An empirical study on the significance of religiosity and spirituality for job satisfaction in public service
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University of Baltimore. College of Public Affairs
University of Baltimore. Doctor of Public Administration
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The purpose of the research is to learn if religiosity and spirituality significantly predict job satisfaction in public service. The research study also addresses for whom or under what conditions religiosity and spirituality have a significant expected variance of determinacy for significantly predicting job satisfaction in public service. Prior research studies on workplace spirituality on private businesses are common while the research on workplace spirituality within public institutions is limited. The prior research supports that religiosity and spirituality affect the management of work-forces and job satisfaction in both private businesses and public institutions. To be efficient, the public consensus is for public institutions to adopt the technical-rational management approach. Research, however, finds that the technical-rational management approach popular in private businesses erodes substantive democracy values necessary for job satisfaction in public service. The research study supports the existence of an evolution of job and life satisfaction for individuals. The evolution starts with self-sufficiency necessary to survive. Self-sufficiency changes to the wants of economic self-interest for satisfaction with job and life. Then economic individualism, with further development of the capitalist system in the U.S., becomes the basis for satisfaction with job and life. However, increasing materialism fails to provide overall satisfaction for many individuals. As such, materialism diminishes in importance to be replaced by self-actualization. The self-fulfillment of being the best person possible through self-actualization becomes the top motivation for overall satisfaction with job and life. A natural progression occurs with self-actualization being replaced by self-transcendence for the ultimate need for satisfaction with job and life. Self-transcendence only require the belief that something is superior to mankind. For satisfaction with job and life, self-transcendence aligns with a belief in a superior being or the existence of a God. As such, that belief exists in measurable amounts of religiosity and spirituality in public service. The findings of the research study include that measurable amounts of religiosity and spirituality significantly predict job satisfaction in public service. The research on the prediction of job satisfaction is important because of the imminent retirement loss of 640,000 federal employees. Hopefully, knowledge about the prediction of job satisfaction can help increase retention and hiring in public service.Through factor analysis, the significant prediction of job satisfaction starts by building the dimensions of religiosity, work environment, work relationship, and job growth. To test these dimensions, the research study uses the survey responses from 1,179 public-service workers in the 2006 version and in the 2010 version of the General Social Survey (GSS). The moderator religiosity and spirituality variables interact with four dimensions and demographic variables. The study’s results from multiple regression find that religiosity significantly predicts job satisfaction for all of the workers; however, spirituality fails to significantly predict job satisfaction for all of the workers in the research study. With the religiosity moderator variable, an increase of religiosity for public-service workers results in an increase of job satisfaction, too. However, with the spirituality moderator variable, an increase of spirituality for public-service workers results in a subsequent decrease of job satisfaction. In workplaces that support job growth, an increase of religiosity results in a decrease of job satisfaction for all of the workers in the research study. The research study believes that Public Service Motivation (PSM) is congruent with religiosity and spirituality. Prior research finds that PSM is significant for job satisfaction in public service. The current research offers that by association PSM, religiosity, and spirituality significantly predict job satisfaction in public service. The current study agrees with prior research that ignoring religiosity and spirituality while concentrating on extrinsic incentives “crowds out” intrinsic motives and hinders job satisfaction in public service. Effective job designs, clear tasks, and goals are congruent with PSM, religiosity, and spirituality. The study’s conclusion is that the congruence supports that religiosity and spirituality significantly predict job satisfaction in public service.