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The following article
was written by Coleman Patterson and
appeared in the Business section of the Abilene Reporter-News.
satisfaction, February 10, 2008, 2D.
We like our house. It has a driveway that is big enough to ride bikes
and play basketball on, a fenced backyard that helps contain our dogs, enough room inside
for the family to spread out, and a location that is convenient to many of the places that
we visit and shop at regularly. There are
things about the house that we would like to have improved, like closet space, another
bedroom, and modern bathrooms, but overall, we are quite satisfied with where we live.
The idea of being
overall satisfied with our house, but less-than-satisfied with some characteristics of the
house is similar to feelings of satisfaction with jobs.
It is possible to be satisfied with a job in a global sense and at the same
time be dissatisfied with one or more particular components of the job. A person may perceive the actual work that he
performs to be meaningful and enjoyable, but cares little for the people that he works
with. Likewise, an employee might be very
satisfied with the opportunities for promotion within her organization, but receives far
less pay than she feels is appropriate for her job and abilities.
Job satisfaction is
typically regarded as being related to absenteeism, turnover, and performance to some
degree. The idea that overall job
satisfaction can differ from satisfaction with particular dimensions, or facets, of a job
is well understood among organizational researchers.
The Job Descriptive Index (JDI) is a survey instrument that measures five
facets of job satisfaction: pay, promotion, supervision, the work itself, and co-workers. Overall job satisfaction cannot be computed by
simply summing the scores of the facet dimensions because they are independent dimensions.
pay includes attitudes and perceptions about the amount of pay received in relation to
personal expectations and comparisons with others. Perceiving
that opportunities exist for promotion and advancement within an organization leads to
satisfaction with promotion opportunities. The
relationships that workers have with supervisors and co-workers contribute to satisfaction
on those two job dimension facets. When the
jobs performed by workers are perceived as meaningful and important, they tend to
experience higher levels of satisfaction on the work itself dimension.
satisfaction with a focus on facets provides insight into the attitudes, needs, and
motives of workers. Ministers, teachers, and
social workers most likely receive high levels of satisfaction in their jobs from the work
itself. Other people might receive the
greatest levels of satisfaction from their jobs from being around and interacting with
coworkers and supervisors. High pay might
keep some people in their jobs even when they regard their work as less meaningful and
when they receive little satisfaction from other facets of their jobs.
Sometimes it is
desirable to have employees provide overall evaluations of job satisfactionwhere
they account for all pertinent aspects of their jobs in one single response. At other times, managers might need to assess
employee job satisfaction more specifically with an account of the different facets of job
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