1.1 Job satisfaction
Job satisfaction describes how happy an individual is with his or her job. The happier people are within their job, the more satisfied they are said to be. Logic would dictate that the most satisfied (“happy”) workers should be the best performers and vice versa. This is called the "happy worker" hypothesis. However; this hypothesis is not well supported, as job satisfaction is not the same as motivation or aptitude, although they may be clearly linked. A primary influence on job satisfaction is the application of design, which aims to enhance job satisfaction and performance using methods such as job rotation, job enlargement, job enrichment and job re-engineering. Other influences on satisfaction include management styles and culture, employee involvement, empowerment, and autonomous work position. Job satisfaction is a very important attribute and is frequently measured by organizations. The most common technique for measurement is the use of rating scales where employees report their thoughts and reactions to their jobs. Questions can relate to rates of pay, work responsibilities, variety of tasks, promotional opportunities, the work itself, and co-workers. Some examinations present yes-or-no questions while others ask to rate satisfaction using a 1-to-5 scale, where 1 represents "not at all satisfied" and 5 represents "extremely satisfied." Definition
Job satisfaction can simply be defined as 10the feelings people have about their jobs. It has been specifically defined as a pleasurable (or unpleasurable) emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job, an affective reaction to one’s job, and an attitude towards one’s job. These definitions suggest that job satisfaction takes into account feelings, beliefs, and behaviors. History
One of the biggest preludes to the study of job satisfaction was the Hawthorne studies. These studies (1924–1933), primarily credited to Elton Mayo of the Harvard Business School, sought to find the effects of various conditions (most notably illumination) on workers’ productivity. These studies ultimately showed that novel changes in work conditions temporarily increase productivity (called the Hawthorne Effect). It was later found that this increase resulted, not from the new conditions, but from the knowledge of being observed. This finding provided strong evidence that people work for purposes other than pay, which paved the way for researchers to investigate other factors in job satisfaction.
Scientific management (aka Taylorism) also had a significant impact on the study of job satisfaction. Frederick Winslow Taylor’s 1911 book, Principles of Scientific Management, argued that there was a single best way to perform any given work task. This book contributed to a change in industrial production philosophies, causing a shift from skilled labor and piecework towards the more modern of assembly lines and hourly wages. The initial use of scientific management by industries greatly increased productivity because workers were forced to work at a faster pace. However, workers became exhausted and dissatisfied, thus leaving researchers with new questions to answer regarding job satisfaction. It should also be noted that the work of W.L. Bryan, Walter Dill Scott, and Hugo Munsterberg set the tone for Taylor’s work.
Some argue that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, a motivation theory, laid the foundation for job satisfaction theory. This theory explains that people seek to satisfy five specific needs in life – physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, self-esteem needs, and self-actualization. This model served as a good basis from which early researchers could develop job satisfaction theories.
Job satisfaction can also be seen within the broader context of the range of issues which affect an individual's experience of work, or their quality of working life. Job satisfaction can be understood in terms of its relationships with other...