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JOB SATISFACTION AND JOB PERFORMANCE

:

IS THE RELATIONSHIP SPURIOUS?

A Thesis

by

ALLISON LAURA COOK

Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies of
Texas A&M University
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

MASTER OF SCIENCE

August 2008

Major Subject: Psychology

JOB SATISFACTION AND JOB PERFORMANCE:

IS THE RELATIONSHIP SPURIOUS?

A Thesis

by

ALLISON LAURA COOK

Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies of
Texas A&M University
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

MASTER OF SCIENCE

Approved by:

Chair of Committee, Daniel A. Newman
Committee Members, Winfred E. Arthur, Jr.
Bradley L. Kirkman
Head of Department, Leslie C. Morey

August 2008

Major Subject: Psychology

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ABSTRACT

Job Satisfaction and Job Performance: Is the Relationship Spurious? (August 2008)

Allison Laura Cook, B.A., Purdue University

Chair of Advisory Committee: Dr. Daniel A. Newman

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 ρ = .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 self-

evaluations, 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

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. . iv model suggest that job complexity is negatively related to satisfaction and performance. Contributions of this paper include estimating the extent to which the satisfaction-performance relationship is partly spurious. which illuminates mediators in some of the effects of personality and ability. once ability and personality are controlled.

. Jr. and support. His knowledge of the field and guidance has been invaluable. v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would first like to thank my committee chair. I would also like to thank the other members of my committee. Daniel Newman. Winfred Arthur. Also. thanks to my parents for their continual encouragement. and time were greatly appreciated. and Bradley Kirkman. Their expertise. love. suggestions. for his help in completing this thesis. comments.

................... ix CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE REVIEW .............................................................................................................................................. 25 Cognitive Ability ....... 40 Rules for Inclusion in the Meta-Analyses ...................................................................................................... 7 Spurious Relationships............................................... 27 An Integrated Theoretical Model......... 60 Conclusion............. 41 Meta-Analytic Procedures... 18 Job Characteristics ..... v TABLE OF CONTENTS............................. 12 Partial Correlations ...................................................................... 61 .......... 59 Limitations and Contributions................................................... 53 Implications for Practice ..................................................................................... 16 Theoretical Common Causes of Job Satisfaction and Job Performance ............................................ 46 IV DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS .................. 42 III RESULTS…………………………………………………………….. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT ............................................................................................................................. 29 II METHOD……………………………………………………………................ 1 History of the Job Satisfaction-Job Performance Relationship ............................................................................................................................................................................... iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................................................................................................................................................... 6 Models of the Job Satisfaction-Job Performance Relationship ...................................................................... 17 Personality Variables ................................................ vi LIST OF FIGURES ................................................................................................... viii LIST OF TABLES...................... 40 Literature Search...............

............................................................................ 79 VITA ........................................................................................................................................ 91 .......................................................................................... vii Page REFERENCES .. 63 APPENDIX ......................

.................................................... 15 Figure 4 Graph of Partial Correlations .... viii LIST OF FIGURES Page Figure 1 Non-Spurious Relationship ....................................................................................................................................... Job Characteristics..................... Cognitive Ability.............................. 49 Figure 8 Structural Equations Model Result of the Integrated Theoretical Model .... 51 ...................... 17 Figure 5 Proposed Theoretical Model to Test for Spuriousness ........... 15 Figure 2 Fully Spurious Relationship ........ 39 Figure 7 Meta-Analytic Model Results Relating Personality.......... Job Characteristics. 15 Figure 3 Partly Spurious Relationship ................................................................................................ and Job Performance ................................... and Cognitive Ability to Job Satisfaction and Job Performance........................................... 29 Figure 6 Integrated Theoretical Model of the Relationships Among Personality...............

............... 43 Table 2 Overall Meta-Analytic Correlation Matrix .............. and Meta-Analyses Conducted .... Estimates......... 50 Table 5 Fit Indices for Structural Model ....................................... 52 ............................................. 47 Table 3 Meta-Analytic Correlation Matrix with Core Self-Evaluations ........... 48 Table 4 Results of Controlling for Variables in the Satisfaction- Performance Relationship ...................... ix LIST OF TABLES Page Table 1 Meta-Analytic Sources........

p. I will suggest a theoretical model that includes the relationships among job satisfaction. Job satisfaction has been defined as “feelings or affective responses to facets of the (workplace) situation” (Smith. It has been referred to as the “Holy Grail” of industrial/organizational psychology (Landy. 2006.. 1967. 1989). Watt. & Patton. More recently. Bono. and stems from classic industrial/organizational and social psychological theory (e. job performance. In addition. The purpose of the current paper is to examine a model of the satisfaction-performance relationship that is specified as partly spurious. 2001). Thoresen. and common causes of these two variables. 1969). Wicker. & Greguras. Lawler & Porter. Kendall. Schleicher. 1969. & Hulin. 2004). . Newman. & Roth. Brief and Weiss (2002) suggested that employee reports of affect at work can be used to measure job satisfaction and that affective experiences while on the job are also a cause of job ____________ This thesis follows the style of the Journal of Applied Psychology. 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE REVIEW The relationship between job satisfaction and job performance has been studied extensively throughout the history of industrial/organizational psychology (Judge. 6). researchers have acknowledged that job satisfaction is a phenomenon best described as having both cognitive (thoughts) and affective (feelings) character. The connection between workplace attitudes and behavioral outcomes continues to be a prevalent research topic (Harrison.g.

This cognitive component is made up of judgments and beliefs about the job whereas the affective component comprises feelings and emotions associated with the job. Job satisfaction is also believed to be dispositional in nature. 2 satisfaction. Bouchard. both over time and over different situations (see Ilies & Judge. and Abraham (1989) found support for a genetic component to job satisfaction in their study of monozygotic. One reason for this dispositional nature of job satisfaction could come from an individual’s genetic makeup. They found that even when they were not raised together. employee job satisfaction is the affective state of employees regarding multiple facets of their jobs (Brown & Peterson. 1985). identical twins tended to have job satisfaction levels that were significantly correlated. Arvey. 2003). In other words. or identical. There is also a cognitive component to job satisfaction (Organ & Near. twins reared apart. 1985). This dispositional viewpoint assumes that measuring personal characteristics can aid in the prediction of job satisfaction (Staw & Ross. Because identical twins have the same genetic makeup but are reared apart and as such do not have the same environmental influences. The dispositional approach of job . 1993). Another study that has supported the dispositional nature of job satisfaction found a strong and consistent relationship in attitudes over time as well as a relationship in attitudes across different situations or settings (Staw & Ross. Segal. so job satisfaction comprises employee feelings regarding multiple aspects of the job. 1985). this similarity in job satisfaction ratings is argued to represent a genetic component. The dispositional source of job satisfaction has been supported by studies that show stability in job satisfaction.

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satisfaction is not a mirage and individual dispositions do indeed affect job satisfaction

(Staw & Cohen-Charash, 2005).

Satisfaction in the workplace is valuable to study for multiple reasons: (a)

increased satisfaction is suggested to be related to increased productivity, and (b)

promoting employee satisfaction has inherent humanitarian value (Smith et al., 1969).

In addition, job satisfaction is also related to other positive outcomes in the workplace,

such as increased organizational citizenship behaviors (Organ & Ryan, 1995), increased

life satisfaction (Judge, 2000), decreased counterproductive work behaviors (Dalal,

2005),and decreased absenteeism (Hardy, Woods, & Wall, 2003). Each of these

outcomes is desirable in organizations, and as such shows the value of studying and

understanding job satisfaction.

Job performance, on the other hand, consists of the observable behaviors that

people do in their jobs that are relevant to the goals of the organization (Campbell,

McHenry, & Wise, 1990). Job performance is of interest to organizations because of the

importance of high productivity in the workplace (Hunter & Hunter, 1984).

Performance definitions should focus on behaviors rather than outcomes (Murphy,

1989), because a focus on outcomes could lead employees to find the easiest way to

achieve the desired results, which is likely to be detrimental to the organization because

other important behaviors will not be performed. Campbell, McCloy, Oppler, and Sager

(1993) explain that performance is not the consequence of behaviors, but rather the

behaviors themselves. In other words, performance consists of the behaviors that

employees actually engage in which can be observed.

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In contrast to the strictly behavioral definitions of job performance, Motowidlo,

Borman, and Schmit (1997) say that rather than solely the behaviors themselves,

performance is behaviors with an evaluative aspect. This definition is consistent with

the dominant methods used to measure job performance, namely performance ratings

from supervisors and peers (Newman, Kinney, & Farr, 2004). Although Motowidlo et al.

(1997) emphasize this evaluative idea in defining the performance domain, they still

maintain that job performance is behaviors and not results. One further element of

performance is that the behaviors must be relevant to the goals of the organization

(Campbell et al., 1993).

Classic performance measures often operationalize performance as one general

factor that is thought to account for the total variance in outcomes. In their theory of

performance, Campbell et al. (1993) stated that a general factor does not provide an

adequate conceptual explanation of performance, and they outline eight factors that

should account for all of the behaviors that are encompassed by job performance (i.e.,

job-specific task proficiency, non-job-specific task proficiency, written and oral

communication task proficiency, demonstrating effort, maintaining personal discipline,

facilitating peer and team performance, supervision/leadership, and

management/administration). They therefore urge against the use of overall performance

ratings and suggest that studies should look at the eight dimensions of performance

separately, because the “general factor cannot possibly represent the best fit” (Campbell

et al., 1993, p. 38) when measuring performance. Other researchers have stated that even

though specific dimensions of performance can be conceptualized, there is utility in

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using a single, general factor. Using meta-analytic procedures to look at the relationships

between overall performance and its dimensions, Viswesvaran, Schmidt, and Ones

(2005) found that approximately 60 percent of the variance in performance ratings

comes from the general factor. Further, this general factor is not explainable by rater

error (i.e., a halo effect). Thus, overwhelming empirical evidence suggests that

researchers should not dismiss the idea of a general factor, and that unidimensional

measures of overall performance may have an important place in theories of job

performance.

In the performance literature, a distinction is made between in role and extra-role

performance (Katz & Kahn, 1978). Extra-role performance is also conceptualized as

organizational citizenship behaviors (Smith, Organ, & Near, 1983). Based on this

research, Borman and Motowidlo (1993) suggested that performance can be divided into

two parts, task and contextual performance. Task performance involves the

effectiveness with which employees perform the activities that are formally part of their

job and contribute to the organization’s technical core. Contextual performance

comprises organizational activities that are volitional, not prescribed by the job, and do

not contribute directly to the technical core (cf. Organ, 1997). Contextual performance

includes activities such as helping, cooperating with others, and volunteering, which are

not formally part of the job but can be important for all jobs. Although this distinction

does exist, the current study focuses on task, or in-role, performance.

Peterson. 1970). but suggest that previous correlations have been low because researchers were not correctly measuring satisfaction and performance. other reviews of the satisfaction-performance relationship have also been published (e. this review was limited by the small number of primary studies existent at the time that examined the satisfaction-performance relationship. Vroom. One of the most optimistic of these reviews is that of Herzberg et al. & Campbell. 1970. 1964. Following these reviews. The Hawthorne studies in the 1930s and the human relations movement stimulated interest in the relationship between employee attitudes and performance. Schwab & Cummings. However. Locke. 1970. (1957) in which they express confidence in a relationship between job satisfaction and job performance. Schwab and Cummings (1970) explain that a premature focus on the satisfaction-performance relationship has been problematic because of the lack of theory involved. performance. A common theme among these reviews is a necessity for theoretical work on satisfaction. researchers began to more closely consider the satisfaction-performance relationship. Brayfield and Crockett (1955) published a narrative review of the satisfaction-performance relationship in which they concluded that the relationship was minimal or nonexistent. 6 History of the Job Satisfaction-Job Performance Relationship The satisfaction-performance relationship has been studied for decades. and their relationship (Locke. Specifically.. both empirically investigating the relationship and also looking specifically at potential mediators and moderators of the . 1957. These reviews have differed in their perceptions of the satisfaction-performance relationship. Mausner.g. 1970). Schwab & Cummings. Herzberg. Since Brayfield and Crockett’s influential review.

(2001) specified and found five different models to be empirically plausible. which they conclude are not plausible.17.. When looking at the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance. it is reasonable to believe that the true correlation between satisfaction and performance is closer to Judge et al’s (2001) correlation of . they concluded that satisfaction and performance are only slightly related. (2001) estimated a true population correlation of .17. 2001). As such. and the other is that alternative conceptualizations of job satisfaction and/or performance should be used. One of these models is that there is actually no relationship between satisfaction and performance. As performance was conceptualized as being at a general level. Thus. Because these . They explain that this result is different from the one obtained by Iaffaldano and Muchinsky (1985) because the Iaffaldono and Muchinsky study examined satisfaction at the facet rather than global level.30 rather than Iaffaldono and Muchinsky’s (1985) correlation of . I turn to discussing the possible causal models underlying the relationship between the two. They also discuss two additional models of the satisfaction-performance relationships. In the more recent meta-analysis. Models of the Job Satisfaction-Job Performance Relationship Now that the job satisfaction and job performance constructs have been defined and the history of the job satisfaction-job performance relationship reviewed.30. Iaffaldano and Muchinsky (1985) conducted an empirical investigation of the satisfaction-performance relationship and found the true population correlation to be . 7 relationship (Judge et al. Judge et al. Judge et al. one would expect that measuring satisfaction at the facet level would result in lower correlation than measuring satisfaction at the more general global level.

These include the idea that the relationship may be moderated (i. two alternative models of the satisfaction-performance relationship suggest that other. 1982). 1979. discussed below]. and (c) a reciprocal causal relationship between the two (e. three models involve direct causal satisfaction-performance relationships: (a) satisfaction causing performance [Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975) theory of attitude-behavior relations. & Brett. they will not be discussed further.. Theories behind the five causal models of satisfaction and performance are reviewed below. James.. 8 two models are not suggested to be plausible. These models have often been hard to distinguish empirically in past research. the relationship is due to a one or more common causes of job satisfaction and job performance. or that it may be spurious (i. 1967). exogenous variables may determine the relationship between satisfaction and performance (Judge et al. 1970. Lawler& Porter. most commonly .e. Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) state that positive or negative attitudes toward a behavior can lead to enactment of that behavior. Mulaik. Wanous. (b) performance causing satisfaction (Locke. specifically job satisfaction. because much of the satisfaction-performance data is cross-sectional and therefore cannot unequivocally demonstrate causation (Kenny. Aside from the three direct causal models described above. 2001). organizational researchers have theorized that attitudes toward the job.. not due to a substantive causal mechanism between them). it depends upon one or more conditional variables).. In considering the possibility that satisfaction causes performance. 1974). should be related to job behaviors.e. Of the models that were determined to be empirically plausible. by way of behavioral intentions.g. Loosely applying Fishbein and Ajzen’s theory.

but dissatisfied with one specific behavior that s/he must perform. and then to actual performance of the behavior. thus satisfaction with the job would not necessarily lead to higher levels of performance. In this case. the employee bases her/his attitude on the social aspect of work rather than on task performance. 1998) – the Theory of Reasoned Action may not be applicable to the relationship between job satisfaction and performance. When considering the relationship between satisfaction and performance. performance evaluations would be low if they were based on the one behavior that the employee did not like. In this situation. The Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen. 9 measured as performance. if satisfaction with the job does not have to do with performance behaviors. an employee with low performance might be very satisfied at work because s/he is extroverted and enjoys the opportunities that the job offers in terms of being able to interact with other people. For example. For example. Theoretical models suggesting that job performance causally precedes job attitudes are typically based on the expectancy-value framework (Locke & Latham. The most basic idea behind expectancy-value theories is that individuals who . even though the employee’s overall attitude toward the job was positive. It is possible for employees to have a different attitude toward the job than they do toward the behaviors they perform on the job. an employee may be very satisfied with her/his job overall. then the attitude will not necessarily lead to these behaviors. 2004). Although the theoretical proposition that attitudes cause behavior makes intuitive sense – and is supported by a great deal of empirical research (Sutton. 1991) suggests that attitudes regarding a behavior lead to intentions to perform.

. which would in turn increase their satisfaction with the job.. or anticipations about an outcome. ranging from strongly positive to strongly negative. 2001. Locke (1970) also supported the idea that satisfaction could be conceived of as an outcome of performance. performance is based on goal-directed behavior. Wanous. Although the above-described models attempt to explain the relationship between satisfaction and performance. using goal theory. One early model of this kind was introduced by Lawler and Porter (1967). they do not fully consider the impact of employee personality and job characteristics. then this operationalization is especially likely to be tied to organizational rewards. They believed that high levels of performance would lead to rewards for the employees. the phenomena of job satisfaction causing performance and of job performance causing satisfaction are not mutually exclusive. I focus on an explanatory model in which the satisfaction-performance relationship is specified as partly spurious. The value that individuals place on the outcomes. & Pritchard. will behave differently than individuals with low expectancies (Jorgenson. Dunnette. 10 have high expectances. A spurious relationship is present when covariation between two variables is actually due . 1997). In his model. This model is consistent with the definition of job performance as not actually a behavior but rather an evaluation of a behavior (Motowidlo et al. will also affect their behavior. Of course. 1973). and satisfaction comes from whether one’s performance met these goals. Past researchers have explicitly detailed the likelihood that job satisfaction and performance simultaneously cause each other (Judge et al. In the current study. 1974). If performance is defined using supervisor evaluations of job behavior.

the true population level correlations will be estimated. and locus of control with Extraversion. By completing these meta-analyses. Extraversion. 11 to common causes. and cognitive ability. Conscientiousness. job complexity. a spurious relationship between job satisfaction and job performance would suggest that the causal effects between satisfaction and performance. (b) self-esteem. The inclusion of common causes will fill the gap that exists in many previously- tested theoretical models of the satisfaction-performance relationship. and representing many employed individuals. West. Cohen. Third and . generalized self-efficacy. and cognitive ability. This test is based upon meta-analytic data compiled from multiple study effects. This is a valuable contribution because it will help to specify the mechanism underlying a relationship that has received much empirical support. (c) both self- reports and more ‘objective’ non-self-reports of job complexity with Conscientiousness. First and foremost. may be more limited in magnitude than previously thought. & Aiken. 2003). in order to test the model of spuriousness. but lacks clarity as to why the variables are related. and (d) self-perceptions of Job Complexity with Emotional Stability. where personality and job characteristics were omitted. Also. 26 original meta-analyses will be performed to estimate the mean population-level correlations: (a) job satisfaction and cognitive ability. rather than a direct relationship (see Cohen. Agreeableness. Agreeableness. Second. This paper seeks to make three contributions to theory on the job satisfaction-job performance relationship. and objective job complexity. it will provide a large-scale empirical test of a causal model in which the satisfaction-performance relationship is specified as spurious. both unidirectional and reciprocal.

the contemporary usage of the term spurious correlation has been to describe correlations which can be attributed to common causes. p. 5) and as an “illusory association” between two variables (Yule. or simply a spurious correlation. p. This model specifies job satisfaction and job complexity as mediators of some of the individual difference effects in the model. Since Pearson’s first use of the term. and are put together in groups. Spurious correlations have been referred to as a “master imposter” of a true relationship (Simon. and believe that the bones had really been put together substantially in their individual grouping. other definitions of “spurious correlation” have arisen.. a biologist takes the indices femur/humerus and tibia/humerus. Differing from Pearson’s description of spuriousness as due to chance permutations. a theoretical model of the interrelationships among all of the variables in the study will be created and tested. were the absolute lengths on which they depend distributed at random (p. which have ultimately supplanted the original definition. He might reasonably conclude that this correlation marked organic relationship. 1985.I term this a spurious organic correlation. Spurious Relationships The term “spurious correlation” was originally introduced by Karl Pearson in 1897 when describing a situation in which there appears to be a correlation between two variables. 1919. According to Blalock (1964): . To test this. 12 finally. 490). which are asserted to be those of individual skeletons. but in actuality one does not exist: A quantity of bones are taken from an ossuarium. 51).. I understand by this phrase the amount of correlation which would still exist between the indices.

1979). 1975). contemporary researchers have come to think of a spurious relationship as one in which the covariation between X and Y is not due to causal effects of either variable. 1979). but rather is due to the presence of a third variable (Kenny. A spurious relationship is one that can be explained away by causal relationships of X and Y with a third variable (Kenny. Nonspuriousness is a condition that is necessary for a causal relationship to exist (Cook & Campbell. Although Pearson’s (1897) original definition of spuriousness suggested that there was no true relationship between two variables. 1964). one must clarify the relation between the two variables of interest by introducing a third variable. In the current paper I index non-spuriousness with a residual correlation between two variables. spuriousness is the prediction that the correlation between X and Y will be zero once Z is controlled (Blalock. In view of the fact that in the exploratory stages of any science one of the most important tasks is to eliminate numerous possible explanatory variables. . such tests for spuriousness are highly necessary and very appropriate in any piece of research (p. although most discussions of the phenomenon use only one exogenous variable. Simon (1985) explains that when testing for a spurious correlation. Spurious correlations can involve more than one common cause (Blalock. 1964). once a set of external variables has been partialled out. 84). 13 One of the most common sorts of models tested in empirical research is one in which we postulate that the relationship between X and Y is spurious owing to one or more common causes. Empirically.

Figure 2 shows a relationship that is completely spurious. and thus a smaller correlation between the two variables once they have been residualized. when controlling for Z. when a common predictor of both X and Y is added to the equation. . Partial spuriousness can also occur and is a situation in which the relationship between X and Y decreases. Spuriousness can potentially explain a substantial portion of the correlation between two variables. 1979). Specifically. the relationship between X and Y lessens. the relationship between X and Y may not vanish completely but it may decrease. If a variable is not completely exogenous. the relationship between X and Y completely disappears. but does not completely disappear. 14 I further draw a distinction between complete spuriousness and partial spuriousness. part of the correlation between it and the variable it causes will be due to spuriousness (Kenny. even if there is little or no actual causation between them. This is noted by the dotted line. Looking at the connection between X and Y. such that when covariation with Z is removed from X and Y. That is. Figure 1 shows a causal diagram in which the relationship is not spurious because the full correlation between X and Y remains when Z is added to the equation. two constructs may be correlated because of common causes that they share. If there is random measurement error in the Z variable. Figure 3 displays a relationship that is partly spurious.

Fully spurious relationship Figure 3. Partly spurious relationship . 15 Figure 1. Non-spurious relationship Figure 2.

By using meta-analytic methods.55. the partial correlation between X and Y generally decreases (note that Equation 1 is symmetric with respect to X and Y).30. it is possible to identify small. after a set of external variables has been partialled out. the partial correlation will be zero. This information will provide a better picture of the relationship between satisfaction and performance than can be . Holding the zero-order relationship between X and Y constant at r = . For example. the partial correlation between X and Y will be minimized when both rXZ and rYZ are maximized. I define spuriousness as a residual correlation between two variables. If both rXZ and rYZ are . variables that are believe to be antecedent to both are controlled (Linn & Werts. 1969). true residual correlations. Thus. as determined by Equation 1. if rXZ and rYZ are both . 1 (1  rXZ2 )(1  rYZ 2 ) Using this equation. Again. Eq. it is possible to see how different correlations between X and Z and between Y and Z affect the level of partial correlation (see Figure 4).30. 16 Partial Correlations In order to remove the spurious association between two variables. The idea of a spurious correlation can be illustrated by looking at a graph of partial correlations. with the prior variables controlled. The formula for a partial correlation of X with Y controlling for Z is rXY  (rXZ )(rYZ ) Partial r = . the partial correlation between X and Y will drop to less than r = .25. as the correlation between Z and X (and also between Z and Y) increases. One method that can be used to accomplish this is to look at the partial correlation between the two variables.

2 0. 0.05 r_ZX = 0.35 r_ZX = 0. Graph of partial correlations Theoretical Common Causes of Job Satisfaction and Job Performance Several commonly-studied constructs have been proposed to cause both job satisfaction and job performance outcomes.4 0 r_ZX = 0. by accounting for theorized common causes of the two. note that I am not the first to suggest that the job .6 r_ZY Figure 4.15 0. and (c) cognitive ability.3 r_ZX = 0.5 -0. Before turning to these explanations.25 0.1 0.15 0.55 r_ZX = 0.3 0.2 Partial Correlation r_ZX = 0. (b) job and role characteristics.6 -0.3 r_ZX = 0.2 0 0.55 0.2 r_ZX = 0.1 r_ZX = 0.45 r_ZX = 0.5 0.35 0. along with the theoretical mechanisms generally thought to explain their effects on job attitudes and behavior.1 r_ZX = 0.1 r_ZX = 0.45 0.25 0.4 r_ZX = 0 0.4 0. 17 gleaned from the simple bivariate association.05 0. These antecedents will be discussed below. I organize these constructs into three general categories: (a) personality constructs.

1970). Decreased job performance can be explained by this idea if an individual is low on Emotional Stability and they receive praise or a reward for . I review theoretical associations of several common causes with both job satisfaction and job performance. and empirically demonstrated that a statistically significant relationship between job satisfaction and performance became non-significant when controlling for a third variable (Brown and Peterson’s [1993] partial r = . such tests of spuriousness—which are based on loss of statistical significance—are largely driven by statistical power. controlling for organization-based self-esteem). Gardner and Pierce’s [1998] partial r = . even when a small true direct effect exists. 18 satisfaction-performance relationship may be partly spurious (see Judge et al. Integrative studies are needed that have high statistical power to detect small. People low in Emotional Stability have exaggerated responses to rewards (Pickering. & Gray. However. 2001). Personality Variables According the Gray’s Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (1970).05. controlling for role ambiguity. as levels of Emotional Stability decrease.. individuals differ on their levels of arousabilty and sensitivity to reinforcements or rewards. 1999). 1992). non- spurious effects (see Schmidt. This theory considers traits of Emotional Stability and Extraversion and how they cause people to react differently to situations.09. Earlier studies made precisely such a claim. Corr. Looking first at Emotional Stability. so does an individual’s sensitivity to reinforcement (Gray. It is quite possible for a relationship to lose its statistical significance upon partialing out alleged common causes. Below.

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a small bit of good performance, they will amplify the praise they received and think that

they are performing very well, which may cause their subsequent performance to suffer.

Looking at Emotional Stability in general, and not just from the reinforcement

sensitivity perspective, it has been one of the strongest dispositional predictors of job

satisfaction, ρ = .29 (Judge, Heller, & Mount, 2002). Low levels of Emotional Stability

lead people to experience more negative life events (Magnus, Diener, Fujita, & Pavot,

1993). This negative perception can influence, and therefore lower, the perception of

satisfaction in the work place. The connection between Emotional Stability and job

performance has also been established (Barrick, Mount, & Judge, 2001). Individuals

who are low in Emotional Stability are more likely to be irritable, depressed, or anxious,

and these traits inhibit the completion of workplace tasks (Barrick & Mount, 1991).

Thus, low levels of Emotional Stability will lead to decreases in both job satisfaction and

job performance because of the negative moods and perceptions that typically occur in

emotionally unstable individuals.

Turning back to the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory, introverts are more

sensitive to punishment and frustrative nonreward than are extroverts (Gray, 1970).

Extroverts have low sensitivity to punishment cues (Pickering et al., 1999) which could

help to explain why they would have higher levels of job satisfaction. If people high and

low on Extraversion both receive the same feedback, the less extroverted people would

be more likely to notice indications of punishment. Thus, their satisfaction would be

lowered because of the perception that they were being punished. The Reinforcement

Sensitivity Theory also suggests that individuals low in Extraversion are more prone to

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fear than are their more extroverted counterparts (Gray, 1970). If low Extraversion

employees are at their job, continuously feeling fear because of their dispositional

susceptibility to fear, they will likely be less satisfied with the job. The fear could come

from many different sources, including a fear of failing or of being punished or fired.

The relationship between job satisfaction and extroversion can also be explained by

extraverted employees’ tendencies to be outgoing and form friendships at work. These

social interactions can lead to higher levels of satisfaction in the workplace. Also,

extraverts are more likely to perceive positive events in their lives (Magnus et al., 1993),

which would lead to higher levels of job satisfaction. When looking at performance and

Extraversion, Extraversion is especially important in jobs that are people- or service-

oriented (Hurtz & Donovan, 2000). Also, extraverts strive to obtain status and rewards

at work, thus increasing their performance (Barrick, Stewart, & Piotrowski, 2002). The

idea that extraverts have higher levels of social interaction in the workplace could

increase their performance as well as their satisfaction because if extraverts know more

people in the workplace, they would likely have a better idea of whom to go to for

advice or help. In general, extraverts will have higher levels of both job satisfaction and

job performance because of their overall positive perceptions, social interactions on the

job, and desire to gain status in the work place.

Conscientious individuals are seen as dependable and tend to strive to be

successful. Organ and Lingl (1995) suggest that Conscientiousness and job satisfaction

may be related because highly conscientious people tend to respond favorably to the

rules inherent in organizations. Conscientiousness should be related to higher levels of

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employee performance because most jobs require employees to be reliable and

effectively complete their work tasks. Conscientiousness comprises subfacets of

dependability and responsibility, and people high in these dimensions would be expected

to have high levels of job performance (Barrick & Mount, 1991). Thus,

Conscientiousness is related to both increased satisfaction and performance.

When looking at Agreeableness, the relationship with job satisfaction is much

like that of Extraversion. Agreeable individuals tend to get along well with others and

form satisfying interpersonal relationships (Goldberg, 1990). These relationships in the

workplace could lead to higher levels of overall satisfaction for employees. As with

Extraversion, Agreeableness would be most likely to affect performance in jobs that are

people-oriented (Hurtz & Donnovan, 2000). Friendliness and the ability to cooperate

with others, both of which are characteristic of agreeable people, would lead to better

performance when interacting with others. Unlike Extraversion, however,

Agreeableness is not connected to status seeking, but rather to communion seeking

(Barrick et al., 2002).

Core self-evaluations, which is a higher-order construct including self-esteem,

self-efficacy, locus of control, and Emotional Stability, has also been related to both

performance and satisfaction (Judge & Bono, 2001). Self-esteem is defined as how

much value people put on themselves (Baumeister, Campbell, Krueger, & Vohs, 2003).

Individuals who are high in self-esteem tend to feel good about themselves, regardless of

the abilities or skills that they possess (Chen, Gully, & Eden, 2004). Self-esteem is one

of the strongest predictors of overall life satisfaction--people with high self-esteem are

. In addition. Holmes. Because of this continual optimism.. achieving high performance may be easier. 2004). as a “strong. Arndt. high self- esteem individuals have positive feelings about themselves and are able to perform better because of this. When looking at self-esteem and its effect on performance. Performance may also be increased for employees who have high levels of self-esteem because high self- esteem reduces anxiety and anxiety-related behaviors. 2004b) and with an overall positive view of oneself. Greenberg. self-esteem relates to performance through affective states (Chen et al. 2003). which would allow for higher levels of performance (Pyszczynski. For this . 2003. & Schimel. 1998). it has been found that successful performance can cause low self-esteem individuals to be insecure and uncomfortable because high levels of performance do not fit with their own evaluations of themselves (Marigold. 22 considerably happier than people with lower levels of self-esteem (Baumeister et al. Padgett. Thus. This enhanced happiness and overall satisfaction should also lead to higher levels of satisfaction on the job. The self-esteem hypothesis “suggests that people who feel better about themselves perform better” (Baumeister et al. 1989. employees with high self-esteem are likely to have high levels of job satisfaction. & Baldwin. 14). 2006) and individuals with high levels of self-esteem tend to maintain this optimism. 2007). self-esteem evokes optimism and confidence in people (Zhang & Baumeister. Solomon. 504). positive relationship” between job satisfaction and overall life satisfaction (Tait. When looking at individuals with low self-esteem rather than those with high self- esteem.. p. & Ross. p. even when they face failure (Dodgson & Wood.

Whereas self-esteem relates to an individual’s sense of self worth. Employees who are high on the trait of general self-efficacy are likely to be motivated and persistent (Chen et al. Generalized self-efficacy is a relatively stable trait regarding beliefs of one’s own competence (Chen et al. . 2004). & Caper. self-efficacy relates to perceptions of their ability accomplish tasks or meet a goal. & Thoresen (1997) suggested that generalized self-efficacy would be related to job satisfaction. Tischner. Bandura & Locke. including job satisfaction (Chen.. Judge. self-efficacy can lead to lower levels of performance because individuals with high self-efficacy can become overconfident in their abilities and make more errors while playing a logic game (cf. Employees who rate themselves as competent and capable are likely to have higher levels of satisfaction at work because their general positive evaluations of themselves will “cascade-down” to their attitudes at work. due to the idea that individuals who are high in self-efficacy are more likely to believe they can achieve their goals (and to subsequently achieve them). Goddard. especially in new situations (Eden & Zuk. according to Vancouver. 2003)... and Putka (2002) at the within-persons level of analysis. another study was done which manipulated the sign of feedback that participants received (Vancouver & Tischner. 2004). employees with low self-esteem may have lower levels of performance than their counterparts with higher self-esteem. Martocchio. 23 reason. 2004b). To clarify this result. 1995). It is how individuals judge their own abilities. which would lead to higher satisfaction with their jobs. Thompson. 2004b). When individuals received negative feedback and were allowed to reaffirm themselves by listing previous achievements or rewards. thus performing better. However.

and this could also be true when the individual is at work (Spector. they are more likely to seek other employment options if they are unhappy at work. 24 their performance suffered because they reallocated their resources in a way that they would be able to protect their sense of self-worth. 1982). Also. they will tend to do so (Eden & Zuk. Because internals attribute control over events to themselves.. Sparks. Bernin. it is the case that high self-efficacy can be associated with high levels of performance. 1975). If employees believe they are highly capable of performing well. People with an internal locus of control perceive that their outcomes are under their own personal control. Locus of control refers to how people perceive the link between their own actions and the outcomes of their actions (Rotter. Cooper. 1995). 1966). 2002). If an employee represses unpleasant things that happen at work. Self-efficacy may also be related to performance because of self-fulfilling prophecies. whereas individuals with an external locus of control believe that these outcomes are attributable to people or forces outside of themselves. Sanchez. & . Johns. Employees with an internal locus of control are more satisfied with their jobs because they are less likely to stay in a position which is dissatisfying (Spector. Thus. Employees who have an external locus of control are less likely to perceive a relationship between their own inputs and efforts at work and outcomes that they experience (Raja. satisfaction will be higher. However. et al. Another explanation for internals having higher job satisfaction is that internals tend to repress or forget failures or unpleasant experiences they have (Rotter. O’Driscoll. if participants were not allowed to reaffirm. their performance was not harmed. having a more internal locus of control has been associated with more positive well being off the job.

Also. which could cause problems because some characteristics of the job are omitted (Morgeson & Humphrey. They found that these four dimensions showed a strong positive correlation with job satisfaction. It was suggested that for maximum employee motivation on the job. and specialization). and feedback from the job). 1976). Job complexity is composed of feedback. task identity. task significance. and skill variety. Complex or rich jobs are expected to increase both job satisfaction and job performance for employees (Hackman & Oldham. Hackman and Oldham’s (1975) Job Characteristics Model identified five core dimensions of job complexity. problem solving. thus they exert more effort on the job (Spector. information processing. 25 Ntalianis. a measure that assesses 21 characteristics of work including task characteristics (autonomy. Recently it has been suggested that Hackman and Oldham’s model of job characteristics is too narrow. and feedback. individuals with an internal locus of control can be expected to have higher levels of job performance than externals because they believe that effort will lead to good performance and rewards. task significance. which led to the creation of the Work Design Questionnaire (WDQ). autonomy. externals can be expected to have lower performance on the job than internals because internals will put in more effort to bring about better performance. task identity. skill variety. Hackman and Lawler (1971) identified four core components: variety. . autonomy. Job Characteristics In classifying job characteristics. 2006). knowledge characteristics (job complexity. task variety. task identity. Thus. 2004). all four components should be maximized. It was stated that a more comprehensive work design measure is needed. 1982).

2000). employees feel a sense of meaningfulness and responsibility regarding their jobs (also see Judge. Employee performance can also be increased with higher levels of job complexity because these job characteristics were specifically identified to show that productivity would increase if jobs were designed in a way that would make them more meaningful and challenging to the employees (Hackman & Lawler. thus increasing job performance. 26 social characteristics (interdependence. & Locke. physical demands. they will feel that their job is worthwhile and not a waste of time. and equipment use). In a meta-analytic review of Hackman and Oldham’s original job characteristics model. and Morgeson (2007) found that “34% of the variance in performance and more than 55% of the variance in satisfaction” was a . Bono. If employees are in complex jobs. work conditions. Nahrgang. Increased satisfaction can be expected as a result of increased job complexity because when the job characteristics that make up job complexity are increased. 1975). 1971). and feedback from others). However. interaction outside the organization. Humphrey. Fried and Ferris (1987) found empirical relationships between job complexity and both job satisfaction and job performance. With regards to the relationships of job complexity with satisfaction and performance. and contextual characteristics (ergonomics. This is a malleable difference that influences how employees will respond to jobs that have high job complexity such that employees with high growth need strength will respond more favorably to high complexity jobs. the individual difference of growth need strength can affect this relationship with job performance (Hackman & Oldham. These feelings in turn lead to increased levels of job satisfaction.

2004). Schmidt & Hunter. but also somewhat on processes. According to the gravitational hypothesis. 1346). & Ackerman. An individual’s investment in a particular job or activity can partly determine the knowledge that they attain (Chamorro-Premuzic. employees will gravitate toward jobs that have ability requirements that match their cognitive abilities (Wilk. individual personality. It predicts performance better than all other measures of ability. & . and interests (Ackerman’s 1996 PPIK model). Desmarais. accounting for over 25% of the variance in performance (Hunter & Hunter. it seems that s/he would most likely also be more invested in it than someone with lower levels of satisfaction. Furnham. it has been found that knowledge is not only based on individual ability. When studying how individuals differ in their levels of cognitive ability. Cognitive Ability Cognitive ability is one of the best predictors of job performance. The PPIK model suggests that knowledge is based on both ability and non-ability traits. If an individual is satisfied with her/his job. 2006). 1998). 27 function of job characteristics (p. or dispositions that have been tested (Schmidt & Hunter. 1986). traits. One of the non-ability traits that has been studied is an individual’s level of investment. & Outerbridge. Hunter. 1984. Cognitive ability is a good predictor of job performance because people with higher levels of cognitive ability acquire a greater amount of knowledge and are thus able to better perform a variety of behaviors on the job (Schmidt. They also found that the job characteristics- outcomes relationships are mediated by critical psychological states proposed by Hackman and Oldham (1976).

These types of jobs are likely to be more satisfying. In the proposed model. In other words. 28 Sackett. controlling for the above-described factors. cognitively ability should be positively correlated to job satisfaction. Because of this phenomenon.and over-qualified for their jobs will likely seek other employment opportunities that are a better match for their abilities. people with high cognitive ability will be in better jobs. a proposed model of the common antecedents of job satisfaction and job performance is depicted in Figure 5. . due to the tendency for high-ability individuals to occupy jobs with more desirable characteristics. In other words. are under. the parameter of greatest interest for the current study is the residual correlation between job satisfaction and job performance. such as jobs that have higher ability requirements thus higher pay or jobs that are higher on dimensions that are related to increased satisfaction. 1995). such as the job characteristics defined by Hackman and Oldham (1975). in terms of cognitive ability. both individuals who. In summary of the above sections.

A more sophisticated way to model the interrelationships amongst the study variables would be to constrain several . 29 Figure 5. so by design the model has perfect fit. job satisfaction. the only plausible model of the relationships between individual differences. however. the model to test the spuriousness of the satisfaction-performance relationship (Figure 5) is saturated (there are no degrees of freedom as every possible path is included in the model). Proposed theoretical model to test for spuriousness An Integrated Theoretical Model Figure 5 is not. and job performance. job characteristics. By nature.

1991) and research shows that individuals’ emotions or affective states can influence their judgments (Brief & Weiss. As such. emotions could influence individual ratings of their own job characteristics. 1991). 159). An important conceptual distinction to be made when discussing job complexity involves the differences between self-reported perceptions of one’s job and non-self- reported job complexity. . job complexity should be related to both job satisfaction and job performance. 2002). “provides measures of objective job characteristics” (p. By design. However most of the research that is conducted regarding job characteristics uses incumbent self-ratings of the characteristics (Spector & Jex. Along these same lines. In their Job Characteristics Model. Hackman and Oldham (1975) specify that two of the outcomes associated with high levels of job complexity are high satisfaction with the work and high quality work performance. Hackman and Oldham (1975) stated that the Job Diagnostic Survey. it is necessary to use theoretical reasoning to determine which paths should not be included in the integrated theoretical model. based upon theory. Schwab and Cummings (1976) argued that using self-report measures of job characteristics can confound an individual’s preferences with the characteristics of the job. Spector and Jex (1991) found that incumbent ratings of job complexity were not highly correlated with job complexity ratings based on the job description or job complexity as recorded in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (United States Department of Labor. used to measure job complexity. 30 paths to zero. Thus. They suggest that researchers be cautious when using self-reports of job characteristics as predictors of actual job outcomes.

. the history and purpose of these two types of measures are very different (Gerhart. So job complexity can have an influence on satisfaction and performance through affective reactions. ‘objective’) ratings of job complexity could occur for a couple of different reasons. Another explanation for a difference between objective and self-report measures of job complexity is that with self-report measures individuals’ affective states are involved in the ratings whereas objective job complexity comes from either a published source such as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles or from someone other than the incumbent rating the job complexity. 2000). 1996). Specifically. On the other hand. Self-report measures of job complexity were developed from job design theory in order to see the effects of enriched jobs on employee attitudes and behaviors. Whereas self-reports of job complexity are perceptual in nature. First. individuals respond affectively to jobs based on their perceptions of the job characteristics. objective measures of job complexity were developed to provide job information in order to match individual characteristics and abilities to the job. their different developments and purposes could be a reason for differences between them. 31 This difference between self-report and non-self-report (i. objective job complexity is structural in nature. So although objective and self-report measures of job complexity are meant to measure the same construct. Job complexity is an aspect of the work environment that can influence the affective experiences for individuals at work (Saavedra & Kwun. Affective experiences in the workplace can lead to both attitudinal and behavioral outcomes (Weiss & Cropanzano. .e. 1988).

Self-report measures of job complexity correlate higher with work outcomes than do objective measures (Spector & Jex. If employees respond to job satisfaction measures and job characteristics measures. & Gupta. 1991). Extraverts are especially susceptible to positive affect (Rusting & Larsen. Hackman and Oldham (1975) suggested that job characteristics should be positively related to both satisfaction and performance. 1976). 1997). Jenkins. affect is the mechanism for the relationship between self-perceived job characteristics and Extraversion. Because of the difference between self-reports and objective measures of job complexity. they are likely to be more strongly related than if the job complexity measures come from a different source. 1986). and as such they could actually be measuring different constructs and . one can expect that they would relate differently to outcomes such as satisfaction and performance. or self-reports of job complexity to be related to Extraversion. 32 The idea that perceived job characteristics are related to affective responses can explain why one would expect perceived job complexity. Because of this propensity to affective experiences and the fact that perceived job characteristics influence affective experiences. but examining the difference between self-ratings and objective measures is likely to show differences in the relationships. This could be partially due to contamination from common method variance (Glick. It can also be expected that there would be differences between the self-report job complexity-performance relationship and the objective job complexity-performance relationship because self-report measures of job complexity are influenced by individuals’ affect whereas objective measures are not (Schwab & Cummings.

33 cause differential relationships with performance. or task identity. Thus. Another theoretically-derived modification to the saturated spuriousness model shown in Figure 5 is that the paths between the personality traits and cognitive ability . job complexity is the mechanism for the relationship between cognitive ability and job satisfaction. Objective and self-measures of job complexity could related differently to job satisfaction because affect. Kaplan. 1976. mood. For example. Job characteristics are also specified as a mediator of the effects of cognitive ability on satisfaction. or personal biases can influence the self-ratings of job complexity (Schwab & Cummings. Objective job complexity ratings are not affected by how an individual feels about the job. Warren. in which employees gravitate toward jobs that have ability requirements that match their cognitive abilities (Wilk et al. the relationship between cognitive ability and satisfaction is explained by the gravitational hypothesis. high ability individuals will be drawn to jobs with high levels of job complexity. such as autonomy. it can be expected that individuals will gravitate toward jobs in which the job complexity matches their abilities.. skill variety. that could affect and lower their job complexity ratings. & de Chermont. Barsky. 1995). Because job complexity is positively related to job satisfaction. and as such would be related to performance differently than self-ratings of job complexity. Using this same explanation. This can increase the relationship between self-report and job complexity because if a person is performing poorly. thus increasing the relationship between the two. the high ability individuals will have higher job satisfaction. 2003). Thoresen. As mentioned above.

1963). and originality (Goldberg. Ackerman and Heggestad (1997) found that only openness to experience had at least a medium sized correlation with cognitive ability. Openness to experience. One personality trait has been consistently related to cognitive ability. one reason that one would not expect personality and cognitive ability to be related is that personality measures typical performance and cognitive ability measures maximal performance (Ackerman & Heggestad. Theoretically. Personality is measured as typical performance because it tells us what a person is likely to do whereas cognitive ability is measured as maximal performance because then it is a purer measures that is wholly determined by one’s capabilities (Fiske & Butler. none of the Big Five traits included in this study had a correlation of above . 1997). Jackson. These correlations are usually nonsignificant or of a small size. such as wisdom. This knowledge component is apparent when looking at the factors that comprise openness. 1990).09 with cognitive ability (Judge. is related to cognitive ability because of the knowledge component of this trait (Ackerman & Heggestad. and core self-evaluations should be specified to take their effects on job performance by way of job satisfaction and job characteristics. Shaw. 34 can be removed. Agreeableness. In research. Extraversion predicts job performance because . As mentioned in an earlier section. Another theoretical modification to Figure 5 is that the personality variables of Extraversion. 1997). Scott. Specifically. 2007). which is similar to other personality constructs including intellectence and the intelligence factor. knowledge. & Rich. few self-report measures of the Big Five personality traits are correlated with cognitive ability (Ackerman & Heggestad. 1997). In a recent meta-analysis.

. Agreeableness predicts job performance in people-oriented jobs because it is characterized by friendliness and an ability to cooperate with others. 2002) and because of their high level of social interaction which allows them to know exactly whom they can go to for advice or help to improve their performance. and as such job satisfaction is the mechanism for the Extraversion-performance relationship. it may actually be the case that those relationships are formed in order to increase individual satisfaction rather than performance as relationships. 1992) which could them satisfied because of interpersonal relationships. As with Extraversion. 2000). job complexity could play this same mediating role. satisfaction can mediate this relationship because the social interactions that help job performance actually arise to increase satisfaction first. as extraverted people are talkative and sociable (Goldberg. Just as satisfaction could mediate the relationship between personality variables and performance. So.. would be most likely to affect performance in jobs that are people-oriented (Hurtz & Donnovan. satisfaction mediates the relationship between Extraversion and performance. because social relationships could be formed to increase satisfaction but they can also increase performance. It might be that extraverts strive to obtain status and reward not because they want to perform well. 35 extraverts strive to obtain status and rewards at work (Barrick et al. but because they are more satisfied at work when they are being rewarded and recognized. Sheldon. if performance is related to Extraversion because of the social relationships that are formed. So again. the Extraversion-performance relationship should be mediated by job complexity. Also. Specifically. It can be hypothesized that both of these explanations are related to job satisfaction.

2003). trait Agreeableness is related to performance through communion striving (Barrick et al. Sims et al. Kim. and another is to have challenging work that can demonstrate one’s competence. and Stewart (2003) suggest that Extraversion is related to performance because of the tendency of extraverts to strive for status and that they have sensitivity to rewards at work. Humphrey et al. 36 Elliot. Like the Extraversion-performance relationship. As mentioned earlier. and status at work (Barrick et al. Positive core self evaluations lead individuals to seek out more complex jobs because they feel that they . one would not expect Agreeableness to be related to job characteristics because rather than being related to status striving. Mitchell. the core-self evaluations- performance relationship should also be mediated by job complexity. not the social situations that one will encounter on the job (cf. One of the motives is to achieve enhanced personal control or autonomy. rewards. This idea of status striving means that Extraversion is related to performance in part due to a mechanism whereby extraverts seek jobs that are more autonomous and challenging. such as skill variety. extroverts tend to strive for success.. The main point here is that extraverts’ striving for autonomy and a challenging job may ultimately motivate them to perform at higher levels.. job complexity is unrelated to Agreeableness. and Kasser (2001) found that people are motivated to achieve certain motives in their lives. 2002). As such. Job complexity comprises facets of the job itself. Barrick. are aimed at creating a more challenging job. 1976). In contrast to Extraversion. and other dimensions. One of the dimensions of job complexity is autonomy.. 2007.

individuals with an internal locus of control will be more satisfied because they will not stay in a job that is dissatisfying (Spector. As such. and Roth (2006) suggest that employee attitudes are related to behavioral engagement in work roles. 2000). 1990). self-worth. the effect may actually be due to the fact that positive self- evaluations lead individuals to jobs in which they can perform well. and core self-evaluations are related to satisfaction. Newman. 1970). 37 can handle the job and they see a potential for greater intrinsic rewards (Judge et al. and personal control over their life lead individuals to complex jobs because they feel that they will be successful in any challenges that the job brings. rather than core self-evaluations having a direct effect on job performance. which will lead to higher levels of performance. individuals with high Emotional Stability are predisposed to experience positive events (McCrae & Costa. they are also related to higher levels of behavioral engagement. Harrison. it can be expected that because Extraversion. 1982). and finally individuals with high generalized self-efficacy are . Agreeableness. and core self-evaluations are related to job satisfaction because high self-esteem individuals choose jobs that are consistent with their interests and thus lead to higher satisfaction (Korman. 1993). So. Remember that Extraversion is related to job satisfaction because according to Gray’s Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (1970) Extraverts are less sensitive to punishment and they have a tendency to view life events in a positive light (Magnus et al. Agreeableness is related to job satisfaction because agreeable individuals are likely to form satisfying interpersonal relationship at work (Goldberg. So feelings of competence.. 1991).. So employees with high levels of job satisfaction are more likely to be engaged in their work.

the paths between Agreeableness and both of the job complexity variables can be constrained to zero. and core self-evaluations are related to performance only through job satisfaction and job complexity. ten degrees of freedom were created. core self-evaluations with cognitive ability. the direct relationship between cognitive ability and satisfaction was removed. four paths were removed from the model (Extraversion and cognitive ability. because Extraversion. 2001). Specifically. because Agreeableness is unrelated to job characteristics. By removing several paths from Figure 5 to create Figure 6. Agreeableness and cognitive ability. Agreeableness. because cognitive ability is uncorrelated with personality factors. Also. 38 likely to be satisfied on the job because they are more likely to obtain valued outcomes and thus be satisfied on the job (Judge & Bono. . Considering these theoretical arguments. Next. The new integrated theoretical model of the antecedents of job satisfaction and job performance appears in Figure 6. which are now used to assess how well the theoretical model in Figure 6 fits with the actual data. Finally. because cognitive ability is related to satisfaction via job characteristics. some paths have been removed from the model used to test the spuriousness of the satisfaction-performance relationship. and Conscientiousness with cognitive ability). the three direct paths between these variables and job performance can be removed.

cognitive ability. and job performance . job satisfaction. Integrated theoretical model of the relationships among personality. job characteristics. 39 Figure 6.

For relationships that have been the subject of published meta-analyses. emotional adjustment. Searches for studies about personality traits used the keywords Big Five. First. locus of control. self-esteem. correlations from these published meta-analytic studies were used. self-esteem. and Cognitive Ability. task variety. self-efficacy.. Agreeableness. Surgency. Because several primary studies only include a few of the dimensions of job complexity (but not an overall complexity . Searches for job complexity included the terms job complexity. job characteristics. task identity and task feedback. generalized self-efficacy. Conscientiousness. searches included the terms core self-evaluations. Neuroticism. Efforts were made to ensure that all potential studies were found by including many alternative labels for each variable. searches were conducted in online databases for studies containing any combination of the variable names. job complexity. Emotional Stability. Extroversion. job performance. job autonomy. skill variety. and Agreeableness. Conscientiousness. Emotional Stability. task autonomy. Dependability. Extraversion. 40 CHAPTER II METHOD Literature Search In order to locate studies regarding the relationships among job satisfaction. In looking for studies regarding core self-evaluations. and locus of control. Extraversion. a search of the PsycINFO database was conducted to identify journal articles as well as unpublished doctoral dissertations. task significance.

Judge & Bono.g. and Idaszak & Drasgow’s (1987) JDS Revision. Hogan. Costa and McCrae’s (1985) NEO measure. & Keller’s (1976) Job Characteristics Index. and Rotter’s (1966) Internal-External scale. heath locus of control) were excluded. & Gough. 41 measure). whereas studies examining self-efficacy regarding any specific activity or dimension were excluded. Cloninger. In this same manner. the IPIP (Goldberg. These rules were consistent with previous meta- analyses in the industrial/organizational Psychology literature (e. were excluded from the analyses. to locate job characteristics studies. Eysenck. Third. unit-weighted composite correlations were created for the job complexity estimates. Ashton. 2006). Eber. rules for inclusion in the meta-analyses were set. Johnson. searching for common measures of the various constructs. Goldberg’s (1992) Big Five Measure. 2001. such as psychiatric patients or other clinical samples. Szilagyi. Second. studies of locus of control that are very specific (i. Studies that used children or special populations. 2000). and Barrett’s revised EPQ (1985). Rules for Inclusion in the Meta-Analyses For the relevant studies that were identified in the literature search. SSCI searches for personality traits included Saucier’s (2002) Mini-Modular Markers. Hurtz & Donovan. studies were only included in the analyses . For instance. Sims. only studies with working adult participants were included in analyses. First. I also identified studies using the Social Sciences Citation Index. Eysenck. studies examining generalized self-efficacy were included in the analyses. I searched through abstracts of all studies that cited Hackman and Oldham’s (1975) Job Diagnostic Survey.e.

Because of the lack of information regarding these two relationships. Meta-Analytic Procedures In all. Previously published meta-analytic results as well as the original meta-analyses that were conducted are presented in Table 1. all final meta-analytic estimates are based upon at least N > 300 respondents. Whereas several of these meta-analyses were necessarily small-scale. I imputed the values from the self- report measures of job complexity with Conscientiousness and Agreeableness into the cells for non-self report measures of job complexity. Although this is not an ideal situation. studies investigating Emotional Stability or Neuroticism were included in the analyses. but studies about negative affectivity were not included. Studies also had to report a sample size. Zimmerman (2006) also noted that no studies could be found regarding these two relationships. Cells containing an “x” indicate where new meta-analyses were necessary. Studies had to report a correlation or some other type of statistic that could be transformed into a correlation. These correlations are between non-self ratings of job complexity and both Conscientiousness and Agreeableness. For example. There were two cells in the meta-analytic correlation matrix for which no primary studies are available. 27 original meta-analyses needed to be conducted in order to determine the correlations for all of the relevant relationships. All of the studies that met these criteria were then examined to determine if they contained the information necessary to be included in the meta-analyses. 42 if they directly measured the constructs of interest. this imputation allows for analysis of the model with job complexity- .

h – Hunter & Hunter.63e .01i .15i .25d . j – Judge. 2003.24c . 7.53h . g – Humphrey.59e 10. 9. 2001. Generalized .08i . Extraversion ...17d .66e x x x . Cognitive Ability x . Job satisfaction 2.02i . Conscientiousness .26b . 2000. f – Zimmerman. Agreeableness .85e 9. Job Complexity – .30a 3. b – Judge et al. 10. 6.32e .25b . 2001.55g .08f -.23e .00d 6. 8.51e x x x . Self-Esteem . Emotional Stability . Job performance .20f .22e .29b . c – Hurtz & Donovan. 2007 43 .26e .26e .19d 5. 2. d – Ilies & Judge. 5. Nahrgang. Estimates.15c 4.10f . 2006. & Rich. & Morgeson. Job Complexity – .59e x x x Self-Efficacy 8. and Meta-Analyses Conducted 1. 1984. 1.17g x x x x x x x x Self perceptions 11.17f x x x x x Objective 11.09c . 2002. i – Ackerman & Heggestad. Locus of Control .Table 1 Meta-Analytic Sources.17b .45e . e – Judge & Bono. 1997. 11.27d 7. 4.20j x x x x Note.26d .12c . 3. Scott. Shaw. Jackson. a – Judge et al. 2007.

To correct the observed measures for unreliability. a composite correlation was created to combine the four variables that make up Core-Self Evaluations. For the data analysis. Nunnally’s (1978) linear combination formula was used. Although a large portion of the studies reported internal consistency reliability estimates. In order to combine Emotional Stability. 2006).80 (Jöreskog & Sörbom. The model is depicted in Figure 5. 44 personality correlations that one could assume will be approximations close to the actual values. and locus of control.composite = . self-efficacy. correcting for sampling error and unreliability attenuation. including the 1’s in the diagonal. After compiling correlations from all of the studies collected for meta-analyses. some studies omitted this information. then an average reliability for studies of the relevant construct were imputed. and RX is the average element of the correlation matrix amongst the Xs. The meta-analytic correlation matrix among all variables was entered into LISREL 8. Eq. Structural equations modeling (SEM) was used to calculate the residual correlation between job satisfaction and job performance. If authors did not report reliabilities. This equation is R XY ry. reports of internal consistency reliability were used. the residual correlation between . self-esteem. With this method. I employed Hunter and Schmidt’s (2004) meta-analytic procedure. 2 (RX ) where RXY is the average correlation between each X variable and the criterion variable Y.

. objective and self ratings of job complexity. The theoretical model was estimated as a single-indicator model. Extraversion. job performance. This is in contrast to using Baron and Kenny’s (1986) mediation testing methods. core self-evaluations. Conscientiousness. SEM was also used to test the integrated theoretical model (Figure 6). Agreeableness. The same meta-analytic correlation matrix that was used to test the spuriousness of the satisfaction-performance relationship was entered into LISREL 8. with factor loadings fixed to unity for job satisfaction. and Brett (2006) suggest testing full mediation models using SEM techniques. for the purpose of testing the integrated theoretical model. James.80. which they say should be used for testing partial mediation.e. in which job satisfaction and job complexity are mediators of some of the personality- performance relationships. and cognitive ability. Mulaik. 45 job satisfaction and job performance while controlling for all of the other predictor variables can be estimated as a correlation among disturbance terms (i. .  matrix).

This model includes the links from the common causes. to job satisfaction and job performance. self-esteem. The meta-analytic correlation matrix in which Emotional Stability. As stated previously. 46 CHAPTER III RESULTS The overall correlation matrix between the study variables is presented in Table 2. core self- evaluations. The first question posed in this study was whether or not the job satisfaction-job performance relationship is spurious. fit indices are not reported. and locus of control are combined into one core self-evaluations variable is presented in Table 3. by design. Using structural equation modeling. Conscientiousness. job complexity. this model is saturated and therefore has perfect fit. meaning that they are the attenuation-corrected correlations. specifically Extraversion. and cognitive ability. self-efficacy. These values are the estimated population correlations. Because of this perfect fit. Agreeableness. . the theoretical model presented in Figure 5 was tested. The results of this model are provided in Figure 7.

85e 56/20819 40/5145 18/2297 25/8502 19/4357 13/3439 14/1894 9. Job Complexity .15c Stability 92/24527 37/5671 4.26 .20 . Job satisfaction 2.20* .19 . 2002.09 Self-Efficacy 12/12903 10/1122 14/1888 7/2067 14/3483 6/1099 8.Table 2 Overall Meta-Analytic Correlation Matrix 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 1.08 .59e 80/18491 35/4310 16/2175 23/5142 11/5127 5/1037 14/1888 16/2175 10.66e . Shaw. Job Complexity . Extraversion .46 .25b .03* .53h .17g .40 .10f . 47 .09 .17 .26b . f – Zimmerman. Jackson. 2001.24c .20 .12c . 2001.20f . Cognitive Ability .00i .51e .59e . 2006.63e .42 .45e .22e .26e .20 .05 .30 (self perceptions) 125/60790 14/1897 7/1831 4/749 6/1008 6/1008 1/348 3/680 2/2506 2/568 12.02i -.09 .22 . d – Ilies & Judge.32 -.09i . Generalized .29b .08 .23e .25d . 1984.26d . & Morgeson. i – Ackerman & Heggestad.27d 38/11856 40/6447 561/415679 243/135529 344/162975 7.04i . Conscientiousness . j – Judge. Job performance . Self-Esteem .03 . Scott. b – Judge et al.08f . 2000.17d .17b .20i -.64 .19 (no self-reports) 15/11578 4/842 4/928 2/470 6/1008 6/1008 3/954 1/348 1/348 11.24 .09c .00d 79/21719 45/8083 587/490296 632/683001 6. g – Humphrey.13 . 2003. Nahrgang.55g .26e .30a 312/54471 3.. Locus of Control .32e .. a – Judge et al. & Rich. Agreeableness .17f . Below each correlation appears the number of studies (k) and then the total same size for the combined studies (N). 2007.49 .19d 75/20184 39/6453 710/440440 5. 1997. Entries in the table are corrected correlations. c – Hurtz & Donovan.28 3/6159 425/32124 61/21404 61/21602 56/15429 38/11190 26/4578 4/1836 8/4326 6/51344 3/9038 Note. e – Judge & Bono. Emotional . h – Hunter & Hunter. 2007 * Correlations imputed from self-perceptions of job complexity.

Job satisfaction 2. Conscientiousness . Harmonic mean = 2010.26 .03 .25 .40 .17 .45 .20 .17 .02 -.20* . Core Self.12 .08 . Extraversion .08 .27 38/11856 40/6447 243/135529 344/162975 6.28 3/6159 425/32124 61/21602 56/15429 38/11190 7/3497 6/51344 3/9038 Note. 48 .55 .30 (self perceptions) 125/60790 14/1897 4/749 6/1008 6/1008 2/756 2/568 9.17 .30 .20 . Below each correlation appears the number of studies (k) and then the total sample size for the combined studies (N). Job Complexity . Job performance .22 Evaluations 32/18150 22/2677 17/4808 18/5536 8/1348 7.39 . Cognitive Ability . Job Complexity .03* .09 75/20184 39/6453 4.00 .Table 3 Meta-Analytic Correlation Matrix with Core Self-Evaluations 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1.05 .00 79/21719 45/8083 632/683001 5.20 .53 .25 . Agreeableness . *Correlations imputed from self-perceptions of job complexity.30 312/54471 3.17 .25 .14 (no self-reports) 15/11578 4/842 2/470 6/1008 6/1008 2/508 8. .24 . Entries in the table are corrected correlations.04 .

and core self-evaluations. When controlling for the personality variables of Extraversion. where I first controlled for personality traits only. Conscientiousness. the residual correlation between job satisfaction and job performance is .16. and cognitive ability to job satisfaction and job performance. Agreeableness. 49 Figure 7. controlling for only subsets of the common causes. then controlled for personality and cognitive ability. These results can be seen in Table 4.05 To summarize the results in Figure 7. . Meta-analytic model results relating personality. *p < . after controlling for the theoretically-relevant personality traits. It is also possible to look at the residual satisfaction-performance relationship. and finally controlled for all of the common causes together. job characteristics. cognitive ability. and job characteristics.

30 to . job characteristics. The resulting model with path estimates is presented in Figure 8. although several were in the opposite .16). as controlling for common causes reduces the relationship magnitude from . all of the hypothesized paths are statistically significant. So. Table 4 Results of Controlling for Variables in the Satisfaction-Performance Relationship Controlling for: ψ Personality (E. As can be seen in the figure. it reduces to . A. That is. job satisfaction. C. When cognitive ability is added to the model.17 Ability Personality. which specifies the relationships between the personality variables. . 50 the residual correlation between satisfaction and performance reduces to . Cognitive Ability. and when finally adding job complexity to the model the satisfaction-performance relationship reduces to .05 level.16 & Job Complexity The second section of this paper addresses the theoretical model presented in Figure 6.16.80.17.16. the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance is reduced to approximately half of the raw correlation (ψ = .18 Personality & Cognitive . Paths marked with an asterisk are significant at the .18. cognitive ability. The theoretical model was tested by entering the meta-analytic correlation matrix into Lisrel 8. when controlling for the full set of common causes. and job performance. & CSE) . the job satisfaction-job performance relationship is indeed partly spurious.

To test whether job satisfaction and job complexity are indeed mediators of the relationships between personality variables and job performance. This table shows that the hypothesized model has good fit (Hu & Bentler. 1998). Figure 8. 51 direction from the hypothesized model (i.e.. all paths were positive in the hypothesized model. but several paths are negative in the empirically estimated model). *p < . Structural equations model results of the integrated theoretical model. and found that none of them improved the practical fit (the largest improvement was when adding the .05 The fit indices for this model are presented in Table 5. I estimated the direct paths individually.

ΔCFI(1) =.000) confirmed the status of job complexity as a mediator.24 10 . I chose to conduct model comparisons by looking at changes in the comparative fit index (CFI).004). the lack of a direct path from cognitive ability to job satisfaction (ΔCFI(1) =. 52 direct path from Extraversion to job performance.04 .99 .97 . because unlike changes in Ch- square. changes in CFI are not a direct function of sample size.02 . Table 5 Fit Indices for Structural Model χ2 df RMSEA CFI NNFI SRMR 42. Also.

and core self-evaluations with job performance. 2001). to date research has not determined the appropriate causal model to explain this relationship (Judge et al. as well as some of the personality variables and job performance. cognitive ability is not related to the personality variables. Also specified in this integrated model. meaning that part of the relationship is actually due to common causes of satisfaction and performance rather than a substantive causal relationship between the two. In specifying this . Another mediator in the model is job complexity. by incorporating individual differences. which mediated the relationship between cognitive ability and job satisfaction. The results of the current study suggest that the relationship between satisfaction and performance is partly spurious. approximately one half of the satisfaction-performance relationship is spurious. 53 CHAPTER IV DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS The job-satisfaction-job performance relationship has been the object of much research in the area of industrial/organizational psychology. The second part of this study focused on an integrated theoretical model containing all of the same variables as the test of spuriousness. Agreeableness. Some specific characteristics of this model are that job satisfaction mediates the relationships of Extraversion. This finding is important because it helps to theoretically clarify a commonly studied relationship. Although multiple models of the relationship have been suggested. Finally. objective and self-ratings of job complexity are separate constructs and related differentially to the outcome variables.. Specifically.

54 model. there were some interesting and unexpected findings. Suppressor effects are not simply a . Along with these findings. 1991). In addition. It is interesting and counterintuitive that job complexity relates negatively to satisfaction and performance when controlling for personality and cognitive ability. 1986). Suppressed variables can be identified by having direct and indirect effects with opposite signs (Tzelgov & Henik. Negative suppression is defined as occurring when variables have a positive correlation with the criterion. suggests that statistical suppression might be occurring. 2008). These findings were unexpected. The fact that meta-analytic correlations of objective and self-reports of job complexity with both performance and satisfaction are positive. 1968). job satisfaction follows job perceptions and they are related reciprocally (James & Tetrick. but a negative β weight in a multiple regression equation (Darlington. rather than performance leading to satisfaction because it has been found that job attitudes are more likely to influence performance than for performance to influence attitudes (Riketta. self-ratings of job complexity were negatively related to job performance. job complexity is specified to come before job satisfaction as it has been found that causally. First of all. 1975) job complexity should lead to improvements in both job satisfaction and job performance. objective job complexity was negatively related to job satisfaction and job performance when controlling for individual differences including personality and cognitive ability. job satisfaction leads to performance. because according to the Job Characteristics Model (Hackman & Oldham. but then become negative in the overall model. In addition.

the task is meaningful and seems important (task significance). When holding personality and cognitive ability constant. but rather are obtained because they remove some irrelevant conceptual variance in the predictor (Conger. job satisfaction. and employees are more responsible for their own actions (autonomy). The idea that lower performance occurs with a harder job is easier to understand because it follows that the more difficult the work. So. Take two employees who have the same levels of cognitive ability and the same personality profiles. 1974). 55 statistical artifact. high job complexity means that the job is harder for employees. the function of individual difference variables (personality and mental ability) may be to remove some of the unwanted variance from job complexity. To better understand the suppression effect with job characteristics. consider the following example. the fact that the job is harder leads to lower satisfaction and worse performance. as they have more skills to perform (skill variety). in comprehensively modeling the relationships amongst personality. job complexity. The employee with the more complex job will be less satisfied and worse performing (which is contrary to job characteristics theory. Lower satisfaction could occur because with a harder . the more people will answer that item incorrectly). It may be easiest to understand this by considering exactly what job complexity means when personality and cognitive ability are held constant. are involved in a task from beginning to end. rather than just being responsible for one part (task identity). 1976). With these held constant. cognitive ability. Hackman & Oldham. according to the model advanced in the current study. the poorer most people will perform (this is akin to saying that the more difficult a test item is. and job performance.

by individual affect that is unrelated to the actual job characteristics (Schwab & Cummings. So it appears from the integrated theoretical model (Figure 6) that high job complexity only leads to high satisfaction and performance because of the personality and ability of individuals in the job. As discussed earlier. much of the ostensible empirical support for the relationships proposed in the JCM could just be attributable to individual difference effects. The JCM does allow for individual differences with the inclusion of the growth need strength variable (Hackman & Oldham. not because of the actual complexity of the job. 1975). If this is indeed the case. When considering the relationship between job complexity and job satisfaction. or contaminated. it is reasonable to believe that the frequently observed positive job complexity-job satisfaction correlation is actually due to individual differences rather than the actual characteristics of the job. employees have to work harder. Hackman and Oldham (1975) designed the JDS to measure objective job characteristics. but it appears that this is not the case. which could mean more time or energy spent on the job. the model shows there is a fairly strong positive relationship between self-reports of job characteristics and job satisfaction. 1976). but a negative relationship between objective measures of job characteristics and job satisfaction. self-report measures can be influenced. 56 job. Because the positive relationship between job complexity and job satisfaction is only supported for self-report measures of job complexity. but this is not included in most of the studies that look at job complexity. taking away from satisfaction. and .

Agreeableness. First. the reason that cognitive ability is related to job satisfaction is job complexity. 1979). Also. and as such. One reason that self-reports of job complexity may not relate as expected to satisfaction and performance is that it might not be an actual representation of what the characteristics of the job actually are. 57 the use of non-objective measures has a notable impact on outcomes related to job complexity. 2003). so negative aspects of the workplace could have a larger impact on ratings than positive or neutral situations. In other words. some theoretical contributions of this model can be illuminated.. in other words. In considering the model in Figure 6. a recency effect can affect ratings of job complexity. people tend to remember or focus on negative things. perceptual biases can come into play when these ratings are made. and core self-evaluations on job performance. These personality variables are not directly related to performance. job satisfaction mediates the effects of Extraversion. as . An individual’s mood can affect perceptions of the characteristics of the job (Thoresen et al. Situations in the work place that occurred the most recently can have an exaggerated impact on ratings. ratings of job complexity may not be a fair mental average of the actual job characteristics. in the relationship between cognitive ability and job satisfaction. Indeed. Another mediator that becomes apparent in this model is job complexity. both objective and self- ratings. but instead the relationships can be explained through the effects of these personality variables on job satisfaction. Also. or the perceptions of the job complexity dimensions can be biased by some type informational cues in the situation (O’Reilly & Caldwell.

but these two mediators then predict job satisfaction in opposite directions. and persist in the face of failure (Judge et al. the relationship is negative. Although it has been suggested that core self-evaluations are related to objective job complexity because of high self-evaluators’ propensity to seek out complex jobs. 58 shown in Figure 6 cognitive ability pretty strongly positively predicts both objective and subjective job complexity.. This finding is especially interesting in that objective job complexity and self- reports of job complexity relate differentially to core self-evaluations. . Another unexpected finding was that core self-evaluations was negatively related to objective job complexity when controlling for other personality traits and cognitive ability (contrary to the hypothesized. when controlling for cognitive ability and other personality traits. 2000). which leads to the negative relationship. The differential relationships between the objective and self-ratings of job complexity shine light on the fact that they likely do not measure the same constructs and researchers should not confuse the two. the substantive job complexity mechanisms would not have been appreciated. objective is negatively related and self-reports are positively related. exert more effort. One explanation could be that there is a difference in the way people perceive job complexity and how it actually is. maybe people have incorrect perceptions regarding the complexity of jobs. they are not. If looking simply at the small bivariate ability- satisfaction correlation. In other words. The combined effect is an overall weak relationship between cognitive ability and job satisfaction. It might be that individuals with high core self evaluations perceive their jobs to be more complex but in actuality. positive relationship).

Implications for Practice Regarding the finding that the job satisfaction-job performance is partly spurious. Pearce. Or it could be the case the after a job complexity-increasing intervention both satisfaction and performance decrease. On the other hand. 59 Objective job complexity does not take into account the job characteristics as employees experience or perceive them. in light of personality and ability. and Taylor (1987) found that increased job complexity led to higher performance but not a statistically significant increase in satisfaction. Paul. If an organization does an intervention to increase job complexity. Luthans. and Wolfe (1978) found that . but also on who is hired. whereas the self-reports of job complexity is solely based on how employees experience job characteristics. it might be that satisfaction increases but performance does not increase as much. This can be seen in various experiments that have examined the effects of job redesign to increase job complexity on satisfaction and performance. Results of the current study imply that the work redesign movement may have been a bit backwards. Another important implication for practice regards job characteristics and the redesign of jobs to increase performance and satisfaction. Kemmerer. one important implication for practice is that satisfaction and performance are not as strongly causally related as some people consider them to be. So whom an organization hires is important. Hackman. Changes in an employee’s performance likely depend not only on changes in job satisfaction. Job performance is about 50 percent who you hire (50% attributable to individual differences) and 50 percent not due to individual differences.

and influence. some of the job complexity correlations had fewer than three primary correlations. Conducting more primary studies would help to improve this limitation and increase confidence in the results. For example. therefore we can reasonably assume that they come before. Limitations and Contributions One limitation of this study is that some of the individual meta-analyses were quite small. One more limitation of this study is that there could be moderators that limit the generalizablity of the meta-analysis. so long as the personalities and abilities of employees remain stable. 60 increased job complexity led to increased satisfaction. but not increased performance. However. Another limitation of this study is that because it uses a non-experimental design. Griffeth (1985) also found an increase in satisfaction following a job complexity increasing intervention. It is necessary to understand that making a job more complex will not necessarily improve satisfaction and performance as suggested in the Job Characteristics Model. it is not possible to show causal relationships. and imputation from another cell was used. primary studies did not exist for two of the cells in the correlation matrix. However. none of these studies included controls for individual personality. satisfaction and performance. Also. The conclusions drawn from this study are at the . not the jobs themselves. The reasons for the positive job complexity-performance relationship may actually be the individuals who are in the jobs. personality and ability are theoretically antecedent to job satisfaction and job performance.

the integrated theoretical model provided new information regarding the relationships between the included variables. Also.g. both unidirectional and reciprocal. cognitive ability. and job complexity literature. this study included conducting 24 original meta-analyses. the integrated model shows that satisfaction fully mediates the relationship between some personality variables (e. Extraversion and core self-evaluations) and job performance. the goal was . personality. First. Specifically. and results showed that the satisfaction-performance relationship is partly spurious. it was to examine the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance to estimate the decrement in magnitude of the relationship after accounting for individual differences. Another contribution of the current study is that it shows that the causal effects.. Job complexity is also a mediator. The second purpose of the investigation was to examine a theoretical model containing the variables that were a part of the investigation of spuriousness. This study also makes contributions to the satisfaction-performance. and if there are moderators that were not tested. Conclusion The purpose of this study was twofold. These estimates provide a clearer picture of the relationships amongst all of the variables in the study. 61 mean population level. acting as such in the relationship between cognitive ability and job satisfaction. First. between job satisfaction and job performance may be more limited in magnitude than previously thought as these relationships are approximately half spurious. This was accomplished. the results may not generalize to the actual population. Specifically.

Results showed that the model fit well. . 62 to determine if an integrated theoretical model fit with the data. and is therefore one currently appropriate representation of the relationships among the variables.

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91 VITA Name: Allison Laura Cook Address: Texas A&M University Department of Psychology 4235 TAMU College Station. 2005 Purdue University.. IN Minor in Spanish.A. Psychology. Organizational Leadership and Supervision Graduated with Distinction .edu Education: B. West Lafayette. TX 77843-4235 Email Address: alcook@tamu.