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Job Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction

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Essay title: Job Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction


By Bambang Fahruddin, S.Pd

Posted: May 29th, 2008


The discussion of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction is largely generated from the theories proposed by Maslow which is known with the so call “the needs theory” and Herzberg’s theory that is called “two-factor theory” or “hygiene theory”. Both job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are assumed critical for the organizations to manage since they absolutely affect the productivity as well as the effectiveness of either the employees or the organization performance. This is proved by Herzberg, Mausner & Snyderman (1959) who argue that in order to boost the productivity of employees in particular and organization in general, it is important to increase the effectiveness of employees at work, so then the employees have positive attitudes towards their jobs. Furthermore, in support of the opinion of Herzberg, et al, Stone (1998) further expresses his view that the attitudes of employees towards their jobs and life do have an effect on the grade of job satisfaction they have. Therefore, it is vital and fruitful for all organizations to understand as to the factors that can generate satisfaction since satisfied employees can lead to improved moral and this will bring happiness and greater self-realization, Herzber, et al (1959).

Since employees are individuals who are unique, they are different from one another; their job satisfaction is affected differently by among others; their age, sex, education, and their personal differences. Thus, a clear picture of what job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are assumed to be essential to lead us to identical comprehension and it will be worthy to note their definitions established by the following scholars.

In general, satisfaction and dissatisfaction with jobs is largely related to the workers’ feelings. That is why, Stone (1998) posits, �job satisfaction reflects an employee’s feelings about various aspects of work resulting from the attainment of organization’s goals” (p.395). On the contrary, he maintains, �job dissatisfaction reflects an employee’s negative feelings caused by some specializations that lead to increase in absenteeism, decreased performance, and labor turnover” (p.398).

Furthermore, if job satisfactions as well as job dissatisfaction are not administered proportionally, I believe that this situation has significant effects on the performance of the organization which will involve several organizational variables such as absenteeism, labor turnover, organizational commitment, and organization performance. Therefore, this essay will highlight its discussion on the correlation between job satisfactions with several organizational variables consisting of absenteeism, labor turnover, organizational commitment, and organizational performance.


There have been several theories in conjunction with job satisfaction and dissatisfaction proposed by experts, but this essay restricts its discussion to two main theories from two outstanding scholars, Maslow (1943) and Herzberg, et al. (1959).

1. Maslow’s Theory

According to his theory, employees were motivated to satisfy when their five basic types of needs are fulfilled; they are physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, self-esteem and self-actualization. This theory suggests that there is a hierarchy of needs in which one or employee needs to satisfy his or her lower need adequately before stepping to a higher order need. Subsequently, once the employee has been able to fulfill the need, it is highly likely that the need will no longer motivate employee’s behavior at work, Stone (1998).

However, Stone (1998) still heavily claims that Maslow’s theory has several weaknesses on several points. As for Stone, the five level of needs derived from Maslow’s theory have little evidence to support his claim. Secondly, there is no obvious proof that the motivational power of a need diminishes once the need has been satisfied. Thirdly, the variables such as age, race, gender, personality, cultural background and so on influence the relative strength of a need in individual employee.

2. Herzberg’s Theory

Herzberg, et al (1959) proposed a theory known with the so-called “two-factor theory” or in other words known as “a two-hierarchy of needs,” namely first is motivators or satisfiers are higher needs for achievement or the individual’s

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