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Acknowledgement

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who supported me to complete this
research proposal successfully on time. First, I grant my deepest appreciation to my research
supervisor, Ms Nilushi Eleperuma, Academic Executive/ Lecturer, and all the other lecturers
who nurtured me with both knowledge and wisdom. I would also like to thank Mr Gihan
Talgodapitiya, Director of HRMI, and Ms Wathsala Nanayakkara, Head of Operations, for
their varied perspectives, advices and feedbacks which helped me to strengthen my work.

My special respects and thanks are due to Mr T. D. Liyanagama of ABC Company, its
Chairman, Managing Director and HR Manager for the immense support they have given me
by permitting me to carry out this research in their organisation. Finally I would like to extend
my gratitude to my parents and all my colleagues for their great help, continuous assistance,
invaluable encouragement, guidance and comments in completing this research proposal.

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Abstract

The issue of employee satisfaction has been momentous in recent times to the development
and accomplishment of organisational goals and objectives. This research study aims at
investigating the factors that affect employee job satisfaction at ABC Biscuits Company.
Specially, the study seeks to investigate the influence of work environment, relationship with
co-workers, supervisory influence, career advancement, compensation and benefits on job
satisfaction. The study will adopt descriptive correlation research survey, a sample size of 30
employees representing 3.33% of entire population of operational level employees. Data for
the study will be collected primarily through closed structured questionnaire. The study will
adopt descriptive statistical analytical techniques to analyse the variables, using SPSS.
Findings will be reported in the form of tables and figures and appropriate recommendations
given.

Keywords: job satisfaction, work environment, relationship with peers, supervisory influence,
career advancement, compensation and benefits

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgement ................................................................................................................................... i
Abstract ................................................................................................................................................... ii
Table of Contents.iii

1 Introduction to the Study ................................................................................................................... 1


1.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 1

1.2 Problem Statement ..................................................................................................................... 2

1.3 Research Objectives ................................................................................................................... 2

1.4 Significance of the Study ........................................................................................................... 2

2 Literature Review .............................................................................................................................. 3


2.1 Job Satisfaction .......................................................................................................................... 3

2.2 Factors affecting Job Satisfaction .............................................................................................. 4

Work Environment .................................................................................................................. 4

Relationship with Co-workers ................................................................................................. 4

Supervisory Influence .............................................................................................................. 5

Career Advancement ............................................................................................................... 5

Compensation and Benefits ..................................................................................................... 5

3 Methodology ...................................................................................................................................... 6
3.1 Conceptual Framework .............................................................................................................. 6

3.2 Research Hypotheses ................................................................................................................. 6

3.3 Population .................................................................................................................................. 7

3.4 Sample ........................................................................................................................................ 7

3.5 Data Collection Methods............................................................................................................ 7

3.6 Data Analysis Methods .............................................................................................................. 7

Chapter Outline ....................................................................................................................................... 8


Conclusion .............................................................................................................................................. 9
Time Frame ........................................................................................................................................... 10
References ............................................................................................................................................. 11

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1 Introduction to the Study

1.1 Introduction

Job Satisfaction is one of major concepts in Human Resource Management which can be
defined as a psychological state of how an individual feels towards work, in other words,
feelings and attitudes about a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic elements towards ones job and
organisation they perform their jobs in. Cranny et al (1992) defines job satisfaction as an
affective (emotional) reaction to a job that results from the incumbents comparison of actual
outcomes with those that are desired. Job satisfaction is very important because it is directly
or indirectly involved with personal and organisational well-being. The elements of job
satisfaction are related to pay, promotion, benefits, work nature, supervision, and relationship
with colleagues (Mosadeghard, 2003).

Employee job satisfaction is essential for an organisation because it is what productivity


depends on. If employees are satisfied they are more likely to engage in organisational
beneficial behaviours such as producing superior quality performance in optimal time which
will lead to profit growth. Satisfied employees are also more likely to be creative and innovative
and come up with breakthroughs that allow a company to grow and change positively with time
and changing market conditions. A study done by Irvine and Evans (1995) on job satisfaction
and turnover revealed that dissatisfied employees often show an unreliable work ethic,
including taking unscheduled days off, sluggishness in their work and aggression towards other
workers or patients, absenteeism, expression of grievances and turnover. Poor working
conditions, lack of career structure and lack of job satisfaction also contribute to poor retention
(Gagnon et al, 2006).

Employee satisfaction is becoming more challenging for companies including those in the
manufacturing industry due to a number of factors. The labour market today is growing and
changing fast and it is the responsibility of the organisation to adapt to these changes to be able
to make the organisation profitable. To be able to do this, it is crucial to satisfy the operational
level employees in the organisation since they are the ones who drive the company forward.
Finding out exactly what makes people feel satisfied about their work can become a multi-
faceted issue. According to Arnold and Feldman (1996), there are a variety of factors that make
people feel positive or negative about their job. Moreover, some employees may be satisfied
with few aspects of their work but dissatisfied with all other aspects, (Mullins, 2002). In the
manufacturing industry, many staff members have reported that they are satisfied with the
working hours and holidays but there are other factors such as work environment, career
advancement, compensation and benefits that lead to their job dissatisfaction.

In this study factors that contribute for the job satisfaction of operative staff of ABC Biscuits
Company will be analysed. Furthermore, the impact of each factor towards job satisfaction and
employees level of satisfaction towards each factor will be discussed suggesting ways and
means to improve job satisfaction.

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1.2 Problem Statement

Throughout a long period ABC Company is continuously facing high rate of turnover and absenteeism
among its operational level employees. This research focuses on the current level of job satisfaction
among the operative employees of ABC Company, which will further identify the significance of the
factors affecting employee job satisfaction and ways to improve it reducing turnover and absenteeism.

1.3 Research Objectives

General Objectives

To improve business performance, whilst reducing turnover rate and absenteeism, enhancing the level
of job satisfaction among the operational level employees

Specific Objectives

i. To identify the factors affecting Employee Job Satisfaction


ii. To understand the current level of Job Satisfaction in the operativel cadre
iii. Suggest ways and methods to improve Employee Job Satisfaction

1.4 Significance of the Study

Sri Lanka is a labour oriented developing country. There are many industries which are enriching Sri
Lankan economy, and manufacturing industry is one of those industries which generates many jobs
towards Sri Lankan labour force, helping to maintain a positive figure of balance of payment. ABC
Company is facing extreme competition due to globalisation, changes in technology, market system,
political and business environment. To overcome these challenges, organisation need capital,
machinery, methodologies, innovative ideas and especially human resources. Manpower is the most
significant aspect of an organisation where its success is determined by them. Considering employees
as a valuable asset of an organisation, now a days organisations implement numerous strategies with
the human resources to increase the productivity.

The significance of the research is that though ABC Company spends considerable amount of money
and time for the benefits and welfare of its employees, it has not undertaken any research in the area of
job satisfaction of its employees. It is important to an organisation to understand the factors which may
improve its employee satisfaction where in carrying out an empirical study about employee job
satisfaction on operational level staff of ABC Company, will make it easy for the management to
understand the factors which they must be focused more on in increasing the job satisfaction of its
employees in which the organisation performance can be enhanced to achieve organisation strategic
goals. The results of this study may make case of further and more in depth research regarding how
physical, psychological and environmental factors affect organisational level outcomes such as overall
employee turnover, stock value and profit etc.

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2 Literature Review

2.1 Job Satisfaction

The history of job satisfaction stems back to early 1900s with the situationist perspective on
job satisfaction. This perspective states that satisfaction is determined by certain characteristics
of the job and characteristics of the job environment itself. This view has been present in the
literature since the first studies by Hauser, Taylor and the various projects at the Western
Electric plants in Hawthorne (Cranny, Smith and Stone 1992). These studies follow the
assumption that when a certain set of job conditions are present a certain level of job
satisfaction will follow.

Simatwa (2011) defines job satisfaction as a function which is positively related to the degree
to which ones personal needs are fulfilled in the job situation. According to Blum and Naylor
(1968) job satisfaction is a general attitude of the workers constituted by their approach towards
the wages, working conditions, control, promotion related with the job, social relations in the
work, recognition of talent and some similar variables, personal characteristics, and group
relations apart from the work life. Job satisfaction is very important for a person's motivation
and productivity. Job satisfaction can help improve attendance at work, reduce the number of
people leaving the organisation and even reduce the rate of accidents (Kahn 1973).

It commences with the recruitment of right people and continues with practicing programs to
keep them engaged and committed to the organisation (Freyermuth, 2004). Sutherland, (2004)
contends that companies with high quality human capital perform better in marketplace, and
deliver higher and more consistent returns to shareholders, than companies with mediocre
workers. Sustainable competitive advantage requires satisfaction of employees for retention to
the knowledge base of an organisation. This knowledge is often tacit and hard to transmit
between employees. Competitive companies worldwide rely on their employees to provide
innovative, advantageous and original solutions to problems the company may have.
Employees are deemed to be part of the intangible assets of an organisation and a precious
commodity that forms a significant part of an organisations value.

Employees in an organisation have always been key assets as their departure could have
significant effect on the implementation of the organisations business plans and may
eventually cause a parallel decline in productivity. As such, employee satisfaction is important
in the long-term growth and success of a company. Employee satisfaction would also improve
investors confidence, as they are concerned with organisations capacity to perform in such
ways that would positively influence the value of their investment in the company, hence there
is no question that uncontrolled employee turnover could damage the stability of the company.

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2.2 Factors affecting Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is complex phenomenon with multiple facets (Fisher & Locke, 1992; Xie &
Johns, 2000); it is influenced by the factors like salary, working environment, autonomy,
communication, and organisational commitment (Vidal, Valle & Aragn, 2007; Fisher &
Locke, 1992; Xie & Johns, 2000).

Work Environment
Work environment plays a vital role since it influences job satisfaction, as employees are
concerned with a comfortable physical work environment that will ultimately render more
positive level of job satisfaction (Robbins 2001). Denton (2005) found out that environment
also plays an important role in the employees decisions of either staying with or leaving the
organisation. Lack of favourable working conditions, amongst other things, can affect poorly
on the worker's mental and physical well-being (Baron & Greenberg, 2003). According to
Arnold and Feldman (1996) factors such as working hours, temperature, ventilation, noise,
hygiene, lighting, and resources are all part of working conditions. Negative performance will
be provoked by poor working conditions since employees job demand mental and physical
tranquillity. Moreover, if working conditions are either too favourable or too extreme, this
could be taken for granted or ignored by most employees. Furthermore, when employees feel
that management does not appreciate or acknowledge their efforts or work done they may use
poor working conditions as an excuse to get back at management.

Relationship with Co-workers


There are several studies that show that friendly and supportive colleagues enhance the rate of
job satisfaction in a working environment (Khaleque & Choudhury, 1984; Viswesvaran et al.,
1998; Luthans, 2006). This area of satisfaction is measured by how well employees get along
with each other and how well they look up to their fellow employees. Markiewicz et al (1997)
figured out that the close friendships quality was related to both job satisfaction and career
success among employees. Berta (2005) finds a similar result after conducting a survey among
1250 Food Brand employees. Riordan and Griffeth (1995) found that a positive relationship
among co-workers improves the rate of job satisfaction. Their research shows that friendship
network among coworkers influence the outcomes of workplace. It increases job satisfaction,
job involvement and organizational commitment, while reduces the intention to turnover.

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Supervisory Influence
Supervision forms a pivotal role relating to job satisfaction in terms of the ability of the
supervisor to provide emotional and technical support and guidance with work related tasks
(Robbins et al., 2003). According to Ramsey (1997), supervisors contribute to high or low
morale in the workplace. The supervisors attitude and behaviour toward employees may also
be a contributing factor to job related complaints (Sherman & Bohlander, 1992). In the
manufacturing sector, supervisors who establish supportive personal relationship with
subordinates and take personal interest in them contribute to their employees satisfaction
(Halpine & Winer, 1957).

Career Advancement
There is a consensus among the researchers that job satisfaction is strongly associated to
opportunities for promotion (Pergamit & Veum, 1999; Peterson et al., 2003; Sclafane, 1999).
The positive relationship between job satisfaction and promotion is dependent on perceived
equity by employees (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2001). As compared to recognition and achievement
the degree of promotion has a stronger impact on job satisfaction. Locke (1976) advocates that
the aspiration to be promoted emanates from the desire for social status psychological growth,
the desire for justice .Therefore management should commemorate that promotion furnishes a
positive motivating tool in ensuring that the employee attains goals at a higher level.

Compensation and Benefits


There is no doubt that monetary rewards play a very influential role in determining job
satisfaction. Kalleberg (1977) and Voydanoff (1980) have revealed that compensation is one
of the most major vivid variables for job satisfaction. Individual has infinite needs and money
provides the means to satisfy these needs, (Arnold & Feldman 1996). However, there is no
such empirical evidence that asserts that pay alone improves worker satisfaction or reduces
dissatisfaction (Bassett 1994). However, a study conducted by Young, Worchel and Woehr
(1998) in the public sector organisations revealed the failure of any significant relationship
between job satisfaction and pay. Moreover, Boggie (2005) says that poor pay and absence of
recognition often leads to a problem with employee retention. Chung (1977) says that
dissatisfaction and discontent can be the reason if salaries are not market related. Nel, Van Dyk,
Haasbroek, Schultz, Sono, and Werner (2004) also say that employees will compare themselves
with their colleagues in terms of salary and their inputs to their job and may leave an
organisation if they are not satisfied and contented.

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3 Methodology

3.1 Conceptual Framework

Dependent Variable (Y) Independent Variable (X)

Work
Environment

Relationship
with Co-
workers
Job Supervisory
Satisfaction Influence

Career
Advancement

Compensation
and Benefits

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework


(Source: Researchers Construct)

3.2 Research Hypotheses

Hypotheses is a clear statement of what is intended to be investigated and it is a powerful tool


of knowledge advancement, consistent with existing knowledge and conductive to further
enquiry. This enables to find the root cause for the problem under study and analyse the current
level of job satisfaction of operational sector employees of ABC.

H1 There is a positive relationship between Work Environment and Job Satisfaction

H2 There is a positive relationship between Relationship with Peers and Job Satisfaction

H3 There is a positive relationship between Supervisory Influence and Job Satisfaction

H4 There is a positive relationship between Career Advancement and Job Satisfaction

H5 There is a positive relationship between Compensation and Benefits and Job Satisfaction

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3.3 Population

ABC Company consists of a team of over 1,250 employees in which the target population of operative
staff is 900. The population is comprised of both genders and people with different ethnics and cultures
who are distributed in different departments and sections.

3.4 Sample

Under the study of operative staff of ABC Company, 900 employees are considered as the population.
Researcher selected a sample of 30 employees since the population is too wide to be studied. The survey
will be administered in simple random sampling method which constitutes a statistically valid sample
that guarantees 90% confidence. The author choses the simple random sampling technique since it is
not biased and respondents are selected randomly and equal chance is given for every individual chosen
from the population.

3.5 Data Collection Methods

As the primary source of data collection, a structured questionnaire will be used which is consisted of
closed questions to retrieve data on current status of job satisfaction on the operational level employees
of ABC Company and the factors contributing to it. The questionnaire is designed into three sections
where section (A) consist of 6 questions on demographic factors such as gender, age and experience
etc. Section (B) and (C) will be comprised of 20 or 25 questions on the independent and the dependent
variable to collect data upon factors which have a direct relevance to Employee Job Satisfaction.

Secondary data is gathered from the previous surveyed results of the company, but when required only.
The other sources of data collection will be carried out by using a range of multiple sources such as
books, journals, newspaper articles, archival documents and other relevant electronic resources on
Employee Job Satisfaction. Since the information extracted from secondary data is not 100% reliable
to analyse the study of the problem, primary data will be used mostly.

3.6 Data Analysis Methods


Data collected from the questionnaire will be coded and entered into Statistical Package for Social
Science (SPSS) version 22.0. Prior to any analysis, all data will be checked both from errors in entry
and conformity to assumptions of the tests conducted. Standard deviation and mean will be calculated
under descriptive statistics, and frequency will be calculated to analyse data further. Pearsons
Correlation Coefficient will be used to identify the current level of job satisfaction of operational level
employees of ABC Company and its contributory factors. To investigate the factors affecting employee
job satisfaction, thumb rule of Pearson Correlation Coefficient is used where it states whether the
relationship of two variables is positive or negative. Microsoft Excel will be used to demonstrate the
analysed data on charts, tables, figures and diagrams etc.

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Chapter Outline

Chapter 1: Introduction
This chapter focuses on the research topic Study of Employee Job Satisfaction. Further, a study of
the background information is discussed in elaborating the job satisfaction. This chapter presents an
overview of the objectives, questions and hypothesis of the research topic. It provides brief information
on methodology aspects such as sample design, data collection and methods of data analysis. The
significance of study is briefly elaborated referring to the job satisfaction.

Chapter 2: Literature Review


This chapter focuses on three parts of the research. The first part of this chapter gives a small overview
on the independent variable and the definitions, modules, theories and the methods. Furthermore, the
variables used by other researchers are extracted in this chapter. As for the second part, the dependent
variable is illustrated in the chapter in relating the importance of it. Meanwhile, the existing literature
on job satisfaction is discussed in the chapter which is considered as the third part.

Chapter 3: Methodology
This chapter establishes a study of the factors determining job satisfaction. The conceptualisation is
discussed in this chapter by identifying the independent and dependent variable. Hence, the hypothesis
of the research, concepts and variables of the study and operationalisation is discussed and an overview
of the explanatory design in the process of collection of data through the elements of methodology such
as population, sample, methods of data collection, design of questionnaires, pilot survey, validity and
reliability and questionnaire scoring system. Methods of data analysis and decision rule are further
demonstrated in the chapter.

Chapter 4: Data Analysis


This chapter outlines the analysed data from the obtained information. From the data obtained through
the questionnaire, the author analyses the data presentation of the study, sample and respondents
characteristics, data presentation of independent variable and dependent variable is demonstrated. Data
analysis of the study is conducted and analysis of hypothesis is tested and the results are being obtained.
A brief summary of the findings is provided in this chapter and a summary of the chapter is explained.

Chapter 5: Conclusion
In this chapter, the conclusion is briefly described as how the study was attempted to find out the factors
determining job satisfaction. This chapter concludes with the discussion of the findings, findings in
relation of the existing literatures and recommendations to improve the employee job satisfaction of the
current operational workforce. The limitations of the research and directions of future research is
explained.

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Conclusion

The conclusion will be drawn on the basis of all the data that will be collected mainly through
the survey and the reports provided by the HR department of ABC Company and other reliable
secondary sources on employee job satisfaction. Once the data is compiled, it will be able to
form a clear picture of job satisfaction of operational level employees of ABC Company and
be able to give a comprehensive conclusion and recommendation on the issue of high turnover
and absenteeism which cause less performance and less productivity.

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Time Frame

January February March April


1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Finalise a Topic
Topic Approval and Org. Consent
Collection of Secondary Data
Research Proposal
Develop the Questionnaire
Administer the Questionnaire
Analyse Data/ Test Hypotheses
Report Results
Update Literature Review
Complete Remaining Chapters
Get Feedback
Revise, Draft and Format
Finalise and Submit

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