Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Job satisfaction refers to an individual's subjective well-being at work. Because of its subjective nature, job satisfaction has not received much attention by mainstream economists in the United States. However, job satisfaction has long been a primary concern of industrial and organizational psychologists and sociologists. Interest in job satisfaction developed out of, or in response to, early theories of individual work motivation used by industrial engineers in the early 20th century. Following the work of Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856–1915) on so-called scientific management, much of the focus of industrial engineering during the 20th century was based on the theory that workers will shirk or avoid work, if possible, and therefore need to be coerced to expend maximal effort, primarily through close supervision and properly designed wage incentives. An early competing theory of motivation came from the “human relations” movement and, in particular, the work of George Elton Mayo (1880–1949). Based ...