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Unformatted text preview: their jobs. Exhibit 4.5 Sample items from the Job Descriptive Index with “satisfied” responses. Source: The Job Descriptive Index, revised 1985, is copyrighted by Bowling Green State University. The complete forms, scoring key, instructions, and norms can be obtained from the Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, 43404. Reprinted with permission. 112 Individual Behaviour Part Two Another carefully constructed measure of satisfaction, using a somewhat different set of facets, is the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ).24 On this measure, respondents indicate how happy they are with various aspects of their job on a scale ranging from “very satisfied” to “very dissatisfied.” Sample items from the short form of the MSQ include: ■ ■ ■ ■ The competence of my supervisor in making decisions The way my job provides for steady employment The chance to do things for other people My pay and the amount of work I do. Scoring the responses to these items provides an index of overall satisfaction as well as satisfaction on the facets on which the MSQ is based. A number of firms, including Sears, Marriott, 3M, and Microsoft, make extensive use of employee attitude surveys. We will cover the details of such surveys in Chapter 10 when we explore communication and in Chapter 16 when we cover organizational change and development. What Determines Job Satisfaction? When employees on a variety of jobs complete the JDI or the MSQ, we often find differences in the average scores across jobs. Of course, we could almost expect such differences. The various jobs might differ objectively in the facets that contribute to satisfaction. Thus, you would not be astonished to learn that a corporate vice-president was more satisfied with her job than a janitor in the same company. Of greater interest is the fact that we frequently find decided differences in job satisfaction expressed by individuals performing the same job in a given organization. For example, two nurses who work side by side might indicate radically different satisfaction in response to the MSQ item “The chance to do things for other people.” How does this happen? Discrepancy Discrepancy theory. A theory that job satisfaction stems from the discrepancy between the job outcomes wanted and the outcomes that are perceived to be obtained. You will recall that attitudes, such as job satisfaction, are the product of associated beliefs and values. These two factors cause differences in job satisfaction even when jobs are identical. First, people might differ in their beliefs about the job in question, that is, they might differ in their perceptions concerning the actual nature of the job. For example, one of the nurses might perceive that most of her working time is devoted to direct patient care, while the other might perceive that most of her time is spent on administrative functions. To the extent that they both value patient care, the former nurse should be more satisfied with this aspect of the job than the latter nurse. Second, even if individuals perceive their jobs as equivalent, they might differ in what they want from the jobs. Such desires are preferences that are dictated, in part, by the workers’ value systems. Thus, if the two nurses perceive their opportunities to engage in direct patient care as high, the one who values this activity more will be more satisfied with the patient care aspect of work. The discrepancy theory of job satisfaction asserts that satisfaction is a function of the discrepancy between the job outcomes people want and the outcomes that they perceive they obtain.25 The individual who desires a job entailing interaction with the public but who is required to sit alone in an office should be dissatisfied with this aspect of the job. In general, employees who have more of their job-related desires met will report more overall job satisfaction. Chapter 4 Values, Attitudes, and Work Behaviour 113 Fairness In addition to the discrepancy between the outcomes people receive and those they desire, the other factor that determines job satisfaction is fairness. Issues of fairness affect both what people want from their jobs and how they react to the inevitable discrepancies of organizational life. As we will see, there are two basic kinds of fairness. Distributive fairness has to do with the outcomes we receive, and procedural fairness concerns the process that led to those outcomes. Distributive Fairness. Distributive fairness (often called distributive justice) occurs when people receive what they think they deserve from their jobs, that is, it involves the ultimate distribution of work rewards and resources. Above, we indicated that what people want from their jobs is a partial function of their value systems. In fact, however, there are practical limitations to this notion. You might value money and the luxurious lifestyle that it can buy very highly, but this does not suggest that you expect to receive a salary of $200,...
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This note was uploaded on 10/01/2010 for the course FGT mba12ehtp taught by Professor Angwi during the Spring '10 term at Télécom Paris.

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