The Effect of Gender on Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment in Kuwait

Article excerpt

This study explored the effect of gender on employees 'perception of job satisfaction and organizational commitment in Kuwait. The study was conducted on 436 employees (213 females and 223 males) in five Kuwaiti government ministries. Mean t-tests, correlation, and one-way analysis were employed to analyze the data. In this study no significant differences were found with regard to gender.

Introduction

The existing literature on women and work has often highlighted gender roles as a key issue for women in employment (Elizur & Koslowsky, 2001). The influences of gender role on women's job attitudes and behaviors are considered to be subtle, and deserving of more careful studies (Scandura & Lankau, 1997). Among the possible sex differences that have received attention are job attitudes, work values, and other reactions to the world of work (Lefkowitz, 1994). According to Rokeach (1979) the more commonly used measures of attitudes in organizational psychology are job satisfaction and organizational commitment.

The personal characteristics/work attitude relationship might be different for different workers in different organizations in different countries within different cultures (Metle, 1997). Therefore, the research presented here focuses on Kuwaiti male and female employees and also tests the validity of some previously held hypotheses on organizational commitment and job satisfaction. An important question is whether Kuwaiti females are, at least, as committed and satisfied with their jobs when compared with their male counterparts? This paper attempts to answer this question and examines the effects of gender on the organizational commitment and job satisfaction of Kuwaiti employees. The intent of this study is to identify significant differences and areas for consideration, and not to speculate on the basis for these differences or to prescribe universal policy recommendations.

Gender and Job Satisfaction

Several researchers have examined the relationship between job satisfaction and gender (Mason, 1995). However, the results of the many studies concerning the relationship between job satisfaction and gender of the employees have been contradictory. In fact, from the 1950s to date, the findings regarding gender differences in job satisfaction have been inconsistent (Hickson and Oshagbemi, 1999). While some studies have found women to be more satisfied than men (Ward and Sloane, 1998), other studies have found men to be more satisfied than women (Forgionne and Peters, 1982).

However, it is important to note that most of the studies in this area report no significant differences between the two genders in relation to job satisfaction (Mottaz, 1986). For example, Witt and Nye ( 1992) found that no conclusive evidence with regard to the levels of satisfaction among men and women has been reported. Moreover, Manning (2002) confirmed similarities in male and female mangers' job satisfaction. Also, gender was found to have no significant impact on job satisfaction (Dole & Schroeder, 2001). In their study of job satisfaction in the Nordic countries, Eskildsen, Kristensen, & Westlund (2004) found that there is no significant difference between the genders with respect to job satisfaction. Although females do feel discriminated against, nevertheless they are as satisfied with their jobs as are males are (Dolliver, 2003). Oshagbemi (2003) in a study concerned about personal correlates of job satisfaction, have found that gender is not significantly associated directly with the overall job satisfaction. Last but not least, Donohue & Hey wood (2004) have found no gender satisfaction gab between younger U.S. workers. Thus the following hypotheses result:

H1: There is no significant relationship between gender and job satisfaction.

H2: Men and women have the same level of job satisfaction.

Gender and Organizational Commitment

The relationship between gender and organizational commitment has also remained unclear. …