Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Technological change and job satisfaction


The job satisfaction of worker is significantly influenced by the technological change. The studies related to job satisfaction primarily follow a combination of three board theoretical approaches including social-psychological, neoclassical, economic approach, and a more sociological approach. Some researchers used facets of the job to conceptualize job satisfaction. While others used total satisfaction as the basis for this conceptualization (Khaleque and Rahman, 1987; Rice, Mcfarlin and bennett, 1989; Levin and stokes, 19989). However, the social psychological approach seems to dominate the literature, which argues that a number of factors determine job satisfaction of workers (Mulinge and Mueller, 1998). These are mainly two kinds – intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic factors include worker participation, autonomy, communication, task significance, distributive justice, career growth, and job variety. The extrinsic factors are pay, benefits, promotional opportunity, job satisfy, supervisory support, co-worker relations, work overload, role conflicts, and resource inadequacy (Naumann, 1993; Ganguli, 1994). Essentially, job satisfaction is a self reported positive mental state resulting from the appraisal of oneis job or from oneis experience (Rust and Stewart, 1976). 

Supervision quality is an important matter for the workers Unfair treatment regarding pay, allowances work distribution, and the unfair behaviors of supervisors increases with technological change (Topolosky, 1998). Supervisors work at the floor level and they should be involved of the design of jobs involved in the change. The nature of job design includes task complexity, task variety, and task interdependence which are correlated with job satisfaction (Appelbaum, 1997). Task interdependence demands similar skilled workers at the different stages of manufacturing process to produce a high quality product. This requires the active role of supervisors in the change. Engineers often perform job design without using the experience of supervision (Ostberg and Enqvist, 1984).  This results in the negative motivation of supervision.  

Workers benefits are significantly modified by the introduction to new and advanced technologies. Lee (1997) found that the higher skilled workers get more financial and non-financial benefits than the lower skilled worker in the change. Non-financial benefits are related to promotion in higher position and employ in significant task. Worker with higher skills can easily adapt to the new work environment. They are able to perform a variety of jobs that increase their benefits. The change increases advancement in job for the higher skilled workers. The positive impact of technological change is improving oneis  career within the company (rothweel, 1987). The benefits of lower skilled workers are reduced due to their inability to work with complex machines, which results in more dissatisfaction.

Co-workers relations is an important influence on a congenial work environment .This is even more important when the company introduce new technologies into the company (Chapman, 1998). Co-workers relations will be higher when they work as team with similar fillings and attitudes about the changes. Workers satisfaction will be higher when working as members of a group as compared  to working as an individual. But technological change creates conflicts among the workers. The higher level of conflicts causes divisions among workers, which lowers their job satisfaction.

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