Case Study: Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

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SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] During the survey of participants, the researcher investigates:

Employee satisfaction;

Employer/Employee perceptions of employee satisfaction;

Factors contributing to employee satisfaction;

ASDA reports;

Measuring employee satisfaction and productivity;

ASDA Interviews.

Study Objectives

Objective 1

Conduct a thorough review of literature relating to employee satisfaction and productivity/output; seeking specific information related to ASDA; including information applicable to employee satisfaction and productivity throughout the world.

Objective 2

Develop, implement and assess results evolving from a survey of ASDA employees and managers.

Objective 3

Analyze information retrieved through the literature review.

Analyze data retrieved through the implementation of the survey.

Analyze data/information the interviews reveal.

Present compilation of findings from the literature review as well as from the survey and the interviews during the analysis chapter of the dissertation.

Objective 4

Discuss study, offer conclusions and recommendations regarding the study and information the study reveals.

Conclusion

During the next section of the thesis, the review of literature, the researcher examines and presents information from the "family" of literature relating to employee satisfaction and productivity and whether a correlation exists between employee satisfaction and productivity/output with consideration of factors contributing to employee satisfaction, both on and off the job. The researcher also presents information investigating if employee "satisfaction" can be measured. As noted at the start of the study, employee satisfaction, as the satisfaction the researcher expects to gain from completing the study, does not mean that work is easy or that the worker will always be happy with every aspect of the responsibility or assignment. Instead, satisfaction for an employee as well as for the student seeking to secure an advanced degree, means the employee or student remains committed; determined to invest his best "discretionary energy" to his work or study.

CHAPTER II

LITERATURE REVIEW

Firms "with high levels of employee engagement produced dramatically better bottom-line results than t

he companies with low levels of engagement"

(Lavigna 2010,¶ 2).

For Success or Satisfaction

For a satisfactory literature review for the study examining employee satisfaction and productivity and whether a correlation exists between employee satisfaction and productivity/output with consideration of factors contributing to employee satisfaction, both on and off the job, like any literature review that succeeds, begins with the researcher's idea and investigation; relating to a specific problem or issue. In the book, The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success, Lawrence A. Machi and Brenda T. McEvoy (2008) explain that writing the literature review includes searching and assessing current, relevant literature to address the research questions and ultimately determine the validity of the study's hypothesis.

Karen Smith, Malcolm Todd, and Julia Waldman (2009) recommend in the book, Doing Your Social Science Dissertation: A Practical Guide for Undergraduates, that the researcher chooses one of the following three common approaches to develop his literature review.

1. A chronologically organized review;

2. A thematically organized literature review;

3. The methodologically organized review.

For the current study focusing on components contributing to employee satisfaction and productivity, the researcher utilizes the thematically organized literature review. During the literature review, the researcher organizes the literature to help frame and focus the study's research questions, simultaneously systematically addressing the focused study questions.

In addition, the literature review presents the necessary background the reader needs to understand the research. As it would be impossible for the researcher to include every published study in the area of the study's focus, the researcher carefully chooses the most significant, relevant sources. The researcher also attempts to include studies which may not concur with the researcher's intent (Literature Review N.d.). No single of information source has a complete advantage over other resources, Winston Tellis (1997) states. Instead, various sources can complement each other when used together. Ideally, a study should use as many sources as prove relevant to the study. Table 1 depicts a number of strengths and weaknesses the researcher may find inherent in each type of "evidence."

Table 1: Types of Evidence (Yin, quoted in Tellis 1997, Recommended Proceedures Section).

Source of Evidence

Strengths

Weaknesses

Documentation

stable - repeated review unobtrusive - exist prior to case study exact - names etc.

broad coverage - extended time span retrievability - difficult biased selectivity reporting bias - reflects author bias access - may be blocked

Archival Records

Same as above precise and quantitative

Same as above privacy might inhibit access

Interviews

targeted - focuses on case study topic insightful - provides perceived causal inferences bias due to poor questions response bias incomplete recollection reflexivity - interviewee expresses what interviewer wants to hear

The Direct Observation

reality - covers events in real time contextual - covers event context time-consuming selectivity - might miss facts reflexivity - observer's presence might cause change cost - observers need time

Participant Observation

Same as above insightful into interpersonal behavior

Same as above bias due to investigator's actions

Physical Artifacts

insightful into cultural features insightful into technical operations selectivity availability

During the study, as the researcher investigates whether a correlation exists between employee satisfaction and productivity/output, the researcher examines credible contemporary literature relating to, but not limited to the following the six themes. These themes depict the literature review's subsections which evolved from the study's research questions as they simultaneously serve as the foundation for exploring and understanding the phenomena:

Employee satisfaction;

Employer/Employee perceptions of employee satisfaction;

Factors contributing to employee satisfaction;

ASDA reports;

Measuring employee satisfaction and productivity.

ASDA Interviews

Employee Satisfaction

For a company to be considered one of the best employers with employees experiencing satisfaction, it would do well to note and implement the top four drivers of employee satisfaction:

1. Effective leadership,

2. employee skills and mission match,

3. work/life balance, and

4. training and development (Lavigna 2010, What Drives… Section, ¶ 1).

Organizations and managers that make a point to regularly focus on these four factors experience the best chance as well as improve their potential to improve employee satisfaction; consequently improving organizational performance and productivity (Lavigna 2010).

Researchers regularly define employee satisfaction as an employee's affective reactions to the company or organization, Yi-Feng Yang (2009), Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Business and Administration, Shu-Te University, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan, asserts in the journal report, "An investigation of group interaction functioning stimulated by transformational leadership on employee intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction: An extension of the resource-based theory perspective." Yang also reports that employee satisfaction serves as a common indicator of organizational leadership effectiveness. This appears logical as satisfied employees contribute "greater work reliability, responsiveness, and quality to an organization" (Yang, Theoretical Background…Section, ¶ 1). Results of employee satisfaction also typically reflect reduced internal process expenses for the company or organization.

During the past decade, the employees' views of the organizations in which they work have begun to change, with traditional employee-organization bonds weakening. Ronald W. Perry, Professor of public affairs at Arizona State University and Lawrence D. Mankin (2007), Professor Emeritus of Public Affairs at Arizona State University, assert in the journal article, "Organizational trust, trust in the chief executive and work satisfaction," that "downsizing, privatizing and contracting out practices generated by economic pressures have eroded what is usually seen as a strong identification of employees" (¶ 1). The negative response not only contributes to the employees trusting the organizations they work for less but also extends to them being less satisfied with their work.

Organizational trust, trust in the top executive, and work satisfaction do not necessarily correlate with one another, Perry and Mankin (2007) assert. These variables function "independently and must be interpreted in the context of a particular organization. Thus, high levels of trust in the top executive are probably associated with higher levels of organizational trust and work satisfaction, producing a positive correlation among the three" (Perry & Mankin Data collection Section, ¶ 1). In the same way, employees' low levels of trust in the top executive likely correlated with low levels of organizational trust, but not inevitably with work satisfaction. To examine these particular disputations, Perry and Mankin examined two organizations, based on informant interviews to identify one with high levels of trust and one with lower levels of trust: A fire department (with high levels of trust) and a private manufacturing firm (with low levels of trust) (Data collection Section, ¶ 1).

For their study, Perry and Mankin (2007) included a probability sample of 100 production (non-supervisory) employees to answer a questionnaire used for the fire services (government employees) organization. The employees from the two organizations drastically differed in their levels of organizational trust as well as in trust relating to the chief executive and work satisfaction. According to findings Perry and Mankin report: "Government employees… believed that organizations worthy of trust are those that have a life beyond the life of employees 'embodying a tradition of service.' & #8230;.Private sector employees tended to question whether it was reasonable or possible to 'trust' an organization" (Conclusion Section, ¶ 2). The employee's trust in the chief executive in both the private and governmental sectors, however, can be independent of the employee's trust in the organization.

Initially,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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