The American Economy-Attitudes and Opinions

By A. Dudley Ward | Go to book overview
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Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction in Work

It is important, of course, to every worker in an occupation of any type to find a "satisfactory" job (that is, work reasonably satisfactory if not wholly satisfying) and to like one's work. It is likewise important to employers that their employees be generally satisfied with their working conditions -- which may include prospects of improvement in current conditions or opportunity for personal advancement. With increasing division of labor -- often to minute items of an operation -- the question of job satisfaction or dissatisfaction has become a more and more important factor in employment relations. Moreover, the work of the "self-employed" has been affected by the changes in working conditions.

It seemed worth while, therefore, to include in the questionnaire for individual interviews a special section of questions, direct and indirect, related to work satisfaction or dissatisfaction; and similar inquiry was suggested for the discussion groups.


Workers in Various Occupations

Workers' responses were classified in three groups: blue-collar employees, white-collar employees, and owners or self-employed persons. The so-called blue-collar group included workers employed mainly in manual labor, as that is generally understood; the white-collar group included workers employed mainly as clerks, secretaries, bookkeepers, salesmen, office or department or company managers, salaried officers, etc.; "owners and self-employed" included a wide range of "bosses" -- proprietors, nonsalaried professional men, as well as workers "on their own," who work for profits or fees.

Among the thirty-odd questions related to satisfaction or dissatisfaction were such as these: "Is your pay satisfactory?" "How much more do you think you ought to be getting?" "What do you think of your chances to get ahead?" "In general, how do you like your job?" "What are some of the things you like about your work?"


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