You are on page 1of 9

Table of Contents Introduction Background -Measuring Job Satisfaction Methodology -Gender Differences Conclusions -References


Affective job satisfaction is the extent of pleasurable emotional feelings individuals have about their jobs overall.Introduction Job satisfaction is how content an individual is with his or her job. not from the new conditions. These studies (1924–1933). and is different to cognitive job satisfaction which is the extent of individuals’ satisfaction with particular facets of their jobs. we develop and test a questionnaire to examine how the environment of downsizing and reorganization in the 1990s has affected the productivity. primarily credited to Elton Mayo of the Harvard Business School. This finding provided strong evidence that people work for purposes other than pay. working hours. Scholars and human resource professionals generally make a distinction between affective job satisfaction and cognitive job satisfaction. and numerous other aspects of their jobs. sought to find the effects of various conditions (most notably illumination) on workers’ productivity. managerial attitudes and practices of senior professionals in the private and public sectors. pension arrangements. but from the knowledge of being observed. The purpose of this study is to compare the views of public and private sector professionals toward their work in light of the radical changes in the administrative environment that have occurred during the 1990s. In the course of the study. which paved the way for researchers to investigate other factors in job satisfaction. however. History One of the biggest preludes to the study of job satisfaction was the Hawthorne studies. 2 . such as pay. Before presenting our survey results. It was later found that this increase resulted. These studies ultimately showed that novel changes in work conditions temporarily increase productivity (called the Hawthorne Effect). we will present short overviews of the existing literature regarding both downsizing and restructuring and comparisons of public sector and private sector job satisfaction. morale.

This measure considers the following job elements. argued that there was a single best way to perform any given work task. This book contributed to a change in industrial production philosophies. Measuring Job Satisfaction In order to measure attitudes of public sector managers . There have been a number of analytical tools developed in an attempt to capture job attitudes and/or satisfaction levels. and Hugo Munsterberg set the tone for Taylor’s work. thus leaving researchers with new questions to answer regarding job satisfaction. This model served as a good basis from which early researchers could develop job satisfaction theories. This theory explains that people seek to satisfy five specific needs in life – physiological needs. However. The Job Descriptive Index (JDI. Job satisfaction can also be seen within the broader context of the range of issues which affect an individual's experience of work. skill variety. safety needs. The initial use of scientific management by industries greatly increased productivity because workers were forced to work at a faster pace. Emmert and Taher (1992) use Hackman and Oldham's Job Characteristics Model to evaluate job satisfaction. stress at work. causing a shift from skilled labor and piecework towards the more modern of assembly lines and hourly wages. and working conditions. such as general well-being. laid the foundation for job satisfaction theory. Bryan. or their quality of working life. Job satisfaction can be understood in terms of its relationships with other key factors. Principles of Scientific Management. autonomy. and self-actualization. a motivation theory. Walter Dill Scott. task significance.either in isolation or in comparison to private sector managers .Scientific management (aka Taylorism) also had a significant impact on the study of job satisfaction. task identity. and feedback on job performance. social needs. Frederick Winslow Taylor’s 1911 book. Smith. Some argue that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory. It should also be noted that the work of W. Kendall and Hulin. control at work. workers became exhausted and dissatisfied. 1969) is another analytical tool which is often 3 .L. selfesteem is necessary to adopt an instrument designed for this task. home-work interface.

These tools. and that the state of the organizational and managerial research related to the distinction is segregated. and many others like them. have been used in a variety of studies aimed at capturing various dynamics of job satisfaction. empirical studies exist which suggest that the public-private distinction has some credibility. supervision. Third. that there are multiple uses to which the distinction is applied. The JDI consists of sub-scales for pay. 1991). this approach was within the study’s budget constraints and allowed us to distribute surveys to a number of different locations around the Toronto and Ottawa areas without encountering any increase in costs. Perry and Rainey (1988) critique this distinction on the basis that there are a variety of definitions used to describe the differences between the public and private sectors. Before examining these studies. Nonetheless. this approach is considered to be most appropriate for dealing with sensitive topics and we felt that the subject matter in our study of managerial attitudes was of a sensitive nature (Kervin. promotion. it must be noted that there is some contention regarding whether or not the public-private distinction is a valid or useful one. job satisfaction and burnout. people.regarded as the most well-developed instrument for measuring job satisfaction levels. the "on the move" nature of the work. mailing the surveys allowed us contact with otherwise difficult to reach potential respondents. and work. The basic research strategy employed in the study was to administer a mail survey of samples selected from the subject populations. Selected studies of these distinctions are summarized in Table 1. Methodology Given the existing literature on D&R. 1992). Although there is clearly no closure on the issue. First. time constraints of lawyers and employment status of individuals targeted in our study made this an attractive attribute (Emory and Cooper. 4 . Second. The decision to employ a mail survey was made for a number of reasons. several studies have focussed on determining whether or not there is a meaningful difference between the public and private sectors in terms of job satisfaction. the goal of this study is to investigate differences in job satisfaction and job attitudes between public and private sector lawyers in Ontario.

Get Details It is common for employees to select a rating for each survey question. it avoids wasted time and efforts. coaching and development programs. The details let you know why an employee selects a specific rating.Objectives for Employee Satisfaction Surveys By conducting employee satisfaction surveys. you should also get the details. an employee conceals how he really feels about the workplace environment. which leads to high turnover rates and low employee morale. Determine whether training methods and materials are beneficial to the employees. When employees are not satisfied. management and supervisor attitudes. For example. it is necessary to 5 . For example. To determine employee perceptions. because the employees are the ones working with the tools on a regular basis. Evaluate Methods When a company runs efficiently. ask questions that allow the employee to express his point of view. However. management does not know how effective tools and methods are. It also lets the employees know that you care. A satisfied employee often equates to a productive employee. you are taking a proactive stance to better your company. out of fear. This leaves management in the dark. Evaluate Employee Perception Often. company benefits. A productive employee equates to a productive and happy company. One objective for an employee satisfaction survey is to identify problem areas that management may not be aware of. equipment and communication procedures. Often. Soliciting employee feedback allows you to evaluate how your company is thriving internally. employee rewards and recognition programs. it can lead to high attrition rates and low productivity. ask how satisfied he is with internal opportunities for growth or promotion. ask questions about the effectiveness of current tools. To get the details. instead of just getting a rating.

the employee completes the survey and submits it to you via paper or electronic format. There were also highly significant differences in respondents’ perception of the changes in their organization’s effectiveness over the last three years.2%). That is. In the private sector the only gender difference that was even 6 . Gender Differences The final set of statistical analyses which we performed looked at gender differences in responses to our survey. If you want honest feedback on the survey. Finally. consider outsourcing a non-biased third-party company to conduct the interview. In the sample as a whole female respondents were significantly less satisfied with their coworkers (difference in means 92.0% significant in a two-tailed t-test if equal variances are not assumed).9%). In fact. With an interview survey. in the data there are both very strong sectoral differences and strong gender differences in response patterns. Though the questionnaire survey is time consuming for management. you sit down with the employee to get verbal feedback. the answers tend to be more honest.3%). the female respondents showed some evidence of having greater feeling of burn-out than their male counterparts (90.2% significance in the difference in the mean responses). that allow the employee to provide comments and feedback. on average the female respondents thought their organization had become less effective over the last three years while the male respondents thought that their organization had become more effective. consider giving employees the option to remain anonymous.ask open-ended questions. First. To increase employee honesty during interview surveys.7%). With the questionnaire. If the employee has to reveal his identity. due to fear of ramifications. Table 3: summarizes the more important findings regarding gender differences. opportunities for promotion (97. it is important to note that all of the findings discussed above apply equally to male and female respondents. Much more understanding of these gender differences can be gained by looking at them sector by sector. operating conditions (91. he may not be honest about his true feelings. and the training opportunities provided by their employer (97. contingent rewards (97. Survey Methods The two methods you can use to survey employees are interview or questionnaire.

In the public sector. The differences in these mean responses is very significant (98. they may be the result of a selfselection effect whereby women with greater awareness of and concern over workrelated gender issues elect to work in the public sector. female respondents were less satisfied with their coworkers (97.9% significant if equal variances are not assumed). they disagree moderately to strongly with the statement that the ministry operates more effectively than it did three years ago (mean response 1. However. the differences we found may not be the effective poorer response to the demands of female employees in the public sector.6%) and opportunities for promotion (97. Finally. Their male counterparts disagree only slightly with the statement (mean response 3. This finding is somewhat surprising. 7 . equal variances in responses across genders are not assumed.4% significant if equal variances are not assumed). They also have more difficulties in finding balance between their work and personal lives (96. then.2%).87).2% significant if equal variances are not assumed). It is still the case. contingent rewards (97. For each sub-scale in each column the three numbers shown on the left are the mean response from male respondents. that the lower levels of satisfaction displayed by female respondents in our survey must be of serious concern to public sector managers and policy makers. the probability of the sample gender means being at least as different as those shown if the population gender means were in fact equal. The two numbers shown on the right are the number of respondents of each gender upon whom the analysis is based.somewhat significant was that female respondents felt somewhat more burnt-out than their male counterparts (Mean scale scores of 3.61 and 3.2%). operating conditions at work (90. in the sample as a whole we have significant differences between male and female respondents. however. That is. Instead. these gender differences in the broader sample are driven almost entirely by gender differences in the public sector.6%). T-test of differences in means 93. To summarize. In each case.26 respectively. however. However.09). given the general feeling that the public sector provides a friendlier work environment for women (and minorities). the mean response from female respondents and the statistical significance of the difference in means.

Associated social and economic costs of decreased morale have also been identified. The results of our survey indicate that while Provincial Crown Attorneys in Ontario enjoy their actual work as much as private sector lawyers. the literature on this subject is disjointed to say the least. that our study has highlighted several serious causes for concern and has shown the need for further study of the how downsizing and restructuring has been handled in the OPS and what the effects of this process will be on morale and job performance. therefore. we expect to develop insights which will be of interest to managers in both sectors. offer some insight into how to lessen these effects. While our primary focus is on the public sector. We hope in further studies to compare how the restructuring process has been managed in the OPS and various private sector organizations and to undertake a much broader survey of job satisfaction and attitudes of managers and professionals in the OPS and the private sector in Ontario. We conclude. We also plan. We also found that in the public sector female respondents were strikingly less satisfied than male respondents. However. they have significantly lower levels of satisfaction in terms of almost all other aspects of their work life. working with partners in the United States and in Germany. Burke and Greenglass. This will give much more insight into the optimal way to manage restructuring. 8 . to compare how the restructuring process has been managed in different jurisdictions and the effectiveness of these different management styles. We find correlational evidence which supports (or at least does not refute) the contention that issues relating to leadership are a major cause for these lower levels of satisfaction.Conclusions Restructuring and downsizing are now part of the environment in which professionals function in both the public and private sectors. There is strong evidence in the literature to suggest that downsizing adversely affects morale in the public sector. among others.

16 (2): 101-116. Reatz (1996). "A model for estimating the response rate of a mailed survey.M. Greenglass (1998a).C. T.D. Freeman. Reizenstein and J. N. Comer (1988). June 4. & Esther R. Bruvold. "Just Another Transition? Examining Survivor's Attitudes Over Time. 1991." The University of Tennessee.References Allen. Department of Management. Ronald J.0. & J. mimeo. "Downscoping Doesn't Necessarily Bring an Upswing in Corporate Profitability" The Wall Street Journal. Bennett. R. D. Burke." Journal of Business Research. A. 9 . pages B-1 and B-4. (1991). "Organization Support during Health Care Downsizing and Restructuring" York University..