CHAPTER 3 J OB SATISFACTION
Work-related attitudes is an important concept which has been studied extensively in organisational behavioural literature. This is mainly due to the impact it has on various organisational outcomes. Work-related attitudes refer to “… the lasting feelings, beliefs and behavioural tendencies toward various aspects of the work itself, the setting in which the work is conducted, and/or the people involved…” (Greenberg & Baron, 2000:170). Work-related attitudes is a broad concept which includes specific outcomes such as job satisfaction, job involvement, organisational commitment and prejudice. In this study specific reference is made to the attitude of individuals towards the various aspects of their work, thus job satisfaction.
Job satisfaction is a complex concept which has been the focus of numerous publications in organisational behaviour literature. According to Metle (2001:311), over 3 000 studies have been conducted regarding job satisfaction, and it is regarded as one of the most widely studied topics in the management field. Although it has been thoroughly studied, researchers are still not in agreement regarding the factors which cause job satisfaction to prevail, as well as the impact thereof on various organisational outcomes. Job satisfaction has been found to have an impact on outcomes such as job involvement (Brown, 1996:244), motivation (Pool, 1997:271), organisational commitment (Capelleras, 2005:156) etc. On the other hand, some of these factors have been found to influence job satisfaction (Pool, 1997:271). Previously much of the research on job satisfaction investigated the relationship between this concept and other more concrete organisational factors. This study attempts to explain job satisfaction from a more non-concrete perspective.
PERSPECTIVES ON JOB SATISFACTION
Job satisfaction has been studied from different perspectives: the dispositional perspective, situational perspective, and person-environment fit perspective.
DISPOSITIONAL PERSPECTIVE TO JOB SATISFACTION
Explaining job satisfaction from a dispositional perspective has a long history. In studies dating back as far as 1913, job satisfaction has been studied in relation to personality (Staw & Cohen-Charash, 2005:60). Fisher and Hanna (1931:vii-viii) determined a strong relationship between dissatisfaction and emotional maladjustment. In 1935 Hoppock (quoted by Staw, Bell & Clausen, 1986:59) established a strong relationship between employees’ emotional adjustment and job satisfaction. During the 1970s and early 1980s the dispositional approach lost its momentum. By the mid-80s, the dispositional perspective regained some interest viz. studies examining the sources of stability in job satisfaction (e.g. Levin & Stokes, 1989:752-758; Pulakos & Schmitt, 1983; Staw et al., 1986; Staw & Ross, 1985). Davis-Blake and Pfeffer (1989:385) have criticised these studies extensively, indicating that dispositional research is an empirical “mirage”. They further argue that there may be some dispositional effects on job satisfaction, but these are not as important as situational effects (Davis-Blake & Pfeffer, 1989:386).
Although the dispositional theory has been extensively criticised, it seems to be a well-constructed theory which provides an interesting and acceptable explanation of job satisfaction. In terms of this perspective, job satisfaction is regarded both as a personal trait and one determined by genetic factors (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2001:226). Therefore, some people are more satisfied with life in general (and their work) than others. A person who is disposed to being generally more satisfied with life and work, will experience job satisfaction because of individual differences which prevail.
Research has indicated that some personality traits are related to the tendency to be satisfied with a job. These traits include, inter alia, self-esteem (Locke, 1976:1297), coping with stress (Scheier et al., 1986:156), locus of control (Stout et al., 1987:124), patience or tolerance (Bluen, Barling & Burns, 1990:212), social trust (Liou, Sylvia & Brunk, 1990:77), and self-efficacy (Judge, Locke & Durham, 1997:162).
Demographically some workers are more inclined to be satisfied than others. Weaver (1978:831-840) found that white collar workers tend to be more satisfied with their jobs than blue collar workers. Furthermore, white people have been found to be more satisfied than black people (Gold, Webb & Smith, 1982:255), and older workers are more satisfied than younger workers (Rhodes, 1983:328-367). Job satisfaction has also been found to be related to organisational status and seniority, e.g. the higher an individual’s position in the organisational hierarchy, the more satisfied the person is with his or her job (Near, Smith, Rice & Hunt, 1984:33-42). Pond and Greyer (1987:552-557) have found that if employees do not have other career alternatives, they are more satisfied. Surrette and Harlow (1992:92-113) indicate that people are more satisfied with a job if they had the option to choose that job from other alternatives. Oshagbemi (2003:1210) indicates that job satisfaction is positively related to age and job status, and negatively related to length of service. This implies that the longer a person works for an organisation, the less job satisfaction he or she will experience.
Although various physical and psychological characteristics of individuals have been found to be related to job satisfaction, it appears that these findings have not been consistent and therefore they question the importance of these variables to job satisfaction (Schneider, Gunnarson & Wheeler, 1992:60). The question that now arises is, will another belief system such as spirituality not be a more inclusive predictor of job satisfaction?
The dispositional perspective of job satisfaction has recently attracted considerable research interest (Judge et al., 1997:151). This interest has led to the establishment of various diverse theories in order to explain the relationship which exists between job satisfaction and life satisfaction. The spill-over theory suggests a positive association between life satisfaction and job satisfaction, indicating that satisfaction in one area spills over to another. This theory is partially supported, as it seems that life and job satisfaction are interrelated, and satisfaction in one area of life may in fact spill over to satisfaction in another area. However, it does seem that satisfaction in life does not necessarily spill over to job satisfaction. On the other hand, a person who experiences job satisfaction does not necessarily experience life satisfaction.
The compensation theory suggests a negative relationship between life- and job satisfaction, indicating that a person who is dissatisfied in one area will compensate by finding satisfaction in the other area. The opinion is held that a person who is dissatisfied with his or her work will compensate for this state by finding satisfaction outside the organisation. However, it seems unlikely that a person who is dissatisfied with life in general will compensate for this state by finding satisfaction at work.
The disaggregated theory indicates that the importance of a person’s work in his or her life moderates this relationship between life satisfaction and job satisfaction. This theory focuses on work as a central life interest. If people view work as a central life interest, their work will be seen as a means to achieve meaning and purpose in life, as well as life satisfaction. On the other hand, life satisfaction will be enhanced if the person (who views work as a central life interest) experiences satisfaction with his or her work.
Contradictory to these theories, the segmentation theory suggests that life satisfaction and job satisfaction are not related. This theory is not supported, as various studies have established a relationship between life satisfaction and job satisfaction. Orpen (1978:530-532) found that job satisfaction influences life satisfaction, whilst Schmitt and Mellon (1980:81-85) found that life satisfaction influences job satisfaction. Smith (1992:9) found job satisfaction to be a sub-component of life satisfaction. Duncan (1995:261) indicates a causal relationship between job satisfaction and life satisfaction. Interesting to note is that life satisfaction has been linked to spirituality.
Although it seems that the dispositional perspective of job satisfaction has made a valuable contribution to the understanding of the complex nature of job satisfaction, it does seem to have limitations. Studies regarding the relationship between job and life satisfaction found it difficult to establish causality between the concepts of job and life satisfaction, and the direction of influence between these two concepts remains uncertain. It therefore seems necessary to view job satisfaction from other perspectives, taking aspects such as the situation and the match between the individual and his or her job into consideration.
SITUATIONAL PERSPECTIVE TO JOB SATISFACTION
The dispositional approach to job satisfaction assumes consistency in job satisfaction in a variety of settings. Contrary to this assertion, it has been found that work attitudes are only temporarily stable (Schneider & Dachler, 1978:650). The situational approach therefore attempts to explain job satisfaction by referring to the different facets of an individual’s work as well as the work environment. According to the situational perspective of job satisfaction, a series of conditions related to an individual’s work and working environment should be met in order for the individual to experience a certain level of job satisfaction. This implies that organisations may impose deliberate actions to increase job satisfaction by changing situational factors, such as the individual’s remuneration or organisational culture.
Davis-Blake and Pfeffer (1989:387) indicate that organisations are “strong situations”, and that individual dispositions have only a limited effect on individual reactions in organisations. For them, the organisational culture and structure have a more profound impact on employee attitudes and behaviour (Davis-Blake & Pfeffer, 1989:389). Previously it was indicated that changes which are taking place in the modern organisation, such as restructuring, re-engineering and downsizing, are leaving workers feeling demoralised and unable to cope with their working lives (Bell & Taylor, 2001:A1).
CHAPTER 1: RESEARCH PROBLEM AND REASON FOR THE RESEARCH PROJ ECT
1.2 DEFINITION OF CONSTRUCTS
1.2.2 JOB SATISFACTION
1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
1.4 DISSERTATION STRUCTURE
CHAPTER 2: SPIRITUALITY
2.2 MULTI-DISCIPLINARY NATURE OF SPIRITUALITY
2.3 SPIRITUALITY: AN ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR PERSPECTIVE
2.4 SYSTEMIC NATURE OF WORKPLACE SPIRITUALITY
2.5 WORKPLACE SPIRITUALITY AND VALUES
2.6 PERSPECTIVES ON WORKPLACE SPIRITUALITY
2.7 BENEFITS OF HAVING A SPIRITUAL WORKPLACE
2.8 IMPLEMENTING SPIRITUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE
2.9 PREVIOUS RESEARCH FINDINGS REGARDING PERSONAL SPIRITUALITY AND WORKPLACE SPIRITUALITY
2.10 SPIRITUALITY MEASURES
CHAPTER 3: JOB SATISFACTION
3.2 PERSPECTIVES ON JOB SATISFACTION
3.3 MOTIVATIONAL THEORIES
3.4 JOB SATISFACTION AND ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER ORGANISATIONAL OUTCOMES
CHAPTER 4: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SPIRITUALITY AND JOB SATISFACTION
4.1 SPIRITUALITY AND ITS RELATION TO JOB SATISFACTION MODELS
4.2 INTEGRATION OF PERSONAL SPIRITUALITY, WORKPLACE SPIRITUALITY AND JOB SATISFACTION
4.3 RESEARCH PROPOSITION
4.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
CHAPTER 5: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
5.2 SAMPLE AND PARTICIPANTS
5.3 MEASURING INSTRUMENTS
CHAPTER 6: RESULTS
6.1 LEVEL OF PERSONAL SPIRITUALITY, JOB SATISFACTION, ORGANISATIONAL SPIRITUALITY, AND PERCEPTIONS IN PRESENT SAMPLE
6.2 ASSOCIATION BETWEEN BIOGRAPHICAL VARIABLES AND PERSONAL SPIRITUALITY, ORGANISATIONAL SPIRITUALITY, JOB SATISFACTION AND PERCEPTIONS
6.3 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PERSONAL SPIRITUALITY, ORGANISATIONAL SPIRITUALITY, JOB SATISFACTION AND PERCEPTIONS
6.4 PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PERSONAL SPIRITUALITY AND JOB SATISFACTION
CHAPTER 7: DISCUSSION
7.1 THE FIRST RESEARCH QUESTION
7.2 THE SECOND RESEARCH QUESTION
7.3 THE THIRD RESEARCH QUESTION
7.4 THE FOURTH RESEARCH QUESTION
7.5 THE FIFTH RESEARCH QUESTION
7.6 THE SIXTH RESEARCH QUESTION
7.7 CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE PRESENT STUDY
7.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE PRESENT STUDY
7.9 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
8. LIST OF REFERENCES
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