Comparing Public and Private Employees' Job Satisfaction and Turnover

By Wang, Yau-De; Yang, Chyan et al. | Public Personnel Management, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

Comparing Public and Private Employees' Job Satisfaction and Turnover


Wang, Yau-De, Yang, Chyan, Wang, Kuei-Ying, Public Personnel Management


Introduction

Economic theories consider the public sector less efficient and productive than the private sector. (1) The public sector in Taiwan is no exception. (2) To reform its public sector, the government of Taiwan has launched a major privatization effort. (3) However, parts of the public sector (e.g., public schools and governmental offices) cannot be privatized. Here, other strategies need to be formulated and incorporated into the reform process. To design the strategies for resolving the problem effectively, the causes of the problem must first be explored.

Literature proposes different arguments to account for the causes of low productivity in the public sector. One of these arguments is that public employees' job satisfaction is often lower than that of private employees' because jobs in the public sector lack motivating potential. (4) Although low job satisfaction is not necessarily related to low productivity at the individual level, it is often associated with a higher level of absenteeism and turnover, (5) which in turn can reduce productivity at the organizational level. High job satisfaction, on the contrary, may lower employees' absenteeism and turnover rate, and increase their organizational citizenship behaviors, leading to enhanced overall organizational performance. (6) If public employees' job satisfaction is lower than that of private employees, public institutions should redesign their employees' jobs to enhance motivating potential. Because of the implications of job satisfaction to productivity at the organizational level, one purpose of this study is to compare the differences in job satisfaction, both extrinsic and intrinsic, between public and private employees.

Another argument concerning the causes for lower productivity in the public sector is derived from Baldwin's findings. (7) Baldwin reviewed many empirical studies (8) and concluded that public employees have a greater need for job security than private employees do. A higher need for job security could result in a lower turnover rate in the public sector. The literature on general personnel management suggests that a lower turnover rate can save personnel costs in the recruitment, selection, and training of replacement personnel, and can induce the individual employee's loyalty and commitment to the organization, in turn leading to better organizational performance. (9) However, an excessively low turnover rate is unhealthy to organizations because it may stifle opportunities for internal promotions and for infusing new blood from external labor markets into the organizations, and hence, it may hamper performance at the organizational level. (10) It can be inferred that with a stronger need for job security, public employees' turnover intentions are lower, which results in a lower level of turnover rate that dampens the public sector's productivity. Another purpose of this study is to compare public and private employees' turnover intentions, which few studies have attempted before.

The higher need for job security in public employees also hampers organizational performance through influencing the job satisfaction-turnover relationship. In the literature, job satisfaction is found to be negatively associated with turnover intention, n When employees are dissatisfied, they think more of quitting their jobs. For public employees, dissatisfaction may stimulate less of an intention to quit because of their greater need for security. If those who are dissatisfied continue to stay on in their jobs, their low work motivation will decrease the overall performance of the organization. In Taiwan, there may be many public employees dissatisfied with their jobs who continue to stay, and hence decrease the productivity of their organizations. (12) There have been no empirical studies conducted to compare the differences in the strength of the job satisfaction-turnover intention relationship between the public and the private sectors. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Comparing Public and Private Employees' Job Satisfaction and Turnover
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.