Organizational Psychology (PSY510)
It may be defined as a pleasurable state of being as a result of doing one's job. Job satisfaction is in regard to
one's feelings or state-of-mind regarding the nature of their work. It can be influenced by a variety of
factors, eg, the quality of one's relationship with their supervisor, the quality of the physical environment in
which they work, degree of fulfillment in their work, etc.
Job satisfaction is one of the central variables in work and organizational psychology. On the one hand, job
satisfaction is viewed as a dependent variable, which varies dependent on the quality of working conditions
(e.g. stressors). On the other hand, job satisfaction is supposed to be an independent variable, which should
determine a variety of consequences such as absenteeism, fluctuation, and performance.
Job Satisfaction Is Related To:
In relation to work, job satisfaction stems from the individual perception about the opportunities for
learning that are provided by the job. The ability of the job to enhance his or her learning and a chance to
accept responsibility are related to job satisfaction.
An obvious relation is between the financial incentives of the job. Job satisfaction is related to the pay that
an employee gets for the job he performs.
Another important aspect of job satisfaction is the chances for the employee to excel in the organization to
higher organizational levels. More the advancement opportunities, greater the satisfaction, and vice versa.
Nature of Supervision Provided
The supervision plays an important role in job satisfaction of employees. If the supervision provided is
supportive, employees tend to be more satisfied with their jobs.
Nature of Co-Workers
The nature of co-workers also plays an important role in job satisfaction. If the fellow workers are
supportive, there tends to be greater job satisfaction.
Measurement of Job Satisfaction
There are many methods of measuring job satisfaction. However, following are some of the methods which
may be used:
By far, the most common method for collecting data regarding job satisfaction is using rating scales such as
the Likert scale (named after Rensis Likert). Likert scales typically allow for five, seven, or nine responses to
questions/statements on surveys, with the highest and lowest score indicating extreme degrees of either
agreement or disagreement, and with the middle score showing neutrality. Sometimes an even number of
options are used to force direction towards positive or negative in one's choice.
Description of Critical Incidents on Job
Critical Incidents (CIs) are events or features which could affect efforts to achieve personal or system
objectives. CI Analysis is a way of identifying events that may have a positive or a negative influence on
individuals and systems. John Flanagan developed the critical incident technique (CIT) to identify behaviors
that contribute to the success or failure of individuals or organizations in specific situations. Critical
incidents description typically involves meetings where organizational people share critical incidents they
have witnessed that show a necessary knowledge, skill, or ability that an incumbent needs for the job.
Interviews may be conducted with employees to measure job satisfaction. Professional psychologists may be
hired to conduct the interviews.
Satisfied employees have tendencies to work in a manner which is favorable for the organization as a whole.
These tendencies are a test of employee satisfaction with his or her job.
Organizational Psychology (PSY510)
Outcomes of Job Satisfaction
Following are some of the outcomes of job satisfaction:
One important discovery is that job satisfaction is correlated with life satisfaction. This correlation is
reciprocal, meaning people who are satisfied with life tend to be satisfied with their job and people who are
satisfied with their job tend to be satisfied with life.
· Satisfaction leads to high productivity, though it is not a strong relationship.
· Satisfaction leads to performance and performance leads to satisfaction.
· People who are dissatisfied with their job tend to miss more work. Although there is not a strong
correlation, people tend to not miss work very much regardless of their degree of satisfaction. However,
people will readily deem extraneous situations to be justifiable reasons to miss work. For example, a
dissatisfied worker may not miss work on a warm, sunny day but will be more likely to miss on a cold
· Along the same lines as absenteeism, job satisfaction also is negatively correlated with turnover.
· Others: better mental and physical health, few accidents, better citizenship
Organizational commitment may be defined as the employee's psychological attachment to the organization.
It can be contrasted with Job Satisfaction (an employee's feelings about their job). Further, it may be
defined as any of the following:
· Strong desire to remain in the organization
· Willingness to work hard
· Acceptance of organizational beliefs and norms
Organizational scientists have developed many definitions of organizational commitment, and numerous
scales to measure them. Exemplary of this work is Meyer & Allen's model of commitment, which was
developed to integrate numerous definitions of commitment that had proliferated in the research literature.
According to Meyer and Allen's (1991) three-component model of commitment, prior research indicated
that there are three "mind sets" which can characterize an employee's commitment to the organization:
Affective Commitment: AC is defined as the employee's emotional attachment to the
organization. As a result, he or she strongly identifies with the goals of the organization and
desires to remain a part of the organization. This employee commits to the organization
because he/she "wants to". In developing this concept, Meyer and Allen drew largely on
Mowday, Porter, and Steers's (1982) concept of commitment.
Continuance Commitment: The individual commits to the organization because he/she
perceives high costs of losing organizational membership (cf. Becker's 1960 "side bet
theory"), including economic losses (such as pension accruals) and social costs (friendship
ties with co-workers) that would have to be given up. The employee remains a member of
the organization because he/she "has to".
Normative Commitment: The individual commits to and remains with an organization
because of feelings of obligation. For instance, the organization may have invested
resources in training an employee who then feels an obligation to put forth effort on the
job and stay with the organization to 'repay the debt.' It may also reflect an internalized
norm, developed before the person joins the organization through family or other
socialization processes, that one should be loyal to one's organization. The employee stays
with the organization because he/she "ought to".
Note that according to Meyer and Allen, these components of commitment are not mutually exclusive: an
employee can simultaneously be committed to the organization in an affective, normative, and continuance
sense, at varying levels of intensity. This idea led Meyer and Herscovitch (2001) to argue that at any point in
time, an employee has a "commitment profile" that reflects high or low levels of all three of these mind-
sets, and that different profiles have different effects on workplace behavior such as job performance,
absenteeism, and the chance that they will quit.
Meyer and Allen (1984, 1991; Allen & Meyer, 1990) used the terms effective and continuance commitment
to distinguish between the views of commitment popularized by Porter and his associates (Mowday, Steers,
Organizational Psychology (PSY510)
& Porter, 1979; Porter et al., 1974) and Becker (1960), respectively. Porter et al. described commitment as
"the strength of an individual's identification with and involvement in a particular organization". For
Becker, commitment was the tendency to engage in "consistent lines of activity" because of the perceived
cost of doing otherwise. In the case of commitment to the organization, the activity involves staying with
the organization, and the perceived cost of leaving might include the loss of attractive benefits and seniority,
disruption of personal relationships, and so on.
Enhancing Organizational Commitment
Organizational commitment can be enhanced by considering the following:
1. Hire the right person for the job.
2. Clarify organization's mission so that there is not chance of a clash between the employees' personal
goals and the organization's goals.
3. Give justice in organization to create a sense of fair-play in the organization.
4. Create sense of community.
5. Involve in decision making and give them due responsibilities.
6. Support employee development and develop career paths for the employees.
Meyer, J., Allen, N., Gellatly, I. (1990), "Affective and continuance commitment to the
organization: evaluation of measures and analysis of concurrent and time-lagged relations",
Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 75 pp.710-20.
Meyer, J.P., Allen, N.J., Smith, C.A. (1993), "Commitment to organizations and occupations:
extension and test of a three-component conceptualization", Journal of Applied Psychology,
Vol. 78 pp.538-51.
Development of organizational commitment during the first year of employment: a
longitudinal study of pre- and post-entry influences. Journal of Management, Dec, 1991 by
Job Satisfaction White Paper :
Why employees leave organization - Azim Premji, CEO of Wipro:
Satisfaction @ Work: http://www.satisfactionatwork.com/
Various Perspectives on job satisfaction: http://www.managementhelp.org/prsn_wll/job_stfy.htm
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