Parker, Chris P.
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)
Department of Psychology
This study investigated the application of the functional approach to attitudes to the domain of job satisfaction. It was posited that the effects of job characteristics, social context, and pay on job satisfaction would be moderated by the function that the person's job attitude (i.e., value-expressive, social-adjustive, or utilitarian) serves. Additionally, it was posited that these attitude functions would moderate relationships between job satisfaction and performance (both task and contextual). In measuring people's attitude functions, it became apparent that the function of their attitude (i.e., the function of holding a positive or negative attitude toward their job) was different than the function of the attitude object (i.e., the function of the job itself for that person). After testing the hypotheses with both participants' attitude function and their attitude object function, it was determined that attitude object function was a more important moderator when predicting job satisfaction and its effects. When the antecedents of job satisfaction “matched” the function the job was serving (i.e., pay and utilitarian attitude object function; job characteristics enrichment and value-expressive attitude object function), the effect of the antecedent on job satisfaction was generally more positive. In turn, some attitude object functions served as moderators between job satisfaction and task performance (i.e., utilitarian and social-adjustive). These results suggest that a person's reason for being satisfied with their job (i.e., his/her attitude object function) is an important variable to consider both when examining why people are satisfied with their jobs and when examining the conditions when more satisfied employees are in fact better performers.
Roberts, Joanne E., "Functional approach and job attitudes : a moderator of job satisfaction relationships" (2002). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 3216.
Northern Illinois University
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