Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Job Satisfaction and Organizational Performance: Evidence from Canadian Credit Union

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Job Satisfaction and Organizational Performance: Evidence from Canadian Credit Union

Article excerpt


In the recent years since the turn of the century, companies have found themselves in an economy heavily affected by globalization, an economy in which knowledge and information are indispensible elements in order to succeed. The importance of intellectual capital has increased to the point of being one of the most valuable assets that must be better understood in order to be developed. From such a perspective, human resources and their management now occupy a privileged place in business. The impact of human resource management is generally measured by the individual performance of each employee that, in turn, has a quantifiable impact upon the overall organizational performance.

Performance is a complex notion that is ever-present in the secondary literature related to organizations, and it occupies, perhaps, the predominant place in the day-to-day practice of actual companies. Numerous studies highlight the pertinence of linking work related performance with another important concept for companies; that is, satisfaction at work. A large empirical database of evidence shows that satisfaction and performance at work are indeed factors in a complex cause and effect relationship. As part of the research conducted on the relationship between employee satisfaction, attitudes toward work and organizational performance, the study before you has two objectives. The first is to analyse the mechanisms that create and sustain employee satisfaction at work (determinants and aspects), and secondly, to evaluate if the cause and effect relationship between employee satisfaction and individual performance so evident in existing literature is genuinely quantifiable and, therefore, significant.


The relationship between satisfaction and performance has been for many decades the object of in-depth and disparate studies in Human Resource Management (HRM). The review of the current literature will be presented in three distinct parts. The first and second parts will be devoted, respectively, to the concepts of job satisfaction and job performance at work. The last part will examine the causal interrelationship between these two variables and thus lay the groundwork for the theoretical framework of our study.

Review of the Secondary Literature regarding Employee Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is one of the most incontestable and highly valued concepts in Human Research Management. It is equally important as a dependant variable and as an explicative factor of a heterogeneous group of attitudes and behaviours (Brief, 1998; Judge & al., 2001). The most often used definition in the field of research on the particular concept of satisfaction is the one provided by Locke: "an agreeable or positive emotional state derived from an evaluation made by a person about his work or his work experience" (Locke, 1976, pg. 1300). From this consensual definition, we extract the implicit idea by which thoughts and emotions both play an important role in the perception of satisfaction that an employee derives from his work. However, considering job satisfaction to be only a purely emotional outcome brings about numerous questions, specifically, opposing voices that decry the definition proposed by Locke as being insufficient and a paradoxical minefield (Brief, 1998: 85-118; Weiss, 2002).

For many authors and researchers such as Weiss (2002) and Greenberg (2008), job satisfaction describes the positive or negative attitude of a person regarding his employment and work environment. It is customary, therefore, to identify the different components of attitude in order to facilitate research studies. The current literature mentions a number of elements that all refer to job satisfaction, among which we find: remuneration, recognition, supervision, job security, and opportunities for career advancement (Weiss & al., 1967). Since job satisfaction stems from both job responsibilities and type of work occupied (Weaver, 1980), many factors could explain the difference between the levels of satisfaction among employees. …

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