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Sectoral Comparison of Factors Influencing Job Satisfaction for Telecom and Finance Sectors in Turkey

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Sectoral Comparison of Factors Influencing Job Satisfaction for Telecom and Finance Sectors in Turkey

  1. 1. SECTORAL COMPARISON OF FACTORS INFLUENCING JOB SATISFACTION FOR TELECOM AND FINANCE SECTORS IN TURKEY HÜSEYİN KIRAN Boğaziçi University Prof. Dr. Hayat KABASAKAL JANUARY ’11
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1) INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………. 3 2) OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY…………………………………... 4 3) BACKGROUND…………………………………………………… 5 4) METHODOLOGY………………………………………………… 11 5) FINDINGS………………………………………………………….. 12 6) CONCLUSION…………………………………………………….. 18 7) REFERENCES…………………………………………………….. 19 2
  3. 3. 1) INTRODUCTION Researchers have tried to define the concept of satisfaction many times, and they all came up with the definition that the satisfaction is the final state of a psychological process. (qtd. in Bernal, Castel, Navarro and Torres, 2005). After reviewing and comparing most of the existing definitions, Bernal, Castel, Navarro, and Torres defined the satisfaction as “a summary and affective response of variable intensity that is centered on the specific aspects of the acquisition and/or the consumption and that takes place at the exact moment when an individual evaluates the object.” (2005) Job satisfaction, on the other hand, Locke (1969) stated that job satisfaction is a function of the perceived relationship between what one wants from his or her job and what one perceives it offers. ( qtd in Lund, 2003) In another definition, Locke (1976) described it as “a satisfying or positive emotional state resulting from the appreciation of one’s job or job experience”. (qtd in Eskildsen,Kristensen and Antvor 2010). According to Weiss (2002) job satisfaction is about how people’s feelings about their jobs and its different aspects. (qtd. in Lund, 2003) Job satisfaction is found to be dependent on various factors that can be grouped into two following categories that are depicted by Reiner and Zhao in 1999, (1) The personal characteristics of employees (2) The characteristics of the job itself. (qtd. in Bernal, Castel, Navarro and Torres, 2005) 3
  4. 4. In some researches, job satisfaction is stated to be dependent on personal characteristics like the national culture (Eskildsen, Kristensen and Antvor 2010) , age (Bernal, Castel, Navarro and Torres, 2005) and gender (Savary, 1996) whereas others focused on jobrelated characteristics like organizational culture ( Lund, 2003), workplace flexibility (Origo and Fagani, 2008) , rank (Oshagbemi, 1997) and organizational identification (Tuzun, 2009). 2) OBJECTIVE THE STUDY Job satisfaction can be considered as an important factor that affects employee motivation and commitment. In the literature, there are numerous researches that were conducted to analyze the factors affecting job satisfaction. This study focuses on two different sectors in Turkey, which are banking and telecommunications. Aim of this study is to see the differences between finance and telecommunications sectors in terms of factors affecting job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is particularly important for the sectors that recognize the importance of service quality and psychology of employees. Thus, banking and telecommunications sectors are selected as the subject of the study since service quality is more important for those sectors than it is for the others. Especially, fringe benefits provided in those sectors are of great importance in the scope of this study. Fringe benefits can be defined as various non-wage compensations provided to employees in addition to their regular salaries. Since those sectors are expected to differ in the kind and amount of fringe benefits provided to the employees, those benefits are expected to be determinant in differentiating the levels of job satisfaction in those sectors. 4
  5. 5. In the literature, there is a limited number of researches on fringe benefits. This study aims to focus on fringe benefits as well as the other motivators that have effect on the level of job satisfaction. Although there were numerous studies investigating the factors affecting job satisfaction, limited researches were done in Turkish setting. Thus, the results of this study will provide a deeper insight about the situation in Turkey. The findings of this study will guide to firms and future academic studies as it discusses the implications regarding employee motivation and commitment in terms of factors affecting job satisfaction. Especially firms can benefit from the findings of the study in order to increase job satisfaction level among the employees adopting the right kind motivators and fringe benefits in their human resources policies. 3) Background In 1996, Stewart stated that employee satisfaction turned out to be one of the main corporate objectives. Unless the employees do not feel satisfied or do not identify with the company, organizations can not reach competitive levels of quality in product and customer service. (qtd. in Bernal, Castel, Navarro and Torres, 2005) Besides its humanitarian aspect, extensive researches have been done in various organizations for work-related objectives due to the implicit assumptions that job satisfaction has an effect on productivity, absenteeism, turnover, job performance and extra-role behavior. (Oshagbemi, 1999) 5
  6. 6. In 1982, Forgionne and Peeters conducted a survey among a sample of 450 managers selected from various organizations in the U.S. It was found that job satisfaction of managerial levels was higher than those of subordinates. Similarly, it was depicted that rank was a significant determinant of employees’ level of job satisfaction by Miles in 1996. ( qtd. in Oshagbemi, 1999) Although money has been used as the major motivator for employees in increasing their productivity by many managers, from a large amount of research (Lawler,1971; Calicoat,Entrekin and Grant, 1974; Entrekin, Popp,Soutar and Urquhart,1976) , it has been found that money is ranked the third or fourth most important factor. (qtd. in Savery, 1996) Locke, in 1976, suggested that there are seven working conditions positively associated with job satisfaction. These conditions are as follows: (1) mentally challenging work with which the individual can cope successfully (2) personal interest in the work itself (3) work which is not too tiring physically (4) rewards for performance in line with personal aspirations that are just and understood (5) working conditions which are compatible with the individual’s physical needs and work goals (6) high self-esteem on the part of the employee (7) help in attaining interesting work, pay, and promotions and in minimizing role conflict and ambiguity 6
  7. 7. Thus, it appears that conditions which meets expectations and can be classified as intrinsic motivators are important in increasing the desired level of job satisfaction for an individual or at least preventing job dissatisfaction. (qtd. in Savery, 1996) Organizational culture was found to be another factor affecting the level of job satisfaction among employees. Researchers (Baker, 1980; Deal and Kennedy, 1982; Peters and Waterman, 1982) stated that there are rituals, pass along corporate myths and stories, jargon that the members of an organization engage in and those practices may prevent the management from achieving organizational goals. (qtd. in Lund, 2003) Kilmann, in 1985, described corporate culture as “the shared philosophies, ideologies, values, assumptions, beliefs, expectations, attitudes and norms” that keep an organization together. (qtd. in Lund, 2003) In another definition, Uttal described it as “a system of shared values (what is important) and beliefs (how things work) that interact with a company’s people, organizational structures, and control systems to produce behavioral norms.” It was found that clan and adhocracy corporate cultures tend to have higher levels of employee job satisfaction. Thus, to increase the level of job satisfaction among his employees, managers should promote teamwork and loyalty as well as innovation and 7
  8. 8. entrepreneurship. The bureaucratic structure of hierarchies may not bring about to the desired level of job satisfaction needed to encourage loyalty and long-term commitment to the organization. (Lund, 2003) Former studies have shown that positive identification with the organization increases motivation, the level of job satisfaction and commitment. On the other hand, Pratt (1998) and van Dick (2004) stated that conflicts within an organization and turnover are reduced by positive identification. (qtd. in Tuzun, 2009) In 1992, Mael and Ashforth described organizational identification as “the perception of oneness with or belongingness to an organization, where the individual defines him or herself in terms of the organization(s) which he or she is a member”. In another study, Mael and Tetrick (1992) stated that high organizational identification improves an employee’s level of job satisfaction. (qtd in Tuzun, 2009). In a study conducted among Turkish bank employees, it was found that as the level of organizational commitment and organizational identification increases higher levels of job satisfaction are observed. (Tuzun, 2009) There has been some research which states that age and gender are also affecting the level of job satisfaction. Analyzing the effect of age, there has been three views argued. In the first view, it is suggested that satisfaction initially decreases till the ages of 20s and then increases with age. (Herzberg, Mausner, Peterson and Capwell, 1957) The second view (Hulin and Smith,1965; Herrick,1972; Lee and Wilbur,1985; Savery,1987), it is told that as 8
  9. 9. the age increases the level of job satisfaction increases as well. Finally, the third view (Saleh,Otis,1964;Carrell,Elbert,1974) suggests that job satisfaction increases until a terminal age when it decreases significantly. (qtd.in Savery, 1996) National culture is another factor that has an effect on the job satisfaction level of employees. Hofstede’s theory (2005) on national culture attempts to describe the differences between nations. According to Hofstede’s theory, differences in the following five dimensions of national culture are the source of differences between nations. (qtd. in Eskildsen, Kristensen and Antvor 2010) (1) Power distance (2) Individualism (3) Masculinity (4) Uncertainty avoidance (5) Long-term orientation Power distance relates to the extent to which the less powerful members of the organizations accept and expect power to be distributed unequally whereas the second dimension, individualism, indicates the degree to which the members of an organization are integrated. Masculinity relates to the role distribution between genders while uncertainty avoidance describes the degree to which an organization has tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. Final dimension, long-term orientation, indicates the degree to which a society has thrift and perseverance. On the other hand, societies with short-term orientation are oriented towards stability, steadiness and tradition. (Eskildsen, Kristensen and Antvor 2010) 9
  10. 10. Fringe benefits are other aspects that were studied in terms of their effects on job satisfaction. They include all types of extra benefits other than regular wage of an employee, like health insurance, pension, retirement and savings plan. Alpert, in 1987, stated that fringe benefits are mostly not subject to tax, thus they are a cheaper to get through an employer rather than through market for an employee. According to Dale and Olsen (2006), fringe benefits can be considered as worthy substitutes for wages. Thus, fringe benefits can be offered to decrease turnover as effectively as an equivalent wage increase since employees have a strong preferences for those benefits. (qtd. in Artz, 2010) Since fringe benefits are desirable parts of compensation packages, they increase job satisfaction. On the hand, if those benefits are already provided to the employee from another source, then those benefits offered by the employer can be considered wasteful and decrease job satisfaction. Moreover, if the employee cannot gain fringe benefits they need or desire at a better job elsewhere, then they can feel locked into that particular job, and this can decrease job satisfaction. (Artz, 2010) 10
  11. 11. 4) Methodology In order to prepare a list of fringe benefits in telecom and finance sectors, email interviews were conducted. A total of 6 participants (3 from each sector) at various seniority levels were asked to write a list of fringe benefits that they get from their companies. Various fringe benefits that companies provide to their employees are as follow: (1) Private health insurance (2) Pension plan (3) Company car (4) Company mobile phone (5) Gym membership (6) Fuel support (7) Special discounts at various stores (8) Special holiday gifts (9) Birthday day off Those fringe benefits were made use of in the online survey that was conducted for the analysis of the factors affecting the level of job satisfaction. Turkish version of short-form Minnesota Job Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) was combined with the questions derived from the findings of the fringe benefits interview as well as with the questions regarding demographics of the participant to assess all the factors in one questionnaire. Questionnaire was composed of four sections. The first 11
  12. 12. section was the short-form MSQ while in the second section participants were asked to indicate how important each fringe benefit is for them on a 5-level Likert scale. In the third section, respondents selected the fringe benefits - that were provided by the companies they were working for- from the list that was formed according to the interviews that were held previously whereas basic demographic information was collected in the last section. Respondents from a convenience sample of 60 people participated in the questionnaire. Answers of 30 participants from each sector - which was intentionally balanced between finance and telecom sectors - were collected. According to the survey results, factors including fringe benefits which were presumed to have an effect on the level of job satisfaction were discussed in comparison between telecom and finance sectors. 5) Findings Regarding the demographics of the participants, it is observed that 34% of the respondents are male. The average age is found to be 28 while average work experience is 5 years and 1 month. It is seen that %40 of participants have undergraduate degree while 60% have graduate degree. 12
  13. 13. In the first section of the survey, which is a short-form MSQ, respondents were asked to indicate how satisfied they were about the situations regarding their work environment on a 5-level Likert scale. (1: Not Satisfied, 2: Somewhat Satisfied, 3: Satisfied, 4: Very Satisfied, 5: Extremely Satisfied) Average satisfaction score was calculated to be 3,05 for telecom sector while it was 2,90 for finance sector. We can conclude that employees in telecom sector are more satisfied than the ones in finance sector. In finance sector, intrinsic and extrinsic factors have the same satisfaction scores whereas in telecom sector, employees are mostly satisfied with intrinsic factors. Factors Extrinsic Intrinsic Average Finance Telecom 2,90 2,90 2,90 2,92 3,14 3,05 Table - 1 For finance sector, employees are satisfied mostly with “the way their co-workers get along with each other”. This is followed by the factors “the way their job provides for steady employment” and “being able to do things that don’t go against their conscience”. 13
  14. 14. Finance Satisfaction Score The way my co-workers get along with each other . 3,50 The way my job provides for steady employment 3,41 Being able to do things that don’t go against my conscience 3,29 The chance to do different things from time to time 3,21 The chance to work alone on the job 3,18 The competence of my supervisor in making decisions 3,15 The chance to be “somebody” in the community 3,09 The chance to do things for other people 3,00 The chance to try my own methods of doing the job 3,00 The chance to do something that makes use of my abilities 2,97 The praise I get for doing a good job 2,97 The working conditions 2,94 The chance to tell people what to do 2,91 The feeling of accomplishment I get from the job. 2,85 Being able to keep busy all the time 2,74 The way my boss handles his/her workers. 2,74 The freedom to use my own judgment 2,59 The chances for advancement on this job. 2,24 The way company policies are put into practice 2,21 My pay and the amount of work I do. Table - 2 2,06 In telecom sector, employees are satisfied mostly with the factor “being able to do things that don’t go against their conscience”. This is followed by four factors that have the same satisfaction score, which are “the chance to work alone on the job”, “The chance to tell people what to do”, “the chance to try their own methods of doing the job” and “the way 14
  15. 15. their co-workers get along with each other ” When it comes to money, we see that people working in telecom sector are satisfied with “their pay and the amount of work they do” while the ones in finance sector are not satisfied. Telecom Satisfaction Score Being able to do things that don’t go against my conscience 3,40 The chance to work alone on the job 3,33 The chance to tell people what to do 3,33 The chance to try my own methods of doing the job 3,33 The way my co-workers get along with each other 3,33 The chance to be “somebody” in the community 3,27 The chance to do different things from time to time 3,20 The working conditions 3,20 The chance to do things for other people 3,13 The freedom to use my own judgment 3,13 The way my job provides for steady employment 3,07 My pay and the amount of work I do. 3,07 The chance to do something that makes use of my abilities 3,00 The feeling of accomplishment I get from the job. 3,00 Being able to keep busy all the time 2,87 The praise I get for doing a good job 2,80 The way company policies are put into practice 2,73 The chances for advancement on this job 2,73 The way my boss handles his/her workers 2,53 The competence of my supervisor in making decisions Table - 3 15 2,53
  16. 16. In the second section of the survey, respondents were asked to score the importance for each of the fringe benefit listed below on a 5-level Likert scale. (1: Unimportant, 2: Of Little Importance, 3: Moderately Important, 4: Important, 5: Very Important) In finance sector, the most important fringe benefit is found to be private health insurance while it followed by private pension plan and birthday day-off. Importance Score Finance Private Health Insurance 4,50 Private Pension Plan 3,79 Birthday Day-Off 3,50 Special Holiday Gifts 3,44 Special Discounts at Various Stores 3,06 Fuel Support 2,97 Company Car 2,94 Company Mobile Phone 2,79 Gym Membership 2,68 Table - 4 Similar to the results of finance sector, the most important fringe benefit is private health insurance for telecom sector. It is followed by company mobile phone and birthday dayoff. Importance Score Telecom Private Health Insurance 4,20 Company Mobile Phone 3,93 Birthday Day-Off 3,47 Private Pension Plan 3,33 Fuel Support 3,07 Gym Membership 3,07 Special Holiday Gifts 2,93 Special Discounts at Various Stores 2,93 Company Car 2,87 Table - 5 16
  17. 17. When the participants of the survey were asked to indicate the fringe benefits that were provided by their companies, it is observed that all of the employees in telecom sector get company mobile phone while in finance sector it is only 8,82%. Birthday day-off is found to be a popular fringe benefit that is provided in telecom companies while it is rarely seen in finance sector. In finance sector, it is observed that although the percentages of employees getting birthday day-off and special holiday gifts are relatively less among other fringe benefits, the importance of those benefits for the employees are higher than the ones that were already provided. Private pension plan is another benefit that is important for the employees but not provided frequently in finance sector. Thus, birthday day-off, special holiday gifts and private pension plans can be effective tools for increasing the level of job satisfaction in finance sector. For telecom sector, private pension plan, gym membership and fuel support are observed to be important for the employees but not to be provided frequently. Thus, those benefits can be made use of in increasing the level of job satisfaction in telecom companies. Finance Private Health Insurance 82,35% Special Discounts at Various Stores 67,65% Private Pension Plan 26,47% Gym Membership 26,47% Company Mobile Phone 8,82% Special Holiday Gifts 8,82% Fuel Support 5,88% Birthday Day-Off 5,88% Company Car 2,94% Table – 6 17
  18. 18. Telecom Company Mobile Phone 100,00% Private Health Insurance 93,33% Birthday Day-Off 73,33% Special Discounts at Various Stores 60,00% Private Pension Plan 20,00% Gym Membership 20,00% Fuel Support 20,00% Special Holiday Gifts 20,00% Company Car 6,67% Table - 7 6) Conclusion This study was conducted to investigate the factors affecting the level of job satisfaction in finance and telecom sectors as well as making a comparison. Fringe benefits are another aspect of this study, thus a list of fringe benefits that were provided in telecom and finance sectors was formed via interviews from 6 people from these sectors. In an online survey, in addition to short-form MSQ questions, participants were asked to indicate the importance of each fringe benefit for them as well as if their companies were providing those benefits to them. The survey was conducted among a convenience sample of 60 people (30 employees from each sector, telecom and finance). Based on the survey results, the factors affecting the level of job satisfaction in each sector were discussed. We think that, this study may guide to the companies in telecom and finance sectors in setting more effective motivation programs and providing the right kind of benefits to their employees in order to increase job satisfaction level within the organization. Future researches can extend the study by applying the questionnaire to a larger set of people and collect more data. To investigate the effect of demographics, one would need a more detailed statistical analysis. 18
  19. 19. 7) References Artz, Benjamin, “Fringe benefits and job satisfaction.” International Journal of Manpower 31.6 (2010): 626 – 644 Bernal, Javier Garcia, Ana Gargallo Castel, Mercedes Marzo Navarro, Pilar Rivera Torres, “Job satisfaction: empirical evidence of gender differences.” Women in Management Review 20.4 (2005): 279 – 288 Eskildsen, Jacob, Kai Kristensen, Henrik Gjesing Antvor, “The relationship between job satisfaction and national culture.” The TQM Journal 22.4 (2010): 369-378 Lund, Daulatram B., “Organizational culture and job satisfaction.” Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing 18.3 (2003): 219 – 236 Origo, Federica, Laura Pagani, “Workplace flexibility and job satisfaction: some evidence from Europe.” International Journal of Manpower 29.6 (2008): 539-566 Oshagbemi, Titus, “Academics and their managers: a comparative study in job satisfaction.” Personnel Review 28.1/2 (1999): 108 – 123 Savery, Lawson K. , “The congruence between the importance of job satisfaction and the perceived level of achievement.” Journal of Management Development 15.6 (1996): 18-27 Tüzün, Kalemci İpek, “The impact of identification and commitment on job satisfaction.” Management Research News 32.8 (2009):728-738 19

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