Attitude and Job Satisfaction

2021-05-18 22:23:19
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Attitude is part of important psychological attributes which define individuals, and it plays a big role in shaping individuals behaviour. An attitude has been defined as a predisposition to respond in either a negative or a positive way to something or someone within ones environment. One way in which an attitude is expressed is when a person says he likes or does not like something. An attitude has also been defined as a way in which an individual feel about something (it could be a place, a person, a situation, a commodity, or even an idea). Attitude expresses an individuals negative or positive feelings about an object. It describes a persons feelings about predispositions, feelings, and thoughts to respond to some object within ones environment (Chitale, Mohandry, and Dubey, 2013). There are certain characteristics which define an attitude. For example, attitude affects ones behaviour. Employees who are emotionally intelligent has been found to exhibit higher levels of job satisfaction (Ealas & George, 2012). Besides being acquired, attitudes are also not externally visible. Since ones attitude can be formed after one has observed role models, it implies attitude is pervasive.

In its broadest sense, job satisfaction has been found to be an attitude. In it broadest sense, job satisfaction has been defined as ones overall attitude toward the job. One universal definition of job satisfaction is a positive or emotional state which arises from the appraisal of an individuals job or job experience. Saiyadani (2006) pointed out that job satisfaction is and end state of feelings and comprise an employees affective, evaluative, and cognitive reactions to the job. For example, higher moral stress leads to decreased job satisfaction which has been associated with higher intentions of turnover (DeTienne, Agle, Phillips, & Ingerson, 2012).Given that job satisfaction is a predisposition, scholars believe that it has more or less the same characteristics as an attribute. For example, the attitude has been described as a certain way of responding. An attitude can be negative or positive just as employees can be satisfied or dissatisfied in their workplace. All attitudes have been found that that can be learned and are subject to change with time. Similarly, job satisfaction is something which can be learned and is subject to change with time. Although the general impression is that an individuals attitude is reflected in behaviour, available evidence suggests that attitude and behaviour are different phenomena, and one cannot be used to predict another (Saiyadain, 2006). While behaviour is externally visible and can be observed, the attitude has always been a subjective phenomenon. According to Saiyadain (2006), job satisfaction can be measured using various methods including paper pencil test, critical incident method, interview, and confrontational meeting.

Although there are different ways of understanding job satisfaction, two theories have featured prominently in understanding job satisfaction: the value theory and the two-factor theory of job satisfaction. Value theory was developed by Locke who argued that job satisfaction may be more closely associated to whether or not job provides workers with what they desire, want, or value (Furnham, 2005). The underpinning idea of this theory is that employees are satisfied in jobs which fulfil their values. Locke found out that employees examine what their jobs offer regarding such factors as promotion, pay, and working conditions and then they do compare their perceptions to what they find important or value or a job. From his findings, Locke concluded that when employees perceptions are consistent with what they value, they will be satisfied with their jobs. Two-factor theory, advanced by Herzberg, can be used to understand about job satisfaction. Herzberg argued that people harbour two sets of needs: one associated with the avoidance of pain and the other associated with the desire for psychological growth. He found out that prevailing conditions at the workplace have a potential to impact on either of these needs. Herzberg labelled work conditions associated with job satisfaction of the need for psychological growth as motivational factors while he labelled hygiene factors those work conditions associated work dissatisfaction characterised by pain or discomfort. Herzberg categorised hygiene pointed out that hygiene factors include salary, security, status, supervision, working conditions, company policy, and interpersonal relations while motivational factors include work itself, salary, growth, responsibility, advancement, recognition, and achievement (Nelson & Quick, 2013).

The relationship between attitude, job satisfaction and employee turnover has been a subject of interest to many scholars. Understanding employee attitudes help in enhancing organisational knowledge and capabilities since organisations are in a better position to create a work environment which delivers exceptional customer service. Investigations carried out by Zopiatis, Constanti, and Theocharous (2014) suggest that there is a positive relationship between extrinsic job satisfaction and turnover. The authors pointed out that organisations need to be keen on aspects of employees attitudes such as the manner in which employees are rewarded and the manner in which they are managed. Leadership style has been found to influence employees job satisfaction. Authentic leaders tend to impart more positive attitudes in their subordinates (Wong & Larschinger, 2013). Studies by Top, Tarcan, Tekikungunduz, and Hikmet (2013) revealed that transformational leaders enhance job satisfaction in their subordinates with the goal of increasing organisational performance. High levels of job satisfaction have a negative impact on employee turnover (Lai & Chen, 2012). Previous studies have also shown that motivation and job satisfaction are some of the critical factors for not only health workers turnover but also retention. Results of a related study carried out by Bonenberger, Aikins, Akweongo, and Wyss (2014) are consistent with the findings of Zopiatis, Constanti, and Theocharous (2014).

According to Bonenberger, Aikins, Akweongo, and Wyss (2014), there is a significant relationship between job satisfaction and employee retention and turnover. They found out that the major dimensions of job satisfaction which has a strong relationship with turnover intention include workload, organisational commitment, career development, management, and burnout. Further, the authors suggested that there is a need to employ effective human resources practices to minimise employee turnover. Abbas, Raja, Darr, and Bouckenooghe (2014) contend that although psychological capital has a positive influence on employees job satisfaction, it has no impact on employees intentions to quit. They also found out that when employees perceive politics in the organisations, their performance and job satisfaction reduces while their intention to quit increases. Previous investigations by Yucel (2012) also suggest that job satisfaction is one of the most significant factors for turnover and organisational commitment. According to him, high levels of job satisfaction results in increased organisational commitment and minimised turnover intention. It can, therefore, be concluded that job satisfaction strongly affects employees retention and turnover.

There have been investigations to find out whether employee attitude and job satisfaction have any impact on overall organisational performance. There is a link between employee satisfaction and organisational performance (Wood, Van Veldhoven, Croon, & de Menezes, 2012). Employees with low levels of job satisfaction exhibit higher intentions to quit (Mahdi et al., 2012; Rahman & Iqbal, 2013) and higher rates of turnover have a negative impact on organisational performance (Park & Shaw, 2013). Rahman and Iqbal (2013) pointed out that some of the major factors which affect employee job satisfaction and turnover include financial benefits, work environment, working autonomy, professional development, compensation package, compensation package, job security, promotional opportunity, and professional development.

It is undeniable that all managers want all their employees to perform better. However, Seppala (2015) argued that this is not possible with employees with a negative attitude. Seppala pointed out that positive teams are much more productive than negative teams. Further, Seppala argued that creating positive teams has nothing to do with either offering perks or benefits. Instead of perks and benefits, Seppala stressed that positive and virtuous practices could be used to influence employees to acquire a positive attitude needed for increased productivity. To her, some of the positive and virtuous practices that matter includes avoiding blame, stressing meaningfulness at the workplace, offering support to one another, forgiving mistakes, inspiring one another at the workplace, and treating one another with trust, respect, integrity, gratitude, and dignity. Barsade and ONeill (2016) argued that cognitive culture is critical to organisational success because it sets the tone for not only how employees think but also how they behave at the workplace. Similarly, the authors argued that emotional culture also plays a significant role in organisational success. Their research findings revealed that emotional culture influences employee job satisfaction, teamwork, and financial performance. Barsade and ONeill contend that positive emotions have a strong positive correlation with organisational performance, customer service, and quality. In contrast, negative emotions such as fear, sadness, and group anger lead to poor organisational performance and high turnover. Since emotions and culture affect attitude and job satisfaction, it can also be concluded that attitude and job satisfaction have a strong influence on organisational performance.

Investigations carried out by Bakotic (2016) showed that there is a strong association between job satisfaction and organisational performance. Bakotic pointed out that job satisfaction influences organisational performance. His findings also revealed that it is not organisational performance which influences job satisfaction. Instead, it is the job satisfaction which determines organisations success. In contrast with previous studies, Sher (2014) argued that satisfaction is to blame for destroying high performance. According to him, allowing employees to feel satisfied for long leave the organisation to be stuck on performance plateau which he said is hard to exit. Drawing examples from previous leaders, Sher believe it is good to keep the employees hungry. He gave an example of a CEO who told his employees none would be in the company in the next two years because they were too satisfied. The threat instilled hunger on the employees and the organisation recorded high performance.


Abbas, M., Raja, U., Darr, W., & Bouckenooghe, D. (2014). Combined effects of perceived politics and psychological capital on job satisfaction, turnover intentions, and performance. Journal of Management, 40(7), 1813-1830.

Bakotic, D. (2016). The relationship between job satisfaction and organisational performance. Economic Research-Ekonomska Istrazivanja, 29(1), 118-130.

Barsade, S. & ONeill. (2016). Manage Your Emotional Culture. January-February, 2016. Retrieved from:

Bonenberger, M., Aikins, M., Akweongo, P., & Wyss, K. (2014). The effects of health worker motivation and job satisfaction on turnover intention in Ghana: a cross-sectional study. Human resources for health, 12(1), 1.

Chitale, A.K., Mohanty, R.P....

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