Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction

Refers to positive attitudes or emotions resulting from one’s job

Satisfaction levels change with time and circumstances

Changes with individual differences

2 people in same job can have drastically different perceptions of satisfaction

positively correlated with big 5 personality traits (.41)

Global job satisfaction

overall satisfaction with job

Job facet satisfaction

selected dimensions or facets of job such as supervisor, coworkers, promotional opportunities, pay and so on

Job Descriptive Index

used to measure job satisfaction for over 35 years

Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire

also used to measure job satisfaction

Brief’s model of job satisfaction

Both affect and objective job circumstances both play an equal part in job satisfaction

Positive affect

cheerful, enthusiastic, confident, active, energetic, and optimistic

Objective job circumstances

Five categories of emotions

Emotional contagion





















Relationship of satisfaction with performance, turnover & absence

Withdrawal behavior

Employees attempt to remove him/herself from the unsatisfying, even toxic environment

absence: temporary way to avoid stress and emotions resultant from work

turnover: permanent; easier to do when there are other available jobs

Research suggests that targeting moods rather than satisfaction levels may be more fruitful

Episodic emotions can have lasting effects on employees and their work behaviors         

emotional regulation can lead to multiple negative outcomes in the workplace

performance and satisfaction aren’t as correlated as we might think (.17 – .30)

trying to improve satisfaction may actually hurt productivity and vice versa

Job involvement

level to which you identify with your work and its importance to self-image


overall satisfaction (.45)

performance (.09)

turnover (-.13)

Organizational commitment

Psychological and emotional attachment to a relationship, job, org, or goal

Affective component

emotional attachment to org

Continuance component

perceived cost of leaving org

Normative component

obligation to remain with org.

Occupational commitment

emotional connection a person feels with their job

Organizational commitment

sense of loyalty to employer

Work commitment

the loyalty to one’s own job

Committed employees buy the organization more time to figure out what will help their employees become satisfied, high performers

Organizational justice*

Fair treatment of people in organizations

Two components


Distributive justice

fairness of outcomes

Equity rule

highest contributors receive rewards

Equality rule

everyone has an equal chance of receiving rewards

Need rule

persons in most need receive the rewards

Individualism v. Collectivism


Procedural justice

Fairness of procedures used to make outcome decisions

Individual’s “voice” in the process

Structural components of the process

Interactional justice

Interpersonal justice

manifested by showing concern for individuals and respecting them as people who have dignity

Informational justice

manifested by providing knowledge about procedures that demonstrate regard for people’s concerns

Organizational citizenship behavior (prosocial, extra-role, contextual) (OCB)

Behaviors that go beyond required job tasks and contribute to organizational performance

not required or expected by the organization

Five main dimensions


helping behavior


dutifulness, attention to detail


mindful and respectful to others


being a team player

Civic virtue

Doing your civic duty to the org

Dispositional origins



Situational antecedents

Organizational justice

The psychological contract

Implied agreement between employer and employee based on mutual contribution

These contracts are revised throughout an employee’s tenure with the org.

abuse of power in contract can be detrimental

Two principles of the psychological contract


the extent to which employer and employee share beliefs about specific terms of the exchange


their commitments to each

Transactional contracts

short time frames and specific obligations

Relational contracts

characterized by long term relationships with diffuse obligations

Symmetrical v. Asymmetrical power

asymmetrical is most common in workplace

Consequences of violating the psychological contract (fails to hold up his/her end of contract)

Move from relational to transactional


employees speak up and try to reinstate the contract


connotes compliance with the org but loss of commitment


passivity, negligence, and shirking of responsibility


employee retaliates through theft or something else


employees quit or provoke org to dismiss them

Individual responses to downsizing

Most extreme violation of psych contract

Terminated personnel

loss income, depression

Surviving personnel

often lost trust and commitment because contracts were broken

nature of job changes often (picking up more hours, lower pay)

Use of contingent workers

perform specific tasks for a specific length of time

temp agencies

Antisocial behavior in the workplace (organizational deviance, workplace incivility)

Any type of behaviors with intended harm or ill-will towards the organization or fellow employee

incivility, withholding work, lying, stealing, sabotage, violence


low-intensity deviance, discourteousness

likely to occur repeatedly

left unchecked, can grow into intense aggression

many can be defused by sensitive managers who listen, show empathy, concern, and respect for the injured party

when not diffused, it can result in violence

can range from relatively minor (stealing office supplies) to felonies (occupational homicide)

usually aimed at co-workers rather than supervisors

Generally it’s the major offenses that make news.

Thermodynamics of revenge

Violation of the psychological contract

Perceived organizational injustice


blowing off steam


employee gives the harm-doer the benefit of the doubt and searches for plausible explanations for the harm doer’s behavior


employees maintain negative feelings for long periods of time


employee works harder to prove critic wrong, mobilizing opposition to the harm-doer, or engaging in physical violence

Violence in the workplace

2008 there were 421 shooting

2004-2008 there were an avg of 564 work-related homicides each year

degrees of workplace violence occur far more often than the few headline-worthy incidents reported in the news

most perpetrators of workplace violence feel victimized by some injustice (perceived or real)

Occupational homicide


product of both individual and situational factors


density, heat, noise, alcohol use

Profile approach to identifying workplace aggressors

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