Job Performance And Job Satisfaction Management Essay

Job satisfaction is an important component in the modern organisation and its study along with job performance has been very popular in various researches. In the on-coming sections, insightful information will be given to attest the importance of task and contextual performance of employees within an organisation and we will also discuss the effects of organisational citizenship behaviour and organisational retaliatory behaviour and other positive behaviours in relation to job satisfaction. In the light of qualitative and quantitative review, several findings have reviewed that job satisfaction-job performance relationship slightly or do not correlate.

2.0. Job Performance

Job performance as a whole is defined as the positive and negative contributions of an employee towards organisational goal accomplishments (Colquitt, 2011). Task performance, contextual performance and counterproductive behaviour form the three broad categories within job performance. In order to perform at their best, employees should engage in task and contextual performance. Task performance as defined by Colquitt (2011) is the employee’s behaviour that is needed to transform organisational resources into goods and services while contextual performance is the voluntary activity performed by employee which may or may not be rewarded but benefits the organisation’s work setting.

However, task and contextual performance should be addressed separately as they both contribute differently to the overall organisation (Motowidlo & Van Scotter, 1994). According to Katz and Kahn (1978), task performance is role prescribed, i.e. employees are given instructions to do their duty whereas contextual performance is more discrete in nature. Employees that are categorised under contextual performance are usually volunteering to do extra activities, cooperating and helping other coworkers, undertaking tasks enthusiastically, following the strict rules and regulations and supporting the organisation (Borman & Motowidlo, 1993). Motowidlo and Van Scotter (1994) put forward that task performance is directly related to the organisation’s technical core whilst contextual performance supports mostly the psychological and social environment as well as the organisation as a whole in which the technical core must function.

Based on the definition of organisation citizenship behaviour described by Organ (1997), it can be concluded that contextual performance is quite the same as organisational citizenship behaviour. The latter is becoming a very important aspect in the modern organisation because MacKenzie, Podsakoff and Fetter (1991) have acknowledged in their study that managers take some form of organisational citizenship behaviour into consideration when asked to evaluate the overall performance of insurance sales agents. Moreover, it has been noted that personality variables give better prediction of contextual performance and experience explains more variance in task performance. The results of the study show that task and contextual performance independently contribute to judgements of overall organisational contribution and have different patterns of association with experience and personality factors (Motowidlo & Van Scotter, 1994).

3.0. Job Satisfaction and Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB)

Job satisfaction as defined by Colquitt (2011) is the positive emotional state that is derived from job experiences. As Organ (1988) commented, organisational citizenship behaviour helps to improve effective and efficient organisation by contributing to transformation, innovation and adaptation of resources. Job satisfaction is influenced by pay, job tasks and day-to-day moods and emotions (Colquitt, 2011). However, the strongest driver of overall job satisfaction is with the work itself.

The most frequently examined correlate in OCB is job satisfaction (William & Anderson, 1991).

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Although OCB may be discrete in nature, it is becoming an important aspect in the job nowadays.

So researchers have tried to study what causes OCB in the workplace. The study of both Scholl et al. (1987) and Organ and Konovsky (1989) have indicated that for OCB performance to take place, pay cognitions should be supported. However, the support for pay cognitions in these two studies may be so because appraisal process of specific perceptions about the job were not or were not fully measured (William & Anderson, 1991).

4.0. Relationship of Job Satisfaction and Higher Employee Performance

The relationship between job satisfaction and job performance has been described by industrial psychologists as the “Holy Grail” (Landy, 1989). This same relationship has intrigued organisational researchers for approximately 50 years (Iaffaldano & Muchinsky, 1985) and report research reviews are still referencing the job performance- job satisfaction relationship studies such as Bartol (1981).

The job satisfaction- job performance review of Brayfield and Crockett (1955) was one of the most influential narratives. They then concluded that the relationship between the two was minimal. The satisfaction-performance relationship was specified in seven different models. Unfortunately, most of them proved to be either inconclusive or inconsistent (Judge et al., 2001).

A strong call for theory-driven researches for the satisfaction-performance relationship was issued in the reviews of Locke (1970) and Schwab and Cummings (1970). In response to these reviews, researchers began to focus closely on the relationship and the factors that may moderate or mediate it (Judge et al., 2001).

The use of moderator variables is the most common way of investigating the relationship between satisfaction and performance (Judge et al., 2001). In diagrams below, moderator variables put forward by researchers will be discussed.

Model 1: Pay as moderator.

The logic behind this diagram is that, assuming pay is valued by employees, high performance should be satisfying to the extent that pay is linked to performance. Thus, strong pay would satisfy the employees as performance leads to valuable rewards (Judge et al., 2001).

However, the hypothesis of Locke (1970) may have limitations. As argued by Spector (1997), pay forms part of the broad list of job rewards and research demonstrates that pay and job satisfaction have a weak correlation. Moreover, employees say that they mostly value intrinsic rewards such as nature of the work itself over pay (Jurgensen, 1978).

Model 2: Self esteem as moderator.

The second most researched moderator is self esteem. According to the self-consistency theory of Korman (1970), he argues that satisfaction will prevail in employees that engage in behaviours that are being steady with their self-image. Thus the satisfaction-performance relationship should be dependent on self esteem such that for high self-esteemed individuals, performance would be satisfying.

Many other moderators such as situational constraints, career stage and cognitive ability have been proposed and tested. However, the failure to find the satisfaction-performance relationship may be due to the limited means to define job performance (Organ, 1988). The latter argued that if performance was broadly conceptualised to include OCB and task performance, its correlation with job satisfaction would increase. The models above could be valid only if performance and individual satisfaction were correlated very weakly (Judge et al., 2001). So, moderators were “of little consequence” (Iaffaldano & Muchinsky, 1985, pp. 267) and the satisfaction-performance relationship was also described as an illusionary correlation (Chapman & Chapman, 1969).

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5.0. Job Satisfaction and Types of Employee Performance

Organisational citizenship behaviour and counterproductive behaviour are the different types of employee performance. Now we will look at various figures that will demonstrate the relationship between job satisfaction and employee performance.

Figure 1: Relationship between OCB and job satisfaction for employee performance.

OCB as described earlier on is the extra-activities not usually prescribed that an employee performs willingly. OCB enhances psychological and social environment that increase group performance and task proficiency (Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1994; Walz & Niehoff, 2000). Employees who engage in extra-role behaviour tend to be happier with their overall job. This is so because individuals that perform OCB tend to score high on personality traits such as trait conscientiousness (Lapierre & Hackett, 2007).

Figure 2: Relationship between trait conscientiousness and leader-member exchange (LMX).

Trait conscientiousness as defined by Digman and Takemoto-Chock (1981) is the extent to which an individual is hard-working and determined which reflects a strong will to achieve. Conscientious employees are more satisfied at work because they behave in ways that promotes rewards (Lapierre & Hackett, 2007). Organ and Ryan (1995) have argued that conscientious employees exude positive impressions on managers. In turn, the manager treats them rightly and satisfactorily in terms of respect, trust and privileges.

Figure 2 demonstrates that OCB mediates the effect of trait conscientiousness on leader-member exchange (LMX) quality. Moreover, the higher the degree of LMX, the more an employee will be demonstrating OCB (Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1993). For employees to feel satisfied and to perform at top levels, he/she should engage into high quality LMX relations. Usually, preferential treatments such as autonomy and challenging responsibilities are given to employees that are in higher quality LMX relationship (Graen, 2003; Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995; Lapierre, Hackett, & Taggar, 2006). Thus this can enhance and boost the career opportunities of employees.

The advantage of the positive work behaviours benefits the organisation as it frees up resources that would otherwise be necessary to tackle discipline problems, solve communication misunderstandings and to resolve conflicts (Motowidlo et al., 1997). Moreover, cooperative and helpful behaviours are expected to increase effective group work and improve control and coordination by reducing clashes among employees (Borman & Motowidlo, 1993; Smith et al., 1983). However, despite being a welcomed behaviour in organisations, employees should be aware of problems incurred by demonstrating organisational citizenship behaviour at the detriment of task and in-role performance (Bolino et al., 2004). Organisational citizenship behaviour may lead to inefficiencies if an employee’s time is sacrificed at the expense of needed task performance. Hence, reflecting bad impressions upon co-workers and most importantly on supervisors (Lapierre & Hackett, 2007).

6.0. Job Satisfaction and Organisational Retaliatory Behaviour (ORB)

In this section, negative aspects of employee behaviour such as organisational retaliatory behaviour will be discussed. Folger (1987, 1993), Greenberg (1990b), Sheppard, Lewicki and Minton (1992) have discussed that employees will experience disgust, resentment and anger if management processes and organisational decisions are considered unfair. Moreover, this injustice felt by the employee can nurture a desire to punish those responsible and hence retribution (Sheppard et al., 1992). For instance, in a survey of about 5000 employees working in three different business sectors, employees that felt exploited by the organisation were bound to engage in acts such as theft to correct this injustice (Hollinger & Clark, 1983). On the same heading, theft was a consequence of underpayment inequity (Greenberg & Scott, 1996). The report of Demore, Fisher, and Baron (1988) shows that vandalism acts are performed to reduce inequity that began with unfair treatment.

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However, if employees have no power against the organisation or the boss, justice restoration attempts could nearly have no effect (Homans, 1961). Before engaging in retaliation, dissatisfied employees may engage in retaliation that are covert in nature such as discontinuing citizenship behaviour and psychological withdrawal. Both OCB and ORB may be analogous in ways that they are both the little things that is crucial for the survival of an organisation (Katz & Kahn, 1966). Covert and subtle forms of retaliation may not be as dangerous as overt retaliation but may still have some consequences on effective organisational functioning.

For example, arriving late at meetings, gossiping and spreading bad rumours about other employees and failing to transmit information among coworkers can be conceptualized as aggressive intentions and therefore could be labeled as retaliatory in nature (Skarlicki & Folger, 1997).

Individuals’ definition of fairness is not only in terms of obtained outcomes but also in terms of the procedures that is used to determine the employees’ outcomes which is called procedural justice (Leventhal, Karuza, & Fry, 1980; Thibaut & Walker, 1975). The procedural justice is referred to be the fairness of the formal procedures of a company (Skarlicki & Folger, 1997). Decision-making process are said to be fair when they are free from bias, correct, representative, accurate and ethical (Leventhal et al., 1980). When procedures in organisation are fair, employees are more apt to accept the responsibility of their problems whereas if procedures are deemed to be unfair, employees may respond destructively by engaging in retaliation (Cropanzano & Folger, 1989).

Interactional justice is known as the second form of procedural justice (Bies, 1986) and includes demonstrated social sensitivity such as treating and respecting employees with dignity. The major share of perceived injustices is mainly due to the quality of interpersonal encounters and interactions rather than procedural or distributive issues (Mikula, Petrick & Tanzer, 1990). Moreover, retaliation labeled as “isolated behaviours” usually have low correlations with the general employee attitude measurement and therefore have limiting ability to manage and predict these behaviours (Fishbein & Azjen, 1975). Finally, in the findings of Skarlicki and Folger (1997), for organisations to reduce retaliation among employees, they should focus on the forms of justice discussed above.

7.0. Conclusion

The study of job satisfaction and job performance has given a great insight and constructive approach on how organisations should work and perform in order to make the most out of employees and in turn generate satisfaction from them. Although researchers have found that there is little correlation between the satisfaction-job performance relationship, organisations should ensure that their employees feel valued and empowered at work so that they perform OCB which will in turn prove to be beneficial and positive to both parties.

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