West et al. Liu indicates that higher levels of job satisfaction are experienced by accounting interns. A research study focusing on psychology undergraduate students and work variables conducted by Levin and Stokes indicated that negative affectivity, such as a poor self-esteem and negative emotions, can negatively influence perceptions of the working environment and overall satisfaction. Elfering, Odoni and Meier indicate that the relationship between previous work experience and the level of job satisfaction experienced by employees is largely maintained by the emotional experiences attached to the previous working environment.
Resick, Baltes and Shantz conducted research on work decisions and attitudes.
The authors found that previous work experience influences preconceived ideas about the working environment and working expectations. These ideas or perceptions might be different from the reality of the next working environment students enter and might subsequently lead to lower levels of satisfaction Resick et al. Work-related variables relate to the work itself and its attributes Chatzoglou et al.
According to Grobler et al. Grobler et al. This study took a positivistic research approach. Positivist research aims to explore, explain, evaluate, predict and develop or test theories Sarantakos, A quantitative design was used, which supplied the study with direction as well as certain procedures Creswell, The population used for this study consisted of undergraduate students of one of the campuses of a South African university. The study employed a stratified quota sampling technique; respondents were randomly selected from the population.
The sample consisted of undergraduate students based on the campus. A certain quota was met in terms of race, gender and faculty of study. Table 1 presents the survey population frame. Furthermore, it consisted of Data were collected through face-to-face surveys, using a self-constructed coded questionnaire that consisted of a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from very strongly disagree 1 to very strongly agree 5. A factor analysis was conducted to explore the underlying structure of job satisfaction, working conditions and recognition. Furthermore, descriptive statistics, correlations, t -tests and ANOVAs were used to analyse the data.
Cohen suggested that correlations of 0. The study focused on undergraduate students studying on one campus of a South African university, excluding the other two campuses.
Subsequently, the results of the study cannot be generalised to all undergraduate students of the university. Furthermore, not all students were exposed to real working environments and this may also have influenced the results. This research study was formally approved by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Arts of one of the campuses of a South African university. The researchers also adhered to the correct ethical standards. The researchers scheduled appointments with the sampled respondents in their free time.
The face-to-face interviews were administered, privately, in specific offices of the university allocated to the researchers.
Each respondent signed an informed consent form permitting the researcher to include them in the research. The informed consent form clarified the purpose of the study as well as the nature of the research and ensured the privacy, anonymity and confidentiality of the respondents. No student was forced to participate in the study and they were informed that they could withdraw from the study at any time. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the 26 self-constructed Likert-type scale items measuring perceptions of job satisfaction.
Principal component analysis and oblimin rotation were used. This was meant to determine the dimensionality of the job satisfaction instrument used. The factor loadings of the management and leadership needs factor ranged from 0.
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Only one question loaded on the dignity factor with a factor loading of 0. This was caused by the low number of statements, namely two in the factor. The mean inter-item correlation was 0. A factor analysis was conducted on the nine self-constructed Likert-type scale items measuring perceptions of working conditions. The KMO measured 0. The factor loading ranged from 0. The factor mean was 4. A factor analysis was conducted on the six self-constructed Likert-type scale items measuring underlying dimensions of perceptions of appropriate working conditions.
The factor loadings of the extrinsic rewards factor ranged from 0. The mean scores were 4. However, on average, the respondents were in higher agreement with extrinsic rewards than intrinsic rewards. The correlations between job satisfaction, working conditions and recognition are reflected in Table 2. Medium to large positive correlations between 0. Working conditions had moderate to large positive correlations with all job satisfaction dimensions, varying between 0.
Intrinsic rewards as well as the extrinsic rewards showed moderate positive correlations with all the dimensions of job satisfaction. From the results of the t -test, it is evident that the p -values for all the dimensions of job satisfaction as well as intrinsic rewards and working conditions were 0.
The effect sizes for all these dimensions indicated a small effect, varying from 0. The results of the t -test indicated no statistically significant differences between the means of men and women and job satisfaction, working conditions and recognition. The p -value for all the dimensions or factors measured above 0. Furthermore, the effect sizes also indicated a small effect between the dimensions or factors , varying between 0. From the results of the ANOVA, it was evident that the p -values for four of the dimensions of job satisfaction management and leadership needs factor, wellness, emotional needs and dignity as well as working conditions, intrinsic and extrinsic rewards were above 0.
The results of the ANOVA indicated no statistically significant differences between the means of the various dimensions for different study fields, as the p -values were above 0. The results of the effect sizes, for all fields of studies and the dimensions of job satisfaction, working conditions and recognition indicated a small to medium effect.
A factor analysis was conducted on the scale items measuring perceptions of job satisfaction, working conditions and recognition. Five factors management and leadership needs, wellness, emotional needs, advancement and dignity were extracted and used to measure dimensions of job satisfaction, one factor to measure working conditions and two factors extrinsic and intrinsic rewards to measure recognition. All values were above the required 0.
This was probably caused by the low number of statements in the factors; however, the mean inter-item correlations wellness 0.
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The statements contained in the various dimensions or factors also relate to attributes of the job itself, quality co-worker relations, good supervision and the opportunity to grow, which are all considered as the most important factors contributing to job satisfaction in the workplace, as also indicated in the literature review. The advancement factor achieved the lowest mean score 3. The management and leadership needs as well as emotional needs were perceived as the most important job satisfaction factors. From the demographic section, four items previous work experience, gender, race and field of study were used to measure their effect on the dimensions of job satisfaction, working conditions and recognition.
The empirical results indicated very few significant differences between the means of the mentioned demographic groups and the dimensions of job satisfaction, working conditions and recognition. The effect sizes also indicated medium to small effects. Students with no work experience tend to relate recognition in the workplace to extrinsic rewards more than students with work experience, which include performance-based bonuses, salary increases and promotions. Therefore, although promotion and advancement opportunities are considered as crucial factors to obtain job satisfaction, black, Indian and mixed-race respondents considered it more important than white respondents.
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It is therefore clear from the findings of this research that most demographic variables did not have a significant effect on the dimensions of job satisfaction, working conditions and recognition. This might be because a large number of the respondents undergraduate students who participated in this study have not experienced a real working environment yet. Their views of what would satisfy them in their future working environments are only based on their own perceptions thereof. Therefore, it can be deduced that all the dimensions were considered important by the students for obtaining job satisfaction in the workplace.
The items included in the management and leadership needs, advancement, working conditions and extrinsic rewards factors relate to hygiene factors. Items comprising the wellness, emotional needs, dignity and intrinsic rewards factors relate to motivational factors. Furthermore, medium to large positive correlations between 0. Therefore, extrinsic rewards are considered less important for wellness and dignity in the workplace.
The sample of the study only included undergraduate students. In the light of the findings of the study, the following recommendations are made. In order to receive a more accurate and reliable response, as well as for the study to apply to a greater context, the study could subsequently be carried out with a larger population and sample, also including other universities.
Furthermore, as a result of economic constraints, many students are obliged to undertake some kind of work, either part-time or full-time, to sustain themselves during their undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Working conditions such as working hours, payment and access to mandatory and voluntary benefits are often problematic. As students are the future permanent labour force, managers and leaders of a country, it is important that their engagement with the world of work be a positive experience.
Although the demographic variables previous work experience, gender, race and field of study indicated limited significant associations with almost all dimensions of job satisfaction, working conditions and recognition, medium to large positive correlations were found between all the dimensions.
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Therefore, it can be deduced, on average, that all the dimensions management and leadership needs, wellness, emotional needs, advancement, dignity, working conditions, intrinsic and extrinsic rewards are considered important by undergraduate students for obtaining job satisfaction in the workplace. The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationships that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.
Abu-Saad, I. Gender as a determinant of work values among university students in Israel. The Journal of Social Psychology , 6 , — Alam, M. Level of job satisfaction and intent to leave among Malaysian nurses. Business Intelligence Journal , 3 1 , — Al-Zoubi, M. Generating benchmarking indicators for employee job satisfaction. Aziri, B.
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