Determinants of job satisfaction of employees

By  Divine Komla VULLEY(Dr)

Job satisfaction is a concept that has been addressed in many studies since 1900s and has been included in the literature with its different definitions. Handsome (2009) has noted that there are no generally accepted definitions of job satisfaction. However, few decades ago, Graham (1982) explained that job satisfaction is simply about an individual’s perceptions and approach to one’s job.

Prior to this explanation, Locke (1969) postulated that job satisfaction refers to the pleasurable state that one achieves from professional values. In recent years, for example, Sheffield (2016) states that “The ability to perceive and evaluate one’s own job as against those issues that they think are of important to them is what job satisfaction pertain”. Cetin (2011:74) has defined job satisfaction as the extent to which the employees like what they do.

Over the last two or more decades, many studies attempted to identify sources of worker/employee’s job satisfaction and dissatisfaction (Farber, 1991; Friendman & Farber, 1992; Kyriacou, 1987). According to the majority of these studies, employee job satisfaction is clearly related to levels of intrinsic environment, i.e. motivation. In recent years for instance, researchers (e.g., Kardam & Rangnekar, 2012; Dobre, 2013; Ahmed & Muchiri, 2014) have also affirmed that employee’s job satisfaction is related to intrinsic condition.

It should however be mentioned that many writers have a different view on the concept of worker job satisfaction. For example, Akyeampong et al. (2012) and Ahmed and Muchiri (2014) have observed that the concept of worker job satisfaction is about their effective relation to the professional nature of their role and it is a function of perceived link between what one wants from working and what one perceives it is offering as a worker. Therefore, the worker attitude towards his/her work shows job satisfaction if it reflects the positive mood, but worker job dissatisfaction is demonstrated if it reflects the negative mood (Dinler, 2010).

Similarly, a study conducted by Naidoo, Botha and Bisschoff (2013) in some designated province in South Africa revealed that work overload, job insecurity and lack of growth opportunity are some of the reasons for worker job dissatisfaction. Recent studies have shown (Maforah & Schulze 2012; Parvez, 2017) that other determinants of worker job satisfaction are country-specific. They opined that workers’ job satisfaction relates to whether their perceptions about their profession is ideal; whether they want to shift to other profession; and whether workers are satisfied with the institutions.

Earlier, Peltzer et al. (2009) found that community factors play an important role on the worker’s satisfaction and dissatisfaction. They opined that workers are more satisfied in a community where economic activity are good and the probability for professional advancement is high. Furthermore, where the enabling environment is created to allow workers to freely participate in the decision-making of the organisation’s management and where there are resources available to aid operational functions even if there are large or work overload.

From the analysis so far, it could be argued that job satisfaction will vary in proportionate with the extent to which the needs of individual are being satisfied. The stronger the need, the more closely will job satisfaction depend on its fulfilment. The basic principle of needs theories is that people will be motivated to behave in a certain way when their needs are satisfied.

The writer is with Bank of Ghana (Banking Department)

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Divine  is a seasoned banker for the past 15 year. He worked previously with Barclays Bank Ghana (now ABSA) and currently working with the Bank of Ghana. He is a writer and researcher and have keen interest in Human Resource and Capacity development as well as education management and leadership.

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