EnglishGeneralLibrary Science

Job satisfaction and Industrial Library

Concept of Job Satisfaction

Libraries like other organizations need a stable work force of talented and motivated employees. Personnel committed to their library organization are more likely to put in extra efforts, accept change even in adversities for achieving high quality of work. It is an accepted fact that productivity is highly and positively correlated with job satisfaction. Thus a traditional view goes as ‘a satisfied worker is a productive worker, and a productive worker is a happy worker’. In the case of library, the personnel form the single most important component in achieving the quality of service. No library can function adequately without the effective performances of its personnel even if it is considerably equipped with collections and other resources. The commitment and sense of responsibility of its employees, clarity of objectives and goals are far more important than the employees’ academic knowledge and • professional skills. The achievement of the library organization’s goal depends on the motives of the personnel. The enhancement in the motives of the personnel requires fulfillment of certain organizational, personal and Interpersonal Needs. The highly motivated personnel tend to show higher efficiency in organization roles, which in turn generate higher levels of job satisfaction.

The word “Job” means a piece of work to be done. It refers to a very specific and defined task. “Job satisfaction” means the satisfaction derived from a piece of work in which the person is engaged. Job satisfaction is a comprehensive satisfaction involving cognitive, effective & evaluative reactions or attitudes and states which is a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experience. It is the outcome of employee’s perception of how well their job provides those things that are viewed as important. Job satisfaction refers to one’s feeling towards one’s job. An employee having satisfaction is said to possess positive attitude towards the job. Conversely, dissatisfied person will have negative attitude towards his or her job. It is recognized at three levels or in three dimensions. Firstly, job satisfaction is the emotional response to a job situation. It is only inferred from the situation. Secondly, job satisfaction is determined by how well an outcome meets or exceeds expectations. That means if library organizational personnel feel that they are working much harder than others but are receiving fewer rewards, they will have a negative attitude towards the work, the organization and other coworkers. They will be treated as dissatisfied. On the other hand, if they feel that they are being treated very well, they are likely to have a positive attitude towards the job. They will be job satisfied. Thirdly, job satisfaction represents several related attitudes. Mostly there are five dimensions of job, which have already been identified by different researchers. The dimensions are as follows:

i) Work: It deals with the extent to which the job provides the individual with interesting tasks, opportunities for learning and chance to accept any responsibility.

ii) Pay: It deals with the amount of financial benefit that one receives and the degree to which this is viewed as equitable vis-a-vis that of others in the organizations.

iii) Promotion: It deals with the chance for advancement in the organization.

iv) Supervision: It deals with the activities of the higher authority to provide technical assistance and behavioral support.

v) Coworkers: It deals with the degree to which the fellow workers are technically proficient and socially supportive.

Thus job satisfaction is a general pleasurable or positive emotional state of an individual, which results from his appraisal of the various dimensions of his job. Although there may be many dimensions but the above five dimensions are considered as core dimensions.

An associated issue is related to performance of organization and their effectiveness. If job satisfaction is high, will there be better employees’ performance and the organization will be more effective? If job satisfaction is low, will there be performance problems and ineffectiveness? Is satisfaction governed by any motivational factor(s)? There are no simple answers and the results range from weak to strong. Job satisfaction is considered to be a function of the interaction of the employee with his job environment. The employee experiences the various characteristics operating within job environment and reacts to those characteristics on the basis of his own personal requirements. These personal requirements have been described variously in terms of employee’s motivation on expectations. In this regard Blum and Naylor (1968) have defined job satisfaction on the result of various attitudes, a person holds towards his job related factors and towards life in general whereas Brown, Bessien and Russell (1969) define job satisfaction as a favorable feeling or psychological condition of a person toward his job situation. Tiffin and Mc Cormick (1960) have remarked that the job satisfaction is influenced both by the extent to which the work of a person goes, is intrinsically interesting to him and by his attitude towards total work situation, including the company, his supervisor, and his fellow workers. Jones and Jordan (1984) describe job satisfaction in such a way that it does not depend, solely on one’s own motivation, rather derived from the nature of the task, the qualification, skills and attitudes of the person, the nature of other people, and the management climate. Environmental factors are also important, since the rate of change in organization creates stress and threatens existing job satisfaction. Locke (1969) provides one of the best definitions that job satisfaction is an emotional reaction that “results from the perception that one’s job fulfils or allows the fulfillment of one’s important job values, when those values are congruent with one’s need”. Locke points out that job satisfaction is the same as “morale”. Job satisfaction involves a retrospective assessment of one’s job. It is concerned with morale, and a positive desire to continue to work at one’s job. It is more often used to describe the attitude of a working person rather than that of a single individual.

Job satisfaction is dynamic and has been conceptually defined by different authors such as Locke (1976) as a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experience. Feldman and Arnold (1983) describe job satisfaction as the amount of overall positive affect for feelings that individuals have towards their jobs. According to Davis, and News Strom (1989), Job satisfaction is the amount of pleasurable or contentment associated with a job. If one likes one’s job, he has job satisfaction. If one dislikes job intensely, he will experience job dissatisfaction. They also view that job satisfaction is a set of favorable or unfavorable feelings with which the employees view their work.

Theories of Job Satisfaction

Many theories of job satisfaction and methods for measuring are available. Three schools of thought, important to the study of job satisfaction, have been identified. The physical economic school emphasis the role of the physical arrangement of work, physical working conditions, and pay contending that man is a rational being F.W. Taylor (1911) reasoned that a worker receiving the highest possible earnings with the learnt amount of fatigue would be satisfied and productive. Locke (1976) advocates of this view studied the effects of hours of work and rest on fatigue and performance, and environmental factors such as illumination, ventilation and noise, boredom and monotony.

Thus, there are vital differences among experts about the concepts of job satisfaction. Five theoretical approaches of job satisfaction are (1) fulfillment theory (ii) discrepancy theory (iii) equity theory (iv) two factor theory (v) equity discrepancy theory. These are discussed in detail in the following paragraphs.

  1. Fulfillment theory: Fulfillment theorists regard satisfaction in terms of outcomes (rewards) a person receives or the extent to which a person’s needs are satisfied. Schaller (1953) has viewed in favor of fulfillment theory where he remarks that job satisfaction will vary directly with the extent to which those needs of an individual can be satisfied are actually satisfied. In this regard Vroom (1964) also views satisfaction in terms of positively valued outcome that a job provides to a person. The difficulty with fulfillment approach to job satisfaction is that satisfaction is a function of not only what a person receives but also what he feels he should receive and want to receive. What may satisfy a person may leave another dissatisfied because of difference in their expectations. Morse (1953) also thinks that satisfaction is not merely a function of how much a person received from his job or what may be termed as environmental return. Another factor had to be included in order to predict satisfaction accurately. This variable was the strength of the individual’s desire, or his level of aspiration in a particular area. These views of Morse and others led to the development of the discrepancy theory of job satisfaction.
  2. Discrepancy theory: This theory argues that satisfaction is the function of what a person actually receives from his job situation and what he thinks he should receive or what he expects to receive. When actually received satisfaction is less than expected satisfaction, it causes dissatisfaction. With regard to discrepancy theory Locke (1969) argues that job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are function of the perceived relationship between what one wants from one’s job and what one perceives. Porter (1961) thinks that satisfaction is the difference between what one actually received and what one feels he should receive. This is the most widely accepted discrepancy approach to job satisfaction. Discrepancy theory does not clear whether over-satisfaction is or is not a dimension of dissatisfaction and if so, how does it differ from dissatisfaction arising out of the situation when received outcomes or less than the outcomes one feels he should receive. These questions are dealt with by equity theory.
  3. Equity theory: Equity theory says that individuals compare their job inputs and outcomes with those of others then respond so as to eliminate any inequities. There are four referent comparisons that an employee can use: self-inside (an employee’s experience in a different position inside this or her current organization), self-outside (an employee experiences in a situation or position outside his or her current organization), other-inside (another individual or group of individuals inside the employee’s organization), other-outside (another individual or group of individuals outside the employee’s organization). Employee might compare themselves to friends, neighbors, co-workers colleagues in other organizations, or past jobs they themselves have had. This has led to four moderating variables i.e. gender, length of tenure, level in the organization and amount of education or professionalism.
    Herzberg (1957) advocates that perceived equity, in turn, is determined by his input-output balance as compared to other’s input-output balance. Input-output balance is the perceived ratio of what a person receives from his job with relation to what he puts in the job. This theory brings dissatisfaction either in case of under-reward or over-reward theory. Under-reward causes dissatisfaction with feelings of unfair treatment while over-reward leads to feelings of guilt and discomfort. This theory has been applied by Rabin and ButtCar (1992), Mowday, Porter, Steers (1982) to measure the level of job satisfaction among coworkers of library personnel.
  4. Two-factor theory: Herzberg et. Al. (1959) formulated an influential theory about job satisfaction and motivation. Herzberg argued that the content of the job had a significant influence on motivation and satisfaction. The theory is called as two-factor theory. Herzberg et. Al. made a significant distinction between maintenance factors such as pay, supervision, working conditions and structures base line expectations and motivational factors, which include the job itself, recognition, achievement, responsibilities and opportunities for advancement. The first factor cannot create job satisfaction, but also create job dissatisfaction through absence. The second set represents real motivators. One of the reasons that the investigator finds the theory of Herzberg interesting is that it states that good jobs relate to an increase in job satisfaction and reduction of dissatisfaction. A library manager has the option to take steps to increase satisfaction or other steps to remove sources of dissatisfaction.
  5. Equity-discrepancy Theory: Discrepancy theory has been featured by Lawler (1977) with combination of equity and discrepancy theory. He takes the concept from equity-theory and evaluates the outcome of their input and compares it with the inputs of others who have similar jobs and contribute similar inputs, and this acts as an intervening variable in their feelings of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Lawler model of job satisfaction shows that satisfaction is determined by (a) what a person perceives he should receive. (b) What he feels he actually received of A and B are equal he experiences satisfaction. If his perceived rewards are less than what he feels he should receive i.e. if A < B he says dissatisfaction. Vroom (1964) says a person’s perception of how much he should receive is influenced by what his referent others receive. These referent others are people who he perceives possesses the same abilities that he possesses, are doing the job requiring the same abilities, and skills and is of the same difficulty and responsibility that he is doing are contributing as much to goal achievement as he is contributing. Thus, an individual perception of his reward is influenced by more than just the objective amount of that factor. Because of this psychological influence, the same amount of reward often can be seen quite differently by the two people to one it can be a large amount, while to others it can be a small amount. It emphasis that people’s perception of what they should receive is influenced by others inputs and outputs. If inputs of his ‘referent others’ are the same on his own but their outcomes are more than his own, he is likely to feel that his outcomes should also be more. According to Lawler, these people will be relatively more satisfied than others, who perceive that (a) their inputs are high (b) their jobs are more demanding (c) their referent others, have more favourable input-output balance (d) they are receiving a low outcome level (e) their referent others are receiving more outputs.

Thus, all these theories carry importance to be applied in the filed of library and information field to job satisfaction level of its employee.

Importance of Job Satisfaction and Industrial Libraries:

Libraries are the indispensable cornerstones of the society. Rendering effective service in libraries depends on the human source. The satisfaction level of the library personnel are the fundamental determinant of the relevant information acquisition and rendering relevant services. The most important evidence which indicates that the conditions of an organization got worsened is due to the low rate of job satisfaction. The job satisfaction is the condition of establishing a healthy organizational environment in an organization. Individuals want to maintain statute, high ranks and authority by giving their capabilities such as knowledge, ability, education, health etc. to their jobs for which they spend most of their time. The individuals who cannot meet their expectations with regard to their job become dissatisfied. Thus, this dissatisfaction affects the organization for which it works.

Job satisfaction is very important for a person’s motivation and contribution to production. Job satisfaction may diminish irregular attendance at work, replacement of workers within a cycle or even the rate of accidents. Khan (1973).

Job satisfaction is the total of the sentiments related with the job conducted. If the worker perceives that his/her vales are realized within the job, s/he improvises a positive attitude towards his/her job and acquires job satisfaction. Mc Croinic and Tiffin (1974). Job satisfaction is the sum of all negative and positive aspects related to the individual’s salary, his/her physical and emotional working conditions, the authority s/he has, the autonomous usage of this authority, the level of success s/he has maintained and the rewards given due to this success, the social statute maintained in relation with his/her job, and his/her relations with his/her colleagues and administrators. Individual elements do not result in the job satisfaction. Job satisfaction can only be mentioned if all these elements exist in a place in harmony.

Job satisfaction of the librarians, who have an important place in the information society, will affect the quality the service they render. In this respect, the question what are the elements that affect the job satisfaction of the librarians gain importance is the basic outlook of the present study.

Importance of Job Satisfaction and Motivation in Industrial Library Professionals:

The importance of job satisfaction is obvious. Authority should be concerned with the level of job satisfaction in their organizations for obvious four reasons:

(1) there is clear evidence that dissatisfied employees skip work more often and more likely to resign;

(ii) dissatisfied workers are more likely to engage in destructive behaviors;

(iii) it has been demonstrated that satisfied employees have better health and live longer;

(iv) satisfaction on the job carries over to the employee’s life outside the job.

Satisfied employees have lower rates of both turnover and absenteeism. If we consider the two withdrawal behaviors separately, however, we can be more confident about the influence of satisfaction on turnover. Specifically, satisfaction is strongly and consistently negatively related to an employees’ decision to leave the organization. Dissatisfaction is frequently associated with a high level of complaints and work grievances. Highly dissatisfied employees are more likely to resort to sabotage and passive aggression. An often overlooked dimension of job satisfaction is its relationship to employee health. Several studies have shown that employees who are dissatisfied with their jobs are prone to health setbacks ranging from headaches to heart disease. Our final point in support of job satisfaction’s importance is the spin-off effect that job satisfaction has for society as a whole. When employees are happy with their jobs, it improves their lives off the job. In contrast, the dissatisfied employee carries that negative attitude home. Satisfied employees are more likely to be satisfied citizens. These people will hold a more positive attitude toward life in general and make for a society of. some psychologically healthy people.

Motivation is treated as willingness,s to exert high levels of effort toward organizational goals, conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy some individual needs. Motivation is a process that starts with a physiological or psychological deficiency or need that activates behavior or a drive that is aimed a goal in incentive. Need is the origin of any motivated behavior. Need is a felt deprivation of physiological or psychological well-being. Needs exist in each individual in varying degrees. When an individual recognizes a need, he is driven by a desire to fulfill the need. Drives are directed at fulfillment of needs. Drives are action-oriented and provide an energizing thrust toward reaching a goal. Incentives or goals are the instruments used to induce people to follow a desired course of action. Once the goal is attained, the physiological or psychological balance is restored and drive is out off.

The primary objective of the industrial library is to meet the information needs of its employees. An ideal industrial information system.is a system comprising information elements required by any and every employee to accomplish his or her function and that required by every customer to effectively and properly use the company’s product. Thus industrial libraries are not only concerned with the needs of users working within the company but also of customer of company’s products.

So the authority of the industrial libraries should give due importance to motivate its employee and satisfy them so that they can provide effective service to its patrons which in turns satisfies organization’s goal.


Original Reference Article:

  • Dash, B., 2007. Job satisfaction and motivation among industrial library personnel of Orissa: a case study. University.
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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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