In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Job Satisfaction

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Reviews of Job Satisfaction Research
  • Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Job Satisfaction

Management Job Satisfaction
Don J.Q. Chen, Richard Arvey
  • LAST REVIEWED: 25 February 2016
  • LAST MODIFIED: 25 February 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0087


Job satisfaction occupies a central position in organizational research. It has been studied as an independent, dependent, mediator, and moderator variable and has been found to be related to a host of organizational and personal outcomes such as absenteeism, turnover, organizational citizenship behaviors, organizational commitment, mood, life satisfaction, and subjective well-being. The importance of job satisfaction in organizational studies has been described as the “holy grail” of industrial organizational research and has been equated to “g” or general intelligence in psychological research. Job satisfaction remains one of the most widely discussed and studied constructs in industrial-organizational psychology, organizational behavior, and human resource management. In view of the broad interest in job satisfaction and its importance in organizational studies, this article aims to produce a guide to job satisfaction research by introducing readers to the various major streams of research that have been conducted on this topic. The purpose here is to inform readers about the theoretical construct of job satisfaction, specifically how it has been defined, measured, and studied. In particular, this article will introduce two major ways in which job satisfaction has been defined: as a job-related attitude and a job-related affect. This article will then follow with several dominant models of job satisfaction that have continued to shape the field. A major part of this article discusses how job satisfaction has been measured and what the implications of different measurement instruments are. Lastly, this article will introduce readers to the known antecedents and consequences of job satisfaction. Understanding how job satisfaction has been defined, measured, and studied is of utmost importance because a large proportion of extant research has revolved around understanding what job satisfaction is, and the field continues to debate the best ways to measure it and its relationships with other organizationally relevant variables. With the above objective in mind, this article will be a useful guide to researchers of job satisfaction and help elucidate some of the ongoing debates and controversies surrounding its research.

General Overviews

Most research on job satisfaction is published in academic journals as articles. There also exist a number of important book chapters that advance the field of research on job satisfaction. A selection of these journal articles and book chapters can also be found here. This particular section highlights several important books on job satisfaction. Some of these books, such as Hoppock 1935, are considered as “classics” on the topic of job satisfaction, while others offer comprehensive introductions and reviews of various topics in job satisfaction research (Cranny, et al. 1992 and Spector 1997). For a novice researcher, these books will be a good introduction to job satisfaction research and offer a broad overview of what job satisfaction is and how it has been operationalized and studied in management research. A seasoned researcher will find these books useful and thought provoking in summarizing the current state of knowledge in job satisfaction research.

  • Cranny, C. J., P. C. Smith, and E. F. Stone. Job Satisfaction: How People Feel About Their Jobs and How It Affects Their Performance. New York: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1992.

    Provides a comprehensive introduction to the major research areas in job satisfaction. It covers topics such as the definition of job satisfaction, antecedents, and consequences of job satisfaction and offers suggestions on new research areas that advance the field of job satisfaction research.

  • Hoppock, R. Job Satisfaction. New York and London: Harper, 1935.

    Considered one of the “classics” of job satisfaction research. Uses a case-study approach to examine why people are dissatisfied with their jobs.

  • Spector, P. E. Job Satisfaction: Application, Assessment, Causes, and Consequences. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 1997.

    A readable introductory book on job satisfaction. Offers a quick introduction and summary of major topics of job satisfaction research. Suitable for a novice researcher.

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