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Determinants of Managerial Job Satisfaction in a Private Organisation

Author(s): Rama J. Joshi and Baldev R. Sharma

Source: Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Jul., 1997), pp. 48-67
Published by: Shri Ram Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources
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IJIR, Vol. 33, No. 1, July 1997



Rama J. Joshi and Baldev R. Sharma

The present study examines the role of job and organisation re

lated factors on job satisfaction among managerial employees. One
hundred twenty four managers drawn from various departments
and levels in a private sector organisation participated in the study.
The findings indicate that all the 15 job and organisation related
variables are positively and significantly related to managerial job

satisfaction. Further statistical analysis/ using the multiple re

gression technique, suggest only two variables, i.e. Job Content
and Training to be the best predictors of job satisfaction.

The current economic environment in India has posed increased

challenges for business and industry to be competitive, both na

tionally and internationally, which in turn require these organisa
tions to perform better in terms of productivity, quality, time and
service. Forward looking organisations, in such a climate, are tak
ing steps to undergo massive cultural change so as to bring about
reciprocal changes in their performance. In this context it would be
meaningful to identify and delineate the critical factors in the or

ganisational environment that have the most positive impact on

Mrs. Rama J. Joshi is Professor and Dr. Baldev R. Sharma Executive Director,
Shri Ram Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, New Delhi. The
authors thank the management of the company as well as the individual managers
for their cooperation and help while conducting the study.

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Determinants of Managerial Job Satisfaction


the performance of the enterprise. Among various factors, people's

attitudes and feelings regarding their jobs and/or job experiences
have been found to significantly affect both their personal behav
iour as well as job behaviour. This pleasurable emotional state aris
ing from the appraisal of one's job or job experiences is called job
satisfaction (Locke, 1976).

The-concept of job satisfaction is central to many aspects of

industrial and organisational behaviour. This could perhaps ac
count for this concept being one of the most researched topics.
The extent to which employees are satisfied with their jobs has,
therefore, been of considerable interest to both scholars and prac

titioners. The term job satisfaction is viewed as a "positive atti

tude towards one's work, which is global in nature and which re
sults from many specific job-related experiences" (Sharma and
Bhaskar, 1991a).
Earlier studies on job satisfaction explored the role of demo
graphic and background factors besides the predisposing effects
of personality variables. Several studies have also been conducted
to test motivational theories of Herzberg (1966) and Maslow (1954).

The findings of these researches have produced mixed and gener

ally inconclusive results. For example, researchers have found a
positive and linear relationship between age and job satisfaction
(Krishnan & Krishnan, 1994; White & Spector, 1987; Lindstrom,
1988). However, some researchers have found the opposite results
(Kacmar & Ferris, 1989; Snyder & Mayo, 1991).
Significant relationships have been found between various as
pects of personality and job satisfaction. Pandey and Prakash (1984)
found, in a study of industrial employees, that respondents with
high achievement motivation were more satisfied than those with
low achievement motivation. Jagdish (1985) reported a significant
positive correlation between job satisfaction and self-esteem. Gable

and Topal (1987) have found a significant negative correlation be

tween Machiavellianism and job satisfaction.

Several researchers have examined the relationship between

job satisfaction and certain job characteristics. Lindstrom (1988)

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Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

found independence, high content variety, the job itself and job
security to be the main sources of job satisfaction. Lambert (1991)
found that jobs that provided workers with the opportunity to do
a variety of tasks and to do work that was personally meaningful

promoted job satisfaction, job involvement and intrinsic motiva

tion. Similarly, Kahn and Robertson (1992) reported that type of
training and previous work experience added little more to the
job holder's job satisfaction than was predicted by the job charac
teristics model. Mathew (1992) identified the relative frequency of
various activities actually performed by managers in different types

of organisations and found that these had significant impact on

their satisfaction with job.

The relationship between job satisfaction and certain organi

sational characteristics has also been examined by several research

ers. Organisational climate has been found to be a significant de

terminant of job satisfaction in many studies. In a comparative
study of American and Indian employees of manufacturing or
ganisations, Krishnan and Krishnan (1984) found that leadership
style and participation in decision making were significant corre
lates of job satisfaction for American respondents, whereas recog

nition and advancement, innovation and change, and absence of

intradepartmental as well as interdepartmental conflicts were sig
nificant correlates of job satisfaction for the Indian respondents.
Pratap and Srivastava (1985) reported significant differences between
private and public sector employes in terms of job satisfaction and

organisational climate, with private firm employees being more

satisfied and finding their organisational climate to be better.
Srivastava (1987) reported a significant correlation between job sat
isfaction and organisation climate in a study of junior and middle
level central government officers.
Similarly, Sharma and Sharma (1989) found significant positive

correlations between job satisfaction and dimensions of organisa

tional climate. These correlations were higher for subordinates in
terms of leadership and communication dimensions and higher for
officers in terms of interaction, influence, decision making and goal
setting dimensions of organisational climate.

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Determinants of Managerial Job Satisfaction

In a study by Kline and Boyd (1991), respondents at the highest

management level reported highest job satisfaction. For presidents,
satisfaction was related to the organisation's structure and context
as well as to its climate, whereas for middle managers and vice presi
dents, job satisfaction was related more frequently to the organisa
tion's climate and less frequently to its structure and context. Sharma

and Bhaskar (1991a) have found "recognition and appreciation" as

important determinant of job satisfaction in their study of engineers

in a public sector undertaking. In another study by Sharma and

Bhaskar (1991b), "objectivity and rationality" emerged as powerful
determinant of job satisfaction.

Mishra (1992) found significant differences between respond

ents from public and private sectors with regard to the climate-sat
isfaction relationship on such dimensions as scope for advancement,
monetary benefits, objectivity and rationality, recognition and ap
preciation, training and education, and welfare facilities. Sinha and
Singh (1995) found that nature of work and human relations con
tributed directly to satisfying nature of job in the case of managers.

A vast majority of studies have provided evidence for correlation

between job satisfaction and participation (Miller & Monge, 1986;
Singh & Pestonjee, 1990).
The foregoing review of literature indicates that a wide variety
of factors have been studied in relation to job satisfaction which can

be grouped into two broad categories; (a) person-related factors,

and (b) organisation-related factors. Studies that examined the role
of both personal and organisational factors as determinants of job
satisfaction have found that between the two sets of factors, organi

sational factors play a more decisive role in influencing job satisfac

tion (Sharma and Bhaskar, 1991a, 1991b).


In view of the higher predictive value of organisational factors
over personal factors, as suggested by the foregoing review of lit

erature, the present study is designed to focus on organisational

predictors of job satisfaction among managerial employees. The
objectives of the study are (a) to ascertain the level of job satisfac
tion of managerial employees and (b) to identify the situational fac

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Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

tors that influence job satisfaction among this segment of the em

ployee population.

The present study is different from many earlier studies in that

it measures job satisfaction not by a single item but through a scale
comprising of 8 items. Moreover, this study focuses on managerial
job satisfaction while most earlier studies focused on job satisfac
tion among workmen or supervisory employees.


The study was carried out by the first author in a private sector

organisation located in Gujarat. The organisation is engaged in the

manufacture of viscose filament yarn and its by-products. A sam
ple of 124 managers was drawn randomly from all departments
and functions of the organisation and represents about 25 per cent
of all junior, middle and senior level managers upto the rank of
senior vice president.

The mean age of the respondents was 39 years, with approxi

mately 22 per cent being more than 50 years old and about one-fourth
(25.81 per cent) being 30 years old or less. With respect to their work
experience, about one-fourth of them had total work experience of 5
years or less and another about one-fourth of more than 25 years.
The average total work experience was 16 years out of which 11 years

were spent in the present company. The level of education of the

sampled managers was quite high, with about 42 per cent having
college degrees like.B.A/B.Sc. or M.A/M.Sc, etc. and the remaining
58 per cent having professional qualifications like MBA, Engineer
ing, etc. The average monthly salary of the respondents comes to Rs.
7,300, with about 13 per cent earning more than Rs. 11,000 per month
and about 40 per cent earning Rs. 5,000 or less. More details of the

background profile of the sample are given in Appendix I, in the

form of five frequency distribution tables.

The Measures
Data for the study were collected through a specially designed

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Determinants of Managerial Job Satisfaction


questionnaire administered to the managers in small groups. The

questionnaire consisted of several parts as shown below:
(i) Job Satisfaction: In the present study a multiple item scale
was used to measure job satisfaction. A total of 8 items were used
which were in the nature of general evaluative reactions to the job
without referring to its specific dimensions or characteristics. Each
item had a four-point rating scale ranging from "not at all true" (0)
to "very much true" (3). Thus, the total score on the job satisfaction
scale ranged between 0 and 24. The reliability of the scale was ascer
tained by computing Cronbach Alpha, which was found to be quite

high (alpha = .87).

(ii) Organisational Characteristics: Fourteen organisational char

acteristics were included in the study. A list of these characteristics
is provided in Table 1 (Variables 1 to 14). Taken together, responses
to these 14 variables enable us to capture the internal environment
or climate of the organisation. We maintain that organisational cli

mate results from the sum total of various personnel /HRM poli
cies, norms and practices followed by the management. Employee
perception of organisational climate is known to influence their
motivation and behaviour.
(iii) Job Content : Job content as a variable has been used in
research in two ways. Firstly, it has been used as a measure to tap
people's perceptions of certain job. characteristics like skill variety,
autonomy, task identity, feedback, dealing with others, friendship

opportunities, etc. These have been called the core and interper
sonal dimensions of the job (Hackman and Lawler, 1971). There have
been variations of the initial job dimensions scale as, for example,
Job Characteristics Model of Hackman and Oldham, 1976. Secondly,

some other researchers, on the basis of factor analysis, have ob

tained a single composite factor (Pierce and Dunham, 1978), which
has been named job complexity, job scope (Stone, 1974) or subjec
tive job complexity (Wilk and Sackett, 1996). Warr, Cook and Wall
(1979) used a single construct called perceived intrinsic job charac
teristics. In the present study, a 9-item scale has been used as a sin

gle composite measure of job content. This 9-item scale includes

questions assessing the perceived variety, autonomy, challenge and
significance of work assigned to a person.

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Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

Job satisfaction (dependent variable) has been examined in rela

tion to the 15 organisational and job related factors mentioned above.

A list of all 16 variables is given in Table 1 along with relevant de

tails such as the number of items in each scale, score range and
coefficient of reliability (Cronbach Alpha). Table 1 shows that all
variables used in this study have been measured with the help of
multi-item scales, which were found to be quite reliable.

Table 2 presents the major findings of the study in terms of mean

scores and standard deviations of each of the selected variables. A

look at the column "mean score as percentage" shows wide varia

tion in the ratings given to different variables ranging from 43.19
per cent (monetary benefits) to 74.19 per cent (job content). Using
these two extreme points as the lower and upper ends of the con

tinuum, the mean scores were categorised into low, medium and
high groups, as shown below:

Mean Score as %

43% ?53%
54% ? 63%
64% ? 74%



Using the above classification, the 15 independent variables are

re-arranged into three groups of "most well looked after", "moder
ately well looked after" and "least well looked after" as shown in the

chart on facing page.

It is clear from the rankings in the chart that the three features
of the organisation which are perceived to be most well looked after
are job content, training and communication. Job content is known

to have significant influence upon employee attitudes and behav

iour. The highest mean score on this dimension indicates that the
managers in this company perceive their jobs as interesting, chal
lenging and significant, besides providing opportunities for par
ticipation, interaction and autonomy.

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Determinants of Managerial Job Satisfaction

Most well

looked after

Job Content

Moderately well

Least well


looked after

looked after



Top Management
Commitment to HRD


Resourcing and

Objectivity and


Recognition and









Support and Warmth Monetary



Career / Succession

Scope for Advancement


Both training and communication fall in the high ranking

category, though well below the rating given to job content. This
indicates that, in the eyes of the respondents, adequate training
facilities are available, the training provided is relevant to the work
assigned, the quality of trainers is good, and there is follow-up of
training. With respect to communication, we may conclude that there
is adequate sharing of information on policy, goals and objectives
of the organisation and that the seniors lend their ears to the juniors.
Seven out of the 15 independent variables fall in the moderately
well looked after category. These are the human resource manage

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Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

ment practices of the organisation, namely, performance appraisal,

resourcing and recruiting, recognition and appreciation, participative
management, support and warmth, career/succession planning and

scope for advancement. In other words, the respondents seem to

feel that the management is not doing as much as it should in look
ing after the said aspects of the organisational climate.

The least well looked after dimensions of the organisation are

top management commitment to human resource development, ob
jectivity and rationality in HRM, provision of adequate welfare fa
cilities, grievance handling and monetary benefits. The fact that these
climate dimensions are given relatively low ratings shows that there
is vast scope for improvement in these five aspects of organisational


In so far as job satisfaction is concerned, the mean score for the

sample works out to 68.08 per cent. Using the same classification
(as the one used for independent variables), one finds job satisfac
tion to be falling in the most highly rated category. This suggests
that the managers in this company are highly satisfied with their


To sum up, the average manager in the company is 39 years

old, with total work experience of 16 years (11 years in the present
company), and is earning a monthly salary of Rs. 7,300/-. The aver
age manager is at least a college graduate with 58 per cent of them
having a professional degree like engineering, MBA, etc. In terms
of his organisational experience, the job content is perceived to be
quite rich, whereas other organisational characteristics are not per
ceived consistently in the same manner. Of the 14 organisational

climate dimensions studied, two are perceived quite favourably,

seven are given moderate ratings, while another five are perceived
as relatively neglected. Insofar as job satisfaction is concerned, the
managerial employees of this company are found to be highly sat
isfied with their jobs.


The foregoing findings indicate the strengths and weaknesses
of the organisation, as seen through the eyes of the respondents.

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Determinants of Managerial Job Satisfaction

The 16 variables selected for this study were cross-tabulated with

one another and the results thereof are reported in Table 3 in the
form of an inter-correlation matrix. As seen from this matrix, all 15

independent variables are positively and significantly related to job


The fact that all 15 variables are significantly related to job satis
faction does not mean that all of them necessarily influence job sat
isfaction. As seen from the inter-correlation matrix, most of the in

dependent variables are highly correlated with one another, which

means that the so-called independent variables are not really inde
pendent'. This problem of multi-collinearity makes it difficult to
interpret the observed bivariate relationships and hence calls for
multivariate analysis of data.

In the light of the above reasoning, the findings reported in

Table 3 were subjected to further analysis using step-wise multi

ple regression technique. The purpose of this analysis was to

identify a combination of independent variables that is capable

of explaining maximum variance in job satisfaction. Out of a large

number of combinations and permutations possible, only two

variables (job content and training), which explained 55.62 per
cent of the variance, were found to be the best predictors of job
satisfaction. Individual contribution of these two predictors in
the best equation is given below (see also the accompanying dia


Var. Variables Zero-Order Std. Beta Individual

No. Correlation Coefficient Contribution



Job Content


*p < .001


(A x B)







Total (R2) -.55623

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58 Indian Journal of Industrial Relations



/ / \ w \

? R21.23 = .5562 \ ^\

/ / VSA

/ JOB \ R223 = 24 1 TRAINI

Figure 1: Determinants of Job Satisfaction

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Determinants of Managerial Job Satisfaction


Two things are indicated by the results of the multiple regres

sion analysis reported above. One, out of the large number of com
binations and permutations possible, no other combination of vari
ables can explain more variance in job satisfaction than that explained
by the above - mentioned pair. Two, when the influence of these
two variables is controlled, none of the remaining 13 independent
variables is capable of making any significant contribution in influ
encing job satisfaction, as may be seen from the following 2nd-or

der partial correlations:

SI. Independent Variables 2nd-Order t-value p

No. Partial Corr*

1. Scope for Advancement +.0934 1.034 n.s.

2. Grievance Handling -.0295 0.324 n.s.

3. Monetary Benefits +.1033 1.138 n.s.
4. Participation +.1695 1.884 n.s.
5. Objectivity & Rationality +.1256 1.387 n.s.
6. Recognition & Appreciation -.0599 0.658 n.s.
7. Welfare Facilities +.0839 0.922 n.s.

8. Support and Warmth +.0831 0.914 n.s

9. Communication +.1137 1.253 n.s.

10. Top Management Commitment +.1279 1.413

11. Resourcing & Recruiting +.0477 0.523

12. Career/Succession Planning +.0633 0.695

13. Performance Appraisal +.1668 1.853

*Each 2nd-order partial correlation depicts the relationship between a

independent variable and job satisfaction after the effect of the two best pr

(job content and training) has been controlled.

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Indian Journal of Industrial Relations


This study, as already acknowledged, is of limited scope. Al
though a wide variety of variables, including demographic, per

sonality, job and organisation related variables, are known to influ

ence job satisfaction, the present study has examined the role of
only the last two sets of variables. Our decision to limit the scope of
the study only to the contextual factors was guided by two consid
erations. One, job and organisational characteristics are reported to

have a higher predictive power than personal, traits or attributes

and, two, the contextual factors are more amenable to control and
modification than is the case with personal factors.

The findings of this study lend ample support to the premise

that contextual factors do have a major role to play in influencing
job satisfaction. The two contextual factors (job content and train
ing) together account for more than half of the variance in job satis
faction. Given the fact that it is a study of a single organisation with
a relatively small sample, it would be presumptuous on our part to

draw any bold generalisations from it. However, the findings of

this study being in general agreement with the findings of previous
studies, we must take serious note of the same.
The theoretical significance of the findings of this study is note
worthy. Both job content and training belong to the group of vari
ables identified by Herzberg as satisfiers or motivators. That none
of the hygiene factors (e.g., monetary benefits, welfare facilities,

grievance handling, etc.) has featured in the best equation lends

further support to the two-factor theory of Herzberg. The said two

predictors of job satisfaction cater to the satisfaction of higher-order

needs called ego or esteem needs in the need hierarchy model pro
posed by Maslow. Both of them are being very well looked after by
the organisation and, consequently, the respondents are highly sat
isfied with their jobs.
Finally, this study is based on a modest attempt at multivariate
analysis using multi-item scales that are sufficiently reliable. In the
area of research on job satisfaction, far too many studies are based
on scales whose reliabilities are seldom reported. Also, most of them

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Determinants of Managerial Job Satisfaction

rarely go beyond bivariate analysis of data. That one-to-one rela

tionship can be misleading should be apparent from the fact that
while all 15 independent variables were found to be significantly
related to job satisfaction, only two of them were really important
in explaining why some employees were more satisfied than others
with their jobs. In the light of this, it seems more appropriate for

future research to employ techniques of multivariate analysis in

order to draw conclusions that are reliable and valid.


1. Age Distribution






Work Experience (in the

Present Company)

Per cent


X = 39 years


I- 5
II- 15

Total 124




X = 11 years

2. Total Work Experience

Years No. Per cent

I- 5
II- 15

Years No. Per cent

4. Level of Education
No. Per cent


General 52 41.94


Professional 72 58.06




Total 124



(Eng., MBA etc.)


X = 16" years

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Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

5. Monthly Salary

Rupees No. Per cent

3000-5000 29 39-52
6000-8000 47 37.90
9000-11000 12 9.68

12000-14000 5 4.03
15000 and above 11 8.87

Total 124 100.00

X = Rs. 7,300

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64 Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

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Determinants of Managerial Job Satisfaction

Table 1: Description and Statistical Properties of the Selected Variables.

SI. No. Variable

No. of



1. Scope for


2. Grievance Handling


3. Monetary Benefits


4. Participative


5. Objectivity &


6. Recognition &


7. Training


8. Welfare


9. Support & Warmth


10. Communication


11. Top Management


12. Resourcing &


13. Career Planning


14. Performance


15. Job Content


16. Job Satisfaction








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Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

Table 2: Mean Score, Mean as Per cent and Standard Deviations of the Selected Variables


Mean Score
X as %

Scope for



Grievance Handling



Monetary Benefits






Objectivity &



Recognition &









Support & Warmth








Resourcing &



Career Planning






Job Content



Job Satisfaction





Top Management



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JC(15)1.0 .71

C/SP (13) 1.00 .51 .33 .35

RES (12) 1.00 .42 .43 .43 .41

(9) TMC
WEL (8) 1.00 .33 .43 .36 .14 .37 .25 .31 .30

TRG (7) 1.00 .27 .51 .49 .43 .51 .48 .53. .49 .54
REC (6) 1.00 .60 .56 .56 .51 .51 .42 .55 .51 .40 .35

_(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16)

OBJ (5) 1.00 .60 .41 .50 .36 .42 .33 .27 .51 .40 .34 .38
PAR (4) 1.00 .38 .57 .51 .36 .62 .62 .52 .46 .37 .48 .45 .48

MON (3) 1.00 .37 .40 .49 .34 .54 .33 .45 .41 .27 .28 .36 .31 .33
GRI (2) 1.00 .52 .49 .49 .63 .42 .50 .48 .46 .51 .25 .46 .42 .37 .31

ADV(l) 1.00 .66 .40 .35 .48 .52 .45 .49 .42 .42 .51 .31 .50 .38 .46 .44

ion Matrix of the Dependent and Independent Variables

Critical r values = .1757 (.05 level), .2296 (.01

PA(14)1.0 .37.4

JS (16) 1.00

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