Samuel Aryee

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




G. Rosenblum




This thesis describes an, attempt to develop a causal analysis of the concept of job satisfaction by answering "what is job satisfaction?" Two competing approaches have been identified in the literature. Firstly, a socio-technical approach which argues that the technological framework of an enterprise is a fundamental determinant of what an employee does at work and the amount of interest and satisfaction he derives from his job. Although, the importance of this approach is acknowledged, the author contends that, it fails to take account of a worker's orientation to work which determines how he perceives the job situation and those rewards he will value. An alternative approach, the social action approach which provides the framework for this thesis contends that in order to understand the causal basis of job satisfaction, the way a worker orders his wants and expectation relative to the employment situation, should be the most important independent variable that a sociological perspective should advance in any theoretical model of job satisfaction. This conceptualization gave rise to the hypothesis that; "Job Satisfaction is a positive function of attainment of work values. The more important the value, the more strongly will job satisfaction depend on its fulfillment". Although the hypothesis was supported, work-value contingency explains only 8 percent of the variation in job satisfaction. Moreover. it was not able to affect the relationship between technology and job satisfaction which indicates that the sociology-technical approach might hold more explanatory power. This was explained as a result of the measurement of orientation to work lacking construct validity. In order to provide support for the social action approach it is suggested that future researchers should adhere to Bennet's admonition that no single method should be used to measure orientation to work.

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