Managerial job satisfaction
: a longitudinal study

  • Julia A. Kiely

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The study examines the job satisfaction of supervisors and managers in four organisations over time. It also considers the importance which they attached to different facets of their job. The major objectives were: To examine the constituent dimensions of job satisfaction at intervals over one year. To examine reasons for change inthe level of job satisfaction at intervals over one year. To provide information on job satisfaction for those concerned with job satisfaction policies.
The sample consisted of one hundred and eight people. Each was interviewed on at least three occasions over the course of a year. Interviews took place at predetermined time intervals.
The study shows that job satisfaction is dynamic over a relatively short period of time. The ratings which supervisors and managers gave to aspects of their job did not, however, all change by equal amounts or in the same direction. Changes in job satisfaction were associated with events experienced but it was the meaning of those events to correspondents which appeared to be particularly important. People tended to adopt a localised frame of reference when considering their work situation. Certain job variables, such as variety, were consistently and positively correlated with job satisfaction. With some other variables, the relationship varied across time. Frequently, age and job level moderated the association between independent variables and job satisfaction. Links were found between the quality of life and job satisfaction. There was a consistent positive association between job satisfaction and life satisfaction. However, the job was rarely considered to be the main factor contributing to a person's quality of life. The research highlights the difficulties and desirability of introducing standardised job satisfaction policies in the light of individual differences. In addition, it demonstrates that merely correlating variables with job satisfaction at one point in time may conceal complex relationships and meanings. A new measure of job satisfaction - whereby facets are assessed and rated relative to each other was also developed as part of this study.
Date of AwardJan 1980
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJohn Child (Supervisor)


  • job satisfaction
  • changes over time
  • middle management

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