By: PhD Psychologist - Bisera Mavrić





               This article deals with one of the most interesting segments in the field of work psychology - attitudes towards work and job satisfaction. It presents an overview of theoretical perspectives, models, relevant research on the concept of work and motivation for work, and ultimately job satisfaction from the early fifties till today. Job satisfaction represents the general affective attitude of the worker towards his specific job and the overall work situation. It is the result of the worker's opinions about all relevant, intrinsic and extrinsic aspects of the job. It is also defined as a generalized attitude towards work in general. Motivation for work can be observed precisely through job satisfaction or from the point of view of workers' attitudes towards work. In most empirical works, there is an understanding that general job satisfaction is a good indicator of work motivation. Once formed, attitudes towards work affect the motivation of workers, and thus their general work performance.




               Theory, work, attitudes towards work, motivation for work, employees, job satisfaction.




               Work is a central feature of modern society. Most people spend a lot of time at their disposal during the majority of their lives at work, and the material reward they get from it determines their standard of living, but also their social position.

Attitudes towards work represent a general expression that includes all kinds of attitudes and opinions of people about work in general or about specific work they are currently doing. Attitudes towards work are a very common subject of investigation by work psychologists for two reasons:


1. They are a consequence of people's immediate reaction to the specific conditions of their work and therefore represent one of the possible sources of data when evaluating the impact of work and working conditions on people and their health.

2. Once formed, attitudes towards work influence the motivation of workers, and thus indirectly their work performance.


               Attitudes towards work include constructs such as job satisfaction or work engagement, but also any set of specific opinions of workers about certain aspects of their work.

Job satisfaction represents the general affective attitude of the worker towards his specific job and the overall work situation. Theoretically, it is the result of the worker's opinions about all relevant, intrinsic and extrinsic aspects of the job. On the other hand, it is defined as a generalized attitude towards work in general.

Motivation for work can be observed through job satisfaction or from the point of view of workers' attitudes towards work.

One of the oldest, most common and most basic questions related to motivation at work is the question?

"Why do people work? "

Any attempt to list all those factors that motivate a person in work is doomed in advance to half success or even to failure simply because:


1. There are practically an infinite number of these factors

2. They differ from person to person

3. When and if they do not even differ, their action does not have to be as expected, but may even be the opposite of expectations.


               There is a lot of detailed data for some factors that seem to be common or similar to most of the people. These factors are: reward, punishment, knowledge of one's own results, cooperation, competition, the possibility of deciding on common problems.

Many of these terms are broad and include a number of factors, which are then explored separately. The concept of reward includes issues of different types of rewards, and among them, in the psychology of work, a particularly interesting place is occupied by "the amount of personal income", i.e. the question of how much the salary is a strong motivating factor in work.

The term "punishment" also includes various forms of punishment: from a mild reprimand to severe corporal punishment (Šarić, 1982).

               Some of these concepts overlap with each other. "Knowing one's own results" and "competition" are somewhat related concepts, because a person who knows the results of his work usually works better and more than someone who does not know them, and this is because the one who knows his results, and in a way "competes alone with myself".

The ability to make decisions is also related to the factor of knowing one's own results. There is a lot of investigative material in this area, but there is still a lot of disagreement among the authors. There is a well-known sharp discussion about the effect of punishment because at one time (around 1950) some research indicated that punishment does not have the desired effect.

               However, it was later established that some methodological mistakes were made in those experiments in the fifties and that the situation regarding punishment is different, if the punishment is applied "at the right time and in the right place", it has a positive impact. "At the right time and in the right place" actually means following a basic psychological principle in this regard, which is that if you want to establish a behavior, then a reward will have a more positive effect, and if you want to prevent a behavior, punishment is usually more effective. For the individual who is being rewarded, the prize represents a feeling of pleasure, and that feeling is "transmitted" to the situation in which the prize was received, so that situation also becomes desirable and vice versa.

However, on the whole, it is better - if possible - to stimulate desirable behavior by rewarding it than to prevent undesirable behavior by punishing it. In a large number of studies, it has been found that rewarding usually has a greater beneficial effect than punishment, and this fact could also be interpreted as the fact that some undesirable forms of behavior can be inhibited or even removed and thus reward some other desirable form of behavior, which is incompatible with that behavior. which wanted to be prevented. Of course, it is necessary to individually decide which method of stimulation is more suitable for a particular person.

Competition is one of the well-known motivational factors, which increases motivation in most people (Guzina, 1980). Tests show that not every competition will work like that and that the degree and direction of motivation is significantly influenced by how much the person competing believes in the possibility of winning.


               Cooperation is a form of behavior in which there is a coordinated action among group members in order to achieve a certain collective goal. In most cases, it has a positive effect on the individual's motivation, due to various psychological reasons, the most important of which are the feeling of belonging to a group ("team spirit"), as well as the fact that in a group a person feels protected from some external dangers against which, as an individual, he is not sufficiently equipped to defend mechanisms. The very positive effects of the so-called "group decisions" in industrial work, i.e. such decisions regarding the way of work, which the group made voluntarily and spontaneously. On the contrary, if such a decision is imposed from the outside, the effect is very often reversed: instead of increasing, production decreases.

Being able to decide is usually a very strong motivating factor. Everyday experience confirms that people are usually demotivated when they are unable to act on a situation in which they are normally interested.

According to the opinion of some psychologists (Blum and Naylor, 1968), one of the basic mistakes in the industry in the field of research into motivational factors was the oversimplification of the concept of motivation (which was particularly evident in the opinion at the time that only money motivates a person in work).


               There are two basic groups of theories of motivation and motivation for work. Those theories that followed the path of identifying and "labeling" the main motivating factors in work had to gradually give way to newer theories that recognize these motivating factors, but generally do not name them, but - based on a clinical approach to each individual situation - try to study the mechanism by which man comes to his definitive decision about how he will act in a specific situation - : why man is sometimes motivated to do what is even contrary to his basic desires and interests. One group of theories talks mainly only about what motivates a person, i.e. which are the main motivating factors in human life and work. On the contrary, the second group does not mention these factors at all, but deals with the question of how in individual cases a person's decision to do something and not something else arises, i.e. why is he more motivated by one goal and not another. The second group, the theory, mainly talks only about what motivates a person, i.e. which are the main motivating factors in human life and work. On the contrary, the second group does not mention these factors at all, but deals with the question of how in individual cases to something else, i.e. why is he more motivated by one goal and not another. The second group of theories talks more about man's decision, i.e. about how he "chooses", but directly about his motivation

Author Campbell (1967), who is giving an overview of motivation theories in 1976, divided these theories into the so-called substantive and so-called process theories.

The first ones talk about the contents and types of motives, i.e. about what motivates a person, and others deal with the process of motivation, i.e. by how a person motivates himself and how he makes a decision in a certain situation.




               Taylor (1977), one of the first industrial people who noticed the importance of the "human factor", reduced man's motivation to only one motive, i.e. on money, which is - as Blum and Naylor claim - "as absurd as it is without a doubt and wrong". In addition, if there was only one motive at work, it would not help much in predicting human behavior, because the same motive can lead to different behaviors. The "interpersonal relations" movement led (around 1924) to great excitement among industrial psychologists, because in the famous "Hawthorne experiment" it was shown (inadvertently and intentionally) that productivity is primarily dependent on "how a person feels at the workplace in relation to other people", and not only about - as was previously believed - the conditions of his physical working environment. But apart from that basic knowledge, the movement of "interpersonal relations" failed to bring any concrete advice or facts. How in view

of the "desirable" qualities of people in managerial positions, as well as in terms of the training of managerial personnel. Today, with the realization that only a situational approach can solve some concrete problems of interpersonal relations, and the motivational repercussions that follow from them - only the basic and most valuable idea of ​​the interpersonal relations movement has been preserved, i.e. that interpersonal relationships are an extremely important motivating factor in work.

               In 1943, Maslow proposed his theory of needs. According to this theory, man possesses at least five basic groups of motives that have a hierarchical value: only when a "lower" motive is satisfied, a "higher" one can appear. According to Maslow, the primary and "lowest" motives are physiological needs. Only when they are mostly satisfied, the next, higher group appears, namely the motives of "security", followed by the motives of "love", i.e. the need for friendship with society, a person of the opposite sex, etc. The next higher category is the need for respect, and the highest is the need for "self-realization", which are particularly expressed in creative work on all kinds of activities. (Figure 1.)


 Figure 1. - Maslow's Model of Motivation

Maslow's theory is very interesting and is probably acceptable in many general situations. It is widely used in consumer psychology, as it serves as a defense against critical remarks that economic propaganda "makes people buy unnecessary items." Maslow's theory confirms today's generally accepted scheme about the so-called the "motivational cycle of behavior" according to which, when a person achieves the desired goal, he only feels comfortable for a while and has no new needs, but soon new desires and needs for goals, which are higher than the previously achieved, begin to appear.

Maslow's theory caused quite a stir among psychologists: some of them mostly confirmed Maslow's basic assumptions (eg hierarchy) in their research, while others did not get confirmatory results.

Porter (1961), for example, interviewed 75 middle managers in three large companies and asked them how much they thought their job should provide them with a sense of security, opportunities to make friends, opportunities for self-esteem, and how much they actually had. The majority of respondents expressed a lack of satisfaction of self-actualization needs (53%), and the least lack of satisfaction of physiological and safety needs (27%).

These studies support Maslow's theory.

Porter is objected to for having done transversal research, instead of longitudinal, which would have been able to track the development of motives in an individual. Hall and Nougaim (1968) found that the intensity of a need is positively correlated with the degree of its satisfaction. Lawler and Suttle (1972) conducted a similar but longitudinal study, so they failed to find that the satisfaction of needs of one level is negatively correlated with the importance of those needs. , and in a positive correlation with the importance of needs in the next higher category.


Therefore, some (Alderfer, 1969, 1972) proposed a certain modification of Maslow's theory, i.e. reduction of the number of needs to only three levels: existential needs food, water, salary, working conditions, etc.), needs of belonging (cooperation, superiors, family, friends, etc.)

Growth needs (personal development, creativity, etc.). This theory is known as ERG-theory: from Existence, Relatedness, Growth).


Vroom (1964) gave an overview of most factor research on job satisfaction, and he believes that these seven factors consistently appear in all research:


1. work organization policy and management

2. the possibility of advancement

3. job content

4. monitoring

5. monetary reward

6. workmates


In defense of Maslow's theory, it could be said that the critics in their experiments took too small a range of the educational and economic level of the respondents.


Namely, factor analysis (Payne 1970, Roberts, Walter and Miles, 1970) did not confirm the existence of the five levels proposed by Maslow. (Journal of Applied Psychology, 54(1, Pt.2), 31.


The two-factor theory of Herebzerg (1959) and associates gained the greatest popularity. She caused the most discussions.


Herzberg, Mausner and Snyderman (1959) interviewed 200 engineers and accountants from nine companies. They were asked to name those situations in which they felt very good or very bad about their work during their work experience. The analysis of the content of 5,000 answers to those questions showed that the factors mentioned in the answers can be divided into many categories, but that they are different for pleasant feelings than those for unpleasant feelings (Figure 2).

Generally, therefore, some factors are responsible for satisfaction, and other factors for dissatisfaction. Hertzberg called the first motivators, and the second hygienic (environmental factors).

Motivators relate to job content ("job content"), and hygiene factors to environmental conditions ("job context"). The first of these factors are intrinsic, and the second are extrinsic factors.

Such results led Herzberg and his associates to the conclusion that only the realization of motivators can lead to satisfaction at work, but failure to realize motivators will not lead to active dissatisfaction, but only to the fact that there will be no satisfaction. Analogously, the absence of favorable hygiene factors (or the existence of unfavorable hygiene factors) will lead to active dissatisfaction, but if these factors are removed, there will be no active satisfaction, but only the disappearance of dissatisfaction.

Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are therefore not opposite ends of a continuum, but the opposite of satisfaction is the absence of satisfaction, and the opposite of dissatisfaction is the absence of dissatisfaction. (Figure 3.)


Sl. 3. Schematic representation of the "Hygiene theory" of motivation.



Herzberg's theory caused heated debates among psychologists, especially social psychologists (they objected to him because he included salary among hygiene factors). In addition, when people themselves talk about situations that satisfied them, they usually mention the factors of the job content as the causes of their satisfaction. When they state the situations that caused them dissatisfaction, they usually state situational, external factors as causes, i.e. they use a defense mechanism in frustration, rationalization. This is actually the most serious objection to this theory by Campbell and Hakel (1967, House and Wigdor 1969).


In addition, Herzberg's theory is objected to, that such a "two-factor" theory is an oversimplification of the mechanism of satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

On the other hand, some defenders of Herzberg's theory (Whitsett and Winslow, 1967) accuse critics of errors and even misinterpretation of Herzberg's theory.

Tiffin believes that the behavioral sciences owe Herzberg a debt of gratitude for beginning to investigate the problem of job satisfaction



A person engages in an activity if it brings him something, i.e. if it can achieve some desired goal. In this sense, the activity is an instrument for achieving a desired outcome.

This is the basic logic of modern instrumental theories (or decision theory). They belong to process models and bear different names.

They are mostly known under the name "VIE - theories" (valence, instrumentality, expectation). in

in the literature, they are also classified as cognitive theories because the decision about action is mainly made on the basis of intellectual processes.

Some believe that the first version of instrumental theories was put forward in 1957 by Georgopoulos, Mahoney and Jones. They called it the "Path - Goal" theory.

These are every day and well-known phenomena that are constantly encountered and no examples are needed. The only novelty of the theory is that it does not talk about what motives drive a person, but rather describes the decision-making mechanism.

Nevertheless, Mary Tuck believes that one of the first models of expectancy theory was given by Edwards in 1954 with his "behavioral decision theory". According to this theory, when a person chooses between several goals, he will choose the alternative to which he associates the greatest subjective benefit:

Sok = e sleep . Ki


                 SOK = subjectively expected benefit

                 sp = subjective probability

                 k = benefit

                 i = target


Expressed in the form of a sentence, the formula reads: Subjectively expected benefit is equal to the sum of subjective probabilities that goal "i" will bring benefit "k".


Viktor Vroom created a theory in 1964, which in the first sense is a theory of valence - instrumentality - expectations. He is actually the first who tried to give a model of motivation for work. According to Vroom, the intensity of motivation is the total sum of products between expectation and valence:


Strength of motivation e (expectancy x valence)


                     or e  (O x V)


          expectation = probability of an outcome

Porter and Lawler (1968), and later only Lawler (1973), supplemented Vroom's and created their own model. It is the best-known model of process or VIE - theories.

Lawler's theory claims that a person's motivation to perform an action is influenced by:


a) his expectations about whether he can perform that action

b) his expectations regarding the outcomes of that action

c) the desirability of those outcomes

               A person will not be motivated for an action if he believes that he is not able to perform that action: if a worker believes that he is not able to increase production, he will not be motivated, no matter how much he is attracted by the consequences of increased production.

               If he is able to perform an action, a person will not be motivated if he does not believe that his performance will have some result (outcome): if the worker does not believe that his increase in production will lead to higher earnings or any other outcome which he wants and is attracted to, will not be motivated.

               If a person believes that he can perform an action, as well as that this action will have a certain outcome, but that outcome does not attract him at all; he will not be motivated: the worker will not be motivated to increase production, although he believes that he is capable of increasing production and that it would bring him higher earnings, if he does not care about higher earnings.


               In its final version, Lawler's model is somewhat more complex, but nothing in the formula has been changed, but it has only been shown which factors affect individual parts of the formula (Figure 4)


Figure 4. Schematic representation of Lawler's model:

Like any theory, this theory has its serious critics. Blacker and Williams (1971) believe that people do not behave rationally and logically to the extent expected by theorists. Everyday experience shows that people do not weigh the pros and cons of all actions. In addition, studies show that important decisions are often made in a state of stress.

               Lawler himself makes a similar criticism (Lawler, E.E.1972). In one of his works, in collaboration with Nadler, how his model assumes that individuals make very rational decisions, i.e. to decide after conscientious exploration of all possible alternatives and after "weighing" all possible outcomes. Nevertheless, Lawler believes that in practice people stop "weighing" alternatives if they find one that suits them as much as possible (Lawler, E.E.1972).

               However, neither the criticism of Blackler and Williams, nor the self-criticism of Lawler are fully justified. Namely, Lawler's model only claims that a person "weighs" some combinations and decides on the one that is relatively the most favorable to him overall. The model therefore does not assume realistic and "reasonable" assessments of what is most suitable (expression V), nor reasonable and systematic assessments within the other factors that make up motivation: the factor of expectation that some commitment will lead to performance (factor Z * U) can be completely unrealistic. Likewise, the degree of belief that some effect will lead to some outcome (factor U * I) can also be completely unrealistic and influenced by what some statisticians call "subjective probability" - and it can be very different from the actual probability.

In some places, Lawler warns that motivation is determined by the perception of the situation, and not by the actual situation. Objections about the "rationality" of his model can therefore be dismissed. The model is "rational" only because it assumes that man is relatively most motivated for the action that is the most favorable for him in a given situation, and because he "consciously" and "voluntarily" decided on that action.

All other elements that caused that decision do not have to be "rational" at all, but the result of his completely subjective perception of the situation, and maybe even the result of his wrong assessment of the activity of a goal.

Lawer also provides an abbreviated questionnaire that can be used to obtain the data needed to "calculate" employee motivation. With the help of questionnaires of this type, it is possible to successfully forecast, for example, the choice of profession among different respondents.

This approach actually represents the first serious operationalization of the concept of "motivation for work" which gradually transforms from the former diffuse concept of "will" into increasingly concrete forms (Lawler, E.E.1972).

Although little known in the literature, Fishbein also proposed a successful model of motivation and decision making. This model is quite similar to Lowler's model (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975).

According to him, every decision (or behavioral measure) is a function of two factors:

a) individual's attitude towards behavior

b) individual's subjective norms, i.e. what he thinks about what other people, whom he values ​​and whose opinion he cares about, would say about whether or not he should perform that behavior.


Each of these factors has its weight. The model formula:


Decision (behavioral intention) = Sp1 + SNp2


S = position; SN = "subjective norm"; P1 and P2 = weights


This equation says that behavior can be defined either by attitudes, or "subjective norm" or both, each time in a different "quantity" ratio, which depends on the weighting.

The relationship between the two factors is summative (and not multiplicative), because even if one of them is negative or "zero", the behavior is finally decided by their sum.

By further developing his model, Fishbein further divides the attitude into what a person thinks is the probability of the consequences of a certain behavior and how much he values ​​those consequences, where both

factors in a multiplicative relationship.


                                                  S = e (M x e)

S = attitude

M = opinion about the probability of the consequence

e = evaluation


People can have equal opinions about what all the consequences can result from a single decision and the same probability for each of those consequences, but they can value those consequences differently.

The development of the second part of Fishbein's formula (SNp2) is less successful. It consists in the fact that Fishbein believes that the general (general) subjective norm consists of the sum of the opinions of all other important people about whether something should be done or not.

If Lawler's and Fishbein's models are compared, it can be said that Fishbein's "attitude" towards some behavior mostly corresponds to the right side of Lawler's formula:


In Lawler, the probability of the outcome is multiplied by the desirability of the outcome (U * I x V), and in Fishbein, the opinion about the probability of the consequence is multiplied by the evaluation of that consequence - which is the same thing.

Fishbein, however, does not assume the existence of the Lawler factor Z*U, meaning the probability that a commitment will lead to performance. Instead, he introduces the factor of "subjective norm", which could even be called the factor of "social pressure" or the "factor of conformity".

Careful analysis, however, leads to the conclusion that this factor is already included in the "M" factor of Fishbein's attitude formula, because the opinion of others represents one of the possible consequences of human behavior. Therefore, in constant consequences (the probability of which is multiplied by evolution) one could also add a consequence - to cause positive (or negative) reactions, people whose opinions we care about, it seems that the basic value of Fishbein's and Lawler's models is that both in with their models, they predict that people make decisions that "don't make them happy" and that they don't really want. Lawler believes that such decisions are made in cases where one does not believe in the possibility of achieving an effect, despite the fact that the person is committed or believes that the effect will have a positive effect for him. Fishbein also takes into account the belief about whether the consequences of an action will be positive or not, but adds to this the "subjective norm" as an additive factor, which in itself

in exceptional cases, it can lead to a decision in some behavior, even if the motivation for that behavior "in itself" was negative.

Patricia Smith and C.J. Cranny (1968) proposed a relatively simple model. It does not enable application to all situations, but it gives insight to industrial people into what other models of expectation theories emphasize, i.e. that ultimately the performance of the worker depends only on his efforts and not on the amount of salary or other factors.


In this model, each variable from the angles of the triangle has an effect on each other (either directly or indirectly): an increased reward (salary) can cause greater satisfaction, or a greater satisfaction can (via increased effort) lead to a higher salary; increased effort may cause greater pleasure, etc. However, performance is affected only by commitment, not by pay or satisfaction, while on the contrary, performance can affect both pay and satisfaction.


Equity theory is attributed to J. Stacy Adams (1963). Although it is as old as the VIE theory (expectancy theory), it has only recently attracted the attention of industrial psychologists and other industry people.

Using the terms "person" and "other". Adams believes that "unfairness" for a person exists when he perceives that the relations between "gains" and "investment" are not equal for him compared to another person whom that person takes for comparison. (The "other" does not have to be any concrete person, but can also be an abstraction based on a wide circle of "other" people).

Examples of "investment" are: age, gender, education, social status, position in the work organization, qualifications, commitment to work, poor working conditions, etc. and examples of perceived "gain" are various rewards and what is perceived as a reward or gain (salary, status, promotion, comfortable job, etc.)

               If these relations are not equal, man tries to equalize them, and this effort is actually motivation in work. Its strength is directly proportional to the perceived "unfairness". Since investment and gain can be very different things, it depends on different characteristics of a person what he considers to be his investment: for example, "investment" can be tolerance for poor working conditions, positive (influence on other workers, sense of responsibility for work and "concern" for the prosperity of the department where the employee works, etc., etc., and "profit" can also be "a good boss", desirable working conditions, personal freedom, flexibility in working hours, etc.

Everyday practice confirms the different perception of "investment" by different people. Often, it is weak workers who complain about unfairly small "gains" (e.g. low personal incomes) citing a series of their investments (hard work, responsibility, ...), which, in their opinion, are not in proportion to the gains of others.

The question is often asked why an individual who does not work much, and therefore has a low personal income, protests so much when someone else who also does not work much, receives more income, and demands that the other person's income be reduced. The pattern of such behavior is understandable from Adams's model: since there is no possibility of achieving equilibrium by increasing the income of "me", I am in favor of reducing the income of "him".

Adams' theory does not assume that such situations that will not reliably increase the motivation to work can be perceived as gains. Namely, someone can consider the opportunity to leave his workplace whenever he wants to, and to go do his private business, as a gain. In this regard, one should look with a certain amount of caution at Adams' opinion that unfairness is perceived as a situation in which the relationship is more favorable for "me" than for "him". why would there be greater differences between individual cultures.

Another objection to the theory is that some other mechanisms can also be attributed to the experimentally obtained results. It caused a lot of interest and scrutiny because it was totally opposite to some previous understandings (e.g. Taylor) about the "economic man" who, allegedly, only strives to maximize his material income.

It is necessary to state that Adams' model belongs only to a certain extent to process theories in that it provides the main mechanism that leads to human motivation: that mechanism is perception

"non-translatability". At the same time, this is all that is "processual" in that theory. It does not provide any method by which it would be possible to conclude on the causes of a person's decision in other situations, when comparison with another person is not involved.

at the same time, since it talks about what motivates a person - it is about the perception of "inequality"

- Adams' theory is included in content models.

All these attempts to theoretically conceptualize motivation for work are influenced by and bear the stamp of existing general theoretical currents. Almost independently of existing theories and understandings of motivation, in empirical work and practice, work motivation is observed through job satisfaction or from the standpoint of workers' attitudes towards work and work organization. Therefore, we can talk about a certain gap between them theoretical concepts on the one hand and work on the other. Empirically oriented research is mainly limited to the operationalization and analysis of motivation indicators. In the largest number of empirical works (according to some sources, there are up to 4,000 titles dedicated to that topic), the understanding that general job satisfaction is a good indicator of work motivation is immanent. Thanks to numerous studies of job satisfaction, it is possible to see that psychologists were increasingly interested in:

- the problem of definition, structure, factor content of job satisfaction,

- which factors most affect job satisfaction,

- what is the relationship between job satisfaction and worker productivity or some other aspect of work behavior.


There are different definitions of general job satisfaction. One understanding is that general job satisfaction represents an affective orientation towards work. In this way, general job satisfaction is defined as a general feeling about the job, taking into account the favorable and unfavorable aspects of the job, it is the affective response of the individual, which is the result of experience at work.

In this sense, general job satisfaction is operationalized as job love, or the degree to which an individual likes his job. Similarly, general job satisfaction is defined as a generalized attitude towards work in general. In both cases, regardless of whether job satisfaction is viewed as an affective relationship, or as an attitude, job satisfaction is understood as some general attitude of individuals towards work. Finally, general job satisfaction is defined as the sum of satisfaction with certain specific job characteristics and working conditions.




               In accordance with this definition, appropriate indicators were used to measure job satisfaction, such as: willingness and desire to change jobs, desire to choose the same or different type of job, feeling of pleasantness related to work, and finally a measure that shows how the individual feels about his job at all. In this connection, there is a question of content, i.e. factor structure of job satisfaction, whether job satisfaction is reduced to one or more factors. In one of the studies, Kac established that job satisfaction contains a number of dimensions:


- attachment to the group,

- intrinsic satisfaction, the one that results from performing certain tasks,

- feelings of belonging to the work organization,

- satisfaction with material status and job status).


               A greater number of researchers believe that job satisfaction contains a greater number of factors. On the other hand, the results of certain studies show that there is a tendency for a high positive correlation between various aspects of job satisfaction, which suggests that there is some general G factor of attitude towards the work organization. The individual's relationship to work is sometimes observed, not only from the point of view of satisfaction, but also through the ego - involvement and intrinsic motivation of the worker. Ego involvement means, in fact, accepting the value of work, the role and importance that work has in an individual's life. There are attempts to demarcate and more clearly define work engagement and intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation, according to this understanding, refers to "the degree to which an individual is motivated to do something well because of the subjective reward or feeling they expect." This motivation occurs when a sense of self-esteem develops and is linked to achievement. This definition of intrinsic motivation differs to a certain extent from Herzberg's, which ties it not only to achievement, but also to the need and possibility of self-actualization. Work engagement refers to psychological identification with work. In this way, statements, measures that talk about the psychological importance and identification with work, are taken as measures of work engagement, and statements about the impact of performance (success at work) on self-esteem - as a measure of intrinsic motivation.

In both cases, work represents an important content of life, the individual finds satisfaction in doing the work itself. There are different approaches to measuring general job satisfaction, i.e. different indicators or special instruments.




               General satisfaction is defined as an individual's affective attitude towards work, or as an attitude towards work. Based on certain indicators such as the interestingness of the job, the attachment to the job, the importance of the job for the individual, etc., that is, the statements, by adding up the answers, a score of general job satisfaction is obtained.

Brightfield - Rot scale for measuring general job satisfaction, contains 18 statements given in the form of a Likert scale. Assertions indicate what the individual feels about the work he is doing. This scale is highly correlated with some previously constructed well-known scales and e.g. with Hopok's scale. The correlation is 0.92. Later tests showed that the Brayfield-Rot scale meets the basic metric requirements of the instruments.

               A projective instrument was also used to measure general job satisfaction. It's the Kunin facial scale. It consists of shots of faces with different emotional expressions, from laughter, pleasantness, satisfaction to extreme dissatisfaction. The subject marks the image that best maintains how he feels about the work. Later studies show that the face scale is one of the better methods of measuring general job satisfaction.




               There are attempts to obtain a measure of general job satisfaction indirectly through satisfaction with certain aspects of the job. This approach and method of measuring job satisfaction is based on the understanding that what a worker feels about his job is the result of his satisfaction with different aspects of his job. In order to obtain a general job satisfaction score, different ways of combining satisfaction with individual job factors are applied. There are several methods of measuring job satisfaction indirectly:


a) Additive procedure - characteristic of this procedure is that general job satisfaction is understood

and measures as the sum and sum of satisfaction with certain concrete aspects of the job. This procedure is based on the assumption that all working conditions, all aspects of the job are equally important for the individual and, therefore, equally influence the general job satisfaction.

The data of some studies show that there is a high correlation between satisfaction with certain aspects of work, which in principle justifies this way of measuring general job satisfaction. However, there are perceptions, and empirical data confirm this, that different working conditions have different significance for the individual and that, therefore, they have an unequal effect on the satisfaction of the individual.


b) Evaluating satisfaction with individual factors - If the understanding of the different importance of individual aspects is justified, the satisfaction scores for individual aspects of the job should be treated differently, so that the highest numerical value should be given to those aspects that are the most important for the individual. In order to get the right measure of general job satisfaction, different evaluation methods are applied.


               One of the procedures is that in order to obtain a general job satisfaction score, two data are taken into account: the importance of certain aspects of the job and the individual's satisfaction with those aspects. The scores obtained on the two scales (scale of importance and scale of satisfaction) are multiplied and the products thus obtained for each of the aspects of the job are added up and thus the final score is obtained - a numerical expression of general job satisfaction.

There are attempts to obtain general job satisfaction through the difference between aspirations and the degree of their realization. Subjects are required to mark their aspirations and the degree of their realization on certain scales. Here, as in the previous procedure, two scales are given for each aspect of the job and working conditions, one measuring what the individual expects, and the other measuring how much it was achieved. Satisfaction with each individual aspect is, in fact, the obtained numerical difference between the aspiration and the degree of satisfaction. Finally, the overall job satisfaction score is obtained by summing up the obtained positive or negative differences. Some data show that there is a high correlation between the measure of general satisfaction thus obtained and the Brojfield-Rot scale.

               In addition to the above, there are also more complex procedures for measuring general job satisfaction. The measure of general satisfaction is obtained on the basis of 3 types of data: the importance of goals, the level of aspiration and the degree of achievement of goals. The difference between importance, aspiration and achievement of goals forms the basis of obtaining a general job satisfaction score. The data show that overall satisfaction is significantly more related to the aspects that the subjects marked as important than to those that are less important. Namely, those aspects of the job that the subjects rated as the most important were in the highest correlation with job satisfaction. This method of obtaining a measure of general job satisfaction has certain advantages compared to

(others, because job satisfaction is viewed based on needs, the importance of various goals and the possibility of their satisfaction in a real situation. A high correlation was obtained between this way of obtaining general satisfaction and the Broyfield-Rot (1951) scale, which speaks of satisfactory validity.

               The data of various researches do not provide uniform conclusions regarding the preference and value of different evaluation procedures. Therefore, the choice of one of the procedures for evaluating and measuring general job satisfaction depends on specific goals.

None of the listed procedures for the valued calculation of job satisfaction met a more serious empirical test. In a specific situation, according to the aim of the research, it is possible, with a preliminary check, to apply the mentioned procedures for measuring job satisfaction. However, a more specific answer to the problem of the most adequate procedure for measuring general job satisfaction requires further and wider empirical verification.

Several methods have been developed to determine satisfaction with work and work. The techniques of questionnaires on attitudes or interviews are most often applied. The most comprehensive review of the methods of creating attitude scales was made by Edwards (Edwards, 1957).

Of the three main methods - Gutman's, Thurston's and Likerton's - the last one is considered somewhat more reliable than the others, and its setup and application require less time.

               Many questionnaires have been created to determine attitudes towards work, in relation to a large number of dimensions. One of the most famous is the Job Descriptive Index (Smit, Kendal and Hulin, 1969), which, based on a factor analysis of job satisfaction dimensions, determines satisfaction in five areas:


1. Work

2. Payment

3. The possibility of advancement

4. Supervision

5. Colleagues at work


Despite the fact that in both the United States and Great Britain, women are predominantly employed in jobs that require lower qualifications, most papers report that, in general, women are more satisfied with their jobs than men. The fact is, however, that in cases where women and men are employed in the same job, have the same status and the same income, results are obtained that again indicate that women are more satisfied with their jobs.

This fact indicates that the aforementioned factors probably do not affect job satisfaction as much for women as for men. For women, job satisfaction may be conditioned by different factors, such as the social aspects of the job (Myers 1964).

               The most comprehensive review and analysis of previous research into conditions that affect job satisfaction was given by Herzberg et al. Based on previous studies of job satisfaction in 150 studies, the authors have given a ranking of job satisfaction factors:


- Job security

- Interest (intrinsic aspect of work)

- The possibility of advancement

- Recognition received from the manager

- Company and management

- Intrinsic aspects of the job excluding ease

- Leadership

- Social aspects of work

- Working conditions

- Communication

- Ease of work

- Benefits


Comparing the two sets of data, the following is noted:


- Job security is what workers most wanted in their jobs, which can be explained by the objective possibility of losing or being fired from their jobs.

Another question is how much the provision of a secure job takes away the motivational importance of this factor,

- What Herzberg later called motivators has somewhat less importance and they follow in this ranking list after job security (they occupy II, III and IV place),


- Salary compared to the previous factors (safety and job content factors) has less importance, but is more important than other external factors,


- Working conditions, management, ease of work, benefits have relatively little importance for job satisfaction.

A recent survey provides the following ranking of what workers want most in their jobs:


- the ability to do the job well

- a manager who will listen and help the worker

- salary according to abilities

- the possibility of advancement

- paid per piece

- good colleagues

- the ability to decide

- colleagues who appreciate the ability and work of the workers

- the possibility of recognizing one's own contribution

- a manager who provides the necessary technical assistance

- ability to use abilities

- good and safe physical working conditions

- good earnings

- managers who receive and implement employee proposals.


               Research by Nimbord Limbong and Erik.Y. Nasutiona (April 2001) aimed to determine the achievements and aspirations of workers employed at AIIAS (Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies). It was based on motivational factors and external factors as indicators of job satisfaction. The goal was also to determine the differences between what workers achieve and what they want.


Motivational factors:


1. The possibility of acquiring new skills and knowledge

2. Influence, participation in making important decisions

3. Progress on the organization

4. Professional advancement

5. The possibility of free decision-making and responsibility

6. Prestige in the organization

7. Originality, marketing of new ideas

8. Importance of work tasks

9. Responsibility, knowledge of work

10. Work enthusiasm, enjoyment of work for its own sake.


External factors:


1. Availability of support

2. Salary

3. Prestige in the community

4. Respect for associates

5. Job security

6. Good interpersonal relations

7. Nature of organizational relations

8. Benefits, bonuses, insurance

9. Good physical condition

10. Competent supervisors


Job satisfaction also increases by raising the job level in the organizational hierarchy (Porter and Lawler, 1965).


               Sometimes it is considered that the differences in job satisfaction depending on the vocation reflect the differences in the content of the job, and especially in the degree of independence, responsibility and diversity that certain vocations imply. These elements of job content are considered, in general terms, to be among the most important determinants of work and job satisfaction.

Job satisfaction also depends on the prestige of the corresponding job, since jobs with higher prestige lead to greater satisfaction than others.

The above data show that various factors influence the satisfaction and motivation of workers. The data cited by Herzberg, as well as later research, show that factors related to job content, as well as working conditions, can have a positive and negative effect on job satisfaction. Based on previous researches, it is possible to conclude that a large number of different factors affect job satisfaction.

The importance of an individual factor for job satisfaction can change, increase and decrease depending on the objective situation in which the individual finds himself and on the importance of other factors. Most often, job satisfaction depends on interrelated factors. Different factors do not affect job satisfaction in isolation, individually, but are interconnected. Nevertheless, an attempt to systematize would include the following factors that can positively or negatively, more or less directly affect job satisfaction:

- general social and economic circumstances and conditions. Economic and social stability, i.e. instability, employment opportunities, etc. - they affect the expectations of the individual and thus indirectly the satisfaction and motivation for work.

- conditions in the work organization, economic perspective and possibilities of the work organization,

(the structure of the organization, the organization of work, the way of leadership and management, the general "climate" in the organization, various benefits and concessions that workers have, etc.

- work group and immediate manager, relationships in the group, management style

- job, type, interest, difficulty of work, possibility of advancement and affirmation at work, salary, physical working conditions, shift work, variety of work, possibility of injuries and occupational diseases

- position, social background, education, motivation, personality traits, individual abilities.


Affecting the possibility of meeting needs, realizing or changing the level of expectations, changing goals, etc. the above factors affect job satisfaction. Due to all of the above, the efforts to increase employee job satisfaction are understandable.


The COVID-19 induced lockdown periods have shaken employees’ relationship to work, in time, space and form, for an important part of the working population. This place to work change resulted in a soar of digital tool uses to overcome the lack of face-to-face interactions to collaborate and perform work outside the office as underlined both by services providers (Zoom, Microsoft) Existing research on consequences of home office on employees’ job well-being and job productivity, during the lockdowns, are heterogeneous and mixed. Moreover, even if the importance of a well-equipped digital work environment is acknowledged by various analyses, the role of the effective use of collaborative and communication digital tools during the lockdown periods on workers’ job well-being and job productivity still remains largely unknown (

However, according to Forbes Journal despite the pandemic, economic crisis, mass layoffs, and the increase in the unemployment rate, job satisfaction did not decline in 2020, instead hitting a 20-year high, according to The Conference Board Job Satisfaction Survey from November 2020. ( The shift to remote work did not seem to hurt job satisfaction either.





            Research on job satisfaction began in earnest in the early 1930s and was heavily influenced both by the economic and employment crises of the depression and by the new developments in attitude measurement (e.g., work by Turnstone and Likert, in particular.) 

Job satisfaction refers to employees’ overall feelings about their jobs; it is the state of well-being and happiness of a person concerning performance in the workspace and its environment. It can be an excellent determinant of productivity within a company; some factors that intervene are a collaborator’s attitude at work, with leaders and colleagues, and career expectations. According to Guile Santana ( when employees are satisfied with their jobs and feel like they are in the right spot in their careers, they are more likely to perform better and have a longer tenure at a company, which is why measuring their engagement is essential.

In today’s working life, employees seek to be happy in their workspace, to join a good team, and to be satisfied with the tasks that correspond to them, that is, to be satisfied with their employment. Job satisfaction plays an essential role for the staff and the company because when the workers are happy, there is greater productivity. The recipe for achieving job satisfaction will change from person to person. However, some components are the same or very similar, such as: pay and benefits, job security, recognition, career development, engagement and respect.


As we could see attitudes towards work include constructs such as job satisfaction or work engagement, but also any set of specific opinions of workers about certain aspects of their work. When analyzing perspectives on job satisfaction throughout the years we can make one general conclusion: a satisfied employee is a happy employee and a happy employee is a successful employee.



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