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Chapter 8

SOC227H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Frederick Herzberg, Job Satisfaction, Absenteeism

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Christine Burton

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Chapter 8-pg. 437-461
Gender and Job Satisfaction
-despite large differences in work rewards, typically little difference between men and women in
self-reported job satisfaction
- Some researchers suggest that women have been socialized to expect fewer intrinsic and
extrinsic work rewards.
-therefore, women are more likely to be satisfied with lower-quality jobs, focusing instead
perhaps on satisfying social relationships within the workplace
- Should not explain the job satisfaction of women with a gender model (differences due to prior
socialization) while employing a job model (differences due to the nature of the job) to account
for the satisfaction of men
- While, on average, men might report high satisfaction with their relatively good jobs, women
might be equally satisfied with less rewarding jobs, having modified their expectations because
of the time spent in these same jobs
- while gender differences in work orientations may exist, characteristics of the jobs women
typically hold and family responsibilities, rather than prior socialization, are probably responsible
Education Attainment and Job Satisfaction
-Educational attainment and job satisfaction might be linked in several different ways.
1. higher education should lead to a better job and, in turn, more job satisfaction
2. assumption that better-educated workers have higher expectations regarding their
careers but recognizes that not all well-educated workers will have good jobs. Hence, well-
educated workers in less-rewarding jobs would be expected to report low job satisfaction
-Job satisfaction studies completed in the 1970s and 1980s (Martin and Shehan 1989) typically
found that education had little effect on job satisfaction, perhaps because the two hypothesized
effects cancelled each other out.
-Even when comparing well-educated and less-educated workers in the same blue-collar jobs,
few differences in job satisfaction were observed.
- hypothesize that levels of job dissatisfaction will slowly increase in the future as more well-
educated young workers find themselves unable to find jobs that meet their aspirations.
Work Rewards, Work Orientations, and Job Satisfaction
- popular theory developed decades ago by Frederick Herzberg drew on all of these traditions,
emphasizing both the extrinsic and intrinsic rewards of work.
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-Hygiene factors like pay, supervisory style, and physical surroundings in the workplace could
reduce job dissatisfaction, Herzberg argued. But only motivators, such as opportunities to
develop one’s skills and to make decisions about one’s own work, could increase job
satisfaction (Herzberg 1966, 1968).
-Herzberg also insisted that the presence of such motivators would lead, by way of increased
job satisfaction, to greater productivity on the part of workers.
-Influenced by Herzberg’s two-factor theory, most job satisfaction researchers now use
multidimensional explanatory frameworks incorporating both intrinsic and extrinsic work
rewards, as well as organizational and task characteristics.
- more one values some particular feature of work (the chance to make decisions, for example),
the less likely it is that one’s desires can be satisfied.
-However, job rewards had substantially greater effects on satisfaction than did work
preferences. In addition, Kalleberg’s analysis led him to conclude that intrinsic job rewards were
more important determinants of job satisfaction than were extrinsic rewards.
Consequences of Job Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction
- job dissatisfaction will not necessarily translate into quitting behavior
-But feelings of job dissatisfaction may allow workers to rationalize coming in late, calling in sick,
or generally not working as hard as they could
- Dissatisfaction with work is also correlated with the number of complaints and grievances filed
in unionized work settings.
- If dissatisfaction can lead to tardiness, absenteeism, deviance, and, in some situations,
quitting, surely improvements in the quality of working life will lead to a more satisfied and,
hence, more productive workforce, won’t they?
1. Productivity is more often a function of technology and workers’ skills than of their
attitudes. Thus, even if high levels of satisfaction are evident, low skill levels, inadequate on-the-
job training, or obsolete technology will limit opportunities for productivity increases.
2. work-group norms and expectations must be taken into consideration.
3. productivity can be influenced by job satisfaction, but only under certain conditions.
- Workers in higher-status jobs might, on the other hand, report satisfaction because of tangible
work rewards. If so, perhaps productivity increases due to job satisfaction might only be
expected in the latter group
Karl Marx and Alienating Work within Capitalism
-alienate means separation
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