Perceived Personal Worth, Job Satisfaction & Organizational Effectiveness: An Empirical Study.

AuthorRai, Sumita


Individuals are the essential building blocks of any organization. Behavioral scientists have also highlighted the importance of the system, structure, and processes and their significant impact on the life of human beings. Without ignoring the importance of the systems approach, this work is based on several assumptions. Firstly, the individual is important in his/her own right. Secondly, the quality of the human collectively constituting an organization does get reflected in the indices of effectiveness and/or 'worth' of the organization, maybe only in a limited sense. Thirdly, a sense of perceived high personal worth will lead to greater job satisfaction. This will result in a higher perceived worth, which would be significantly related to a higher worth of an organization, and will also lead to enhanced effectiveness of the organization because employees feel their expectations are met, their self-dignity and self-esteem are highly valued and the organization can take care of their various needs (Bass, 1952; Liu et al., 2013). Thus, the purpose of this study is threefold: firstly, it tries to understand the unexplored concept of perceived personal worth in a direct manner; secondly, it examines how perceived personal worth as an independent variable correlate to employees' job satisfaction; and thirdly, it explores the relationship between perceived worth and organizational effectiveness.

This study is important on several accounts. Firstly, it provides complete understanding of perceived personal worth concept as there is scarcity of research measuring direct worth of an employee, indirectly it has been measured in the context of self-esteem, self-concept, and organization-based self-esteem (Kim et al., 2015, Wen; Wu &Long, 2021). In the Indian context, there is no study on personal worth and how it interacts with job satisfaction and organizational effectiveness. Secondly, changing the nature the of job scenario and a new work environment such as remote work or work from home, managing and retaining talent and economic turbulence in a rapidly developing economy like India provide a context to understand how employees perceive their personal worth in the organization. Thirdly, with the nature of values and preferences changing over time, it would be important for an organization to understand what makes people feel more worthwhile toward enhancing organizational effectiveness.

Theoretical Background & Hypotheses

Perceived Personal Worth: Several studies have been published in the con text of measuring self of an employee in the form of self-efficacy, self-esteem, self-concept, employee expectations, employee motivation, etc. (Alhadabi & Karpinski, 2020; Rai & Sinha, 2000). Rarely any studies highlight the importance of individual perceived worth even though worth as a variable has been used in different contexts at times. Schein (1987) highlighted the importance of employee retention and more specific to culture of the organization that enhances the realization of employee importance. According to Weick (1979) although an individual is important, his/her most salient feature is that he or she first acts and then responds to and attempts to make sense of what he or she has done. Through this process, individuals actively engage in creating an environment to which they respond. This has been called the process of 'double interact' and may be used as a fundamental unit for organizational analysis (Weick, 1979; 1995). There seems to be a preoccupation among researchers that the worth of an individual should be measured only in terms of his or her seniority. Another common way to indicate a person's worth is in terms of financial assets to which one is entitled. In private banking business, high net worth individual (HNWIs) are identified as those who possess investable assets (financial assets excluding their primary residence) and who are worth more than US$1 million. India is one of the Asian economies with rapidly growing HNWI populations (Tsui, 2008).

These are the dimensions that measure the direct worth of a person in terms of his or her monetary value. There could be other parameters through which worth as a variable can exist. Personal worth has been examined under the achievement motivation theory, which for instance, says that in schools and colleges, the central part of all classroom achievements of students revolves around protecting their self-worth or personal value. Perceptions of high abilities signify high worthiness (Covington, 1984).

Worth has been hypothesized with a person's self-concept. Self-esteem is a part of self-concept. The literature on organization-based self-esteem (OBSE) emphasizes worth as a dependent variable and elaborates that the behavior of the manager and leader affects employees' sense of self-worth (Dansereau et al., 1998; Lord et al., 1999; Mumford et al., 2000; Pierce et al., 1989). OBSE has been seen in the context of value of self: how much an employee feels valued and significant in the organization (Gardner & Pierce, 2013; Jena & Pattnaik, 2020; Pierce et al., 1989).

One can make a list of several such variables that could contribute to the perceived individual worth. These variables can be categorized in the form of indirect worth of an individual, the impact and effort that an individual has devoted to shaping others' life. With all analyses indirectly related to personal worth, the quest becomes even more pertinent to find out how employees perceive their worth in an organization? What are the at tributes that could be associated with it? There is a scarcity of research in the area of directly measuring the impact of perceived worth of employee in wholistic way. Also, there is no study in which worth has been studied as an independent variable directly or indirectly. Therefore, it is important to study personal worth in terms of financial and non-financial aspects and also as an independent variable. This work is based on two important theories, theory of positive organizational behavior (Luthans, 2002) and developmental theory (Super & Bohn, 1970). These two are associated with enhancing employee perceived worth and associated positive outcome.

Job Satisfaction: Job satisfaction has been considered as a function of the perceived relationship that one expects and obtains from one's job and how much importance he or she attributes to it (Kemelgor, 1982). According to Greenberg and Baron (1999), job satisfaction may be defined as an individual's cognitive, affective, and evaluative reactions towards their jobs. Some other researchers have suggested that the levels of satisfaction depend upon the correspondence between an individual's expectations, aspirations, and needs and the extent to which the organization fulfils these needs and matches these expectations and aspirations (Klein & Maher, 1968; Poggi, 2010).

In earlier studies, job satisfaction used to be viewed as a unidimensional concept. However, it is now widely accepted that job satisfaction is multidimensional and its multiple dimensions should be related to specific independent variables (Weitzel et al., 1973). Khaleque and Rahman (1987) noted that job facets can be sources of both satisfaction with job facets and personal life, and the degree of satisfaction seems to depend on satisfaction with the number of job facets as well as their perceived importance. Scarpello and Campbell (1983) investigated the usefulness of the single-item global measure of job satisfaction and suggested that the global rating of overall job satisfaction may be a more inclusive measure of overall job satisfaction than the summation of many facet responses as the measure of overall job satisfaction. Researchers have highlighted that job satisfaction is important because it is associated with work performance, physical and mental health and career decisions (Judge et al., 2001).

The relationship between job satisfaction and off-the-job satisfaction is an interesting area for researchers. Similar to job satisfaction, the satisfaction derived from off-the-job settings may also assume a multidimensional structure (Brooke et al., 1988; Shaffer, 1981). There are three models regarding on- as well as off-the-job satisfaction have been proposed. The first is the spill- over model, which advocates a positive relationship between the two satisfactions. The second is the compensatory model, and the third is the segmental model, which suggests that both satisfactions are unrelated. Findings show mixed and weak support for this model (Kabanoff, 1980; Rice et al., 1980). Steiner and Truxillo (1987) have worked on a desegregation hypothesis that originally was proposed by Rice et al. (1980). According to the desegregation hypothesis, the importance of a job in a person's life moderates the relationship between the j ob and life satisfactions, and the persons who value work in their lives should demonstrate a stronger relationship between the two satisfactions.

Researchers have shown that j ob satisfaction is positively related to organizational citizenship behaviors (Ababneh & Hackett, 2019; Claudia, 2018; Meynhardt et al. 2020). There is evidence to suggest that job satisfaction may be positively related to employee performance and organizational performance (Judge et al., 2001). Positive organizational behavior theory (Luthans, 2002) describes that positively managed strength can bring higher level of performance at workplace.

Studies have highlighted the relationship between inequity and job satisfaction (Abraham, 1 999) and subjective well-being with job satisfaction (Liu et al., 2017) In any case, reward and job satisfaction may be a major contributor to employee retainability--a major concern in modern times for the management due to increase in the options for the contemporary workforce (Froese et al., 2019). Knowing the indirect relationship of self-esteem and self-concept with job satisfaction, it was...

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