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An overview of job satisfaction theories

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The relationship between man and work has always attracted the attention of philosophers, scientists and novelists. A major part of man's life is spent at work. Work is a social reality and social expectation to which men seem to confirm. It not only provides status to the individual but also binds him to the society.

Studies in the area of job satisfaction as an important and popular research topic started decades ago. In research designs it has been used variously as dependent, independent and moderating variables. In 1935, the concept of job satisfaction gained currency through the publication of a monograph by Hoppock on "Job Satisfaction". Hoppock in his monograph defined job satisfaction as "any combination of psychological, physiological and environmental circumstances that cause a person truthfully to say I am satisfied with my job?.

"The term job satisfaction refers to an individual's general attitude towards his or her job. A person with high level of job satisfaction holds positive attitude towards the job, while a person who is dissatisfied with his or her work holds negative attitude about the job".

[...] But the research methodology he used looked only at satisfaction, not at productivity, To make such research relevant, one must assume a high relationship between satisfaction and productivity. ERG Theory Clayton Alderfer of Yale University has reworked Maslow's need hierarchy to align it more closely with the empirical research. His revised need hierarchy is labeled ERG Theory. Alderfer argues that there are three groups of core needs - existence, relatedness, and growth; hence, the label ERG Theory. The existence group is concerned with providing our basic material existence requirements. [...]


[...] Promotions Promotional opportunities affect job satisfaction considerably. The desire for promotion is generally strong among employees as it involves change in job content, pay responsibility, independence, status and the like. Supervision There is a positive relationship between the quality of supervision and job satisfaction. Supervisors who establish a supportive personal relationship with subordinates and take personal interest in them contribute to their employee satisfaction. Work Group The work group does serve as a source of satisfaction to individual employees. It does so primarily by providing group members with opportunities for interaction with each other. [...]


[...] Herzberg's theory uses the team motivators to include satisfying experiences. Because of this, Herzberg's theory is an excellent example of the conceptional and definitional overlap between the processes of motivation and satisfaction. According to Herzberg, satisfaction and dissatisfaction are based on two different sets of needs. Motivations originate within the individual; hygiene needs stem from the environment. The two factor theory is based to some extend on Maslow's need hierarchy. Maslow's physiological, safety and social needs are assumed to be provided by society, securing them would lead to a feeling of satisfaction; not having them would lead to a feeling of dissatisfaction. [...]


[...] There are four referent comparisons that an employee can use: 1. Self-inside: An employee's experience in a different position inside his or her current organization Self-outside: An employee's experiences in a situation or position outside his or her current organization Other-iside: Another individual or group of individuals inside the employee's organization Other-inside: Another individual or group of individuals outside the employee's organization. Employees might compare themselves to friends, neighbors, co-workers, colleagues in other organizations, or past jobs they themselves have had. [...]


[...] Job Enlargement In which employees are given more of the same kinds of activities within which they can apply existing skills. Job Environment Means that employees are afforded opportunities to increase their repertoire of skills and are given the chance to move vertically to other jobs within the organization. Criticisms 1. Factors that are categorized as motivators (Psychological) and as hygiene (Physical) should lead to both satisfaction and dissatisfaction Herzberg did not account for individual differences in the effects of motivators and hygiene factors on satisfaction and dissatisfaction Vroom argued that any research results showing differences in the effects of satisfaction and dissatisfaction might actually stem from a sense of defensiveness within the individual. [...]

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