Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Does Age Matter in Job Satisfaction? the Case of U.S. Information Technology Professionals

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Does Age Matter in Job Satisfaction? the Case of U.S. Information Technology Professionals

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Job satisfaction literature is a rich one. It has been enriched with numerous empirical and meta-analysis study research. It is considered one of the most studied work related attitudes by many researchers in the fields of organizational behavior and human resources in 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). However, very few researchers have studied the role of age in job satisfaction in the information technology industry in the United States or in other countries. Literature on the subject of age and job satisfaction has been general and not industry specific. This paper is focused on studying the role of age on job satisfaction of IT professionals out of a belief that every industry has its own particulars and specificity that differentiates it from other industries.

Information technology professionals have not been a major focus of study as it pertains to the subject of job satisfaction (Ghazzawi, 2008a). According to Ghazzawi (2008a), today's literature provides few insights on the subject of job satisfaction in an industry that controls important aspects of our lives. The IT profession employs millions of people from all ages and in various positions and capacities with a mission to cope with the challenges of this borderless 24 hour a day world.

The study is based on data collected 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 age role in job satisfaction through the use of descriptive statistics.

The Purpose of this Study

While many attempts to determine the age-job satisfaction relationship have been established and provided conflicting results, no study has examined the age-job satisfaction relationship and shape in the information technology. Therefore the purpose of the present study is to determine whether a relationship exists between age and job satisfaction and what type of relationship exists. As mentioned earlier, the reason age and gender of IT professionals were the purpose of this study; is that this subject has received scant attention from researchers, despite the importance of this group's contribution to today's organization.

THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS OF THE STUDY

Over the years, many reports on workplace satisfaction based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households have been published by The Conference Board ("Job Satisfaction Declines", 2007). These reports revealed that American employees are growing increasingly unhappy with their jobs ("Job Satisfaction Declines", 2007; The Conference Board, 2003; Olian, 2003; Shea, 2002; Stafford, 2007; "U.S. job satisfaction hits record low, 2003; "U.S. Job Satisfaction Keeps Falling", 2005). In 2007, less than 50% of workers said they were satisfied with their jobs, down from 61% two decades ago ("Job Satisfaction Declines", 2007). Less than 39% of workers under the age of 25 are satisfied with their jobs ("Job Satisfaction Declines", 2007). The director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center, Lynn Franco, commented there is a widespread feeling among many American workers that times have changed, and their jobs aren't providing the satisfaction they once did. This is a growing concern for management (Shea, 2002).

It is no secret that in today's economy, employees' choices of employment opportunities and job mobility are limited in comparison to a few years ago. America's labor market has lost 4.4 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, ("The jobs crisis," 2009). …

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