Job involvement as a key component of work motivation: search for predictors.
There is a long-standing interest in studies on the subject of job involvement because it has been found to result in several positive consequences. Earlier, it used to be studied as an aspect of work motivation but in more recent times it is studied as an integral component of employee engagement construct. Job involvement has been found to be linked to turnover (Baba & Jamal, 1991; McElroy et al., 1999); absenteeism (Diefendorff et al., 2002); performance (Freund, 2005; Van Dyne & Pierce, 2004); and employee's readiness for change (Madsen, Miller & John, 2005). Pfeffer (1994) has considered job involvement as a fundamental basis for establishing competitive advantage in business markets and has asserted that increasing job involvement can enhance organizational productivity and effectiveness.
Dimitriades (2007) has demonstrated the effect of service climate and job involvement on customer-oriented organizational citizenship behavior OCB of frontline employees of Greek service organizations. Emery & barker (2007) have found that job involvement of customer-contact personnel is significantly correlated with customer satisfaction, profit and productivity. In a study of 131 professors and clerical employees of a private Japanese University, Ueda (2011) found that job involvement had a significant positive relationship with civic virtue and helping behavior of employees.
What is Job Involvement?
Job involvement has been defined and described variously by different scholars. Some of these versions are listed below:
* It involves the internalization of values and importance of work in the life of an individual employee. It is manifested in the following ways in the response of an employee with high job involvement:
(a) the extent to which the employee's expectations about work are met;
(b) the way in which an employee expresses job involvement varies from person to person;
(c) feeling a high sense of duty; and
(d) avoiding being absent from work and feeling guilty about unfinished work.
--Lodahl & Kejner (1965)
* Job involvement refers to an employee's identification to his/her job in terms of the degree to which one is cognitively preoccupied with, engaged in, and concerned with the job in hand.
People with high job involvement focus most of their attention on their job.
--Hackett et al. (2001)
* Job involvement refers to the extent to which individuals are preoccupied with and immersed in or absorbed by their work activity.
--Diendorff, Brown, Kamin & Lord (2002)
* Job involvement refers to the degree to which an employee psychologically relates to his or her job and the work performed therein.
--Cooper-Hakim & Visweswaran (2005)
* Individuals who identify most strongly with their jobs focus their thoughts on work and interpret more situations as opportunities to perform work role activities.
--Kreiner et al. (2006)
* Job involvement refers to the extent to which individuals identified the importance of the job to their total self-image and self-esteem.
Implicit in the foregoing definitions of job involvement are two basic principles, namely, (a) internalization of a positive work ethics that is reflected in a high sense of duty towards one's work; and (b) the job is so designed that it satisfies the intrinsic needs of the worker. When these two conditions are met, the worker is likely to identify himself with the job both cognitively and emotionally. The job performance of such workers contributes not only to the growth of the organization but also to the enhancement of their level of satisfaction, sense the pride, and self-esteem. The 5-item questionnaire used in the present study incorporates the basic ingredients of the construct described in this section.
Overlap with Other Constructs
The preceding definitions/descriptions of job involvement will indicate its similarity or overlap with some other components of work motivation. Some empirical studies too have found this overlap. Govender & Parumasur (2010), in a cross-sectional study of 145 employees, found significant inter-correlations among most of the dimensions and subdimensions of employee motivation and job involvement. Diefendorff et al. (2002) investigated the relationship between job involvement and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and found that job involvement has a significant positive association between the two constructs.
Biswas (2009) has argued that there is a positive causal link emanating from affective commitment leading to job involvement. Leong et al. (2003) have found a positive relationship between job involvement and professional commitment. MeClroy et al. (1999) found job involvement to be positively related to job satisfaction. According to Salanova et al. (2005), job involvement is seen in contemporary definitions of employee engagement as a facet or component of engagement but not its equivalent. Job involvement and work alienation are viewed by some as opposites of each other. Whereas job involvement refers to a positive and relatively complete state of engagement of the core aspect of one's self in the job, alienation implies a loss of individuality and separation of the self from the work environment (Brown, 1996). Hafer & Martin (2006) have found that having low job involvement contributes to employees' feelings of alienation.
Job involvement is one of the several manifestations of employee motivation, others being job satisfaction, organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). The negative manifestations of motivation are alienation and burnout. All of them being different facets or dimensions of the same construct, it is quite natural to find that these are correlated with one another. The empirical evidence presented in this section confirms this view. Work motivation is an umbrella term that incorporates the various dimensions mentioned in this section. Another umbrella term referring to the same phenomenon that is covered by "motivation" is employee engagement," which has become popular among the practitioners and academicians alike.
Predictors of Job Involvement
Carmeli (2005) explored the determinants of job involvement among senior managers of public-sector organizations in Israel and found that both situational and personal factors 4predicted job involvement. Brown (1996), based on his mata-analysis of a large number of studies, concluded that job involvement was influenced by both personality and situational variables. These findings are consistent with the well-known theorem according to which behavior is a function of certain attributes of the person plus characteristics of the situation [B = f(P+S)]. According to Hackman & Oldham (1975), job characteristics influence job involvement as they inspire an employee's internal motivation.
In a study of several manufacturing industries in Lagos, Nigeria, Mogaji (2002) found that structure and responsibility had a significant positive relationship with job involvement. Mishra & Shyam (2005) studied the relationship between social support and job involvement among 200 prison officers from different jails in Uttar Pradesh. They found that social support, both overall as well as its individual dimensions, had a significant positive relationship with job involvement. In a study of 363 bank employees in Taiwan, Ouyang (2009) found that job instability had a negative influence on job involvement of employees.
Turning to the personal attributes, researchers have often studied the role of demographic variables in influencing job involvement. For example, Chughtai (2008) has indicated an association between job involvement and gender as well as level of education. In a study of 281 scientists and engineers, Dailey & Morgan (1978) found age as one of the significant determinants of job involvement. In a cross-sectional study of 145 employees, Govender & Parumasur (2010) found a significant but curvi-linear relationship between age and job involvement. Thus, while the highest level of job involvement was found among employees in the age group of 41-50 years, followed by those in the age group of 18-20 years, employees in the age of 21-25 years showed the lowest-level of job involvement.
As one of those who studied the role of personality in relation to job involvement, Mudrack (2004) found that high job involvement employees who also scored high on obsessive compulsive personality traits had a tendency to engage in non-required work. Similarly, in their empirical study of job involvement in Taiwan, Liao & Lee (2009) found that a personality trait called neuroticism related negatively to job involvement. On the other hand, extroversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness were found to be positively related to job involvement.
Review of Some Indian Studies
In some of the Indian studies by the first author, job satisfaction was found to have significant bi-variate correlations with a large number of personal as well as situational variables. However, subsequent multi-variate analysis reduced the number of such potential predictors and helped in identifying a smaller set of critical predictors. In one such study of 148 junior and middle level managers of a public sector organization, Sharma & Bhaskar (1991a) found that length of work experience, work technology, job prestige and recognition together explained 61 percent of the variance in job satisfaction. In another study, Sharma & Kaur (2000) found that "job content" and "monetary benefits" together explained 50 percent of the variance in job satisfaction among 163 managerial employees of a public sector organization.
In a comparative study of 30 public sector organizations, using organization as the unit of analysis, Sharma & Bhaskar (1991b) found that job satisfaction was influenced by a combination of three factors: (a) length of work experience, (b) liberal per trait; and (c) a climate dimension called objectivity. Together these three predictors explained 87.7 percent of the variance in job satisfaction.
In yet another study, Sharma & Sharma (1997) used three personality traits, seven task characteristics and two organizational climate variables to study their impact on job satisfaction among a sample of 200 male skilled workers of a private sector manufacturing organization. Regression analysis revealed that none of the three personality variables emerged as a critical predictor. On the other hand two task characteristics, ambiguity and difficulty, and climate dimensions were found to be critical predictors. Between these two sets of predictors, climate was found to be much more powerful than the task in influencing job satisfaction.
Singh & Nath (1991) studied the effects of organizational role stress, organizational climate and locus of control on job involvement among bank employees. They found that employees who scored high on organizational role stress were less involved in their job compared with those who scored low on role stress. Likewise, employees having external locus of control were less involved in their job than those having internal locus of control. On the other hand, employees who perceived their organizational climate more positively were found to be highly involved in their job.
More recently, Sharma & Raina (2010) in their study of 51 sales executives of a manufacturing organization found that, while personal attributes called work ethics and locus of control were in a one-to-one situation correlated with job involvement, neither of them emerged as a critical predictor in multivariate analysis. Regression analysis revealed that two dimensions of organizational climate (career opportunity and pay) explained 91 percent of the variance in job involvement.
There is no dearth of research studies on the subject of job involvement. In general, research scholars have studied the role of both personal attributes of the employees as well as the situational factors as the predictors of job involvement. In most of the studies, both sets of factors are found to be the critical drivers of job involvement. The personal attributes generally studied include both demographic variables as well as personality traits/values of the employees.The situational factors studied more often are job characteristics and various dimensions of HR policies and practices. The latter are sometimes called dimensions of "organizational climate."
About the Study
The study on which this paper is based was carried out in a central public sector undertaking (CPSU) which is a multi-disciplinary consultancy organization. It employs a staff of 2000 including specialists of high professional standing in the fields of engineering, management and planning. The target group for the study was managerial employees ranging in status between managers and general managers.
The main objectives of this paper are two-fold: (a) to assess the level of job involvement of highly qualified and experienced managerial employees; and (b) to identify the predictors of job involvement. Since we will be using two sets of potential predictors, an additional objective is to pinpoint the relative importance of personal attributes vis-a-vis situational factors in influencing job involvement.
The study was carried out using a "structured' questionnaire, which was completed by 98 respondents during working hours and in the presence of the research team. The management of the organization showed keen interest in the study and allowed the research team to collect data during working hours. The items used in the questionnaire to measure various constructs are given in the Appendix 1.
The respondents were predominantly male (90 per cent). Only one-fifth of them were in the age group of 28-40 years and all the rest were in the age group of 41 -62 years. Three-fifth of the respondents holds postgraduate degrees/ diplomas, one-third are college graduates, while only 6 percent are under-graduates. In short, the sample for the study consists of highly educated, experienced and mature members of the managerial cadre.
Apart from a few background questions, the questionnaire was designed to generate data on (a) job involvement; (b) two measures of personal attributes; and (c) ten dimensions of organizational climate. Each of these 13 variables was measured through multiple items distributed randomly throughout the questionnaire. Reliability of the measures was verified by using Cronbach Alpha.
The broad hypothesis that guides this research is based on the postulate that employees who score high on job involvement are likely to score high on each of the following variables: (a) Positive work ethics; (b) Internal locus of control; and (c) Perceived organizational climate. Organizational climate was measured in terms of its following 10 dimensions:
(2) Career Opportunity
(4) Job Content
(6) Participative Management
(9) Training & Development
(10) Work-Life Balance
The main findings of this study are presented in Table 1 in a summary form. With an overall mean score of 69.25 per cent, the level of job involvement is found to be quite high. This means that the managerial employees of the organization under study are highly motivated in terms of their involvement with the work assigned to them. Turning to the two personality traits (i.e., work ethics and locus of control), we find that the overall mean scores for both of them are also quite high. This means that a vast majority of the managerial employees of this organization are imbued with a positive work ethics, while most of them also happen to be persons with an internal locus of control. Employees with such attributes are indeed a valuable asset for any organization.
Turning to the situational factors, the mean score for job content (60.14 per cent) is also quite high. This indicates that the jobs assigned to managerial employees provide adequate clarity, variety, discretion and challenge. Such jobs are known to enrich the work experience of employees besides being a source of empowerment. A quick glance at the status of the remaining nine variables shows that the climate of the organization is not perceived very positively by the respondents. The mean scores of these nine dimensions range between 43.13 percent and 55.71 percent. Compared to the relatively high scores of personal attributes as well as job content, ratings of these nine climate dimensions are found to be quite modest
The correlation between job involvement and each of the 12 independent variables is presented in Table 2. Each and every one of these correlations is positive and statistically significant. This shows that both personal attributes (i.e., Work Ethics and Locus of Control) and situational factors (i.e., 10 dimensions of climate) are important as potential drivers of job involvement. As, however, the independent variables are themselves inter-correlated, it is necessary to go beyond bi-variate correlations shown in Table 2 to identify the set of critical variables that together influence job involvement. To discover such a set of variables, multiple regression analysis was carried out which, as shown in Table 3, identified three variables that together explained 63.15 per cent of the variance in job involvement.
The Role of Employee Background
Apart from the two personality-related variables (work ethics and locus of control), we had also collected data about the demographic background and occupational status of the respondents. In this section, we shall examine the role of these background factors to find out if any of them influenced job involvement. These background variables could not be studied along with other 12 potential predictors as their scale of measurement was ordinal or nominal (not interval).
The background variables studied were: (1) gender, (2) age, (3) education and (4) grade. Out of these four, gender had to be dropped as the number of females in the sample (N=10) was too small to justify its use for statistical analysis. The association among the remaining three variables was tested with the help of one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and difference-of-means (t) test. The outcome of these analyses is reported in Table 4.
Neither age, nor education, nor even grade (designation) of an employee has any significant association with job involvement. Among the highly educated and senior managerial personnel who constitute the sample of this study, the level of job involvement is apparently not influenced by any of the demographic factors. Instead, it is their work values, the nature of the work they do, and the training and development facilities provided to them that have a direct impact on their level of job involvement.
This study of highly educated and experienced managerial employees of a Central PSU shows that their level of work motivation is quite high. Most of them are imbued with a positive work ethics and are guided by an internal locus of control. Their perception of the work assigned to them is quite positive as they feel that there is adequate clarity, variety, discretion and challenge in the work they do. Both work ethics and j ob content have emerged as the critical predictors of job involvement.
Organizational climate in terms of nine out of the ten dimensions is perceived not very positively by the respondents. With mean scores ranging between 43.13 and 55.71 percent, the ratings of these nine dimensions are quite modest. Apart from job content, training and development is the only other situational variable that has emerged as a critical predictor of job involvement. The outcome of this study can be summed up in the form of the following regression equation:
JI = f (alpha + bWE + bJC + bTD)
where JI = Job Involvement; WE = Work Ethic; JC = Job Content; TD=Training & Development.
As shown in Table 3, 63.2 percent of the variance in job involvement is explained by the three predictors included in the above equation. The relative contribution of each predictor is indicated in the same table. One of these three predictors is a personal attribute (work ethics), while the other two (job content and training) belong to the group of situational variables. It is clear from this evidence that both personal attributes and situational factors are important in influencing the level of job involvement. Between the two, the situational variables are found to play a greater role than that of personal attributes. In this particular study, employee background variables are found to play no role in influencing job involvement.
The overall findings of this study are in general accord with the findings of earlier studies described in the review of literature section of this paper. These findings fully support the hypothesis based on the theorem: B = f(P+S). As a point of departure from some of the earlier studies, we did not find any of the employee background factors as a predictor of job involvement. More studies of the kind reported in this paper are required before taking a definite stand on the role of background factors in influencing employee motivation.
Appendix 1 Items used to measure various constructs A. JOB INVOLVEMENT 1. I find my work in this company very satisfying 2. My job is so interesting that time passes quickly. 3. I consider my job more attractive than similar jobs elsewhere. 4. I feel a sense of pride when I describe my work to a stranger. 5. I feel that by doing my job well I am contributing towards the growth of the organization. B. PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES Work Ethics 1. I believe that a job well done is a reward in itself. 2. I believe that sincerity, hard work and integrity are the golden keys to success in life. 3. Of all the activities that I pursue in life, I consider my job to be the most important. 4. I believe that the work a person does is the primary source of his identity in society. 5. I feel a moral obligation to give a full day's work for a full day's pay. 6. I welcome a job that involves responsibility and challenge as it contributes to my learning and growth. 7. I believe that one should never be late for work unless there is a real emergency. 8. I believe that one's job provides the best medium to demonstrate one's knowledge, ability and creativity. 9. I believe that a person's job is the best source of achieving perfection in life. 10. Even if I don't have to work to earn a living, I would still prefer to work. Locus of Control 1. Promotions are earned through hard work and persistence. 2. If one knows how to deal with people, it is easy to lead them. 3. I have noticed a direct connection between how hard I work and the reward I get. 4. The reward I get depends largely on my efforts. 5. Increase in the number of divorces indicates that people do not try hard enough to make their marriages work. 6. By making ourselves heard, we can change the course of world affairs. 7. If the cause is right, I can surely convince others. 8. Most of the time, I consider myself to be the master of my life. 9. A person's earning capacity depends largely on his ability and effort. 10. To get along with people is a skill that can be mastered through practice. C. ORGANISATIONAL CLIMATE Benefits 1. This company provides adequate fringe benefits to its employees. 2. The perquisites provided by this company compare favourably with those offered by similar other organisatons. 3. On the whole, the welfare benefit plans of this company adequately meet the basic needs of employees and their families. 4. This company has attractive post/retirement benefits like superannuation/pension scheme, medical cover, etc. 5. Benefit plans in this company take into account hardships faced by employees on account of work location, job responsibilities, and/or work hazards. Career Opportunity 1. This company offers sufficient opportunities for career development of its employees. 2. This company follows the policy of internal promotions except where certain special skills are required 3. This company has definite succession plans for employees at different levels. 4. This company uses job rotation and interdepartmental transfers to ensure overall devel opment of employees. 5. This company provides growth opportunities to its employees at par with those offered by similar other companies. Communication 1. The suggestions of employees are taken seriously by the management of this company. 2. There is effective communication between various departments and functions in this company. 3. The communication channels of this company are quite open and transparent. 4. Red-tape and bureaucratic procedures are not allowed to obstruct the free flow of com munication in this company. 5. The management of this company keeps employees well informed of the company's future business directions. Job Content 1. There is adequate variety in my job. 2. The challenges provided by my job contribute to my professional growth. 3. I have adequate flexibility to organise and executive the job assigned to me. 4. I am provided timely feedback as to how I have performed my job. 5. My job responsibilities are clearly defined. Objectivity 1. In this organization, employees are treated impartially regardless of their department or function. 2. Recruitment of employees in this organization is based strictly on merit. 3. Personnel policies and service rules are consistently followed in this company. 4. There is no favouritism in this company in dealing with employee issues. 5. The performance appraisal and promotion policies of this company are fair and transparent. Participative Management 1. The employees of this company are actively involved in solving day-to-day problems through regular meetings and discussions. 2. Before taking a major policy decision, the management of this company consults its employees. 3. The employees are adequately involved in joint decision-making in this company. 4. The suggestion scheme of this company enables employees to be actively involved in finding creative solutions to the company's problems. 5. The various participative forums have helped in creating a team spirit among the em ployees of this organization. Pay 1. Salaries and allowances of employees in this company are commensurate with their job responsibilities. 2. Considering their qualifications, expertise and experience, the salaries and allowances of employees in this company are quite attractive 3. Salaries and allowances of employees of this company compare favourably with market rates. 4. Whenever this company's performance goes up, the employees are suitably compensated. 5. The compensation package in this company is so designed that hierarchical differences are well protected Recognition 1. Employees with creative ideas are duly recognised and appreciated in this company. 2. The management of this company is quick to recognize and reward outstanding performance of employees. 3. Honest, sincere and hardworking persons are recognized and appreciated in this company. 4. Recognition of good work is accorded to employees in public functions or through house organs like a newsletter. 5. Departments/units that help improve the performance of the organization are duly recognized for their contribution. Training and Development 1. This company provides adequate training to its employees for discharge of their responsibilities. 2. The objective of training in this organization is also to prepare employees to meet future challenges. 3. The outcome of training is systematically monitored in this organization. 4. Training programmes are carefully designed so as to match individual needs and organizational requirements. 5. This company encourages learning and re-learning through job rotation as well as formal training programmes. Work-Life Balance 1. This organization helps its employees to maintain a proper work-life balance. 2. This company supports frequent social get-togethers of employees and their families. 3. Transfers in this company are organized in such a way that hardships to family life are minimized. 4. This company helps its employees in meeting their personal, family and social commitments. 5. To enable employees to cope with work pressures, the company provides facilities like flexi working hours, creche, gym, recreation, etc.
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Baldev R. Sharma (e-mail: baldev sharma @imi.edu) is Professor Emeritus, IMI, New Delhi. V.N.Srivastava, Sombala Ningthoujam & Vibha Arora are faculty members, IBS, Gurgaon.
Table 1 The Level of Job Involvement & the Status of Potential Predictors Sl. Variable No. Score Cronbach Mean Std. X No. of Items Range Alpha Score Dev. Score as Per Cent * A. Dependent Variable 1 Job Involv- ement 5 0-15 .71 10.38 2.246 69.25 B. Personal Attributes 2 Work Ethic 10 0-30 .76 23.847 3.628 79.49 3 Locus of Control 10 0-30 .66 18.939 3.546 63.13 C. Organisat -ional Climate 4 Job Content 5 0-15 .70 9.020 2.351 60.14 5 Recognition 5 0-15 .71 8.357 2.330 55.71 6 Training & Dev. 5 0-15 .80 7.694 2.339 51.29 7 Pay 5 0-15 .80 7.633 2.649 50.88 8 Career Op -portunity 5 0-15 .67 7.429 2.187 49.52 9 Benefits 5 0-15 .63 7.347 2.311 48.98 10 Objectivity 5 0-15 .80 7.255 2.782 48.37 11 Communi -cation 5 0-15 .71 7.112 2.445 47.41 12 Work-Life -Balance 5 0-15 .65 6.674 2.228 44.49 13 Participative Mgt. 5 0-15 .75 6.469 2.307 43.13 * Note: Each mean score was converted into "percent" by dividing it by the upper limit of its score range and multiplying the product by 100. Table 2 Correlation between Job Involvement and each of the Potential Predictors Sl. Independent Correlation with t-value Level of No. Variable Job Involvement Significance 1 Work Ethic .570 6.80 P<.001 2 Locus of Control .582 7.01 P<.001 3 Benefits .464 5.13 P<.001 4 Career Opportunity .461 5.09 P<.001 5 Communication .478 5.33 P<.001 6 Job Content .727 10.37 P<.001 7 Objectivity .496 5.60 P<.001 8 Participative Mgt. .394 4.20 P<.001 9 Pay .338 3.52 P<.001 10 Recognition .556 6.55 P<.001 11 Training & Dev. .566 6.73 P<.001 12 Work-Life Balance .376 3.98 P<.001 Table 3 Critical Predictors of Job Involvement Sl. Predictors Zero-Order 2nd Order Partial No. Coefficient(A) Coefficient(B) 1 Job Content .727 *** .483 *** 2 Work Ethic .570 *** .405 *** 3 Training & Development .566 *** .293 *** [R.sup.2] = .632 [F.sub.394] = 53.701 P<.001 ** P<.01 Sl. Std. Beta Individual No. Coefficient(C) Contribution Indi(AxC) 1 .452 *** 32.86% 2 .304 *** 17.33% 3 .229 ** 12.96% Total([R.sup.2]): 63.15% *** P<.001 Table 4 Association between Employee Background and Job Involvement Sl. Background Job Involvement Is the Difference No. Variable Statistically Significant? Mean Std. Score Dev. 1. AGE 28 - 45 years 35 9.9143 2.0916 F = 1.116 46 - 51 years 28 10.7143 1.6966 df = 2,93 52 - 62 years 33 10.4848 2.6824 (not significant) Total: 96 10.3438 2.2187 (Also see footnote) 2. EDUCATION Upto Graduation 38 10.3947 2.3428 t = 0.181 Post Graduation 58 10.3103 2.1538 df = 94 (not significant) Total: 96 10.3438 2.2187 3. GRADE Manager /DGM 41 10.3415 2.2317 F = 0.959 Joint GM 26 9.9231 2.2077 df = 2,89 Asst. GM/GM 25 10.8000 2.3629 (not significant) Total: 92 10.3478 2.2602 (Also see footnote)
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|Author:||Sharma, Baldev R.; Srivastava, V.N.; Ningthoujam, Sombala; Arora, Vibha|
|Publication:||Indian Journal of Industrial Relations|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2012|
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