There is some doubt whether job satisfaction consists of a single dimension or a number of separate ones. Some workers may be satisfied with some aspects of their work and dissatisfied with others. There does, however, appear to be a positive correlation between satisfaction levels in different areas of work. This suggests a single overall factor of job satisfaction. However, it seems there is no one, general, comprehensive theory which explains job satisfaction.
Today is still considered by a number of critics to be, a complex concept and difficult to measure objectively. A wide range of variables relating to individual, social, cultural organizational and environmental factors affect the level of job satisfaction. Specifically:
- Individual Factors include personality, education, intelligence and abilities, age, marital status. Orientation to work.
- Social Factors include relationships with co-workers, group working and norms, opportunities for interaction, informal organization.
- Cultural Factors include underlying attitudes, beliefs and values.
- Organizational Factors include nature and size, formal structure, personnel policies and procedures, employee relations, nature of the work, technology and work organization, supervision and styles of leadership, management systems, working conditions.
- Environmental Factors include economic, social, technical and governmental influences.
These different factors, all affect the job satisfaction of certain individuals in a given set of circumstances, but not necessarily in others. The various studies of job satisfaction have some validity and have served the businesses in times of need and performance appraisal.
A strategic way of achieving job satisfaction is to establish a corporate culture that encourages communication and is directed towards quality work. It is particularly important for employees to see excellence rewarded, to not fear making mistakes, to work in an atmosphere of helpfulness, and to see a relationship between hard work and rewards. As the tool for such strategic changes, organizational culture can be altered by reshaping functions, such as the communications systems and by building teams and creating leaders. Managing change is the challenge for today's businesses and its success or failure will judge the viability of any firm in the years to come.