A Dispositional Approach to Measure Job Satisfaction on an Indian Sample
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
- The primary aim is to discover the direction and intensity of the relationship between personality/dispositional characteristics and Job Satisfaction ; find out if the meta-analytical findings on the correlation between Job Satisfaction and the big five personality traits are consistent in a society like India, where the social and organizational culture is so drastically different from the individualistic culture in the west.
- The secondary aim is to discover if personality significantly predicts job satisfaction; researches have tried to explain and predict Job Satisfaction for years, predominantly because it is associated with other consequential components of organizational behavior like productivity, absenteeism, turnover, etc.
- The tertiary aim is to identify whether there exist any differences in job satisfaction between genders; this study may provide integral information, as there is a lack of literature on this topic.
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.
- Independent Variable – Personality types
- Dependent Variable – Level of job satisfaction
- Control variable – Gender (controlled through regression analysis)
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.
- Big Five Inventory (BFI) – An inventory comprising of 44 items that measures a person on the five personality dimensions (agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, and openness to experience)
- The Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) – A questionnaire designed to measure the job satisfaction level of an employee. The MSQ (short form) consists of 20 items that aptly represent the 20 scales 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.
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.
- The quality and integrity of the research will be upheld since the instruments are of a global nature (validated through cross-cultural studies) and are of satisfactory validity and reliability
- The research will be independent and impartial in all ways.
- The participants will be made aware of the purpose of the study and they will be asked to tick a box online that shows they have given their informed consent.
- Recruitments procedures involving coercion will not be used.
- The approximate length and difficulty of the task will be specified so that there is no scope of deception in collecting the data through the surveys.
- Participants will be individually sent the link to the online questionnaires and this makes their participation confidential. The data gathered will be anonymous, they only need to specify their age and gender and not their names.
- There will be no sensitive or emotional material present in the surveys that the participants need to complete, they are simple questionnaires on their personality and job satisfaction that explore their personality traits and their feelings about their job.
- The survey will have to be taken online, at a time convenient to the participant. There will be no harm inflicted on the participants physically or psychologically and no violation of any human rights.
- Both the questionnaires selected are a part of the public domain and are authorized to be used for non-commercial uses.
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