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Job satisfaction and employee performance have been researched on a number of occasions but in today's market where the market scenario and competition is on a different level, it is important to understand the value of performance of the human resources of the company. Job satisfaction is a positive vibe that creates outstanding performances in any company and hence, it can be said to be the backbone of the company. Our study is based on the positive relationship between job satisfaction and employee performance which ultimately leads to the efficiency in the organization. Employee performance enhancement needs the creation of a better environment in the organization which ultimately leads to job satisfaction. But the creation of a better environment consists of several elements such as motivation, reward system, incentives, etc which contributes to employee performance in the organization.
The existing literature on job satisfaction will highlight the factors involved with job satisfaction and ultimately employee performance. In the literature, the respective merits of global versus facet measures of job satisfaction continue to be discussed. Also, the literature would be linked to the research to find the gaps in the company in relation to the job satisfaction and employee performance. The research question declares an intention to examine job satisfaction as a reason leading to of employee performance. The existing literature on job satisfaction would be considered as the base of this research and then we would identify the basic needs of the chosen company in order to improve the job satisfaction of the employees.
2. Background of the study:
T-Mobile is a telecommunication company providing network in the UK, Europe and India. The company in the UK is a relatively smaller company as compared to its big competitors such as O2, Vodafone, Orange, etc. The company operates in a saturated market as there are a lot of competitors in the market and none of the companies are in a position to influence the market demand. But the company has been doing pretty well in terms of generating revenue and battling in this saturated market of UK. But in doing so, the company has to take some effective measures which affect its performance. Human resource is the most important resource in any company and the performance of the company solely depends on the efficiency of its employees. Hence, in this research we are trying to identify the level of satisfaction of the employees of the company and how it affects the performance of the company. In order to maintain the satisfaction and performance of employees in the company, one of the main requirements are motivation and positive vibe in order make the employee comfortable and give him/her an environment which is full of positivity.
3. Research Aims and objectives:
The research has specific objectives which are to fill the gap of the overall perspective of the existing work on employee satisfaction. The research might be able to throw some light on the need to change the basic rules of employee satisfaction especially, in the contemporary world where the market has been going through rapid changes. Hence the aims and objectives and the research questions are:
a. To review the existing literature on job satisfaction and employee performance.
b. To investigate into the factors that enhances job satisfaction and ultimately the performance of the employees.
c. To establish the positive relationship between job satisfaction, motivation and employee performances.
4. Research Questions:
a. What are the factors leading to employees' job satisfaction?
b. what is the relationship between job satisfaction and employee performance?
c. What are the ways by which the T-Mobile managers judge if the employees are satisfied or not?
d. What are the various ways by which T-Mobile can improve employee performance through better job satisfaction?
5. Rationale of the research:
Gagnon and Michael (2004) first investigated about the impact of job satisfaction and employee performance on the basis of the relationship between employees and their supervisors on job related outcomes. In his literary work, Gagnon used the social exchange theory to determine the relationship between the employees and their supervisors. On the basis of his findings, Gregon concluded that the employees who had severely good relationship with their supervisor were the ones who produced high performance and also had satisfaction in their job. Janssen and Van Yperen (2004: 368) had done 'in depth' research to find out the reason for employee's job satisfaction as well as their performance. Janssen and Van Yperen's results provided new insights for the achievement goal theory. Achievement goal theory states that "both mastery-oriented and performance-oriented individuals are strongly motivated to meet their respective achievement goals" (p. 379). But the theory eliminated the employee-supervisor relationship which helps the individuals to carry out their job roles efficiently. Janssen and Van Yperen's study states that any organization would gain fruitful results if they have the social exchange theory into functional existence. This implies that employees who share positive relationships with their supervisors always have satisfaction and comfort in doing their job and the end result is developed employee performance. Therefore, organizations need to design a culture where they input leadership and mastery traits in their managers in a way that it should facilitate their relationships with their employees so that the organization can perform as a unit and extract the maximum outcome from its employees.
6. Literature Review:
Isen and Barron (1991: 35) assert that, "As an attitude, job satisfaction involves several basic components: specific beliefs about one's job, behaviour tendencies (intentions) with respect to it, and feelings about it." Oshagbemi (2003) has expressed job satisfaction to be a reflection image of job results which can be achieved only when the achievement of the employees are matched with the desired outcomes. For the study of job satisfaction, the biggest element that is taken into consideration is the fulfilment of individual requirement both within the job environment. (Locke and Schweiger 1983; Olsen 1993) Job satisfaction is more of a long term commitment towards the workplace rather than being a short term emotional containment. Employees attain the satisfaction level in a company after several accomplishments in the workplace which might not necessarily be in the form of monetary satisfaction but emotions and environment hold a key position in it. (Hwang and Kuo, 2006) Emotions are not a temporary requirement in job which can be substituted through other inputs. Most of the definitions tend to bring in the emotional content relating to the job satisfaction of employees however, different employees have different requirements and their performance is improved only through the attainment of their personal requirements. In order to maintain the satisfaction and performance of employees in the company, one of the main requirements are motivation and positive vibe in order make the employee comfortable and give him/her an environment which is full of positivity. Dealing with the context of motivation, there had been numerous theories concerning the topic but till date Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory remains one of the main contextual literatures.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs
Montana and Charnov (2000) in his literary work that Maslow's hierarchy of needs does not only critically evaluate the human behavioural aspect but also highlights the motivational factors associated with the human needs. Most of the contemporary organizations in all the sectors still apply Maslow's motivational theory in order to cater to the employee needs. Maslow's concept of screening employee motivation as a chronological development based on the fundamental requirements of the labour transformed the study and practice of management McGregor (1960). The basic concept in this perspective is to understand the motivational needs of an employee in an organization so that the employee is satisfied which ultimately helps in achieving organizational objectives. It is essential to understand the basic concept of his theory in order to use it in practicality. Five fundamental sets of objectives constitute the theory, including physiological needs, safety needs, love needs, esteem needs, and self actualization needs (Maslow, 1943). Every need is triangle under the hierarchical system and employees have different needs as they are in different levels of hierarchy and hence their needs shift up or down according to their requirements and position. But most of the needs are cohesively unified and seamlessly interrelated. As a result of this theoretical foundation, none of the employees can move to the next hierarchical level of need without actually achieving the current hierarchical need. Accordingly, the most proponent objective will take over one's level of consciousness and will tend to organize with regard to various other human capacities (Maslow, 1943).
Satisfaction, according to Maslow's concept is achieved only when one of the needs of the individual is achieved. However, it cannot be thought that employee's overall satisfaction is achieved with the completion of one need but Maslow concluded that ultimate satisfaction of his needs depend on the individual and his requirements from the organization.
"Expectancy theory, sometimes referred to as expectancy-value theory, is a theory which posits that an individual's level of motivation relates to his/her expectations and value (positive or negative) of the consequence of reaching a particular goal" (Lynd-Stevenson, 1999: 161). According to the expectancy theory, there are three relationships as far as an individual is concerned. They are effort, performance, and rewards (Gray & Wert-Gray, 1999).
Effort expectancies, as per the individual is the positive relation between the individual's efforts and his performance.
Performance expectancy, as per the employee is the relation between his performance and the reward he gets from the organization.
Reward expectancy, as per the employee is value he gets in return for the performance he has delivered in the company (Fudge & Schlacter, 1999). This theory very much essential when considering job satisfaction as employees join the organization for these 3 main factors and sustain and advance themselves on the basis of these 3 factors. Also, job satisfaction has a positive correlation with employee satisfaction which is explained below.
Rewards as a means of job satisfaction
Thomson (2005) suggested that the motivation of any employee can be enhanced with perks, incentives, gifts and rewards. In general, he said that job satisfaction is the attitude that an employee portrays towards his job and it could be influenced through several modes such as retirement planning, pay structure, etc. Freeman (1978) highlighted the most obvious attitude of employees that is (negatively) affected by job satisfaction which is commonly known as quitting behavior. He found that employees who were not satisfied with their job had the attitude of quitting and hence, they had to be motivated in some way (reward system) which would sustain them in the company. Currall et al (2005) presented additional current confirmation on the association amid job satisfaction and pay arrangement, contentment with increase in pay, and benefits. Currall et al. verified pay structure, satisfaction with pay raises and provision of benefits could influence a positive relationship with employee performance; in contrast, pay structure could also cause a negative relationship such as quitting behavior if the employee was dissatisfied with pay or benefits. Although Currall et al. explained that the pay structure had more to do with the organizational perspective but he concluded that positive pay structure can be one of the factors for enhancing job satisfaction.
7. Research methodology:
The next section describes the research techniques that would be used in answering the research aims and objectives and how we would design our research. There are two types of approaches used in the business research methods which are deductive and inductive. According to Saunders et al. (2007) deductive approach is a downward process which deduces itself from the theoretical base and then moves down to the observations and lastly confirms the observation. On the other hand, inductive approach is an upward moving approach which takes the real time and practical events as its base and theoretical concepts are developed on the basis of the practical events. (Saunders et al. 2007)
I am going to use inductive approach in our research as our foundation or base is the existing literature of job satisfaction and I am going to use all the concepts of our existing literature in order derive the 'best fit' practice in our chosen organization which is t-mobile. The observations found in the research findings would be linked with the existing literature in order to analyze the best concept of job satisfaction that fits the organization.
7a. Research Design:
Research Design is a plan for assembling, organizing, and integrating information (data), and its results in a specific end product (research finding) (Guba and Linclon 1994: 108).The research design and methodology are the main focus area which establishes the flow of the research and how we would carry out the research. This is followed by the data collection methods and sample that is used in the research and also the instrumentation that is being used. The methodology also includes discussion on the analysis of the data which is concluded with summarizing the research. The purpose of this study is to examine the connection between job satisfaction and employee performance and hence, researcher would use the interpretivism paradigm, followed by the inductive approach and I would be using mixed methods as our data collection method.
7b. Research Paradigm:
There are mainly two types of research philosophies used in business research, namely positivism and interpretivism (Collins and Hussey 2009).
The positivism philosophy is based on the facts of the existing research and theoretical foundations which have been already proved (Collins 2003). It is based on the foundations of natural sciences and as Dubin (1978) notes it has 3 important elements
Concepts which are well defined
Laws of interaction (or interrelationships between the units);
There are boundaries which hold the theories.
Interpretivism is based on the assumption that human behavior is the main source of understanding the world (Cohen and Manion 1994, p.36). According to Creswell (2003), the interpretive philosophy bases itself on the foundation of practicality and real world experiences.
In our research, I would use the positivism philosophy as I think that job satisfaction and employee satisfaction are the literature we are trying to gauge and these literatures are well established in terms of elements. I would take the literature as our foundation and our concept which is already well defined and well established. On the basis of the existing literature I would analyze the case study of T-Mobile plc and recommend suggestions which would be suitable for the company.
7c. Data collection method:
There are two types of data collection methods used when conducting research i.e. quantitative and qualitative data. Myers (1997) illustrated both qualitative and quantitative research methods as the following: "Quantitative study methods were initially created to use them in the natural sciences to study normal phenomenon. Examples: survey methods, laboratory experiments, formal methods (e.g. econometrics) and mathematical methods such as mathematical modelling. Qualitative study methods were more of use in the social sciences which enabled researchers to study social and cultural phenomena. Examples: action research, case study research and ethnography (Myer 1997).
In our research, I will use the interpretivism philosophy and inductive approach as I am taking job satisfaction as our scientific base and deriving the company's job satisfaction strategies through the existing concepts related to it. I will use qualitative data in our research and data would be analyzed through the use of theoretical conept. The use qualitative techniques make the research more clear and definite in terms of reaching the research aims and objectives. Also, if possible the use of statistical software would be the best source of data interpretation. We would collect the data from the employees as well as the managers and the data collection tool would in the form of questionnaires. The Size of sample would be relatively small and would consist of 100 employees and 10 managers. As the company is not that big enough, it won't be possible to collect the data from all the employees and managers as they might be busy and time constraint might be another factor.
8. Validity and Reliability:
Validity is the extent to which a test measures what it claims to measure. It is vital for a test to be valid in order for the results to be accurately applied and interpreted. Validity isn't determined by a single statistic, but by a body of research that demonstrates the relationship between the test and the behavior it is intended to measure. Validity and reliability of data collection would be guaranteed by the company itself as the collected data would have the concerned person's information which can be checked by the concerned authority anytime. Also it would be presented in the exact manner and approximation of the statistical and numerical data won't be taken into consideration which might be easy for the research to analyze.
9. Ethical considerations:
For this research, subjects would be provided sufficient information about the research to enable them to make informed decisions about their participation. They would be free to make changes / clarifications for their opinions or withdraw at any time. Their participation would be voluntary. No deception would be exercised. No data would be collected until informed consents were received. Risks of any kind would be minimized for their well-being. Sensitive information would not be known to others. Information gained would be used anonymously. If such is impossible, it would be kept confidential.
10. Action plan:
The action plan to carry out the research would be done in a systematic manner which will have a proper flow as well. We would initially give more importance to the literature review as it forms the theoretical foundation of our research and then the research methods will have more importance where the data collection and analysis will have supreme importance and has to be done with utmost care. Here is a presentation of the flow of the research considering the time limit.
11. GANTT CHART:
PROCESS FLOW - RESEARCH
Review of Literature
Research Questionnaire finalisation
Finalisation of Questionnaire &Data sampling with HR Head of the company
Data Analysis and data validation
Preparation & Report submission
Job satisfaction is the main reason an employee joins a company and the performances of the employees totally depends whether the employees are satisfied with the job. Job satisfaction gives ample amount of motivation to the employees and there are certain elements that provide job satisfaction to the employees. In this research, I try to identify the various elements that help the employees in gaining satisfaction in the workplace. T-Mobile is one of the leading telecommunications service providers of the world especially in the UK and as a result I have chosen the company to find out the reasons behind employee satisfaction in the company. A detailed research in the company will enable a better understanding of the job satisfaction which is one of the most important aspects of strategic HRM.