Job satisfaction and its situational and dispositional antecedents: a study in China's northeast

2017-01-13T03:48:44Z (GMT) by Zhai, Qingguo
The aim of the current study was to investigate the influence of dispositions and work situations on job satisfaction, and the mediating role of perceptions of work situations on the relationship between dispositions and job satisfaction. Identifying the antecedents of job satisfaction is important both theoretically and practically, as job satisfaction is closely related to other organizational variables such as job performance, organizational citizenship behavior, absenteeism and turnover. Most of the extant studies on the antecedents of job satisfaction have focused on populations in economically developed countries. However, there are cultural and language differences between these countries and China, and it is unclear if findings in other countries can be generalized to the Chinese population. Furthermore, there are few comprehensive studies investigating a range of both situational and dispositional variables. The main contribution of the current study is to incorporate major dispositional and situational variables and investigate the mediating role of perceived work situations on the disposition and job satisfaction relationship in China. A cross-sectional research design was used in the study. The sample was taken from employees in industrial and commercial organizations in China’s northeast. All the measures were well-established, widely used multi-item measures developed in English-speaking countries. Confirmatory factor analysis and Cronbach’s alpha demonstrated that the measures were of good validity and reliability and could be used for Chinese populations. Regression analysis found that of the ten situational variables, seven had a statistically significant relationship with job satisfaction: distributive justice, supervisor support, role conflict, autonomy, routinization, role ambiguity, and promotional chances. Of the seven situational variables, distributive justice had the largest effect on job satisfaction, followed by supervisor support, role conflict, autonomy, routinization, role ambiguity, and promotional chances. Three situational variables were not significantly related to job satisfaction: work overload, co-worker support, and pay level. The relationship between job satisfaction and positive affectivity and conscientiousness were partially mediated by perception of work situations, while the relationships between job satisfaction and negative affectivity and neuroticism were completely mediated by perception of work situations. Of the dispositional variables, positive affectivity had the strongest total effect on job satisfaction, much of it mediated by perceived work situations. The findings of this research support the theory that job satisfaction has both a dispositional source and situational source. Disposition has an influence on job satisfaction both directly and indirectly through work situations. The research findings also suggest that most of the findings on the antecedents of job satisfaction reported in research undertaken in economically developed countries can be generalized to China. However, the finding of a non-significant relationship between work overload, co-worker support and job satisfaction could be country-specific. In a transitional country such as China, work overload may be linked to secure jobs, and as a result people may be not unhappy to work intensively for long hours. In terms of practical implications, the findings of this study provide managers in industrial and commercial enterprises with guidelines in establishing conditions for the creation and maintenance of high levels of employee’s job satisfaction.