You are on page 1of 5

Definition Various authors and researchers have proposed models of Quality of working life which include a wide range

of factors. Selected models are reviewed below. Hackman and Oldham (1976) drew attention to what they described as psychological growth needs as relevant to the consideration of Quality of working life. Several such needs were identified; Skill variety, Autonomy and Task Identity, Feedback Task significance, They suggested that such needs have to be addressed if employees are to experience high quality of working life. In contrast to such theory based models, Taylor (1979) more pragmatically identified the essential components of Quality of working life as; Basic 1.0) extrinsic job factors of wages, hours and working conditions, 2.0) intrinsic job notions of the nature of the work itself. He suggested that a number of other aspects could be added, including; individual power, 1) Employee participation in the 5) Self development, management, 6) A meaningful future at work, 2) Fairness and equity, 7) Social relevance of the work 3) Social support, or product, 4) Use of one’s present skills, 8) Effect on extra work activities. Taylor suggested that relevant Quality of working life concepts may vary according to organisation and employee group. Warr and colleagues (1979), in an investigation of Quality of working life, considered a range of apparently relevant factors, including 1 work involvement, 5 job satisfaction, 2 intrinsic job motivation, 6 life satisfaction, 3 higher order need strength, 7 happiness, and 4 perceived intrinsic job 8 self-rated anxiety characteristics, They discussed a range of correlations derived from their work, such as those 1) between work involvement and job satisfaction, 2) intrinsic job motivation and job satisfaction, and 3) perceived intrinsic job characteristics and job satisfaction. In particular, Warr et al. found evidence for a moderate association between total job satisfaction and total life satisfaction and happiness, with a less strong, but significant association with self-rated anxiety.

including: 1) Poor working 6) Lack of involvement in environments. whilst some authors have emphasized the workplace aspects in Quality of working life. 11) Lack of opportunity 5) Shift work. A) safe work environment. 8) Turn-over intentions. psychological well being. 3) Workload. Baba and Jamal also explored routinisation of job content. Some have argued that quality of working life might vary between groups of workers. opportunities for B) equitable wages. others have identified the relevance of personality factors. served as the main focus of attention. however. Sirgy et al. C) Equal employment opportunities and Baba and Jamal (1991) listed what they described as typical indicators of quality of working life. family. commitment and 4) work role conflict. 7) organizational 3) work role ambiguity. For example. Factors more obviously and directly affecting work has. 7) Professional isolation. 6) job stress. to learn new skills. as researchers have tried to tease out the important influences on Quality of working life in the workplace. 2) Resident aggression. advancement. Mirvis and Lawler (1984) suggested that Quality of working life was associated with a) satisfaction with wages. Unable to 8) Lack of recognition.. (2001) suggested that the key factors in quality of working life are: 1) Need satisfaction based on 2) Need satisfaction based on job requirements. b) hours and working conditions. 5) work role overload. 2) job involvement. . Describing the “basic elements of a good quality of work life” as.Thus. decision making. supervisor/peers. including: 1) job satisfaction. and broader concepts of happiness and life satisfaction. Ellis and Pompli (2002) identified a number of factors contributing to job dissatisfaction and quality of working life in nurses. 4) Balance of work and 10) Role conflict. Work environment. deliver quality of care 9) Poor relationships with preferred. suggesting that this facet should be investigated as part of the concept of quality of working life.

Social. The Hygiene factors or dissatisfaction-avoidance factors include aspects of the job environment such as interpersonal relationships. These attempts at defining quality of working life have included theoretical approaches. with the individual’s current state (Lawler and Porter. working conditions and security. responsibility and advancement. indicating that different concerns might have to be addressed for different groups. 1982)(15). the work itself. aspirations. Actualization. and expectations. whilst achievement can be the greatest source of extreme satisfaction. It has been suggested that Motivator factors are intrinsic to the job. It has generally been agreed however that Quality of Working Life is conceptually similar to well-being of employees but differs from job satisfaction which solely represents the workplace domain (Lawler. Efraty. 4) Need satisfaction based on Ancillary programmes. intermediate clerical. In summary. where it has been considered. Sirgy. and distinguished between causes of dissatisfaction in professionals. covering Health & safety. They defined quality of working life as satisfaction of these key needs through resources. the most common cause of job dissatisfaction can be company policy and administration. Siegel & Lee. or need to be specific to each work setting. Bearfield. Herzberg at al.3) Need satisfaction based on 5) Organizational Supervisory behavior. although the relevance of nonwork aspects is play down as attention is focussed on quality of work life rather than the broader concept of quality of life. . The distinction made between job satisfaction and dissatisfaction in quality of working life reflects the influence of job satisfaction theories. for example. commitment. lists of identified factors. (2003)used 16 questions to examine quality of working life. (1959)used “Hygiene factors” and “Motivator factors” to distinguish between the separate causes of job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction. Of these latter. Cook & Wall.and comparisons of internalised ideals. Further. Economic and family. job content. 2001 (11) and Warr. and outcomes stemming from participation in the workplace. An individual’s experience of satisfaction or dissatisfaction can be substantially rooted in their perception. authors differ in their views on the core constituents of Quality of Working Life (e.g. salary. correlational analyses. 1979)(7). Knowledge and Aesthetics. with opinions varying as to whether such definitions and explanations can be both global. rather than simply reflecting their “real world”. 1966) (1). Esteem. activities. sales and service workers. that is. Maslow’s needs were seen as relevant in underpinning this model. an individual’s perception can be affected by relative comparison – am I paid as much as that person ..

indicates that this assessment device should prove to be a useful instrument. The WRQoWL measure uses 6 core factors to explain most of the variation in an individuals quality of working life: 1) Job and Career Satisfaction. For example. or even something they don’t even expect to enjoy. such as job satisfaction. the Work-Related Quality of Life scale (WRQoL). But when it is quiet enough they don’t feel pleased or happy . but which seem to make people feel bad about work if those things are absent. noise – if the place where someone works is too noisy. work-related stress and the relationship between work and non-work life domains (Loscocco & Roschelle.Quality of Working Life is not a unitary concept. but also factors that broadly reflect life satisfaction and general feelings of well-being (Danna & Griffin. Most people recognise the importance of sleeping well. work-related stress and the home-work interface. Worrall and Cooper (2006) recently reported that a low level of wellbeing at work is estimated to cost about 5-10% of Gross National Product per annum. 1999)(16). yet Quality of Working Life as a theoretical construct remains relatively unexplored and unexplained within the organizational psychology research literature. But all too often. general well-being. but has been seen as incorporating a hierarchy of perspectives that not only include workbased factors such as job satisfaction. Some of the factors used to measure quality of working life pick up on things that don’t actually make people feel good. .they just don’t feel bad. they might get frequent headaches. and of those that exist few have evidence of validity and reliability. that is. satisfaction with pay and relationships with work colleagues. 4) Home-Work Interface. and actively try to enjoy the leisure time that they can snatch. 2) Working Conditions. people tend to see work as something they just have to put up with. there is a very limited literature based on peer reviewed evaluations of available assessments. A recent statistical analysis of a new measure. 5) Stress at Work and 3) General Well-Being. More recently. A large chunk of most peoples’ lives will be spent at work. This can apply to a range of factors that affect someone's working conditions. and so feel dissatisfied. 6) Control at Work. Applications Regular assessment of Quality of Working Life can potentially provide organizations with important information about the welfare of their employees. 1991) (17) have also been identified as factors that should conceptually be included in Quality of Working Life. although further evaluation would be useful. Measurement There are few recognized measures of quality of working life. or find they can not concentrate.

Similarly. . opportunities for career progression and using their abilities can contribute to someone's quality of working life. not too much) can make them feel good. Challenging work (not too little.Other things seem to be more likely to make people feel good about work and themselves once the basics are OK at work.