Prolific research in the area of job satisfaction has been conducted over the past few decades (Boshoff, Cilliers & Van Wyk, 2003; Buitendach & De Witte, 2005; Calder, 2000; Derlin & Schneider, 1994; Dolliver, 2003; Hoole & Vermeulen, 2003; Kh Metle, 2005; Malherbe & Pearse, 2003). However, a paucity of studies exist in the public health industry investigating job satisfaction across different occupational classes. The vast majority of studies conducted in the public health industry in South Africa over the past years have mainly focused on job satisfaction amongst health care doctors and nurses (Damane, 1992; Herman, 2005; Mariani et al., 2003; Mavanyisi, 2005; Pillay, 2003). According to Kh Metle (2005), job satisfaction has been a popular topic for researchers in a wide area of fields including industrial psychology, public administration, business and higher education.
Boggie (2005) maintains that in order to provide good service, the quality of employees is critical to ensure success. It is for this reason that it is essential that the area of job satisfaction be explored in order to gain a better insight thereof. This will provide executive managers with important information to enable them to stimulate greater job satisfaction amongst employees.
Truell et al. (1998) stated that with limited studies regarding job satisfaction among faculty in community colleges, the study of job satisfaction is essential due to the increasing number of student enrollments. Truell et al. (1998) found that faculty in their sample were more satisfied with the job itself Lee and Ahmad (2009) found that job satisfaction affects levels of job dissatisfaction, absenteeism, grievance expression, tardiness, low morale, high turnover, quality improvement and participation in decision-making. These in turn affect the overall performance of the organization (Klein Hesselink, Kooij-de Bode, & Koppenrade, 2008; Page & Vella-Brodrick, 2008; Pitts, 2009; Riketta, 2008; Scroggins, 2008).
According to Mayer and Botha (2004), in most South African companies there is a low level of employee job satisfaction, resulting in a lack of commitment to performance and the achievement of organizational goals. In South Africa, human resource managers have job satisfaction and productivity at the top of their list of concerns (Grobler et al, 2002). This implies that job satisfaction affects employees’ performance and commitment. It is therefore imperative that managers pay special attention to employees’ attitudes as job satisfaction can decline more quickly than it develops. Managers need to be proactive in improving and maintaining employees’ life satisfaction and not only satisfaction in the work environment as job satisfaction is part of life satisfaction, meaning an individual’s life outside work may have an influence on one’s feelings on the job(Staw,1977).
TOOLS OF MEASUREMENT
The Job Descriptive Index (JDI) (Smith, Kendall & Hulin, 1969) is the most widely used measure of job satisfaction in existence today. More than 50 percent of articles published in management or management related journals employed the JDI to measure job satisfaction. Most writers agreed with Vroom’s (1964) judgment that “the Job Descriptive Index is without doubt the most carefully constructed measure of job satisfaction in existence today”. The evidence can be summarized by three themes. First the JDI has been widely used in business and government (Blood, 1969; Hulin, 1968; O’Reilly & Roberts, 1973; Waters & Waters, 1969) as both a research tool and a diagnostic indicator. Second, a strong case has been built for construct validity, both in original source (Smith, Kendall & Hulin, 1969) as well as in numerous other publications that report correlation between JDI scales and other measures of job satisfaction (e.g., Dunham, Smith, & Blackburn, 1977). Third, the JDI dimensional structure seems stable across some occupational groupings (eg., Smith, Smith, & Rollo, 1975; Golembiewski and Yeager, 1978).