Quality of work life and organizational performance: Empirical evidence from Dhaka Export Processing Zone Md. Zohurul Islam* and Sununta Siengthai** Abstract: Dhaka Export Processing Zone manufacturing enterprises are playing an important role in term of investment, employment generation and export. We, therefore, have undertaken this exploratory study on the influence of workers quality of work life (QWL) on job satisfaction and organizational performance. QWL is hypothesized to directly or indirectly influence organizational performance. A questionnaire survey was undertaken within the EPZ enterprises with non-managerial employees who are mainly involved in the production process. A simple random sampling method was used and about 216 sample responses were returned and usable. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square test and regression analysis to test the formulated hypotheses and the significance and reliability of the findings. The findings suggest QWL although is positively related to organizational performance but it is not significant as hypothesized. However, there is a positive and significant relationship between QWL and employees’ job satisfaction. Finally, conclusion and policy implications are given. ---------------------This paper is prepared for the ILO Conference on ‘Regulating for Decent Work, to be held at the International Labour Office, Geneva during July 8-10, 2009. The authors are grateful to AIT and Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre (BPATC) for their continuous support for this research. We thank Eijaz Ahmed Khan for his assistance on some statistical work and Dr. Winai Wongsurawat for his comments on the earlier draft. * Currently, a Ph.D. Candidate working towards his doctorate at the School of Management, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand. Mr. Islam has been a full time faculty of Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre (BPATC), Savar, Dhaka. He obtained his Bachelor of Commerce [B. Com (Honors)] and Master of Business Studies (MBS) in Management from the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh; Master Degree on Human Resource Planning and Development from Institute of Applied Manpower Research, University of Guru Gobinda Shingh Indraprastha, India and Post-Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management from Bangladesh Institute of Management, Dhaka.. ** An Associate Professor at the School of Management, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). She received her doctorate in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign in 1984. Her research and publications over the last 20 years have been in the areas of Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations and Organizational Behavior in the public and private institutions.
Quality of work life and organizational performance: Empirical evidence from Dhaka Export Processing Zone Md. Zohurul Islam* and Sununta Siengthai** 1. Introduction Quality of Work Life (QWL) has become one of the important issues in manufacturing enterprises like EPZ and those outside of EPZ. More than 64 per cent of female workers are engaged in Dhaka EPZ and more than 90 per cent are worker level employees (Majumder, 2006). In term of working conditions, export-oriented enterprises are supposed to maintain their international standards. However, working conditions are changing by the force of technological advancement. In addition, it has been observed that technology has also changed the work culture in manufacturing enterprises (Mathur, 1989; Ratnam, 2001). Technological innovation in the work process has evidently brought about higher level of product quality and volume of production (Rahman, 2005; Islam, 2002; Yussuf, 2008). The manufacturing systems are changed by the introduction of new machines and advanced technology as demanded by the global market. This new technology has changed the traditional production systems in the textile and garments/RMG enterprise by including...
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