Essay: Job Satisfaction & Organizational Culture

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  • Job Satisfaction & Organizational Culture
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Job satisfaction is more of a voyage, than being an end. Job satisfaction applies to both employees and the employer. For employees to be satisfied with their jobs it takes the efforts of all the stakeholders of the organisations and the returns from these efforts benefits all of them.
3.2. Different Meanings of Job Satisfaction
During prehistoric times, old Bonk the Caveman designed and fashioned the very first wheel, and this very same wheel was given to him as the reward or praise by his boss (or his tribe leader) Now, back in those days, a reward might be a new coat or praise might be you would not get hit with a stick, but the basics of job satisfaction lie in the fact that we are rewarded for the job we do. Some employees may be simply satisfied by their end of months sallies without taking care of other factors such as good working conditions recognition by superiors and other factors.
There are many aspects to job satisfaction, depending on what each individual person feels is important. In many ways, the word \’reward\’ alone can mean different things to different people, and in this lesson, we are going to look at job satisfaction and its place in today\’s business environment. Our goal is to understand job satisfaction, or how content someone is with their job and the sense of accomplishment they get from doing it. (
3.3. Rewards and Job Satisfaction
İt should be noted that rewards that an employee gets from his work place is a reflection of how the employer is satisfied of the services offered by the employee (worker). Rewards takes different forms ranging from being a monetary form (money) or be an intangible reward, like the feelings that an employer may get as they offer their services to the people for example a teacher doctor or politician may feel satisfied with his job due to the feelings he gets from providing his or her services. We can even think of a reward as the prestige you get for actually doing a job (as with a judge or other politicians).
It is important to note that rewards are in the eyes of the beholder and are different for each person, which is why motivating a person with rewards means you must apply the correct reward to the person that is receiving it. For example, rewarding a nurse for a job well done monetarily might not be the best call (beyond paying her salary, of course!) when a reward like a gift from her patients might be more appreciated.
In some cases, rewards can take the shape of opportunity to move up in the company. Someone working hard and wanting to get ahead in an organization might feel rewarded if they are promoted. That promotion (and the recognition that comes with it) is a means of recognizing the work the employee does and makes the employee feel better about their job and the company, thus enriching their overall job satisfaction.
One aspect of job satisfaction that is not really reward-related is job security. Let\’s face it – some people obtain job satisfaction from knowing the company they are in is stable and not going anywhere. There are individuals who feel this is the most important aspect of a job, and having a stable company makes them feel secure, which helps promote job satisfaction.
3.3. Job Satisfaction and Performance
The relationship between how satisfied a people is with their job and their actual job performance is open to discussion and debate. You see, it\’s hard to correlate those two aspects primarily because when people are asked if they get job satisfaction from working at ABC Company, a certain percentage will say yes just because they think if they say no, there could be a negative consequence. After all, if you tell your boss you are not satisfied with your job, what if his reply is \’Then I guess you better leave\’? Thus, while we understand there is a correlation between satisfaction and performance, it\’s hard to definitively nail it down without some sort of survey error being present.
One thing is certain: There are two basic views of satisfaction and performance, and they are inverted to one another. One believes that satisfaction leads to performance, while the other believes performance leads to satisfaction. In effect, we are saying if someone is happy with their job they will perform better, but in order to be satisfied, they have to perform in their job to get that satisfaction. It is somewhat of a revolving door, and again, it is hard to distinguish between whether satisfaction drives performance or if performance drives satisfaction.
Regardless of your viewpoint, it does not take a lot of thought to realize that if someone has a high level of job satisfaction, they will probably have a high level of performance. On the other hand, if someone is not satisfied with their job, they probably will not have the same high level of performance.
To make this even a little more complicated, we also have to understand that a person can, in their eyes, have a great deal of job satisfaction
3.4. Important Aspects of Employee Job Satisfaction
There are many aspects of employee satisfaction as we are going to discuss below and these include opportunities to use skills and abilities, job security pay and other rewards.
3.5.1. Opportunities to use skills and abilities
According to the research report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2012, Career Advancement Opportunities within Organization was portrayed that this factor was very important to job satisfaction. Career advancement opportunities within the organization have continued a gradual trend upward over time. The increased importance of career advancement opportunities could be attributed to employees feeling that they’ve mastered the responsibilities of their current positions and therefore are looking for more challenging positions within their organizations. The increase in the importance of this aspect may also be related to employees’ uncertainty about the economy, making it more likely for them to desire advancement within their organization rather than taking the risk of moving to a new employer. Career advancement was a higher priority for employees in middle management than for those in non-management positions. Employees with some college education found this aspect to be more important than did employees with a high school diploma. This aspect was also more important to younger employees (age 47 and younger) than for employees 48-67 years of age. As this aspect continues to trend up in importance, organizations need to pay attention to employees’ satisfaction level with career advancement opportunities. Employees are not particularly satisfied; only 46% of employees said they were satisfied (18% were very satisfied and 28% were somewhat satisfied) with this aspect. Career advancement opportunities could become a critical aspect of employee engagement in the workplace. Employees who are using their skills and abilities in their work and contributing fully in their organization could become disillusioned if opportunities to advance in their career are not available within the organization. These employees will be more likely to look for opportunities outside of their organization as the economy improves. According to this study, 44% of employees indicated that they are likely to look for work outside their organization in the next 12 months, whereas in 2011, this percentage was 36%. HR professionals are in a position to help their organizations develop coaching or mentoring programs to promote knowledge sharing and internal networks between experienced and more junior employees. HR professionals also can identify positions for which succession planning is practical. These often include key positions, positions with direct impact on strategic practices and those with lengthy learning curves. HR can also be creative with the organization’s compensation and rewards programs to motivate and retain top performers.
3.5.2. Job security
Employers may offer job-specific training to provide employees with the relevant skills to enable them to perform their duties efficiently. Job-specific training is also necessary to fill a newly hired employee’s skills gap. The immediate application of skills acquired through such training may boost employee confidence and productivity. Similar to the organization’s commitment to professional development, employees view job-specific training as very important to their job satisfaction.
3.5.3. Compensation/pay
Employees indicate that compensation is very important to their overall job satisfaction, putting it only three percentage points below opportunities to use skills and abilities and only one percentage point below job security. Compensation, along with job security, has consistently remained on the list of the top five job satisfaction factors most important to employees. As the economic climate continues to warm up and hiring rates increase, attractive compensation packages will be one of the strategies organizations competing for talent will use to recruit and retain the best employees. The SHRM line report for September 2012 indicated that in August 2012 fewer manufacturers increased compensation for new hires compared with August 2011.8 How do organizations retain the employees who helped them weather the recession? Organizations might not be financially ready to significantly increase their salary budget, but the best organizations take the time to find creative ways to reward and engage their employees.
3.5.4. Benefits
A lot of employees rated benefits as a very important contributor to their job satisfaction. In a lot of surveys, benefits have ranked among the top two aspects of job satisfaction for employees. In a 2012 SHRM study, 73% of HR professionals reported that their organizations’ employee benefits offerings have been negatively affected by the recession. This has undoubtedly added to the trend of organizations increasingly shifting the costs of benefits to employees. The only significant difference in the assessment of the importance of benefits to overall job satisfaction was based on employee organization staff size. Benefits were more important to employees in larger organizations (500 or more employees) than to those in smaller organizations (fewer than 100 employees). Employers use benefits as one of the tools to recruit and retain top talent. HR is tasked with finding the right mix of employee benefits that satisfy the personal and financial needs of the current and potential workforce, given existing business conditions and cost constraints. It is important for organizations to take into account and anticipate the needs, preferences and makeup of their workforce, in addition to the organizational strategy, when considering benefits offerings. Finding a cost-effective and affordable benefits package is particularly challenging, given the high costs of offering benefits, particularly health care. Rate benefits as a very important contributor to their job satisfaction.
3.5.5. Management’s recognition of employee job performance
Management’s recognition of employee job performance is one of the ways that organizations use to keep employees satisfied and engaged. According to a 2012 SHRM/Global force poll, 76% of employers report that they have an employee recognition program.
However, when employees were asked about the importance of management’s recognition of employee job performance, only 50% indicated that this aspect was very important to their job satisfaction. Employees may feel more committed to their organization if they believe that their efforts are valued. Acknowledging and rewarding employees’ job performance is important. Equally important are the behaviours that management rewards, which manifest the norms and culture across the organization. For example, is management rewarding competition instead of teamwork? Are managers that retain top performers recognized? Does the organization reward employees who adhere to organizational values and ethics over those who do not? There are some differences in the assessment of this contributor to job satisfaction among employee demographics. Employees who have been with the organization for two years or less were more likely to connect management’s recognition of employee job performance to their overall job satisfaction compared with more tenured (16 or more years) employees. Middle-management and non-exempt no management employees deemed this aspect more important than did professional non-management employees.
3.5.6. Autonomy and Independence
Some of employees state that autonomy and independence are very important job satisfaction factors. Providing employees with increased freedom, flexibility and discretion to make decisions on the job (e.g., scheduling of work and determining how it is to be done) can give them a greater sense of responsibility for the outcomes of their work. Employees in executive and middle-management positions values autonomy and independence more than employees in non-exempt non-management positions does. Autonomy and independence were rated as the fourth most important job satisfaction factor by executive-level employees (citation)
3.5.6. Relationship with Immediate Supervisor
Some Employees rate their relationship with their immediate supervisors as more important to their job satisfaction than benefits. The relationship employees have with their supervisors is directly connected to their success and growth at work. Supervisors who develop a positive relationship with employees may be more likely to learn their employees’ strengths and weaknesses, making it easier for supervisors to use their employees’ talents for the good of the organization. Employees who have a favourable relationship with their supervisors, a relationship in which they feel safe and supported—may be more likely to go above and beyond what is required of them. They also may share with their supervisor job-related problems or even personal problems, which can be barriers to employee productivity. It is important that supervisors set clear expectations and provide feedback about work performance so as to avoid any potential frustrations. (Citation)
3.5.7. Variables of Job Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction
People tend to evaluate their work experiences in terms of liking or disliking their jobs and develop feelings of satisfaction or dissatisfaction regarding their job, as well as the organization in which they work (Jex, 2002). There are many probable influences that affect how favourably an individual appraises his or her job. Through years of extensive research, I/O psychologists have identified numerous variables that seem to contribute to either job satisfaction or organizational commitment (Glisson & Durick, 1988). To explain the development of job satisfaction, researchers have taken three common approaches: job characteristics, social information processing (organizational characteristics), and dispositional (worker characteristics) (Glisson & Durick, 1988; Jex, 2002).
3.5.7. Job Characteristics
In relation to the job characteristics approach, research has revealed that the nature of an individual’s job or the characteristics of the organization that the individual works for predominantly determines job satisfaction (Jex, 2002). According to Hackman and Oldham (1980), a job characteristic is an aspect of a job that generates ideal conditions for high levels of motivation, satisfaction, and performance. Furthermore, Hackman and Oldham (1980) proposed five core job characteristics that all jobs should contain: skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback. Hackman and Oldham (1980) also defined four personal and work outcomes: internal work motivation, growth satisfaction, general satisfaction, and work effectiveness. These characteristics have been added to the more popular dimensions of job satisfaction assessment: the work itself, pay, promotional opportunities, supervision, and co-worker relations (Smith, Kendall, & Hulin, 1969).
A common premise in research of the effects of job circumstances on job satisfaction is that individuals determine job satisfaction by comparing what they are currently receiving from the job and what they would like to or believe that they should receive (Jex, 2002). For example, if an employee is receiving an annual salary of $45,000 and believes that he or she should be receiving a salary of $43,000, then he or she will experience satisfaction; however, if the employee believes that he or she should be receiving $53,000, then he or she will feel dissatisfaction. This comparison would apply to each job facet including: skill level, seniority, promotional opportunities, supervision, etc. (Jex, 2002).
According to Locke (1976), this process becomes complex since the importance of work facets differs for each individual. For example, one employee may feel that pay rate is extremely important while another may feel that social relationships are more important. To explain the effects of these differences, Locke (1976) put forward the ideas of the range of affect theory. The hypothesis of this theory is that employees weigh facets differently when assessing job satisfaction (Locke, 1976). Consequently, this leads to an individual measure of satisfaction or dissatisfaction when expectations are met or not. For example, the job satisfaction of an employee who places extreme importance on pay would be positively impacted if he or she receives a salary within expectation. Conversely, his or her level of pay would minimally impact the job satisfaction of an employee who places little importance on pay.
Figure 2. Job Satisfaction Model (Field, 2008).
3.5.8. Social information processing (organizational characteristics)
Based mainly on Festinger’s (1954) Social Comparison Theory, Jex (2002) explains that during social information processing, employees look to co-workers to make sense of and develop attitudes about their work environment. In other words, if employees see that their co-workers are positive and satisfied then they will most likely be satisfied; however, if their co-workers are negative and dissatisfied then the employee will most likely become dissatisfied as well. Accordingly, organizations are informed that new hires can become “tainted” during the socialization process if they are placed around employees who are dissatisfied (Jex, 2002). Although laboratory studies have found that social information has a prevailing impact on job satisfaction and characteristic perceptions, organizational tests have been less supportive (Jex & Spector, 1989).
Weiss and Shaw conducted a study that required subjects to view a training video where assembly line workers either made positive or negative comments about their jobs. The subjects who viewed the video were then given the opportunity to perform the job. The study found that the subjects who were shown the positive video enjoyed performing the job tasks more than the subjects who viewed the negative tape (Aamondt, 2009).
Mirolli, Henderson and Hills (1998) also conducted a similar study. In this study, the subjects performed a task with two experimenters who were pretending to be other subjects (referred to as confederates). In one condition, positive comments were made by the confederates about the job and how much they enjoyed it. In the second condition, the confederates made negative comments about the job and how much they disliked it. In the control condition, no positive or negative comments were made regarding the job. The actual subjects exposed to the confederates who made positive comments rated the job tasks as more enjoyable than the subjects exposed to the negative comments by the confederates. This further supports social information processing theory (Aamondt, 2009).
Generally, “the research on social information processing theory supports the idea that social environment does have an effect on employees’ attitudes and behaviors” (Aamondt, 2009, p. 374).
As an application of social information processing theory, Netzwerk, an IT company in Germany, implemented rules in their contracts. Employees who work at this company must sign a contract agreeing not to whine or complain. They have even fired employees for excessive whining (Aamondt, 2009).
3.5.9. Dispositional (worker characteristics)
Internal disposition is the basis of the latest method of explaining job satisfaction and hints that some people are inclined to be satisfied or dissatisfied with their work no matter the nature of the job or the organizational environment (Jex, 2002). More simply, some people are genetically positive in disposition (the glass half full), whereas others are innately negative in disposition (the glass half empty). For instance, a study of twins who were reared apart (same genetic characteristics but different experiences) found that 30 percent of inconsistency in satisfaction was accredited to genetic factors (Arvey, Bouchard, Segal, & Abraham, 1989). Furthermore, although individuals change jobs and employers, individual disposition has been shown to be consistent by the use of survey results on job satisfaction (Staw & Ross, 1985). Additionally, Staw, Bell, and Clausen (1986) found that adolescent evaluations of affective disposition were correlated with adult job satisfaction as many as forty years later.
Many years of research have been conducted on the dispositional source of job satisfaction, and have presented strong evidence that job satisfaction, to some extent, is based on disposition (Judge & Larsen, 2001). Dispositional affect is the predisposition to experience related emotional moods over time (Judge & Kammeyer-Mueller, 2008). Accordingly, this approach assumes that an employee’s attitude about his or her job originates from an internal (mental) state. Positive affect is a predisposition favourable to positive emotional experience, whereas negative affect is a predisposition to experience a wide array of negative emotions (Watson, Clark, & Carey, 1988). Positive affective people feel enthusiastic, active, alert, and optimistic (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988). On the contrary, negative affective people feel anger, contempt, disgust, guilt, fear, and nervousness (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988).
Here is strong evidence supporting disposition causing job satisfaction from a Social Cognitive aspect as well. Causation through disposition indicates that job satisfaction can be determined by an individual\’s general overall outlook. In psychology, Cognitive Theory of Depression states that individual’s thought processes and perceptions can be a source of unhappiness. Further, the automated thoughts and processes (Beck, 1987) resulting from irrational and dysfunctional thinking perpetuate emotions of depression and unhappiness in individuals. Judge and Locke (1992) examine these concepts in detail. They discuss cognitive processes like perfectionism, over-generalization, and dependence on others as causation for depression leading to unhappiness. They claim that subjective well-being resulting from an affective disposition leads to individuals experiencing information recall regarding their job. In short, happy individuals tend to store and evaluate job information differently than unhappy individuals do. This type of recollection indicates that job satisfaction can be influenced by subjective well-being. Tait, Padgett, and Baldwin (1989) performed a meta-analytic review discovering an average correlation between job and life satisfaction to be .44, which supports the theory of a dispositional effect on job satisfaction. In addition, Howard and Bray (1988) determined through a study they performed on AT&T managers that motives such as ambition and desire to get ahead serve as some of the strongest predictors for advancement. Also, Bandura (1986) states that individual\’s aspirations become their standards of self-satisfaction indicating that those with high goals, theoretically, should be harder to satisfy than people with low goals. This would indicate that a high level of ambition resulting from high standards can point to a lower satisfaction as an end result. In addition, it is oftentimes the case that unsatisfied workers are highly ambitious but unhappy as a result of their inability to be promoted within an organization. For this reason, ambition can negatively influence job satisfaction. However, Judge and Locke (1992) caution that dysfunctional thinking is not singularly responsible for dispositional factors affecting job satisfaction. They mention self-esteem, locus of control, self-efficacy, intelligence, and ambition as well.
• Social Cognitive
Social Cognitive aspects have been found to contribute to job satisfaction; however, researchers have not conducted simultaneous comparison of these approaches (Baker, 2004). Job characteristics have been shown to impact job satisfaction (Baker, 2004). Recent studies on social informational processing have found that leadership actions influence job satisfaction (Baker, 2004). Various research findings have indicated that a relationship between disposition and job satisfaction does in fact exist. For instance, Weiss and Cropanzano (1996) advocate that emotionally significant procedures at work may be influenced by disposition, which in turn influences job satisfaction. Job characteristics have been favored in research (Thomas, Bubholtz, & Winklespecht, 2004); however, less research has been conducted on the dispositional approach, since it is fairly new (Coutts & Gruman, 2005).
Figure 2. Facets of job satisfaction (Hackman & Oldham, 1980; Smith, Kendall, & Hulin, 1969).
3.6. The Importance of Job Satisfaction
Job satisfaction has been linked to many variables, including performance, absenteeism, and turnover, which will be discussed further in this section.
Job satisfaction is significant because a person\’s attitude and beliefs may affect his or her behaviour. Attitudes and beliefs may cause a person to work harder, or, the opposite may occur, and he or she may work less. Job satisfaction also affects a person\’s general wellbeing for the reason that people spend a good part of the day at work. Consequently, if a person is dissatisfied with their work, this could lead to dissatisfaction in other areas of their life.
3.6.1. Employee performance
The link between job satisfaction and job performance has a long and controversial history. Researchers were first made aware of the link between satisfaction and performance through the 1924-1933 Hawthorne studies (Naidu, 1996). Since the Hawthorne studies, numerous researchers have critically examined the idea that “a happy worker is a productive worker”. Research results of Iaffaldano and Muchinsky (1985) have found a weak connection, approximately .17, between job satisfaction and job performance. On the other hand, research conducted by Organ (1988) discovered that a stronger connection between performance and satisfaction was not found because of the narrow definition of job performance. Organ (1988) believes that when the definition of job performance includes behaviors such as organizational citizenship (the extent to which one\’s voluntary support contributes to the success of an organization) the relationship between satisfaction and performance will improve. Judge, Thoreson, Bono, and Patton (2001) discovered that after correcting the sampling and measurement errors of 301 studies, the correlation between job satisfaction and job performance increased to .30. It is important to note that the connection between job satisfaction and job performance is higher for difficult jobs than for less difficult jobs (Saari & Judge, 2004).
A link does exist between job satisfaction and job performance; however, it is not as strong as one would initially believe. The weak link may be attributed to factors such as job structure or economic conditions. For example, some jobs are designed so that a minimum level of performance is required which does not allow for high satisfaction. Additionally, in times of high unemployment, dissatisfied employees will perform well, choosing unsatisfying work over unemployment.
In 2006, researcher Michelle Jones analyzed three studies pulling together 74 separate investigations of job satisfaction and job performance in 12,000 workers. She wrote: “The conclusions drawn by these researchers, and many others, indicate the presence of a positive, but very weak, relationship between job satisfaction and job performance” (Jones, 2006). Jones argues we have been measuring the wrong kind of satisfaction. Instead of job satisfaction, we should be looking at the link between overall satisfaction with life and output at work (Bright, 2008). In this study, Jones implies that the more satisfied we are with our life in general, the more productive we will be in our jobs.
3.6.2. Employee absenteeism
One of the more widely researched topics in Industrial Psychology is the relationship between job satisfaction and employee absenteeism (Cheloha, & Farr, 1980). It seems natural to assume that if individuals dislike their jobs then they will often call in sick, or simply look for a new opportunity. Yet again, the link between these factors and job satisfaction is weak. The correlation between job satisfaction and absenteeism is .25 (Johns, 1997). It is likely that a satisfied worker may miss work due to illness or personal matters, while an unsatisfied worker may not miss work because he or she does not have any sick time and cannot afford the loss of income. When people are satisfied with their job they may be more likely to attend work even if they have a cold; however, if they are not satisfied with their job, they will be more likely to call in sick even when they are well enough to work.
3.6.2. Employee turnover
According to a meta-analysis of 42 studies, the correlation between job satisfaction and turnover is .24 (Carsten, & Spector, 1987). One obvious factor affecting turnover would be an economic downturn, in which unsatisfied workers may not have other employment opportunities. On the other hand, a satisfied worker may be forced to resign his or her position for personal reasons such as illness or relocation. This holds true for our men and women of the US Armed Forces, who might fit well in a job but are often made to relocate regardless. In this case, it would be next to impossible to measure any correlation of job satisfaction. Furthermore, a person is more likely to be actively searching for another job if they have low satisfaction; whereas, a person who is satisfied with their job is less likely to be job seeking.
Another researcher viewed the relationship between job satisfaction and an employee\’s intent to leave the organization, turnover intention, as mediated by workplace culture. Medina (2012) found that job satisfaction was strongly inversely correlated with turnover intention and this relationship was mediated by satisfaction in workplace culture. The study provides evidence that should be further explored to aid in the understanding of employee turnover and job satisfaction; particularly in how job satisfaction and employee turnover relate to workplace culture (Medina, 2012) he Importance of Job Satisfaction to Employee Retention
The following video depicts the importance of job satisfaction to employee retention. Employee retention is one of the most difficult operational areas for human resources managers to determine exactly why employees leave the organization, and what they can do to retain them. This is of primary importance because organizations invest significant resources in training, developing, tangible and intangible compensation and taking the time to build organizational citizenship and buy-in to goals and objectives (Kazi, & Zadeh, 2011). In difficult economies and high competition, both organizations and employees want the best resources. Job dissatisfaction leads to job turnover. This dissatisfaction can be from intrinsic or extrinsic factors (PSU WC, L11, p.5). Job turnover can result from various conditions such as job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is multi-faceted, meaning one can be satisfied in one area but does not necessarily mean satisfaction in all areas; likewise, dissatisfaction in one area does not mean complete job dissatisfaction (Kazi, & Zadeh, 2011). Additionally, job turnover can be related to work-life conflict. The work life and personal life is an individual’s experience to maintain harmony (balance) between work and personal relationships. According to Kazi & Zadeh (2011) propose that an imbalance or dissatisfaction in work leads to dissatisfaction in personal life. This can lead to job turnover. This is precisely what Swift (2007) reported in his article about having a more fulfilled and productive workforce. For organizations to stay competitive, they need to understand and address the issues around work-life balance to maintain job satisfaction among employees. To support this idea, Bright (2008) article reports that people who are happy with life are happier employees and show better organizational citizenship, courtesy and conscientiousness.
3.6.3. Job Satisfaction and Retirement
In a 2013 study from Lehigh University, individuals begin to think about retirement in their early years and develop a plan of action over the years. While individuals who begin working a career earlier on in their life plan to retire earlier, individuals who begin a career later in life, plan to retire later in life as well. The research shows that job satisfaction has very little to do with how we plan for our retirement. While the survey shows that many individuals do consider income, location and attitude when discussing retirement options, they do not solely decide if and when retirement is an option for them nor do the factors (poor work environment, long hours, unhappy with position, etc) (Lehigh University, 2013) There are many studies that have questioned if job satisfaction is something that you experience more in your younger years or older. Studies have returned with both sets of results. Some individuals have more job satisfaction in their earlier years while others experience it more when they are older. So, it is undetermined if you will retire from a job that you have been satisfied at or unsatisfied at.
3.7. Measures of Job Satisfaction
The following are measures of job satisfaction as outlined by Fields (2002):
• Overall Job Satisfaction
Cammann, Fichman, Jenkins, and Klesh (1983) developed this measure as part of the Michigan Organizational Assessment Questionnaire (OAQ). In this measure three items are used to describe an employee’s subjective response to working in the specific job and organization (Fields, 2002, p. 20).
• Job Descriptive Index (JDI)
This was originally developed by Smith, Kendall, and Hulin (1969). There are 72 items on this index which assess five facets of job satisfaction which includes: the work, pay, promotions, supervision, and coworkers. Through the combination of ratings of satisfaction with the faces, a composite measure of job satisfaction is determined. Roznowski (1989) updated the JDI to include work atmosphere, job content and work technology. A shorter, 30-item version, was developed by Gregson (1990) based on 6 items which included work, pay, promotions, supervision and co-workers (Fields, 2002, p. 23).
• Global Job Satisfaction
Warr, Cook, and Wall (1979) developed this measure which includes 15 items to determine overall job satisfaction. Two subscales are used for extrinsic and intrinsic aspects of the job. The extrinsic section has eight items and the intrinsic has seven items (Fields, 2002, p. 27).
• Job Satisfaction Relative to Expectations
Bacharach, Bamberger, and Conley (1991) developed this measure. It assesses the degree “of agreement between the perceived quality of broad aspects of a job and employee expectations” (Fields, 2002, p. 6). It is most effective to determine how job stresses, role conflicts, or role ambiguities can hinder an employee from meeting job expectations (Fields, 2002, p. 6).
• Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire
The long form of this survey is made up of 100 questions based on 20 sub scales which measure satisfaction with “ability, utilization, achievement, activity, advancement, authority, company policies and practices, compensation, co-workers, creativity, independence, moral values, recognition, responsibility, security, social service, social status, supervision-human relations, supervision-technical variety, and working conditions” (Fields, 2002, p. 7). There is a short version of the MSQ which consists of 20 items. This can also be separated into two subscales for intrinsic and extrinsic satisfaction.
• Job in General Scale
This measure was developed by Ironson, Smith, Brannick, Gibson, and Paul (1989). It consists of 18 items which describe global job satisfaction and can be used in conjunction with the JDI, which assesses satisfaction with five job facets. This was developed to “assess global satisfaction independent from satisfaction with facets” (Fields, 2002, p. 9).
• Job Satisfaction Survey
This was developed by Spector (1985) and contains 36 items based on nine job facets. The job facets include pay, promotion, supervision, benefits, contingent rewards, operating procedures, co-workers, nature of work and communication. When it was initially developed, it was specific to job satisfaction in human service, non-profit and public organizations (Fields, 2002, p. 14).
• Job Satisfaction Index
Schriescheim and Tsue, (1980) developed this measure. It consists of six items that form and index which determines overall job satisfaction. The items are the work, supervision, co-workers, pay, promotion opportunities, and the job in general (Fields, 2002, p. 16).
• Job Diagnostic Survey
Hackman and Oldham (1974) developed this survey which measures both overall and specific facets of job satisfaction. There are three dimensions of overall job satisfaction which includes general satisfaction, internal work motivation, and growth satisfaction, which are combined into a single measure. The facets which are measured on the survey include security, compensation, co-workers, and supervision (Fields, 2002, p. 20).
• Career Satisfaction
Greenhaus, Parasuraman, and Wormley (1990) developed this measure. This is a measure of career success, as opposed to job satisfaction. It assesses general satisfaction with career outcome, but also satisfaction with career progress (Fields, 2002, p. 29). According to the exit- voice- loyalty- neglect- framework (Farrell, 1983), employees’ response to dissatisfaction with the workplace can take four forms, each of which differs from the others on two dimensions: active vs. passive and constructive vs. destructive. The four responses are:
• Exit: exit refers to behaviour aimed at leaving the company, such as looking for a new job. Exit is destructive and active response.
• Voice: voice refers to employ initiative to improve conditions at the organizations, for example, offering ideas on who to improve the business. Voice is an active and constructive response.
• Loyalty: loyalty refers an employee’s attitude of trust toward the organization. It can manifest itself as a passive but optimistic hope for improvements to come about. Loyalty is a passive but constructive.
• Neglect: neglect occurs when an employee shows absenteeism, shows up late to work, and expends less effort at work. By performing inadequately at work, the employee is allowing conditions to deteriorate. Neglect is passive and destructive.
• So far we have only been focusing on Job Satisfaction but what about those who become dissatisfied? Only 30% of Americans enjoy their job, which leads us to believe that nearly 70% of working Americans do not enjoy their job (Notte 2013). Not only is satisfaction important in running a happy and productive work place but also job dissatisfaction can cost the company. For example unhappy workers that call in sick and find ways to avoid working cost U.S. companies $450 billion to $550 billion every year (Notte 2013). It is especially important for companies to not lose money due to their employees; experiencing a loss due to employee neglect is a tremendous cost. Companies must better employ strategies and techniques listed above in order to increase overall job satisfaction and revenue in the company. Currently nearly half of American employees are disengaged with their work causing them to not perform at their best. In order for companies to work the best they must have employees who are working their best; business must change and adapt their business to the employees in order to improve job satisfaction.
• Cognitive belief about work is not a fixed emotion, it can constantly be altered and influenced by current happenings in and out of the company which cause feelings change for better or worse. Job productivity as well as many other important aspects to a happy work environment has been proven to work better with more satisfied workers. Changes in the structure of American business must significantly improve to increase the satisfaction of employees.

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