Individual Demographic Differences and Job Satisfaction among Information Technology Personnel: An Empirical Study in Taiwan

Article excerpt

A survey was conducted on IT personnel working in Taiwan's Top 500 Enterprises to explore effects of individual characteristics on job satisfaction. Results show that there were significant differences found in general, intrinsic and overall job satisfaction with regard to marital status, age, position title, and annual salary. Suggestions for increasing job satisfaction of IT personnel are proposed.

Introduction

To bring out the function of the information technology (IT) thoroughly, the enterprise takes not only the adequate hardware equipment and infrastructure, but also the perfect coordination between the information system (IS) and IT personnel. IT personnel will be the major human resources in enterprises. Hence, the key to make IT personnel grow and contribute themselves to the enterprise to create useful value for a long time and stably depends on their recognition, loyalty and job satisfaction to the enterprise. Accordingly, how the managers manage and encourage these professionals effectively has become the crux for future organizations.

Job satisfaction is important in organizational behavior. It is based on employee's personal subjective perceptions and feelings. Therefore, individual is an important factor which affect employees' job satisfaction. Although general researches do not view the population background as dependent variables, practically, when an enterprise recruits employees or draws up personnel-related policies, it still expects to infer the employee's job satisfaction from the employee's personal file that is easily obtained and then constructs the responding model for the organization. This study takes the IT personnel working in Taiwan's Top 500 Enterprises, engaged in system development, software design and development, and software application as the studying subjects. The relationship between the individual demographic variables and job satisfaction of IT personnel in Taiwan will be studied thoroughly.

Literature Review

Job satisfaction is the individual's affective attitude or orientations for work (Blum & Naylor, 1968; Smith. Kendall, & Hulin, 1969; Muchinsky, 1990). The first study of job satisfaction was conducted by Hoppock (1935). There are many factors affecting employees' feeling for job satisfaction. Porter and Lawler (1968) divide the factors affecting job satisfaction into the intrinsic satisfactory factors related to work itself and the extrinsic satisfactory factors not directly related to work itself. Seashore and Taber (1975) consider that personal attributes and environment are the major factors affecting job satisfaction. Glisson and Durick (1988) indicate that the factors affecting job satisfaction are the worker himself/herself, work and organizational characteristics. Most studies have indicated that job satisfaction has positive effect on employees' working performance and organizational commitment, and negative effect on employee absenteeism and turnover (Menninger & Levison, 1956; Rabinowitz & Hall, 1977; Poulin, 1994; Reiner & Zhao, 1999; Clugston, 2000; Mclean & Andrew, 2000). In the study of the relationship between job satisfaction and personal characteristics, most studies indicate a positive association between age and job satisfaction (Lee & Wilbur, 1985; Reiner & Zhao, 1999). However, other studies have found a U-shaped relationship (Kacmar & Ferns, 1989; Eichar, Norland, Brady, & Fortinsky, 1991). Gender differences in job satisfaction have also been extensively studied. There is no conclusive evidence with regard to job satisfaction among men and women (Brush, Moch, & Pooyan, 1987; Witt & Nye, 1992). Tenure and job satisfaction are positively related (Bedian, Ferris, & Kacmar, 1992). That is, people who are more experienced on their jobs are more highly satisfied than those who are less experienced. White-collar personnel tend to be more satisfied with their jobs than blue-collar personnel (Weaver, 1980; Howard & Frink, 1996). …