Gender Role in Job Satisfaction: The Case of the U.S. Information Technology Professionals

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ABSTRACT

While job satisfaction is a major concern in today's organizations, there is little empirical research concerning Information technology "IT" and its professionals. A survey of 132 IT professionals (99 men and 33 women) in various Southern California organizations were conducted using the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire "MSQ" short form containing the 20 question-general satisfaction scale to indicate their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with research variables along a five-point scale. Through an empirical study and descriptive statistics, this paper examined the effects of gender on job satisfaction and accepted all its three null hypotheses that gender does not play a role in job satisfaction among IT professionals in the United States. Implications for research and practice are discussed. The research contributes to job satisfaction literature by providing empirical findings regarding the relationship between job satisfaction and the subject of gender.

INTRODUCTION

The subject of job satisfaction is considered to be one of the most studied work related attitudes by organizational behaviorists and human resources researchers in both private and public sectors (Bedeian, Ferris, & Kacmar, 1992; Clark 1997; Durst & DeSantis, 1997; Ellickson & Logsdon, 2001; Jung & Moon, 2007; Lewis, 1991; Ting, 1997; Wright & Kim, 2004). It is no surprise that more than 12,000-job satisfaction studies were published by the early 1990s (Kinicki, McKee-Ryan, Schriesheim, Carson, 2002; Kreitner & Kinicki, 2007).

According to Ghazzawi (2008-a), information technology professionals have not been a major focus of study, and today's literature provides few insights on the subject of job satisfaction in the information technology industry. Such industry controls most aspects of our lives and thus deserves much attention. This profession employs people from all ages and different genders with a mission to cope with the challenges of this borderless world. While an earlier research by the author titled "Job satisfaction among information technology professionals in the U. S. : An empirical study" was published earlier (Ghazzawi, 2008-a); this research is a continuation of the aforementioned paper, but it focuses on the subject of gender.

It is important to stress that while the literature has placed a major emphasis on the subject of job satisfaction, very few researchers have studied the role of gender in job satisfaction in the information technology industry in the United States or in other countries. Most of the research associated with the significance of gender in job satisfaction has been general and not industry specific. This paper is focused on studying the effects of gender on job satisfaction of IT professionals out of a belief that every industry has its own unique differences that differentiates it from other industries.

Through collected data from 132 IT professionals from various organizations in Southern California, using the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire "MSQ" (the general satisfaction scale-the short form); the study tested the gender factors on job satisfaction through the use of descriptive statistics.

THE PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY

According to the U.S. Department of Labor- Bureau of Labor Statistics (2009), the U.S. employs over 3.05 million IT professionals of all skill levels annually. This number rose from 3,084,000 in 1997 to apeak of 3,63 1,000 in 2000, and then declined to 3,055,000 in 2006. However, the employment of computer and information systems managers is expected to grow 1 6 percent over the 2006-16 decade, which is faster than the average for all occupations (U. S. Department of Labor, 2008).

Additionally, computer software engineering is projected to be one of the fastest growing occupations over the 2006-2016 periods, with a projected increase in employment by 38 percent over the 2006 to 2016 period (U. …