding Turkish banks. However, Kaya et al. (2010) found that as well as employment policies impacting job satisfaction, the organisational climate made a significant contribution. Al-Nsour (2012) studied the impact of financial and moral incentives on performance for staff at Jordanian universities. The study participants were adequately remunerated and their performance was acceptable as measured by customer satisfaction, internal business practices, and employee learning and growth. In another recent paper, Širca, Babnik, and Breznik (2012) found a strong relationship between employment policies, the responsibility of the human resource function, and job satisfaction, with a particular influence to satisfaction evident from training and employer support for further education. Organisational climate will form a set of questions for this study. In an Egyptian business environment, Matar (2010) explored motivation and job satisfaction among senior and middle managers, once more finding general satisfaction with factors over which the participants had some control and dissatisfaction with ‘hygiene’ factors. Elamin and Alomaim (2011) studied a wide range of Saudi industries to examine the influence of organisation justice, or workplace equity, on job satisfaction. They found that job satisfaction was influenced by organisation justice for both Saudi and foreign employees. In study conducted on Danish public service, Sell and Cleal (2011) reported remuneration and working environment were determining factors of job satisfaction. Studying the South African public service, van der Zee (2009) found that job satisfaction and organisational commitment were above average for the two surveys.
  8. 8. Page 8 of 18 3.2 consequences of job satisfaction The literature shows significant benefits for employees who are satisfied with their working conditions, job environment and relationships, and the nature of the work itself. Researchers from different countries reflect the legislation that governs the work, so that jurisdictions with less controlled employee conditions have more factors in satisfaction than others; Nadiri and Tanova’s (2010) ‘justice’ issues in North Cyprus is an example. Given differing regulations, and importantly, perceived lack of enforcement of those regulations especially with itinerant workers Cooke ( 2011), job satisfaction is a multi-dimensional phenomenon. In this review of the literature, the focus is organisational level job satisfaction; given enforced legal employment conditions, what is job satisfaction and what are its components? The contemporary nature of work and what constitutes acceptable conditions is another issue; such as working conditions in a semi-conductor factory on the outskirts of a city and financiers working in the central business district may both find their working conditions quite acceptable; however, air conditioning for the seamstresses and 60-hour weeks for the financiers monitoring overseas markets may not be considered acceptable to each group (c.f. Veitch, Charles, Farley, & Newsham, 2007; Wong, & Richardson, 2010). However, give these differences, the effects of job related stresses usually include variables such as staff turnover, and reduced performance and organisational commitment (Griffin, Hogan, Lambert, Tucker-Gail, & Baker, 2010). 3.2.1 Staff turnover Given Kanfer’s (2012) report on recent research on the direct approach of goal search and commitment as a motivating factor, intention to stay or leave may also be an indicator of job satisfaction. Earlier, Mobley (1977) studied job satisfaction and turnover in the public sector. There was evidence that organisational commitment strengthened public service motivation, and that affective organisational commitment had a direct effect on all the dimensions of public service motivation. However, in a meta-analysis between intent to leave and employee turnover, Steel and Ovalle (1984) found that intention to leave was a higher predictor of attrition than overall job satisfaction, satisfaction with work itself, or organisational commitment. Camilleri (2006) found that an alternative job opportunity was a predictor for future organisational commitment. Moreover, family commitment was associated with public service motivation. Among the Irish nursing profession, McCarthy, Tyrrell,
  9. 9. Page 9 of 18 and Lehane (2007) discovered that 60 per cent of participants were contemplating leaving their jobs; citing family needs and job satisfaction. For the purposes of this study, a survey question should include intention to stay or leave the job and the employer. 3.2.2 Stress Within a work environment, occupational stress refers to any negative experience caused by an imbalance between job demands and the capability of the workers so that stress occurs when job demands are too high. (Schaufeli and Enzmann, 1998). In a meta-study, Galanakis, Stalikas, Kallia, and Karagianni (2009) found no gender or age differences overall, thus stress can occur to any worker at any age. High levels of occupational stress and burnout can cause reduced productivity, whilst job performance, job satisfaction, and organisational commitment were found to be negatively linked with stress (Bakker Demerouti, & Schaufeli, 2003). 2.2.3 Organizational commitment (if you can find the resent studies on commitment) Again, the concept of organisational commitment has varied from its beginnings in the 1960s and is influenced by the nature of job and an employee’s experience at the workplace (Becker, 1960). Porter, Steers, Mowday, & Boulian (1974) found that job satisfaction and organisational commitment differ, suggesting that job satisfaction develops faster than commitment, which requires a comprehensive assessment of an employee’s relationship with the organisation. While high organisational commitment implies job satisfaction, it may also improve performance, and decrease absenteeism and intention to leave (Loi, Hang-Yue, & Foley, 2006). 2.5 Gap in the literature There are two gaps in the literature that could be addressed by the proposed study. The first is that there are many exploratory studies with lists of factors that influence job satisfaction; however, as the research is approached from different disciplines, these do not reach any accord as to the dominating variables involved. The second is that through review the studies that addressed intrinsic and extrinsic factors, notes that there is difference in findings of studies regarding the group the most significance. For instance, Randolph, 2005; Yu (2009) suggest that intrinsic factors are more significant than are extrinsic factors. While, other studies indicate that the extrinsic factors are more correlated relationship with job satisfaction as compared to intrinsic factors ( Janet et al.,1987; Rehman et al., 2010; ). This research will categorise the emerging variables according to intrinsic factors originate from within the individual and have psychological value and extrinsic factors originate from outside the
  10. 10. Page 10 of 18 Job satisfaction individual and investigate the effect these factors on the middle managers’ job satisfaction, and then find out which groups of them is more significant. It will also explore the effects of job satisfaction on both organizations and middle managers. This should provide a model which can be used to identify factors in the public services, the ministry, and the employee’s attitude which can be specifically addressed. Second, there is little research on job satisfaction in the Saudi public sector, and this research will add to the literature in that regard. 2.6 Conceptual framework As noted, many studies have pointed in different cultural contexts that there are several factors concerning job satisfaction such as environmental that relates to the socio-economic environment; organisational which refers to policies and practices of the workplace; relationships between the employees, the immediate team and the supervisor; and motivational factors that include attitude and intent. These correlations were demonstrated in different cultural contexts through literature review. Thus, it will be fruitful to find out if the same situation applies to the context of Saudi Arabia through testing intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect employees' satisfaction in the public sector. The study on the effects of job satisfaction is an important issue because It has been observed that declining job satisfaction may lead to increase in staff turnover, reduction in employees’ commitment, creation of physical and psychological problems and result in high level of job related stress. So it is important to examine what factors impact employees’ job satisfaction in Saudi public sector. The draft model is at figure 2. Intrinsic factors - Stress - Turnover -organizational commitment - Pay - Promotions - Work group - Organization policies - Job security - Work condition - Work it self - Achievement - Responsibility - Growth - Recognition Extrinsic factors Consequences of job satisfaction
  11. 11. Page 11 of 18 Figure 2: conceptual framework of study SECTION 4: APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY Selection of an appropriate methodology is dependent on the research questions. In this case, Teddlie and Tashakkori (2009) suggest using quantitative data collection and analysis. In this methodology, a quantitative approach, according to Muijis (2011), explains phenomena by collecting numerical data which can be analysed using statistical methods. This form of analysis follows the positivist paradigm, where evidence can be deduced from cause and effect. Scientific methods can be used to test theories and either reject or provisionally accept them. Through the development of reliable measurement instruments, the nature of the world can be studied (Muijis, 2011). Quantitative data may be collected by survey, where closed-ended questions are frequently measured by the Likert technique. Open-ended questions on a survey, on the other hand, lead to qualitative data collection (Silverman, 2010). The aim of this study is to explore the factors that influence job satisfaction of middle managers in the Saudi public sector. It also aims to explore the consequences of job satisfaction. In this case the appropriate methodology is a quantitative approach that explains phenomena by collecting numerical data which can be analysed using statistical methods. A quantitative data will be collected by questionnaire survey, where closed-ended questions will be measured by the Likert scale. Questionnaire has many advantages that serve this study as it provides clear set of procedures starting from identification of sample, data collection technique and analysis. Enable from collect data from large groups in the short time and in low cost , especially if it is self- administered , Provides quantified data for decision-making, Permits the asking of multiple questions, thus giving a significant elasticity to the analysis. Finally it produces standardized data since every respondent is given the same questions to answer. ( This copy and paste, it the same or similar the above but because the above need reference, edit them as you see ) According to May (1996) and Bryman (2004), there are some advantages of using this type of questionnaire. One of these advantages is the low cost involved when compared with administering interviews, as it can save the researcher’s time by covering a wider area and a large quantities at the same time. Another advantage is that it is more convenient for respondents as it gives them the freedom to answer in their own time and at their own pace. Moreover, it eliminates the interviewer effect. However, it can
  12. 12. Page 12 of 18 not be claimed that the questionnaire is perfect, as there are some disadvantages attached to this kind of data collection. For example, there is no one who can help the respondents when they need some clarifications about answering some questions. Another disadvantage is that, if the respondent begins by reading the whole questionnaire before answering the first question, this may lead to the loss of the question‟s independency; there is also the probability of losing data when the respondent does not answer certain questions. Additionally, it is not possible to know who actually filled in the questionnaire. Finally, there is the probability of getting a lower rate of respondents (Bryman, 2004). 4.1 Population and sample The population will be middle managers in the public sector in Saudi Arabia .The study sample will be chosen in two stages: stage one: a random sample will be selected from (organizations) branches of ministries in Jeddah. Stage two: questionnaire will be distributed to the all middle managers in these organizations by researcher (self-administration) to collect data. The reason of choosing Jeddah is because it is the second largest city in Saudi Arabia, and the major port and commercial heart of the nation. Jeddah attracts residents from other Saudi regions, so it represents a mix of population. All the ministries and their departments are represented in Jeddah which has a population of 3.4m, and this figure is expected to rise to 5m by 2020 (Jeddah Municipality, 2009). 4.2 Data collection instrument The survey questionnaire, delivered in Arabic, will consist of four sections. Section one will ask demographic factors, age, gender, education level, years of experience (e.g., 0-4 years). The second section will ask about satisfaction with the job: whether it was what they expected, whether the job tasks meet the job description; whether the individual or group is rewarded for extra work; whether they feel pressure to get the work done; whether they feel they can freely access leave and incentives for growth. The third section will probe the participants’ views of the manner by which their organisations meet the public sector/government aspirations; salary, work conditions their internal communications with the executive, and opportunities for promotions and their relationships with their co-workers. The final section will ask about the consequences of satisfaction in terms of their views on a satisfactory working environment, views on job stress and experiences of stressful conditions, and
  13. 13. Page 13 of 18 organisational commitment and whether they were contemplating moving, if so, to the public or private sector. A five-point Likert scale will be used for sections two to four. 4.3 Analysis For the questionnaire, statistical programs are the most accurate analytical instruments (Buglear, 2005). The data from survey will be prepared for SPSS, which will be used for data analysis. Cronbach’s alpha will be used to measure the reliability or consistency of the questionnaire. logistic regression will be used to measure the level of job satisfaction, ANOVA correlation will be used to measure the relationship between (the intrinsic and extrinsic factors) and job satisfaction, and Pearson correlation analysis will be used to measure the relationship between job satisfaction and ( level of stress, turnover and organizational commitment). 4.4. Ethical Clearance Since the study involves public officers as the sample target, the researcher will seek ethical clearance from the Victoria University and will perform the data collection in accordance to the ethical procedure of the university.
  14. 14. Page 14 of 18 SECTION 5: BUDGET (Prepare for Assessment 3). Maximum half page Show expected costs relevantto the proposed research. You may budget up to $2800 for data collection, any travel associated with the research and/or attendance at relevant local or international conferences for the purpose of presenting your research to academic peers. It is not always feasible to identify relevant conferences in advance, so this area of your budget may be notional. If you think the budgetfor your research may exceed $2800, you will need to provide detailed justification to your Head of School or Centre in due course who will consider this on its merits. SECTION 6: TIMELINE (Prepare for Assessment 3). Include a plan of expected progress in Gantt chart form. A sample is provided below: 200? 200? Qtr1 Qtr2 Qtr3 Qtr4 Qtr1 Qtr2 Qtr3 Qtr4 Candidature Proposal Ethics Approval Literature Review Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Thesis Write up Submission
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  18. 18. Page 18 of 18 Yu, X. (2009). Job satisfaction of university academics in China, PhD thesis, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England.