The Three Major Types of Job Satisfaction Theories You Must Understand

Whenever you’re doing something at work, you want to feel fulfilled. You must love the job you’re doing. Apart from that, being appreciated plays a significant role in knowing that your superiors value your role in the company. And according to Locke, job satisfaction refers to the pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of a person’s job or job experiences. And with this in mind, there are three major job satisfaction theories that you need to know. In fact, there are eight. But the three major ones warrant more understanding.

Job satisfaction is a big part of every work environment. If you want to stay in your current workplace, feeling satisfied plays an integral part. If you don’t think it’s enough, then you can’t call it satisfaction because you’re no longer happy. So what are the three major job satisfaction theories? Let’s learn more about them here.

Frederick Herzberg Two Factor Theory

Back in the late 1950s, Herzberg became intrigued by the question of what people want to experience from their jobs. Because of this, he started to do his research where he applied critical incident techniques and surveyed 200 accountants and engineers from Pittsburg. In this survey, they were asked to describe events in their job where they felt good or bad. This approach became famously known as the Two Factor Theory. According to Herzberg, there were two factors; Motivators and Hygiene factors. With the motivators, they experience job satisfaction with the task/job and the outcomes of the job like recognition reward, responsibility, promotion, and growth.

On the other hand, hygiene factors can disrupt the employees. Some examples are power cuts, poor relations with superiors and colleagues, poor pay, restrictive policies, absence of job security and so on.

job satisfaction theories

Locke’s Value Theory

According to E.A. Locke, Value Theory refers to the job satisfaction occurring where job outcomes an employee receives match those that they desire. So the more outcomes the employee receives as something they value, the more satisfied they are with their job. And the lesser valued outcomes they receive, the lesser they feel satisfied. In other words, the disparity between present elements of the job and the aspect desired by the employee generates job dissatisfaction. Therefore, employers must warrant changes in these discrepancies to fix the discontent so their employees will feel satisfied again.

Adam’s Equity Theory

According to J.S. Adam, the Equity Theory refers to employees comparing the ratio output to inputs with that of others. The inequity happens when a person perceives that the ratio of their outcomes to inputs and the ratios to that of other employees are unequal. Therefore, creating job dissatisfaction. Input may refer to age, gender, education, social status, organizational position, qualification, hard work, etc. On the other hand, outcome refers to output that signifies reward, pay, status, promotion, etc.

The Verdict

According to these theories, there’s a big difference regarding the needs and wants of the employees. However, it will largely depend on each of the employees’ views. So the theories may apply to some, while others don’t feel like they fit in these theories.