Academic journal article Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship

Material Benefits, Advancement, or Fulfillment: A Study into the Causes and Predictors of Job Satisfaction Based on How People View Their Work

Academic journal article Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship

Material Benefits, Advancement, or Fulfillment: A Study into the Causes and Predictors of Job Satisfaction Based on How People View Their Work

Article excerpt

Executive Summary

This study was undertaken to determine if people at work have distinguishable work orientations previously categorized as job, career, and calling. Once confirmed the study examined if work orientation was a predictor of job satisfaction. A model is developed that will accurately predict levels of job satisfaction and could possibly provide practitioners a selection tool that subsequently will reduce absenteeism, turnover, and accidents while simultaneously increasing productivity.

Introduction

Much of the research on job satisfaction has focused on environmental factors. For example, wages, hours worked, promotional opportunities, task performance, rewards and punishment, use of skills and abilities, and a host of other variables have been the subject of numerous studies (Lambert, Hogan, & Barton, 2001; Vroom, 1964/1995). In fact, job satisfaction has been reported to be a function of employees' ages (Clark, Oswald & Warr, 1996), needs fulfillment (Herzberg, 1968; Maslow, 1954/1987; Medcof & Hausdorf, 1995; Riipinen, 1996), individual differences (Judge & Watanabe, 1994; Ting, 1996), education (Oshagbemi, 1997), job level (Robie, Ryan, Schnieder, Parra & Smith, 1998), gaps in employment (Burke & McKeen, 1996), subjective experience of work (Wrezesniewski, McCauley, Rozin & Schwartz, 1997), life satisfaction (Judge, 1993), and organizational citizenship behavior and personality measures (Organ & Lingl, 1995). "A substantial advancement in our knowledge of the causes of job satisfaction requires that we discard the assumption, on which so much existing work is based, that differences in job satisfaction are the exclusive results of differences in work roles" (Vroom, 1964/1995, p.202).

It is widely accepted that turnover is a valid measurement of job satisfaction (Ghiselle, LaLopa, & Bai, 2001; Lambert, Hogan, & Barton, 2001). However, if one waits until an employee leaves the organization, the relationship is of little use to practitioners. On the other hand, if one could predict job satisfaction, especially in the selection process, turnover could be reduced. "Conceivably, the psychological conditions that make a work role attractive to a person just about to enter the labor market are analogous or identical to those that make it attractive to its occupant" (Vroom, 1964/1995, p. 203). Given the plausibility of this statement, one can postulate that a profile of what would be a satisfied employee could be obtained.

Work Orientation

Bellah, Madsen, Sullivan, Swidler, and Tipton (1985) posit that people view their work experience subjectively in three distinct ways. These distinctions, Job, Career, and Calling, include people's beliefs about the role of work in their life. Therefore, these distinctions influence people's feelings and behaviors at work. Indeed, Wrezesniewski, McCauley, Rozin and Schwartz (1997) agreed with Bellah et al. and assert that people at work unquestionably view themselves as having a Job, a Career, or a Calling. The interests of people viewing themselves as having a Job are restricted to the material benefits work provides (Wrezesniewski et al., 1997). "In contrast, people who have Careers have a deeper personal investment in their work and mark their achievements not only through monetary gain, but through advancement within the occupational structure" (p. 22). Lastly, people who believe they have a Calling are not in their chosen occupation for either material gain or advancement, "but instead for the fulfillment that doing the work brings to the individual" (p.22).

According to Wrezesniewski (1999), these distinctions comprise a person's work orientation. "These work orientations are apparent in the feelings and behaviors expressed toward the domain of work" (p. 14). Therefore, it seems reasonable to hypothesize that people's view of themselves and their work are antecedents to job satisfaction. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.