APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY: AN INTERNATIONAL REVIEW, 2006, 55 (1), 27–51

DORMANN CORE SELF-EVALUATIONS Original UK ET Association for Applied Psychology, 2006 1 55 January Publishing © International 0269-994X Applied 2006 APPS Article AL. Ltd Oxford, Psychology: an International Blackwell

A State-Trait Analysis of Job Satisfaction: On the Effect of Core Self-Evaluations
Christian Dormann*
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University of Frankfurt, Germany

Doris Fay
Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Germany

Dieter Zapf
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University of Frankfurt, Germany

Michael Frese
Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Germany

Une recherche récente qui portait sur les fondements caractériels de la satisfaction au travail s’est focalisée sur le rapport entre la satisfaction professionnelle observée et le noyau central des autoévaluations (CSE). Cette étude s’est occupée d’une part de la relation entre la variance-trait de la satisfaction au travail et le CSE et d’autre part de la structure des variables CSE. En faisant le choix d’un modèle de mesure longitudinal, nous avons d’abord recherché si le CSE était suffisamment stable, cela à partir d’une analyse

* Address for correspondence: Christian Dormann, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Staudingerweg 9, 55099 Mainz, Germany. Email: cdormann@uni-mainz.de Doris Fay is now at Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK. The project AHUS (Aktives Handeln in einer Umbruchsituation—Active actions in a radical change situation) was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, No. Fr 638/ 6-6) (principal investigator: Michael Frese). Thanks are due to the two firms Bayrische Hypotheken—und Wechselbank and Tobacco Reynolds, as well as the “Hundertjahre Stiftung” of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich—they all helped at the beginning of the project. Other members of the project have been and are: Doris Fay, Harry Garst, Sabine Hilligloh, Christa Speier, Thomas Wagner, and Jeannette Zempel, Giessen. Other parts of this large-scale project were published by Frese, Kring, Soose, and Zempel (1996), Frese, Fay, Hilburger, Leng, and Tag (1997), Speier and Frese (1997), Dormann and Zapf (1999, 2002), Garst, Frese, and Molenaar (2000), Fay and Frese (2000a, 2000b, 2001), Warr and Fay (2001), and Fay and Sonnentag (2002); these publications did not focus on job satisfaction. Only one publication looked at job satisfaction (Dormann & Zapf, 2001), but it had a different theoretical emphasis and did not analyse the job stayers of the present study and none of the personality variables. © 2006 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2006 International Association for Applied Psychology. Published by Blackwell Publishing, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA.

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secondaire de quatre périodes successives. Les résultats montrent une forte stabilité du CSE (.87 sur deux ans). Nous avons ensuite opéré une scission état-trait de la satisfaction professionnelle de façon à dissocier la variancetrait de la satisfaction au travail de la variance instable. Le facteur stable de satisfaction professionnelle fut mis en rapport, par régression, avec les variables CSE, en utilisant plusieurs modèles de CSE (une sommation, un facteur latent ou un concept global). D’après les résultats, il vaut mieux traiter les variables CSE comme une sommation, et cette série rend compte de presque toute la variance stable de la satisfaction professionnelle (84%). En outre, seuls l’affectivité négative et le locus of control interne avaient un impact significatif, alors que l’estime de soi et l’efficience personnelle n’en avaient pas. On conclut que la conception actuelle du CSE comme concept supraordonné englobant quatre dimensions est défendable, mais trop générale pour les recherches sur la satisfaction professionnelle; il est plus satisfaisant et suffisant d’analyser à la fois l’affectivité négative et le locus of control. Recent research that looked into the dispositional base of job satisfaction focused on relating observed job satisfaction to core self-evaluations (CSE). This study was concerned with (a) the relation between the trait variance of job satisfaction and CSE and (b) the structure of the CSE-variables. Using a longitudinal measurement model in a secondary analysis of four waves of a longitudinal study we first tested whether CSE are sufficiently stable over time. Results indicate a high stability of CSE (.87 across 2 years). We then performed a state-trait decomposition of job satisfaction in order to separate trait variance of job satisfaction from changing variance. The stable job satisfaction factor was regressed on CSE-variables, using different models of CSE (a collective set, a latent factor, or an aggregate concept). Results were in favor of treating the CSE-variables as a collective set, and this set explained almost all stable variance of job satisfaction (84%). Moreover, only negative affectivity and internal locus of control had a significant impact, whereas self-esteem and self-efficacy had not. It is concluded that current conceptualisations of CSE as a superordinate concept underlying its four dimensions is possible but overly broad in job satisfaction research; collective consideration of LOC and NA is better and sufficient.

INTRODUCTION
For decades, job satisfaction has been one of the most extensively researched concepts in work and organisational psychology. Job satisfaction is believed to reflect an individual’s affective and/or cognitive assessment of his or her working conditions and job attributes (Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996); it has been traditionally used to confirm the effectiveness of job redesign and motivational conditions at work. Since the 1980s, however, an increasing number of studies indicated that job satisfaction is influenced by personality dispositions (e.g. Arvey, Bouchard, Segal, & Abraham, 1989; Staw & Ross, 1985). This provoked a new approach to job satisfaction, which involved particularly the pursuit of two questions: first, to what extent is job satisfaction determined by personality? A meta-analysis of the stability of job satisfaction
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concluded that up to 35 per cent of the variance in job satisfaction might reflect stable, unchangeable traits in contrast to changeable environmental conditions (Dormann & Zapf, 2001). The second question pursued relates to the type of personality variables that could be the building blocks of a trait-based part of job satisfaction. This research has primarily focused on affective traits such as negative affectivity (NA) and positive affectivity (PA; e.g. Brief & Roberson, 1989). Negative and positive affectivity are believed to underlie job satisfaction as they decrease the threshold to experience negative and positive emotions, respectively; and in fact, they do explain considerable variance in job satisfaction (e.g. Thoresen, Kaplan, Barsky, Warren, & de Chermont, 2003). A recent dispositional approach to job satisfaction goes beyond affectivity: the model of core self-evaluations (CSE; Judge, Locke, Durham, & Kluger, 1998). The present study aimed at advancing dispositional research on job satisfaction in two respects. First, we investigated the impact of CSE on job satisfaction. In contrast to previous research, we used a methodological approach that allowed assessing the impact of the dispositional variables on those aspects of job satisfaction that they theoretically seek to explain: the variance in job satisfaction that is stable across time. Secondly, using a framework provided by Edwards (2001), we analysed the structural relation between CSE and job satisfaction in more detail, thereby addressing the question whether CSE should—in job satisfaction research—be conceptualised as a set of first-order variables or as a higher-order construct.

Core Self-Evaluations
Core self-evaluations are an individual’s conclusions about him- or herself. They are based on one’s fundamental standards, beliefs, and norms, which determine the general level of well-being and self-worth. In the model of Judge et al. (1998), CSE comprise self-esteem (which is related to PA), generalised self-efficacy, locus of control (LOC), and low neuroticism (which is related to NA). Core self-evaluations are likely to unfold their effect on job satisfaction through at least two types of processes: first, CSE influence what types of environment people seek and whether they successfully attain this environment (i.e. type or quality of job). This then leads to specific experiences at work, which determine the level of job satisfaction. For instance, individuals with an internal LOC get better jobs because they receive better evaluations in personnel selection procedures (Cook, Vance, & Spector, 2000; Silvester, Anderson-Gough, Anderson, & Mohamed, 2002). Second, CSE shape individuals’ perception of the world (in terms of anchors or biases). Perceptions affect attitudinal reactions or elicit specific behaviors, which in turn influence the level of job satisfaction experienced. For instance, individuals
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high in self-esteem are more likely to appraise critical events at work as a challenge and experience less fear of failure (Locke, McClear, & Knight, 1996). Judge and his colleagues (Judge et al., 1998; Judge, Bono, & Locke 2000) repeatedly demonstrated that CSE and job satisfaction are significantly related, and that the four CSE-concepts share a substantial amount of variance. The meta-analysis by Judge and Bono (2001a) showed that the estimated true score correlations with job satisfaction were .26 for self-esteem, .45 for generalised self-efficacy, .32 for internal LOC, and −.24 for NA.

Open Questions
Considering these effect sizes and the maximum estimate for the dispositional variance in job satisfaction (about 35%; cf. Dormann & Zapf, 2001), CSE may be a potent and parsimonious representation of the dispositional part of job satisfaction. Previous work related the personality variables investigated to the full variance of job satisfaction and not to its dispositional variance. For example, Judge and Bono (2001a) related the observed values of CSE to observed values of job satisfaction, and Judge et al. (2000) used a latent factor of CSE to predict the observed values of job satisfaction. To find out whether CSE are a sufficient explanation of stable variance of job satisfaction, it is necessary to first separate the stable from the variable part of job satisfaction (more on this in the Results section). Only relating CSE to the stable part of variance will permit us to see whether CSE are really a parsimonious representation of trait job satisfaction or whether additional personality variables are required to understand trait job satisfaction. If, for example, CSE could explain only 50 per cent of job satisfaction’s trait variance, then other personality variables should be explored to help to understand fully the trait variance.
Question 1: To what extent do the personality factors that comprise the CSE—self-esteem, self-efficacy, neuroticism, and locus of control—explain the trait-like variance in job satisfaction?

The second question pursued in this paper relates to the structural relation between CSE and the trait variance in job satisfaction. At least implicitly, CSE has been thought to be a higher-order factor representing the shared variance of its constituting variables. However, such a conceptualisation may be unnecessarily complex and may not explain variance in job satisfaction above and beyond, for example, neuroticism or locus of control. Recent theorising on multi-dimensional constructs distinguished three different kinds of models that should be compared with each other (Edwards, 2001; see Figure 1). These models can be used to gain a better understanding of CSE. First, the four CSE-variables can be analysed collectively as a set. In
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FIGURE 1. Conceptualisations of core self-evaluations as collective set, superordinate construct, and aggregate construct.

such a model, the four concepts that constitute the CSE (i.e. self-esteem, self-efficacy, NA, and LOC) are directly related to the stable part of job satisfaction. Second, CSE can be conceptualised as a superordinate construct. In this case, the four concepts serve as indicators of the latent factor CSE. The third model conceptualises CSE as an aggregate construct. Then, the four variables are the causes of a latent factor (see Figure 1). There is currently little knowledge around as to what would be the most appropriate way of modeling the relationship between the CSE-variables
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and job satisfaction. On the one hand, one could argue that the positive self-evaluation inherent in all of the four concepts represents the satisfaction driver. This would speak for modeling CSE as a superordinate construct, in which only the variance shared by the four constructs is related to job satisfaction. Previous CFA yielded evidence for a one-factor structure of CSE (Judge et al., 1998, 2000). Accordingly, Judge, Erez, Bono, and Thoresen (2002) stressed that one should conceptualise CSE in terms of the shared variance of its dimensions (i.e. CSE as a superordinate construct). On the other hand, the result that a one-factor model for the CSE yields an excellent fit does not necessarily imply what the relationship of CSE with other concepts will look like. Meta-analyses showed that the strength of relations between the individual CSE-variables and job satisfaction are not uniform (Judge & Bono, 2001a; Thoresen et al., 2003). The CSE-concepts that are most strongly related to job satisfaction are not necessarily the concepts that are most highly related to the higher-order factor CSE. Based on Edwards’ (2001) framework, one plausible alternative could be to treat the CSE-variables as four conceptually distinct variables, with varying degrees of importance (e.g. regression weights) depending on the target variable considered. Then, the four CSE-variables should be analysed collectively as a set. A third possibility to conceptualise CSE in job satisfaction research is to treat CSE as an aggregate construct. Unlike a superordinate latent construct, which represents the shared variance of its indicators, an aggregate construct represents the weighted sum of its constituting variables. For instance, the overall job performance of a person can be represented by a weighted sum of his or her domain-specific performance scores. The weights may vary depending on the conceptual domain. For example, they may be different when predicting salary compared to predicting promotion. In a similar vein, the contribution (weights) of the four CSE-variables to CSE as an aggregate construct may be different in the domain of job satisfaction compared to other domains such as job performance. Of course, determining the optimal weights within a particular domain such as job satisfaction research is a matter of empirical testing.
Question 2: Should CSE be conceptualised as separate variables that affect trait-job satisfaction collectively (collective set), or should they be more parsimoniously conceived as indicators of a superordinate latent personality trait, or as an aggregated construct?

METHOD
We conducted a secondary analysis of data based on a subsample from a longitudinal study carried out in former East Germany. The study is based on a representative sample of citizens of Dresden; data collection took place
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between 1990 and 1995. Data presented here were from Waves 3 to 6, the most recent waves (September 1991, September 1992, September 1993, and September 1995). The general purpose of the panel was to analyse how working conditions and job attitudes changed as a consequence of the unification of West and East Germany in 1990.

Participants and Procedure
Participants were sampled using a random route method: streets were randomly selected, and then every fourth apartment (in smaller houses every third) in every third house was visited. The refusal rate was 33 per cent (cf. Frese, Kring, Soose, & Zempel, 1996). Participants were assured confidentiality. Personal codes enabled us to handle the data anonymously, where requested. During the first wave of data collection, 463 subjects participated in the study. At Wave 2, 202 additional participants were included. At subsequent waves, all participants who were sampled at Wave 1 or Wave 2 were revisited and asked to participate again. Between Waves 3 to 6 there were 478 to 503 individuals who participated. Since only four waves are required to estimate a state-trait model, we analysed data from Waves 3 to 6. We based the analyses on individuals that did not change their job in the four years that we look at. The use of such a sample makes it more likely to find a higher portion of trait-based variance in comparison to a sample that change jobs, as they would be exposed to more variance in their working situation. Allowing for a relatively high proportion of trait variance to emerge is a fairer test for Question 1 than a strategy that would keep the proportion of trait variance small. Participants indicated at each wave whether they still worked in the same job or in the same organisation as at the time of the preceding survey. This applied to 157 participants. Individuals were not included in the study presented here when they changed their employer—because they had been given notice or voluntarily left the organisation—when they became permanently unemployed, when they retired, or when they were on parental leave, which caused missing values at least at one measurement occasion. Among the 157 participants selected for the present study, there was 1.07 per cent missing data, which were accounted for by application of the expectation maximisation approach using the EMCOV computer program (see Graham, Hofer, & MacKinnon, 1996). The participants were representative of the working population of Dresden with respect to age, social class, and male/female percentage at work (Frese et al., 1996). Forty-nine per cent of the participants were male. Age ranged between 16 and 63 years (M = 39, SD = 11.42). Most subjects worked in public or private services (35.9%). Trade or manufacturing
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enterprises employed 30.9 per cent of the participants. There were 18.9 per cent non-professional white-collar workers. Managers or professionals with high qualification requirements formed 27.4 per cent of the sample. There were 12.5 per cent higher-level public service employees mostly employed in schools and universities, and 16.5 per cent skilled and 14.9 per cent unskilled blue-collar workers, respectively. We compared the job stayers analysed in the present study with those not analysed (i.e. job changers) in all variables investigated in this study. There were no significant differences between the two sub-samples in job satisfaction, NA, self-esteem, self-efficacy, age, and gender; significant differences emerged for socioeconomic status (SES) and LOC with the job stayers having higher SES and higher LOC (all ps < .05). The differences can be accounted for by involuntary job loss. People with a better education have a lower likelihood of losing their job; and losing one’s job causes a temporary dip in the perception of control.

Measures
The job satisfaction scale was adopted from Warr, Cook, and Wall (1979). Participants had to indicate how satisfied they were with respect to eight aspects of their work, for example, “Availability and condition of working tools and resources which facilitate task accomplishment (properties, devices, etc.)”. Responses were made on a 5-point scale that ranged from 1 (very dissatisfied ) to 5 (very satisfied ). The reliabilities for the 8-item scales were .76, .79, .79, and .79 at Waves 3 to 6, respectively. To retain a favorable ratio of parameter estimates to sample size in subsequent latent variable modeling, we used item parcels instead of all available items. By randomly distributing the eight items across two parcels (scales), we produced two indicator variables for latent constructs. Allocation of items to parcels was invariant across waves. Locus of control was measured with a scale labeled control appraisal by Frese (1986). It captures individuals’ generalised belief in their ability to control important things in life. The 4-item scale has been developed in prior studies, starting with qualitative studies, several pilot studies, and then two cross-sectional and two longitudinal studies (Greif, Bamberg, & Semmer, 1991). Participants were asked to indicate whether they could change or organise things the way they want them to be and how much control they have over several aspects of different domains of life. The items were: “Personally, my chance to influence political decisions at my place of residence is . . .”; “Personally, my chance to influence things at my work place in general is . . .”; “Personally, my chance to influence the climate in my department is . . .”; “Personally, my chance to influence decisions by the shop committee is . . .”. Note that shop committee (“Betriebsrat”) is a decision
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body by law in German firms. Responses were made on a 4-point scale from 1 (not at all good ) to 4 (very good ). Self-efficacy was measured with the scale by Speier and Frese (1997), which consists of general and work-related items. A sample item is: “If I want to achieve something, I can overcome setbacks without giving up my goal.” The scale consists of six items. Participants made their responses on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (does not apply at all ) to 5 (applies fully). Self-esteem was measured with a scale by Mohr (1986), which was adapted from Rosenberg (1965). The scale consists of eight items (e.g. “Sometimes, I feel pretty useless”). A 5-point answer scale was used for these items ranging from 1 (does not apply at all) to 5 (applies fully). Negative affectivity was measured with ten items from the PANAS-scale of Watson, Clark, and Tellegen (1988). Participants were asked to indicate on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (very little/not at all) to 5 (very much) how they felt on average with respect to the affects presented. Each variable was measured at each wave except NA, which was only available for the final two waves. For some of the later analyses, CSEvariables were aggregated across all four waves with the exception of NA, which was aggregated across the two final waves.

RESULTS
Structural equation modeling was used for all analyses. Before addressing Questions 1 and 2, we performed two prerequisite analyses. We first analysed a longitudinal measurement model of CSE. Core self-evaluations have been suggested to reflect a common factor that is stable over time. While the stability of each of the CSE traits is well documented, the stability of the higher-order CSE construct, both in terms of its structure and stability over time, has not been explored yet. The longitudinal measurement model tests both forms of stability. Results will show whether CSE indeed has the widely presumed properties of a trait; while this is in general theoretically important, it provides for this study specifically a justification for aggregating the scores of the individual CSE-variables across the different waves. In the next step, employing a state-trait approach, we separate the trait-like variance of job satisfaction from the changing variance (more details below). Then we approach Questions 1 and 2 by regressing the previously separated trait variance of job satisfaction on different structural models of CSE. Descriptive statistics of all study variables are presented in Table 1.

Results of the Longitudinal Measurement Model of CSE
As NA was only assessed in the last two waves, the longitudinal measurement model of latent CSE was based on these two waves only. They were
© 2006 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2006 International Association for Applied Psychology.

TABLE 1 Descriptive Statistics of Study Variables (N = 157)
No. of items 1. Job satisfaction 1991 A 2. Job satisfaction 1991 B 3. Job satisfaction 1992 A 4. Job satisfaction 1992 B 5. Job satisfaction 1993 A 6. Job satisfaction 1993 B 7. Job satisfaction 1995 A 8. Job satisfaction 1995 B 9. Locus of control 1993 10. Locus of control 1995 11. Locus of control 91–95 12. Self-esteem 1993 13. Self-esteem 1995 14. Self-esteem 91–95 15. Self-efficacy 1993 16. Self-efficacy 1995 17. Self-efficacy 91–95 18. Negative affectivity 1993 19. Negative affectivity 1995 20. Negative affectivity 93–95 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3×4 8 8 8×4 5 5 5×4 10 10 10 × 2

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M 3.34 3.09 3.50 3.24 3.46 3.23 3.57 3.27 2.32 2.37 2.33 3.99 4.05 3.97 3.49 3.49 3.49 1.77 1.81 1.79

SD

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17 18 19 20

67 59 72 70 62 67 51 40 64 70 35 48 69 65 71 35 26 51 45 69 69 30 37 45 58 73 61 70 28 23 49 33 59 50 70 70 30 36 42 45 49 63 70 61 52 15 20 28 24 29 36 35 37 51 56 05 07 29 26 21 26 26 26 79 58 45 13 21 22 20 31 36 37 37 82 52 84 46 19 17 28 23 22 15 20 13 28 22 33 82 44 17 14 25 19 17 12 19 08 27 20 30 88 84 36 10 11 29 24 16 11 17 12 18 16 23 86 68 93 60 22 18 29 26 25 25 16 17 42 29 43 68 66 54 77 64 27 19 32 25 25 28 16 18 40 29 43 60 67 47 89 69 49 09 03 22 19 12 15 12 10 30 23 34 60 57 57 91 76 90 57 −28 −28 −30 −31 −31 −34 −29 −38 −15 −15 −20 − 48 − 40 −42 − 42 − 40 −38 85 57 −23 −25 −22 −20 −18 −24 −27 −31 −16 −16 −18 − 48 − 41 −38 −41 −39 −33 85 86 49 −24 −23 −29 −33 −34 −33 −22 −34 −10 −09 −15 −34 −27 −34 −31 −29 −31 85 46 90

Note: N = 157. Decimals omitted. Correlations exceeding .19 in absolute value are significant with p < .01; correlations exceeding .13 in absolute value are significant with p < .05 (one-tailed). Correlations appearing in the table were corrected for missing values using the expectation maximisation approach. Cronbach’s alpha appears in the diagonal. Locus of control 91–95, self-esteem 91–95, and self-efficacy 91–95 were aggregated across the four waves of measurement, respectively, whereas negative affectivity 93–95 was aggregated across the final two waves of measurement.

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FIGURE 2.

Longitudinal measurement model of core self-evaluation.

separated by a 2-year lag. We tested whether LOC, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and NA confirm a longitudinal measurement model with two latent factors (one for each measurement period) and autocorrelated errors over time. The factor loadings of the four scales (i.e. LOC, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and NA) were constrained to be invariant over time. This represents a prerequisite for inferring that the substantive meaning of CSE did not change over time (cf. Schaubroeck & Green, 1989). Also, a high stability of CSE over time is a prerequisite for subsequent analyses, which assume that CSE represent stable personality characteristics. The model, displayed in Figure 2, showed a good fit (χ2 = 21.17, df = 18, p = .27, RMSEA = .03, CFI = .99). Compared to a model without constrained factor loadings, the fit was not significantly worse (∆χ2 = 5.73, ∆df = 3, p = .13). All coefficients were significant with p < .01 (one-tailed). The test-retest correlation of latent CSE over the 2-year interval was very high (.87). Results confirm the commonly held assumption that the four CSE-variables are sufficiently stable to be seen as indicators of a common underlying trait.
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State-Trait Analysis: Separating the Trait-Variance of Job Satisfaction from the Changing Variance
To obtain the stable, trait-based portion of variance in job satisfaction relevant for Questions 1 and 2, we used a state-trait approach (e.g. Ormel & Schaufeli, 1991). This allows us to estimate those parts of variance in job satisfaction that are based on (a) dispositions and other stable factors that remain constant over time (trait-factor); (b) occasion-specific factors that are completely unstable such as rapidly changing mood states (Dwyer, 1983; Zapf, Dormann, & Frese, 1996); and (c) changes in job satisfaction that react to changes in job characteristics, in the organisation, and other situational variables that change over time to some degree (state-factors). Unlike occasion-factors, state-factors are not completely unstable, and unlike traitfactors, they are not completely stable. The state-trait model, which is shown in the top part of Figure 3, included a single trait-factor affecting latent job satisfaction at each wave of measurement. For reasons of identification, the effects of the trait-factor were assumed to be invariant across time. In addition, there are state-factors at each wave. Their effects on latent job satisfaction were assumed to be invariant, too, but their stabilities were estimated freely. There are also effects of occasion-factors. Technically, occasion-factors correspond to the amount of unexplained variance (latent disturbances) in latent job satisfaction after measurement errors, uniqueness/specificity (by means of error auto-correlations; see Edwards, 2001), the trait-factor, and state-factors are accounted for. The state-trait model showed a good model fit (χ2 = 15.11; df = 17; p = .59, RMSEA = .00, CFI = 1.00). As can be seen from Table 2, the state influences accounted on average for 62.00 per cent of variance, which is 2.5 times the variance explained by the trait-factor (24.25%). Occasion-factors explained the smallest amount of variance (13.75%).

Analysing Questions 1 and 2
We then analysed to what extent CSE explain the trait variance in job satisfaction (Question 1) and explored different types of structural relationships of CSE with trait job satisfaction (Question 2). Both questions are simultaneously dealt with. We proceeded as follows: the trait-factor of job satisfaction obtained from the previously described state-trait model (cf. Table 2, top Figure 3) was related to CSE. Thus, in contrast to Judge et al. (1998), who estimated the effects of CSE on job satisfaction per se, we used only the stable part of job satisfaction as the criterion variable. The correlations among the empirically derived trait-factor and the four CSE-variables are shown in Table 3. The sizes of the correlations among the
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FIGURE 3. Latent state-trait model of job satisfaction (top part) and regression of the stable factor on CSE (bottom part).
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TABLE 2 Standardised Estimates of Structural Parameters Obtained from a State-Trait Model of Job Satisfaction for N = 157 Job Stayers
Standardised coefficient State-factors Effects on Job Satisfaction 1991 1992 1993 1995 Average Stabilities 1991→1992 1992→1993 1993→1995 Trait-factor 1991 1992 1993 1995 Average Occasion-factors 1991 1992 1993 1995 Average % Explained variance in job satisfaction

.65** .81** .80** .87**

42 66 64 76 62.00

.56 .61** .66** .49* .51* .48* .49* 24 26 23 24 24.25 33 9 13 0 13.75

.33 .09 .13 .00

Note: ** p < .01; * p < .05 (one-tailed). The chi-square value was 15.11, df = 17, p = .59.

four CSE-variables were very similar to those reported by Judge et al. (2002, Study 3a, 3b, and 3c), and their order was the same as in their meta-analysis (Study 1), albeit smaller because the meta-analysis yielded corrected correlations. All CSE-variables were significantly correlated with the dispositional part of job satisfaction. In all analyses, we used the model shown in the top part of Figure 3 as a submodel by fixing all its parameters to the values obtained from the prior state-trait analysis. Then, only the residual variance of the trait-factor has to be estimated freely instead of fixing it at 1.0. We used the scale scores rather than a measurement model for each CSE-variable to keep the number of estimated parameters small. For each CSE-variable, the average of all items across all four waves was computed (except NA, which was only assessed in the last two waves).
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TABLE 3 Correlations of the Trait-factor of Job Satisfaction Obtained from the State-Trait Analysis and Core Self-Evaluation Variables for N = 157 Job Stayers
1 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Job satisfaction trait-factor Locus of control Self-esteem Self-efficacy Negative affectivity Gender Age 2 3 4 5 6 7

.65** .47** .52** −.74** −.23 .19

.28** .42** −.15* −.21* .15

.68** −.48** −.08 .01

−.42** −.22** −.22**

.13 −.03

−.04

Note: ** p < .01; * p < .05 (one-tailed). Gender: 1 = male, 2 = female. Job satisfaction trait-factor = traitfactor obtained from the state-trait model of job satisfaction (i.e. stable variance of job satisfaction); locus of control, self-esteem, and self-efficacy were aggregated across all four waves, and negative affectivity was aggregated across the final two waves.

We distinguished three potential ways in which CSE might be structurally related to the trait variance of job satisfaction (cf. Edwards, 2001): (1) CSE affect job satisfaction collectively as a set; (2) CSE are conceptualised as a superordinate construct; (3) CSE are modeled as an aggregate construct (cf. Figure 1). First, we tested the relations of the four CSE-variables conceptualised as a collective set, which is shown in the bottom part of Figure 3. The results of the regression analysis are shown in the top panel of Table 4 (block C1). There were two significant predictors. The strongest effect resulted for NA (−.65), followed by a similarly strong effect of LOC (.55). Controlling for age and gender did not alter these effects much (block C2). Removing selfesteem and self-efficacy from the analysis did not change the effects of NA and LOC (block C3). The variables in this regression analysis explained most of the variance of the trait-factor underlying job satisfaction (84%). Although LOC and NA correlated only moderately highly with job satisfaction per se, these two variables were very closely connected to its underlying trait-factor. Then we tested models in which CSE was conceptualised as a superordinate construct. The four concepts served as indicators of the latent factor CSE. There are three variants of the superordinate construct: (1) the four CSE-variables were modeled as parallel (equal loadings and error variances; Table 4, block S1), (2) tau equivalent (equal loadings; Table 4, block S2), and (3) congeneric (loadings and errors estimated freely; Table 4, block S3) dimensions of latent CSE. A statistical comparison of the explained variance achieved by the latent factor (i.e. the superordinate construct) with the variance explained by the
© 2006 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2006 International Association for Applied Psychology.

TABLE 4 Regression of the Latent Trait-factor Obtained from the State-Trait Analysis on the Core Self-Evaluation Variables (N = 157 Job Stayers)
Unstd. coefficient Std. T-value Coefficient

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Predictor -> Criterion C1 Locus of control -> trait-satisfaction Self-esteem -> trait-satisfaction Self-efficacy -> trait-satisfaction Negative affectivity -> trait-satisfaction C2 Gender -> trait-satisfaction Age -> trait-satisfaction Locus of control -> trait-satisfaction Self-esteem -> trait-satisfaction Self-efficacy -> trait-satisfaction Negative affectivity -> trait-satisfaction C3 Locus of control -> trait-satisfaction Negative affectivity -> trait-satisfaction S1 Latent CSE -> locus of control Latent CSE -> self-esteem Latent CSE -> self-efficacy Latent CSE -> negative affectivity Trait-satisfaction <- latent CSE S2 Latent CSE -> locus of control Latent CSE -> self-esteem Latent CSE -> self-efficacy Latent CSE -> negative affectivity Trait-satisfaction <- latent CSE

Model fit

Model comparison

1.21 −.04 .04 −1.34 .00 .03 1.24 −.30 .34 −1.28 1.22 −1.34

.28 .28 .28 −.28 .95 .30 .30 .30 −.30 .79

4 CSE-variables as collective set (multiple regression) 15.68 .55** χ2 = 46.22 (df = 63), p = .94 −.33 −.02 CFI = 1.00; RMSEA = .00 C1 vs. S1: ∆χ2 (∆df = 11) = 88.91** .46 .02 C1 vs. S2: ∆χ2 (∆df = 8) = 55.68** −17.92 −.65** R2 = .84 C1 vs. S3: ∆χ2 (∆df = 5) = 34.97** 4 CSE-variables plus gender and age as collective set (multiple regression) .02 .00 2.34 .30* χ2 = 58.63 (df = 77), p = .94 4.31 .56** CFI = 1.00; RMSEA = .00 −.63 −.11 .91 .17 −4.62 −.63** R2 = .92 2 CSE-variables as collective set (multiple regression) 4.58 .55** χ2 = 26.44 (df = 77), p = 1.00 −5.45 −.65** CFI = 1.00; RMSEA = .00 R2 = .84 CSE as superordinate construct (parallel common factor model) 12.57 .63** χ2 = 135.13 (df = 74), p = .00 12.57 .63** CFI = .93; RMSEA = .07 12.57 .63** −12.57 −.63** 6.36 .95** R2 = .91 CSE as superordinate construct (tau equivalent common factor model) 13.70 .59** χ2 = 101.90 (df = 71), p = .01 13.70 .80** CFI = .97; RMSEA = .05 13.70 .67** −13.70 −.60** S2 vs. S1: ∆χ2 (∆df = 3) = 33.23** 5.36 .79** R2 = .63

TABEL 4 Continued
Unstd. coefficient Std. T-value Coefficient

© 2006 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2006 International Association for Applied Psychology.

Predictor -> Criterion S3 Latent CSE -> locus of control Latent CSE -> self-esteem Latent CSE -> self-efficacy Latent CSE -> negative affectivity Trait-satisfaction <- latent CSE A1 Locus of control -> latent CSE Self-esteem -> latent CSE Self-efficacy -> latent CSE Negative affectivity -> latent CSE Trait-satisfaction <- latent CSE A2 Locus of control -> latent CSE Self-esteem -> latent CSE Self-efficacy -> latent CSE Negative affectivity -> latent CSE Trait-satisfaction <- latent CSE A3 Locus of control -> latent CSE Self-esteem -> latent CSE Self-efficacy -> latent CSE Negative affectivity -> latent CSE Trait-satisfaction <- latent CSE

Model fit

Model comparison

.20 .29 .41 −.27 .72

CSE as superordinate construct (congeneric common factor model) 5.29 .44** χ2 = 81.19 (df = 68), p = .13 10.49 .80** CFI = .99; RMSEA = .04 11.04 .83** −6.97 −.56** S3 vs. S1: ∆χ2 (∆df = 6) = 53.94** 4.92 .72** R2 = .52 S3 vs. S2: ∆χ2 (∆df = 6) = 20.71**

CSE as aggregate construct (weights from principal component analysis; residual = 0) .14f – .18** χ2 = 66.59 (df = 66), p = .46 .32f – .34** CFI = 1.00; RMSEA = .01 .34f – .47** −.20f – −.29** 2.12 5.78 .73** R2 = .54 CSE as aggregate construct (equal weights = 1; construct = sum of variables; residual = 0) 1.00f – .34** χ2 = 59.00 (df = 66), p = .72 1.00f – .27** CFI = 1.00; RMSEA = .00 1.00f – .37** 1.00f – −.37** .61 6.54 .81** R2 = .66 CSE as aggregate construct (freely estimated weights; residual = 0) 1.00f – .59** χ2 = 46.22 (df = 63), p = .94 A3 vs. A1: ∆χ2 (∆df = 3) = 20.37** −.03 −.09 −.02 CFI = 1.00; RMSEA = .00 A3 vs. A2: ∆χ2 (∆df = 3) = 12.78** .04 .12 .02 −1.11 −3.19 −.71** A3 vs. S1: ∆χ2 (∆df = 11) = 88.91** 1.21 4.17 .92** R2 = .84 A3 vs. S2: ∆χ2 (∆df = 8) = 55.68** A3 vs. S3: ∆χ2 (∆df = 5) = 34.97**

CORE SELF-EVALUATIONS

Note: * p < .05; ** p < .01. Parameters marked with “f ” were fixed. All three multiple regression models in the top panel were fully saturated; their degrees of freedom came from the fully fixed submodel in which the trait-variance of job satisfaction was extracted in order to serve as a criterion variable. Similarly, the part of model A3 which was actually tested was fully saturated, too.

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collective set does not make much sense, since the former always explains less variance in the criterion than the latter (Edwards, 2001). Furthermore, the power of this test (estimated using the procedure described in Jöreskog and Sörbom, 1989) is very low because the number of degrees of freedom of the model is very low (Marsh & Hau, 1999). For a probability level of .05, power is only .004 (for p = .10 it is approximately .016). This can be considered extremely low in view of Cohen’s (1988) recommendation for a statistical power of .80. Thus, the differences in the amount of explained variance between the two models should only be assessed at a descriptive level, and the degrees of freedom saved with a superordinate structure should be taken into account (Edwards, 2001). Among the three superordinate models tested, the model with congeneric dimensions fitted significantly better than the models with parallel and tau equivalent dimensions (see Table 4, block S3). Hence, the four CSE dimensions are not uniformly related to their superordinate common factor. Selfesteem and self-efficacy were most strongly associated with the common factor. Note that the previous analysis of CSE as a collective set has shown these two dimensions to be weakly associated with the stable part of job satisfaction. The amount of explained variance in the trait-factor explained by superordinate CSE was .52, which compares low to the value of .84 previously obtained when the four constructs were analysed separately (block C1). Although the difference was expected, it was not significant because of low statistical power (∆χ2 = 2.17, ∆df = 1, p > .15). Nevertheless, we feel that the difference, which is 32 per cent in explained variance, is quite large and it compares favorably to the loss of five degrees of freedom. Further, all superordinate models fitted significantly worse compared to Model C1 (collective set; see block C1). Thus, the superordinate CSE model, which assumes that the four variables share a common base responsible for the stable part of job satisfaction, seems to be overly broad; a collective consideration of NA and LOC is sufficient. The third type of CSE model was an aggregate construct, with the four CSE-variables as the causes of a latent factor. Again, there were three varieties. “Aggregate” CSE was modeled as a sum of its four dimensions with equal weights (Table 4, block A2), as a weighted sum with dimensions weights proportional to principal component loadings (Table 4, block A1), or as a sum with freely estimated weights (Table 4, block A3; for a detailed description of the models see Edwards, 2001). Models A1 and A2 can be statistically compared with Model A3, which shows that Model A3 fits best. Also, Model A3 fits better than any superordinate model. Models C1 and A3 show similar results because they are algebraically equivalent. This means that a model which allows NA and LOC to exert a direct effect on trait job satisfaction appears to be the most appropriate way of modeling CSE. In both models, NA and LOC have of
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the four CSE variables the strongest and the only significant effects; also, the explained variance is at .84 in both models comparatively high.

DISCUSSION
Previous research (e.g. Judge et al., 1998, 2000) looked at the relationship of the CSE components with the observed, i.e. full variance of job satisfaction, instead of the trait variance that it theoretically seeks to explain. We built on this research with the goal of estimating the extent to which the CSE-variables explain the trait-variance in job satisfaction (Question 1). The second goal of this study was to gain a better understanding of the appropriate structure of CSE-variables with job satisfaction (Question 2). Using a state-trait approach, we first separated the trait-variance of job satisfaction from other types of variance and then regressed job satisfaction on the CSE components. The two most important results will now be discussed in turn: first, NA and LOC were the best predictors of job satisfaction; second, results speak for a conceptualisation of the CSE-variables as an aggregate construct or collective set rather than the suggested superordinate construct. Negative affectivity and LOC together explain 84 per cent of the trait variance in job satisfaction. These two concepts represent a highly parsimonious set of dispositions, building the basis of trait job satisfaction. Of course, other personality variables are still worth considering. They will either explain the relatively small part of trait variance that remains unaccounted for by NA and LOC (16% in the present study), or they will be strongly correlated with NA or LOC to divert a bit of their explanatory value. For example, reviews and meta-analyses identified PA to be more strongly related to job satisfaction than other measures of affective disposition (Connolly & Viswesvaran, 2000; Dormann & Zapf, 2001). Positive Affectivity is negatively related to NA, and it is positively related to the other CSE-variables. Therefore, it is possible that including PA in addition to the CSE-variables would show that PA has a high impact on job satisfaction. Since a measure of PA was not available in the present study, it is left to future research to address this issue. Results on the structure of CSE raise an interesting question. The longitudinal measurement model on the one hand suggests that the four CSE-variables can be parsimoniously represented by a superordinate common factor, which represents a very stable (2-year test-retest correlation r = .87) disposition for positive self-evaluations. On the other hand, however, when the stable variance of job satisfaction was regressed on CSE, it turned out that conceptualisation of CSE as a superordinate construct performs considerably worse than treating CSE as a collective set of variables or as an aggregate construct. Within the collective set, only NA and LOC
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impact on job satisfaction, and the same applies to CSE as an aggregate construct. This highlights an important discrepancy because in terms of factor loadings, NA and LOC have weaker associations with latent CSE compared to self-esteem and self-efficacy. This was also the case for all three samples analysed by Judge et al. (1998; see also Judge, Erez, Bono, & Thoresen, 2003). Thus, even though CSE is well modeled as a superordinate concept (characterised by properties of a trait), which is primarily characterised by self-efficacy and self-esteem, it is rather NA and LOC which make a significant contribution to job satisfaction. This result is also corroborated by the fact that the pattern of associations among the CSE-variables was very similar to patterns obtained by other authors (e.g. Judge et al., 2002). Locus of control typically exhibits low correlations with core self-evaluations, and “whether LOC belongs in core self-evaluations theory is an issue worthy of further research” (Judge et al., 2003, p. 325). The question then is what is the meaning of CSE if LOC is removed? It may then be accurate and parsimonious to conceptualise CSE as a broadened neuroticism concept, including dysphoric beliefs about one’s capabilities (Judge & Bono, 2001b). This notion is empirically supported because NA and LOC exhibit the clearest discriminant validity among the four CSE-variables (Judge et al., 2002). Taken together, there is evidence suggesting that CSE has two main elements, one closely related to LOC and the other to negative affect at work. Hence, our findings underscore the Judge et al. model in some respects; however, they challenge the current conceptualisation of CSE as a superordinate latent concept for job satisfaction research. Research on CSE in other areas such as work motivation, stress, and performance will certainly benefit from following this analytical process. We move on to discussing more specifically the results on NA and LOC. Our results on NA emphasise the importance of analysing the trait variance of job satisfaction instead of its observed (full) variance. Like previous research (Dormann & Zapf, 2001; Connolly & Viswesvaran, 2000), we found the direct relationship between NA and observed job satisfaction to be moderately high (see Table 1). Negative affectivity makes up an important part of the stable variance in job satisfaction, but since the stable variance makes up only a small portion in observed measures of job satisfaction (around 25%), the effect of NA on job satisfaction measurements is rather limited. An important finding is that LOC represents a major dispositional cause of job satisfaction. Control appears to be a vital antecedent for general wellbeing (cf. Frese, 1989). White (1959) argued that there is a need for control. When the need for control is not satisfied, humans tend to feel dissatisfied. According to Miller (1979), perceived control represents a safety signal: a person with perceived control knows that she or he can do something about the job situation if necessary. This does not require that control be actually exerted. It seems to suffice that individuals believe they can control their
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environment to react in a relatively relaxed manner to threatening situations (cf. Glass & Singer, 1972). Perhaps individuals with an internal LOC even spend less effort to impact on their environment than individuals with an external LOC because individuals sometimes benefit from not investing effort to control their situation. Schönpflug (1983) suggested that exerting control, for example, in order to cope with unfavorable working conditions, has its drawbacks. It requires and depletes mental resources (see also Muraven & Baumeister, 2000), and a resources loss represents a psychological threat in its own right (Hobfoll, 1989). Thus, an internal LOC may be more important for individuals’ job satisfaction than actually available control. Another issue is whether the results may generalise to other cultures and language areas. What speaks clearly for the generalisability is that some patterns of results that emerged from this study are similar to other studies and meta-analyses (Dormann & Zapf, 2001; Judge & Bono, 2001a; Judge et al., 2002). Although the data were collected in East Germany following the unification with West Germany, which created a volatile situation, the situation quickly became more stabilised. Also, although the job stayers analysed in the present study had to adapt to rapid changes in work organisation and technology, and many of them can be characterised as survivors of mass layoffs, we feel that this applies to more and more employees in Western countries, too. This study employed a measure of job satisfaction that captured different specific facets; it is an open question whether our results extend to global measures. On the one hand, it has been argued that averaging facet satisfactions comes close to assessing global satisfaction (e.g. Wanous, 1974). On the other hand, some facets may be more susceptible to trait influences than others (cf. Arvey et al., 1989). Fisher (2000) has shown that global satisfaction is more strongly affected by emotions than compounds of facet satisfaction, suggesting that affective traits may be more relevant for global satisfaction than for compounds of facets as used in our study. Thus, our approach may have helped to detect more variance caused by the work environment than a Kunin (faces) scale would have detected. Future research should, therefore, consider other measures of job satisfaction, for example global measures to validate the present findings. Some methodological constraints may lead to a small overestimation of the direct effects of the trait-factor on job satisfaction. A problem related to the state-trait decomposition is that multiple traits and multiple situational factors exist, which cannot be modeled appropriately. The trait-factor might comprise several sources of stability in addition to personality variables. For instance, if certain working conditions did not change across the four waves, the effect of the trait-factor in terms of personality influences is overestimated. In addition, the state-factors comprise all changing influences, which
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may in sum have stronger effects when accounted for separately. Also, one might argue that the trait-factor may affect the state-factors. This cannot be modeled because such a model is not identified (i.e. the structural equations cannot be solved). If it were possible, such effects would reduce the direct effect of the trait-factor and increase the direct effects of the state-factors. Finally, state-trait interactions could not be modeled; however, we did a series of simulations suggesting the potential bias to be very small. We conclude with a remark on an issue that has re-emerged ever since the onset of research on job satisfaction in terms of a trait. A question relevant to both researchers and practitioners is to what extent observed job satisfaction is based on a trait. If a high proportion of observed job satisfaction were based on traits, the use of job satisfaction measures, for example, to evaluate working conditions or job redesign interventions would be utterly useless. We believe that existing indirect approaches overestimated the part of variance attributable to dispositions; we tried to obtain more reliable estimates by partitioning the variance of job satisfaction into measurement error, uniqueness, unstable occasion-factors, intermediately stable situational factors, and stable trait-like causes. Results show that on average 24.25 per cent of the variance in job satisfaction is influenced by stable variables such as dispositions, whereas 62.00 per cent is attributable to changing factors in the environment. As previously described, the make-up of our sample should maximise the proportion of dispositional variance. Estimation of less than 25 per cent of variance in job satisfaction being dispositional clearly speaks for the usefulness of job satisfaction measures to assess working conditions.

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