Problem

Lack of job satisfaction


Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Insufficiencies within employment
Unrewarding work
Insufficient job benefits
Job dissatisfaction
Nature:
Boredom and frustration in work resulting from lack of interest, involvement, responsibility or authority leads to absenteeism, poor quality work and low productivity from the employer's point of view and psychological distress on the part of the employee.
Incidence:
Job dissatisfaction varies from one individual to another but some professions and working environments particularly in industrial society, do organize work in such a way that it becomes meaningless, boring or stultifying. Alienating and dehumanizing work is associated with modern highly-mechanized methods of production and decision-making structures. A survey carried out in the USA showed that, if they could start again, 93% of university professors would try to get into similar work. The corresponding figure for car workers, the least satisfied group, was 16%. In the auto industry, for example, the absence rate on Mondays and Fridays is staggering - 15 to 20%. There is also evidence of massive alcoholism under such circumstances.

In 1999 in the European Union, just over a third of those who had jobs were satisfied with them. Nearly half of them, and more women than men, would have liked to work shorter hours, while just one in 10 would have liked to work more, with men outnumbering women in this case.

Claim:
Work is a form of living with its own intrinsic rewards. Any way of organizing work which is at odds with this idea, which treats work instrumentally, as a means only to other ends, is inhuman. No-one enjoys his work if he is a machine. A man enjoys his work when he understands the whole and when he is responsible for the quality of it. He can only do so when the work which happens in society is undertaken by groups small enough to give people understanding through face-to-face contact, and autonomous enough to let workers participate in organizing their work. Today, more people are waking up to the absurdity of being well-fed, educated and housed, the pampered master of the machine at home, but its tethered tenant while at work.
Counter Claim:
Rational labour utilization and productivity are essential conditions for a sustained increase in production leading to improved living standards, particularly among the poorest groups. Workers are more interested in a better life outside their job, so job enrichment is not something unions have been pressing for.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
16.12.1999 – 00:00 CET