Hrm: ’If You Want Your Employees to Perform at Soaring Levels, You Must Create High Levels of Job Satisfaction’’

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The relationship between job performance and job satisfaction has been very controversial for about the past fifty years with numerous studies and analysis on this correlation by industrial and organizational psychologists. Researchers have put in all their efforts to prove that there is a strong compatibility between performance and satisfaction with the notion that a happy worker is an effective worker. It may sound very convincing but however, trying to understand the nature between these two variables has not been easy because, the varied results have raised several questions over the hypothesis that job satisfaction and performance are strongly linked together. Some Researchers have indicated that the findings are inconclusive and that there is no connection between satisfaction and performance. As a result of this obscurity, this hypothesis continues to stimulate research and analysis of previous experiments.

The correlation between job satisfaction and performance is highly debatable and still continues to be one of the most argumentative issues. Some of the views by early researchers outlined that satisfaction leads to performance, while an alternative view was that performance leads to satisfaction. Brayfield and Crockett (1955) published the most prominent narrative review of the job satisfaction-job performance relationship. The article consisted of studies relating job satisfaction and job performance and behavioral outcomes such as accidents, absence and turnover which were all reviewed by authors. The results had proved that there was not much of a relationship between job satisfaction and performance and considered it as insignificant. (Brayfield and Crockett, 1955, p.405) However, the Brayfield and Crockett review had only nine studies that studied the correlation between the two aspects and there was general subjectivity of qualitative reviews. Regardless of all the shortcomings, the review is possibly the most appealing in this field of study around 1985.

Apart from Brayfield and Crockett, several other researchers such as (Hertzberg, Mausner, Peterson, & Capwell, 1957; Srivastva et al., 1975; Vroom, 1964, Locke, 1970; Schwab & Cummings, 1970) have had some of the most influential reviews published. Some of these reviews were both from an empirical perspective and theoretical perspective. Each review had its own perspective and optimism towards the correlation that differed from one another with Herzberg et al. being the most idealistic. All of these reviewers tried to integrate the disagreements among the individual studies claiming that there is no strong correlation between an employee’s job satisfaction and productivity. Vroom (1964) had seen a median correlation of +.14 out of the twenty studies reviewed while Brayfield and Crockett stated that there was a lack of information that employee attitudes strongly relate to performance on the job. Nonetheless, they all concluded that further research was required towards satisfaction related to worker output.

Regardless of the negative findings, further studies on the connection between these two factors grew rapidly throughout different areas. The area that was given much importance to was the question of causality between satisfaction and performance. Another aspect that was greatly focused on was the search for moderators for the relationship between the two variables such as the possibility of rewards, situational constraints, self –esteem, pressures for production, and reciprocity norms. A third research strategy looked at methodological and measurement techniques for increasing the significance of the satisfaction-performance relation acquired.

One of the biggest reasons why researchers constantly analyze the satisfaction-performance relationship is mainly because of the mere assumption that the two should be related and it is believed that further research will prove that. However, newer studies have indicated the same old results an...
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