Employee Satisfaction on Cruise Ships

Master's Thesis, 2003
164 Pages, Grade: 70 (distinction), 1.0





List of Tables

List of Figures

List of Abbreviations


Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 The Meaning of Work
1.2 Aim of Study
1.3 Structure of Study

Chapter 2 Job Satisfaction
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Job Satisfaction Defined
2.3 Theories of Job Satisfaction
2.3.1 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
2.3.2 Criticism of Maslow’s Theory
2.3.3 Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory
2.3.4 Criticism of Herzberg’s Theory
2.4 Antecedents of Job Satisfaction
2.5 Outcomes of Job Satisfaction
2.6 Summary

Chapter 3 Theoretical Framework
3.1 Introduction
3.2 The Psychological Contract
3.2.1 Expectations
3.2.2 Where do Expectations Come From?
3.2.3 Violations of the Psychological Contract
3.2.4 Experiences
3.3 The Role of the Supervisor and Leader-Member Exchange Theory
3.3.1 Outcomes of Leader-Member Exchanges
3.4 The Role of Co-Workers and Team-Member Exchange Theory
3.4.1 Outcomes of Team-Member Exchanges
3.5 Summary

Chapter 4 The Cruise Industry
4.1 Introduction
4.2 The Concept and Industry Trends
4.3 International Crews and Flags of Convenience
4.4 Life on the Ocean Wave
4.4.1 The Organisation of Cruise Ships
4.4.2 Working and Living Conditions on Cruise Ships Length of Contract and Hours of Work Food and Accommodation Recreation Facilities
4.5 Summary

Chapter 5 Methodology
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Research Objectives
5.3 Theoretical Framework
5.4 Research Design
5.4.1 Purpose of Study
5.4.2 Type of Investigation and Study Setting
5.4.3 Unit of Analysis
5.4.4 Time Horizon
5.4.5 Sampling Design
5.5 Primary Data Collection Methods
5.5.1 Survey Research
5.6 Questionnaire Design
5.7 Goodness of Measures
5.8 Data Analysis
5.9 Summary

Chapter 6 Findings
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Data Collection
6.3 Socio-demographic Profile of Seafarers
6.4 Psychometric Properties of Scales
6.4.1 Construct Validity of Satisfaction Scales
6.4.2 Reliability of Satisfaction Scales
6.4.3 Reliability of Expectation and Experience Scales
6.5 Hypotheses Testing
6.6 Predicting Job Satisfaction
6.6.1 Standard Multiple Regression
6.6.2 Hierarchical Regression
6.7 Assessing Job Satisfaction on Ship A and Ship B
6.8 Satisfaction Levels between Departments
6.8.1 Satisfaction with Supervisor
6.8.2 Satisfaction with Working and Living Conditions
6.8.3 Satisfaction with Well-being Factors
6.8.4 Satisfaction with Co-Workers and Job Satisfaction
6.9 Comparison of Satisfaction Levels between Ship A and Ship B
6.9.1 Satisfaction with Supervisor between Departments
6.9.2 Overall Job Satisfaction Comparing Ranks
6.10 Summary

Chapter 7 Discussion and Conclusion
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Discussion of Findings
7.3 Practical Implications for Management
7.3.1 Dealing with Perceived Discrimination
7.3.2 Managing Diversity
7.4 Limitations and Future Research Directions
7.5 Conclusion

Appendix I The Cruise Industry
1.1 Main Cruise Lines offering Passenger Sea Cruises
1.2 Cruise Ships scheduled for 2003
1.3 Cruise Ships scheduled for 2004/2005
1.4 Sample Employment Contract
Appendix II Questionnaire
Appendix III SPSS Output Factor Analysis
3.1 Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin and Bartlett’s Test
3.2 Total Variance Explained
3.3 Scree Plot
3.4 Component Matrix Satisfaction Scales
3.5 Rotated Component Matrix
3.6 Total Variance Explained after Rotation
Appendix IV SPSS Output Reliability Tests
4.1 Reliability of Satisfaction Scales
4.2 Reliability of Expectation and Experience Scales



The concept of job satisfaction is one of the most extensively researched area in organisational management as a consequence of its association with individual and organisational outcomes. In order to explain the concept, the study explores traditional, e.g. Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs”, and new theories of job satisfaction. Although many studies were conducted in various industries there seems to be a lack of research amongst seafarers on cruise ships. The cruise industry has been one of the fastest growing sectors within the tourism industry over the last decade and it is estimated that the industry continues to grow by 10% annually (Testa et al., 1998a). Cruise ships offer a unique work environment so that this research aims to assess job satisfaction of seafarers in relation to employee expectations and experiences, supervisor and co-worker relationships, as well as working and living conditions.

For this cross-sectional study the researcher used a quantitative research design and undertook the investigation in a non-contrived setting. The lack of an appropriate instrument to measure the above mentioned variables in such a unique and complex workplace led the researcher to develop a new scale suitable for the cruise industry. The instrument was developed by reviewing popular scales, such as, the Minnesota Job Satisfaction Questionnaire. The sample of seafarers was taken from two ships of an American cruise line operating in the luxury cruise market.

The investigation revealed that the developed instrument is a valid and reliable measure to assess job satisfaction in the cruise industry. Significant results were found throughout the study and it appeared that seafarers are generally satisfied with their job. However, on Ship B there was indication that some crew members perceived racial discrimination on board so that their satisfaction levels were below average. Thus, the results obtained are valuable for the cruise line insofar as the identified factors which cause dissatisfaction could be improved or eliminated. From a theoretical point of view the study confirmed Maslow’s conclusion that individuals proceed along the hierarchy of needs.

List of Tables

5.2 Sample of Ship A

5.3 Sample of Ship B

6.1 Steps of Data Collection

6.6 The Six Factor Solution

6.7 Rules of Thumb for Strength of Correlation Coefficient

6.8 Pearson Correlation Matrix for Hypothesis 1

6.9 Pearson Correlation Matrix for Hypothesis 2

6.10 Pearson Correlation Matrix for Hypothesis 3

6.11 Pearson Correlation Matrix for Hypothesis 4

6.12 Pearson Correlation Matrix for Hypothesis 5

6.13 Inter-Scale Correlations

6.14 Model Summary Standard Multiple Regression

6.15 Regression Analysis Coefficients

6.16 Model Summary Hierarchical Regression

6.17 Mean Scores of Satisfaction Scales

6.18 Satisfaction Levels across Departments

6.19 Mean Scores – Supervisor Satisfaction Restaurant and Deck

6.20 Mean Scores – Supervisor Satisfaction Galley and Housekeeping

6.21 Mean Scores – Overall Job Satisfaction Officers and Crew

i.i Main Cruise Lines offering Passenger Sea Cruises

i.ii Cruise Ships Scheduled for 2003

i.iii Cruise Ships Scheduled for 2004/2005

iii.i KMO and Barlett’s Test

iii.ii Total Variance Explained

iii.iv Component Matrix Satisfaction Scales

iii.v Rotated Component Matrix

iii.vi Total Variance Explained after Rotation

iv.i Reliability Test of Satisfaction Scales

iv.ii Reliability Test of Expectation and Experience Scales

List of Figures

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List of Abbreviations

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This dissertation would not have been completed without the support of many people and I am grateful to all of them. I hereby express my utmost appreciation and sincere gratitude to André Nordseth for valuable comments and suggestions which were acted on and for total support provided throughout the project and the possibility to conduct the research on board the two ships. I am equally thankful to Raphael Sauleau who always provided needed information immediately. I owe special thanks to Lars Olsson, Sergio Topazio, Jarle Jensen, Marcel Kofler, Robby Casteleyn, Paolo Vercelli and Alessandro Peruzzo for assisting with the distribution of the questionnaires. Additionally, I would like to thank all crew members who gave up their limited free time to participate in the study.

A distinctive gratitude to my supervisor Dr. Olivia Kyriakidou, for providing skilful guidance and support throughout the year and particularly in times of crisis. I am also very grateful to my parents for being understanding and supportive, both emotionally and financially. Additional thanks goes to my relatives here in the UK who were always there when help was needed. Special thanks to María Helena Pereda and Wendy Baxter Kennedy for being such good friends who always believed in me. To all others who helped making this dissertation a reality “thank you”.

Chapter 1 Introduction

“Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen, even so does inaction sap the vigour of the mind.”

Leonardo da Vinci

1.1 The Meaning of Work

In today’s society people spend quite some time working or preparing for it through education and training. Although work holds a number of different meanings and values for people, as Fraser (1983, p. 19) states “one man’s work can be another man’s play”, research in most industrialised countries emphasises its fundamental or central role in the life of individuals since work provides income in order to sustain life as well as provides a variety of luxuries or non-essentials (Harpaz et al., 2002; Basini et al., 1994). Additionally, work contributes to one’s sense of personal identity and gives the individual a sense of being tied into the larger society, of providing social contact, of having something to do, and of having a purpose in life (Basini et al. 1994).

The psychological significance of work is supported in various studies which investigated on the so-called “Lottery Question”. This question asks whether a person would continue working if he/she won the lottery or inherited a large sum of money. Thus, the question places people into a fictitious situation in which the necessity for working is eliminated. The findings of such studies showed that the majority of people (e.g. 65-95%) in different professions and various countries indicated a wish to continue working even if they had enough money to support themselves (Vecchio, 1980; Harpaz, 2002). The reason for this is stressed in the psychology literature which emphasises the importance of work to individual mental and emotional well-being. Although some people might fantasise about how it would be to do nothing and agree with the statement “I like work. I could watch someone do it all day”, many people would find fulltime inactivity not very satisfying for very long. The reason being the individual’s sense of personal worth which is closely connected to a feeling of accomplishing something purposeful in life (Gill, 1999).

Despite the fact that work is mostly associated with compulsion which is either self-induced or applied from the exterior and involves time and effort on activities other than those of one’s personal desire, it seems to be significant to the individual from an economic and socio-psychological point of view (Fraser, 1983; Basini et al., 1994). Thus, since work occupies most of people’s lives, it is essential that organisations ensure job satisfaction of employees, as it not only contributes to life satisfaction but also enhances productivity, organisational effectiveness and lowers absenteeism and turnover of staff.

1.2 Aim of the Study

This study aims to explore job satisfaction on cruise ships as workplaces which are unique in the sense that work and private spaces are not separated. Thus, employees are constantly surrounded by work. The research was conducted on two ships of an American cruise line serving the luxury cruise market and the researcher was concerned with the following objectives:

- To evaluate critically relevant theoretical research into job satisfaction
- To identify the factors which are most likely to influence job satisfaction on cruise ships
- To assess job satisfaction levels on two ships

1.3 Structure of the Study

This study is divided into seven chapters.

Chapter 2 explores the traditional theories behind job satisfaction. Particular focus is given on Maslow’s (1970) hierarchy of needs and Herzberg’s (1968) two-factor theory. Both theories were not universally supported by previous research and therefore were regarded to be unsuccessful in explaining job satisfaction.

Chapter 3 establishes the theoretical framework and introduces new theories relating to job satisfaction. Definitions and concepts of the psychological contract are provided, followed by a discussion on leader-member exchange as well as team member exchange theories. The relationships between these concepts and job satisfaction are defined and hypotheses are stated.

Chapter 4 focuses on the cruise industry. An overview of the industry is given along with workplace practices developed by the International Labour Organisation. Particular emphasis is placed on working and living conditions, food, accommodation and recreation facilities.

Chapter 5 explains the methodology employed in the study. The process of how the instrument used in the study was developed is discussed along with the research design, e.g. purpose of study, sample size and time horizon. Steps for analysing the primary data collected are presented.

Chapter 6 presents the research findings. A profile of seafarers is established, hypotheses are tested and job satisfaction levels are assessed and compared on two ships.

Chapter 7 focuses on the discussion and establishes the link to the literature review. Recommendations are provided on how job satisfaction of employees might be increased on cruise ships.

Chapter 2 Job Satisfaction

“Work is the grand cure for all the maladies that ever beset mankind. Honest, intelligent effort is always rewarded.”

Thomas Carlyle

2.1 Introduction

Organisations exist in a world of constant evolutionary activity and increased global competition and thus are faced with continuous changes in the environment, which inevitably affects the attitudes of employees. Today’s employees are more demanding as they do not only want to use their knowledge to earn a decent living but also expect to get personal satisfaction from their work. The concept of job satisfaction is one of the most extensively researched area in organisational management, accounting for approximately 5,000 journal articles and hundreds of books (Spinelli et al., 2000). The reason for this extensive research is based on the possible effects of job satisfaction on the individual employee and on organisational outcomes. This chapter explores the traditional theories of job satisfaction as well as the antecedents and consequences of it.

2.2 Job Satisfaction Defined

There are many definitions in existence to explain the concept of job satisfaction. According to Fisher (2000), job satisfaction is an attitude and attitudes are said to contain at least two components: an affective component (e.g. emotional, feeling) and a cognitive component (e.g. belief, judgement, comparison). It is indicated further that both components are important since they contribute to the overall attitude, which may be differentially caused by and linked to behaviour. Locke (1976, p. 1300) also takes the two components into account and defines job satisfaction simply as “a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experience”. By contrast, “job dissatisfaction is the unpleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job as frustrating and blocking the attainment of one’s values“ (Locke, 1969, p. 316). Spector (1997) simply describes the concept as the feeling people have about their jobs and different aspects thereof. In other words, “it is the extent to which people like (satisfaction) or dislike (dissatisfaction) their jobs” (Spector, 1997, p. 2). Another definition was developed by Fraser (1983) who defined job satisfaction as a subjective, personal state perceived by the individual as being in his/her favour. In essence, job satisfaction or dissatisfaction is a function of the perceived relationship between what an individual wants from the job and what one perceives it as offering or entailing (Locke, 1969).

Despite the existence of numerous definitions, the concept of job satisfaction is a difficult entity to explain, since it is not a static state, rather it may be influenced and modified by forces within and outside the immediate work environment. For the individual employee, job satisfaction may exist when the perceived benefits of the work exceed the perceived costs by a margin considered by the employee to be adequate under the circumstances. Additionally, there are multiple facets to the working state some of which might be more satisfying and acceptable than others (Fraser, 1983). Spector (1997, p. 2) supports this view and points out that “the concept can be considered as a global feeling about the job or as a related constellation of attitudes about various aspects or facets of the job at a specific point in time”. Thus, it can be said that at this particular time one is more satisfied with some aspect of one’s job than at some other time (Fraser, 1983).

2.3 Theories of Job Satisfaction

In the past various attempts have been made towards explaining the concept of job satisfaction. Many contemporary views on job satisfaction are based on Maslow’s and Herzberg’s content theories of motivation. Motivation has been defined as “the psychological process that gives behaviour purpose and direction” or as ”a predisposition to behave in a purposive manner to achieve specific, unmet needs” and as “the will to achieve” (Lindner, 1998). In other words, motivation is operationally defined as the inner force that drives individuals to accomplish personal and organisational goals and when these goals are met satisfaction is the result. Thus, motivation can be described as the journey towards achieving satisfaction as a reward.

In relation to the work environment, the content theories of motivation attempt to specify the particular needs that must be satisfied or the values that must be fulfilled for an individual to be satisfied with his/her job (Locke, 1976; Mullins, 1995; Graham et al., 1998). In general, content theories endeavour to explain the specific factors that actually motivate the individual at work. For any organisation it is important that these factors are known because motivated employees are needed in today’s rapidly changing workplaces as these individuals are productive and help organisations survive (Lindner, 1998). It is argued that motivating employees is the most complex task due to the fact that the factors which motivate employees change constantly. For example, research indicates that as income increases money becomes less of a motivator (Lindner, 1998).

Therefore, proponents of content theories are interested in identifying the needs/drives that people have and how these needs/drives are prioritised. The content theorists are mainly concerned with the types of incentives or goals that people aim for in order to be satisfied. Although content theories are regarded to be static because they incorporate only one or a few points in time and are either past or present-time-oriented, they are, nevertheless, important to understanding what motivates people at work (Luthans, 1998).

2.3.1 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The term “motivation” originates from the Latin word movere meaning “to move” and is defined as a process that starts with a physiological or psychological deficiency or need that activates a behaviour that is aimed at a goal (Luthans, 1998). This meaning is evident in Maslow’s need theory which suggests that people are motivated to satisfy a sequence of five categories of needs. Maslow (1970) argues that individuals must satisfy their lower-needs first before they can move up the hierarchy to satisfy higher needs. However, it does not mean that a need must be fully satisfied before a subsequent need arises, rather the degree of satisfaction decreases along the hierarchy. That is to say that, for an average person 85% of physiological needs and 70% of safety needs would be generally satisfied, but only 50% of social needs, 40% of esteem needs and 10% of self- actualisation needs would be met (Luthans, 1998). Maslow believed that, once a given level of need is satisfied, it does no longer act as a motivator. In essence, the theory assumes that people always want more, and what they want depends on what they already have (Mullins, 1996). Maslow suggests that human needs are arranged in a hierarchy of importance and these levels are as follows:

- Physiological Needs: Represent the basic level in the hierarchy and are oriented towards survival. Examples are the needs of hunger, thirst, air, sleep. The main characteristic of physiological needs is that they have to be satisfied regularly.
- Safety Needs: These needs include freedom from physical threats and harm, need for structure, order, law as well as economic security.
- Affiliation Needs: At this stage the individual will hunger for affectionate relations with people in general. Thus, social contacts, belonging to a group, friendship and love are important.
- Esteem Needs: These needs are divided into self-esteem and esteem from others. Self-esteem includes the need for self-respect and self-confidence. Esteem from others includes the need for recognition, reputation, status and approval of others. It is suggested that satisfaction of esteem needs leads to feelings of strength, capability and of being useful and necessary in the world.
- Self-Actualisation Needs: At this final stage the individual is self-fulfilled and has realised his/her full potential. It is suggested that the individual desires to become everything that one is capable of becoming. The specific form that this need will take varies greatly from individual to individual.

Source: Maslow, 1970

Although Maslow proposed that these basic needs appear in individuals in approximately the order indicated, he points out that the hierarchy is not necessarily fixed and there are a number of exceptions. For example, self- esteem might be more important than love to some people. Similarly, creative people may strive for creativity and self-actualisation despite the lack of satisfaction of more basic needs (Mullins, 1996).

Maslow’s theory suggests further that the above mentioned needs can be distinguished between primary and secondary drives. The primary drives, which are the physiological needs, are inherited even though the means for satisfying them can be learned. Secondary drives, which include safety, affiliation, esteem and self-actualisation needs, are not inherited but are learned and may be to some extent culturally determined (Fraser, 1983). According to Fraser (1983), the lower order needs, particularly physiological and safety needs, are largely met in today’s industrial society so that only the higher order needs such as esteem and self-actualisation needs need to be satisfied. Maslow (1970, p. 98) points out that “the higher the need the less imperative it is for sheer survival, the longer satisfaction can be postponed, and the easier it is for the need to disappear permanently”. Thus, higher needs are less urgent and people can only afford to seek satisfaction of these needs in a society where the primary needs have been largely met.

Despite the fact that Maslow did not intend to apply his need hierarchy to work motivation directly, the five categories of needs seem to emerge in the organisational setting and the percentages given by him seem logical and applicable to the motivation of employees. For example, physiological needs are reflected in the desire for adequate pay. Safety needs are shown in the individual’s desire for safe working conditions as well as job security. Social needs are fulfilled by working in teams or groups. Esteem needs are satisfied when individuals in the organisations seek promotion or other recognition. Lastly, self-actualisation needs are fulfilled when people in the organisation participate in training programmes, for example (Bovée et al., 1993). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is illustrated in the table below along with examples in the organisational setting.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Table 2.1: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

2.3.2 Criticism of Maslow’s Theory

Luthans (1998) indicates that Maslow’s theory is not the final answer in work motivation but, nevertheless, makes management aware of the diverse needs of employees at work. Other researchers, however, have found that the theory is difficult to test empirically so that little support was found (Bovée, 1993; Mullins, 1995). Furthermore, Mullins (1996) points out that there are a number of problems when relating the theory to the work situation. Firstly, it is suggested that individuals do not necessarily satisfy their needs, especially higher-order needs, through the work situation, because managers would require a complete understanding of people’s private and social lives and not just the behaviour at work. Secondly, some outcomes at work may satisfy more than one need at the same time such as higher salary and promotion. Nevertheless, it is suggested that the model provides a convenient framework for viewing the different needs and expectations of individuals at work (Mullins, 1995).

2.3.3 Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory

Herzberg’s (1968) two-factor theory is an extension of Maslow’s work and essentially a theory of job satisfaction. His theory is based on considerable empirical evidence and is based on the principles that people are motivated towards what makes them feel good, and away from what makes them feel bad (McKenna, 2000). The result of Herzberg’s research led to the development of two distinct lists of factors. One set of factors is called motivators which are thought to cause happy feelings or good attitude within the worker. These factors are generally related to job content and include, for example, recognition, achievement and work itself. The other factors are termed hygiene factors and include supervision, working conditions and salary and are believed to cause unhappiness or bad attitudes when not present. Herzberg claimed that these factors are not directly related to the job itself rather they are associated with the conditions that surrounded doing the job (Tietjen et al., 1998).

The theory suggests that motivators cause positive job attitudes because they satisfy the individual’s needs until self-actualisation is reached which is thought to be the ultimate goal as indicated by Maslow (Herzberg, 1968). Thus, the presence of motivators has the potential to create great job satisfaction and serves to motivate the individual to superior effort and performance but their absence does not cause dissatisfaction rather there will be no positive motivation (Tietjen et al., 1998). According to Luthans (1998), the motivators are equivalent to Maslow’s higher-order needs. Thus, Herzberg’s theory implies that an individual must have a challenging job involving opportunities for advancement, recognition and responsibility in order to be truly motivated because these intrinsic factors satisfy people’s need for growth and achievement.

The hygiene factors, on the other hand, which are equivalent to Maslow’s lower needs, are believed to cause dissatisfaction when they are not present but their presence does not itself contribute to high job satisfaction (McKenna, 2000). Similar arguments are put forward by Luthans (1998) who indicates that although the hygiene factors prevent dissatisfaction they do not lead to satisfaction because they generate motivation up to a zero level and are a necessary basis to prevent dissatisfaction. Luthans (1998) suggests further that hygiene factors serve as a takeoff point for motivation but they cannot motivate by themselves. Herzberg’s model is illustrated in the figure below.

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Figure 2.2: Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory Source: Mullins, 1995

According to Herzberg (1968), job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction are not opposites rather the opposite of job satisfaction is simply a lack of satisfaction. Consequently, the opposite of job dissatisfaction is not satisfaction rather it is no dissatisfaction. This can be illustrated by an example from the hygiene factor working conditions. If the air-conditioning breaks down on a hot summer’s day, the employees might be greatly dissatisfied since they have to work in a hot office. On the other hand, if the air-conditioning works all day as expected the employees will not be extremely satisfied by being grateful rather it is something taken for granted.

To summarise, Herzberg’s theory suggests that job satisfaction and dissatisfaction result from different causes, satisfaction is only provided by motivators whereas dissatisfaction is the result of the non-existence or failure of hygiene factors (Locke, 1976). Thus, if management wants to create positive motivation, great attention must be paid to the hygiene factors as well as the motivators. The hygiene factors are needed to prevent unpleasantness at work and to prevent unfair treatment. The motivators, on the other hand, relate to what people are allowed to do at work so that these are the variables which actually motivate the individual (Mullins, 1996).

2.3.4 Criticism of Herzberg’s Theory

Although Herzberg’s two factor theory has extended Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and is more appropriate in the work situation, it is still a source of frequent debate. Some studies provide support for the theory, such as the research conducted by Hodgetts et al. (1991) who used the same methodology as Herzberg, i.e. the storytelling critical incident method. According to their review of several international studies, no motivator was found to be a source of dissatisfaction but the categories labelled as hygiene factors created dissatisfaction. Additionally, motivators were more important contributors to job satisfaction than to dissatisfaction (Hodgetts et al., 1991). However, when other methods were used for measuring job satisfaction, the results were quite different from Herzberg’s findings so that the validity of the theory could be questioned, since it depends on a particular research method (McKenna, 2000).

Other research such as the study conducted by House and Wigdor (1967), pointed out further limitations when they drew attention to the impact of individual differences on job satisfaction. They argue that the two factor theory is an over­simplification of the sources of job satisfaction because one particular factor may cause satisfaction for one person but dissatisfaction for another or vice versa. Smith and Kendall (1963 as cited in House and Wigdor, 1967) support this view and state that:

“A particular job condition can be a satisfier, dissatisfier or irrelevant depending on conditions in comparable jobs, conditions of other people, of the qualifications and past experience of the individual as well as on numerous situational variables of the present job.”

Source: House and Wigdor, 1967, p. 386

Mullins (1996) argues that the theory is at least applicable to people having uninteresting, repetitive and monotonous jobs with limited scope. For example, according to Weaver (1988), the theories of motivation have little meaning for hourly workers in the hotel industry because there is a fundamental difference in the way they view their job. He suggests that hourly employees may feel little attachment to one particular company since they tend to continue working in the same hotel even though ownership may have changed. Weaver (1988) argues that, where work does not differ much among different companies, e.g. for cooks, waiters or maids, people may only work for their pay cheque and are best motivated by direct cash rewards if there is little pleasure in the work itself or the job offers limited opportunities for personal growth or career advancement. In such cases pay could be a satisfier rather than a dissatisfier. On the other hand, however, if pay is not high enough, it can be dissatisfying.

As another example, House and Wigdor (1967) content that many of the intrinsic job aspects appear to be more frequently identified by respondents as satisfiers, but recognition and achievement were also often associated with dissatisfaction. In fact, House and Widgor (1967) emphasise strongly that achievement and recognition were more frequently identified as dissatisfiers than working conditions and relations to supervisors. Similar observations were made by Wernimont (1966 as cited in McKenna, 2000) who also suggests that both hygiene and motivators can cause satisfaction or dissatisfaction because the two factor theory does not take into account the expectations people bring with them to the job. This shows that a strict interpretation of Herzberg’s theory is not warranted.

In spite of much criticism, Herzberg’s theory has contributed significantly to the study of work motivation and has emphasised the importance of the quality of work life. His work placed great emphasis on job design in order to create job enrichment. Therefore, he encouraged the restructuring of jobs to pay more attention to the motivating factors at work, to make jobs more interesting and to satisfy higher levels of needs (Mullins, 1996).

2.4 Antecedents of Job Satisfaction

Since Herzberg’s two-factor theory is not universally supported, other researchers (e.g. Hodgetts, 1991) made attempts to identify the job characteristics about which people have affective responses. The main influences can be grouped into six dimensions and are presented below. Luthans (1998) suggests that these factors are more likely to be associated with job satisfaction rather than with dissatisfaction.

- The Work Itself: The content of the work itself is a major source of job satisfaction. It is suggested that the most important ingredients of a satisfying job are interesting and challenging work, opportunities for learning, taking responsibility and skill variety. Work itself was also identified by Herzberg (1968) as a source leading to satisfaction because challenging tasks are said to be stimuli to induce growth. Psychological growth can be experienced through achievement and this ability to achieve is a unique human characteristic.
- Pay and Benefits: The amount of equitable financial compensation is another important factor contributing to job satisfaction. Money helps to satisfy people’s basic needs and is instrumental for higher-level need satisfaction. In other words, money facilitates satisfaction of Maslow’s (1970) lower-order needs and when these are met, ensures that individuals can progress along the hierarchy of needs. Employees often see pay as a reflection of how management views their contribution to the organisation. Fringe benefits, e.g. health insurance, pension plans, are also important but they are not as influential.
- Promotion: The level of satisfaction with promotional opportunities varies because promotions take a number of different forms and have a variety of rewards attached i.e. promotion could take place on the basis of performance or seniority. Promotion based on performance may facilitate psychological growth as the promotion might be given as the result of completing a challenging task successfully. Thus, promotion may be seen as equivalent to recognition which was identified as a source of satisfaction by Herzberg (1968).
- Supervision: The abilities of the supervisor to provide technical assistance, behavioural support as well as the degree to which the supervisor takes a personal interest in the employee’s welfare is another determinant of job satisfaction.
- Co- Workers: Friendly, co-operative co-workers or team members are a modest source of job satisfaction to individual employees. A good or effective work group serves as a source of support, comfort, advice and assistance to the individual and can make the job more enjoyable.
- Working Conditions: If working conditions are good, comfortable and safe the employees will find it easier to do their jobs so that reasonable job satisfaction may appear. If, on the other hand, working conditions are poor (e.g. noisy, hot), personnel will find it difficult to get the job done. Thus, poor working conditions can have a negative effect on job satisfaction.

Source: Luthans, 1998, p.145-146

Considering the above mentioned factors, it appears that in contrast to Herzberg’s view, the hygiene factors may also contribute to job satisfaction. To these job related factors can be added the individual factors the person brings to the job such as personality, expectations and prior experiences. According to Spector (1997), both categories of antecedents work together to influence employee job satisfaction in a positive or negative way.

2.5 Outcomes of Job Satisfaction

The level of job satisfaction of employees has been a major area of concern for managers, academics and the community as a whole for many years (Savery, 1987). The reason for this interest is the concern that low job satisfaction of the workforce may lead to negative organisational outcomes such as a high labour turnover or poor overall job performance which ultimately influences the productivity of the organisation. Understanding how satisfied employees are with their jobs is, therefore, not only desirable but also essential for any organisation. Previous research has shown a correlation between job satisfaction and turnover. It is argued that people who are satisfied with their jobs are less likely to leave the organisation compared to those who are dissatisfied (Lee et al., 1987). However, it must be noted that other factors such as labour market conditions, expectations and job tenure within the organisation may also influence the relationship between employee turnover and job satisfaction (McKenna, 2000). As for performance, it is argued that although the link to job satisfaction is weak research found that organisations with more satisfied employees tended to be more effective than organisations with less satisfied employees (McKenna, 2000). Spector (1997) indicates that people who are able to do their jobs well and, thus, perform well tend to have higher job satisfaction.

Job satisfaction in the service sector, which, in the context of tourism, consists of a whole series of service transactions involving tour operators, transport companies, accommodation and hotel services, restaurant and catering as well as financial services, is of primary importance as research has shown that employee attitudes are linked to customer satisfaction. Bagozzi (1992 as cited in Schmit et al. 1995) suggested that attitudes translate directly into behaviour and argues that an individual’s appraisal of a situation causes an emotional response. This emotional response is said to produce a coping intention (intention to act) that, in turn, affects behaviour. Schmit et al. (1995) successfully tested the Bagozzi model and indicated that service employee attitudes influence the level of customer satisfaction because positive mood or job satisfaction facilitates pro-

social behaviours of employees in organisations. It has, therefore, been suggested that happy or satisfied employees may share these emotions with customers which, in turn, may lead to customer satisfaction (Schmit et al., 1995). Schmit et al. (1995) noticed further that the pro-social behaviour of employees resulted in subsequent customer service behaviour which led to the provision of quality service.


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Employee Satisfaction on Cruise Ships
The University of Surrey  (School of Management)
70 (distinction), 1.0
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Employee, Satisfaction, Cruise, Ships
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Ina Kronberg (Author), 2003, Employee Satisfaction on Cruise Ships, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/136465


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