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Organizational Behavior: Theories of Job Satisfaction

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The relationship between personality traits and job satisfaction needs to be understood in order for organizations to obtain suitable employees, and to maintain those employees' job satisfaction. Dissatisfaction in the workplace can be very costly to the employer as a result of employee absenteeism and voluntary turnover (Greenburg & Baron, 2008). This study analyzes the journalistic works of authors comparing the relationships of several concepts of personality and core self-evaluations to job satisfaction, and the resulting affects this relationship can have on the workplace (Greenburg & Baron, 2008). The authors measured the direct and indirect relationships of the Big 5 personality traits and the core self-evaluations to job characteristics and job satisfaction. (Furnham, Petrides, Tsaousis, Pappas, and Garrod, 2005) Measurements used range from longitudinal studies, cross-sectional methods of objective testing, including Job Satisfaction Survey questionnaires (Shell & Duncan, 2000). Results of the authors' research include evidence of correlation between at least three of the Big 5 personality traits; extraversion, conscientiousness and agreeableness, and core self-evaluations in childhood and early adulthood to job satisfaction (Judge, Bono, & Locke, 2000). Limitations of this study, managers' potential benefit of the study, and ways in which the relationship of personality and job satisfaction can be better utilized and researched, will be discussed.


As explained in the definition of interactionist perspective, behavior is not just a reflection of one's personality, but the combination of that personality and any given situation it faces (Greenburg & Baron, 2008). Authors believe there is definitely a relation between certain inherited personality traits and work values that lead to the affectivity of job satisfaction (Furnham, Petrides, Tsaousis, Pappas, and Garrod, 2005) More specifically, the satisfaction or dissatisfaction a worker feels about his or her job remain fairly constant over time, and is a result of the co-mingling with job characteristics.. (Furnham, Petrides, Tsaousis, Pappas, & Garrod, 2005) Another journalistic perspective relates job satisfaction to the similarity of the personalities of supervisors and subordinates. (Shell & Duncan, 2000) Authors Shell and Duncan found that the lower the difference (or closer in similarity) in personalities, the higher the job satisfaction of the subordinate. A similar finding is the positive correlation of similar levels of agreeableness (one of the Big 5 personality traits), to job satisfaction (Shell & Duncan, 2000). Judge, Locke, and Durham studied the relationship between the core self-evaluations and job satisfaction (Judge, Bono, & Locke, 2000). Part of their study included the mediation of the relationship by the factor of job characteristics; however, a more direct relationship between the two became apparent in their study of core self-evaluations - employees' positive feelings about themselves tend to be duplicated in the workplace (Judge, Bono, & Locke, 2000). The common theme of the articles is that employees' personalities and core self-evaluations can have a positive or negative effect on their job satisfaction. The resulting satisfaction or dissatisfaction can be swayed by occurrences or relations at work.


Personality has been linked to job satisfaction in several studies. An understanding of personality is important to further understand this relationship. Personality is defined as stable behavioral patterns, thoughts, and emotions that are displayed uniquely by individuals (Greenberg & Baron, 2008). The concept of the stability and longevity of personality is prevalent in the articles read for this assignment. One of the articles read coincides with Greenberg & Baron's findings on the stability of an individual's behavior over time. Furnham, Petrides, Tsaousis, Pappas, and Garrod found in their research that certain attributes of personality measured in individuals' teen years could determine their job satisfaction for the next 50 years (Furnham, Petrides, Tsaousis, Pappas, & Garrod, 2005). Their study is one of the few done on the relationship between personality and work values (the perceived importance of job characteristics), which in turn affects job satisfaction (Furnham, Petrides, Tsaousis, Pappas, & Garrod, 2005). Furnham, Petrides, Tsaousis, Pappas, and Garrod correlated intrinsic and extrinsic factors of hygiene factors with personality traits. They found that extraversion was associated with the motivators of job satisfaction like the level of personal achievement, but neuroticism was associated with the hygiene factors, like their salary (Furnham, Petrides, Tsaousis, Pappas, & Garrod, 2005). Shell and Duncan from the Department of Psychology at Missouri Western relate the similarity of the personalities of subordinates and their supervisors to the job satisfaction of the subordinates. They also applied the Big Five factors of personality. They found that the less difference in personality of supervisor and subordinate, the higher the job satisfaction of the subordinate (Shell & Duncan, 2000). It was only a moderate correlation, according to their research. Shell and Duncan researched the comparison of personality to job satisfaction using the personality traits of agreeableness and locus of control. Agreeableness is the quality of personal interactions from compassion to antagonism. Locus of control is level of belief people have in their ability to control outcomes through their efforts. They found that when the agreeableness factor between subordinate and supervisor increases, the subordinates job satisfaction increases, simply because people with personality similarities have better relationships (Shell & Duncan, 2000).The similarity of locus of control between subordinate and supervisor had a negligible effect on job satisfaction (Shell & Duncan, 2000). According to a study by Judge, Bono, and Locke, the core self-evaluations (an individual's self-evaluation), of self-esteem, self-efficacy, locus of control, and low neuroticism (emotional stability), interact with job characteristics and job complexity, resulting in different levels of job satisfaction (Judge, Bono, & Locke, 2000). Their evidence suggests not only that dispositions can determine job satisfaction 30 years later, but also that known core self-evaluations of twins that are raised separately can be affected



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