Posted by Connie R. Aponte on October 30, 2013 in Job |

VARIABLESPromotion Opportunities

A number of researchers are of the opinion that job satisfaction is strongly related to opportunities for promotion (Pergamit & Veum, 1999; Peterson et al., 2003; Sclafane, 1999). This view is supported in a study conducted by Ellickson and Logsdon (2002) with municipal government workers where satisfaction with promotional opportunities was found to be positively and significantly related to job satisfaction. Kreitner and Kinicki (2001) however, state that the positive relationship between promotion and job satisfaction is dependent on perceived equity by employees.


A number of authors maintain that having friendly and supportive colleagues contribute to increased job satisfaction (Johns, 1996; Kreitner & Kinicki, 2001; Luthans, 1989). 49Findings of a survey conducted by Madison (2000) on more than 21000 women occupying the most demanding jobs indicated that those participants who lacked support from co-workers, were more likely to suffer from job dissatisfaction. Another survey conducted amongst 1250 Food Brand employees found that positive relationships with co-workers enhance job satisfaction (Berta, 2005). Empirical evidence indicates that relationships with colleagues have consistently yielded significant effects on job satisfaction of federal government workers in the United States (Ting, 1997). A study conducted by Viswesvaran, Deshpande and Joseph (1998) further corroborated previous findings that there is a positive correlation between job satisfaction and co-workers.

Job Status

To date, a paucity of research exists indicating the relationship between job status and job satisfaction. Research conducted by Feather and Rauter (2004) which involved contract and permanent employees in the teaching environment in Australia, failed to establish a relationship between job status and job satisfaction.

Job Level

Satisfaction surveys reflect that a positive relationship prevails between job level and job satisfaction (Cherrington, 1994). Higher levels of job satisfaction are usually reported by individuals occupying higher level positions in organisations as they offer better remuneration, greater variety, more challenge and better working conditions (Cherrington, 1994). Research conducted by Robie, Ryan, Schmieder, Parra and Smith (1998) corroborates the view that a positive and linear relationship exists between job satisfaction and job level. Results of their study indicate that as job level increased, so did job satisfaction. In support of the above, Allen (2003) postulates that job satisfaction is strongly linked to an employee’s position within the company. The author concludes that the higherthe ranking, the lower the job satisfaction. In contrast, Mossholder, Bedeian and Armenakis (1981) cited in Robie et al. (1998) report that job satisfaction decreases with an increase in the job level. 51


Numerous authors have highlighted that job satisfaction impacts on employee productivity, turnover, absenteeism, physical and psychological health (Johns, 1996; Luthans, 1989; Mullins, 1996).


Research findings indicate that the relationship between satisfaction and productivity is positive, but very low and inconsistent (Johns, 1996). According to Luthans (1989), although a relationship between job satisfaction and productivity exists, the relationship between these variables is not strong. The author maintains that the most satisfied employee will not necessarily be the most productive employee. At an individual level the evidence is often inconsistent in terms of the relationship between satisfaction and productivity, but at an organisational level a strong. Relationship exists between satisfaction and productivity (Robbins et al., 2003).

Physical and Psychological Health

Spector (1997) states that individuals who dislike their jobs could experience negative health effects that are either psychological or physical. On the other hand, Luthans (2002) mentions that employees with high levels of job satisfaction tend to experience better mental and physical health.


A study conducted by Steel and Ovalle (1984) established a moderately strong relationship between job satisfaction and turnover, indicating that less satisfied workers are more likely to quit their jobs. According to Lee and Mowday (1987) cited in Luthans (1989), a moderate relationship exists between satisfaction and turnover. The researchers posit that high job satisfaction will not necessarily contribute to a low turnover rate, but will inadvertently assist in maintaining a low turnover rate.

A number of studies strongly support the view that turnover is inversely related to job satisfaction (Griffon, Hand, Meglino & Mobley (1979) and Price (1977) cited in Robbins et al., 2003). According to French (2003), a high employee turnover rate is often prevalent in an environment where employees are highly dissatisfied. Greenberg and Baron (1995) contend that employees lacking job satisfaction often tend to withdraw from situations and environments as a means of dealing with their dissatisfaction. A major form of employee withdrawal is voluntary turnover. By not reporting for duty, or by resigning to seek new job prospects, individuals might be expressing their dissatisfaction with their jobs or attempting to escape from the unpleasant aspects they may be experiencing. Phillips, Stone and Phillips (2001) concur that employee turnover is the most critical withdrawal variable.


Research indicates that job satisfaction levels are related to absenteeism (Hellriegel, Slocum & Woodman, 1989). Nel et al. (2004, p. 548) maintain that “absenteeism is regarded as withdrawal behaviour when it is used as a way to escape an undesirable working environment.” According to Luthans (1989), various studies conducted on the relationship between satisfaction and absenteeism indicates an inverse relationship between the two variables. Thus, when satisfaction is high, absenteeism tends to be low. The converse indicates that when satisfaction is low, absenteeism tends to be high. Contrary to this, the findings of a study undertaken by Johns (1996) found the association between job satisfaction and absenteeism to be moderate. Robbins (1993) supports the view of a moderate relationship existing between satisfaction and absenteeism. According to Robbins et al. (2003), the moderate 54 relationship between these variables could be attributed to factors such as liberal sick leave, whereby employees are encouraged to take time off. The afore-mentioned could ultimately reduce the correlation coefficient between satisfaction and absenteeism.

Research Studies on Leadership Style and Job Satisfaction

Lashbrook (1997) stated that leadership style plays a vital role in influencing employees’ job satisfaction. Some researchers discovered that different leadership styles will engender different working environment and directly affect the job satisfaction of the employees (Bogler, 2001, 2002; Heller, 1993; McKee, 1991; Timothy & Ronald, 2004). Bass (1985) proposed that transformational leadership might intrinsically foster more job satisfaction, given its ability to impart a sense of mission and intellectual stimulation. Transformational leaders tend to encourage and motivate their followers to take on more responsibility and autonomy (Emery & Barker, 2007) thereby enhancing employees’ sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with their job. Transactional and transformational leadership have been widely linked to positive individual and organizational consequences (Bass, 1990). These leadership styles are found to correlate positively with employee perceptions of job, leader and organizational satisfaction (Felfe & Schyns, 2006; Bycio, Hackett & Allen, 1995; Niehoff, Enz & Grover, 1990). Castaneda and Nahavandi (1991) indicated that employees are most satisfied when they perceive their supervisors as exhibiting both relational and task oriented behaviours.

Personality, Health, Work Environment, and Performance

According to Schneider (1987), “the people make the place,” and people are differentially attracted to, differentially selected, and differentially leave organizations. Costa, McCrae, and Holland (1984) assert that people begin this process by selecting into vocations that match their personalities. Similarity between a job applicant’s values and the values of recruiters and employees within organizations has been shown to result in improved work attitudes and increased performance after organizational entry (Judge and Cable, 1997; Chatman, 1991). Research by Cable and Judge (1994) and Judge and Cable (1997) provides evidence that applicants pro-actively choose such organizational environments based on individual preferences, as they found that job candidates seek organizations with reward systems and cultures that fit their personalities. Of even greater significance is the possibility that the relationship between personality characteristics and specific work environments may influence performance (Hurtz and Donovan, 2000). The general trend in the research has been towards increased optimism regarding the utility of personality tests in personnel selection with the goal of ultimately enhancing job performance (Behling, 1998; Hogan et al, 1996; Hum and Donovan, 2000; Mount and Barrick, 1995). Personality Traits as Sources of Stress: 31Past studies have indicated the potential impact of personality traits on job stress (Goldberg, 1993; Deary and Blenkin, 1996; Snyder and Ickes, 1985). Five personality dimensions that have been identified are neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness (Costa and McCrae, 1985; McCrae and Costa, 1991; Costa and McCrae, 1992; McCrae, 1992). The neuroticism domain reflects one’s degree of emotional stability and adjustment. Extraversion assesses the extent to which individuals are assertive, active, and talkative. Openness measures the extent to which persons are open to new experiences, are creative and imaginative, and prefer variety. Agreeableness reflects the extent to which one isaltruistic and cooperative. Conscientiousness measures one’s self-control and purposefulness and is associated with academic and occupational achievement. Of these five personality dimensions, neuroticism has been found to have a positive relationship with job stress (Deary and Blenkin, 1996; Tellegen, 1985; Birch and Kamali, 2001). The general consensus has been that personality holds utility as a predictor of job performance, specifically the conscientiousness dimension (Behling, 1998). Research has also provided evidence of linkages between personality dimensions with narrower facets of performance. Research by Motowidlo and Van Scotter (1994; Van Scotter and Motowidlo, 1996) suggests that personality has a larger impact on contextual (as opposed to task oriented) dimensions of performance; specifically, extraversion and agreeableness were more strongly related to interpersonal facilitation. Hurtz and Donovan (2000) found that emotional stability and agreeableness were also significant predictors of interpersonal facilitation, and emotional stability was a predictor of task performance. However, a number of different studies have begun to illustrate that the effects of personality on performance may be more indirect. Recent research indicates the intervening effects of performance expectancies, self-efficacy, and goal setting on the relationship between conscientiousness and performance (Barrick et al, 1993; Gellatly, 1996; Martocchio and Judge, 1997). These studies illuminate a significant gap in the literature-that Age research to date has disproportionately focused on the direct linkage between personality and performance, and “. . . if we are to truly understand the relationship between personality and job performance, we must move beyond this divaricated relationship and toward specifying the intervening variables that link these domains” (Hurtz and Donovan, 2000: 32877). A widely accepted assumption is that better workplace environment produces better results. Mostly the office is designed with due importance to the nature of job and the individuals that are going to work in that office. The performance of an employee is measured actually by the output that the individual produces and it is related to productivity. At corporate level, productivity is affected by many factors such as employees, technology and objectives of the organization. It is also dependent on the physical environment and its affect on health and employees’ performance.

The most important of workplace environment factors that either lead to engagement or disengagement are shown in the following diagram. A close consideration of each of these factors is also very useful in ensuring that employees apply the skills they learn during training programs once they return to their workplace. Tending to the structural and interpersonal aspects of each of these factors enables employees to apply the required skills in a consistent and habitual way. According to Moos (1981), work environment preferences can be measured using three dimensions of work environment settings: system maintenance, goal orientation, and relationship dimensions. System maintenance refers to how orderly and organized the work setting is, how clear it is in its expectations, and how much control it maintains. Goal orientation assesses the degree to which an environment encourages or stifles growth through providing for participation in decision making and autonomy, maintaining a task orientation, and providing job challenge and expectations for success and accomplishment. The relationship dimension measures the degree of interpersonal interaction in a work environment, such as the social communication exchanges and cohesion among workers, and the friendship and support provided by coworkers and management. These work environment preferences have been shown to affect individuals’ personal functioning at work (Billings and Moos, 1982). Examination of work environment preferences can help identify organizational factors that may be problematic, and can guide interventions aimed at reducing employee stress in a variety of work settings.

Billingsley and Cross (1992) studied 956 general and special educators in Virginia investigated commitment to teaching, intent to stay in teaching, and job satisfaction. Findings of this study revealed greater leadership support, work involvement, and lower levels of role conflict and stress-influenced job satisfaction for both groups studied. Moody (1996) reported a relationship between number of years teaching in the institution and satisfaction with the job, salary and coworkers. Spector ( 1997) has reviewed the most popular job satisfaction instruments and summarized the following facets of job satisfaction: appreciation, communication, co-workers, fringe benefits, job conditions, nature of the work itself, the nature of the organization itself, an organization’s policies and procedures, pay, personal growth, promo promotion opportunities, recognition, security and supervision, Job satisfaction and its relating factors. He also felt that, the above approach has become less popular with increasing emphasis on cognitive processes rather than on underlying needs so that the attitudinal perspective has become predominant in the study of job satisfaction Ambrose et al. (2005) conducted a qualitative study to investigate faculty satisfaction and retention. The study focused on the faculty of a private university over a period of 2 years. Findings suggested sources of satisfaction or dissatisfaction clustered into areas such as salaries, collegiality, mentoring, and the reappointment, promotion, and tenure process of departmental heads Job satisfaction involves several different spheres such as satisfaction with pay, promotion opportunities, fringe benefits, job security and the importance/challenge of the job. (Nguyen, Taylor, & Bradley, 2003). Job satisfaction can lead to cost reduction by reducing absences, task errors, and turnover. Since work is an important aspect of people’s lives and most people spend a large part of their working lives at work, understanding the factors involved in job satisfaction is crucial to improving employees’ performance and productivity. Job satisfaction has often been linked to organizational commitment, turnover intentions, and absenteeism. These variables are costly to an organization, as they could lead to low morale, poor performance, lower productivity, and higher costs of hiring, retention, and training. (Opkara, 2002). The private banks specifically created a cut throat competition by launching new and new products and services regularly to gain more market share. The employment patterns in the banking sector changed abruptly and it became a high volatile market. The salary bands and compensation and rewards patterns changed and focus became on performance and targets rather than experience and loyalty. Hence, pay and job satisfaction became a key factor for the banking professionals which needed attention so as to achieve the long term goals of the bank (Islam & Saha). Studies have tested the hypothesis that income is an important determinant of job satisfaction. (Nguyen, Taylor, & Bradley, 2003). Factors such as pay, the work itself, supervision, relationships with co-workers and opportunities for promotions have been found to contribute to job satisfaction. (Opkara, 2002). There is a significant difference in the job satisfaction levels of employees based on their income. Employees earning the lowest income report significantly lower levels of job satisfaction relative to the other income groups. Highly paid employees may still be dissatisfied if they do not like the nature of their job and feel they cannot enter a more satisfying job. (LUDDY, JOB SATISFACTION AMONGST EMPLOYEES AT A PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTION IN THE WESTERN CAPE, 2005).

He also concluded that certain organizational characteristics influence job satisfaction, and one of the major factors is the intrinsic nature of the job itself. An individual who genuinely likes the content of the job will be more satisfied with the job. In terms of preferences, he said that industrial workers want job with high pay, high security, promotional opportunities, fewer hours of work and friendly supervision. Finally, he found that if it demands considerable effort to get a job (through education, experience or achievement), if one can make a lot of money at it, if one can not think of an alternative, then one should be highly satisfied with the job. He also stated in his findings that factors that influence job satisfaction differ from men to women in terms of importance of ranks. Generally, men rank security first, followed by advancement, type of work, company, pay, co-worker, supervision, benefits, duration of work and then working condition. Whereas women rank type of work first, followed by company, security, co-workers, advancement, supervision, pay, working condition, duration of work and then benefits. As there are various measures to measure job satisfaction and not all of them could be used at the same time, a choice had to be made. The process of making a choice is not simple but as an author put it “It is not unusual for two or more equally good measures to have been developed for the same concept. For example, there are several different instruments for measuring the concept of job satisfaction.

Numerous studies found that fob stress influences the employees’ job satisfaction and their overall performance in their work. Because most of the organizations now are more demanding for the better job outcomes. In fact, modern times have been called as the “age of anxiety and stress” (Coleman, 1976).

Research Studies on Leadership Style and Job Satisfaction

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