Relationship between Work Motivation and Job Satisfaction

The aim of the present study was to find out relationship between motivation at work and job satisfaction. Based on literature review following hypotheses were formulated 1) There will be positive relationship between work motivation and job satisfaction, and 2) There would be a gender difference on the variable of work motivation and job satisfaction. To asses job satisfaction, “Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS; Spector, 1997)”, and for motivation, “Motivation at Work Scale (MAWS, Gagné, M., et al., 2010)”, were used. The sample of the study consists of 150 middle managers (90 males; 60 females) from different banks of Karachi, Pakistan. A Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient was calculated for the correlation between the motivation at work and job satisfaction. In order to find out gender difference t test was computed. In conclusion, the finding of the study suggests that there was positive correlation between motivation at work and job satisfaction. Furthermore, there was significant difference gender difference on the variable of work motivation and job satisfaction.

According to Khan (1997), in the current business environment, organizations in all industries are experiencing rapid change, which is accelerating at enormous speed. Finck et al. (1998), who stated that companies must recognise that the human factor is becoming much more important for organizational survival, and that business excellence will only be achieved when employees are excited and motivated by their work. In addition, difficult circumstances, such as violence, tragedy, fear and job insecurity create severe stress in employees and result in reduced workplace performance (Klein, 2002). According to Watson (1994) business has come to realize that a motivated and satisfied workforce can deliver powerfully to the bottom line. Since employee performance is a joint function of ability and motivation, one of management’s primary tasks, therefore, is to motivate employees to perform to the best of their ability (Moorhead & Griffin, 1998). Successful organizations often attribute much of their success to a corporate culture that focuses on employee recognition, and openly recognize that “you get what you reward” (Wiscombe, 2002, p.46).

The term motivation is derived from the Latin term ‘movere’, which means ‘to move’ (Baron, Henley, McGibbon & McCarthy, 2002). Baron (1991, p.9) described motivation as “one of the most pivotal concerns of modern organizational research”. Van Niekerk (1987) emphasized this point by stating that productivity is a function of both the motivation and the ability of an employee. Schultz and Schultz (1998), for example, regarded motivation as simply the personal and workplace characteristics that explain why people behave the way they do on the job. Beck (1983) expressed a similar view, and stated that motivation is concerned with explaining the variation in behavior, such as why some people work harder than others. Spector (2003) saw motivation as an internal state that induces a person to engage in particular behaviors, and held that motivation may be viewed from two angles.

Pinder (1998) described work motivation as the set of internal and external forces that initiate work-related behavior, and determine its form, direction, intensity and duration. Pinder (1998) contended that an essential feature of this definition is that work motivation is an invisible, internal and hypothetical construct, and that researchers therefore have to rely on established theories to guide them in the measurement of observable manifestations of work motivation. Motivation, therefore, closes the satisfaction-performance loop, and has to do with a set of interrelated factors that explain an individual’s behavior, holding constant the variables controlled or influenced by management, as well as by individual skills, abilities and knowledge (Campbell & Pritchard, 1976). Du Toit (1990) added that three groups of variables influence work motivation, namely individual characteristics, such as people’s own interests, values and needs, work characteristics, such as task variety and responsibility, and organizational characteristics, such as its policies, procedures and customs. Van Niekerk (1987) saw work motivation as the creation of work circumstances that influence workers to perform a certain activity or task of their own free will, in order to reach the goals of the organization, and simultaneously satisfy their own needs.

According to Sempane, Rieger and Roodt (2002), “job satisfaction relates to people’s own evaluation of their jobs against those issues that are important to them”. Job satisfaction is regarded as related to important employee and organizational outcomes, ranging from job performance to health and longevity (Spector, 2003). The nature of the environment outside of the job directly influences a person’s feelings and behavior on the job (Hadebe, 2001). Judge and Watanabe (1993) reinforced this idea by stating that there exists a positive and reciprocal relationship between job and life satisfaction in the short term, and that over time, general life satisfaction becomes more influential in a person’s life. Schultz and Schultz (1998) emphasized that people spend one third to one half of their waking hours at work, for a period of 40 to 45 years, and that this is a very long time to be frustrated, dissatisfied and unhappy, especially since these feelings carry over to family and social life, and affect physical and emotional health.

Megginson, Mosley and Pietri (1982) stated that people experience job satisfaction when they feel good about their jobs, and that this feeling often relates to their doing their jobs well, or their becoming more proficient in their professions, or their being recognized for good performance. Literature suggests that, “A variety of factors motivate people at work, some of which are tangible, such as money, and some of which are intangible, such as a sense of achievement (Spector, 2003)”. Schultz and Schultz (1998) held the view that job satisfaction encompasses the positive and negative feelings and attitudes people hold about their jobs, and that these depend on many work-related characteristics, but also on personal characteristics, such as age, gender, health and social relationships.

Previous literature suggests that employee motivation and job satisfaction are not brought about in isolation, but rather respond to organizational variables such as structure and working conditions (Schneider & Snyder, 1975). The basis upon which relationships between employee motivation and job satisfaction and corporate culture are observed is provided by the notion that people’s perceptions and behavior in the workplace are driven by a set of personal, innate needs (Maslow, 1968), and by their perceptions of numerous job-related and organization-related aspects (Du Toit, 1990; Gouws, 1995; Rothmann & Coetzer, 2002). Vermeulen (2003) found that the extent, to which people are motivated by outward signs of position, status and due regard for rank, is positively related to their experience of job satisfaction. Chess (1994), reported that certain motivational factors contribute to the prediction of job satisfaction.

Corporate culture has emerged as a central theme in organizational psychology in recent years, and its initiatives are widely recognized as a legitimate source of corporate success (Bagraim, 2001).The term corporate culture has become a dominant feature in popular and academic literature since the 1980s, where it is often positioned as important in corporate competitiveness, in that a ‘strong’ culture ensures greater employee commitment, improved quality, more efficient production, and increased responsiveness to customer needs (Peters & Waterman, 1982).

Managers now feel morally responsible for maintaining high levels of job satisfaction among their staff, most probably primarily for its impact on productivity, absenteeism and staff turnover, as well as on union activity (Arnold & Feldman, 1986).

Based on literature review following hypotheses were formulated 1) There will be positive relationship between work motivation and job satisfaction, and 2) There would be a gender difference on the variable of work motivation and job satisfaction.



The sample was comprised of 215 first-year undergraduate students (92 males, 123 females) enrolled in an Introductory Psychology course at the University of Western Ontario. Participants were recruited through the department research participant pool and were compensated with partial course credit. The mean age of participants was 18.58 years (SD = 1.99). With regard to ethnicity, 71.6% identified themselves as being of European origin, 14% Asian, and 4.7% South Asian, 3.3% African/Caribbean, and 0.5% Native Canadian, and 5.1% other. Eighty-one percent of participants were born in Canada and 81.9% indicated that English was their first language.


A demographic form was filled by the participants, which included the information about age, gender, qualification, length of service, designation, and marital status.

The Motivational at Work Scale (MAWS; Gagné, M., et al., 2010). The MAWS consists of 12 items. Each subscale consists of three items i.e. Intrinsic (item 4, 8, & 12), Identified (item 3, 7, & 11), Introjected (item, 2, 6, & 10), and extrinsic (item 1, 5, & 9).The rating scale range from 1= not at all; 2= very little; 3 = a little; 4 = moderately; 5 = strongly; 6 = very strongly; 7= exactly. MAWS was found to be internally consistent at the level of = .834.

The Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS; Spector, 1997) is a nine-subscale measure of employee job satisfaction. The nine facets are 1) pay, 2) promotion, 3) supervision, 4) fringe benefits, 5) contingency rewards, 6) operating conditions, 7) coworkers, 8) nature of work, and 9) communication. The JSS consists of 36 items to be rated by participants on a 6-point likert format response scale (i.e., disagrees very much, disagree moderately, disagree slightly, agree slightly, agree moderately, and agree very much). In the present study, JSS found to be internally consistent at the level of = .834.


The questionnaires were distributed to respondents and they completed the questionnaire manually. The data was collected individually. At the beginning of each questionnaire, an overview was provided. All respondents must fill a demographic form which includes information on age, gender, qualification, length of service, designation, and marital status. The researcher gave directions for the Motivational at Work Scale (2010) first and then for the Job Satisfaction Survey (1997). Participation was voluntary and the responses were anonymous. The respondents were informed about the purpose of the research. As with all study participants, they were assured that all information would be kept confidential.

Statistical Analysis

After the collection of data, the answer sheets were scored. The Motivation at Work Scale and Job Satisfaction Survey were scored according to the instructions given in the manual. Then, the data was tabulated on Microsoft Excel sheet. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 16.0 was used for all statistical analyses. Descriptive statistics for demographic information and Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient was performed in order to find the correlation between Motivation at Work and job satisfaction.


Table 1Correlation between Work Motivation and Job Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction


Work Motivation



Note. Shows correlation between Work Motivation and Job Satisfaction significant at**p=.000

Table 2 t- test Gender Difference on Work Motivation and Job Satisfaction





Std Dev




Work Motivation



Job Satisfaction



Note. Verifies Significant difference was found between male and female (t= 4.324, df =198, p<.05) on the variable of work motivation and job satisfaction


Gender difference in job satisfaction jbdnv803.pdf

Gender differences in job satisfaction have been extensively researched and no conclusive evidence has been found with regard to the levels of satisfaction among men and women. However, results from several studies have indicated that there is a relationship between gender and job satisfaction (Hulin & Smith 1996; Bilgic 1998; Lumpkin & Tudor 1990; Goh & Koh 1991; Oshagbemi 2000b). For instance, Hulin & Smith (1976) surveyed 295 male workers and 163 female workers drawn from different manufacturing plants to examine gender differences in job satisfaction. Their research findings show a relationship between male and female employees and their job satisfaction levels: female workers were less satisfied than their male counterparts. In a study of the relationship between job satisfaction and personal characteristics of 249 Turkish workers in different occupations and job positions, Bilgic (1998) found that gender was a significant predictor of job satisfaction. Contributing to the literature on gender differences and job satisfaction, Goh & Koh (1991) examined the effects of gender on the job satisfaction of 608 Singaporean accountants and found that male respondents were more satisfied than their female counterparts. Previous studies conducted by Lumpkin & Tudor (1990) and Stedham & Yamamura (2000) showed that female managers are paid less and are less satisfied with their pay; thus, it follows that they are not satisfied with their pay, promotions, and overall job satisfaction. On the whole, these studies have demonstrated that there is some association between gender and job satisfaction. Therefore the following hypotheses result:


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