Job Satisfaction

Topics: Job satisfaction, Job Pages: 14 (4167 words) Published: March 10, 2011
Job Satisfaction
SubjectiveWell-Being at Work



Work is central to most people's identities. When asked a general question, "What do you do"?, most people respond with their job title. Moreover, across many languages, a significant number of people's surnan1esare based on occupations (e.g., in English, just to name a few: abbot,archer,baker, barber,barker, brewer, carpenter, carter, clark, collier, cook, cooper, farmer, fisher, fowler, goldsmith, hooper, mason, miller, porter, roper,sawyer,smith, taylor, thatcher,turner, weaver, wright). Furthermore, more than half of the nonretired adult population spends most of its waking hours at work. Thus, no research on subjective well-being can be complete without considering subjective well-being at work. Beyond their centrality to identities, job attitudes are imponant to consider for other reasons. First, the most widely investigated job attitude-job satisfaction-may be the most extensively researched topic in the history of industrial/ organizational psychology Qudge & Church, 2000}. Second, in the organizational sciences, job satisfaction occupies a central role in many theories and models of individual attitudes and behaviors. Finally, as we note later, job satisfaction research has practical applications for the enhancement of individual lives as well as organizational effectiveness. In this chapter we provide a review of significant theoretical and empirical contributions to the job satisfaction literature, emphasizing several current con393



ceptual and methodological issues. We begin with a discussionof the definition of job satisfaction,noting severalfeaturesof the definition that makejob satisfaction an inherently complex social attitude. Next we discuss measurementof the job satisfaction,bridging definitional/ conceptual issuesand practical considerations. Then we discuss severalprominent theories of the antecedents job satof isfaction followed by an overview of empirical support for various significant outcomesof job satisfaction.Finally, we mention some areasof researchthat we believe are particularly deservingof future exploration.



The concept of job satisfactionhas been defined in many ways. However, the most-useddefinition of job satisfaction organizationalresearch that of Locke in is (1976), who describedjob satisfactionas "a pleasurableor positive emotional state resulting from the apprajsa1 one's job or job experiences" (p. 1304). of Building on this conceptualization,Hulin and Judge (2003) noted that job satisfaction includes multidimensional psychologicalresponses one'sjob, and that to such responses have cognitive (evaluative),affective (or emotional), and behavioral components. This tripartite conceptualization of job satisfactionfits well with typical conceptualizationsof social attitudes (Eagley &. Chaiken, 1993). However, there are two apparentdifficulties with this viewpoint. First, asnoted by Hulin andJudge (2003), socialattitudesare generallyweak predictors of specific behaviors (Eagley &. Chaiken, 1993; Fishbein, 1980; Wicker, 1969), yet job attitudes are generally reliably and moderately strongly related to relevantjob behaviors.If job satisfactionis a social attitude, then how migilt we resolve this apparent inconsistency? Although we have more to say about this issuewhen discussingthe outcomes of job satisfaction,one possible reasonfor the apparentcontradiction is that job attitudesmay be more salientand accessible workers than the social attitudes typically assessed social attitude for in research. For instance,cognitive and affective outcomes of job dissatisfaction are likely to permeateand influence an individual's thougilts from the moment he or she wakes to the moment the individual returns home from work (and possibly spill over into nonwork domainsaswell). Attitudes toward a political party or a marketing...
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