Factors contributing to job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction in six occupational groups

Marvin D. Dunnette, John P Campbell, Milton D. Hakel

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The taxonomy of job situations suggested by Herzberg et al. [Personnel Psychology, 1959, 18, 393-402] was used to develop two Q-sort decks of 36 statements each, one describing satisfying job situations, the other describing dissatisfying job situations. Subjects in six occupational groups used these Q-sort decks in counterbalanced order to describe previously satisfying and dissatisfying job situations. Mean job-dimension scores for each type of situation for each occupational group were computed. Also, two (one for satisfying situations, one for dissatisfying situations) person-person correlation matrices were developed for each of the six occupational groups, and Q-type factor analyses carried out on them. Results show that the Herzberg two-factor theory is a grossly oversimplified portrayal of the mechanism by which job satisfaction or dissatisfaction comes about. Satisfaction or dissatisfaction can reside in the job content, the job context, or both jointly. Moreover, certain job dimensions-notably Achievement, Responsibility, and Recognition-are more important for both satisfaction and dissatisfaction than certain other job dimensions-notably Working Conditions, Company Policies and Practices, and Security. Results of other recent studies are reviewed which, along with results of this one, lead us to conclude that the two factor theory should be laid to rest so as to reduce the danger of further research or administrative decisions being dictated by its seductive simplicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-174
Number of pages32
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Performance
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1967


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