Job Satisfaction: Application, Assessment, Causes, and Consequences


Paul E. Spector

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  • Advanced Topics in Organizational Behavior

    The Advanced Topics in Organizational Behavior series examines current and emerging issues in the field of organizational behavior. Written by researchers who are widely acknowledged subject area experts, the books provide an authoritative, up-to-date review of the conceptual, research, and practical implications of the major issues in organizational behavior.

    Editors:Julian Barling, Queen's University
    Kevin Kelloway, University of Guelph
    Editorial Board:Victor M. Catano, Saint Mary's University
    Cary L. Cooper, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology
    Daniel G. Gallagher, James Madison University
    Jean Hartley, University of Warwick
    Denise Rousseau, Carnegie-Mellon University
    Paul Spector, University of South Florida
    Lois E. Tetrick, University of Houston


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    Job satisfaction is the degree to which people like their jobs. Some people enjoy work and find it to be a central part of life. Others hate to work and do so only because they must. The study of the causes and consequences of these important employee attitudes is one of the major domains of industrial-organizational psychology and organizational behavior. More studies have been done to understand job satisfaction than for any other variable in organizations. In addition, the assessment of employee attitudes such as job satisfaction has become a common activity in organizations in which management is concerned with the physical and psychological well-being of people.

    This book will provide an overview of the vast job satisfaction research literature. It covers the assessment, causes, consequences, and nature of this important variable. Although the primary focus is on the findings and theories from the organizational behavior literature, we will also pay some attention to applications conducted within organizations to improve efficiency and the quality of working life. Job satisfaction is associated with many important behaviors and outcomes for employees that have implications for organizational and personal well-being.

    This book is intended to be an introduction to the field of job satisfaction. By necessity, it provides only an overview of the major issues and research findings, for a detailed treatment of this topic would require several volumes. The reader is assumed to have some background in industrial-organizational psychology or organizational behavior. Some familiarity with basic research methodology would be helpful. Although the book is not particularly technical, there are a few statistical terms used, such as the correlation coefficient.

    This book is organized into six chapters. Chapter 1 discusses the nature of job satisfaction, including what it is and why it is an important topic for concern in organizations. The assessment of job satisfaction is the topic of Chapter 2. Both the development of new scales and use of existing scales are covered. Chapter 3 focuses on how people feel about work. Included will be findings on job satisfaction differences for various demographic groups, as well as cross-country comparisons. Job satisfaction causes are covered in Chapter 4, including both organizational environment and personal factors. Potential effects of job satisfaction on employees and thereby on their organizations are discussed in Chapter 5. Potential effects range from the physical and psychological well-being of employees to job performance and withdrawal. Finally, Chapter 6 mentions how organizations might measure job satisfaction and respond constructively to employee concerns.

    No one writes a book such as this one without the assistance of others. I would like to thank Steve M. Jex and the series editors Julian Barling and Kevin Kelloway for their helpful comments and suggestions on the initial draft of this book.

  • Appendix: The Job Satisfaction Survey

    Note: The purchaser of this book is given license to use and modify the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS) for noncommercial academic and research purposes. This license does not allow the purchaser to sell the JSS alone or as part of a consulting package.


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    Author Index

    About the Author

    Paul E. Spector is Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of South Florida. His research interests include both the content and methodology of the field. Content areas concern the impact of jobs on the behavior and well-being of employees, including counterproductive behavior, job satisfaction, job stress, and withdrawal behavior. Methodological areas are complex statistics and psychological measurement. Professor Spector has published in many journals of the field, including Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior (JOB), Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (JOOP), and Psychological Bulletin. He has written three other books for Sage Publications on computer programming with the SAS language and research methodology. He also has written an industrial/organizational psychology textbook. At present, he is an associate editor for JOOP, and the Point/Counterpoint editor for JOB. In addition to writing this book, he is a member of the editorial board for this Advanced Topics in Organizational Behavior book series.

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