ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

job satisfaction and the effect

Updated on March 4, 2011

job satisfaction

On 2nd July 2010, a study of academics in 18 countries has highlighted disparities in the satisfaction levels among university staff around the world. The International Changing Academic Profession study, results from which were presented at a conference hosted by vice-chancellors group Universities UK in London last week, surveyed academics from countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas about their attitudes to factors such as internationalization and workforce casualization. The UK academics registered the lowest levels of satisfaction, followed by those in Portugal and Australia. The highest levels were recorded in Mexico, followed by Malaysia and Argentina.

Scale Countries

2.5 Britain

3 Portugal, Australia, China

3.5 Finland, Hong Kong, Italy, German, South Africa, Korea, Japan, Norway, U.S.

4 Brazil, Argentina

4.5 Malaysia, Mexico

Figure 1. Job Satisfaction on Scale of 1-5 by Academics in 18 Countries

Job satisfaction concerns every worker in the entire world. Job satisfaction become one of the most interest topic for research purpose within the business world because satisfies employee can increase their productivity and loyalty. According to the academics study, indirectly it's shows that human factors still play an important role along with technological, financial and time factors.

Job Satisfaction

In organizational behavioral research, job satisfaction is the most frequently studied variable (Spector 1997). Many researchers claim that job satisfaction can be formally defined "as the degree to which individuals feel positively and/or negatively about their jobs". When the desired expectations of employees are met, they will experience the feeling of accomplishment and therefore can determine their satisfaction. Gordon. J. R (1987) claims that job satisfaction occurs when a job meets the expectations, values and standards of an individual and will influence their commitment and performance. So from here, it is how an organization gets satisfied their workers in order to get their commitment to performed well.

According to Robbins and Judge (2009), job satisfaction describes a positive feeling about a job, resulting from an evaluation of its characteristics. A person with a high level of job satisfaction holds positive feelings about his or her job, while an unsatisfied person holds negative feelings. Job satisfaction is a pleasurable positive state resulting from one's job and job experience (Locke, 1976). According to Jain, Jabeen, Mishra & Gupta (2007) individuals show pleasurable positive attitudes when they are satisfied with their job.

There are many of job satisfaction theories in organizational studies. Among those theories, the most popular theories that have always been referred are Herzberg's two factors theory (1973) and Maslow's Theory of Needs (1954). Herzberg's theory divided the factors based on two basis type of needs; 1) the need for psychological growth or motivating factors and 2) the need to avoid pain or hygiene factors. Schermerhorn et al. (2000), Frederick Herzberg theorized that employee satisfaction depends on two sets of issues, which are hygiene issue and motivator issue.

Whereby according to Maslow's Theory of Needs, human needs are never satisfied and they are always craving for more. This is due to after one's need to be fulfilled; other needs will emerge. Maslow divided human needs into five which are: physiology, safety, belongingness and love, esteem and self-actualization. Physical needs are the base from the hierarchy. It includes the basic human needs such as the need for air, water, food, exercise and freedom form diseases. It is commonly achieve by the human being. Once this basic is achieved, then they will go for the other level which is the security. This level includes the need of safety, shelter and stability. In term of the working environment, it means that an employee may demand for the job security, they can have a stabile job, being treated fairly and have a good pay for their job. The third phase is the social, it includes the need of being loves, and they experience the feeling of belonging and inclusion. In the work place, the employee need to feel the sense of belonging and acceptance, once they have this feeling, it helps them to achieve the satisfaction on this level. Let say one's cannot fulfill this level, for example maybe he or she facing problem in their marriage; it will lead to fail on this level. After fulfill this level, it comes to another level which is the ego or known as self-esteem and follow by the highest level which is the self-actualization.

The reason why job satisfaction been study due to it bring impact to the organization. Robbins and Judge (2009) there are consequences when employees like their jobs or dislike. It divides into two dimensions: constructive/ destructive and active/ passive. There are four responses which include exit, voice, loyalty and neglect. Exit and neglect are meant for destructive behavior however voice and loyalty is for constructive behavior. Constructive or also known as active behavior defined as a set of action that employee attempt to improve the situation or their performance. Exit response involves directing behavior to the organization such as resigning/ turnover. Neglect response involves passively behavior that allowing condition to worst such as absenteeism or lateness and reduce productivity. This study will focus on the destructive behavior which includes the exit response and neglect response. Destructive behavior also defined as withdrawal behavior. According to Robbins and Judge (2009) withdrawal behavior is a set of actions that employees perform to avoid the work situation and this behavior may result an employee to quit in the organization

Relationship between job satisfaction and turn over

Exit response is equivalent to voluntary separation or turnover from the job. Resign/ turnover are one of the examples for exit response. When employee feel that they are not satisfied with the current job, they will start thinking of resign or they will have the intention to leave. According to Bigliardi, Petroni and Ivo Dormio (2005) intention to leave refers to individuals perceived likelihood that they will be staying or leaving the employer organization. Souza-Poza and Sousa-Poza (2007) defined 'intent to leave' as the reflection of the (subjective) probability that an individual will change his or job within a certain time period and is an immediate precursor to actual turnover. Mobley (1977) had proposed a model of employee turnover based on several hypothesizes linked between satisfactions and quitting. The several links includes thinking out quitting, looking for another job, intending to quit or stay and actually deciding to quit or stay. According to Mobley, people will start thinking of resign or quitting once they feel unsatisfied. From the research, it pointed out that the link between job satisfaction and turnover. In the other hand, it shows the impact towards an organization how the unsatisfied employee will respond.

Many attentions have been paid to the turnover issue as turnover has some significant negative effect on organization. Turnover is a ratio comparison of the number of employees a company must replace in a given time period to the average number of total employees. A huge concern to most organization, turnover is a costly expense especially in lower paying job roles, for which the employee turnover rate is highest. Organizations take a deep interest in their employee turnover rate because it is a costly part of doing business. When an organization has to replace a worker, the organization incurs direct and indirect expenses. These expenses include the cost of advertising, headhunting fees, human resource costs, loss of productivity, new hire training, and customer retention.

According to Hogan (1992) turnover rates might have negative effect on the profitability of companies. Turnover may lead to many hidden and invisible cost. Phillips (1990) hidden and invisible costs are the result of inefficiencies of: incoming employees; co-workers closely associated with incoming employees; departing employees; co-workers closely associated with departing employees and position being filled while vacant. If turnover has such a negative effect for the organization, employer must handle with care for the employees satisfaction.

According to Wei Tian-Foreman (2009), they have done a study on the job satisfaction and turnover in the Chinese retail industry. The purpose they doing this study due to turnover rates are recognized as being a major issue for human resource strategy. From their finding, they provide strong support that there is a negative relationship between employee turnover intention and job satisfaction. Again, it proves that job satisfaction is central in explaining employee turnover. They also study on the impact of job satisfaction because turnover is particularly acute while experience is an essential prerequisite for successful performance and replacement is costly according to Alas (2008). From the study, it also stated out that managerial employee are generally satisfied with their job than non-managerial employee. It is important for management to understanding the factors that influence job satisfaction and dissatisfaction and also not forget about the factor that commonly associated with employee turnover intention.

Relationship between job satisfaction and absenteeism

Neglect response involves passively behavior that allowing condition to worst such as absenteeism or lateness and reduce productivity. Neglect includes reducing work efforts, paying less attention to quality, and increasing absenteeism and lateness. It is generally considered a passive activity that has negative consequences for the organization. People who are unhappy at work can do a number of things. They can focus attention on their nonwork interests, doing nothing about their work situation (neglect).

Unscheduled absences affect almost every type of organization. Hoque and Islam (2003) describe absenteeism as a “subject to be studied, matter to be thought over and a problem to be solved.” Absenteeism can be described as employees not showing up for work when scheduled, it can lead to a major problem for organizations. As pressures increase on the budgets and competitiveness of companies, more attention is being given to reduce workplace absenteeism and its cost. Besides the direct costs associated with absenteeism, there are also indirect costs such as hiring of casual staff, reduced productivity, turnover and potential loss in revenue (Cole, 2002; Mason & Griffin, 2003). Job satisfaction has been noted as one of the factors influencing an employee’s motivation to attend. Cascio (2003) defines absenteeism as “any failure of an employee to report for or to remain at work as scheduled, regardless of the reason.” Milkovich and Boudreau (1994) define absenteeism from an organization’s perspective as “the frequency and/or duration of work time lost when employees do not come to work.”

Various studies have attempted to examine the relationship between absenteeism and job satisfaction as absence is commonly viewed as one of the means of withdrawal from stressful work situations. According to Luthans (1995), research has generally revealed a consistent inverse relationship between job satisfaction and absenteeism. When satisfaction is high, absenteeism tends to be low and when satisfaction is low, absenteeism tends to be high. According to Anderson (2004) absence is at least part of the result of dissatisfaction on the job.

Robbins et al. (2003) indicate that in South African, managers consider absenteeism their most serious discipline problem. According to Vaida (2005) it is estimated that about 4.5 % of the South African workforce are absent on any given day, and in certain companies this figure is as high as 18%. Based on a study conducted by Occupational Care South Africa has revealed that South African companies are losing millions of rands a year due to absenteeism in the workplace.

However, according to Robbins, Odendaal & Roodt (2003) even though it makes sense that dissatisfied employees are more likely to miss work; absenteeism is a complex variable and is influenced by multiple factors. Beverley. A. J (2005) claim that from the study, it shows a relatively weak correlation between job satisfaction and absenteeism. This indicates that a low level of employee satisfaction is associated with an increase in the number and frequency of sick leave days amongst the selected sample of employees. The results are consistent with the findings presented by Lau et al. (2003). According to Lau et al. conducted a meta-analysis on 19 different studies and found only a weak job satisfaction effect on absence from work. From the result, it shows that a person can be absent for many reasons, including genuine illness, personal business and family illnesses. Job satisfaction might be one of the factors that determine employees’ motivation to attend (Spector, 2000).

While on the other hand, a number of studies have found a stronger correlation between job satisfaction and absenteeism. According to Hardy et al. (2003) in their study of 323 health services staff in the United Kingdom, they had found that job satisfaction is related to the number of days absent as well as to the frequency of absence. At the same time, Hoque and Islam (2003), who conducted a study amongst 400 employees from textile and jute mills in Bangladesh. They had also found that job satisfaction contributes negatively to absenteeism, thus the lower the satisfaction levels, the higher absenteeism amongst the sample of workers. Both of them remain that it is essential to lay emphasis on enhancing job satisfaction in order to reduce absenteeism.

From the study, although some claim that absenteeism are strongly related to job satisfaction and some are not, but for the organization, it is also one of the factors for them to review in order to increase organization performance.

Relationship between job satisfaction and lateness

Organization productivity depends in part on the commitment of employees. Commitment or the lack thereof drives employee behavior in ways which can impact on output and hence firm profitability. There is research on the intensity of work effort in any hour on the job (Green, 2001). It is clear that late arrival at work imposes direct and indirect costs on the organization. As well as the direct cost of lost output and the knock-on effects of lateness in integrated production systems, late arrival can be viewed as a "withdrawal behavior" which is a correlate to shirking, absenteeism or turnover. Just as organizations invest in personnel policies intended to reduce absenteeism and turnover, they will find it profitable to design policies which influence employee lateness.

There are two different theoretical literatures which is economics and psychology. For the economics, it will see how an individual use their time. For the economics, lateness to be expected to respond to changes in organization policies which, say, better reward individual performance or punish transgressions more harshly. According to Small (1982) posits a rational worker choosing a travel schedule which implies a target arrival time at work. Arriving late, like shirking in the efficiency wage model (Shapiro and Stiglitz, 1984), is likely to increase the probability of dismissal and therefore reduces the discounted flow of future earnings.

However, for the psychology literature emphasizes, manifestations of a lack of work commitment, such as lateness, may reflect negative attitudes to the workplace. A lack of job satisfaction may lead to late arrival at work. Psychological theories of employee lateness focus on the idea of 'withdrawal', a manifestation of "neglect and disrespect" (Koslowsky, 2000). Employees who are dissatisfied with aspects of the job are those, according to the theory, who are most likely to exhibit withdrawal behaviors, including lateness.

Based on the study, Koslowsky et al. (1997) provide a useful survey of this literature by undertaking a meta-analysis of 118 correlation coefficients across 30 samples from 27 independent studies. It found that there is a strong or positive correlation between lateness and job satisfaction.

According to Ken. C, Simon A. P and Mark T (2003) strict working environment, in terms of the supervision and monitoring of the worker, will secure reduced lateness, but may well create a less pleasant working environment, poorer relations between management and workers, lower job satisfaction, more lateness and potentially other withdrawal behaviors. Rachid. Z and Mohamed E. I (2007) claim that female respondents was less satisfied with various aspects of their jobs and the job context than their male counterparts. Similarly, they tended to be less performing than their male counterparts on a number of job performance criteria. For the pass result or study, job satisfaction shows a significant relation with lateness. Lateness was the manifestation from employee to show their dissatisfaction.


From what has been discussed in the study, employee satisfaction is an important issue in organizations as it could have negative effect on employee as well as organizational performance. On a wider scale, it is an important part of overall life satisfaction among the working population. Low job satisfaction has been suggested as being a major cause of withdrawal which may take the form of absence, lateness, turnover, and even sickness and accidents. In contrast the more satisfied employees are, the higher the level of employees performance was.

New Guestbook

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • satatwork profile image

      satatwork 5 years ago

      Very well put together article on the importance of making employees feel valued.

      High self-esteem is the fuel for performance and organizations that embrace mindset this will reap the rewards.

      Keep up the good work

    • profile image

      moonlitta 5 years ago

      God bless you, Ordinary girl, for making it clear how important that is!:)

    • bames24 lm profile image

      bames24 lm 6 years ago

      great lens... informative and well researched :)

    • ElodieFun profile image

      ElodieFun 6 years ago

      @man2281: hey...thanks for the support...

      will try to make it better...

    • profile image

      man2281 6 years ago


      Your first step out!!

      Keep moving, dude...