Work Motivation and Job Satisfaction Term Paper

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As Moore and Anderson emphasize, "Another driver is that distance education students have as much right to expect effective library services as traditional on-campus students. Therefore, services have been enhanced to ensure easy access and equitable delivery of resources and services" (p. 384).

Clearly, then, although the mission of many university libraries to provide the resources and tools students need to achieve successful academic outcomes has not changed in substantive ways in recent years, technological innovations have demanded that they transform the manner in which they achieve these missions. A survey of university librarians conducted by Moore and Anderson (2003) determined that, "By far the major thrust of the libraries surveyed was the inclusion of information literacy skills into the curriculum, either imbedded into the discipline-specific information or as assessable tests within foundation or first-year subjects" (p. 382). The provision of these types of services, Moore and Anderson suggest, may represent a departure from previous approaches but represent the types of initiatives that are needed today. For instance, the authors note that, "These initiatives are a far cry from voluntary information literacy or reader education classes offered by university libraries during orientation week. It reflects a growing trend in higher education to embody generic attributes, such as information and it literacy, into the curriculum" (p. 383).

These are some difficult goals for many libraries already squeaking by on modest budgets, but these goals can be reasonably stated to be more achievable if existing resources are used to their best advantage. From a strictly pragmatic perspective, because the costs associated with low employee morale and employee turnover are well established, identifying opportunity to improve library staff's sense of job satisfaction and what factors contribute to their motivation at work represent valuable steps to achieving the optimum use of library resources. Therefore, making any workplace more productive by improving employee morale just makes good business sense; however, "happy" employees do not necessarily translate into "productive" employees, and it is important to recognize the relationship between job satisfaction and work motivation, and these issues are discussed further below.

Job Satisfaction.

The definition provided by Anderson (1984) indicates that, "Job satisfaction refers to both general and specific work satisfactions. The specific satisfactions included both intrinsic and extrinsic satisfactions, as well as satisfaction with pay, job security, peers and co-workers, supervision, and opportunities for personal growth on the job" (p. 9). According to Ting (1997), "Early organizational theorists such as Abraham Maslow and Frederick Herzberg stated that job satisfaction is caused by individuals' desires to fulfill personal needs, which include intrinsic and extrinsic needs. Researchers adopting this approach argue that an individual's job satisfaction is determined by the degree to which job characteristics will fulfill the person's needs" (p. 313). The growing body of research into job satisfaction consistently indicates that pay satisfaction and the need for career growth are two of the most important predictors of job satisfaction, based on their strong theoretical linkage to the formation of individual job attitudes (Ting).

Individuals who are satisfied with their pay and promotional opportunities would therefore experience a greater cost in leaving their organizations; as a result, they are likely to develop more positive attitudes toward their jobs (Ting). A number of studies to date have also found that the diminishment of pay and lack of promotional opportunities are associated with job dissatisfaction of public employees and their tendency to leave the civil service (Ting). Generally speaking, Pool suggests that the five essential dimensions for measuring job satisfaction are (a) the job itself, (b) pay, - promotion opportunities, (d) supervision, and (e) co-workers. Among these, pay and supervision are frequently cited as leading elements. For instance, Pool notes that, "A leader's behavior or leadership style may influence the subordinate's job satisfaction. Leadership behavior is defined as the ability of a leader to influence subordinates in performing at the highest level within an organizational framework" (p. 273).

According to Carson and her colleagues (2001), librarians in particular may be compelled to remain with a particular organization even when their job satisfaction diminishes because of a commitment to the profession itself. For instance, these authors emphasize that, "To cope with the stress and uncertainties, many workers have turned to their individual careers to provide them with the sense of security that is no longer supplied by their organizations. This commitment to a particular career or occupation provides the worker with greater control over job mobility and the circumstances surrounding the movement" (p. 479).

Consequently, librarians who aspire to a career in tertiary educational settings may be forced to work at a given university simply because "it is the only ball game in town." This observation is congruent with Carson et al.'s point that, "Even prior to the current turbulent environment, research studies indicated that there were employees who felt loyalty to their careers while displaying little or no commitment to their organizations. The pull toward an attachment to the occupation rather than the organization may be strengthened by higher degrees of professionalism in the vocation. Characteristics most associated with professional jobs (e.g., education and training) have often been found to be inversely related to organizational commitment" (Carson et al. 2001, p. 479). Like members of the so-called helping professions, then, the dedication to a particular career field among some librarians may outweigh any job dissatisfaction indicators to the contrary. As Carson and her associates emphasize, "More highly educated individuals have higher expectations that the organization may be unable to meet and thus may be more committed to a profession or trade" (p. 479).

This is not to suggest, though, that it is not possible or even common for librarians to possess both a sense of commitment to a career path as well as commitment to the organization as well. In this regard, Carson et al. conclude that, "Motivations toward one's organization and one's career may be intimately linked. Thus, researchers have viewed organizational commitment and career commitment as both complementary and conflicting. In truth, employees may be strongly loyal to careers in which they have been trained, the organization for which they work, both of them, or neither of them" (p. 479). Taken together, the foregoing suggests that some librarians may in fact be highly motivated to perform their job responsibilities but still dissatisfied with their existing positions, while others are equally motivated and satisfied with their jobs, and with still others being unmotivated and unsatisfied (or satisfied) with their work. Therefore, understanding what motivates people in the workplace represents an important extension of this study, and these issues are discussed further below.

Work Motivation.

According to Pool, expectancy theory has been used to measure work motivation. Expectancy theory maintains that individuals in a work setting perceive two basic levels of outcomes, and those outcomes influence the subordinate's job performance:

First-level outcome. This is the extent to which job performance is successful. First-level outcomes result from behaviors that are associated with the job.

Second-level outcomes. These types of outcomes are comprised of the set of valued rewards that are attainable because of successful job performance; they include events (rewards) that are associated with first-level outcomes.

Expectancy, then, is defined as how much effort an individual decides to exert toward successful job performance. The expectancy theory provides an excellent method for examining the subordinate's motivation in the workplace; it provides enough information and is consistent in measuring motivational factors among subordinates. In this regard, Pool concludes that, "The theory predicts [that] the best performers in organizations tend to see a strong relationship between performing their jobs well and receiving rewards that they value. From a managerial perspective, expectancy theory suggests that leaders must recognize the process by which subordinates examine and become motivated about their jobs" (p. 274).

One specific type of work motivation that has been extensively studied to date is job attitudes. Job attitudes tend to be more strongly related to valuable organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) than are personality variables; the relationship between personality and OCB is probably mediated by attitudes such as job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and fairness perceptions. Many studies have shown relationships between personality variables and job attitudes (Barrick & Ryan, 2003, p. 103).

Chapter Summary.

This chapter provided a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature concerning the traditional and changing roles of university libraries, job satisfaction and work motivation. A complete description of the study's methodology, including a description of the study approach used, the data-gathering method and database of study used are provided in Chapter Three below.

Chapter 3: Methodology

Description of the Study Approach review of the available research methodologies indicated that a single approach would not be sufficient but rather a mixed methodological approach was better suited to achieve the above-stated research purpose. Therefore, the study used a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature concerning work motivation and job satisfaction combined with a job satisfaction survey of…[continue]

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