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Attitude and Job

Satisfaction
Prepared by:
Asrar Al Qabandi
Taiba Al Aloughani
Bashayer Al Yousef

January 15, 2015

Attitude and Job Satisfaction

1. Introduction
Job satisfaction can be simply defined as the extent by which an
individual is fulfilled with his/her job. There is no one definition that
sums up job satisfaction. Crudely defined, job satisfaction refers to the
degree to which people like their jobs (Spector, 1997). Scholars use the
concept to show a combination of employee feelings towards the
different facets of job satisfaction such as the nature of the work itself,
level of pay, promotion opportunities, and satisfaction with co-workers
(Schermerhorn et al., 2005).

Many factors can contribute and affect job satisfaction levels by which
some can be related to the individuals, the work itself or the management.
Many researchers dedicated their efforts towards formulating a method
that would help understanding the mechanism of job satisfaction. The
importance of the job satisfaction relies on the fact that the lack of
satisfaction can lead to unfavourable outcomes such as employee
turnover. This can in turn affect the structure of the organization
negatively.

This chapter critically reviews the existing literature pertaining to job


satisfaction and both old and contemporary material is examined in order
to gain depth and breadth of understanding of the issue discussed. This
leads to conceptualisation of the research's model of job satisfaction for
the Kuwaiti employees who are working in overseas jobs. Thus is used as
the basis of hypotheses formulation and testing these hypotheses in order
to address the research problem and achieve the researchs objectives.

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2. Job Satisfaction Definition


According to Locke (1969), job satisfaction has been defined as: a
function of the perceived relationship between what one wants from
ones job and what one perceives it as offering (cited by Lund, 2003). It
is generally considered an attitudinal variable that can be used to indicate
whether someone likes his/ her job or not (Spector, 1997). In other
words, job satisfaction reflects the extent to which people find
fulfilment in their work (Slocum and Hellriegel, 2007).

Fogarty (1994) defined job satisfaction as

the extent to which

employees gain enjoyment from their efforts in the workplace. High


levels of job satisfaction among employees would reflect on them by
having a positive attitude towards their jobs (Brunetto and Wharton,
2002).

Such attitude is of a high importance for organizations, because low job


satisfaction can increase the possibility of employees turnover,
absenteeism and can also affect their mental health. It also indicates that
the organization is facing a problem and can help in identifying it in
order to fix it (Slocum and Hellriegel, 2007).

To sum up, job satisfaction is a set of attitudes a person creates towards


his/her job that could reflect either positively or negatively on them. Jobs
that provide employees with enjoyment and fulfil their expected needs
would have the potential of ensuring higher job satisfaction levels among
employees. Personal factors as well as work related factors would both
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affect the level of an employees job satisfaction and organization should


keep this fact in mind to avoid the consequences of job disaffection such
as turnover, absenteeism and low morale.

3. Job Satisfaction Hypotheses


Porter and Lawler (1986) divided the factors that influence job
satisfaction into two groups: internal and external satisfactory factors.
They regard many feelings such as: achievement, independence, self
esteem, control and similar feelings as the internal satisfactory factors.
According to them, while internal factors are considered work related
factors that are directly associated with the work itself, external
satisfactory factors are indirectly associated with it. Such factors are
including the relationship of the employee with others in the organization
and high pay (Dogan, 2009).

Harrel (1964) divided the factors influencing job satisfaction into three
categories:
- personal factors,
- job related factors, and
- factors that are within the control of the management.

3.1 Personal Factors


AGE:

Researchers conducted various studies to

investigate the relationship between age and job satisfaction. Most


of these studies revealed a positive relationship between job
satisfaction and age increase. According to Bernal et al. (1998),
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both men and women showed increase in job satisfaction when


getting older. Reasons for that as explained by Janson et al (1982)
and Bernal et al (1998) are due to the fact that mostly younger
employees seek for more challenges and responsibilities in their
jobs, but lack the experience that allows them to get what they are
looking for. Unlike older employees who are more experienced
and moved towards higher levels of satisfaction with time and
increased responsibilities. In this case of the Kuwaiti employees,
this would be an important consideration as a large number of the
employees are above the age of 30 years.

On the other hand, Hochwater (2001) argued that younger


employees are more motivated than older employees and thus
show high work satisfaction levels. This is due to their high
enthusiasm that would decline as they get older. However older
employees enjoy the benefit of their experience and insight that
would have favourable effects on their work and thus increase the
levels of job satisfaction.
GENDER:

Despite the fact that many studies have been

aiming at exploring the differences in job satisfaction levels


between males and females, there is no evidence on which gender
is more satisfied than the other (Bender et al., 2005). Theories tend
more to refer the differences on job satisfaction levels between
genders to differences on each genders attitudes and values
(Manson, 1995).

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EDUCATION:

When comparing job satisfaction levels

between highly educated employees and intermediate level


employees, it has been shown that the more educated the person,
the less satisfied he/she would be with the job. This is because
employees with higher education levels would also have higher
expectations from their jobs, and dissatisfaction would occur when
these expectations are not being met properly (Mettle, 2003). The
study by Mettle actually shows that more Kuwait women are
graduating from the main university compared to men, but not
many of them enter the labour force of traditional reasons or
because they want to start up families.
EXPERIENCE:

Kavanaugh et al (2006) includes a

demonstration of the relationship between professional experience


and job satisfaction levels among doctors. Studies made concluded
a positive relationship between the length of service and job
satisfaction. This is due to higher status, increased payments as
well as the developed individuals confidence in his/her abilities
and skills. The latter statement is highly linked to Maslows Need
Theory in which job satisfaction is positively affected when human
needs are met.
ACHIEVEMENT:

This factor is linked to Maslows Needs

Hierarchy (2004), where achievement would reflect on employees


of being worthy for the organization and that they are doing their
job properly. This would satisfy their higher level needs and in
turn their overall job satisfaction level would be increased.
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3.2 Job Related Factors


TYPE OF WORK:

This factor considered the most important

one with regard to the job related factors. Satisfaction is increased


when the job is not of a routine nature and involves many varied
aspects. It is also increased when the job requirements matches the
employees educational level. The work environment in general
can increase the levels of job satisfaction, when it provides the
ability for employees to develop their skills and help increasing
their personal growth (Srivastava, 2005).
STATUS:

Status and prestige can affect an employees

satisfaction towards a job and this effect can differ according to


each country as well as from time to time (Srivastava, 2005). Also
organizations that enjoy high morale would not only guarantee
employees commitment, but also increase the levels of job
satisfaction through job status (Roberts, 2001).

The Kuwaiti

employees consider status as a very important work value. Despite


this fact, it is more likely to be of more importance in the private
sector, where employees seek for prestigious managerial positions,
more than those who work at the public sector.
SKILLS REQUIRED: The relationship between an employees
skills and what the job requires is highly important because more
skilled employees would have less job satisfaction when the job
requires low level of skills. This is due to the fact that skilled
employees prefer working in a challenging environment to provide
them with their needed satisfaction. Less skilled would not be
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affected much by this factor as others such as pay would be more


important to them (Srivastava, 2005).

3.3 Management Factors


ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES:

The policies set by the

organization can cause frustrations to employees if they were


unclear, unfair or unnecessary. This in turn can have an impact on
their overall job satisfaction, especially if not everyone in the
organization was required to follow them (Spector, 1997).
At the private sector, where manuals are available, employees can
become more familiar with their companys policies. The situation
is different in the public sector where the policies can sometimes
be vague or not communicated properly to employees.
PAY:

According to Greenberg and Baron (1995),

employees job satisfaction is highly affected by fair pay system.


Lawler (1981) stated that employees sense of fairness and equity
would increase their job satisfaction level.
PROMOTION:

According to Shields and Ward (2001),

dissatisfaction with promotions as well as training programs can


have an effect on employees over all job satisfaction and intentions
to quit, exceeds that of high work load and low payments.
Employees urge for psychological growth, status and sense of
justice would drive them to seek for promotions (Locke, 1976). For
that reason, management should keep in mind that promotions can

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be a tool for improving employees motivation and job satisfaction


by satisfying their higher level needs.
This could not always be the case as achievement and hard work
might not be enough contributors to earn a promotion. In a society
where personal connections can affect the chance for fair
promotion system, job dissatisfaction would most likely be the
outcome.
SUPERVISION:

This is an important factor affecting

employees job satisfaction level as a good and qualified


supervisor who engages employees in decision making and various
job procedures would lead them towards the feeling of higher
sense of responsibility and achievement. This in turn would lead to
higher levels of job satisfaction (Glicken, 2005). Employees who
perceive care and respect from their supervisor would be more
satisfied than employees who feel the opposite (Trempe et
al.,1985).
RECOGNITION:

The absence of proper recognition when an

employee performs his job as required is a problem facing many


organizations (Mitchell, 2000). Employees need to feel that their
efforts and contributions to the organization are being recognized
by supervisors. This would not just reflect on them by being more
enthusiastic about their assigned tasks, but would also give them
higher confident in their abilities. The employees sense of being

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satisfied because his efforts are not being ignored is to some extent
has a relation to his managers (Spector, 1997).
JOB SECURITY:

Job security is a basic need for employees

that could be even more important than higher salaries and


personal growth. This is due to the fact that employees do not just
concern about satisfying their needs during the current time only,
but also need to feel that they are secured enough to satisfy them in
the future (Srivastava, 2005).
CO-WORKERS:

A working environment where employees

enjoy good relationships with co-workers would encourage them to


be more effective and work efficiently. When problems occur, the
result would be poor performance and could cause for greater
consequences as the employee might leave the organization due to
dissatisfaction (Discenza and Gardner 1992).
WORK CONDITIONS:

Work conditions that have an effect on

ob satisfactions can vary from simple aspects such as the physical


space, breaks and internet access toward more complex ones as the
organizational management (Decker, 1997). Work conditions that
are causing dissatisfaction to employees and affecting their
performance can be easily changed by the management to improve
satisfaction. This would also lead for less stress and thus higher
satisfaction (Arvey et al, 1989).

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RESPSONSIBLITY:

Assigning tasks for employees where they

can feel more responsible would make them care about their work
place as if they own it. This entails management to provide its
employees with more power and freedom and thus reflect on them
by enjoying their jobs more (Spector, 1997).
4. Job Satisfaction Theories
4.1 Herzbergs Two-Factor Theory
The theory is known as the hygiene-motivation theory. He based this
theory on a study he conducted on a sample of engineers and accountants
from Pittsburgh in the late 1950s (Herzberg, 1959).

He asked the

participants to remember times when they felt good and happy about
their jobs and times when they felt the opposite. He also asked them to
recall why they had such feelings and what impact do those feelings had
on both their performance at work and their personal life.

After

examining the answers, Herzberg was faced with a fact that the factors
that contributed to his participants good feelings towards their jobs are
not opposite to the negative ones. Thus, he came up to a conclusion that
there were two sets of factors associated with employees job satisfaction:
the motivation factors and the hygiene factors (Nanda, 2006).

The motivation factors are:

achievement, recognition, possibility of

growth, responsibility and work itself. They are also referred as the job
content factors. The hygiene factors on the other hand are referred as the
job context factors and include: salary, relationship with peers, personal
life factors, status, supervision, company policy, and relationship with

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Attitude and Job Satisfaction

subordinates, relationship with supervisors, work conditions and job


security (Ruthankoon and Ogulana, 2003).

Motivators, which are also known as the growth factors, are related to the
work itself the employee is doing and not the environment where it is
done. Herzberg highly linked those factors to job satisfaction (Nanda,
2006). An increase in these factors would increase employees
satisfaction and hence their total output while the decrease would not
cause dissatisfaction but rather decrease satisfaction (Srivastava, 2005).

4.2 Contemporary Job Satisfaction Theories


Although Herzbergs theory is a very popular method amongst practicing
managers, there are other contemporary techniques that can also be used
to examine employees job satisfaction levels.

(i)

The job characteristics model


The model aims at identifying the core characteristics that would
contribute in establishing better outcomes, mainly job satisfaction
and employees motivation, good performance and reducing rates
of absenteeism and turnover (Voster et. al., 2005). It suggests that
these characteristics influence three critical psychological states
which are: experienced meaningfulness of the tasks performed,
experienced personal responsibility for task outcomes and
knowledge of the results of tasks performance (Slocum and
Hellriegel, 2007).

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REFERENCES

Adams, J.S. (1965). Inequity in social exchange. Adv. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 62:335-343.

Arvey, R.D., Bouchard, T.J. and Abraham LM. (1989) Job satisfaction: environmental
and genetic components, Journal of Applied Psychology, 74(2):187-192

Bender, K., Donohue,S. and Heywood, J. (2005) Job satisfaction and gender
segregation, Oxford Economic Papers, 57(3): 479-496

Bernal, D., Snyder, D., and McDaniel, M. (1998) The age and job satisfaction
relationship:

Blegen, M. (1993) Nurses job satisfaction: a meta-analysis of related variables,


Nursing Research, 42 (1):3641.

Brunetto, Y. and Wharton, R. (2002) Using social identity to explain the job satisfaction
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Bureau of Public affairs U.S State Department (2005): Kuwait investment climate
statement.

Decker, F.H. (1997) Occupational and non occupational factors in job satisfaction and
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Discenza, R. and Gardner, D. (1992) Improving productivity by managing for retention


Information Strategy, The Executives Journal. Does it shape and strength still evades
us? Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Services, 53(5): 287-293.

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Hair, J. F. (Jr), Black, W. C., Babin, B.J, Anderson, R.E, and Tatham, R.L. (2006)
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Hair, J. F. (Jr), Black, W. C., Babin, B.J, Anderson, R.E, Tatham, R.L. (2006)
Multivariate Data Analysis, Sixth Edition. New Jersey; Pearson prentice Hall.

Harrell, T.W. (1964) Industrial Psychology, Calcutta: Oxford Book Company.

Hochwarter, WA. , Ferris, GR., Perrewe, PL., Witt, LA. And Kiewitz, C. (2001) A note
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