A Dispositional Approach to Measure Job Satisfaction on an Indian Sample


Background Evidence

Personality traits are stable patterns in the way individuals feel, think and behave (Cervone & Pervin, 2008). One’s personality traits are stable across time and different situations. According to Judge, Heller & Mount (2002), personality may be responsible for many of the differences in job satisfaction levels amidst employees, since some personality characteristics are reportedly , strongly interlinked with satisfaction , whist other characteristics are strongly linked to job dissatisfaction.

Tewksbury & Higgins (2006), described Job Satisfaction based on how harmoniously the work environment meets the values and needs of the employees.  This implies that employees experience satisfaction in their jobs when their capabilities, values, and knowledge is utilized by the occupational environment and in exchange, they are offered work opportunities and rewards (Davis, 1992). In the field of Organisational/Industrial Psychology , Job Satisfaction has emerged as the focal topic of interest , giving rise to several researches.

The interconnection between job satisfaction and personality traits has been a recurrent research topic in Organisational psychology over the past several decades (Judge et al., 2002).  The flourishing of any organization is highly contingent on the level of satisfaction of the workforce. The more satisfied the workers the greater is their openness , morale and willingness to promote cohesiveness among the organisational group (Vijayabanu et al., 2013).

Judge et al. (2002) ,conducted a meta-analytic study that depicted the association between the Big Five Factor Model and Job Satisfaction ,  the research predicted a good measure for all five individual facets ( .02 for Openness to Experience, .26 for conscientiousness , .25 for extraversion , .17 for Agreeableness , -.29 for neuroticism) and a multiple correlation measure of .41 with job satisfaction indicating that the individual’s personality traits have a causal influence on job satisfaction and has demonstrated that the factor value of Conscientiousness and Extraversion has a positive correlation with job satisfaction and a negative correlation with Neuroticism, i.e., individuals with higher Emotional Stability have a greater level of job satisfaction. One more research that gathered data from 500 employees of five important banks in Pakistan displayed that barring neuroticism, all other dimensions of the Big Five displayed significant positive correlation with job satisfaction and regardless from that Salary, Marital Status, Education and Age have revealed a positive correlation with job satisfaction and women exhibited greater satisfaction level than men (Naz et al., 2013). Several researchers have investigated the correlation between the big five personality dimensions and job satisfaction.  Hence, the gathered empirical data left no uncertainty concerning the relevancy of the Five Factor personality model  as tools for predicting job satisfaction.

Rationale for the study

The purpose of this study was based on a comprehensive literature review which highlighted that a definitive  relationship exists between Job Satisfaction and Personality .There were however, limited studies looking into this amongst the Asian population, and most results were predominantly based on the data collected in the west (Templer, K. J. 2011). The United Kingdom is India’s largest trading partner in the European Union. So, with the issue of globalization growing in importance across all organizations, this research will help establish if job satisfaction is associated to  stable personality traits even in a composite and collective Asian society like India. Even though Job satisfaction is a heavily dissected topic in the field of Organisational psychology, this study puts forward a unique dispositional approach that will put forward the importance of individual differences in workplace settings.  The study will help gather integral information in the realm of Job Satisfaction, ways to lower turnover, increase productivity and increase profits can be found. Thereby strengthening the cause of globalization and its economic ties with the United Kingdom.

Aim for the study

Research Question and Hypothesis

How do individual differences in personality traits influence the level of job satisfaction in an individual ?

Hypotheses Testing (Based on the present literature review)

1: Hypothesis states that there will be a significant positive correlation between

job satisfaction and extraversion.

2: Hypothesis states that there will be a significant positive correlation between

job satisfaction and agreeableness.

3: Hypothesis states that there will be a significant positive correlation between

job satisfaction and conscientiousness.

4: Hypothesis states that there will be a significant negative correlation between

job satisfaction and neuroticism.

5: Hypothesis states that there will be no significant correlation between

job satisfaction and openness to experience.

6: Hypothesis states that there will be significant differences in the job satisfaction levels of opposite gender employees.

Method and Methodological Considerations


The sample will represent the corporate working population in India and will fall within the age group of 18-45. Participants will be divided into male and female for further comparison of results.  A sample size of roughly 200 is estimated. Participants will be recruited through email, social media, and word of mouth to take an online survey.


Instruments and Materials

The research is going to be a descriptive study of data. There will be two questionnaires being used, both with satisfactory reliability and validity, these questionnaires are chosen as they both are competent tools to help answer the research question. The study demands for a personality test measuring the big five dimensions alongside a job satisfaction scale that provides a general level of job satisfaction.


The research will be a quantitative study of data. The survey will comprise two questionnaires designed as an online form. Participants will be sent a link to the survey that they will complete at a time personally convenient to them, maintaining confidentiality. The title of the survey will be informed to the participants along with its purpose that the study is for a Master’s in Psychology dissertation project, therefore no deception will be used. They will be instructed that the survey requires under fifteen minutes to be completed . Participants will complete the online questionnaires  and  then provide implied consent by ticking a box on the form-based survey administered online.

Data Analysis

Post the data collection, the sample will be divided into male and female groups then the data will be analyzed through SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). In order to discover the percentage of the variance in the total Job Satisfaction level as explained by the Big Five personality traits a simple linear regression analysis will be executed. Then a  correlation analyses will be carried out to see how each trait individually correlates to job satisfaction.

Ethical Considerations


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