Differences in the Factors Influencing Job Satisfaction among Scientists and Engineers

Differences in the Factors Influencing Job Satisfaction among Scientists and Engineers

Vasanthakumar Bhat (Lubin School of Business, Pace University, New York City, NY, USA) and Andrew Person (Lubin School of Business, Pace University, New York City, NY, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJAMSE.2016010101
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Factor analysis indicates that two factors account for significant variations in job-related satisfaction among scientists and engineers. Economic factor consists of job salary, job benefits and job security. Non-economic factor includes responsibility, intellectual challenge, contribution to society, independence, upward mobility, and location. The influence of these factors on overall job satisfaction is different for different individuals. The authors' analysis indicates that scientists and engineers whose job satisfaction is influenced by economic factors include non-U.S. citizens, males, individuals under the age of 30, individuals with Master's degrees or higher, computer and mathematical scientists, individuals working for established businesses and individuals with high job satisfaction. On the other hand, scientists and engineers whose job satisfaction is impacted by non-economic factors include U.S. citizens, females, individuals with Bachelor's degrees, individuals over the age of 30, and scientists and engineers working for start-ups.
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2. Literature Review

An exhaustive amount of research exists on job-related satisfaction, much of which can be traced back to the two-factor theory of Frederick Herzberg in his study of motivation and hygiene factors (Herzberg et al, 1959). Subsequent research dealt with satisfaction because of differences between a person’s existing and ideal job conditions in the range of affect theory (Locke, 1976), job traits and individual psychological conditions (Hackman and Oldman, 1975), individual disposition (Judge et al, 1997), and management commitment to process (Rodgers & Hunter, 1993).

Despite the breadth of research, traditional and contemporary theories in job satisfaction and motivation conflict on the roles of economic and non-economic factors. For instance, while the acclaimed two-factor theory (Herzberg et al., 1959) and self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985; 2002) argue that financial benefits do not play a role in individual satisfaction, Adam’s (1965) equity theory and Porter and Lawler’s (1968) discrepancy theory claim that financial benefits, in fact, do play a role along with psychological benefits in determining levels of satisfaction. While these conflicting theories do not cancel each other out, they instead highlight the need for further research on individual preferences relating to economic and non-economic factors.

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