Relationship Between Job Satisfaction And Organisational Commitment Psychology Essay

Organisational commitment has been a focus of many research works in recent years, because of its importance to employing organisations. With todays high rate of employee turnover and floating working population it has become increasingly important for organisations to know how to retain employees and gain their loyalty (Martin & OLaughlin, 1984). It is against this background that I have taken upon myself as a requirement of the Research Methods Model, to find out the relationship between job satisfaction and organisational commitment.

More specifically this study is to find out the extent to which job satisfaction affects organisational commitment.

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Aim and Objectives of the Research

The main aim of this research is to investigate the relationship, if any between job satisfaction and organisational commitment. The objectives of this research are:

1. To do a thorough literature review on the subject matter.

2. To find out whether job satisfaction has any effect on organisational commitment.

3. To offer recommendations to employing organisations and for further research.

A questionnaire survey will be used to assess the influence or the effect of job satisfaction on organisational commitment in five (5) medium size business organisations in Cardiff. This in effect makes the research a quantitative in nature. The dependent variable is organisational commitment with job satisfaction being the independent variable. There are however other variables such as age, education, tenure, position, marital status, years on the job and even the number of hours per week that can influence organisational commitment as being demonstrated by previous researchers on this topic. For the purpose of this research, job satisfaction will be the only independent variable that will be concentrated and focused upon. Some key words, technical words and jargons used so far, will be defined for the purpose of non specialist in this field i.e. research.

A variable is anything that can take on differing or varying values. Sekaran, (1992) the values can differ at various times for the same object or person. Examples of variables are weights, scores, motivation and others.

An independent variable is the variable regarded as possibly the cause of the effect being observed (Jankowicz, 1991). Saunders et al (2003) also defined independent variable as the variable that causes changes to a dependent variable or variables. A dependent variable on the other hand, according to Jankowicz (1991) described it as the variable which forms the focus of your observations, and which you hope will express the effects of your activity in manipulating the independent variable. Saunders et al (2003) is defined it as the variable that changes in response to changes in other variables.


Porter et al (1974) defined organisational commitment as the relative strength of the individuals identification with, and involvement in a particular organisation. Allen and Meyer (1990) as cited in Lok, 1997; Lee and Jamil, 2003; Vondrasek, 2000; conceptualized a three-dimensional definition of organizational commitment that integrated early studies. Their definition of organizational commitment is as follows:

The affective component of organizational commitment . . . refers to the employees emotional attachment to, identification with, and involvement in, the organization. The continuance component refers to commitment based on the costs that the employee associates with leaving the organization. Finally, the normative component refers to the employees feeling of obligation to remain with the organization. An earlier submission by Mowday et al (1982, p.27) as cited by Lok, 1997; Lee and Jamil, 2003; Vondrasek, 2000; defined affective organisational commitment as a strong belief in and acceptance of the organisations goals and values; a willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organisation; and a strong desire to maintain membership in the organisation. The counterpart to affective organisational commitment is continuance organisational commitment, which considers the idea that individuals do not leave a company for fear of losing their benefits, taking a pay cut, and not being able to find another job (Murray and Ryan, 2003). From the definitions offered by these gurus in business and organisational psychology above and from my own experience for working for about three years in a bank, I can confidently and conveniently deduce that organisational commitment is a point in an employees working life when he becomes bonded to the aim and objectives and values of the organisation and their willingness to do their possible best for the organisation and having the desire to continually work for that organisation.

Job satisfaction according to Locke (1976) as cited in Makin et al (1996) was defined as a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of ones job or job experiences. Feldman & Arnold (1983) also defined Job satisfaction as the amount of overall positive affect (or feelings) that individuals have towards their jobs. Another school of thought also believes that job satisfaction is inherent and for that matter heredity is a factor in job satisfaction (Arvey et al, 1989, 74, p.187-192) as cited in McKenna (2000). This is interpreted to mean that organisations may have less influence over job satisfaction than has been commonly believed. McKenna (2000, p.276) also submitted that Job satisfaction is associated with how our personal expectations at work are in line with outcome.

Previously Related Studies:

Job satisfaction as predictor of organizational commitment

There has always been a chicken-and-egg debate (Vondrasek, 2000) over issues regarding the relationship between job satisfaction and organisational commitment, several researchers have made the case that job satisfaction is a predictor of organisational commitment (Porter et al, 1974; Price, 1977; Rose, 1991) as cited in Vondrasek, 2000.

The scope of this work focuses on job satisfaction and its relationship with organisational commitment. Similar studies were sought in reviewing the literature with few found. Five significant articles were identified. Lok (1997) in a study of the Influence of Organisational Culture, Subculture, Leadership Style and Job Satisfaction on Organisational Commitment, the results of this study revealed that the job satisfaction dimensions have the strongest associations with organisational commitment. Vondrasek also submitted in year 2000 in a study of job satisfaction as a predictor of organisational commitment that a significant positive relationship was found to exist between job satisfaction and organisational commitment. In another study into determinants of organisation commitment amongst knowledge workers, by Kinnear & Sutherland (2001), it came out that job satisfaction has a positive effect on organisational commitment. A later investigation into Psico-economic analysis of a scientific organisation and implications of management: the Electro-technical National Institute by Coccia and Monticone (2002) has their results showing that job satisfaction has a good correlation with commitment and low correlation with research & development performance. An empirical study of organizational commitment: A multi-level approach by Lee and Jamil (2003) also found a positive relationship to exit between job satisfaction and organisational commitment at the individual-level.

Philosophical Stance

The approach of this research is quantitative, coupled with a survey method with a questionnaire as the data collection technique. This in effect makes the research philosophy reflects the principles of positivism and for that matter the philosophical stance of a natural scientist (Saunders et al., 2003).

Positivism is defined by Remenyi et al., (1998:32) as cited in Saunders et al., 2003) as a research philosophy that involves working with an observable social reality. The emphasis is on highly structured methodology to facilitate replication, and the end product can be law-like generalisations similar to those produced by physical and natural scientists.

The criticisms of the Positivistic paradigm are listed below: Collis and Hussey (2003)

It is impossible to treat people as being separate from their social contexts and they cannot be understood without examining the perceptions they have of their own activities.

A highly structured research design imposes certain constraints on the results and may ignore more relevant and interesting findings.

Researchers are not objective, but part of what they observe. They bring their own interests and values to the research.

Capturing complex phenomena in a single measure is, at best, misleading. For example it is possible to assign a numerical value to a persons intelligence.

see table page 6 file

Problem Statement

To what extent does job satisfaction in an organisation predict organisational commitment?

Theoretical Framework

The variable of primary interest to this research is the dependent variable – organisational commitment. Job satisfaction the independent variable, is used as a predictor of organisational commitment.

It will be interesting to note that if employees are highly satisfied with their jobs and derive high levels of job satisfaction they are most likely to be committed to the organisation than if they are not satisfied. One usually feels obligated to be loyal and committed to the source that offers satisfaction and happiness avenue through which ones tea is sugared and bread buttered.

On the basis of the above argument, I theorize that there is a positive relationship between job satisfaction and organisational commitment.

Schematic Diagram of the Theoretical Framework

Independent Variable Dependent Variable


From the theoretical framework discussed above, two hypotheses were developed for this research, and it is shown as H1 and H2 below:

H1 There is a positive relationship between job satisfaction and organisational commitment.

H2 There is no relationship between job satisfaction and organisational commitment.


In this section, details of the research design and instrumentation for the questionnaire survey are provided. The methodology for the data collection and the details of the operationalisation (how major variables will be measured) will be described.

The research will be done in a natural environment (natural environment is where events normally occur without any interference) Sekaran (1992). Because the purpose of the study is to investigate the relationship between job satisfaction and organisational commitment, a natural setting or environment is most preferred. Ethical issues will be avoided by choosing this type of setting.

Because this research will attempt to investigate the relationship between the independent and the dependent variable, this study is analytical research in nature.

The population for this research will be each individual employee in these five (5) medium size business organisations in Cardiff. Population According to Sekaran (1992) refers to the entire group of people, events, or things of interest that the researcher wishes to investigate. Saunders et al (2003) also defined population as simply the complete set of cases or group members. A representative sample will be drawn from the population to participate in this research. Jankowicz (1991), defined sample as a set of people, occurrences or objects chosen from a large population in order to represent that population to a larger or lesser extent. The sample will be drawn by using proportionate stratified random sampling. Stratified random sampling according to Sekaran (1992) is a process of segregation, followed by random selection of subjects from each stratum. Saunders et al (2003) also defined it as a probability sampling procedure in which the population is divided into two or more relevant strata and a random sample (systematic or simple) is drawn from each strata. The characteristics of the population are not yet known, since no data has been collected.

The data for this research will be collected once. Thus a set of survey questionnaires will be distributed to the respondents and after that no questionnaires will be distributed again.

Data Collection Technique

The data collection technique that will be used to collect data will be solely a questionnaire survey. Sekaran (1992) defined questionnaire as a formulated written set of questions to which respondents record their answers, usually within rather closely defined alternatives. Saunders et al (2003) also defined questionnaire as a general term including all data collection techniques in which each person is asked to respond to the same set of questions in a predetermined order.

The questionnaire will be used to assess the effect of job satisfaction on organisational commitment. Survey research is especially appropriate for making analytical studies of large populations and may be used for explanatory purposes as well (Lok, 1997) hence it is appropriate for this study. The self administered postal questionnaire design will be adopted for the purpose of this research. The self administered postal questionnaire design has been chosen because of the following reasons:

It can survey a large sample at a reasonable cost. In this study employees from five (5) medium scale business organisations will be surveyed.

It is relatively easy to design and many questions can be asked.

It is relatively objective, can be anonymous and is able be analysed statistically. Lok (1997); Saunders et al (2003); Jankowicz (1991).

There are however some problems that are associated with this type of questionnaire technique. Notably among these problems are:

Open and complicated questions cannot be asked repeatedly in the questionnaire.

Response may be contaminated by consulting with others.

Respondents might not be in the target group. Lok (1997); Saunders et al (2003); Jankowicz (1991).

These problems having been acknowledged, attempt will be made to minimise the associated problems and limitations.

Instruments for the survey questionnaire

The survey questionnaire that will be used in this study to collect the data will be a combination of job satisfaction questionnaire and organisational commitment questionnaire from established measuring tools.

The following will be chosen for this research work: Job satisfaction will be measured using the 20-item short form of the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (Weiss et al., 1967) as cited in Lok, 1997; Lee and Jamil, 2003; Vondrasek, 2000. The Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire has been shown to have generally good psychometric properties and correlates well with other measures of Job Satisfaction (Gillet & Schwab, 1975) as cited in Lok, 1997; Lee and Jamil, 2003; Vondrasek, 2000. Survey questionnaire will include age, education level, tenure, position, marital status, years in employment, and hours per week.

Organizational commitment, the dependent variable for this study, will be measured with the 15-item scale developed by Porter et al. (1974). This scale (Cronbach a = 0.87) was designed to assess an employees identification with and involvement in the organization. Previous research (Porter et al., 1974; Mowday et al., 1979) as cited in Lok, 1997; Lee and Jamil, 2003; Vondrasek, 2000 has demonstrated that this 15-item scale possesses adequate psychometric properties, and the data pertaining to its reliability and validity were generally positive (Lok, 1997; Lee and Jamil, 2003; Vondrasek, 2000).


Questionnaires will be mailed to the respondents in each of the five medium size business organisations in Cardiff. Accompanying each questionnaire will be a letter from a key management official indicating company support for the project and encouraging participation, a letter from the researcher promising participants complete confidentiality, and a pre-addressed, stamped envelope to return the questionnaire (Lee and Jamil, 2003). By so doing respondents confidence will be won and the response rate in relation to the usable questionnaires will be very high and encouraging.

Operationalisation (Measuring of the major variables)

The three dimensional Allen and Meyer (1990) instrument, incorporating the Porter et al, (1974) commitment questionnaire as cited in Lok, 1997; Lee and Jamil, 2003; Vondrasek, 2000; will provide measures of organisational commitment. Using a five point Likert-type format, the response categories for each item will range from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Each question will be given a score ranging from one to five depending on whether the respective question had positive or negative impact on organisational commitment. The responses for each item will then be summed, and an average calculated to yield an organisational commitment score. Organisational commitment will be measured on three dimensions, namely:

(a) Affective;

(b) Continuance; and

(c) Normative

The Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire short form consists of 20 questions focusing on intrinsic and extrinsic reinforcement factors of employee attitude. This form can be scored on three scales: intrinsic satisfaction, extrinsic satisfaction and general satisfaction (Weiss, et al., 1967) as cited in Lok, 1997; Lee and Jamil, 2003; Vondrasek, 2000. The Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire short form utilizes a Likert-type scale with five response alternatives ranging from “Very Dissatisfied” (weighted 1) to “Very Satisfied” (weighted 5) for each of the 20 factors (Lok, 1997; Lee and Jamil, 2003; Vondrasek, 2000).

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