The Effect Of Teamwork On Job Satisfaction Psychology Essay

In this section first, different definitions of team are mentioned. Second, using the term “group” and “team” interchangeably and the different point of views are discussed. Job satisfaction and main drivers of job satisfaction for team members are mentioned thirdly. Finally two core theories for this research project; Herzberg’s Two Factor theory and its critical analysis and Hofstede’s Individualism- Collectivism and its critical analysis are examined.

2.1. Definition of Team

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In this research project the effect of teamwork on job satisfaction is investigated. So it is crucial to mention what team means and what are the basic differences between groups and teams.

Katzenbach and Smith (1993; p45) define team as “a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable”

According to Cushway and Lodge (1999; p121) team is “a collection of people with common purpose who interact with each other, are psychologically aware of each other and perceive themselves as a group.”

Teams have become widespread in work organizations, more than 80% of organizations hiring 100 or more workers utilize teams. Based on another survey carried out in Fortune-100 companies, had a similar figure (Cohen and Bailey, 1997). Huczynski and Buchanan (2007) also propose that the notion of ‘team’ at work is one of the most commonly used metaphors in organizations. A group of employees or managers is generally depicted as a team in the similar way that a company or department is usually described as ‘one big family’. However often the new worker receiving these statements quickly finds out that what was defined as a ‘team’ is in fact anything but the mental picture of cohesion, co-ordination and common objects which was conjured up by the metaphor of the team, was completely different from everyday reality of working life.

2.2. Differences between Group and Team

Saltman et al (2006) define some of the main differences between teams and groups. First of all groups could be formed in small or large number of people while In terms of accountability group members are more individual while team members are both individual and collective. In terms of conflict resolution, it could be a part of group process while it is an essential part of the team process.

Katzenbach and Smith (1993) also put emphasis on the difference between teams and working groups. They propose that a working group basically depends on the individual contributions of its members for group performance, whilst a team attempts for a magnified effect that is incremental to what its member might accomplish in their individual roles. The options rely mainly on whether individual accomplishments can deliver the group’s performance objectives, or whether group work-products, skills and mutual responsibility are required.

Working groups are equally common and efficient in large organizations. They succeed in hierarchical format where individual accountability counts the most. The best working groups unite to share information, perceptions, and insights, to make decisions that encourage each person to do his or her own job better, and to support each other’s individual performance standards. But the main concern is always in individual performance objectives and accountabilities (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993)

Teams are different from working groups. They need both individual and mutual accountability. Teams depend on more than group discussion, debate and decision: rather than sharing information and best practice perceptions; on more than a mutual supporting of performance standards. Lack of separate team work- products formed through joint, real contributions of team members, the promise of incremental or magnified performance impact goes untapped. (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993)

The team option undertakes superior performance than the working group. But it also carries more risk. Due to deep seated values of individualism and a natural unwillingness to reliance one’s fate to the performance others, the team option demands a leap of faith. Rough individualists – and there are many, particularly at the top- cannot contribute to real team performance without taking responsibility for their peers and letting their peers assume responsibility for them. However they automatically suppose that “if you want a job done right do it yourself”. It is against their nature to depend on others for the significant tasks in life. (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993)

On the other hand many authors apply the terms “team” and “group” interchangeably, mentioning no difference between these two terms (Fisher et al, 1997) In taking into consideration the work carried out in groups, the models of group decision making, group norm development, and group task and maintenance activities respectively, Schein (1988) and Ancona and Caldwell (1992) suggested their results apply similarly to teams. According to some authors the work team means the work group. Both include the same functions, procedures and outputs; both behave and can be defined in the same way.

However, some authors suppose that teams and groups are different, and they aim to differentiate and describe these differences. Generally, some authors propose that basically a team is a group, except it contains something extra. For instance, Sundstrom et al.(1990, p. 120), describe team as, “A small group of individuals who share responsibility for outcomes for their organizations”. Similar to this, other team explanations have very similar elements such as, “An energetic group of people committed to achieving common objectives and producing high quality results or, “A group of individuals working together in which individual success is based on group’ (Fisher et al, 1997). For this research project the researcher used the term group and team interchangeably. Because the researcher used the term group in the questionnaires however the functions mentioned belong team definition too. So the researcher assumes that the team and group might be used in the same way.

Definition of Job Satisfaction:

‘Job satisfaction’ is probably the most important term for this research project. The researcher intends to measure 60 secondary school teacher’s job satisfaction. So it is important to give some background about what really job satisfaction is according to different point of views.

According to Mullins(2008) describing and understanding both job satisfaction and its effects on job performance is challenging.

According to Specor (1997) job satisfaction is about how individuals consider and feel about their jobs also its diverse features

. It is extent to which people like (satisfaction) or dislike (dissatisfaction) their jobs. Locke cited from Locke (1976; 1300p) also defines job satisfaction as “… pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experiences. Albarran et al, (2006) point out that job satisfaction “an overall affective orientation on the part of individuals toward work roles which they are presently occupying” Mullins (2008) propose that ‘ job satisfaction is necessary in order to achieve a high level of motivation and performance’

Job satisfaction might be defined as a universal perception regarding the job or as a related combination of attitudes about various aspects or facets of the job. The global approach is used when the overall or bottom line attitude is of interest, for example, if one wishes to determine the effects of people liking or disliking their jobs. The facet approach is used to find out which parts of the job produce satisfaction or dissatisfaction. This can be very useful for organizations that wish to identify areas of dissatisfaction that they can improve. Sometimes both approaches can be used to get a complete picture of employee job satisfaction in relation to other variables of interest. Spector (1997)

Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory

In terms of measuring employee’s job satisfaction, one of the most important motivation theories Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory is used in this study. Even though the theory has some limitations and flaws, the researcher believes the items mentioned in the theory are measurable and observable. In addition this study tends to combine those items Herzberg mentioned and teamwork, so it will bring new perspective to Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory. More detailed information is mentioned about Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory below.

Herzberg has carried out number of studies about job satisfaction of workers. Motivation- Hygiene Theory proposes that there are some factors within the job and also job environment which cause to satisfaction or lack of satisfaction. Herzberg believes that the intrinsic factors in other words job content, cause to employer satisfaction, and there are extrinsic factors in other words job environment, which decrease satisfaction. The motivation factors might also be called as satisfiers, because they increase the levels of performance of the employees. The expression “hygiene factors” which is originally coming from the medical terms that prevent people from optimum performance, are called dissatisfiers. Herzberg classifies achievement; recognition; work itself; responsibility; and opportunity for advancement as satisfiers he also classifies company policy; supervision; salary; interpersonal relationships; and working conditions as dissatisfiers. (Graham M.W, Messner P.E. ,1998)

Whilst the majority of Herzberg’s work was conducted in the industrial area, a number of studies have been accomplished in education. The Motivation-Hygiene Theory was the centre of three recent studies of job satisfaction of school principals. The aim of each research was to proof that the intrinsic components really contributed to job satisfaction. All three research projects established Herzberg’s statements that achievement, recognition, advancement, need for autonomy and self actualization are the main factors to motivate principals and help them to perform at their maximum levels, therefore cause high levels of job satisfaction. Personal life, supervision, relationships with superiors, relationships with subordinates, and relationships with peers are found as important job dissatisfiers. (Graham M.W, Messner P.E., 1998). This study also includes an investigation in education, aims to measure teacher’s job satisfaction in terms of team working.

The relationship of satisfaction and dissatisfaction

The most important and fundamental distinction between Herzberg’s two factors is the intrinsic level of satisfaction/dissatisfaction in every aspect. If motivation comprises just those things which promote action over time, then motivators are the factors that promote long-running attitudes and satisfaction. Tietjen M.A., Myers R.M. (1998)

Motivators cause positive job attitudes because they satisfy the worker’s need for self-actualization, the individual’s ultimate goal. The presence of these motivators has the potential to create great job satisfaction; however, in the absence of motivators, Herzberg says, dissatisfaction does not occur. Similarly, hygiene factors, which simply “move” (cause temporary action), have the potential to cause great dissatisfaction. Similarly, their absence does not provoke a high level of satisfaction. Tietjen M.A., Myers R.M. (1998)

Critical Analysis of Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory

Graham M.W, Messner P.E. (1998) suggest that some Herzberg’s two factor theory has some been reviewed by House and Wigdor (1967). They firstly suggest that it is methodologically bound in identifying critical incidents of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Secondly, the research lacked a measure of overall satisfaction, and finally, situational variables were not treated in defining the relationship between satisfaction and productivity.

Mullins (2008; p185) also points out one of theory’s methodological flaws as ” the critical incident method, and the description of events giving rise to good or bad feelings, influences the results. People are more likely to attribute motivators, as favourable reflection on their own performance and hygiene factors are more likely to be attribute to external influences and the efforts of other people. Descriptions from respondents had to be interpreted by the interviewers. This gives rise to difficulty of distinguishing clearly between the different dimensions and to the risk of possible interviewer bias”

Other authors have also been critical of Herzberg, these include Nadler and Lawler (1979), who contend that Herzberg makes the following erroneous assumptions about his Motivation-Hygiene Theory:

aˆ? all employees are alike;

aˆ? all situations are alike; and

aˆ? there is one best way. Tietjen M.A., Myers R.M. (1998)

In addition Locke’s assessment of Herzberg’s two-factor theory can be summarized in brief by the following conclusions about Herzberg’s thinking:

1 Job satisfaction and dissatisfaction result from different causes.

2 The two-factor theory is parallel to the dual theory of man’s needs, which states that physical needs (like those of animals) work in conjunction with hygiene factors, and psychological needs or growth needs (unique to humans) work alongside motivators (Locke, 1976). With these propositions as the basis for Locke’s understanding of Herzberg, the following is a list of Locke’s criticisms:

aˆ? mind-body dichotomy;

aˆ? unidirectional operation of needs;

aˆ? lack of parallel between man’s needs and the motivation and hygiene factors

aˆ? incident classification system;

aˆ? defensiveness;

aˆ? the use of frequency data;

aˆ? denial of individual differences.

Locke’s critique of Herzberg’s classification system (Locke, 1976), common to the preceding criticism, claims that the two factor theory is, in itself, inconsistent in categorizing factors of satisfaction. The two factor theory merely splits the spectra of satisfaction into two sections. For example, if an employee is given a new task (which is deemed a motivator) this is considered responsibility. However, if a manager will not delegate the duty, the situation takes the label of supervision-technical. Locke states that the breakup of one element (like responsibility) into two different types of factors results from the confusion between the event and the agent.

Regardless of these criticisms, Herzberg has made a significant contribution to the discussion of job satisfaction. Tietjen M.A., Myers R.M. (1998)

According to Cranier and Dearlove (2001, p361) ‘Herzberg’s work has had a considerable effect on the rewards and remuneration packages offered by corporations. Increasingly there is a trend towards ‘cafeteria’ benefits in which people can choose from a range of options . In effect, they can select the elements they recognise as providing their own motivation to work. Similarly, the current emphasis on self development, career management and self managed learning can be seen as having evolved from Herzberg’s insights’

Hofstede’s Study

Knights and Willmott 2007 suggest that ‘ it is evident in the attitude towards teamwork as a process that requires interdependency. It regards how much a person finds it desirable to share, collaborate and depend on others for results, thereby valuing the benefit of the group (collectivism) over self-interest (individualism). Individuals embedded in a collectivist culture are understood be less likely to resist teamwork than those stepped in an individualist culture. Part of this research tends to measure the effect of collectivism among Turkish employees. The researcher assumes that the more employees tend to be a team member and work for their team the more they are collectivistic. The findings of Hofstede for Turkey suggest that Turkish culture tends to be collectivistic, so the researcher tries to validate this previous study and expects to find similar results. Some background information about Hofstede’s study is provided below.

Hofstede developed a dimensional approach to cross-cultural comparisons through his revolutionary studies into how management is influenced by differences among cultural groups. He carried out extensive studies into national cultural differences, the first being across employees working in subsidiaries of a multinational corporation (IBM) in sixty-four countries. Hofstede, who had established and managed the personnel research department of IBM Europe, took a database of scores resulting from attitude surveys among IBM employees worldwide and re-analysed the figures. The surveys had been developed as management tool to examine issues relating to the work situation. The original respondents in these surveys were matched groups in seven occupational categories, five of them being non-managerial and two managerial. (Browaeys and Price, 2008)

The research set-up, as well as the statistical methods used by Hofstede, was applied by other researchers to other groups, such as students in twenty three countries, commercial airline pilots in twenty three countries and civil service managers in fourteen countries. These studies together acknowledged and validated the first four dimensions of national culture differences explained in this concept. Afterwards Hofstede developed a fifth dimension to account for value orientations that appeared from research conducted from a Chinese perception. Hofstede used the results of his research to make a comparison among cultures on four and eventually five dimensions: Power distance, Uncertainty avoidance, masculine versus feminine orientation, Individualism versus Collectivism and Short-term versus long-term orientation. (Browaeys and Price, 2008)

In this research project one of Hofstede’s dimension which is Individualism versus Collectivism will be used in order to understand employee’s attitude towards team work better.

Individualism Collectivism

In the societies when the interests of the individual outweigh the interests of the group, those cultures are called individualistic. Individualism is more frequent where the connections between individuals are weak and people are expected to look after mostly for themselves and their immediate family. (Naumov and Puffer 2000).

According to Ali et al (2005) in an individualistic society, persons are concerned with pursuing their goals and are not preoccupied with group welfare. They seek to maintain their independence from others by attending to the self and by discovering and expressing their unique attributes. Individuals in these societies tend to be assertive, independent, and seek privacy and self-gratitude through self-reliance, control, and the persistent pursuit of activities that optimise personal gain and pleasure. On the other hand in the societies when the individual is dominated by the group, those cultures are called collectivistic. Collectivism is characterised by interest in tightly woven groups where members are protected in return for unconditional loyalty to the group. (Naumov and Puffer 2000).The nature of relationships in a collective society induces individuals to be conformist to primary group norms and beliefs and to assume responsibilities that sustain in-group relationships and thus improve his/her status in the group (Ali et al 2005)

According to Rodrigues (1998) Individuals in collectivistic societies usually take care of their organisations; their managers possibly apply less formalised organisational controls than managers of organisations in cultures with the individualistic cultural dimension. In addition, the application of team work is more appropriate in collectivistic than in individualistic societies.

In contrast, Hofstede categorized some societies in his study as “moderate-to-high on individualism”. Individuals in these societies basically take care of their own interests. These people often think about their own objectives to be more important than the organization’s. (Rodrigues, 1998).

According to Voronov (2002) the biggest limitation of Hofstede’s study is the differential representativeness of the samples for each country. The sample consisted of employees of a multinational high-technology corporation.

The participants were highly educated and highly skilled managers, technicians, and other white-collar professionals. Indeed, it is questionable how representative such a sample would be for any country. However, the divergence from the general population differs from one country to the next, depending on its wealth. Thus, it is unclear whether a given country’s score on the I-C dimension reflects the country’s orientation or the orientation of one large high-technology company’s employees in that particular country.

Individualism and Collectivism in the Work Situation

As Hofstede points out (2001) people who work in an individualistic culture tend to behave reasonably in relation to their personal interest, and work should be organized in such way that this self interest and the employer’s interest coincide. Workers are supposed to act as “economic men”, or as people with a combination of economic and psychological needs, but anyway as individuals with their own needs. In collectivist culture, an employer never hires just an individual, but a person who belongs to an in-group. The employee will act according to the interest of this in group, which may not always coincide with his or her individual interest. Self-effacement in the interest of the in-group belongs to the normal expectations in such a society. Often, earnings have to be shared with relatives.

The hiring process in a collectivist society always takes the in-group into account. Usually preference in hiring is given to relatives, first of all of the employer, but also of other persons already employed by the company. Hiring persons form a family one already knows reduces risks. Also, relatives will be concerned about reputation of the family and help to correct misbehaviour of any family members. In the individualist society, family relationships at work are often considered undesirable, as they may lead to nepotism and to a conflict interest. Some companies have a rule that if an employee; one of them has to leave.

In a collectivist society, the workplace itself may become an in-group in the emotional sense of the word. In some countries this is more the case than in others, but the feeling that it should be this way is nearly always present. The relationship between employer and employee is seen in moral terms. It resembles a family relationship, with mutual obligations of protection in exchange for loyalty. Poor performance of an employee in this relationship is no reason for dismissal: One does not dismiss one’s child. Performance and skills, however, do determine what tasks an employee is assigned.

Individualism and Collectivism in Turkey

Table 1: The Scores of Turkey according to Hofstede’s Survey

Turkey’s societal culture is described by large power distance, strong in-group collectivism (low individualism), strong uncertainty avoidance and moderate femininity Ararat M. (2008)

However the socio-cultural environment is also changing. Since Hofstede’s research Turkey has become somewhat less collectivistic , less hierarchical, and less uncertainty avoiding . (Aycan,2001)

In Hofstede’s research Turkish culture displayed collectivist features and individualism quotient had a very low figure compared to other countries. According to Gormus and Aydin (2007) collectivism is gradually replaced by individualism in Turkey. So as it mentioned before in this research the researcher tries to find out the perception about individualism collectivism orientation and different job satisfaction levels among a sample of Turkish teachers.

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