Job satisfaction and job performance: is the relationship spurious?

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Title: Job satisfaction and job performance: is the relationship spurious?
Author: Cook, Allison Laura
Abstract: The link between job satisfaction and job performance is one of the most studied relationships in industrial /organizational psychology . Meta -analysis (Judge , Thoresen , Bono , & Patton , 2001 ) has estimated the magnitude of this relationship to be ? = .30 . With many potential causal models that explain this correlation , one possibility is that the satisfaction -performance relationship is actually spurious , meaning that the correlation is due to common causes of both constructs . Drawing upon personality theory and the job characteristics model , this study presents a meta -analytic estimate of the population -level relationship between job satisfaction and job performance , controlling for commonly studied predictors of both . Common causes in this study include personality trait Conscientiousness , Extraversion , Agreeableness , and core selfevaluations , along with cognitive ability and job complexity . Structural equation modeling of the meta -analytic correlation matrix suggests a residual correlation of .16 between job satisfaction and performance ?roughly half the magnitude of the zero -order correlation . Following the test of spuriousness , I then propose and find support for an integrated theoretical model in which job complexity and job satisfaction serve as mediators for the effects of personality and ability on work outcomes . Results from this model suggest that job complexity is negatively related to satisfaction and performance , once ability and personality are controlled . Contributions of this paper include estimating the extent to which the satisfaction -performance relationship is partly spurious , which is an advancement because the attitude -behavior link has not been estimated in light of personality and job characteristics . Another contribution is the integrated theoretical model , which illuminates mediators in some of the effects of personality and ability .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -3052
Date: 2009-05-15

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Job satisfaction and job performance: is the relationship spurious?. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -3052 .

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