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Enid Mumford

Enid Mumford is Senior Lecturer in Industrial
Sociology at the Manchester Business School and an ex
Vice-President (Publications) of the Institute of Personnel
Management. She has held academic posts in the research
and teaching of personnel management, and is currently Job Satisfaction as A Concept
engaged in research into socio-technical systems design.
Job satisfaction is a nebulous concept. Managers talk about
it a great deal, but, if pressed to explain exactly what they
mean are hard pushed to provide a precise definition.
Vroom had described it as:
'the positive orientation of an individual towards the work role
which he is presently occupying.

This rather cumbersome phrase can be freely trans-

lated as:
'an individual liking more aspects of his work than he dislikes'.

This is a definition which most people would accept as

substantially correct but again it is vague and tells us not-
hing about the components of job satisfaction. The litera-
ture on job satisfaction is of equally"small help in providing
us with an understanding of the totality of the concept.
There appear to be no all-embracing theories of job satis-
faction and much of the work on the subject has been
focused on single or small clusters of factors thought to be
related to feelings of satisfaction or dissatisfaction in work.
Few studies take a wide scan of a large number of related
variables at one and the same time.

Examination of the literature on job satisfaction shows

that it is split into a number of different schools of thought,
each with its own particular focus. There is what can be
called the psychological needs school. Those psychologists
such as Maslow, Herzberg, Likert etc. who see the develop-
ment of motivation as the central factor in job satis-
faction and concentrate their attention on stimuli which

The analytical model of job satisfaction set out in this article has
been used by the author as the basis of a study of computer per-
sonnel. This>book entitled 'Job Satisfaction: a study of computer
specialists' will be published by Longmans in September 1972.

are believed to lead to motivation - the needs of individuals relate these to concepts of job satisfaction. Nevertheless a
for achievement, recognition, responsibility, status.2 A coherent theory of job satisfaction must embrace all these
second school devotes its attention to leadership as a factor ideas.
in job satisfaction. Psychologists like Blake and Mouton and
Fiedler see the behaviour of supervision as an important Some contributors to thinking on job satisfaction, and this
influence on employee attitudes and they therefore direct would include the Herzberg school, seem to suggest that it
their observations at leadership style and the response of is only necessary to identify the needs of an employee. The
subordinates to this.3 organisation for which he works must then ensure that these
needs are met if it wishes to secure the advantages of a
A third school, strongly represented at the Manchester labour force performing at a high level of satisfaction.
Business School by Lupton, Gowler, Bowey and Legge, This approach appears to ignore the very real constraints
approach job satisfaction from a quite different angle and under which most firms operate and which may severely
examine the effort-reward bargain as an important variable.4 limit the satisfaction which they can provide.Wewould see
This leads to a consideration of how the wages and salaries the most important of these constraints as arising from the
of particular groups are constructed, and the influence on pressure of the firm's product market, but other constraints
earnings and attitudes to these of factors such as over-time will be imposed by the firm's culture, technology and admin-
pay and the state of the labour market. Some psychologists istrative structure.
maintain that people have a subjective perception of what
is a fair days work. They believe that if this is not obtained A more realistic approach to job satisfaction may be to
then job satisfaction will not be high. look at the individual's needs in work and the extent to
which these are being met but also to examine the
Yet another school of thought approaches job satisfaction pressures and constraints, internal and external to the
from an entirely different angle and sees management firm, which influence the demands it makes of its
ideology and values as an important influence. Writers such employees and hinder its ability to provide maximum job
as Crozier and Couldner identify differing value systems in satisfaction. The company, as well as the employee, has
organisations.5 For example, Gouldner categorises certain needs and these needs must be met if it is to survive and
forms of management behaviour as 'punishment centred', flourish. This approach leads us to consider job satisfaction
'representative' and 'mock' bureaucracy. in two ways. First, in terms of the fit between what an
organisation requires of its employees and what the
Punishment centred bureaucracy is the type of management employees are seeking from the firm, and second, in terms
behaviour which responds to deviations from rules and pro- of the fit between what the employee is seeking from the
cedures with punishments. Representative bureaucracy is firm and what he is receiving. A good fit on the first leads
the kind of management practice which today would be to what we shall call 'mutually beneficial' relationships.
called 'democratic'. Here rules and procedures are jointly A good fit on the second to employee 'job satisfaction'.
developed by management and workers to meet a group of
shared and mutually agreed objectives. Mock bureaucracy It is hoped that the ideas set out in this paper will
is when an organisation has rules and procedures but neither
contribute to an integrated theory of job satisfaction
management nor workers identify with these or accept them
which is meaningful from both the firm and the employee
as legitimate. Consequently they are generally ignored.
points of view. The framework for this theory is derived
Although a discussion of values as such does not appear
from the ideas of Talcott Parsons, in particular his
often in the job satisfaction literature, it is clear that the
ethics and moral philosophy of a company, together with analysis of pattern variables.7 A summary of this analysis is
the- kind of legislation that management formulates and set out below.
employee perceptions of the legitimacy of this, must have
an influence on job satisfaction. Parsons sees an individual's behaviour as influenced by a
number of personal conceptions. The first is what an
Lastly, there are behavioural scientists who say that the individual wants from a particular situation in which he finds
factors described above arc extrinsic to the tasks an employee himself. The second is how he sees the situation and the
is required to carry out, and therefore a less important third, how he intends to use the situation in order to get
factor in job satisfaction than the work itself and the way what he wants from it. In other words how he develops
it is structured. This group concentrates on the content of his plan of action. Parsons believes that we evaluate all
work and on job design factors. In Europe they are repres- situations in terms of two things.
ented by Cooper at Liverpool, Herbst, Thorsrud and
Gulowson in Norway and the Tavistock Institute in London.6
All the writers referred to above have made important con- (1) what we expect to happen
tributions to the theory of job satisfaction although they
may not have consciously set out to do so. For example, (2) what we can influence in the situation in order to give
Lupton, Gowler, Bowey and Legge would regard their work ourselves a choice of outcome.
as a contribution to control theory with earnings as a key
factor, and not just as a contribution to job satisfaction. Parsons sees an individual in a situation as being presented
Similarly the Crozier, Gouldner school are examining diff- with a series of choices which must be made before the
erent manifestations of bureaucracy and only indirectly situation becomes clear and meaningful and he can take


specific action. These choices can be categorised into five A first attempt at this simplification led to the following
dichotomies, which Parsons calls 'pattern variables'. Pattern set of definitions.8 These were related to an organisation's
variables are the Parsonian term for a tendency to choose role expectations - the behaviour which it expects from its
one tiling rather than another in a particular type of staff in the roles to which they have been allotted. And to
situation. This choice will be made in terms of personal an individual's need dispositions — what he himself wants
expectations, needs and objectives. from his work situation.

These pattern variables cover the following choices:

1 Company Job Requirements — Personal Job Requirements
1 between seeking immediate gratification or deferring
What the Company wants from the individual and what the
this until a future date;
individual wants from the company in terms of attitudes and
2 between seeking to further interests private to oneself behaviour. Some of these needs will be urgent and immediate,
others will be deferred. That is, the company and the indi-
or interests shared with others;
vidual will hope to achieve a number in the short term and
3 between deciding to accept generalised standards in the others in the long term.
interests of conformity and control or to seek for an
acceptance of individual differences and a unique ap-
proach which may be a response to emotion rather than 2 Company Interest - Self Interest
The extent to which the firm expects its employees to
4 between evaluating people and things because of what Identify with its interests and to forego their own. The
they are - their attributes, or because of what they do — extent to which an employee wishes to pursue his own
their achievements; interests in the work situation.

5 between choosing to react to a person or a situation in

a widely differing manner according to the perceived 3 Uniformity - Individuality
requirements of the situation or reacting to a situation The extent to which a Firm's objectives cause it to introduce
in a limited and specific way. For example, an individual uniform policies, methods and standards to which its em-
may seek a variety of satisfactions from work or require ployees must conform. The extent to which an individual
satisfaction only on the earnings variable — a fair days wishes to behave in a unique and individual way (to express
wage for a fair days work. his own individuality, 'do his own thing') and seeks a work
situation which allows him to do this.

Parsons names his pattern variables:

Affectivity - affective neutrality 4 Performance - Personal Quality

Self orientation — collectivity orientation The degree of emphasis the firm places on performance as
Universalism — particularism opposed to social and character qualities. The extent to
Ascription — achievement which a man wishes to be recognised for what he is, as opp-
Specificity - diffuseness osed to what he does.

5 Work Specificity — Work Flexibility

These pattern variables of Talcott Parsons are helpful
when considering job satisfaction for two reasons. First, The degree of work specifity which arises from the firms
technology and organisation. The degree of work flexibility
Parsons uses them at three levels; that of personality,
which an individual requires to match his skills, knowledge
social system and cultural system. This means that they and personality.
can be used to describe the orientation of an organisation,
a group, or an individual and thus translated without too It can be seen that we arc now starting to approach a
much difficulty into the concept of a 'fit' between coherent framework for examining job satisfaction, although
organisational demands and employee needs and hence into even these new definitions are somewhat vague, especially
the idea of mutually beneficial relationships. Second, as number one which appears to subsume all the rest. A more
Parsons claims, they are very comprehensive categories which workable approach follows Parsons by viewing work
appear to cover all the factors that researchers have con- relationships as a scries of contracts between management
sidered to be incorporated in job satisfaction. Unfortunately, and employees. These contracts are implicit rather than
as currently phrased and defined they are intellectually explicit and indicate that if the employer will meet the
cumbersome and need some redefinition and simplification employee's needs then the employee will help further the
before they can be used operationally to study job employer's interests. Contractual areas are set out below
satisfaction. and all except the first hold closely to the Parsonian model.

The firm The employee Product Market, Technology. Administrative functions and
The KNOWLEDGE Needs a certain level of Wishes the skills and structure, and Culture as Factors Affecting the fit between
contract skill and knowledge in knowledge he brings Organisational and Employee Needs
its employees if it is to with him to be used
function efficiently. and developed.
The PSYCHOLOG- Needs employees Seeks to further in- Product Market
ICAL contract who are motivated terests private to Product market is likely to exert the strongest influence on
to look after its himself. e.g. to organisational needs. The product market in which a firm
interests. secure: operates is made up of those external groups which seek its
Achievement goods or services. The pressures of this market influence all
Recognition the firm's activities; the product which it makes and how
Responsibility often this changes; its marketing and production activities,
and the social climate which it creates for its employees,
The EFFICIENCY/ Needs to implement Seeks a personal, Non-commercial organisations also have a product market.
REWARDS contract generalised output and equitable effort- With hospitals this is the community which they have been
quality standards and reward bargain, and
reward systems. controls, including
set up to serve and the sick people who form part of this
supervisory ones, community. In the case of a national or local government
which he perceives body the product market is the section of the community
as acceptable. for which it is providing facilities and services.
The ETHICAL(social Needs employees Seeks to work for an
value) contract who will accept the employer whose val- Factors in a product market which exert most influence on
firm's ethos and ues do not contra- an organisation are first, demand. How much of the product
and values. vene his own. docs the firm have to produce in order to meet its customers'
The TASK STRUCT- Needs employees Seeks a set of tasks needs? Second, the stability of this demand. Do customers
who will accept which meets his require the same product all the time or docs the nature of
URE contract
technical and other requirements the demand vary so that the product has to be altered at
constraints which for task different- intervals to meet any new requirements? Third, the stability
produce task speci- iation, e.g. which of the market. Does demand fluctuate so that the organisation
ficity or task dif- incorporate variety, has to vary the amount of goods and services which it
ferentiation. interests, targets, produces? Fourth, competitor behaviour. Docs the firm have
feedback, task iden- to be continually reviewing its production and marketing
tity and automomy.
policies, in order to maintain its profits and share of the
market and prevent encroachments from competitors?

The pressures the product market exerts on particular groups

If an employee's needs in these five areas are met then we
of staff in an organisation will depend on their closeness to
can hypothesise that he has high job satisfaction. If an em-
it. Marketing and production departments will always require
ploying organisation's needs in these five areas are also met
a capacity for fast response, but this may be less important
then that firm should be satisfied with the performance and
in other areas such as personnel or sections of R & D.
attitudes of its employees. A mutually beneficial work en-
vironment for both sets of interested parties will have been
achieved. The 'fit' between company and employee needs
may be good on all five variables or it may be good on some
and poor on others. If the latter is the case then the question
'why is this' must be asked and answered.

On the employee's side, he may see his needs as not being Technology
satisfactorily catered for because he has unrealistic expecta- Technology is the second major influence on the demands
tions of what he may reasonably require of his employer. On an organisation makes of its staff. This is itself related to the
the employer's side, the environment in which the firm is product market and what will sell there, for the nature of
operating at a particular moment in time may prevent it the product must affect the technology that is used to pro-
meeting some of its employee's needs. For example, the duce it. Technology can be defined as 'any tool or technique,
economic climate may prevent it providing what its em- any product or process, any physical equipment or method
ployees regard as an equitable effort-reward bargain; the of doing or making, by which human capability is
technology it uses may make it impossible for it to. meet extended'.9 Using this definition technology is seen to
employee needs for a task structure which permits interesting stretch from rudimentary aides such as simple filing systems,
and varied work, or increased competition in its product to complex automated processes for operating and control-
market may make it essential to tighten quality standards and ling production plants. An organisation's technology will
controls and increase output. All of these things can inhibit affect the demands it makes of its staff in a number of ways,
the ability of the firm to satisfy its employees and can result but particularly in the nature of the tasks it allocates them,
n a bad 'fit' between what the company wants and what its and the degree of freedom in the way in which these tasks
employees want. can be performed.


Administrative Functions and Structure searcher as much of the necessary information will be located
at senior management level. Ascertaining employee needs i:
The way an organisation defines its product market assists it
likely to be easier as these can be established through the
in answering the critical question 'what business am I in?'
The manner in which it organises its technology helps it to usual interviewing processes.
answer the question 'how shall this business be carried out?'
Both of these answers lead to the organisation recognising
that it has certain functions which relate both to its external
environment, and its ability to cope with this and to the
conduct of its internal affairs. In turn, the way these func-
tions are defined and arranged produces an administrative
structure which affects the demands it makes of its staff. In
organisations which make a product, the role and functions,
of staff will be influenced by how the firm interacts with its The Five Contractual Areas by which the fit between
product market and how it arranges its internal affairs in Organisational and Employee Needs is Examined
order to supply this market in the best way. Similarly, in
service organisations the role and functions of staff will be The Knowledge Fit
related to the needs of those external groups the organi-
sation has been set up to serve, and to internal administrative Once afirmhas decided whats it skill and knowledge require
decisions on how best to meet client needs. ments arc, it has either to recruit at this level or to train t
this level. If it cannot do either of these then it is likely t
have difficulty in surviving in its business environment, fc
Organisational Culture
it will be operating with low quality personnel. Whether
Organisational culture is the fourth factor seen as influencing can recruit or train to meet its requirements will be a pro
employer-employee relationships, although this influence is duct first of the state of the labour market and the availability
likely to be much less direct than that of product market and of skills there and second, of its own training specialists an
technology. An organisation's culture emerges as a result of procedures and their capacity for developing staff to the
a variety of historical factors. It stems from the origins of required skill and knowledge level.
the firm and from its early business interests. It is greatly
affected by powerful men at senior level who inculcate their Looking at the individual employee there appears to t
personal values into the rest of the company. It is shaped by considerable differences in the extent to which people
the perceptions of employees at every level of what the recognise their own skill and knowledge potential ar
firm's business is and how it shall be carried out, and these once recognised, wish this to be fully utilised. For example
perceptions exert a particularly strong influence on skill research into the attitudes of clerks has shown that mar
and knowledge demands. A firm which defines its objectives older women clerks are looking for an easy life in work ar
purely in economic terms and maintains 'we are in business do not want to be mentally stretched. In contrast, another
only to make a profit' will be interested in acquiring staff clerical group, bank clerks, who entered employment wi
whose knowledge and values will assist in the maximisation good educational qualifications, complained that their jo
of profits. A company which sees itself in a professional were too easy and that they were not able to utilise ful
service and problem solving role and which has clearly the skills and knowledge which they possessed.
defined codes of conduct, will look for staff with an apprec-
iation of professional ethics and with a good all round prob-
lem solving ability. Studies of highly qualified groups such as engineers ar
scientists show that their group norms and expectations a
A significant part of organisational culture is expressed as such that they actively seek challenging work. They pri
norms and attitudes. Norms are the way a group expects its themselves on their problem solving and creative ability.
members to behave and may take the form of patterns of
work behaviour which arc seen by management as counter- From a firm's point of view the desire of staff to have the
productive. Participating in such work patterns will not nec- skills and knowledge fully utilised can have both advantage
essarily affect an individual's job satisfaction but relation- and disadvantages. If the firm can meet this desire then it has
ships will no longer be seen by management and workers as a group of effective problem solvers who feel than an i
mutually beneficial. Management attitudes and ideology are portant part of their job satisfaction needs arc being cater
also influenced by organisational culture. A firm with pater- for. If it cannot do this then it is likely to have a frustrate
nalistic traditions will tend to influence its managers to group with a high labour turnover. One that is easily lur
adopt paternalistic attitudes to their subordinates, while a away by the opportunity of a more intellectually challeging
market orientated company will generate attitudes associated job in another firm. As the number of specialists in indust
with major efforts to sell the product. increases it seems certain that firms will have to pay more
attention than they do at present to ensuring that there i
When considering the fit between organisational and em- good 'fit' on the knowledge variable. All the manpower p
ployee needs; it is difficult to understand constraints and dictions suggest that in the forseeable future there will b
requirements unless the factors set out above arc examined. world wide shortage of high talent personnel. Specialists w
This involves careful scanning of the environment in which are lost to a firm because they believe themselves to
the company is operating and it is not an easy task for a re- underutilised will be very difficult to replace.
The Psychological Fit groups with which an individual compares himself. These
Mutually beneficial relationships imply that the firm has may be internal or external to his own work situation. For
motivated staff for positive and not negative reasons a great example, a university lecturer may compare his pay with that
deal of attention is now being paid by behavioural scientists of other lecturers or he may compare it with that of senior
to those aspects of work which motivate individuals to civil servants, architects or doctors.
identify with their employers interests. The theory behind
this research is that we all have powerful psychological Work controls is our second factor and we find that firms
needs, many of which we seek to gratify within the work vary greatly in the controls which they use. Some favour
situation. If the employing organisation can ascertain and tightly structured rules and procedures which they believe
meet these needs then it will develop motivated employees. reduce the margin of misunderstanding and error. Others
Psychological needs are influenced by a variety of personal leave their staff wide limits within which to set their own
factors including sex, family background, education and targets and monitor their own performance. McGregor, in
class. They tend to vary over an individual's life cycle so his analysis of Theory X and Theory Y management styles
that the needs of a person starting his career are likely to be suggests that Theory Y, with its emphasis on automony and
different from those of a person nearing retirement age. self control is more effective than Theory X, but other
The studies of motivation undertaken by Herzberg suggest evidence suggests that people adjust to the kinds of controls
that certain psychological needs are common to a majority which are in operation and it is possible that this is not an
of people.11 Herzberg and his fellow psychologist Maslow important factor in job satisfaction. 13 The critical factor
also believe that there is a heirarchy of needs and that as may be the relevance of selected controls to the needs of a
certain basic needs become satisfied so they become less particular work group or work situation.
urgent and are replaced by others which are seen as having
greater urgency. Most investigators of job satisfaction Supervision as a form of control also appears to evoke
would agree that needs within a work situation must not be different kinds of reactions in different kinds of groups.
viewed as being the same for all people. As an individual For example, girl clerks working for a large mail order
succeeds in meeting his lower level needs for food, safety company stressed their need for close but helpful supervision.
and social relationships, so he proceeds onto higher level Specialist groups, in contrast, are usually seen as responding
needs such as a desire for status, respect and self actual- best to a form of supervision in which the supervisor becomes
isation. The theories of both Maslow and Herzberg stress a facilitator and a resourse person rather than a mechanism
achievement as a motivating factor — although Maslow calls for tight control.
this the need for esteem and self actualisation. This need
appears to be very much a quality of western culture,
particularly middle-class western culture. Evidence suggests
that scientists and professional men are above average in
their desire for achievement and that as an individual
progresses up an organisation so this need becomes greater
rather than less.
The Efficiency Fit
Here we have a contractual relationship based on the
organisation's need for quality and output standards and
the individual's willingness to meet these providing:
a the effort-reward bargain is seen as fair and his economic
needs arc met;
b work controls are seen as reasonable — neither too rigid
nor too loose;
c supervisory controls are acceptable.

The effort-reward bargain is the amount that a firm is

prepared to pay to get the skill and competence it requires,
set against the evaluation of individuals on how much their
skills arc worth, and their expectations of what they are
likely to receive. This contractual area has traditionally been
seen by management as the most important and the one
with greatest influence on employer-employee relationships.
Yet studies of many white and some blue collar groups have
shown that in certain circumstances employees will place
financial rewards low down on their list of needs. This is not
because they arc uninterested in money but because they
perceive their financial rewards as adequate and therefore
give higher priority to needs which they believe are less well
catered for and therefore more important. A critical factor
in this evaluation of fairness of pay is the earnings of those


The Ethical (or social value) Fit by the constraints and opportunities arising from pressures
In work most people wish to be evaluated not only for in the product market and from the administrative structure
their performance but also for their qualities as people. For of the firm. Nevertheless when a person is allocated a
example their success in making friends, winning respect and particular work role he is instructed by his supervisor that
inspiring confidence. Some organisations place a great deal of certain tasks and responsibilities accompany it. Some of these
importance on what might be called 'civilised' behaviour in are prescribed - that is, they must be done, but others will
work. Others are more interested in efficiency as an end be discretionary and the individual has a degree of choice
in itself and want 'efficiency' orientated men. Clearly an over whether and how he carries them out. 1 5 The nature
individual who believes very strongly in the importance of of these tasks and responsibilities is clearly an important
social relationships will not be very happy in a firm which element in job satisfaction although one that until recently
cares only for its production figures and views its employees has only received limited attention. Some psychologists who
solely as a means to this end. If he works for such a company
have studied job content and design suggest that work can
his job satisfaction is likely to be low. Similarly, a tough,
be analysed in terms of:
efficiency orientated man may become irritated in a situation
where he is expected to pay great attention to the feelings
and interests of his colleagues and subordinates. a the number of skills that need to be used;

The contractual relationship between an employer and em- b the number and nature of targets that have to be met
ployee on the ethical/social value variable is an interesting and the feedback mechanisms that tell the individual
one about which a considerable amount has been written when these targets have been achieved;
but little related to the subject of job satisfaction. Yet it is
likely to be an increasingly important factor in job satis-
c the identity of the task as shown by its separation
faction as employees demand better communications and
consultation and more involvement in. decision taking. from other tasks by some form of discontinuity or
work boundary, and its visibility as an important and
Many of us have strong personal values which have developed meaningful piece of work;
throughout our lives and which exert a powerful influence
over the way we behave. We believe that there is a 'right' and d the degree of autonomy and control that an individual
'wrong' way of relating with others. Organisations also have has in the performance of work activities.
values and firms are perceived by the communities in which
they operate as 'welfare minded', 'paternalistic', 'ruthless' Jobs differ greatly in the blend of these four characteristics
etc. Values are not easy to change and men and women who
that they provide. If a particular job mix docs not meet an
have a strong sense of right and wrong may find it difficult
to achieve job satisfaction if they have an employer whose employee's expectations of the kind of work he should be
values do not coincide with their own on matters which they doing then there will be a bad fit between company and
regard as important. Similarly, from the firm's point of view, individual needs on this task structure variable and job
drastic differences between management and employee satisfaction will be reduced.
values can lead to internal strife, disruption and what the firm
sees as undesirable work 'attitudes'.
Practical Applications
The Task Fit These five variables - KNOWLEDGE, PSYCHOLOGICAL
The task structure contract is the agreement by the individual NEEDS, EFFICIENCY and its associated components of
that he will perform the work activities required of him if, rewards and controls, VALUES and TASK STRUCTURE can
in return, the employer does not require him to undertake be used to examine the job satisfaction of any occupational
anything that he regards as too onerous, too demanding group or the 'fit' between organisational and employee needs
too dull, or too simple. The 'fit' on this variable will be a in any kind of organisation. Our new approach to job
good one if the level and kind of work provided by the satisfaction can be of use to employers in the following ways:
employer meets the employee needs for stimulus and variety.

This contractual area is strongly influenced by technology, 1 Job Definition

for many of the jobs a firm requires its employees to perform Asking managers what their needs arc on the five variables
will be directly related to the processes it uses to make its and thus making them specify their 'role requirements' of
product. Technology has received a great deal of attention staff assists job definition. Managers do not always think as
in the literature on job satisfaction and organisational clearly as they might about what they require of staff and
structure.14 It appears to exert a powerful effect on why they require some things and not others. The exercise
behaviour at shop floor level but its influence on the jobs of of defining jobs in terms of our five variables can assist a firm
specialists and managers may be less potent. Many of in working out its present needs. The assessment of likely
these white collar groups arc located at some distance from changes in product and labour markets and in the tech-
production processes and their work may be more affected nological environment can assist it in establishing how needs

are likely to change in the future. Better job definition information does not always make a remedy possible. What
assists training and selection processes. is good for the organization is not necessarily good for the
employees and management may have to make difficult
2 Staff Selection decisions on which set of interests are to be given priority.
Our approach can be used as a selection tool to identify
the kinds of staff the organisation is requiring and to 4 The Monitoring of Change
establish if these role requirements fit the personal needs The approach can also be used as a monitoring tool when in-
of particular candidates. The selection interviewer will cover troducing change and the author already has some experience
first the 'fit' between what the employer is requiring and what in using it in this way. Job satisfaction on the five variables is
the candidate can provide in terms of skills and knowledge, ascertained before the change takes place and the fact that
the required kind of motivation etc. He will then ascertain change is taking place can be made a vehicle for improving
the candidate's needs on the five variables and discuss with areas where the fit between organisational and individual
the candidate those areas where his needs can be met and
needs is known to be poor. Once the change is implemented
those where there may be difficulties. Thus during the
then a further survey can be made to check that the fit bet-
selection process both employer and prospective employee
ween organisational and employee needs has improved and
arc able to establish the liklihood or otherwise of mutually
that job satisfaction has increased.
beneficial relationships arising from the employment contract.
It must be stressed that with all these practical applications
3 Morale Assessment information obtained at one moment in time will not be valid
The examination of employee needs on the five variables indefinitely. Job satisfaction is not something that remains
can provide useful information on those areas where job constant; it alters during an individual's lifetime as his needs,
satisfaction is not as good as it might be and help identify expectations and aspirations alter. Similarly, the needs of an
factors which can be changed to secure improvement. Regular organisation change as the environment in which it operates.
attitude surveys using this approach can show how the morale exerts new pressures. No organisation can afford to have
of a group is changing over time and can provide useful high job satisfaction if employees' attitudes and performance
feedback information which will help management to ensure have fallen of line with organisational needs. Hence the
that a serious deterioration in morale does not take place. It importance of the 'fit' concept and of looking at mutually
must of course be recognised that the possession of such beneficial relationships as well as employee satisfaction.

Summary and Conclusions References
This article presents a new approach to the study of job satis-
1 VH Vroom, Work and motivation, Wiley, New York, 1964.
faction in that it attempts to integrate existing theory and to
provide a method of analysis that considers employee needs 2 See, for example, F Herzberg, Work and the nature of man,
in conjunction with the needs of the employing organisation. Staples Press, London, 1966; R Likert, The Human Organisationm
McGraw Hill, New York, 1967; and A H Maslow, Motivation and
We have identified two kinds of 'fit' and these are set out Personality, Harper, New York, 1954.
3 R N Blake, and J Mouton, The managerialgrid,Gulf, Houston,
1964 and F E Fiedler, A theory of leadership effectiveness, McGraw
Fit 1 Between organisational needs (translated into role Hill, New York, 1967.
requirements of Staff) and employee needs on the
4 There have now been many excellent publications from this
five contractual variables group. Two examples are D Gowler and K Legge, "The wage
payment system: A primary infrastructure' in D Robinson, (Ed),
= MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL Local labour markets and wage structures, Gower Press, London,
1970, and T Lupton and D Gowler, Selecting a wage payment
RELATIONSHIPS system, Engineering Employers Federation, Research Paper 111,
London, 1969.
Fit 2 Between individual needs, expectations and aspir-
5 M Crozier, The bureaucratic phenomenon, Tavistock, London,
ations in work and the individual's work experience 1964, and A Gouldner, Patterns of industrial bureaucracy,
Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1955.

6 Some examples of writing on job design are R Cooper,

= JOB SATISFACTION Memorandum on motivation, Unpublished Paper, Liverpool
University School of Business Studies, 1970; J Gulowsen, U Haug
and T Tysland, 'Norwegian firm taps total human resources',
Industrial Engineering, August 1969; P G Herbst, Socio-technical
Organisational needs are shaped by the external environment design, Tavistock, London: 1971, and E Thorsrud 'Socio-technical
in which the firm operates and by its internal processes and approach to job design and organisational development', Work
procedures. When identifying these needs and, in particular, Research Institutes, Oslo, 1967
when forecasting needs, it is important to note the demands
7 T Parsons and E Shils (Eds) Towards a general theory of action,
and constraints imposed by the product market in which Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1951.
the firm operates, together with the influence exerted by
the firm's technology, administrative functions and struc- 8 Enid Mumford, 'A new approach using an old theory',
ture and company culture. These external and internal Sociological Review, Vol 18, No 1, 1970.
factors affect both company and individual needs and 9 D Schon, Technology and change, Pergamon, Oxford, 1967.
expectations and are reflected in the kind of job situation
experienced by the employee and in his job behaviour. 10 G Steiner, The creative organisation, University of Chicago
Additional pressures and constraints may come from the Press, Chicago, 1965.
labour market and its ability to supply required labour. 11 F Herzberg op cit.
12 F Herzberg, and A H Maslow, op cit.
Individual needs are a product of the employee's personal 13 D McGregor, The human side of enterprise, McGraw-Hill, New
environment and his work expectations and aspiration. If York, 1960.
job experience does not meet job needs and expectations
then there will be an absence of job satisfaction. 14 Some examples of writers on organisation and technology are
Joan Woodward, Industrial organisation: theory and practice,
Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1965; C R Walker and R H Guest,
The man on the assembly line, Harvard University Press, 1952,
The integration of ideas on job satisfaction requires the deve- Cambridge, Mass., and II Simon, The shape of automation, Harper
lopment of a theoretical framework so that factors which and Row, New York, 1965.
affect organisational and employee needs can be systemati-
15 F Herzberg, op cit.
cally examined. This theoretical framework has been derived
from the writings of Talcott Parsons, although in the inter-
ests of clarity and simplicity Parson's analytical categories
have been renamed and redefined. Parson's theoretical ap-
proach has proved valuable because it can be applied to both
organisational and individual needs and because it embraces
those factors traditionally seen as influencing job satis-
faction. Management and employee relationships have been
viewed as a series of contracts covering five broad areas of
employee need. These are Knowledge needs, Psychological
needs, Efficiency needs, Ethical needs and Task Structure
needs. A good fit on all these variables should produce
mutually beneficial relationships and job satisfaction.