Employee Attitude

In: Business and Management

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EMPLOYEE ATTITUDES AND JOB SATISFACTION

Lise M. Saari and Timothy A. Judge

This article identifies three major gaps between HR practice and the scientific research in the area of employee attitudes in general and the most focal employee attitude in particular—job satisfaction: (1) the causes of employee attitudes, (2) the results of positive or negative job satisfaction, and (3) how to measure and influence employee attitudes. Suggestions for practitioners are provided on how to close the gaps in knowledge and for evaluating implemented practices. Future research will likely focus on greater understanding of personal characteristics, such as emotion, in defining job satisfaction and how employee attitudes influence organizational performance. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

“Happy employees are productive employees.” “Happy employees are not productive employees.” We hear these conflicting statements made by HR professionals and managers in organizations. There is confusion and debate among practitioners on the topic of employee attitudes and job satisfaction— even at a time when employees are increasingly important for organizational success and competitiveness. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to provide greater understanding of the research on this topic and give recommendations related to the major practitioner knowledge gaps. As indicated indirectly in a study of HR professionals (Rynes, Colbert, & Brown, 2002), as well as based on our experience, the major practitioner knowledge gaps in

this area are: (1) the causes of employee attitudes, (2) the results of positive or negative job satisfaction, and (3) how to measure and influence employee attitudes. Within each gap area, we provide a review of the scientific research and recommendations for practitioners related to the research findings. In the final section, additional recommendations for…...

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