Hrm1110 Summative Essay: Job Satisfaction

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  • Topic: Employment, Job performance, Organizational citizenship behavior
  • Pages : 7 (2403 words )
  • Download(s) : 44
  • Published : April 15, 2013
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This essay aims to elucidate the relationship between job satisfaction & job performance by exploring preceding studies and reputable theories on the topic. The essay question seems to suggest that job satisfaction is a mandatory and an initial influence for increased performance, and that it is management who orchestrates the process. The reader should attain a more informed perspective on ways in which management impinge on (and if it is in fact, significant to) an employee’s satisfaction, and whether satisfaction is paramount to productivity (as opposed to a supplementary, excessive tactic for increasing performance). Further analysis on potential mediators between the two variables such as LMX (leader-member exchange), ACC (affective-cognitive consistency) and OCB (organizational-citizenship behaviour) will also be investigated. A conclusion will be made that ultimately gives credence to or opposes the view that job satisfaction is imperative to improving performance. The connection between the two variables (satisfaction & performance) is described as the “Holy Grail” by industrial psychologists (Landy, 1989). Organizations and unions across different generations have generally endorsed the notion that greater performance occurs when employee’s are more satisfied (Katzell & Yankelovich, 1975), however a noteworthy number of researchers have labelled the relationship as an “illusory correlation” that we intuitively believe should intertwine, but perceivably doesn’t (Chapman and Chapman, 1969). Job satisfaction is a pleasurable or affirmative emotional state that results from experiences on the job, or the individuals’ evaluation of the job (Locke, 1976). Individuals evaluate the conditions of their employment by socially comparing themselves to similarly ranked employees (Michalos, 1983). This links well with Adams’ equity theory (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2010, p. 271) which suggests that perceived differences in treatment by superiors between oneself and a colleague is remedied, either by purposefully lowering performance levels if the colleague in question gets more than oneself for a similar workload, or vice-versa. Based on this theory, satisfaction can affect performance if employers differentiate in their approach to similarly ranked staff members. A further argument could be made that if all employees receive high job satisfaction, there would be no perceived equity or inequity. Therefore, employees may remain stagnant on a certain level of performance, because they don’t perceive any special treatment or neglect. Perhaps, though, happiness across the workforce may encourage high levels of co-operation, which would actually increase performance, so this argument is slightly far-fetched. On the other hand, advocates of expectancy-based theories (Vroom, 1964) stipulate that satisfaction comes from rewards attained by performing well (Judge, Thoresen, Bono and Patton, 2001). They suggested that performance would lead to job satisfaction through the provision of intrinsic rewards (feelings of accomplishment, learning, progressing) and external (money, recognition). Based on this theory, good performance is the initial requirement needed for satisfaction, meaning satisfaction is not the catalyst to improved performance as it has been suggested, but rather the consequence. This notion was seconded by Locke (1970) however his belief was that goal-directed behaviour (another process theory that ultimately aims to increase performance) would boost satisfaction. Deci & Ryan (1985) had gravitated towards this notion with their research, however they also stressed that motivations for behaviours are significant as well. Overall, this empirical evidence seems to oppose the process towards job satisfaction (performance came first), but also suggests that satisfaction is important to the continuing exertion in ensuring workers consistently perform to their utmost....
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