Work Locus of Control and the Multi-Dimensionality of Job Satisfaction

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This study furthers the research on work locus of control (WLC) and job satisfaction by examining the relationships between these variables using multiple dimensions of job satisfaction. In particular, we employ Herzberg Two-Factor theory to hypothesize WLC as a predictor of satisfaction with work on present job, predictor of satisfaction with present pay, predictor of satisfaction for opportunities for promotion, predictor for satisfaction with supervision, predictor for satisfaction with people at work, and predictor for the job in general. Further, we suggest WLC will have impact differences on the WLC-job satisfaction dimensions relationships. We examine these proposed relationships in a sample of 114 accountants in the southeastern part of the United States. In general, our results provide strong support for the proposed associations. Limitations, managerial implications, directions for future research, and conclusion are offered.

INTRODUCTION

At no point in history have there been more people in the workforce than there are today. These individuals are constantly faced with new expectations, goals and other pressures in our modern organizations. This social milieu and other circumstances that arise in an individual's daily transactions comprise an environment where individuals find j ob satisfaction as a focal point in their being. Job satisfaction has been defined as the extent to which individuals like their jobs or as a pleasurable, positive emotional state that can result from a individual's appraisal of their job or job experiences (Levy, 2003; Tanriverdi, 2008) Stated more simply, job satisfaction can be considered an individual's negative or positive feelings about their job. Research has indicated that job satisfaction can encompass as many as twenty different dimensions which include: recognition, compensation, supervision, job security, and advancement on the job, etc. (Weiss, England, & Losquist, 1967). Despite the various approaches to the study of job satisfaction, most researchers suggest the concept be viewed multi dimensionally (Bell & Weaver, 1987).

The study of job satisfaction is not a new focus for researchers; however, it is helpful to take a brief review of its origin into organizational studies. The phenomena of job satisfaction and motivation has been of interest to organizational researchers since the 1930s. Elton Mayo and the famous Hawthorne studies (Roethlisb erger & Dickson, 1939), which focused mainly on the effects of supervision, incentives, and working conditions fueled the interest in large part. Mayo and his associates assumed that organizations that experienced success would generally have satisfied employees, concluding satisfaction was at least one predictor of organizational outcomes (Gortner, Mahler, & Nicholson, 1987).

Over the past five decades, job satisfaction has been an extensively researched topic in the organizational studies literature (Brayfield & Crockett, 1955; Hackman & Oldham, 1975). The central question and the most crucial volleying in the ongoing debate continues to surround the relationship betweenjob satisfaction and performance (Brayfield & Crockett, 1955; Petty, McGee, & Cavender, 1984; !affaldano & Muchinsky, 1985). Results of a meta-analysis conclude there is a strong relationship between the two variables (Petty et al., 1984). Despite these results, there continues to be mixed empirical support among researchers. Modern organizations are constantly focused on gaining and maintaining competitive advantages in the marketplace, thus understanding as many variables as possible that lead to improved individual and organizational performance and j ob satisfaction are of special interests. Subsequently, today ' s hypercompetitive environments, force researchers and practitioners alike to look for these definitive answers.

One of the factors that has been found to be closely related to job satisfaction is locus of control (Spector, 1982; Spector & O'Connell, 1994; Chen & Silverstone, 2008). …