Although research on the level and likely correlates of job satisfaction has produced mixed findings, the belief that job satisfaction leads to positive employee behavior and organizational accomplishment remains strong. This is likely the case because common sense would seem to dictate that satisfied workers will be more productive, they will exhibit higher organizational commitment, and they will manifest longer job tenure.
Following the work of Maslow, Herzberg, and others, most applied approaches for enhancing or increasing job satisfaction have focused upon the following factors: physical and general working conditions, pay and benefits, participation, recognition, opportunities for advancement and personal growth, the character and quality of management, and communications. Three of the most popular contemporary management approaches intended to enhance job satisfaction include organizational development (OD), job enrichment, and Total Quality Management (TQM). All of these approaches involve the fashioning of a more "humane" work environment and the active encouragement of employee participation in organizational goal setting and problem solving.
Currently, one of the most popular methods for enhancing job commitment and promoting job satisfaction is TQM. This represents an organizational philosophy based upon a belief in the value of employee participation, pursuant customer satisfaction, and the building of teamwork to perfect service production processes to increase organizational effectiveness. TQM encourages a long-term commitment by the organization in its employees, and it has been adapted for public-sector settings ranging from local government to federal agencies.
OD focuses on organizational culture in an attempt to make lasting changes in how employees treat one another and collaborate in a democratic and trusting environment. By coming to a shared understanding of the complex values underlying the organization as a whole, the needs of individual employees in the organization, and the sociopolitical environment of the organization, members of an organization can achieve a vision of the workplace wherein the core values of mutual respect and celebration of human dignity will result in satisfied and highly motivated employees. The end result of successful OD intervention is greater job satisfaction, which leads to higher levels of motivation and thus responsiveness to the public.
A third approach to job satisfaction is job enrichment. This management technique focuses on the provision of intrinsic rewards for desired workplace behavior. Job satisfaction is seen as a cognitive state that is dependent on the performance of meaningful work. Job satisfaction is understood as resulting from an individual's perception of being appreciated for making contributions toward a valued end and experiencing personal growth in the process. Instead of assuming that job satisfaction will occasion worker productivity, job enrichment theory suggests that proper job design and supervision practices predetermine both job performance and job satisfaction. Organizations reflecting this approach to job satisfaction are typically "flat" as opposed to hierarchical, and emphasis is placed on training and employee development in preparation for taking on more complex tasks and more responsible duties.
BRENT S. STEEL
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Locke, Edwin, 1976. "The Nature and Causes of Job Satisfaction". In Marvin Dunnette, ed., Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Chicago, IL: Rand McNally, 1297-1349.
Maslow, Abraham, 1970. Motivation and Personality, 2d ed. New York: Harper & Row.
National Commission on the Public Service, 1990. Leadership for America: The Report of the National Commission on the Public Service. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
Steel, Brent S., and Rebecca L. Warner, 1990. "Job Satisfaction Among Early Labor Force Participants: Unexpected Outcomes in Public and Private Sector Comparisons". Review of Public Personnel Administration, vol. 10 (Summer) 4-22.
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Turek-Brezina, Joan and Lucretia Dewey Tanner, 1991. "Top Men and Women View Public Service". The Bureaucrat, vol. 20 (Fall) 29-32.
JOB SHARING. A method of scheduling in which two (or more) workers share a single full-time position. These arrangements are most often found among clerical positions, but increasing numbers of professional jobs are being structured in this manner ( Mueller, 1992).
Technically speaking, a formal job sharing program differs from part-time work in that the fringe benefits enjoyed by permanent staff are divided between the workers. In many settings, however, job sharing arrangements are instituted purely for their cost-saving features. Where this is the case, the participating workers are treated as if they are parttimers. In such instances, job sharing is essentially a system in which full-time positions are cannibalized to maximize the output from each personnel dollar.