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					Job Satisfaction:
Implications for
Science and Policy
NSF Meeting on the National Accounts of
Well-Being
                       Timothy A. Judge
                     University of Florida
                           30 November 2006   1
Preliminaries
Importance of work
• People spend majority of waking hours
  engaged in work
• Principal source of identity in Western
  world
   – reflected in doing (“what do you do?”) and
     being (surnames)
• Thus, how people react affectively and
  cognitively to the work role might be of
  consequence behaviorally
                                                  -2-
Preliminaries
Why: „might be of consequence‟?

• Job satisfaction is an attitude, and
  support for attitude-behavior linkage has
  been inconsistent in social psychology
   – “there is considerable variability in the
     degree to which attitudes predict behavior”
    (Glasman & Albarracín, Psych. Bulletin, 2006)
• Why might job satisfaction be different?
   – Job satisfaction may be more salient
     (personal) than typical social attitudes
                                                    -3-
Preliminaries
Three imperatives

1. Job satisfaction – outcome relationships
   must achieve construct correspondence
2. Affect (mood and emotions) must be
   considered in job satisfaction models
   and methods
3. Job satisfaction must be construed as a
   multilevel phenomenon


                                              -4-
1 Correspondence imperative
Work outcomes of job affect
• Job satisfaction related to impressive array
  of work behaviors
  – Job performance (Judge et al., 2002)
  – Attendance at work (Sagie, 1998)
  – Turnover decisions (-) (Tett & Meyer, 1993)
  – Decisions to retire (-) (Sibbald, Bojke, & Gravelle, 2003)
  – Psychological withdrawal (-) (Necowitz & Roznowski, 1994)
  – Prosocial/citizenship behaviors (LePine et al., 2002)
  – Prounion representation votes (-) (Friedman et al., 2006)
  – Workplace incivility (-) (Mount, Ilies, & Johnson, 2006)
                                                           -5-
1 Correspondence imperative
Life outcomes of job affect

• Also related to many non-work indicators
  of well-being
   – Life satisfaction (Judge & Watanabe, 1993)
   – Physical and mental health (Cass, Siu,
     Faragher, & Cooper, 2003)
   – Other‟s benefits: student learning, customer
     satisfaction, etc. (e.g., Homburg & Stock, 2004)
   – Quality of marital interaction (Rogers & May,
     2003)

                                                        -6-
1 Correspondence imperative
However…
• Correlations with work behavior are
  reliable but not particularly strong
  – Most r‟s .15 ≤ r ≤ .35 (.32 ≤ d ≤ .74)
• Why?
  – Correspondence (Fishbein-Azjen)
     • Attitude-behavior linkages often have failed to
       achieve correspondence (Hulin & Roznowski, 1993)
        – Specific attitude predicting broad behavior
        – Broad attitude predicting specific behavior
  – Missing affect (thus failing to fully assess job
    satisfaction as the social attitude that it is)
                                                          -7-
1 Correspondence imperative
Job satisfaction – job performance
                                                                              Mean r=.31
                                                                              Mean d=.66
                                                 .12-.50       Number of correlations=311
Numbers of studies reporting




                                                           .50-.88
   d-value in category




                                                                     0.88-1.26


                                      -.25-.12
                                                                                 1.26-1.62




                               Job Satisfaction – Job Performance D-value
Source: Judge, Thoresen, Bono, & Patton (Psych. Bulletin, 2002)                              -8-
1 Correspondence imperative
Results of recent study
    • When job attitudes (here, commitment+satisfaction)
      and outcome (here, „individual effectiveness‟) are
      both construed broadly, effects are strong

(Values are standardized coefficients)




Source: Harrison, Newman, and Roth (2006)                  -9-
1 Correspondence imperative
Practical nature of effects
• Harter et al. (2002) linked 12-item Gallup Workplace Audit to the
  performance of 7,939 business units
    – “How satisfied are you with _____ as a place to work?”
    – “At work, my opinions seem to count”
    – “I know what is expected of me at work
• Business units above the median on employee engagement had a
  70% (i.e., [63%-37%]/37%) higher success rate than those below the
  median on employee engagement
• Results were consistent across broad criteria of:
    –   Customer satisfaction–loyalty: customer satisfaction, customer loyalty
    –   Productivity: revenue, revenue-per-person
    –   Profitability: profit as a percentage of revenue (sales)
    –   Turnover: annualized percentage of employee turnover (turnover rate)
    –   Safety: lost workday/time incident rate
    –   Composite performance: overall or performance using all outcomes
                                                                                 -10-
1 Correspondence imperative
Summary
• When job satisfaction is construed and
  measured as a broad attitude, and…
• when the behavioral manifestations of
  this attitude are similarly construed and
  measured broadly, then…
• the attitude – behavior relationship is
  strong and theoretically and practically
  meaningful

                                              -11-
2 Affect imperative
Historical role in job satisfaction research
• Classical definition of job satisfaction
   – A pleasant or positive emotional state
     resulting from an appraisal of one‟s job or
     job experiences (Locke, 1976)
• It has been argued that researchers have
  emphasized cognition more than affect
  (Weiss, 2002; Hulin & Judge, 2003)
   – In theorizing and measurement
   – Why is this a problem?

                                                   -12-
2 Affect imperative
Theory without affect
   Work role contributions
   Skills and abilities                             Job withdrawal
   Time                                             turnover (-)
   Effort                                           retirement (-)
   Training                                         malingering (-)

 Environmental/
economic factors                                    Work withdrawal
                        Frames of   Job/work role   absence (-)
                        reference    evaluations    citizenship
  Personality                                       incivility (-)


   Work role outcomes                               Attempts to Δ
   Pay and benefits                                 work situation
   Status                                           vote for union (-)
   Working conditions                               job redesign
   Intrinsic outcomes
                                                                  -13-
2 Affect imperative
Measurement without affect
• Without trying to advance an artificial
  dualism between cognition and affect
   – Measures of job satisfaction are descriptive-
     evaluative
           Y    for “Yes” if it describes (scored 3)
           N    for “No” if it does NOT describe (scored 0)
           ?    if you cannot decide (scored 1)
     SUPERVISION                      COWORKERS
     ___Impolite                      ___Boring
     ___Praises good work             ___Intelligent

                                                              -14-
2 Affect imperative
Implications for research methods
• Emphasizing role of affect poses
  problems
   – “Measurement of affect should reflect its
     statelike, episodic nature” (Hulin & Judge, 2003)
• Unless we revise research design, we‟ve
  reached a “methodological stalemate”
  (Larson & Csikszentmihalyi, 1983)



                                                     -15-
2 Affect imperative
Summary

• Affect theoretically important to any
  attitude – including job satisfaction
• Theories, measures, and models in job
  satisfaction research have cognitive
  orientation
• Including affect will require different
  research models and methods
• Need to conceptualize job affect as
  multilevel phenomenon (next imperative)
                                            -16-
3 Multilevel imperative
Conceptual model
                                United States

              Illinois                           Michigan State

 Psychology              Economics        Psychology           Economics

               Diener                                  Lucas

                            Monday                                Monday

                            Tuesday                               Tuesday

                           Wednesday                             Wednesday

                            Thursday                              Thursday

                             Friday                                Friday

                Hulin                                  Ilgen
                                                                             -17-
3 Multilevel imperative
Role of experience sampling methodology
• One of the most promising means of
  conceptualizing job satisfaction as a
  multilevel phenomenon is to utilize
  designs that capture within-individual
  (daily variation); such designs show
   – Affective events influence job satisfaction
   – Job satisfaction associated with temporally-
     dependent moods/emotions
   – Job satisfaction affects daily variation in work and
     nonwork behaviors
   – Individual differences moderate the associations
                                                            -18-
3 Multilevel imperative
Micro (individual-level) moderator
   35
 Positive Mood at Home




                         30

                         25                                       Extraverts
                         20                                       Introverts

                         15

                         10
                               Low job satis-   High job satis-
                              faction at work   faction at work
Source: Judge and Ilies (2004)                                            -19-
3 Multilevel imperative
Macro (cultural-level) moderator




One way to investigate job satisfaction as a
multilevel phenomenon is to aggregate at a
higher (or decompose at a lower) level (than the
typical individual difference perspective)


Another way – on display here – is to consider
higher-level variables as moderators of effects
on, or consequences of, job attitudes

Source: Huang and Vliert, 2004                     -20-
3 Multilevel imperative
Conceptual framework
                            Cross-Cultural                     National
     Culture        Δ       variation in job               competitiveness/
                             satisfaction        Ml+1        quality of life
                         Organizational-level                Organization
  Organization      Δ      variation in job                  performance/
                            satisfaction         Ml+1        sustainability
                              Group-level
                                                         Individual differences
  Work group        Δ     differences in job
                                                           in job satisfaction
                              satisfaction       Ml+1

                        Individual differences              Performance,
   Individual       Δ     in job satisfaction            job/work withdrawal
                                                 Ml+1
                            Within-individual
                                                            Emotion-driven
 Intra-individual   Δ   (e.g., diurnal) variation
                                                              behavior
                           in job satisfaction    Ml+1
                                                                              -21-
3 Multilevel imperative
Summary

•   In addition to considering breadth, and
    affect, another way to further our
    understanding of the importance of job
    attitudes is to consider the multilevel
    nature of job satisfaction
•   Need to conceptualize outcomes – and
    moderators – that correspond to this
    multilevel nature

                                              -22-
Summary
Takeaways

•   Job satisfaction is important to work
    and life outcomes
    – Especially when broad measures of job
      attitudes and outcomes are used
•   Affective and multilevel nature of job
    satisfaction have shown further
    practical import of construct


                                              -23-
Summary
Recommendations

• Measure it!
  – National Longitudinal Surveys suggest what
    is possible but measurement is very limited
• Need for more multilevel, longitudinal
  research
• Focus on quality of working life is natural
  non-partisan issue
  – Benefits to employees and employers

                                                  -24-
Questions or
Comments?

These slides and my articles available at:
      www.ufstudies.net/tim/VITA             25