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Examining the Job Characteristics: A Matter of Employees' Work Motivation and Job Satisfaction.

Byline: Sarwat Sultan

The study investigated job characteristics as predictors of employees" work motivation and job satisfaction. The study made use of convenience sampling in selecting 366 employees (183 men and 183 women) from different banks in Karachi, Pakistan. The sample age ranged between 28 - 50 years. Three instruments were used, namely: Job Diagnostic Survey Scale, Achievement Motivation Scale, and General Job Satisfaction Questionnaire. Data analysis involved the use of Pearson Product Moment Correlation and Regression Analysis. Results indicated that five dimensions of job are positively correlated with work motivation and job satisfaction of employees. Male and female employees reported different associations of job characteristics with work motivation and job satisfaction. Results also indicated that the five core job characteristics are effective predictors of employees" work motivation and job satisfaction.

On the basis of the findings, it is suggested that the appropriate combination of the five core job characteristics of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback can facilitate organizations to motivate and satisfy its employees.

Keywords: Job characteristics, skill variety, autonomy, work motivation, job satisfaction,

The different tasks or ways specified to job that the employees accomplish or execute affect the behaviors of employees at work place. The work itself becomes a strong stimuli or external factor in determining the course of actions of workers (Panzano and Baird, 2000). Every worker"s requirements or anticipations basically make an increase in the outcome of subjective contentment or distress, pressure, worry or any biological dysfunction. The individuals working in organizations are always expected to perform their jobs in all aspects. The tasks performed daily, weekly, monthly or yearly must need less or high range of capabilities and expertise that are observed as difficult or significant (Gibson, 1994).

The way in which the tasks or work is arranged greatly affects the company"s progress and the person"s healthy development (Morgeson and Campion, 2003). The planning or the outlining of tasks plays an important role in company"s systematic performance which results to gain various consequences of individual contentment and proficiency.

One of the significant roles of every supervisor is to outline tasks according to their subordinates" capabilities that suit them best. Many of the researchers who define or explain how to develop the task and job outlining basically follow the model designed by Hackman and Oldham (1976).

A large number of studies provided a solid proof that the manners in which the tasks are layout play a significant role in work contentment of employees and their performance (Bruce and Blackburn, 1992). Best mapping of tasks must be achieved by considering many objectives in one"s consciousness. For example, work must be outlined according to the interest of employees, which decreases their mental and bodily burden, expands their productive competencies, and motivates them to achieve organizational goals (Campion and Thayer, 1985).

The most effective approach to job design was demonstrated by Hellriegel, Slocum, and Richard (1998) to describe different passage related for constructing tasks. Such factors include: Job enlargement; the duties that are carried out by the workers in the given task, Job rotation; involves the exercising of workers by assigning different duties of an organization but for a limited duration of time. The purpose of job rotation is to reduce doldrums and apathy among workers, and to help them gain information about innovative and neoteric chores which also results in increasing their capabilities, Job engineering; for the person handling devices and mechanical contrivance which increases the proficiency of work,

Goal setting; a procedure for encouraging workers and helping them to be clear about their assigned responsibility, Socio-technical Approach; a procedure of allocating duties to people who are working together like a crew and helping them to adapt themselves according to the problematic work of society and technical areas, Job enrichment; occurs when the workers have more dependability for recording, corresponding, balancing, and preparing of tasks.

An important assumption about the planning of tasks or work duties for employees was given by Herzberg and colleagues (Parker, Wall, and Corderly, 2001). According to their point of view the best way for encouraging employees is to define tasks which give them the best chances of upgrading, identification, reliability, efficiency, promotion and expansion. So for uplifting the job tasks the above factors must be considered.

Hacknam and Oldham (1976) postulated a Job Characteristic Model (JCM) in 1976 which described another job attributes archetype. According to JCM, there are some constituents of job which create a good or bad impact on the workers performance. According to Hackman and Oldham (1976) there are basically five contents for judging instantaneous job conditions. These contents are considered as a main tool to enhance employees" urge and their contentment towards their work. Employees" urging and contentment is basically described as a manner or temperament of workers toward their duties which is embedded in a number of external and internal factors related to the people.

The five contents related to job attributes include: "skill variety" (the abilities and proficiencies which are required to accomplish tasks); "task identity" (the magnitude of a job that defines a complete and tangible work); "task significance" (the factors of job that has a great impact on individuals growth); "autonomy" (the factors of job that helps the individual to accomplish their personal tasks and to do something for their own self); and "feedback" (the factors of job that themselves help the employees to know how they are performing in their tasks) (Sarata and Jeppersen, 1997).

According to the JCM there are some basic attributes of a given job that give rise to employees captious mental conditions which then produce most of the employees and companies goals and related tasks objectives. These five job contents also results in three captious mental conditions: (a) knowledge about the importance of tasks and duties, (b) information about the results related to tasks, and (c) gaining information about the real outcomes of work circulation. All of these contents help to increase the individual personal growth, specifically for those individuals who have strong desire of up gradation, more intrinsic job satisfaction, more contentedness and motivation towards their duties, and fewer escapees and lower percentage of leaving an organization (Oldham, 1996).

Based on the literature cited above, the main objective of the present study was to examine the role of different job characteristics in determining the employees" work motivation and satisfaction with their jobs. The study developed a set of testable hypotheses. It was hypothesized that the jobs characterized by the five core dimensions will be positively correlated with employees" work motivation and job satisfaction. It was assumed that the relationship between five core dimensions of job and employees" work motivation and job satisfaction in relation to their gender will be significantly different. It was also hypothesized that male and female employees" work motivation and job satisfaction were regressed differently upon the five job dimensions. This study will facilitate the Supervisors, Managers and high profile Professionals to understand and to develop deep insights into the complexity of individuals" motivation and satisfaction with their work.

Ultimately, this understanding will enable them to cultivate the conducive-culture of work and productivity.

Participants

Method

The sample comprised of 366 employees (183 men and 183 women) working in the different banks of Karachi. Their age range was between 28-50 years with mean age = 37.26 (SD = 11.75). Their academic qualifications ranged from graduation to above post graduation. Participants were more or less similar regarding their socioeconomic class; middle class and cultural background; urban areas. To select the sample, convenience sampling technique, a non-probability approach was used.

Assessment Measures

Following instruments were used to collect the data. The relevance of the instruments was checked by a sample of 20 educationists. They were asked to examine all the items of each instrument carefully and rate which of them were relevant to the Pakistani culture. Analysis of the responses revealed that all the items were judged fairly relevant to the Pakistani culture. All the instruments were then administered to a sample of 50 employees to determine the reliability and validity of questionnaires.

Job Diagnostic Survey Scale. (Hackman and Oldham, 1980) measures the motivational potential of jobs consisting of 5 core job characteristics; skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and job feedback. The scale consists of 15 items and the ultimate score of the scale is the computation of all fifteen items which can fall between 1 and 105. The scale is divided into two parts. Part I consisting of 5 items with 3-point ratting scale measures response as very little, moderate and very much, and are scored as 1 for very little, 4 for moderately and 7 for very much. Part II consisting of 10 items with 3-point measures the response as very inaccurate, uncertain and very accurate, and are scored as 1 for very inaccurate, 4 for uncertain and 7 for very accurate.

Part II has some items negatively worded, and are scored reverse. The scores on each core job characteristic; Skill variety (3, 6, 9), Task identity (2, 7, 12), Task significance (4, 10, 15), Autonomy (1, 11, 14), and Job Feedback (5, 8, 13) were be sum to find out the total score. Split-half reliability of the scale is 0.68.

Achievement Motivation Scale. (Murray, 1983) measures the need for achievement consisting of three dimensions; work, mastery, and competitiveness. It is a 5-point ratting scale wherein 5 = strongly agree, 4 = somewhat agree, 3 = neither agree nor disagree, 2 = somewhat disagree, 1 = strongly disagree. In the present research, the work factor containing 6 items was used to measure work motivation which represents "the need to work hard and to do an excellent job". A total score is obtained by adding the scores on 6 items. Split-half reliability of the scale is 0.66.

General Job Satisfaction Questionnaire. (Hackman and Oldham, 1975) has 15 items with 5-point Likert Scale. The responses ranged from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Two items 12 and 15 are reversed scored. The maximum score on scale is 75 and the lowest is 15. An overall internal reliability of original scale is 0.77, and Split-half reliability of the scale is 0.61.

Procedure

The participants were informed about the objectives of the study and then were given the instructions about how to fill the questionnaires. A booklet containing the measures along with consent form and demographic information sheet was given to each participant. They were assured that all the information would be kept strictly confidential and would be used for research purposes only. SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) was used for analysis of the data collected from participants.

Results

Since the objective of the study was to examine the relationship of job characteristics with work motivation and job satisfaction of employees working in banks, Pearson Product Correlation was computed for both scales.

Table 1 Correlation Matrix among Job Characteristics, Work Motivation, and Job Satisfaction (N = 366)

Job characteristics###Work Motivation###Job Satisfaction

Skill Variety###0.73###0.64

Task Identity###0.69###0.61

Task significance###0.66###0.66

Autonomy###0.74###0.63

Feedback###0.60###0.60

p less than 0.05, p less than 0.01

Table 1 indicates the relationship of five job characteristics with work motivation and job satisfaction of employees. Job characteristics; skill variety and autonomy are highly positively correlated with work motivation. However, all five job characteristics are moderately correlated with job satisfaction of employees.

Table 2: Correlation Matrix among Job Characteristics, Work Motivation and Job Satisfaction for the Scores of Male (N = 183) and Female (N = 183) Employees

Job###Male Employees###Female Employees

characteristics###Work###Job###Work###Job

###Motivation###Satisfaction###Motivation###Satisfaction

Skill Variety

Task Identity###0.71###0.67###0.60###0.66

###0.63###0.67###0.64###0.67

Task

significance###0.51###0.44###0.68###0.61

Autonomy###0.77###0.72###0.72###0.68

Feedback###0.66###0.54###0.59###0.61

p less than 0.05, p less than 0.01

Table 2 indicates the relationship of five job characteristics with work motivation and job satisfaction of male and female employees. Correlation coefficients for male employees show that the job characteristics of skill variety and autonomy are highly positively correlated with work motivation and job satisfaction, though task significance has also positive relationship but this relationship is not significant.

It also indicates positive significant relationship of five job characteristics with work motivation and job satisfaction of female employees. Correlation coefficients show that the job characteristic of autonomy is highly positively correlated with work motivation. All other job dimensions are moderately positively correlated with work motivation and job satisfaction among female employees.

Table 3: Regression Analysis Showing Impact of Skill Variety, Task Identity, Task Significance, Autonomy, and Feedback on Work Motivation for the Scores of Male Employees

Predictors###B###SE###(beta)###t###p

(Constant)###3.90###1.09###1.97###.05

Skill Variety###.32###.04###.62###3.16###.001

Task Identity###.18###.02###.12###2.96###.05

Task Significance###.16###.03###.15###3.22###.001

Autonomy###.24###.03###.08###3.97###.001

Feedback###.12###.03###.07###1.98###.05

R2 = 0.64, Adjusted R2 = 0.73, [F (5, 361) = 72.85]

Table 3 shows the results of regression analysis for the impact of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback on work motivation for the scores of male employees. The analysis in Table 3 shows a highly significant F value for the multiple regressions. Results indicate that job characteristics as significant predictors, explain 64% variance of work motivation. Results implied that work motivation is highly regressed upon skill variety, task significance, and autonomy among male employees.

Table 4 shows the results of regression analysis for the impact of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback on job satisfaction for the scores of male employees. The analysis in Table 4 shows a highly significant F value for the multiple regressions. Result indicates that all job characteristics as significant predictors, explain 72% variance of job satisfaction but skill variety is highly significant predictor of job satisfaction among male employees.

Table 4: Regression Analysis Showing Impact of Skill Variety, Task Identity, Task Significance, Autonomy, and Feedback on Job Satisfaction for the Scores of Male Employees

Predictors###B###SE###(beta)###t###p

(Constant)###4.21###1.09###2.97###.01

Skill Variety###.39###.03###.59###4.06###.001

Task Identity###.27###.02###.19###2.01###.05

Task Significance###.26###.03###.15###2.88###.01

Autonomy###.21###.03###.09###2.62###.01

Feedback###.26###.02###.08###1.99###.04

R2 = 0.72, Adjusted R2 = 0.71, [F (5, 361) = 67.05]

Table 5: Regression Analysis Showing Impact of Skill Variety, Task Identity, Task Significance, Autonomy, and Feedback on Work Motivation for the Scores of Female Employees

Predictors###B###SE###(beta)###t###p

(Constant)###3.21###2.01###2.72###.01

Skill Variety###.39###.05###.53###4.02###.001

Task Identity###.28###.04###.27###3.61###.002

Task Significance .23###.08###.20###3.63###.001

Autonomy###.20###.04###.14###1.34###.31

Feedback###.27###.05###.17###2.08###.01

R2 = 0.77, Adjusted R2 = 0.69, [F (5, 361) = 64.06]

Table 5 shows the results of regression analysis for the impact of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback on work motivation for the scores of female employees. The analysis in Table 5 shows a highly significant F value for the multiple regressions. Results indicate that job characteristics as significant predictors, explain 77% variance of work motivation. Skill variety, task identity, and task significance are highly significant predictors of work motivation.

Table 6: Regression Analysis Showing Impact of Skill Variety, Task Identity, Task Significance, Autonomy, and Feedback on Job Satisfaction for the Scores of Female Employees

Predictors###B###SE###(beta)###t###p

(Constant)###3.07###1.26###2.77###.05

Skill Variety###.32###.08###.37###2.94###.001

Task Identity###.20###.06###.18###1.99###.05

Task Significance###.20###.06###.10###2.72###.001

Autonomy###.26###.06###.12###1.68###.08

Feedback###.20###.04###.09###1.07###.17

R2 = 0.57, Adjusted R2 = 0.54, [F (5, 361) = 37.85]

Table 6 shows the results of regression analysis for the impact of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback on job satisfaction for the scores of female employees. The analysis in Table 6 shows a significant F value for the multiple regressions. Result indicates that job characteristics as significant predictors; explain 57% variance of job satisfaction. Skill variety, task identity, and task significance are the significant predictors of job satisfaction among female employees.

Discussion

The conduct of the people in any organizations or companies depends upon the manner of work. The type of the task or position is one of the strong external factors that greatly affect a person course of action, work motivation, and satisfaction. Every person requirements or anticipation basically make an increase in the outcome of subjective contentment or pressure, worry or any biological problems. The daily, weekly, monthly or yearly, any amount of tasks must need less or high range of capabilities and expertise which are observed as difficult or significant (Gibson, 1994). So for the present study was planned to examine the important job characteristics predicting work motivation and job satisfaction.

To achieve this objective it was hypothesized that the job characteristics will have a positive impact on work motivation and job satisfaction of employees. The hypothesis postulated, keeping in view the previous studies was accepted in the present study and was supported by a study conducted by Mullica and Sneed (1989), that there is a positive relationship between the job characteristics and job satisfaction. The researchers found that the job satisfaction was more positively influenced by a higher rating of one's job in the five job characteristics than by employees" demographic variables.

There may be many reasons functioning behind the acceptance of this hypothesis. Employees with greater varieties of skills prefer teamwork. It shows that the employees are completely involved in the whole process of work from start to the end. This property indicates that the employees exercising full freedom in their jobs experience have more autonomy, report a higher desire to work and feel more satisfied at their work place.

These facts are in tune with the findings of Malone, Sharp, and Walter (2001) who maintain that intrinsic Job satisfaction is directly influenced by job design factors as well as by job performance. Presumably, people who have jobs, which are characterized by high self- control, great responsibility, and high levels of challenges, should report high level of satisfaction in the autonomy and self-actualization need areas. Also, indicates who hold this type of job are better performers should report slightly higher satisfaction, but because performance leads to feeling of accomplishment and growth and this in turn leads to higher levels of satisfaction (Lawler, 1970)

Badawy (1997) also carried out a study with pediatric nurses to examine the potential impact of job characteristics on their job satisfaction. The results demonstrated regarding the five-job characteristics (nature of work) the highest mean percentage score. The study illustrates a positive strong correlation between job characteristics and job satisfaction with variety, task identity, and feedback being the statistically significant individual characteristics.

Job feedback, defined as the individual receiving information on how well they are performing (Sims, Szilagyi, and Keller, 1976) is also another significant predictor for motivation and satisfaction. The degree to which carrying out the work activities required by the job results in the employee obtaining direct and clear information about the effectiveness of his or her performance.

The present study also examined the impact of job characteristics on work motivation and job satisfaction in relation to male and female employees separately. Though results illustrated the positive relationship of five components of job; skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feed back with motivation to work and job contentment of both male and female employees, while the male employees prefer the components of skill variety and autonomy which motivate them for work, and made them more satisfied with their jobs. And female employees find themselves more comfortable and motivated when they get their jobs with task significance and autonomy of performing tasks.

Although not even a single study has been found in literature review to support these findings in terms of male and female employees" motivation and satisfaction in relation to job characteristics, many studies provided evidence without considering gender differences. One of these studies conducted by Orphen (1984) found out that job satisfaction was significantly correlated to skill variety, task significance, autonomy, and feedback. Similar results were also obtained by Dubisky and Skinner (1984) while examining the relationships among perceived job characteristics, job satisfaction, motivation organizational commitment, role perceptions, and job performance of retail salespeople. Their results showed those job characteristics specially variety and task and task identity significantly influenced overall job satisfaction. Loher, Noe, Moeller, and Fitzerald (1985) using meta-analysis procedures, also determined the relationship between job characteristics and job satisfaction in 28 studies.

Results indicated a moderate relation between job characteristics and job satisfaction.

Another study by Figart, Mutari, and Power (2002) showed that personality, gender, and job characteristics had strong, independent associations with a multidimensional job satisfaction index. Caldwell and O"Reilly (1982) also indicated that aspects of job satisfaction were strongly related to perceived task characteristics. Study by Lambert (1991) moderately supported the hypothesis that jobs that provide workers with the opportunity to do a variety of task and to do work that was personally meaningful, promoted job satisfaction, job involvement, and intrinsic motivation. To conclude, it is signify to report that extensive reviews of the literature on job design and characteristics demonstrated that the five dimensions (Hackman and Oldham, 1976) consistently relate positively to worker satisfaction and motivation (Brass, 1981).

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Department of Applied Psychology Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan, Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Dr. Sarwat Sultan, Chairperson, Department of Applied Psychology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan. Email: sarwatsultan@hotmail.com
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Author:Sultan, Sarwat
Publication:Journal of Behavioural Sciences
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 31, 2012
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