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    Theoretical Framework of Job Satisfaction

    Theoretical Framework of Organisational Commitment




    Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment are two among the

    most prominent work attitudes examined in work and organisational literature.

    A brief outlook of the theoretical constructs underlying these two variables are

    attempted in this chapter.


    Job Satisfaction probably is the most widely studied variable in

    organisational behaviour. When the attitude of an employee towards his or

    her job is positive, there exists job satisfaction. Dissatisfaction exists when

    the attitude is negative. Job Satisfaction often is a collection of attitudes

    about specific factors of the job. Employees can be satisfied with some

    elements of the job while simultaneously dissatisfied with others.

    Job Satisfaction is defined as the extent to which people like

    (satisfaction) or dislike (dissatisfaction) their jobs (Spector, 1997). This

    definition suggests that job satisfaction is a general or global affective reaction

    that individual hold about their job.

    Schaffer (1957) was of the opinion that job satisfaction is primarily

    based upon the satisfaction of needs. The stronger the need, the more

    closely will job satisfaction depend on its gratification.

  • 79Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    Bullock (1952) views job satisfaction as an attitude which results from a

    balancing summation of many specific likes and dislikes experienced in

    connection with the job.

    Kornhauser (1965) has presented that men in routine production jobs

    have an average less satisfactory mental health than those in more skilled

    occupations. Furthermore, the more job satisfied workers in each occupation

    enjoyed better mental health than the least satisfied.

    Sushila and Singhal (1972) defines job satisfaction as the zest an

    employee displays in his harmonious relationship on the job as a result of his

    adjustment on three dimensions: people, society and work. It has been

    argued that job satisfaction is a composite measure which can be obtained by

    a meaningful combination of the indices of personal, organisational and

    situational factors.

    The term job satisfaction refers to the attitudes and feelings people

    have about their work. Positive and favourable attitudes towards the job

    indicate job satisfaction. Negative and unfavourable attitudes towards the job

    indicate job dissatisfaction.

    According to Mathur and Mehta (1996), job satisfaction constitutes

    emotional response to a persons job satisfaction. It often depends how well

    the job outcomes fulfil expectations of people at work.

    Purcell, Hutchinson and Rayton (2003) believe that discretionary

    behaviour which helps the firm to be successful is most likely to happen when

    employees are well motivated and feel committed to the organisation and

  • 80Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    when the job gives them high levels of satisfaction. Their research found that

    the key factors affecting job satisfaction were career opportunities, job

    influence, team work and job challenge.

    Guna and Maimunah (2008) in their study reveals that job satisfaction

    is an employees level of positive effect towards job or job situation that

    enhances quality of work life. They state that a better understanding of job

    satisfaction will ensue a sustainable development of IT workforce. The action

    of attending work regularly, working hard and intending to stay in the

    organisation for long period of time shows the positive behaviour which

    indicates job satisfaction. In contrast, negative behavioural outcomes reveal

    dissatisfaction in job.

    Altaf (2010) states that job satisfaction is a complex and multifaceted

    concept, which can mean different things to different people. The link

    between job satisfaction and performance may prove to be a spurious

    relationship, instead, both satisfaction and performance are the result of

    personality. Hence the behavioural aspect of human resource management

    has to be kept in mind by the organisational decision-makers.

    Thus, job satisfaction can be surmised as the favourableness or

    unfavourableness with which employees view their work. Job satisfaction

    results when job characteristics and wants of employees are in agreement. It

    relates to inner feelings of the workers regarding his job.

    Job satisfaction describes how content an individual is with his/her job.

    The happier people are within their job, the more satisfied they said to be.

  • 81Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    Job satisfaction is a very important attribute which is frequently measured by

    organisations. Job satisfaction has been defined as a pleasurable emotional

    state resulting from the appraisal of ones job; an affective reaction to ones

    job; an attitude towards ones job. Weiss (2002) has argued that job

    satisfaction is an attitude but points out that researchers should clearly

    distinguish the objects of cognitive evaluation which affect beliefs and

    behaviours. This definition suggests that we form attitudes towards our jobs

    by taking into account our feelings, our beliefs and our behaviours.

    Since work is one of our major activities, psychologists have had a long

    standing interest in job satisfaction. How employees feel about their job is

    highly variable. Some employees derive great pleasure and meaning from

    their job, while others regards work as drudgery. This is because individual

    difference in expectations and in particular, the degree to which a job meets

    ones expectation (Muchinsky, 1999).


    One of the biggest preludes to the study of job satisfaction was the

    Hawthrone studies. These studies (1924-1933), primarily credited to Elton

    Mayo of the Harvard Business School, sought to find the effect of various

    conditions (most notably illumination) on workers productivity. These studies

    ultimately showed that novel changes in work conditions temporarily increase

    productivity (called the Hawthrone Effect). This finding provided strong

    evidence that people work for purpose other than pay, which paved the way

    for researchers to investigate other factors in job satisfaction.

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    Scientific Management (also known as Taylorism) also had a

    significant impact on the study of job satisfaction. Frederick Winslow Taylors

    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

    labour and piecework towards the more modern approach 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 regard job satisfaction. It should

    also be noted that the work of Bryan, Walter Dill Scott and Hugo Munsterberg

    set the tone for Taylors works.

    Some argue that Maslows hierarchy of needs theory, a motivation

    theory, laid the foundation for job satisfaction theory. This theory explains that

    people seeks to satisfy five specific needs in life psychological needs, safety

    needs, social needs, self-esteem needs and self-actualisation. This model

    served as a good basis from which early researchers could develop job

    satisfaction theories.

    Job satisfaction can also be seen within the boarder context of the

    range of issues which affect an individuals experience of work, or their quality

    of working life. Job satisfaction can be understood in terms of its relationships

    with other key factors such as general well-being, stress at work, control at

    work, home-work-interface and working conditions.

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    Nature of Job Satisfaction

    It is a nebulous concept. Vroom has defined it as the positive

    orientation of an individual towards the work role which he is presently

    occupying. It can be paraphrased as an individual liking more aspects of his

    work than he dislikes. The four measures of job satisfaction are:

    i) Pride in work group

    ii) Intrinsic job satisfaction

    iii) Company involvement

    iv) Financial and job status satisfaction

    Following are the major factors that influence job satisfaction:

    Factors Results Reduces Leads

    1) Proper technology

    2) Proper environment

    3) Proper individual


    4) Proper wages

    5) Proper schedules

    High internal

    work motivation

    High quality of




    turnover stress,



    High job


    Source: Kaila (2011)

  • 84Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    Consequences of Job Satisfaction

    High job satisfaction may lead to improved productivity, increased

    turnover, improved attendance, reduced accidents, less job stress and lower

    unionisation (Aswathappa, 2008).

    Productivity and Job Satisfaction

    The relationship between satisfaction and productivity is not definitely

    established. However in the long run, job satisfaction leads to increased

    productivity. But there are some conditions under which high productivity

    more clearly leads to job satisfaction. One condition is that the employees

    perceive that intrinsic and extrinsic rewards are contingent upon their

    productivity. The second condition is that the extrinsic rewards (e.g. pay) be

    distributed equitably. Inequitable distribution fails to convince the employee

    about the close correlation between hard work and rewards. However, the

    adage a happy worker is a productive worker is not always wrong. Brayfield

    and Crockett (1955) undermine the notion that there is a high relationship

    between job satisfaction and high productivity.

    Job satisfaction and Employee Turnover

    High employee turnover is of considerable concern for employers

    because it disrupts normal operation, causes morale problems for those who

    stick on and increases the cost involved in selecting and training

    replacements. The employer does whatever possible to minimise turnover,

    making the employees feel satisfied on their jobs, being one such. It has

    been demonstrated that workers who have relatively low levels of job

  • 85Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    satisfaction are the most likely to quit their jobs and that organisational units

    with the lowest average. Satisfaction levels tend to have the highest turnover


    Satisfaction and Absences

    Correlation of satisfaction to absenteeism is also proved conclusively.

    Workers who are dissatisfied are more likely to take mental health days, i.e.,

    days off not due to illness or personal business. Simply stated, absenteeism

    is high when satisfaction is low. The degree to which people feel that their

    jobs are important has a moderating influence on their absences. Employees

    who feel that their work is important tend to clock in regular attendance.

    Besides, it is important to remember that while job satisfaction will not

    necessarily result in low absenteeism, low satisfaction is likely to bring about

    high absenteeism.

    Satisfaction and Safety

    Poor safety practices are negative consequence of low satisfaction

    level. When people are discouraged about their jobs, company and

    supervisors, they are more liable to experience accidents. An underlying

    reason for such accidents is that discouragement may take ones attention

    away from the task at hand. Inattention leads directly to accidents.

    Satisfaction and Job Stress

    Job Stress is the bodys response to any job-related factor that

    threatens to disturb the persons equilibrium. In the process of experiencing

    stress, the employees inner state changes. Prolonged stress can cause the

  • 86Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    employee serious ailments such as heart disease, ulcer, blurred vision, lower

    back pain, dermatitis and muscle aches.

    Chronic job dissatisfaction is a powerful source of job stress. The

    employee may see no satisfactory short-term solution to escaping this type of

    stress. An employee trapped in a dissatisfying job may withdraw by such

    means as high absenteeism and tardiness; or the employee may quit.

    UnionisationIt is proved that job dissatisfaction is a major cause for unionisation.

    Dissatisfaction with wages, job security, fringe benefits, chances for promotion

    and treatment by supervisors are reasons which make employees join unions.

    Another dimension is that job dissatisfaction can have an impact on the

    tendency to take action within the union, such as filing grievances to striking.

    Other Effects of Job SatisfactionIn addition to the above, it has been claimed that satisfied employees

    tend to have better mental and physical health and learn new job related tasks

    more quickly.

    All things considered, practising managers and organisational

    behaviour researchers would agree that job satisfaction is important to an

    organisation. On the other hand, when job satisfaction is low, there tends to

    be negative effects on the organisation. So, if only from the standpoint of

    viewing job satisfaction as a minimum requirement or point of departure, it is

    of value to the organisations overall health and effectiveness and is deserving

    of study and application in the field of organisational behaviour.

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    Theories of Job SatisfactionThe theoretical domain of job satisfaction is affluent with the numerous

    theories propounded regarding the dynamics of satisfaction in work


    Dispositional Theory

    Dispositional Theory is a very general theory that suggests that people

    have innate dispositions that cause them to have tendencies toward a certain

    level of satisfaction, regardless of ones job. This approach became a notable

    explanation of job satisfaction in the light of evidence that job satisfaction

    tends to be stable over time and across career and jobs. Research also

    indicates that identical twins have similar levels of job satisfaction.

    A significant model that narrowed the scope of the Dispositional Theory

    was the Core Self-Evaluation Model proposed by Timothy A. Judge in 1998.

    Judge argued that there are four core self-evaluations that determine ones

    dispositions towards job satisfaction: self-esteem, self-efficacy, locus of

    control and neuroticism. This model states that higher levels of self-esteem

    (the value one places on his/her self) and general self-efficacy (the belief in

    ones own competence) lead to higher work satisfaction. Having an internal

    locus of control (believing one has control over her/his own life, as opposed to

    outside forces having control) leads to higher job satisfaction. Finally, lower

    levels of neuroticism lead to higher job satisfaction.

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    Job Characteristics Model

    Hackman and Oldham proposed the Job Characteristics Model, which

    is widely used as a framework to study how a particular characteristics impact

    on job outcomes, including job satisfaction. The model states that there are

    five core job characteristics (skill variety, task identify, task significance,

    autonomy and feedback) which impact three critical psychological states

    (experienced meaningfulness, experienced responsibility for outcomes and

    knowledge of the actual results), in turn influencing work outcomes (job

    satisfaction, absenteeism, work motivation, etc.). The five core job

    characteristics can be combined to form a Motivating Potential Score (MPS)

    for a job, which can be used an index of how likely a job is to affect an

    employees attitudes and behaviours. A meta-analysis of studies that assess

    the framework of the model provides some support for the validity of the Job

    Characteristics Model.

    Job satisfaction is in regard to ones feelings or state-of-mind regarding

    the nature of their work. Job satisfaction can be influenced by a variety of

    factors, e.g., the quality of ones relationship with their supervisor, the quality

    of the physical environment in which they work and degree of fulfilment in

    their work.

    Lockes Value Theory

    The theory posits that job satisfaction is the relationship between job

    outcomes realised as compared to those desired. In other words, satisfaction

    is high when an employee receives outcomes which he or she values high.

  • 89Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    Satisfaction is less when the outcomes received are valued less by the

    employee. Lockes approach focuses on any outcomes that people value,

    regardless of what they are and not necessarily lower order needs. The key

    to satisfaction, according to the theory, is the discrepancy between those

    aspects of the job one has and those one wants: the greater the discrepancy,

    lesser the satisfaction.

    Lockes theory calls attention to those aspects of the job that need to

    be attended for job satisfaction to result.

    Model of Job Satisfaction

    Fig. 3.1 shows the causes and consequences of job satisfaction.

    Causes for job satisfaction comprise organisational factors, group elements

    and individual needs. All these factors contribute to job satisfaction, there are

    two variables, namely, outcomes valued/expected and outcomes received.

    Fig. 3.1

    Causes of Job Satisfaction












  • 90Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview


    Organisational Factors

    There are five major organisational factors which contribute to an

    employees attitude towards his or her job: pay, opportunities for promotion,

    the nature of work, policies of the organisation and working conditions.

    Wages: Wages play a significant role in influencing job satisfaction. This is

    because of two reasons. First money is an important instrument in fulfilling

    ones needs; and two, employees often see pay as a reflection of

    managements concern for them. When pay system is fair, based on job

    demands, individual skill level and community pay standards, satisfaction is

    likely to result.

    Promotions: Promotional opportunities affect job satisfaction considerably.

    The desire for promotion is generally strong among employees as it involves

    change in job content, pay, responsibility, independence, status and the like.

    It is no surprise that the employee takes promotion as the ultimate

    achievement in his career and when it is realised, he feels extremely satisfied.

    Nature of Work: Most employees crave intellectual challenges on job. They

    tend to prefer being given opportunities to use their skills and abilities and

    being offered a variety of tasks, freedom and feedback on how well they are

    doing. These characteristics make jobs mentally challenging.

    Organisational Policies and Procedures: Organisational policies include

    the basis for effecting promotions (seniority versus merit), transfer of people,

  • 91Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    foreign assignments, lay-off and retrenchments, appraisal and reward system,

    motivational methods, skill based versus job based pay and the like.

    Working Conditions: Working conditions that are compatible with an

    employees physical comfort and that facilitate doing a good job contribute to

    job satisfaction, Temperature, humidity, ventilation, lighting and noise, hours

    of work, cleanliness of the workplace and adequate tools and equipment are

    the features which affect job satisfaction.

    The assumption that working conditions and satisfaction are

    interrelated contradicts the two-factor theory of motivation. According to this

    theory, working conditions are a part of maintenance factors which, when

    provided, help remove dissatisfaction.

    Thus, while working conditions constitute a source of job satisfaction,

    they are a relatively minor source. Generally, unless working conditions are

    either extremely good or bad, they are taken for granted by most employees.

    Only when employees themselves change jobs or when working conditions

    change dramatically over time (e.g. moving new facilities) do working

    conditions assume more relevance.

    Group Factors

    Group factors wielding influence on satisfaction include group size and


    Size: It is truism to say that longer the size of the group, lower the level of

    satisfaction. As size increases opportunities for participation and social

    interaction decrease, so also the ability of members to identify with the

  • 92Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    groups performance. More members mean dissension and conflict within

    groups. All these do not augur well for satisfaction of members.

    Supervision: Perceived quality of supervision is another determinant of job

    satisfaction. Satisfaction tends to be high when people believe that their

    supervisors are more competent, have their best interests in mind, and treat

    them with dignity and respect. Communication is another aspect of

    supervision. Satisfaction of members tends to be high when they are able to

    communicate easily with their supervisor.

    Individual Factors

    In addition to organisational and group factors, there are certain

    personal variables that have a bearing on job satisfaction.

    First, several personality variables have been linked to job satisfaction.

    Among these are self-esteem and ability to withstand job stress. Stronger an

    individual is on these traits, more satisfied he or she tends to be on his or her


    Second, status tends to influence on ones job satisfaction. Generally

    speaking, the higher ones position in an organisational hierarchy, the more

    satisfied the individual tends to be. A dissatisfied employee may not stay at

    one place to reach higher position in organisational hierarchy.

    Third, job satisfaction is related to the extent to which people perform

    jobs congruent with their interests.

  • 93Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    Finally, job satisfaction has been found to be related to ones general

    life satisfaction. Here more the people are satisfied with aspects of their lives

    unrelated to their jobs, the more they also tend to be satisfied with their jobs.

    Hackman and Oldham (1975) maintains that job satisfaction is

    associated with five core dimensions: skill variety, task identify, task

    significance, autonomy and feedback from the job itself as well as two

    supplementary dimensions feedback from agents and dealing with others.

    Maslows Need Hierarchy Theory

    Maslows (1954) need hierarchy divides human needs into five levels,

    each level represents a group presents. The five levels are physiological

    needs, safety needs, social needs self-esteem needs and self-actualisation


    Psychological Needs

    The most basic, powerful and obvious of all human needs is the need

    for physical survival. The needs included in this group are need for food,

    drink oxygen, sleep, protection from extreme temperature and sensory

    stimulation. These physiological drives are directly concerned with the

    biological maintenance of the organism and motivated by higher order needs.

    Physiological needs are crucial to the understanding of human behaviour.

    They dominate human desires.

    In the organisational context, physiological needs are represented by

    employees concern for salary and basic working conditions. It is the duty of

  • 94Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    the managers to ensure that these needs of the employees are met so that

    they can be motivated to strive for gratification of higher order needs.

    Safety Needs

    The primary motivating force here is to ensure a reasonable degree of

    continuity, order structure and predictability in ones environment. Safety

    needs exert influence beyond childhood. The preference for secured income,

    the acquisition of insurance and owning ones own house may be regarded as

    motivated in part by safety seeking. Security needs in the organisational

    context correlate to such factors as job security, salary increase, safe working

    conditions, unionisation and lobbying for protective legislation.

    Social Needs

    These needs arise when physiological and safety needs are satisfied.

    An individual motivated on this level longs for affectionate relationship with

    others, namely for a place in his or her family and or reference groups.

    Maslow believed that love involves a healthy, loving relationship between two

    people, which include mutual respect, admiration and trust. In the

    organisational context, social needs represent the need for a compatible work

    group, peer acceptance, professional relationship and friendly supervision.

    Self-Esteem Needs

    Maslow classified these needs into two subsidiary sets: self-respect

    and esteem from others. The former includes such things as desire for

    competence, confidence, personal strength, adequacy, achievement,

    independence and freedom. Esteem from others include prestige,

  • 95Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    recognition, acceptance, attention, status, reputation and appreciation. In the

    workplace, self-esteem needs correspond to job title, merit pay increase,

    peer/supervisory recognition, challenging work, responsibility and publicity in

    company publications.

    Self Actualisation Needs

    Maslow characterised self-actualisation as the desire to become

    everything that one is capable of becoming. The person who has achieved

    this highest level presses towards the full use and exploitation of his talents,

    capacities and potentialities. In an organisation, self-actualisation needs

    correlate to desire for excelling oneself in ones job, advancing an important

    idea, successfully managing a unit and the like.

    Maslows theory represents a significant departure from economic

    theories of motivation.

    Herzbergs Two Factor Theory

    Herzberg (1959) proposed that there are two distinct aspects of the

    motivation-hygiene theory. The first and more basic part of model represents

    a formally stated theory of work behaviour. The second aspect of Herzbergs

    work has focused upon the behavioural consequences of job enrichment and

    job satisfaction programmes.

  • 96Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview


    Recognition of achievement

    Work itself




    Company policy and administration


    Interpersonal relations

    Working conditions




    Fig. 3.2

    Herzbergs Hygienes and Motivators

    Hygiene: Job Dissatisfaction Motivators: Job Satisfaction

    *Because of its ubiquitous nature, salary commonly shows up as a motivatoras well as hygiene. Although primarily a hygiene factor, it also takes on someof the properties of a motivator, with dynamics similar to those of recognitionfor achievement.

  • 97Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    Intrinsic factors such as achievement, recognition, the work itself,

    responsibility, advancement and growth seem to be related to job satisfaction.

    These factors are variously known as motivators, satisfiers and job content

    factors. One the other hand, when they were dissatisfied, they tended to

    extrinsic factors such as company policies and administration, supervision,

    work conditions, salary, status, security and interpersonal relationships.

    These factors are also known as dissatisfiers, hygiene factors, maintenance

    factors or job content factors. Satisfaction is affected by motivators and

    dissatisfaction by hygiene factors. This is the key idea of Herzberg and it has

    important implications for managers.

    ERG Theory

    Proposed by Calyton Alderfer (1972). According to him, there are

    three primary categories of human needs. These categories are:

    (b) Existence: The basic physiological needs (hunger and thirst) and

    protection from physical danger.

    (b) Relatedness: Social and affiliation needs and the need for respect and

    positive regards from others.

    (c) Growth: The need to develop and realise ones potential.

    Equity Theory

    According to Adams (1965), when employees work for an organisation,

    they basically exchange their services for pay and other benefits. This theory

    is based on the assumption that individuals are motivated by their desire to be

    equitably treated in their work relationship. The equity theory proposes that

  • 98Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    individuals attempt to reduce any inequity they may feel as a result of this

    exchange relationship. The theory proposes that the motivation to act

    develops after the person compares inputs, outcomes with the identical ratio

    of the relevant other. The important inputs include skill and knowledge,

    experience, effort, loyalty, etc. Outcomes include pay, recognition, job level,

    social relationship, intrinsic rewards, etc. Satisfaction becomes a ratio of

    output to input.

    Porter and Lawlers Expectancy Model

    Porter in this model identifies the source of peoples valence and

    expectancies and link effort with performance and job satisfaction. This

    theory assumes that employee should exhibit more effort when they believe

    that they will receive valued rewards for task accomplishment. The

    relationship between effort and performance is moderated by an employees

    abilities and traits and role perceptions. That is, employees with higher

    abilities attain higher performance for a given level of effort than employees

    with lesser abilities. Performance begets intrinsic and extrinsic rewards to

    employees. Intrinsic rewards are intangible outcomes such as achievements.

    Extrinsic rewards are tangible outcomes such as pay and recognition. Now,

    job satisfaction is determined by employees perceptions of the equity of the

    rewards received.

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    Measuring Job Satisfaction

    There are many methods for measuring job satisfaction. By far the

    most common method for collecting data regarding job satisfaction is the

    Likert Scale (named as Rensis Likert). Other less common methods for

    gauging job satisfaction include: Yes/No questions, True/False questions,

    point system, checklist and forced choice answers. This data is typically

    collected using an Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) system.

    The Job Descriptive Index (JDI) created by Smith, Kendall and Hulin

    (1969) is a specific questionnaire of job satisfaction that has been widely

    used. It measures ones satisfaction in five facets: pay, promotion and

    promotion opportunities, co-workers, supervision and the work itself. The

    scale is simple. Participants answer either Yes, No or Cannot decide in

    response to whether given statements accurately describe ones job.

    The Job in General Index is an overall measurement of job satisfaction.

    It is an improvement to the JDI because the JDI focuses too much on

    individual facets and not enough on work satisfaction in general.

    Other job satisfaction questionnaires include.

    Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ)

    In Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire, individuals rate the degree to

    which they are satisfied with various aspects of their jobs like their degree of

    responsibility, opportunities for advancement, pay, etc. The range of ratings

    is from not at all satisfied to extremely satisfied. The higher ratings indicate

    greater satisfaction, with various aspects of job.

  • 100Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    Pay Satisfaction Questionnaire (PSQ)

    The focus is on specific facts of job satisfaction. Individuals reaction to

    pay raises, pay structure, administration and benefits are measured by this


    Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS)

    The JSS is a 36 item questionnaire that measures nine factors of job


    Faces Scale

    The Faces Scale of job satisfaction, one of the first scales used widely,

    measures job satisfaction with just one item which participants respond to by

    choosing a face.


    The concept of Organisational Commitment plays an important part in

    human resource management philosophy. The concept of Organisational

    Commitment is concerned with the degree to which people are involved with

    their organisations and are interested in remaining within them.

    Organisational Commitment is important to researchers and organisations

    because of the desire to retain a strong workforce.

    As defined by Mowday, Steers ad Porter (1982), commitment consists

    of three components: identification with the goals and value of the

    organisation, desire to be long to the organisation and a willingness to display

    effort on behalf of the organisation.

  • 101Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    The most thoroughly investigated approach to organisational

    commitment is the perspective advanced by Mowday and his colleagues

    which emphasises the employees affective bond with the organisation.

    In other words, this is an attitude about employees to their organisation

    and is an ongoing process through which organisational participants express

    their concern for the organisation and its continued success and well-being.

    According to Salanick (1977), Commitment is state of being in which

    an individual becomes bound by his actions to beliefs that sustain his

    activities and his own involvement. Three features of behaviour are

    important in binding individual to their acts: the visibility of the acts, the extent

    to which the outcomes are irrevocable, and the degree to which the person

    undertakes the action voluntarily.

    Guest (1987) has suggested that HRM policies are designed to

    maximise organisational integration, employee commitment, flexibility and

    quality of work. Organisational commitment is the relative strength of the

    individuals identification with, and involvement in, a particular organisation.

    Pierce and Dunham (1987) state that as with job involvement, the

    research evidence demonstrates negative relationship between organisational

    commitment and both absenteeism and turnover.

    Mowday (1974) believes that organisational commitment is probably a

    better predictor because it is a more global and enduring response to the

    organisation as a whole than is job satisfaction. An employee may be

  • 102Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    dissatisfied with his or her particular job and consider it a temporary condition,

    yet not be dissatisfied with the organisation as a whole.

    Sheldon (1971) suggests that organisational commitment is an attitude

    or orientation toward the organisation which links or attaches the identity of

    the person to the organisation. Robins (1974) also defines organisational

    commitment as an individuals orientation towards the organisation in terms of

    loyalty, identification and involvement.

    Allen and Meyer (1990) proposed three component model of

    organisational commitment, viz., emotional belongingness to their

    organisation (Affective Commitment), the cost associated with living the

    organisation (Continuance Commitment) and the feeling of obligation to

    remain with the employer (Normative Commitment).

    In recent times, with employees switching over jobs so frequently and

    with such as ease at every possible opportunity for gaining personal benefits,

    a major question that the recruitment personnel in various organisations face

    at the recruitment process is whether the employee being recruited will benefit

    to the organisation in the long run and will he remain with the organisation for

    a longer period of time than what the current trend shows. Another problem,

    which is a common dilemma for the HR managers, is to hold back the

    potential employees in the organisation and preventing them from leaving it.

    To succeed in this, what ideally should be done is to not just offer these

    employees high material incentives but also try and create a sense of

  • 103Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    commitment to the organisation so that the employee remains and works with

    the organisation by choice and not force and identifies with the organisation.

    Principles of Organisational Commitment

    The sense of organisational commitment will prevail an employee if the

    following principles are already present in the employees nature and

    behaviour or if the organisation successfully generates these principle

    qualities in them. It is on the presence and absence of these principle

    feelings; a certain level of organisational commitment is developed and


    Job Security

    The ability to keep a job for as long as one wants, providing ones job

    performance is satisfactory.


    The feelings of affection and attachment to ones organisations.

    Trust in Management

    The extent to which employees ascribe good intentions to, and have

    trust in, the works and actions of management and their organisation.


    The extent to which employees adopt, as they are own, the goals and

    values of the organisation.


    The extent to which the employees feel disappointed with their career

    and professional development.

  • 104Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview


    The extent to which employees feel that they possess few opportunities

    and alternatives available to them outside their organisation.

    Factors Affecting Commitment

    Kochan and Dyer (1993) have indicated that the factors affecting the

    level of commitment are what they call mutual commitment. They are:

    Strategic Level

    - supportive business strategies

    - to management value commitment

    - effective voice of HR in strategy making and governance

    Function (human resource policy) Level

    - staffing based on employment stabilisation

    - investment in training and development

    - contingent compensation that reinforces cooperation

    - participation and contribution.

    Workplace Level

    - selection based on high standards

    - broad task design and teamwork

    - employee involvement in problem solving

    - climate of cooperation and trust.

    The research carried out by Purcell et al. (2003) established that the

    key policy and practice factors influencing levels of commitment were:

    received training last year;

  • 105Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    are satisfied with career opportunities;

    are satisfied with the performance appraisal system;

    think managers are good in people management (leadership);

    find their work challenging;

    think their form helps them achieve a work-life balance;

    are satisfied with communication or company performance.

    Multiplicity of the Meanings of Organisational Commitment

    The review of the meanings of organisational commitment shows that

    different authors stress different aspects of organisational commitment.

    Sociologists in particular use organisational commitment to mean certain

    behavioural aspects like continuing membership, willingness to exert oneself,

    acceptance of and compliance with norms and values, etc. Psychologists, on

    the other hand, consider organisational commitment as an attitude, a feeling

    of oneness with or an attachment to the organisation, positive evaluation,

    psychological pre-occupation considering the organisation central to one life, etc.

    Porter (1974) have defined organisational commitment as the relative

    strength of an individuals identification with and involvement in a particular

    organisation. They suggest these definitions for operational purpose and

    state that organisational commitment can generally be characterised by at

    least three factors.

    (a) A strong belief in and acceptance of the organisations goals and


  • 106Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    (b) A willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the


    (c) A strong desire to maintain organisational membership.

    These three characteristics are clearly implied in the meanings of

    identification, performance and permanence respectively.

    Buchanan (1974) has viewed organisational commitment as a partisan,

    affective achievement to the goals and values of an organisation, to ones role

    in relation to goals and values, and to the organisation for its own sake, apart

    from its purely instrumental worth. According to him, organisational

    commitment consists of three components:

    (1) Identification adoption as ones own the goals and values of the


    (2) Involvement psychological immersion absorption in the activities of

    ones work role and

    (3) Loyalty a feeling of affection for and attachment to the organisation.

    Dimensions of Organisational Commitment

    There is some disagreement with regard to the dimensionality of

    organisational commitment and these differences stem from different motives

    and strategies involved in their development. These include attempts to

    account for (a) empirical findings (Angle & Perry, 1981); (b) distinguish among

    unidimensional conceptualisation (Jaros, 1993; Allen & Meyer, 1990),

    (c) ground commitment with an established theoretical construct (OReilly &

    Chatman, 1986;) or some combination of these (Mayer & Scoorman, 1992;

  • 107Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    OReilly, Chatman and Caldwell, 1986). However, a major factor that

    distinguishes the different forms of commitment from another within the

    various models is the mindset (emotional attachment, sense of being locked

    in, belief in and acceptance of the goals) presumed to characterise the

    commitment. Moreover, there is considerable similarity in the nature of the

    mindsets within the different frameworks.

    Dimensions of Organisational Commitment within Multidimensional


    Angle & Perry (1981)Value Commitment Commitment to support the goals of the

    organisationCommitment to stay Commitment to retain their organisational

    membershipOReilly & Chatman (1986)Compliance Instrumental involvement for specific extrinsic

    rewards.Identification Attachment based on the desire for affiliation with

    the organisation.Internalisation Involvement predicted on congruence between

    individual and organisational values.Allen & Meyer (1990)Affective The employees emotional attachment to

    identification with an involvement in theorganisation.

    Continuance An awareness of the costs associated with leavingthe organisation.

    Normative A feeling of obligation to continue employmentMayer & Schoorman (1992)Value A belief in and acceptance of organisational goals

    and values and a willingness to exert considerableeffort on behalf of the organisation.

    Continuance The desire to remain a member of theorganisation.

  • 108Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    Jaros (1993)Affective The degree to which an individual is

    psychologically attached to an employingorganisation through feelings such as loyalty,affection, warmth, belongingness, fondness,pleasure and so on.

    Continuance The degree to which an individual experiences asense of being locked in a place of high costs ofleaving.

    Moral The degree to which an individual ispsychologically attached to an employingorganisation through internalisation of its goals,values and missions.

    Varieties of Organisational Commitment

    Affective Commitment

    It is the strength of peoples desire to continue working for an

    organisation because they agree with its underlying goals and values. People

    feeling high degrees of affective commitment desires to remain in their

    organisations because they endorse what the organisation stands for and are

    willing to help in its mission.

    Bauer (2007) posit that organisational conditions encourage

    commitment. Participation in decision making and job security are two such

    conditions. Certain job characteristics also positively affect commitment.

    These include autonomy, responsibility, role clarity and interesting work.

    Managers should encourage affective commitment because committed

    individuals expend more task related effort and are less likely than others to

    leave the organisation (Somers, 1995). Stinglhamber (2003) is of the view

    that that managers can increase affective commitment by communicating that

  • 109Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    value employees contributions and that they care about employees well-


    Eisenberger (2000) suggests that affective commitment increases

    when the organisation and employees share the same values, and when the

    organisation emphasises values like moral integrity, fairness, creativity and

    openness. Snape (2003) believes that negative experiences at work can

    undoubtedly diminish affective commitment. One such experience is

    discrimination. Perceived age discrimination, whether for being too old or too

    young, can dampen affective commitment.

    Luthans (1985) revealed that American workers displayed higher

    affective commitment than Korean and Japanese workers. Wong (2003)

    showed that Chinese place high value on social relationship at work and that

    those with stronger interpersonal relationships are more committed to their

    organisation. The author suggests that Chinese firms improve employee

    commitment and retention by organising activities to help cultivate relationship

    among employees. This means that expatriate managers should be sensitive

    to the quality of relationship among their Chinese employees if they want to

    improve organisational commitment.

    Continuance Commitment

    It is strength of a persons desire to remain working for an organisation

    due to his or her belief that it may be costly to leave. The longer the people

    remain in their organisation, the more they stand to lose what they have

    invested in the organisation over the years.

  • 110Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    Becker (1960) view continuance commitment as an employees

    tendency to remain in an organisation because he or she cannot afford to

    leave. Sometimes employees believe that if they leave, they will lose a great

    deal of their interest in time, effort and benefits and they cannot replace these


    In Kanters (1968) opinion, continuance commitment refers to

    participating in a system and remains as its member, which emanates from a

    cognitive judgement that it is worthwhile to remain in the group rather than

    bear the cost of leaving the group.

    Stebbins (1970) has stated that continuance commitment is a

    psychological state that arises not from the presence of rewards but from the

    presence or imminence of subjectively defined penalties associated with the

    attempt or desire to leave a specific position.

    Normative Commitment

    It refers to employees feelings of obligation to stay with their

    organisations because of pressure from others. People who have high

    degrees of normative commitment are greatly concerned about what others

    would think of them for leaving.

    Meyer (1993) defined normative commitment as a perceived obligation

    to remain with the organisation. Individuals who experience normative

    commitment stay with the organisation because they feel that they should.

  • 111Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview

    Benkhoff (1996) posits that affective commitment and normative

    commitment are related to lower rates of absenteeism, higher quality of work,

    increased productivity and several different types of performance.

    Normative commitment refers to an employees desire to stay with the

    organisation based on a sense of duty, loyalty and obligation. This sense of

    loyalty makes individuals feel that they ought to stay committed to the

    relationship simply because it is the right thing to do (Allen, 1990).

    Common to these approaches is a link between the employees and the

    organisation. But the nature of the link differs. Employees with strong

    affective commitment remain because they want to, those with strong

    continuance commitment remain because they want to, those with strong

    normative commitment remain because they ought to do so.

    The definitions given by various researchers view organisational

    commitment as an attitudinal phenomenon and as the loyalty that the

    employees show towards the organisation to attain the goals and vision of the

    company and to remain in the organisation.

  • 112Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment: A Theoretical Overview


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