Job Satisfaction and Turnover…Now That’s Change We Can Believe In

Topic: Job Attitudes, Turnover

Publication: Academy of Management Journal

Article: The Power of Momentum: A New Model of Dynamic Relationships Between Job
Satisfaction Change and Turnover Intentions

Authors: Chen, G., Ployhart, R.E., Cooper Thomas, H., Anderson, N., & Bliese, P.D

Reviewer: Neil Morelli

Index Let’s say you’re interested in using a job satisfaction (JS) survey to help predict turnover. Which would you say is more important, the absolute value of JS or the change in JS from time 1 to time 2? After proposing that JS is especially salient to an employee when it has deviated from an earlier reference point, Chen et al. (2011)
argued the latter.

Chen et al. introduced the idea of “job satisfaction momentum”, or the systematic
change in job satisfaction over time, and tested if it would influence the nature of the JS
to turnover intention relationship. Their results indicated that JS change is negatively
related to turnover intention change; as JS increased (declined), turnover intention
declined (increased). In other words, it was the systematic change in JS that helped
determine the change in turnover intentions.

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Using performance management practices to drive employee engagement

Topic: Engagement, Job Performance, Job Attitudes

Publication: Journal of Business and Psychology (JUN 2011)

Article: Performance management at the wheel: Driving employee engagement in organizations

Authors: Mone, E., Eisinger, C., Guggenheim, K., Price, B., Stine, C.

Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

Images You’ve probably heard quite a bit about employee engagement lately, and you know that you want engaged employees. However, what can you do to increase levels of employee engagement? This article discusses ways in which performance management practices can be used to drive employee engagement and provides suggestions for future research.

Many different definitions of engagement exist. In this article, engaged employees are defined as those who feel committed, involved, passionate, and empowered, and they must demonstrate those feelings in their behavior. The authors use prior research and theory to support their argument for why each of five different performance management practices can lead to increased engagement. The performance management practices described are: (1) setting performance and development goals, (2) providing ongoing feedback and recognition, (3) managing employee development, (4) conducting mid-year and end-year appraisals, and (5) building a climate of trust and empowerment.

Following any of the above performance management practices should lead to increased levels of employee engagement, but the authors note that the relevant impact of the different practices remains to be studied.

Mone, E., Eisinger, C., Guggenheim, K., Price, B., & Stine, C. (2011). Performance management at the wheel: Driving employee engagement in organizations. Journal of Business and Psychology, 26, 205-212. doi: 10.1007/s10869-011-9222-9

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Employee engagement: Wild goose chase or golden egg?

Topic: Job Performance, Job Attitudes

Publication: Personnel Psychology (SPRING 2011)

Article: Work engagement: A quantitative review and test of its relations with task and
contextual performance

Authors: Christian, M.S. Garza, A.S., Slaughter, J.E.

Reviewer: Neil Morelli

Images Try this: pick your favorite search engine and type in the phrase “employee engagement.” A quick glance at the results would tell you that you’ve searched a phrase that has been on many of the minds in the business and HR worlds. Despite employee “engagement” becoming a popular buzz word with organizations, some important questions still remain: What is it? Is it substantively different from other work attitudes? Does it help us predict employee performance above and beyond other, more well-established constructs?

Christian, Garza, and Slaughter recently took on the task of answering these questions
using meta-analytic methods. They began by first defining engagement as having three
unique aspects: (a) a focus on the work tasks rather than on the aspects of the job, (b) a comprehensive rather than an isolated investment of an individual’s personal resources into the work, and (c) an investment of resources that represents “a relatively enduring state of mind.” Overall, Christian et al. argued that engagement, opposed to other job attitudes, represents how connected an individual feels to the tasks necessary for successful completion of his or her job on a day-to-day basis.

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Thinking about age in employee engAGEment…

Topic: Job Attitudes, Diversity, Motivation

Publication: Journal of Organizational Behavior (JAN 2011)

Article: Predicting employee engagement in an age-diverse workforce.

Authors: J. B. James, S. McKechnie, & J. Swanberg

Reviewed by: Charleen Maher

Index A large portion of today’s working population consists of the Baby Boomer population. Although these individuals are becoming eligible for retirement, many remain employed for various reasons. As a result, research has picked up on the importance of examining job attitudes of older workers.

The present article examined differences in employee engagement among five age groups: emerging adults (age 24 and older), settling-in adults (25-39), prime-working years (40-54), approaching retirement (55-65), and retirement eligible (66 and older). Overall, the retirement eligible group reported the highest average engagement while the emerging adults reported the lowest average engagement.

The authors also examined job quality factors as predictors of engagement among each of the age groups. Supervisor support and recognition, schedule satisfaction (having flexibility and autonomy in one’s work schedule), and job clarity were significant predictors of employee engagement for all age groups. Specifically, supervisor support and recognition had the largest effect on employee engagement for the two older groups, approaching retirement and retirement-eligible.

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Do Stronger Ties with Peers & Bosses Mean Stronger Relationships with Subordinates? Suprisingly Yes!

Mentoring

Topics: Leadership; Job Attitudes; Employee Satisfaction; Employee Turnover  

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology, Volume 95(6), November 2010, pp. 1071-1084.Article: Well-connected Leaders: The Impact of Leaders’ Social Network Ties on LMX and Members’ Work Attitudes

Authors: V. Venkataramani; S.G. Green and D.J. Schleicher

Reviewed by: Mary Alice Crowe-Taylor

Leaders have upward ties to their bosses and lateral ties to their peers in their organization, so they are embedded within the organization’s social network. In this study, those leaders who had higher quality ties with their bosses and were more likely to be sought out by their peers for organization-related advice reaped many benefits in their ties with their employees. That is, their members (their subordinates and others they influenced) perceived them as having greater status in the organization. Additionally, this member perception of status was positively related to the leader-member exchange (LMX). That is, the exchange relationship was more trusting, respectful and mutually obligatory when the perception of leader status was greater.

On the flip side, what about the leaders who had less network connections (not as sought out for advice by peers; had weaker ties to their bosses)? Well, they were perceived as having less status and their exchange relationships with their employees were weaker as well (there was less trust, respect or obligation in the relationship).

The researchers of this study suggest that organizations need to support informal networking between leaders, their peers and their bosses to strengthen perceptions of leader status among their members. Their leaders and the organization as a whole would reap the benefits of greater ties (stronger leader-member exchange).

This study used innovative data gathering methods like peer advice networks for measuring centrality in social networks, and they used multiple sources of data, giving their results greater credibility. Additionally, they employed statistics which were correct given the complexity of their model and the data. 

Well-connected leaders: The impact of leaders' social network ties on LMX and members' work attitudes.Detail Only Available  Venkataramani, Vijaya; Green, Stephen G.; Schleicher, Deidra J.; Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 95(6), Nov, 2010. pp. 1071-1084. 


 

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Supervisors who Characterize their Organization can Increase Employee Commitment

Topic: Job Attitudes, Turnover, Leadership, Organizational Commitment

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (NOV 2010)

Article: Leader-member exchange and affective organizational commitment: The contribution of supervisor’s organizational embodiment

Authors:  R. Eisenberger, F. Stinglhamber, T. Becker, G. Karagonlar, P. Neves, G. Gonzalez-Morales, and M. Steiger-Mueller

Reviewed By: Bobby Bullock

Index You’d think as the quality of relationships between supervisors and their employees improve, the subordinate’s affective commitment to the organization would also improve, right??  Well, it seems that a positive relationship does exist, but that the strength of this relationship varies greatly.  Eisenberger, Stinglhamber, Becker, Karagonlar, Neves, Gonzalez-Morales, and Steiger-Mueller (2010) found evidence that helps explain the reason for this variation through the moderating effect of a new concept termed supervisor’s organizational embodiment, or SOE.  

SOE is defined as the extent to which an employee feels that their supervisor represents and shares characteristics with the larger organization.  Therefore, when SOE is high, a compliment or criticism given to an employee is perceived as a compliment or criticism from the organization itself.  When SOE is low, leaders are viewed as acting apart from the organization.  This important distinction was found to have a moderating effect on the positive relationship between leader-member exchange and employee affective commitment.

Leader-member exchange (LMX) describes the quality of relationships that continually develop between supervisors and employees.  Employees that positively stand out are often considered to be in the leader’s “in-group” (or quality LMX).  This indicates strong socioemotional bonds between supervisors and subordinates (which benefits both parties through trust, loyalty, performance, and resources).  Numerous studies have shown that an outcome of quality LMX is employee affective commitment to the organization. 

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Are Higher Paying Jobs More Satisfying?

Topic: Employee Satisfaction, Job Attitudes

Publication: Journal of Vocational Behavior (OCT 2010)

Article: The relationship between pay and job satisfaction: A meta-analysis of the literature

Authors: T.A. Judge, R.F. Piccolo, N.P. Podsakoff, J.C. Shaw, and B.L. Rich

Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Fist of Money We all want a job that pays well, right?  How many of us think things like “if I could only make that much more, I would be happy”?  Tempting to think such things isn’t it?  These questions, of course, address the old debate of whether pay leads to satisfaction.  We’ve all heard anecdotes about people who make lots of money and are miserable yet many of us can’t help but think that more money would make us more satisfied.

In an extensive meta-analysis, Judge et al. recently put this issue to the test to find out if employees find higher paying jobs more satisfying.  While their results suggest that within organizations, higher pay is associated with higher job satisfaction, the relationship was not very strong.  Not surprisingly, the results also suggest that pay level is more strongly related to employees’ satisfaction with pay specifically than with the job overall.  Moreover, the fairly weak relationships between pay level and satisfaction were consistent across several countries (U.S., Great Britain, India, Australia, Taiwan). 

Judge et al.’s study suggests that while increased pay is associated with increased satisfaction with one’s pay and job, these relationships are not as strong as we might assume.  If employees truly want satisfying work, then searching for the best paying job is probably not the way to go. 

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With Age Comes Wisdom…And Better Job Attitudes

Topic: Diversity, Job Attitudes

Publication: Personnel Psychology (AUTUMN 2010)

Article: The relationships of age with job attitudes: A meta-analysis

Authors: T.W.H. Ng and D.C. Feldman

Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Images Today, more than half of the American workforce is between the ages of 40 and 75.  This trend, known as the ageing workforce, has raised a number of important organizational issues of late, including the association between employee age and attitudes about work.  Employees’ job attitudes are particularly important from an organization’s perspective because of their link to engagement and performance on the job.

Despite common stereotypes that older employees are less motivated and productive the younger employees, Ng and Feldman (2010) argue that older employees should have more favorable job attitudes because they are more likely to settle into jobs that they are satisfied with and fit well into.  The results of their recent meta-analysis generally support this hypothesis. 

Indeed, the results of Ng and Feldman’s study suggest that older workers tend to report higher job satisfaction, pay satisfaction, and involvement in work.  They also tend to have higher levels of commitment to their organizations and identify more with their organizations than younger workers.

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Wanted: Employees with High Work Locus of Control

Topic: Personality, Job Attitudes

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (JUL 2010)

Article: A Meta-Analytic Examination of Work and General Locus of Control

Authors: Wang, Q., Bowling, N. A. & Eschleman, K. J.

Reviewed By: Rachel Marsh

 

Tn-lc Locus of control is a personality trait that effects how a person views life.  If a person has an internal locus of control; they believes their rewards and punishments occur because of choices they made.  If one has an external locus of control, they believe rewards and punishments are controlled by outside forces, people or fate.  General locus of control refers to one’s life, but people also have a work locus of control, and a person’s work locus of control has an effect on one’s attitude about one’s job.

In the current article Wang, and associates analyzed 184 research articles that tested locus of control.  They suggest that work locus and general locus of control are different constructs – just because you have an internal general locus of control does not mean you have an internal work locus of control – and they have different effects on a person’s work performance.  Participants who had higher levels of internal work locus of control had higher levels of job commitment, job satisfaction, job performance and leadership initiation as well as lower levels of burnout, absenteeism, psychological strain, and role ambiguity versus people with high general internal locus of control. 

The results suggest that employers should remind employees that they are in control of their destiny within the company.  Reward programs might also be implemented to recompense employees who have performed above and beyond the expectations of their job, to again remind employees that their actions affect them.       

Wang, Q., Bowling, N. A. & Eschleman, K. J.  (2010).  A meta-analytic examination of work and general locus of control.  Journal of applied Psychology, 95,  761-768.

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Do “Shocks” Lead to Positive Workplace Outcomes?

Topic: Performance, Job Attitudes

Publication: Journal of Vocational Behavior (FEB 2010)

Article: The buffering effects of job embeddedness on negative shocks

Authors: J.P. Burton, B.C. Holtom, C.J. Sablynski, T.R. Mitchell, and T.W. Lee

Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

722656-xs It’s probably safe to say that negative workplace events are inevitable.  Sooner or later, every employee will experience them.  The problem is that after experiencing such events, many employees engage in or think about engaging in withdrawal behaviors (e.g., turnover, absenteeism, lateness) or lash out via counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs).  But, this is not true for all employees!  In fact, some employees respond to unpleasant events in ways that benefit the organization.  So who are these employees?

In a recent study, Burton et al. (2010) aimed to show that how embedded an employee is within his/her job and organization helps determine how he/she will respond to unpleasant events (or “shocks” as the authors refer to them).  More formally, the authors explored what is called job embeddedness, which refers to the extent to which employees feel attached or linked to their organization and/or its members (i.e., “I fit in well in my organization” and “it would be a great personal sacrifice for me to leave”). 

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