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Employee Attitudes and Work-Related Behaviour: Ongoing Challenge for the Contemporary Manager Analytical Essay


Job satisfaction refers to the general attitude of a worker in liking or disliking his job (Mitchell, 2011, p. 43). Researchers studying the concept of job satisfaction include employee attitude as an important component. It may be difficult to explain what job satisfaction implies without considering employee attitude.

As Saari and Judge (2004, p. 396) confirm, job satisfaction refers to an emotional state of pleasure and positivity on the part of the employee. The emotional state emanates from one’s job or experience appraisal. The two most critical characteristics of job satisfaction include the fact that job satisfaction is linked to cognition, or thinking, and feeling (Saari & Judge, 2004, p. 396).

Organisational commitment, on the other hand, refers to an attitude that reflects the loyalty of an employee to his organisation. It is a continuous process expressed out of the members of the organisation’s concern for its general well-being and continued success (Tella, Ayeni & Popoola, 2007, p. 6). Three important concepts come into play when defining organisational commitment.

They include a strong desire, on the part of the employee, to continue serving as a member of his organisation, a readiness to exert high efforts for the benefit of the organisation, as well as a definite acceptability of and belief in the goals and values espoused by the organisation (Tella, Ayeni, & Popoola, 2007, p. 6). This paper seeks to explore the concepts of job satisfaction and organisational commitment.

In particular, the discussion will examine the social scientific researches that have been concluded about both concepts. The paper also analyses the impact of different phenomena, such as globalisation, technology, as well as general social change, which are common in the present-day era. The paper will also analyse specific factors that have an impact on the job satisfaction of employees.

Social Science Research Findings: Job Satisfaction, Organisational Commitment, and Job Performance

Aamodt (2007, p. 64) notes that satisfied employees will often remain committed to the organisation they work for by attending work regularly, staying in employment with the organisation for long, arriving on time for duty, and performing well in general. They are also more likely to engage in behaviours that help their organisation achieve its set objectives and goals easily.

There exists a strong correlation between employee commitment and job satisfaction. A strong relationship also exists between job satisfaction and employee retention (Kotze & Roodt, 2005, p. 48).

However, organisational commitment depends on several factors, including the level of autonomy that is involved in the execution of the job, the variety or type of work, the responsibility level that is linked to the job, and the social relationship quality at work.

Other critical factors include the level of remuneration and reward, as well as the available promotion opportunities and the general career advancement within the company (Riggio, 2009, p. 55).

There are close relations between satisfaction and pay, satisfaction and promotion, satisfaction and supervisors together with co-workers, as well as satisfaction and job. In all these scenarios, the level of satisfaction is correlated significantly with the affective commitment. Employees who are motivated in their jobs are also committed to their roles and performance.

The motivation comes from a number of factors, including good remuneration, supervision levels and standards, and the learning environment within the organisation. Managers who have a strong motivation ensure they work hard to achieve their goals and objectives.

They also willingly share the knowledge with their employees, thereby improving the overall performance. As the force that pushes organisational commitment, motivation can only be achieved when the employees are satisfied with their job (Budihardjo, 2013, p. 58).

Effects of Global Trends on Job Satisfaction and Commitment

Globalisation has created a large pool of skilled and talented individuals owing to the increasing educational opportunities. Over this period, demand for these talents and skills is also expected to rise, especially in the emerging nations. This trend is set to create vast talent gaps because of the changes in the demand and supply sides of skilled workers (Rosenblatt, 2011, p. 345).

A multiplicity of skills is also required as a result, on the part of the potential employees, to serve in their positions effectively. As multinational organisations take advantage of the globalisation phenomena to spread all over the world, they require employees with the ability to speak different languages, have the ability to fit culturally, and possess high levels of education.

However, these skills are inadequate and those employed to work in such organisations do not develop the needed job satisfaction because of the gap in skills.

Growing workforce diversity resulting from social change and other contemporary trends is equally piling a lot of pressure on the human resource departments of many organisations. Organisations are failing to develop a global mindset that can adequately manage their multicultural employees. This, in turn, deprives the employees the chance to address many of their employment-related issues (Rosenblatt, 2011, p. 345).

The lack of, or poor human resource management skills, is denying workers the quality management that can help them improve their motivation and improve their job commitment and satisfaction.

Employees working for multinational corporations, in particular, face this challenge the most because some of these organisations have not integrated diverse value systems within their frameworks; thus they do not champion for shared international work values (Rosenblatt, 2011, p. 345).

Factors that Influence Employees’ Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment

The employee’s personal characteristics

The personal characteristics and perceptions of employees form important qualifications of organisational commitment. Employees develop a strong correlation that influences their affective, as well as normative commitments when they perceive that they are satisfied with their job (Mahanta, 2012, p. 45).

Organisational characteristics, such as provision of support to workers and work experience on the part of the employee, result in a strong correlation with both organisational commitment and job satisfaction.

For instance, an employee who is sure about his great experience in the occupation field will feel a great commitment to his organisation and will easily be satisfied with his job.

In studies already performed, it has been established that managers who have served their respective organisations for long have a higher affective commitment, intrinsic job satisfaction, and normative commitment as well. Important personal characteristics such as emotional intelligence and work-role salience significantly predict workers’ organisational commitment (Mahanta, 2012, p. 50).

The employee’s job characteristics

A job or occupational role comprises of various components that influence an employee’s job satisfaction and organisational commitment (Hanly, 2013, para 1). Such components are valued by the employee and include job safety and relationship with other workers. Employees have their social needs that their manager and organisation need to address.

Employees have the propensity to want things that fellow employees want. This is explained by the social influence hypothesis. This influences job satisfaction as an individual worker feels empowered, especially where the organisational culture allows employees to have authority over their projects. Job safety gives satisfaction to the employee and commitment because there is no worry about losing the job.

The employee’s supervisor

Employees need to be recognised and praised in their roles to get motivated. Supervisors have a greater role in recognising and praising their workers because they are in charge of their performances directly. Employees get demotivated in their work if they perceive that their performance is good for the organisation, but they fail to receive the recognition from their supervisors.

The loss of motivation also affects the level of their satisfaction with the job, thus interfering with their organisational commitment. The interaction between the employee and his supervisor is important in improving job satisfaction. The supervisor is the closest representative of the organisation that the employee can approach and share his feelings about the job.

A friendly supervisor will be ready to learn about the challenges faced by his employee and help him to improve on his performance. This will create satisfaction on the part of the employee and influence the organisational commitment in turn (Saiyadain, 2003, p. 54).

The employee’s work environment

Employees often wish to work in an environment that makes their performance comfortable. A worker’s mental, as well as physical well-being, is attached closely with the environment within which he operates. Thus, an unfavourable working environment can have a direct bearing on the worker’s mental and physical state.

This would eventually result in poor commitment to the organisation and job dissatisfaction on the part of the employee (Qasim, Cheema, & Syed, 2012, p. 34). The work environment comprises of several important aspects that managers must ensure conform to the requisite standards.

The environmental components include noise, hygiene, temperature, working hours, lighting, ventilation, and the resources used during role performance. Once the environment affects the mental and physical tranquillity of the employee, it may lead to either satisfaction or dissatisfaction on the job depending on how the individual perceives the surrounding (Qasim, Cheema, & Syed, 2012, p. 34).

The employing organisation’s human resource management practices

Human resource management practices comprise of various important aspects that directly touch on the employee. Such aspects include training and development, remuneration, and recruitment activities. According to Harzing and Pinnington (2011, p. 324), high-quality performance of these HR practices increases the satisfaction of the employees.

The employees will often compare their remuneration, for instance, with that earned by workers in other organisations. Employee perception on the salaries earned will have a positive influence on their job satisfaction after comparing the salary with that earned by workers in a different organisation. Equally, the training standards offered by the employer will increase job satisfaction and commitment of the employee.

The employees deem it as a gesture that does not only seek to improve the productivity of the organisation, but one that also improves their skills. It equips them with the technical knowledge that they can still apply elsewhere in case their employment ceases.

As research conducted by Harzing and Pinnington (2011, p. 320) confirms, effective HR practices convince the employees to work for their organisation for long. The long duration of working ascertains the job satisfaction levels and commitment that employees have for the organisation.


An important role of a contemporary manager is to work consciously to build and sustain the job satisfaction and organisational commitment of their workforce. Employees’ commitment to their organisation and the overall job satisfaction help in improving the performance of the organisation.

Managers must seek to motivate the employees in working toward influencing the commitment of their employees to the organisation and their job satisfaction. A motivated employee is satisfied with his job and will have a positive commitment to the organisation.

New global trends are changing management needs of organisations and require full participation by the contemporary manager to get the needed positive results. Multinational corporations are increasing in number as the globalisation phenomenon grows. Education and technological advancements are also increasing, thus piling pressure on individuals to acquire skills that are more competent.

However, the gap between technical skills needed and organisational demand affects job satisfaction and organisational commitment on the part of employees. The changes are taking place at a higher rate and the skills possessed by the employees are not adequate to meet the demands of the organisation.

The organisations also lack adequate human resource management skills to cater for the challenging employment demands, including cultural fit and language skills. Employee job satisfaction is affected by personal characteristics because an individual’s own affection results in motivation and organisational commitment.

Supervisors who fail to strike a rapport with their subordinates affect the concentration of their employees, leading to loss of job satisfaction and organisational commitment. Contemporary managers must learn their subordinates properly and understand how to interact with them to enhance their motivation and job satisfaction.

The work environment must be favourable for job performance to increase participation, satisfaction, and overall performance. Managers must be involved in determining the environmental requirements of the workplace and work towards providing them for their employees.

List of References

Aamodt, MG 2007, Industrial/organisational psychology: an applied approach, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, Belmont, CA.

Budihardjo, A 2013, ‘The relationship between job satisfaction, affective commitment, organizational learning climate and corporate performance’, GSTF Business Review (GBR), vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 58-64.

Hanly, S 2013, . Web.

Harzing, A & Pinnington, A 2011, International human resource management, SAGE, London, UK.

Kotze, K, & Roodt, G 2005, ‘Factors that affect the retention of managerial and specialist staff: An exploratory study of an employee commitment model’, South African Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 48–55.

Mahanta, M 2012, ‘Personal characteristics and job satisfaction as predictors of organizational commitment: an empirical investigation’, South Asian Journal of Management, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 45-58.

Mitchell, LD 2011, ‘Job satisfaction and affective events theory: What have we learned in the last 15 years?’, Business Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 43-53.

Qasim, S, Cheema, F, & Syed, NA 2012, ‘Exploring factors affecting employees’ job satisfaction at work’, Journal of Management and Social Sciences, vol. 8, no. 1, pp 31-39.

Riggio, RE 2009, Introduction to industrial/organisational psychology, Pearson London.

Rosenblatt, V 2011, ‘The impact of institutional processes, social networks, and culture on diffusion of global work values in multinational organizations‘, Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 345-367.

Saari, LM & Judge, TA 2004, ‘Employee attitudes and job satisfaction,’ Human Resource Management, vol. 43 no. 4, pp 395-407.

Saiyadain, MS, 2003, Organisational behaviour, Tata McGraw-Hill, New Delhi, India.

Tella, A, Ayeni, CO, & Popoola, SO, 2007, ‘Work motivation, job satisfaction, and organisational commitment of library personnel in academic and research libraries in Oyo State, Nigeria’, Library Philosophy and Practice, no. 1522-0222, pp 1-16.

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