WORK BEHAVIOR TYPES, JOB SATISFACTION, AND
ATTRITION IN MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY
SYBIL AURIEL WELLSTOOD
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
The author thanks Dr. Margaret Morgan for her time, expertise,
and guidance as chairperson of the doctoral committee. She also
thanks Drs. James Hensel, Herman Baer, Sylvia Coleman, and Gordon
Lawrence for serving as committee members.
A special acknowledgement goes to Dr. John Nickens who provided
valuable assistance with the Marcus Paul Placement Profile and data
The author is grateful for the cooperation and support of the
chief medical technologists and administrators in participating
facilities. She is also indebted to the technologists and former
technologists who provided the data for this study.
Finally, the author thanks John, a special friend, who provided
support, encouragement, a sympathetic ear, and numerous chocolate bars
during this ordeal.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . .
ABSTRACT . . . .
I INTRODUCTION . . .
Background . .
Statement of the Problem .
Delimitations and Limitations
Justification for the Study
Assumptions . .
Definition of Terms .
Organization of the Study .
II REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE . .
Organization of the Chapter .
Job Satisfaction .
Definition . .
Measures . .
History . .
Intrinsic Factors and Job Satisfaction
Extrinsic Factors and Job Satisfaction
Individual Differences .
Definition . .
Personal and Demographic Predictor Variables
Organizational and Work Environment Variables
SJob Content Variables . .
Attitudinal Variables . .
Availability of Alternatives . .
Turnover Models . .
Work Behavior Type . ... .
Definition . . .
Industrial Psychology . .
Educational Psychology .. ... .
Theories of Vocational Development .
History of Work Behavior Types .
Marcus Paul Placement Profile .
Job Satisfaction, Attrition, Work Behavior Typl
Medical Technologists . .
III DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY . ... 72
Design . . . 72
Population . . .. 73
Data Collection .... . . 73
Instrumentation . . .. 76
Job Descriptive Index. . .. 76
Marcus Paul Placement Profile. . .. 77
Questionnaires for Practicing and Former Medical
Technologists . .. .. 79
Data Treatment and Analysis . .. 79
IV RESULTS . . .. 81
Description of Population. . ... 81
Practicing Medical Technologists . 81
Former Medical Technologists . .. 83
Research Questions . . .. 87
Chapter Summary. . . .107
V SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS .. .109
Problem and Procedures . .. 109
Conclusions. . . .112
Implications .... . ... 113
Recommendations . . 115
A LETTER TO CHIEF MEDICAL TECHNOLOGISTS. ... 118
B INSTRUMENTS . . 120
C LETTER TO PRACTICING MEDICAL TECHNOLOGISTS .. 127
D LETTER TO FORMER MEDICAL TECHNOLOGISTS . 129
LIST OF REFERENCES .... . . .130
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . .. 143
Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
WORK BEHAVIOR TYPES, JOB SATISFACTION, AND
ATTRITION IN MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY
Sybil Auriel Wellstood
Chairman: Margaret Morgan
Major Department: Curriculum and Instruction
Job dissatisfaction and attrition are major concerns in medical
technology. The purpose of this study was to identify work behavior
types of medical technologists and to determine their relationship to
job satisfaction and attrition. Information generated by this work
could be useful in counseling and matching the right person to the
Ninety-two bench-level technologists employed in hospital and
nonhospital laboratories and 19 former technologists employed in a
variety of occupations comprised the sample. The Job Descriptive
Index measured job satisfaction. The Marcus Paul Placement Profile
indicated work behavior type. A questionnaire provided demographic data.
The majority of technologists were females (78.3%) with more than
5 years experience. One third expected to leave medical technology and
22.8% expected to leave within the coming year. Most received
inadequate career counseling prior to choosing medical technology;
three fourths indicated information about work behavior types would have
helped in career decision making.
Technologists were predominantly Producers and Concentrators.
These types occurred more frequently than in the general population.
Work behavior types among former technologists approximated those of the
general population. Findings are consistent with earlier research on
personality types among medical technologists.
Results indicate that work behavior type relates to overall and
specific aspects of job satisfaction. Inducers indicate higher levels
of overall job satisfaction and satisfaction with promotions than other
types. The relationship between work behavior type and attrition is
equivocable. However, Energizers and Inducers leave at higher rates
than Producers and Concentrators.
Former technologists are more satisfied with their jobs, work,
pay, promotions, and co-workers than practicing technologists in
hospital or nonhospital laboratories. No differences exist in overall
job satisfaction or specific aspects of it among practicing technologists.
Although the sex of the participant does not affect job satisfaction,
sex relates to attrition and may stem from poor salaries received by
technologists compared to others with comparable education.
Attrition from medical technology can be predicted from age, sex,
years experience, satisfaction with promotions, Producer and Energizer
scores. These variables explain 30.4% of the variance in attrition.
Work is a central life activity for the majority of adults in
modern society--more than just a means for earning a living. According
to Terkel (1972), work is
a search, too, for daily meaning as well as daily bread,
for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather
than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a
Monday through Friday sort of dying. Perhaps immortality,
too, is part of the quest. (p. xi)
Since the Industrial Revolution, job dissatisfaction, turnover,
and poor productivity have been growing problems among American
workers. Toeffler (1980) stated that industrialization "drove a
giant invisible wedge into our economy, our psyches, and even our
sexual selves" (p. 53). Industrialization separated production from
consumption and producer from consumer. Mass production brought
synchronization, centralization, specialization, standardization,
concentration, and maximization. Workers lost control over the
processes and outcomes of work. The importance of skill and
creativity diminished and workers no longer felt challenged or
Industrialization also satisfied workers' lower order needs
enabling them to focus on satisfaction inherent in the work itself.
Workers demand that work be satisfying, meaningful, and less
depersonalized. They expect equity and justice in the work place
and sufficient wages to live comfortably, according to the current
standard of living (Yankelovich, 1974). When these demands and
expectations clash with the realities of the world of work,
disappointment, dissatisfaction, and turnover may follow.
Inadequate career planning and improper placement of people in
jobs are central to the problems of job dissatisfaction and turnover.
Poor use of human resources often leads to a mismatch between the
individual and the job. Effective person/job matching is a major
challenge for business, industry, and education today.
This study was designed to provide new insights into the
problems of people/job matching in medical technology. The purpose
was to investigate the relationship among work behavior types, job
satisfaction, and attrition among a selected group of Florida medical
Since the 1970s, medical technology has been expanding to meet
the growing demands of the nation's health care system. Technological
advances have created needs for additional technologists to perform
the increasing numbers of laboratory tests available to physicians for
diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disease. Population growth,
especially for the elderly, greater health awareness by the public,
and widespread availability of health insurance have also, indirectly,
influenced personnel requirements for medical technology. Employment
opportunities will continue to spiral. Projections for the 1980s
indicate that the number of medical technology positions will increase
faster than the average of all occupations (U.S. Bureau of Labor
In 1982, approximately 205,000 medical laboratory workers were
employed in hospitals, independent laboratories, physicians' offices,
clinics, public health agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and
research institutions (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1982). Many
others will be needed to fill new positions and to serve as replacements
for those who retire, die, or leave medical technology for other kinds
The literature contains increasing evidence that the numbers of
technologists will not be sufficient to fill future vacancies. Jeanne
Burson (1981), former president of the American Society for Medical
Technology, indicated that medical technology, like nursing, is facing
a personnel shortage. She attributed this situation, in part, to
insufficient pay for the educational requirements and job responsibilities
demanded by the profession. She also stated that medical technologists
have experienced an "identity crisis." Many feel they do not receive
adequate recognition as health care professionals from the public or
from other health care practitioners.
Studies by Hajek and Blumberg (1982), Myers, Bronstein, and Vojir
(1982), Koneman (1982), and Irwin (1983) on job dissatisfaction and
attrition among medical technologists also agreed with these
observations. More than half of the technologists working today
indicated they would not be active in medical technology within 5 years.
Schools of medical technology are facing declining enrollments.
Some schools have been forced to close or operate with less than full
enrollments. Others have accepted less qualified applicants in order
to remain open (French & Elkins, 1982). These are indications that
schools of medical technology may not graduate sufficient numbers of
technologists to meet the increased demands for these allied health
The current trends in attrition among medical technologists and
the shortage of new graduates could have serious impact on the health
care industry. Koneman (1982) noted that future laboratories might be
staffed by inexperienced, less qualified individuals. The National
Commission for Health Certifying Agencies (cited in Irwin, 1983) also
expressed concerns about the effects of technologists' dissatisfaction
and attrition on the quality and accuracy of laboratory results.
High turnover not only compromises the quality of patient care;
it also raises the cost of that care because the care must be provided
by fewer people at higher rates (Price & Mueller, 1981). Karni,
Studer, and Carter (1981) found that laboratory personnel were among
the most expensive hospital employees to replace. Simpson and LaValle
(1983) estimated that turnover costs for a vacated staff technologist
position could run as high as $7,458. These costs are eventually
passed along to the patient consumer, making health care an expensive
Attrition also represents a waste of human resources, with
psychosocial implications for individuals, organizations, and society.
Greenberg (1979) indicated that 80% of the people working today are not
matched to the right job. Not surprisingly, a majority of American
workers are dissatisfied with their jobs and would not voluntarily
choose the same work again if given the opportunity (Special Task Force
to the Secretary of H.E.W., 1973).
In a recent study by Irwin (1983), medical technologists expressed the
During the past 20 years, the rising educational level of American
workers has increased their expectations and demands for useful,
satisfying work. However, the realities of the job may not fulfill
these expectations. Furthermore, the capabilities of the employee
often do not match the requirements of the job (Jelinik, 1979). Under
these conditions, the worker fails to achieve self-actualization,
becomes dissatisfied with the job, and sometimes leaves the organization.
Medical technology students are prepared to assume a collaborative
role with physicians and become members of the health care team. In
addition to being trained to perform tests and report results, they are
trained to interpret the significance of those results. However, poor
communications and rivalries between technologists and the medical staff
preclude technologist involvement in patient care at this higher level.
Recent advances in automation have also reduced the technical expertise
required to perform tests. Yet employers tend to "overhire" and
technologists find themselves in relatively low paying, routine jobs
that provide little opportunity for self-actualization, esteem, or
upward mobility. The brightest and best recruits may also become the
most dissatisfied workers and move on to more challenging fields.
Therefore, placement and training decisions must be based on additional
Although organizations claim that human resources are their most
important asset, they do little to match an individual's skills,
knowledge, interests, aptitudes, or work behavior preferences to
available jobs. Jelinik (1979) stated that even the most progressive
organizations lacked expertise in the area of person/job matching.
Many use outdated selection and placement methods that include
evaluation of past work history, educational background, interviews,
and reference checks. Occasionally these subjective techniques may
be supplemented by objective, job-related tests (Silver & Berke, 1981).
During the past 10 years, industrial psychologists and other
researchers have contributed useful knowledge and methods for a more
rational approach to matching people to jobs or students to careers.
Recent studies in the personnel selection literature provide a greater
understanding of the basic structures and taxonomies of human
characteristics. Others have suggested significantly improved methods
for measuring the behavioral components of jobs and job performance
dimensions (Dunnette & Borman, 1979). McCormick's (1976) task
inventory technology has provided a basis for job analysis techniques
used to infer the personal attributes important for doing a job. The
development of job samples has permitted evaluation of a candidate's
proficiency in performing the tasks involved in the job. Job samples
have been useful for jobs requiring motor skills and are more valid
than other types of tests in reflecting an individual's performance
level (Asher & Sciarrino, 1974).
Dunnette and Borman (1979) conceptualized the ideal counseling and
placement system of the future: a data bank containing the parameters
of available jobs and the attributes of available persons. Standardized
task checklists, scorable in terms of behavioral and attribute
categories, would be used to derive job parameters. Job candidates or
students would use similar checklists to record previous experience,
preferences, and estimated capabilities. Scores generated according
to job and attribute categories would be referred to the data bank for
job matching. Aptitude tests, job knowledge tests, job samples, and
simulations would provide additional data for individual and organizational
Recent studies by Bauch (1981) and Glenn (1982) indicated that an
individual's work patterns or work behavior traits also played an
important role in job matching and recommended additional research in
this area. The assumption is that effective job matching will maximize
use of human resources and decrease job dissatisfaction, poor
productivity, and turnover.
As previously discussed, job dissatisfaction and attrition are
major concerns in medical technology. In the interest of providing
new insights into these problems, this investigator examined the
relationships among work behavior type, job satisfaction, and attrition
among Florida medical technologists.
Statement of the Problem
The problem of this study was to determine the relationships
among work behavior type, job satisfaction, attrition, and demographic
variables of medical technologists in Florida. The study was developed
to answer the following research questions:
1. What are the work behavior types of medical technologists
in Florida as measured by the Marcus Paul Placement Profile?
2. Does a relationship exist between the work behavior type
of technologists and overall job satisfaction as measured
by the Job Descriptive Index?
3. Does a relationship exist between work behavior types and
specific aspects of job satisfaction as determined by the
subscales of the Job Descriptive Index?
4. Do participants' work behavior types relate to attrition
or the intention to leave medical technology?
5. Do medical technologists working in hospitals differ in
overall job satisfaction from those working in nonhospital
laboratories or other fields?
6. Do medical technologists working in hospitals differ in
specific aspects of job satisfaction from those working
in nonhospital laboratories or other fields?
7. Does a relationship exist between the sex of the
participant and job satisfaction?
8. Does a relationship exist between the sex of the
participant and attrition or the intention to leave
9. Can some combination of demographic variables, work
behavior type, and job satisfaction predict attrition
of Florida medical technologists?
Delimitations and Limitations
This study was delimited by the following factors:
1. The subjects of this study were practicing and former staff
medical technologists in Florida holding, at least, a
Bachelor of Science degree.
2. Information on work behavior type was confined to that
measured by the Marcus Paul Placement Profile.
3. Information about job satisfaction was restricted to the
facets measured by the Job Descriptive Index.
The following limitations were also observed in this study:
1. Medical technologists volunteered to participate in this
study. There is no assurance they are representative of
the population of medical technologists in Florida or
medical technologists in general. Therefore, results may
not be generalizable to other populations of technologists.
2. The design of the study made it impossible to manipulate the
Justification for the Study
Medical technologists are dissatisfied with their jobs and are
leaving the profession to work in other areas. Karni et al. (1982)
estimated that the overall turnover rate among laboratory personnel
in Minneapolis hospitals ranged between 15% and 20%. An estimated
43% of those resignations were avoidable. Investigators have
identified many sources of dissatisfaction and attrition and have
made many recommendations to remedy the situation. Although these
proposals have merit, they have not alleviated the problem. Attrition
among medical technologists not only impairs the delivery of health
services; it represents a significant threat to the quality and cost
of health care. Immediate solutions are required to reduce the
attrition rate and reduce personnel shortages in medical technology.
Research indicates that people exhibit a particular pattern of
behaviors and qualities in the working situation (Geier, 1979). When
individuals have information about their work behavior styles and they
are matched to jobs requiring and encouraging those styles, they have
a greater opportunity for success and job satisfaction. The right "fit"
between employee and job also decreases the likelihood that the employee
will become frustrated and quit.
If information were available on the work behavior types of
medical technologists who enjoyed their work and intended to remain in
the profession, major efforts could be directed toward matching people
with these profiles to jobs and educational programs. This study was
designed to add to the limited research on work behavior types.
Findings may also provide new insights into the problems of job
satisfaction and attrition among medical technologists as these
problems relate to people/job matching.
Results of the study may also have implications for career
planning, academic advising, and planning effective educational and
training programs for medical technologists. Advisors, counselors,
students, and employers may use the information as a basis for a
more systematic approach to hiring and career selection. Program
developers may apply the results in developing instructional strategies
that would foster and enhance work behaviors essential for success in
This study is based on the following assumptions:
1. Participants answered the surveys honestly and responses
accurately reflect their attitudes and preferences.
2. The Marcus Paul Placement Profile is a valid and reliable
instrument for measuring work behavior type of medical
3. The Job Descriptive Index is a valid, reliable measure of
4. Responses to behavioral intention questions predict
Definition of Terms
Medical technologist. An individual who has completed four years
of college with a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology or
a Bachelor of Science degree that includes 16 hours of chemistry, 16
hours of biology, and one semester of math and is qualified to perform
laboratory tests that require the exercise of independent judgment and
responsibility under the supervision of the laboratory director or
Job satisfaction. A participant's score in the Job Descriptive
Attrition. As used in this study, the loss of medical
technologists to other fields or professions.
Marcus Paul Placement Profile (MPPP). An instrument designed to
measure work behavior type (described more fully in Chapter II).
Work behavior type. A description of an individual's general
qualities and behaviors as they relate to the work situation and
derived from responses on the Marcus Paul Placement Profile.
Job Descriptive Index (JDI). An instrument designed to measure
job satisfaction (described more fully in Chapter III).
Organization of the Study
The remainder of this study is organized into four chapters.
Chapter II presents a review of the literature and research on job
satisfaction, attrition, and development of work behavior types. It
concludes with a review of the literature on these topics as they
relate to medical technologists.
Chapter III describes the design and methodology of the study.
It contains the research design, population, data collection,
instrumentation, and procedures.
Chapter IV contains the results of the study, including data
analysis, and discussion.
Chapter V includes a summary of the study, conclusions about the
findings, implications, and recommendations for additional research.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Organization of the Chapter
This review covers four areas. The first section presents an
overview of research on job satisfaction. This is followed by a review
of the literature on turnover, including the relationship between job
satisfaction and turnover. The next section consists of research and
theories leading to the development of work behavior types and the
Marcus Paul Placement Profile. The final section provides a synthesis
of the research on job satisfaction, attrition, and career development
in medical technology.
According to Locke (1976), more than 3,000 articles, books, and
dissertations have been written about job satisfaction. Gruneberg
(1979) stated it was one of the most researched topics in psychology.
Because job satisfaction impacts on the well-being of individuals,
organizations, and society, it is not surprising to find a large
volume of research on this subject.
Numerous definitions of job satisfaction have emerged from these
studies and researchers do not agree on a single, universal definition
of the term (Locke, 1969). Davis (1977) related job satisfaction to
the fit between employee and job. For him, it was
the favorableness or unfavorableness with which employees
view their work. It results when there is a fit between job
characteristics and the wants of employees. It expresses
the amount of congruence between one's expectations of the
job and the rewards that the job provides. (p. 74)
Smith, Kendall, and Hulin (1969) defined job satisfaction as "feelings
or affective responses to facets of the situation" (p. 6). Wanous
and Lawler (1972) listed nine different operational definitions,
theoretically based on need fulfillment, equity, or work values.
Porter and Steers (1973) defined job satisfaction as the "sum total of
an individual's met expectations on the job" (p. 167).
The term job satisfaction is, however, distinguished from the
term morale. The former refers to an individual's response to the
job and the latter term refers to group well-being (Gruneberg, 1979).
Job satisfaction has also been measured by a variety of
objective, descriptive, or projective instruments. Many investigators
have devised new instruments or altered others to meet the demands of
their particular study. Objective surveys contain questions with
pre-determined responses. Descriptive surveys allow respondents an
opportunity for unstructured replies and questions are open-ended.
Psychologists devise and administer projective surveys to assess
mental health, usually in nonwork settings (Davis, 1977).
Herzberg (1966) used a form of descriptive survey called the
critical incident technique to collect data on job satisfaction.
He asked workers to think of a time when they felt especially good
or bad about their jobs. While this technique has been popular, it
has also been criticized (Gardner, 1977).
Wanous and Lawler (1972) determined that different measures of
job satisfaction may not assess the same variables and concluded there
was no one best way to measure this construct. In a later review of
the literature, Gruneberg (1979) drew the same conclusion and added
that the best measure of job satisfaction depended on the variables
However, the Job Descriptive Index (JDI) developed by Smith,
Kendall, and Hulin (1969) has been regarded as the most reliable,
carefully developed, and researched instrument for measuring job
satisfaction. After examining inventories and terms used by previous
investigators to describe the same or similar facts, Smith and
co-workers found five common factors in these inventories. They
included a general factor, a pay and material rewards factor, the work
itself, a supervision factor, and a factor related to other workers on
the job. These factors formed the five subscales of the JDI and
measured satisfaction with work, pay, opportunities for promotion,
supervision, and co-workers.
Historically, industrial psychologists have been interested in
job satisfaction since the early 1900s. In 1911, Frederick Taylor
brought principles of scientific management to the work setting.
Using time and motion studies at the Bethlehem steelworks, he redesigned
equipment, simplified, fragmented, and compartmentalized work tasks,
and placed workers under continuous supervision. Although primarily
concerned with increasing productivity and efficiency, Taylor also
called attention to the importance of the human element in getting the
In the 1920s, the "human relations" school of thought on job
satisfaction emerged from the Hawthorne studies conducted by Elton
Mayo (1933). Like Taylor, Mayo sought to find ways to improve
productivity by altering physical work conditions. However, he also
observed that human relationships within the organization were more
important to the workers. He contended that "friendly" relationships
between employees and supervisors or between co-workers led to job
satisfaction. Job satisfaction, in turn, led to higher productivity.
Hoppock (1935) published results of several studies on job
satisfaction. He used survey methods and attitude scales to collect
his data. He concluded job satisfaction consisted of many factors.
The presence of these factors in the work situation led to satisfaction
while their absence led to job dissatisfaction. He also examined the
relationship among job satisfaction, life satisfaction, and mental
health. In a survey involving 500 teachers, 21% of the least
satisfied teachers were from unhappy homes, compared to only 6% of
the teachers expressing high satisfaction.
Campbell, Dunnette, Lawler, and Weik (1970) classified current
theories of satisfaction as either content or process theories.
Content theories relate to factors that motivate people to work and
process theories are intended to explain job satisfaction in terms of
the interaction between the individual's needs and what the job actually
Maslow's (1943) needs hierarchy theory is a major content theory.
He explained the dynamics of job satisfaction in terms of fulfilling
individual needs. Maslow arranged human needs in an ascending hierarchy.
Lower-order needs were (a) basic physiological needs, (b) safety and
security needs, and (c) social (affection) needs. Higher-order needs
were (d) esteem and (e) self-actualization. Lower-order needs had to
be satisfied before higher-order needs could assume importance.
However, once a need was met, it no longer served as a motivator.
Building on Maslow's work, Herzberg, Mausner, and Snyderman (1959)
formulated the two-factor theory of job satisfaction. They claimed
that two classes of work variables, the motivators and hygiene factors,
influenced job satisfaction. Motivators were intrinsic factors such
as achievement, recognition, advancement, responsibility, and the
inherent interest of the work itself. When present in a job,
motivators were satisfiers because they had a positive effect on
employee output. Achievement was the strongest motivator followed by
recognition. Motivators correspond to Maslow's higher-order needs.
Hygiene factors were extrinsic to the job and included pay,
security, supervision, and physical working conditions. They were
analogous to Maslow's lower-order needs. When absent from the job,
they were linked to dissatisfaction. However, Herzberg and associates
clearly pointed out that the presence of a hygiene factor doesn't
automatically produce job satisfaction and the absence of a motivator
doesn't necessarily lead to dissatisfaction.
Vroom's (1964) expectancy theory is representative of process
theories. He proposed that job satisfaction depended on the degree to
which a job met the individual's needs. Motivation depended on the
workers' perceptions of the likelihood that their needs would be
satisfied. Individuals ascribe valences to job outcomes such as
higher pay, promotion, peer approval, and recognition, according to
their perceived importance in satisfying various needs. Workers also
assign a valence to the expectancy or their perception of the likelihood
the outcome will actually materialize. Motivation is a product of the
valence of expectancy times the valence of the outcome.
Porter and Lawler (1968) expanded and refined Vroom's model. They
developed a multivariable model to explain the complex relationship
among motivation, satisfaction, and performance. They claimed that
the amount of effort or motivation expended by an employee depended on
the interaction between the value of the reward for them and the
perceived effort-reward probability. Effort leads to performance and
the level of performance depends on the employee's abilities, traits,
and role expectations as well as the amount of effort expended. The
rewards that follow performance and how they are perceived affect job
According to the Porter and Lawler model, job satisfaction
depends on the extent to which rewards measure up to the individual's
perceived equitable level of those rewards. In contrast to previous
models, in this model the theorists recognize that job satisfaction
is only partially determined by actual rewards received. The
employee's perceptions of what the rewards should be for a given
level of performance also play a significant role in satisfaction.
Furthermore, this model states that satisfaction depends on performance
and not the reverse.
Equity theorists are also process theorists who examine job
satisfaction in terms of the equity in treatment workers perceive they
receive compared to the treatment others receive in a similar job.
Adams (1965) argued that the degree of equity or inequity perceived by
an employee is compared to other workers and forms the basis for job
satisfaction and motivation. Employees contribute Inputs (skills,
personal traits, and experiences) to a job. They receive Outputs
(salary, promotions, praise) from the work. They form a ratio of
Inputs to Outputs and compare it to other workers. The ratio must be
perceived as equal for the worker to be satisfied.
Recently, attribution theory and locus of control have become
important for understanding job satisfaction. Attribution theorists
claim that an individual's perceived behavior is determined by
internal forces (personal attributes such as ability, effort,
fatigue) and external forces (environmental attributes such as rules
or the weather). People behave differently when they perceive internal
as compared to external attributes (Luthans, 1981).
Locus of control explains work behavior in terms of employees'
perceptions of internally or externally controlled outcomes.
Perceived locus of control has an impact on job performance and
satisfaction. Mitchell, Smyser, and Weed (1975) tested the
attribution/locus of control model and found that internally
controlled employees are generally more satisfied with their jobs
than employees who perceive external control.
Intrinsic Factors and Job Satisfaction
Herzberg et al. (1959) were the earliest investigators to point
out the importance of changes in the actual job performed as a
necessary factor for increasing job satisfaction. Success, recognition,
appreciation of skills, the feeling of doing something worthwhile, and
job involvement are content or intrinsic factors of the actual job
performed that affect job satisfaction.
Locke (1965) demonstrated that success at a task increased job
satisfaction because success enhanced self-esteem. However, the
individual had to perceive the task as being important (Nord, 1977).
Many individuals also require external validation of their successes
and achievements in the form of tangible recognition (promotion,
merit pay increase) or intangible recognition (praise). In one study,
workers rated recognition by supervisors and colleagues as a major
source of job satisfaction (Locke, 1976).
Workers must also be able to use their skills or abilities to
feel successful at a job. Walker and Guest (1952) studied the
relationship of skill level to job satisfaction among automobile
production workers. They found job satisfaction was related to the
amount of skill required and to the number of operations performed in
Hackman and Lawler (1971) examined the relationship of job
satisfaction to job variety, job autonomy, job identity, and feedback.
Findings on job variety agreed with those of Walker and Guest (1952).
However, Hackman and Lawler (1971) added that not all employees
preferred task variety in their jobs. Individuals with little interest
in meeting higher-order needs were satisfied with repetitive work.
The degree of job autonomy (the extent to which individuals make
decisions about their jobs) was also positively correlated to job
satisfaction. Workers free to choose their own methods and pace of
work were satisfied. Task identity or wholeness of the work was
important for job satisfaction among workers with higher-order needs.
They had to perform an entire piece of work for it to have meaning
and be satisfying.
Lodahl and Kejner (1965), Weissenberg and Gruenfield (1968), and
Hall, Schneider, and Nygren (1970) reported a positive correlation
between job satisfaction and job involvement. Job involvement is the
extent to which an individual identifies with a particular job
(Gruneberg, 1979). Individual attitudes toward work (Lodahl, 1964),
strength of higher-order needs (Hackman & Lawler, 1971), and the
organizational structure or situation (Argyris, 1964; Rabinowitz &
Hall, 1977) influence job involvement. However, little is known
about how individuals develop an interest in a particular job
Extrinsic Factors and Job Satisfaction
Although intrinsic factors are generally regarded as most
important for job satisfaction, extrinsic or context factors also play
a significant role. These factors include pay, job security, work
groups, and supervision.
Pay is an important aspect of job satisfaction. It provides more
to individuals than the means to purchase goods and services. Pay is
often associated with achievement, recognition, and worth; Wernimont
and Fitzpatrick (1972), however, found significant individual
differences in the meaning of money according to the stage of career
development, experiences, sex, economic status, and personality of the
The actual level of pay is not as important to job satisfaction
as the relative level. According to the equity theorists (discussed
earlier), workers compare themselves to other workers in terms of
Inputs and Outputs. Individuals weigh the equity of their pay in
terms of their skills, amount of effort, responsibility, and
experience compared to pay received by similar workers. Dissatisfaction
occurs when the pay received is not perceived as equitable (Warr &
Many individuals rate job security as a leading factor for job
satisfaction. It is one of Herzberg's Hygiene factors and, when
absent, causes job dissatisfaction. When it is present, however, it
is unimportant. Our society places a high value on work. Individuals
associate having a job with competence and worth. Siassi, Crocetti,
and Spiro (1975) identified a higher incidence of mental illness in
the unemployed compared to others. Herzberg, Mausner, Peterson, and
Capwell (1957) pointed out the importance of the work group and social
aspects of the job for job satisfaction. Maslow (1943) also included
needs for social interaction as a basic lower-order need. Walker and
Guest (1952) demonstrated that workers with isolated jobs were more
dissatisfied than others. In addition, Van Zelst (1952) found that job
satisfaction, turnover, and productivity improved when workers were
permitted to select their work mates. Workers of similar backgrounds,
skills, and values formed cohesive work groups. These groups also
provided support, generated feelings of self-esteem from being valued
by others, and were a source of satisfaction derived from cooperating
with others to achieve common goals.
Supervision is another extrinsic factor involved in job satisfaction.
The "human relations" school of management regarded "friendly" supervision
as vital for the improvement of job satisfaction. The Hawthorne studies
related increased productivity to increases in friendly supervision.
However, these results have been questioned and increased productivity
may have resulted in friendlier supervision (Gruneberg, 1979).
Weed, Mitchell, and Moffitt (1976) examined the relationship
between leadership style and job satisfaction. They distinguished
between employee-oriented leaders who established personal relationships
with employees and were pleasant and leaders who were task-oriented and
saw the group as a vehicle for achieving production targets.
Task-oriented leaders also initiated and organized the work. However,
Warr and Wall (1975) pointed out that task-oriented leaders were not
necessarily the opposites of employee-oriented leaders. Task-oriented
leaders also demonstrated concern for employees while organizing the
House (1971) stated that different groups of workers wanted and
expected different styles of leadership. Unskilled and semi-skilled
workers resented the task-oriented supervisor. High-level workers
found this type of supervision satisfying because it helped them achieve
One of the major sources of discontent among workers is the
feeling that they have no say in what happens to them. A number of
studies have indicated that a democratic style of leadership increases
job satisfaction and cooperation (Coch & French, 1949; Startup &
Gruneberg, 1973). Workers usually indicate a desire to participate in
decision making, especially when the decision directly affects them
(Hespe & Wall, 1976). Employee participation in decision making not
only results in higher job involvement and greater commitment to the
decisions made, it also produces better decisions, develops group
cohesion, and establishes group norms (Argyle, 1972). The Japanese
have capitalized on participatory management theories. Their success
as world leaders in technology has been largely attributed to this
management style (Ouchi, 1981).
Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snoek, and Rosenthal (1964) and Keller (1975)
studied job satisfaction in terms of role ambiguity and role conflict.
Individuals experience role conflict when the behaviors expected of
them are inconsistent with the behaviors they expect of themselves.
They experience role ambiguity when expectations are unknown or unclear.
Role ambiguity and role conflict in the job situation often create
stress and job dissatisfaction. However, there are differences related
to the occupational level of the worker (Kahn et al., 1964; Schuler,
1977). Role ambiguity was more stressful for higher level personnel
in organizations, whereas lower level personnel experienced more job
dissatisfaction when role conflict existed.
Organizational climate or the quality of the total workplace
environment also affects job satisfaction. However, Friedlander and
Margulies (1969), Pritchard and Karasick (1973), and Schneider and
Snyder (1975) pointed out that individual differences played a
significant role in the relationship between these factors. For
example, organizations with high levels of control appealed to workers
with strong needs for security, whereas creative individuals or those
who preferred to participate in decision making favored more democratic
organizations. Supportiveness, concern for social relationships,
progressiveness, harmony, and consideration were important aspects of
organizational climate correlated to high job satisfaction.
In addition to the content and context factors of the job,
individual differences between people affect job satisfaction.
Researchers have considered the influence of age, sex, educational
level, race, cultural background, and personality. However, results
from this area of job satisfaction research have not been as consistent
or reliable as results from other areas.
Herzberg, Mausner, Peterson, and Campbell (1957) found a U-shaped
relationship between age and job satisfaction. Job satisfaction
starts out high in the young worker, declines rapidly, and then rises
again with increasing age. Supposedly, as individuals age they adjust
more easily to work and life situations. Hunt and Saul (1975)
related age and job satisfaction to the sex of the worker and found
significant relationship only in males. Glenn, Taylor, and Weaver
(1977) found a significant relationship in both sexes. Hulin and
Smith (1965) disagreed with the U-shaped relationship between age and
satisfaction. They found that satisfaction declined five years
before retirement. At this stage of a worker's career, opportunities
for growth and promotion usually declined.
Studies relating sex to job satisfaction have also been
contradictory. According to traditional thinking, men and women had
different attitudes and values about work and jobs. Schuler (1975)
stated that women were more interested in the social aspects of the
job, whereas men were interested in self-expression and promotion
opportunities. Herzberg et al. (1957) also reported that males
regarded the intrinsic factors of the job as more important than
females did. Brief and Oliver (1976) found no significant sex-related
differences in work attitudes, particularly when other variables
(occupational level, salary, career orientation) were statistically
Klein and Maher (1966) and Vollmer and Kinny (1955) reported a
negative correlation between education level and job satisfaction.
These findings suggested that employees with higher levels of
education expected more from their jobs and became more dissatisfied
when the job failed to meet those expectations. They also pointed
out the problems in hiring over-qualified individuals for positions,
or unnecessarily raising the academic qualifications for a job.
Herzberg et al. (1957) showed a positive relationship between
education and job satisfaction.
In a 1973 survey conducted by a Special Task Force, job
satisfaction among minority groups was consistently lower than
satisfaction among white workers. However, Jones, James, Bruni, and
Sells (1977) found no differences in overall job satisfaction among
black and white sailors matched by type of job.
The relationship between job satisfaction and personality
factors has not been thoroughly researched (Gruneberg, 1979).
Clearly, however, aspects of personality determine the extent to
which different job characteristics affect an individual's job
For example, McClelland (1961) demonstrated that individuals with
high needs for achievement required challenging jobs to enhance their
self-esteem and provide them with job satisfaction. Steers (1975) found
that individuals with high achievement needs derived job satisfaction
from high levels of job performance. These high achievers became
involved in their jobs when they perceived opportunities for success
and rewards as a result of performance.
Self-esteem is another personality dimension related to job
satisfaction. Warr and Wall (1975) argued that job satisfaction
declines when an individual's self-esteem is threatened. This may
occur when workers are unable to apply skills or are placed in
situations where they compare poorly with other workers.
Korman's (1977) findings on self-esteem and job satisfaction were
comparable to Steer's results for high achievers and job satisfaction.
He demonstrated that those with high self-esteem were satisfied when
they performed well on the job. However, these individuals also
expected rewards for high performance and experienced job dissatisfaction
when they did not receive those rewards.
Many studies have focused on the relationship between personality
type, measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and job
satisfaction. The MBTI is an instrument designed by Myers (1962) to
identify personality type according to dimensions of extraversion (E)
or introversion (I), sensing (S) or intuition (N), thinking (T) or
feeling (F), and judging (J) or perception (P).
Brown's (1973) study of occupational therapists in Florida,
William's (1975) study of medical technologists, and Kuhn's (1981)
study of teachers revealed that extraverts were more satisfied with
their overall careers than introverts. Fellers (1974), French and
Rezler (1976), and Glenn (1982) found no relationship between
personality type and job satisfaction among dietitians, medical
technologists, and vocational education administrators. In 1975,
Clitsome studied job satisfaction and turnover of intensive care (ICU)
and general staff nurses. Among ICU nurses, judging types were more
satisfied than perceptive types. Among general staff nurses, the STJ
types were more satisfied with work than the NFP types.
In summary, job satisfaction is a complex, multifaceted attitude.
A variety of content (success, recognition, appreciation, job variety,
job autonomy, job involvement), context (pay, job security, supervision,
work groups, role ambiguity, role conflict, organizational climate),
and personal factors (age, sex, education level, race, personality type,
tenure) affect an individual's job satisfaction. Job satisfaction, in
turn, impacts on many other aspects of life. The relationship between
job satisfaction and turnover will be discussed in the next section.
This section is a review of literature describing the turnover
process. It will include definitions of turnover, consequences for
the individual and organization, predictor variables (personal,
organizational/work-related, job content, attitudinal), and turnover
Turnover has also been a well researched topic. According to
Steers and Mowday (1981), more than 1000 studies have appeared in the
literature since 1910.
Brayfield and Crockett (1955) described turnover as an extreme
behavior along a continuum of behaviors showing psychological withdrawal
of commitment to a job. Absences, lateness, grievances, strikes, and
sabotage are less extreme forms of withdrawal behavior that may precede
or substitute for turnover when quitting is not a viable option.
Because most turnover is voluntary (Price, 1977), Price and Mueller
(1981) called turnover "a voluntary separation from an organization"
Gillies (1982) classified turnover as unavoidable or avoidable.
Marriage, childbearing, or transfer of a spouse were associated with
unavoidable turnover, where avoidable turnover resulted when a job
failed to meet the employee's needs or expectations.
Turnover has increased significantly in many organizations over
the past 20 years. Turnover rates of 50% to 60% are not unusual
(Silver & Berke, 1981).
Turnover has both negative and positive consequences for the
organization, the individual leaver, and the individual stayer. For
the organization, the cost of replacing one employee is high. Direct
and indirect costs are involved. Direct costs include expenses for
recruiting, selecting, processing, orienting, and training new
employees. Indirect costs are incurred for overtime pay for remaining
employees to complete the work. New employees are also less efficient
and productive during training periods (Gillies, 1982).
Turnover also has-potentially desirable consequences for organizations.
These include replacement of poor performers, opportunities for cost
reduction, consolidation, introduction of new knowledge/technology,
and internal mobility (Mobley, 1982).
The cost of turnover for the individual who decides to leave an
organization may include increased stress, disruption of family and
social life, loss of seniority and nonvested benefits, and moving
expenses. Advantages of quitting could include higher earnings,
career advancement, better person-organization "fit," stimulation from
a new environment, and self-development (Mobley, 1982).
Most researchers have neglected the "stayers" in the turnover
process. Those who remain with the organization may become overburdened
by the increased workload created by the loss of an employee.
Performance may decline as a result of the increased demands and
stress. Morale, commitment, and satisfaction may decrease, especially
if the departing employee voices strong negative opinions about the
job or organization. Leavers may also make others aware that better
jobs are available elsewhere. When the departing employee was a
valued member of the work group, social and communication patterns
may be disrupted by the loss of this employee. On the other hand,
turnover may increase promotion opportunities for those who remain and
the new replacement may fit in better with coworkers (Mobley, 1982).
Personal and Demographic Predictor Variables
Researchers have identified critical factors involved in the
turnover process. Some investigators have examined personal and
demographic variables as predictors of the decision to terminate
employment. These factors include age, tenure, and family
With few exceptions, there is a strong positive relationship
between age and turnover (Muchinsky & Tuttle, 1979). However, Mobley,
Griffeth, Hand, and Meglino (1979) pointed out that age was related to
many other variables and, alone, explained only 7% of the variance in
Tenure in an organization (length of service) is consistently,
inversely related to turnover (Muchinsky & Tuttle, 1979). Mangione
(1973) and Steers (1977) suggested tenure was one of the single best
predictors of turnover behavior.
Family responsibilities, including marital status and number of
dependents, are also associated with turnover. For males, increases
in family responsibilities are inversely related to withdrawal.
However, for females, the relationship depends on the wage earner
status of the employee. When women work as primary wage earners, there
is a negative relationship between family responsibilities and turnover,
whereas for women who are secondary wage earners, increases in family
responsibilities are positively correlated to withdrawal (Federico,
Federico, & Lundquist, 1976).
Schuh (1967) attempted to predict turnover from personality and
vocational inventories and biographical information. Although he
found no relationship between turnover and scores on intelligence,
aptitude, or personality tests, he did find evidence for predicting
turnover from vocational interest inventories and biographical
Organizational and Work Environment Variables
Pay, promotion, supervision, and peer group relations are
organizational and work environment factors related to turnover.
Early studies indicated that low pay and few promotion opportunities
were major reasons for withdrawal (Mobley et al., 1979). Knowles
(1964), Hulin (1968), and Federico, Federico, and Lundquist (1976)
pointed out that the perceived equity of pay and promotion was more
important than the actual pay received in the decision to stay or quit.
Recent studies suggest there is no relationship between pay, promotion,
and turnover (Koch & Steers, 1978; Kraut, 1975; Mobley, Horner, &
These inconsistencies may be attributed to other variables that
mediate the effects of pay satisfaction on turnover. Mobley (1977)
and Mobley et al. (1978) reported that intention to quit and intention
to search for another job were the direct antecedents of turnover.
Pay satisfaction may be more correlated to these variables than to
Motowidlo (1983) examined the relationship between pay
satisfaction, amount of pay, expectations of receiving more satisfying
pay in another job, withdrawal intentions, and actual quitting.
Satisfaction with pay explained 43% of the variance in withdrawal
intentions beyond that explained by age, tenure, general satisfaction,
amount of pay received, and pay expectation. Although the amount of
pay received was weakly correlated to turnover, results suggest it is
strongly associated with pay satisfaction which, in turn, is related to
Saleh, Lee and Prien (1965) demonstrated the importance of
supervisory behavior as a variable in turnover among hospital nurses.
Nurses cited lack of consideration from supervisors as a major reason
for leaving. Ley (1966), Hulin (1968), and Graen and Ginsburgh (1977)
obtained similar results for production and clerical workers.
Bassett (1967) related turnover to the amount of supervisory
experience. Employees supervised by individuals with less than 5 years
of management experience withdrew at a higher rate than employees with
more experienced supervisors.
Although studies, generally, offer support for a negative
relationship between satisfaction with supervision and turnover,
Mobley et al. (1979) identified several recent studies that show no
significant relationship between these variables. The nature of the
leadership measures and the need for multivariate analyses may
explain these results.
Research conducted during the past 10 years on the relationship
between peer group interactions and turnover indicates no significant
correlation between these variables (Mobley et al., 1979). Although
Koch and Steers (1978) found a significant relationship between
satisfaction with co-workers and turnover, only 4% of the variance in
turnover was explained by this factor.
Studies prior to 1973, however, indicated a strong, negative
impact of peer group relations on turnover (Evan, 1973; Farris, 1971;
Hulin, 1968; Schuh, 1967). Porter and Steers (1973) suggested that
individual needs for affiliation played an important role in explaining
discrepant findings in this area of turnover research.
Job Content Variables
Satisfaction with the work itself, task repetitiveness, job
autonomy and responsibility, and role clarity are job content variables
impacting on an employee's decision to terminate employment.
Satisfaction with the work itself is negatively correlated to
turnover. However, it explains less than 16% of the variance in
turnover (Mobley et al., 1979).
Routinization of jobs and task repetitiveness contribute to
turnover. Job stress is an intervening variable. Increases in
routinization result in greater job stress; job stress, in turn, leads
to higher turnover (Porter & Steers, 1973).
Numerous studies (Farris, 1971; Lawler, 1973; Porter & Steers,
1973) indicate that high job autonomy results in low turnover.
However, job satisfaction may be an intervening variable (Price &
Weitz (1956) demonstrated that role clarity played a significant
part in turnover. In a well controlled study, he demonstrated that
applicants who had detailed information about their jobs prior to
employment remained with the organization longer than those who had
little or no information about their jobs. Macedonia (1969) and
Youngberg (1963) drew the same conclusions from their studies.
Lyons (1971) added that the relationship between role clarity and
turnover may depend on individual tolerances for job ambiguity.
Tolerant individuals are not affected by unclear roles, whereas those
low in tolerance for job ambiguity withdraw at a higher rate when roles
are not well defined.
Turnover has also been assessed in terms of attitudinal variables
designed to measure workers' perceptions and feelings about their jobs
and organizations. These variables include job satisfaction,
organizational commitment, satisfaction of expectations, and existence
of perceived conflicting standards.
Research has generally supported the premise that a satisfied
worker will remain with the organization and attend work regularly.
In 1973, Porter and Steers reviewed 60 studies on employee turnover.
They found consistent evidence that job satisfaction represented an
important influence on turnover. The average correlation between these
variables was .25. Although the magnitude of the relationship was
small, it was consistent.
Vroom (1964) described the relationship between turnover and job
satisfaction in terms of his expectancy/valence theory. He theorized
that the decision to leave was a function of the difference in
strength between forces to remain and forces to leave. The force to
remain was reflected in job satisfaction levels. The force to leave
was influenced by the valence of outcomes individuals could not attain
unless they left their present position as well as by the expectancy
that these outcomes could be attained elsewhere.
Hulin's (1966) study is a notable example of research relating
job satisfaction and turnover. Using the JDI, he obtained baseline
job satisfaction measures on all female clerical workers who participated
in the study. Each subject who subsequently left the company during
the next 12 months was matched to two "stayers" along several
demographic variables. The leavers had significantly lower mean job
satisfaction scores than the stayers. Hulin concluded he could predict
leavers, at least on a group basis, using job satisfaction measures.
In 1968, Hulin repeated the study in the same company and obtained
similar results. However, scores on four of the five scales of the JDI
had risen and the turnover rate dropped more than 50%. He linked these
changes to new salary and promotion policies instituted by the company
after the first study.
Recent literature suggests that job satisfaction is indirectly
related to turnover. It may act as a precursor for other behaviors,
constructs, and processes that are more important predictors of
withdrawal (Parasuraman, 1982).
Organizational commitment, involvement, and job attachment have
been the subjects of other investigations on turnover. Porter,
Steers, Mowday, and Boulian (1974) defined organizational commitment
as "the strength of an individual's identification with and involvement
in a particular organization" (p. 604). They found it was significantly
and negatively related to turnover. Intention to remain is a component
of commitment. Porter et al. (1974), Steers (1977), and Marsh and
Mannari (1977) found that commitment had a higher negative correlation
to turnover than job satisfaction.
Koch and Steers (1978) stated that job attachment was significantly
and negatively related to turnover. They defined job attachment as
"an attitudinal response to one's job." While related to organizational
commitment, job attachment focuses more specifically on the job or
occupation rather than on the organization.
Porter and Steers (1973) explained the diverse views on turnover
by a theoretical framework based on met expectations. They proposed
that each individual brings a unique set of expectations for a job to
the employment situation. Individuals are less likely to quit if they
perceive their expectations are being met on the job. The decision to
remain is based on a process of balancing rewards (received or
potential) with expectations. The studies of Farr et al. (1973),
Wanous (1973), and Federico et al. (1976) supported this position.
Availability of Alternatives
Limited research has been conducted on the role of available
alternatives in the turnover process. Woodard (1975-1976) found a
negative relationship between unemployment and turnover and a position
relationship between available jobs and withdrawal rates. Locke
(1976) and Price (1977) also documented the relationship between
economic factors and turnover. Mobley et al. (1978) stated that the
expectancy of finding an acceptable alternative job was significantly
and positively correlated to intention to quit but not to actual
resigning. However, intention to quit was significantly and positively
related to turnover.
Until recently, most of the studies on turnover have been limited
and have failed to provide a comprehensive view of the withdrawal
process. Mobley (1982), Mowday, Porter, and Steers (1982), and Steers
and Mowday (1981) have advocated the development of process-oriented
models of turnover based on multivariate analyses and longitudinal
In 1958, March and Simon proposed a participation model. This
model serves as a basis for many current theoretical models of
turnover that specify the various processes underlying the decision
to withdraw. According to the model, the decision to leave an
organization depends on the individual's perception of the desirability
of movement and ease of movement. The level of job satisfaction
influences desirability to leave. Available alternatives, the current
economy, and the personal characteristics of the individual influence
ease of movement.
Price (1977) extended the March-Simon model by adding a variety
of variables to explain turnover. He suggested that five organizational
factors determined job satisfaction. These were pay, integration
(the degree to which an individual has close friends in the
organization), instrumental communication (degree to which information
about a job is transmitted by an organization to its members), formal
communications, and centralization (degree of autonomy). Job
satisfaction, in turn, combined with opportunity to leave to determine
Mobley (1977) also presented a conceptual model of turnover,
focusing on the intermediate steps between job satisfaction and the
decision to leave. He stated that job dissatisfaction led to thinking
about quitting, intention to search, intention to stay or leave, and,
finally, to actual quitting. He also argued that intention to leave
was a more accurate predictor of actual turnover than job satisfaction.
In 1978, Mobley, Horner, and Hollingsworth evaluated Mobley's
model on 203 hospital employees. Their results supported the accuracy
of the model and the contention that the behavioral intention to leave
was a more important determinant of turnover than job satisfaction.
Behavioral intent correlated .49 to turnover, whereas dissatisfaction
correlated .21 with the decision to withdraw.
Earlier studies by Atchinson and Lefferts (1972), Kraut (1975),
and Waters, Roach, and Waters (1976) also indicated that behavioral
intentions to leave or remain with an organization account for more
variance in turnover than does job satisfaction. Job satisfaction,
however, was a salient precursor of behavioral intentions.
Miller, Katerberg, and Hulin (1979) evaluated the Mobley-Horner-
Hollingsworth (1978) model and proposed a more general model of the
turnover process. They collapsed the seven variables that Mobley and
his coworkers studied into four general constructs: career mobility
(age, tenure, probability of finding another job), job satisfaction,
withdrawal cognitions (intention to quit, intention to search), and
withdrawal behavior (turnover).
Mobley, Griffeth, Hand, and Meglino (1979) presented an expanded
turnover model focusing on behavioral intentions (intention to search,
intention to quit) as the immediate precursor of turnover. The model
also recognized the role of perceptions, expectations, values, and
available job alternatives as factors in the decision to leave an
In 1981, Steers and Mowday proposed a comprehensive, process-oriented
model of turnover. This model incorporated determinants of turnover
from earlier models and featured several new dimensions of the turnover
process. The new variables added to the model included job
expectations, employee performance level, ability to change the work
situation, and nonwork related factors that influenced the decision
to leave. Figure 1 represents this 13-stage model.
Price and Mueller (1981) described a causal model of turnover,
containing 13 variables or "determinants" of turnover. They posited
that routinization (repetitiveness of job), participation, instrumental
communication, integration, pay, distributive justice (rewards or
punishments are related to job inputs) and promotional opportunity
would influence turnover through the intervening variable, job
satisfaction. Job satisfaction, in turn, affected intent to stay.
Professionalism (degree of dedication to occupational standards of
performance), amount of general training, and kinship responsibility
(degree of an individual's obligations to relatives in the community)
a3 i AV
also influenced intent to stay. Intent to stay and opportunity
determine actual turnover.
Arnold and Feldman (1982) tested a multivariate model of turnover
on 654 accountants. The variables in their model were individual
demographic factors, tenure, cognitive/affective orientations to the
position (including multiple measures of job satisfaction and
organizational commitment), job security, perceived availability of
alternatives, intention to search for alternatives, intention to quit,
and actual turnover.
Results indicated that the most powerful model of turnover
behavior contained four significant predicator variables: tenure,
overall job satisfaction, perceived job security, and intention to
search for an alternative position. The results also suggested that
all variables did not influence turnover behavior through their impact
on intentions to change positions. Several variables explained
additional, unique variance in turnover behavior beyond that explained
by intentions. Turnover was more strongly related to intentions to
search for alternatives than to intentions to quit. Intentions to
search for alternatives were, in turn, highly predictable by a
combination of age, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment.
Using the Mobley et al. (1979) model, Youngblood, Mobley, and
Meglino (1983) analyzed turnover among Marine Corps enlistees. The
authors assessed the enlistees over a four-year period on the variables
posited in the model. These were behavioral intentions, expected
utility of the present role, expected utility of alternative roles, and
satisfaction. For subjects who left the Marines both early and later
in the enlistment period, behavioral intentions to continue were
lowest in the period immediately prior to leaving. For those who left
early, the perceived likelihood of finding an alternative job appeared
to influence the turnover decision. Results supported earlier research
that suggested behavioral intentions were a diagnostic precursor of
Rusbult and Farrell (1983) also conducted a longitudinal study of
turnover using an investment model to predict turnover. They stated
that, in general, high rewards (high pay, autonomy, variety) and low
job costs (unexpected variations of workload, numerous deadlines,
inadequate resources, unfair promotion practices) generated higher
employee satisfaction. Job commitment increased with higher rewards,
lower costs, greater investment of resources (years of service,
nonvested benefits, work-related friendships), and less attractive
alternatives. The impact of rewards on job satisfaction and commitment
remained constant over time. However, the effects of job costs and
investments increased with time. Just prior to leaving, the job
commitment of leavers was best predicted by a combination of rewards,
costs, and alternatives.
In summary, numerous variables are involved in the decision to
withdraw. Some variables are organization-related (pay, promotion
policies), whereas others are related to the immediate work
environment (supervision, peer group relations). The content of the
job (nature of the job itself, autonomy, routinization, role clarity),
characteristics of workers (age, tenure, family responsibilities),
their attitudes about the job (overall job satisfaction, satisfaction
of expectations, organizational commitment), and economic factors
(availability of alternatives) influence the withdrawal decision.
Several researchers have developed models incorporating these variables
to explain and predict the turnover process.
Organizations and individuals have also recognized that matching
the right person to the right job influences job satisfaction,
productivity, and turnover. Research on person/job matching and work
behavior type will be reviewed in the next section.
Work Behavior Type
Research on work behavior type itself has been limited. Therefore,
this portion of the review will focus on research related to person/job
matching and work behavior type. It will include a definition of work
behavior, contributions of industrial and educational psychology to
person/job matching, theories of vocational choices, history of work
behavior types, and development of the Marcus Paul Placement Profile.
According to Neff (1969), adult work behavior is "the complex
product of a long series of learned and habitual styles of perceiving
and coping with demands of the environment" (p. 72). Coping behaviors
consolidate to form a particular "work style."
Many researchers have claimed that work behavior is a distinctive
area of human behavior and, therefore, requires separate theories to
explain the behavior of people at work (Neff, 1969; Bass & Barrett,
1974). The field of industrial psychology evolved, specifically, to
address the issues, problems, and behaviors of people in the work
During World War I, industrial psychologists made major
contributions to testing. The Army needed a fast way to place large
numbers of men in optimal assignments. Industrial psychologists
responded by developing a series of psychological tests to match men
to jobs (Siegel & Lane, 1982).
Recently, spiraling labor costs, increased demands for productivity,
international competition, rising costs of turnover, and the
heterogeneity and educational level of the work force have forced
many organizations to examine their personnel selection and placement
procedures (Cascio & Awad, 1981).
Industrial psychologists have responded to these needs by
developing new methods to improve selection and placement programs.
The methods focus on improving the predictive powers of managers in
selecting the individual who can satisfactorily perform a job or work
Traditionally, organizations relied heavily on results from
intelligence, personality, interest, aptitude, or achievement tests
in the selection process. However, the advent of civil rights
legislation and equal employment opportunity guidelines frightened
many organizations into abandoning testing completely (Luthans, 1981).
Interviewing has also been a traditional selection procedure.
Many consider it an art rather than a science (Luthans, 1981).
Evidence suggests that interviews are less valid than tests in
selection for the following reasons (Porter, Lawler, & Hackman, 1975):
1. The same material is not covered in each interview.
2. Different interviewers weigh the same information differently.
3. Except for intelligence or mental ability, interviewers
cannot assess traits accurately.
4. Interviewers make selection decisions early in the interview,
before the candidate has presented all information.
5. Interviewers give more weight to negative than to favorable
Selection problems inherent in testing and interviewing have led
organizations to assessment centers for assistance in hiring and
promoting people. The assessment center is a holistic approach to
selection and uses multiple assessment techniques and multiple
assessors. It also demonstrates high validity and selection fairness
for men, women, minorities, and nonminorities. The center method has
been successful and cost effective for organizations (Cascio & Awad,
Assessment techniques include in-basket exercises, leaderless
group discussions, paper and pencil ability tests, simulations,
personality questionnaires, projective tests, and background interviews.
Assessors are trained to standardize interpretations of candidates'
behaviors and go through the training as participants before rating
others. Selection decisions are derived from the pooled judgments of
The dimensions, attributes, characteristics, or qualities that
are evaluated are derived from an analysis of relevant job behaviors.
McCormick and his associates (1964) analyzed characteristics common to
a variety of jobs in terms of worker activities (job content) and
prerequisites (attributes). They developed the Position Analysis
Questionnaire (PAQ) to rate job elements for different jobs. The PAQ
consists of 194 job elements that were reduced to 30 job dimensions
which, in turn, were subsumed under six major activity categories:
1. Information input (where and how the worker gets the
information used for the job).
2. Mental processes (decision making and information processing).
3. Output (the physical activities performed by the worker and
tools or devices used).
4. Interpersonal activities (communicating instructions,
5. Job context in which the work is performed (stresses, hazards).
6. Miscellaneous aspect of the work activities (work schedule,
Job analysis methods and new assessment techniques are an attempt
to bring the individual, job, and organization together for a
potentially rewarding relationship. When the matching process is
successful, it is mutually beneficial to the individual, organization,
Although industrial psychologists focus on people who are already
working and educational psychologists concentrate on people in school,
their interests often overlap. Educational psychologists, however,
place more emphasis on career development and planning, occupational
choice, and career counseling than their industrial counterparts.
The need and demand for career development and planning have never
been greater than they are today. Employees realize that their careers
impact not only on the quality of their work life but on the quality of
life in general. Organizations recognize the effect of the quality of
life on employee job satisfaction, performance, and turnover (Luthans,
Career decision making has also become complex. Social and legal
changes have opened up a range of career alternatives and opportunities
for both men and women. Technology has created a rapid pace of change
in the labor market. New jobs emerge as others become obsolete.
Medical advances have expanded life expectancy. Instead of one career
decision, people must make multiple career decisions in a lifetime.
Theories of Vocational Development
Several authors have proposed theories of vocational development
and occupational choice. Ginzberg, Ginsburg, Axelrod, and Herma (1951)
argued that occupational choice was an irreversible process. It took
place over 8 to 10 years and passed through a number of well-marked
developmental stages. Early decisions reduced the number of successive
choices and available options.
Occupational decision making occurs in three stages. The fantasy
stage occurs between ages 10 and 12. Children at this stage have no
conception of their capabilities, occupational limitations, or
opportunities. During the tentative stage, adolescents think about
occupations in terms of their abilities and interests. The realistic
stage is characteristic of late adolescence and early adulthood when
individuals become more concerned with realistic opportunities and the
limitations of the available work environment. The final occupational
choice is a compromise between personal preferences (interests,
abilities) and the constraints of the work world.
In 1971, Ginsberg revised his earlier position and claimed that
occupational choice was "open-ended" throughout a person's life. Choice
was influenced by work experiences, changes in values, physiological
changes, marital relationships, financial status shifts, and loss or
change in job.
Super's (1953) theory of vocational development was based on the
premise that people selected occupations consistent with their
self-concept. The self-concept developed in the individual over time
and passed through many stages of formation, differentiation, and
articulation. Using a longitudinal research design, Super attempted
to assess the components of the self-concept at different points in
time and to correlate these components to the career patterns that
Using psychoanalytic theory, Roe (1956) hypothesized that career
development and occupational identity formed during early childhood.
The quality of the parent-child relationship had a strong influence on
the development process. She devised a typological classification of
occupations according to the amount of involvement with people or
objects demanded by the occupation. She also classified types of early
parent-child relationships. Positive parent-child relationships
predisposed the child to enter person-oriented occupations, whereas a
negative family atmosphere led to a nonperson-oriented occupation.
In 1964, Roe revised her original hypothesis and said vocational
development .was more complex and vocational behaviors developed
independently of early childhood experiences.
Holland (1959) developed a typology theory of career choice.
His theory is based on the assumption that most people in our culture
can be classified into one of six types: realistic, investigative,
artistic, social, enterprising, or conventional. He also identified
six types of environments: realistic, investigative, artistic, social,
enterprising, and conventional. Individuals search for the environment
that will allow them to exercise their abilities and values and
assume acceptable roles. People's behaviors are determined by the
interaction between their personalities and the characteristics of
the immediate environment.
Holland also assumed that at the time people selected a career,
they were the product of heredity and a variety of environmental
factors, including peers, parents, other significant adults, social
class, culture, and the physical environment. From this background,
the individual developed a typology or hierarchy of orientations for
coping with environmental tasks. When people make career choices,
they are searching for those environments that are congruent with their
personal orientations. Holland (1959) devised the Vocational Preference
Inventory to estimate personality patterns.
Tiedman (1961), like Super (1951), was interested in the
development of the vocational self-concept. He based his work on
Erickson's (1959) theory of personality development and psycho-social
crisis. Tiedman related vocational development to the process of
decision making and adjustment from a period of exploration to final
Recently, it has become popular to view career and occupational
development as a major component of adult life stages (Levinson, 1978;
Sheehy, 1977). Hall (1976) synthesized these adult life-stage theories
into an overall model of career development. This was a psychological
success-based model that integrated concepts of the self with individual
task behavior and job attitudes. Hall stated that people developed in
their careers through a cyclical process of goal setting, performance,
feelings of success, favorable job attitudes, and goal resetting.
During the exploration stage, the young employee searched for an
identity and tried out several jobs and roles. In the second stage,
the employee settled down and grew in a career role. The third stage
of maintenance was where the employee's productivity reached a
plateau. At this time, the individual might assume a mentor role out
of a need for generativity (the concern to leave something for the
next generation). The individual could also stagnate, decline, or have
a growth spurt. The final stage was decline. The employee searched
for integrity (feelings of satisfaction with life choices and overall
Although there are many theories of career choice, they all
reflect people's efforts to obtain a proper fit between themselves and
their jobs. The closer the match, the greater the rewards for both
employees and organizations.
Organizations are slowly becoming aware of their role in career
planning and development to improve the effectiveness of their
operations. Organizations are beginning to provide employees with
workshops, counseling services, and innovative programs for special
career needs (i.e. flex-time) as part of human resource management
programs (Luthans, 1981).
When individuals obtain more information about themselves, they
can make more accurate career decisions and find the right job. With
this premise in mind, Bauch (1981) developed the Marcus Paul Placement
Profile (MPPP). This instrument for measuring work behavior types had
its foundations in trait and type theory.
History of Work Behavior Types
William Marston's (1927) work formed the basis for current
theories of work behavior traits and types. He proposed a model of
behavior based on four primary emotions: Dominance, Compliance,
Inducement, and Submission. A primary emotion was "an emotion which
contained the maximal amount of alliance, antagonism, superiority of
strength of the motor self in respect to the motor stimulus"
(Marston, 1928, p. 106).
This means that Marston designated a primary emotion according
to people's reactions in a favorable environment (alliance) or
unfavorable environment (antagonism). An interaction with the
environment could be active (superior strength) or passive (inferior
strength). Individuals need a balance between active and passive
interactions with the environment. The intensity of an emotion or
subsequent reaction to a stimulus, depended on the individual's past
Marston described each emotion in physiological and behavioral
terms. He defined Dominance as a "central release of additional motor
energy directed toward dominating obstacles to a reaction already in
progress (Marston, 1927, p. 349). It consists of "an increase of the
self to overcome an opponent,. .a feeling of an outrush of energy to
remove opposition" (Marston, 1928, p. 140).
Dominance is a fundamental behavior, important for survival of
early humans. It is the primary life-propelling emotion of human beings
during the first 3 years of life (Marston, 1927). It may be a desirable
emotion when competition and aggressiveness are appropriate behaviors.
However, dominance may also act as a negative emotion when it is out of
control or is expressed in the wrong environment. Dominant people in
authority positions may create dissatisfaction and hostility among
Compliance is also a basic emotional response and refers to
"control (but not inhibition) of tonic motor discharge reinforcement
by a phasic reflex? (Marston, 1927, p. 350). It may also mean taking
an interest in the stimuli and "is not to be confused with inaction
or inhibition" (p. 351). Marston (1928) subsequently defined Compliance
decrease of the motor self to let an opponent move the
organism as if by will; either passively, by making the
self give up some dominant activity, or some anti-dominant
way. It is a feeling of acceptance of an object of force
as inevitably just what it is, followed by self-yielding
sufficient to bring about harmonious readjustment of self
to object. (p. 128)
Compliant behavior results from recognizing or believing that
outside forces are imminently stronger. It may occur when individuals
are afraid, startled, experience sudden change, or voluntarily
surrender. Compliance may also result from an intense enduring or
repeated environment stimulus. Compliance may be a pleasant experience
when it allows individuals to be one with God or nature, to feel empathy,
or to be an effective team member.
Dominance and Compliance form one axis of Marston's two-axis
model. Figure 2 illustrates this model. Although individuals display
these emotions in varying degrees at various times, there is always an
effort to maintain a balance between the extremes of each axis.
Differences in behavior among individuals relate to the differences in
the point of balance on the axis.
Submission, according to Marston (1927) is a "voluntary yielding
to whatever stimuli may be imposed. .It does not seem to overwhelm,
or dominate the subject by force, but rather brings about a spontaneous
lessening of the subject's resistance to it until the subject has
become less strong than the stimulus" (pp. 356-357). In other words,
Submission is a willingness or mutual feeling of warmth between the
person submitting and the person submitted to (Marston, 1928).
Submission is usually a pleasant emotion and may take the form of
consideration, service to others, selflessness, accommodation, and
The fourth primary emotion described by Marston (1927) was
Inducement. It was the "active solicitation of attention and
stimulation. .calculated to reinforce submission reaction in order
to induce further submission from another individual" (p. 539).
Inducement is also a "central release of additional motor energy
directed toward drawing forth or inducing submission responses from
another individual" (p. 361).
In 1928, Marston's definition of Inducement stated that
Inducement consists of an increase of self, and making of
the self more completely allied with the stimulus person,
for the purpose of establishing control over that person's
behavior. (p. 273)
Individuals who gain voluntary submission from others exhibit
Inducement behavior. This behavior may take the form of persuasion,
personal charm, friendliness, seduction, or subtle manipulation.
Commercial advertising is a prime example of inducement behavior in
Submission and Inducement form the second axis of Marston's model.
They are also opposite ends of a continuum, separated by intensity of
response (either active or passive) and by the orientation of the
individual (either outward or inward). Inducement requests Submission,
whereas Dominance demands Compliance. Dominance is antagonistic toward
its subject and inducement is allied with its subject.
Marston divides the two axes of the model horizontally.
Dominance and Inducement form the upper, active component of the model
and Submission and Compliance form the lower, passive component. The
dimensions represent tendencies, not all inclusive labels. Individuals
exhibit degrees of all types of behaviors. Behavior traits, however,
tend to cluster more around one particular dimension.
Marston identified clusters of traits for each primary emotion.
Figure 3 lists these traits. Allport and Odbert (1936) and Geier
(1980) used factor analyses to confirm these findings. Geier (1980)
obtained an overall correlation of, at least, R=.60 between the
suggested traits and the emotions.
Building on Marston's work, Geier (1967) attempted to formulate
a trait approach to leadership. He found that subjects used trait
terminology to describe their own behavior traits as well as to describe
the behavior and leadership style of others. He also discovered that
subjects reported themselves in terms of behaviors they least exhibited.
These findings were the basis for the Marcus Paul Placement Profile
that discerned work behavior types from descriptions of traits which
were most and least like the subject. Geier also developed an updated
list of cluster traits (Figure 4).
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Geier clarified Marston's terminology and redefined Dominance
as "active positive movement in an antagonistic environment"
(Geier, 1979, p. 2). Compliance was "a cautious tentative response
designated to reduce antagonistic factors in an unfavorable environment"
(p. 2). Submission was defined as "passive aggressiveness in a
favorable environment" (p. 2) and Inducement was "active positive
movement in a favorable environment" (p. 2).
He also added the idea to the two-axis model that people with
traits centered around the Dominance or Inducement dimension were
process-oriented and wanted to shape the environment according to their
own particular viewpoint. Individuals with traits centered around the
Submission or Compliance dimensions were product-oriented and focused
on the how and why of things and events.
Marcus Paul Placement Profile
Bauch (1981) used Marston's model and Geier's research to develop
the Marcus Paul Placement Profile. This instrument was designed to'
identify work behavior types in order to match people to jobs. In the
educational setting, it could provide a basis for counseling, career
development, and selection. Organizations could use it for recruiting,
job placement, training, and team building.
The intent of the MPPP was to increase understanding of work
behaviors. Therefore, Bauch modified some of Marston's and Geier's
terminology to remove any judgmental overtones from these terms. He
replaced words with negative connotations with positive or neutral
terms. In place of Marston's categories of Dominance, Inducement,
Submission, and Compliance or Geier's Dominance, Influence, Steadiness,
and Compliance, Bauch described work behavior types as Energizer,
Inducer, Concentrator, and Producer.
Bauch (1981) defined these work types as follows:
1. Energizer type workers actively engaged in getting
results. They are assertive, impatient with detail,
and desire direct answers and actions from associates.
They are also creative and have many ideas for improving
the work process (p. 16).
2. Inducer type workers involve others as they pursue
objectives. They are sensitive to the needs of their
associates and have optimistic attitudes as they
influence others. They are good at using group processes
to accomplish goals, being able to clarify ideas for
themselves and others. They place more emphasis on
people and interpersonal relations than on the
organization (p. 16).
3. The Concentrator types can apply their skills in orderly
ways resisting distractions. They are steady workers,
and are loyal to the organization, showing great patience.
They are systematic, effective, and help maintain
moderation in these situations (p. 17).
4. Producers strive for quality as they carefully follow
procedures, guidelines, or standards. They can support
their decisions and actions with irrefutable documentation.
Producers expect their directions but they can be relied
on to meet their deadlines, follow orders and carry out
their assignments with precision (p. 17).
Figure 5 presents the MPPP work behavior traits characteristic of
each work behavior type. These traits are used in the MPPP in the form
of 24 sets of forced choice items. In each set, subjects indicate
which term is most descriptive of their work behavior and the term which
least represents their work behavior.
A computer analysis of the responses generates the individual's
work behavior profile in terms of one of the four major work behavior
types. It also provides a more detailed description of the individual's
strengths and tendencies by identifying one of 18 possible types.
These descriptions reflect varying intensities of work behavior along
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the four major dimensions and the complex relationship between the
dimensions. They also differentiate among individuals in the same
category. In general, the profile describes the individual's style of
interacting with others, ability to complete tasks, leadership potential,
need for supervision, and preference for working in a technical or
data-oriented position or in one that is people-oriented (Bauch, 1981).
Approximately 20% of the population are Energizers and about 20%
are Inducers. Concentrators and Producers make up the remaining 60%.
Although certain job descriptions or roles show preference for one
specific type, most organizations work best with a combination of all
Using the MPPP, Glenn (1982) studied the relationship among work
behavior type, personality function, job satisfaction, and effectiveness
of vocational education administrators. She found that some work
behavior types were significantly related to some personality functions
as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Although there
was no significant relationship between overall job satisfaction and
work behavior type, there was a significant relationship between work
behavior type and specific areas of job satisfaction.
Energizers were satisfied by opportunities for promotion, volume
of work, unanticipated job tasks,and recognition for accomplishments.
Inducers were interested in the physical working conditions, volume of
work, and section/division meetings. Concentrators indicated that
opportunity for job promotion, volume of work, unanticipated job tasks,
amount of supervision, and recognition for accomplishments were
important to them. Producers listed physical working conditions,
communication with clients, and section/division meetings as important
for their job satisfaction.
In summary, although there has been an urgent need to effectively
match people to jobs, little research has been done on work behavior
types. Many fields of study form the basis for an understanding and
application of work behavior types. Industrial psychology has
contributed selection methods and job analysis. Educational psychology
has provided theories of vocational development and choice. Trait and
type theories have provided a foundation for an instrument to measure
work behavior type. Work behavior types may affect employee job
satisfaction and turnover.
Job Satisfaction, Attrition, Work Behavior Type of Medical Technologists
This section will present an overview of literature on job
satisfaction, attrition, career development, and work behavior type
among medical technologists.
Since 1970, several authors have published studies on job
satisfaction among laboratory personnel. Gerstenfeld and Whitt (1970)
examined goal priorities of medical technologists. Medical technologists
listed good working conditions as the number one priority, followed by
challenging work and higher earnings. Supervision, administrative
policies, schedules, available equipment, interaction among personnel,
and the quality of work influenced good working conditions.
In a study of senior medical technology students, Karni and Husted
(1970) reported that as students progressed through their rotations,
they became more dissatisfied and discouraged. Students perceived a
lack of recognition accorded to medical technologists by other health
professionals and the general public. Students also perceived a lack
of identity for the profession of medical technology.
In 1971, Jeswald conducted an extensive study of job satisfaction
among medical technologists. Using Maslow's theory of needs hierarchy,
he found that medical technologists considered security and self-
actualization needs as primary factors for job satisfaction, whereas the
need for autonomy was least important. Jeswald's results also indicated
that self-actualization and esteem were the least satisfied needs
across all categories of laboratory personnel. Clinical practitioners
consistently reported they felt lack of appreciation and recognition
for their work.
Showery's (1976) survey of 300 medical technologists revealed that
only 30.8% of those surveyed with more than 5 years experience
indicated they would choose medical technology again if given the
choice and 49.5% stated they were uncertain. The major reason offered
by 83.5% of the subjects was lack of respect and recognition for
laboratorians by other hospital personnel.
French and Rezler (1976) reported that clinical practitioners
were less satisfied with their work, co-workers, and opportunities for
advancement than medical technologists who were educators or
administrators. All technologists were least satisfied with pay and
promotion. Poor communication was a major source of frustration and
dissatisfaction in all work settings. Most technologists found their
work moderately stressful.
Matteson, Ivancewich and McMahon (1977) examined the relationship
among medical technologists' needs, organizational practices, and job
satisfaction. Their results suggested that job satisfaction was a
function of how well a job or organization met the individual's needs
which, in turn, was a function of organizational practices or
characteristics. Like Jeswald (1971), they found that attainment of
higher order needs was strongly associated with job satisfaction.
However, they were also the least satisfied needs. All subjects listed
self-actualization as the least satisfied need. Security was the most
satisfied need. The most important organizational practice related to
satisfaction was coordination, the degree to which technologists were
given necessary information. Yet, it was also the practice technologists
found most dissatisfying.
While factors influencing job satisfaction were the same for
administrative and nonadministrative technologists, administrators
experienced higher levels of self-actualization, esteem, and autonomy.
Satisfaction levels were also lowest in small hospitals and may be
related to availability of modern technology in these facilities.
Love (1977) found that organizational stratification was related
to job satisfaction. He defined stratification as "the degree of an
organization's dispersion of power, prestige, monetary compensation,
rewards, and other social resources to its members" (p. 1136). Of the
10 stratification-satisfaction relationships studied, the most
significant was the inverse relationship between both social distance
and authority distinction and satisfaction with supervision. Social
distance was comparable to the dimension of the leadership behavior,
consideration, discussed earlier in the job satisfaction text.
Authority distinction is comparable to authoritarian leadership style.
When social distance and authority distinction are high in an
organization, there is less social interaction and support from
supervisors and fewer opportunities for autonomy. There was a
significant positive relationship between authority distinction and
satisfaction with work. The author concluded medical technologists
preferred a cordial, supportive, well-structured work setting that
permitted them an opportunity to participate in making decisions related
to the goals, methods, and activities of their department.
The work of McMahan, Ivancewich, and Matteson (1977) confirmed
the findings of several other authors. Comparing administrative to
nonadministrative medical technologists, males to females, and hospital
to nonhospital workers, they examined the relationship of organizational
climate and job satisfaction. The organizational climate dimensions
of thrust (refers to management's desire to motivate employees to
accomplish the job through task oriented behavior), consideration and
esprit most significantly related to need satisfaction among all
categories of medical technologists.
Relating their interpersonal values to job satisfaction, Oliver
(1978) found that medical technologists who valued independence and
recognition were the least satisfied with their jobs. Those who valued
benevolence (doing things for others) and conformity were more
satisfied with their work. These findings are consistent with those of
Love (1977), Karniand Husted (1970), Jeswald (1971), Showery (1976),
and Matteson et al. (1977).
Harting and Oliver (1978) investigated the perceptions of
bench-level and supervisory medical technologists regarding their work
role and working conditions. The work role included the job itself,
rewards, helping relationships, interpersonal relations, and recognition.
Results were comparable to those found in earlier studies. All medical
technologists were least satisfied with recognition and rewards. They
perceived few opportunities for advancement and little recognition or
prestige associated with their work. Supervisors were generally more
satisfied with their jobs than bench-level technologists.
Using the JDI, Broski and Cook (1978) determined job satisfaction
levels for medical dietitians, physical therapists, occupational
therapists, and medical technologists. All groups had significantly
lower mean scores compared to national norms. However, dietitians
reported the lowest satisfaction scores on all job facets except pay.
Medical technologists followed dietitians with regard to overall
satisfaction and were the most dissatisfied group on the pay subscale.
All groups were equally dissatisfied with promotion opportunities.
In 1982, Broski, Manuselis, and Noga conducted a similar study
and found that medical technologists had become the most dissatisfied
group on four of the five subscales of the JDI. They were more
satisfied than dietitians or occupational therapists on the supervision
subscale and as equally satisfied as physical therapists. They also
scored lower than the national sample on these same job facets. Many
technologists provided supplementary comments that indicated they saw
little opportunity for advancement, received inadequate pay to support
a family, were overprepared for the tasks they performed, had limited
authority, experienced high job stress,and perceived lack of respect
and recognition from other health professionals.
Spencer (1982) attempted to determine the relationship between a
sense of accomplishment on the job and career commitment and the
relationship between sense of accomplishment and job satisfaction. His
findings also indicated intrinsic factors were important for job
satisfaction and career commitment of medical technologists.
A recent study by Myers et al. (1982) related job dissatisfaction
in medical technology to the acquisition of unrealistic expectations
during clinical training. They claimed these expectations were later
translated into unmet professional role expectations and were
concentrated in the areas dealing with lack of upward mobility, respect
from other health practitioners, poor pay, and job stress.
Rogers (1983) examined the problem of job stress as it related to
job satisfaction in the hospital laboratory setting. She demonstrated
that stress was significantly related to job dissatisfaction, with 78%
of the highly stressed technologists in the sample also reporting high
levels of job dissatisfaction. Stress stemmed from job pressure
(workload and time pressure), job scope (having authority commensurate
with responsibilities), and rapport with management.
Recent studies into the causes of job dissatisfaction among medical
technologists have also addressed the related issue of the rising
attrition rates among this group of laboratory workers. Medical
technologists are not merely dissatisfied with their jobs, they are
disenchanted with the profession of medical technology and are defecting
to other professions.
Hajek and Blumberg (1982) surveyed 83 former medical technologists
to determine their reasons for leaving medical technology. Although
medical technology is dominated by women, the investigators found that
73% of the sample left the profession for nondomestic reasons. Job
related factors, particularly those related to self-actualization, were
cited as the principal causes of attrition. Participants expressed
disappointment and frustration with their work experiences in medical
technology. While they had been highly trained for careers as
responsible members of the health care team, they found themselves in
"jobs," unrecognized and disregarded by other health care professionals
as well as by the public. In addition, these jobs became routine,
lacked challenge, were stressful, and provided little opportunity for
advancement. In light of these results, the authors recommended
re-evaluation of the medical technologist's role in health care, and
creation of career ladders to permit advancement within the profession.
Based on the work of Hajek and Blumberg (1982), Irwin (1983)
investigated the causes of dissatisfaction and attrition among medical
technologists in New Jersey and obtained comparable results. Of the 115
participants, 66 (57%) indicated they would definitely leave medical
technology within 5 years and 10% were undecided. The decision to
continue in the field or go elsewhere was primarily related to
self-actualization and esteem factors. Technologists who planned to
leave felt overtrained and frustrated with their jobs because those with
less training were performing the same tasks. They also found the work
monotonous and had few opportunities to use their knowledge of laboratory
medicine. In terms of esteem factors, they felt that they were invisible
members of the health care team, received too little pay and recognition
for their training and responsibilities, and that there was little
prestige associated with being a medical technologist. Increased
opportunities for career advancement and more attractive financial
rewards were the major incentives cited by technologists that might
encourage them to remain in the profession.
Inadequate career planning by students and incomplete selection
criteria for program admission may, later, contribute to technologists'
job dissatisfaction and turnover. Students may select medical
technology as a career based on misinformation as to what the occupation
actually involves and requires. Educators may select students into
programs on the basis of criteria that do not relate to on-the-job
In 1975, Holstrom surveyed freshman medical technology majors
about the factors influencing them to select medical technology as a
career. Students cited the availability of jobs, high earnings, a
chance for career advancement, and prestige of the occupation as major
reasons for choosing medical technology. Yet, earlier Jeswald (1971)
and Karni and Husted (1970) reported that clinical practitioners felt
medical technologists were not held in esteem and did not have
opportunities for career advancement.
Zufall (1976) determined that the majority of medical technology
students made a career choice based on information they had obtained
from visiting hospital programs, talking to students enrolled in
programs, writing to national sources, and visiting an employment site.
Parents, friends, and health professionals were the most influential
persons involved in student career decisions while counselors played a
Youse and Clark (1977) demonstrated that medical technology students
had little understanding of the qualities and interests needed for
medical technology and did not have accurate perceptions of what the
profession entailed. These investigators developed a vocational
competency test to find out how much entering students knew about
medical technology and how much their knowledge increased over time.
After six months in clinical rotations, graduating seniors correctly
answered only 71% of the general information questions about medical
technology. Juniors answered 59% accurately and entering students
had an accurate response rate of 42%. In response to a question about
the most valuable trait for a medical technologist, 20% of the seniors,
and 34% of the juniors responded, "Speed." Other responses were
honesty, creativity, and high I.Q. Many students (12%) were unaware
that technologists worked weekends and holidays in hospital laboratories.
A majority of all levels of students stated they chose medical
technology because they enjoyed science courses. They also cited job
security as a major factor in selection.
Results suggested that selection of students earlier than the
junior year could contribute to a high attrition rate and to a
population of students poorly matched to the profession. At this stage
students have little awareness of the major responsibilities of medical
Gleich (1978) also demonstrated that preclinical medical technology
students did not make a career choice based on knowledge of the work or
the profession. Friends, family, and relatives were the leading sources
of information about medical technology. Only 14% had worked as lab
aides or clerks and only 2% had spoken to a practicing technologist
about the field. Students ranked the type of work involved in medical
technology as the leading factor influencing their career choice.
Choosing students for positions in medical technology programs may
also be based on inadequate information about the student. During the
1970s, medical technology programs were popular among undergraduates.
At a time when graduates of other programs had limited employment
opportunities, medical technology students were assured a job after
graduation. As a result, medical technology programs had more applicants
than available slots. Competition for slots was keen and criteria were
established to select students who would most likely succeed in the
program and thus graduate. Criteria included gradepoint average (GPA),
key course grades, aptitude test scores, work records, volunteer
service, recommendations, and personal interviews (Love, Holter & Krall,
Although research indicates that these selection criteria are
valid measures for predicting academic success in the program (Eberfield
& Love, 1970; Love et al., 1982; Lundgren, 1968), they do not adequately
predict clinical or professional performance (Duntman, Anderson, &
Barry, 1966). With the decrease in the numbers of applicants for medical
technology programs and the high attrition rate among clinical
practitioners, new selection criteria may be in order. Students who
have lower academic credentials may demonstrate other essential traits
for success in medical technology.
Information about the work behavior traits of satisfied clinical
practitioners would be useful in career planning, job counseling, and
student placement. Although research on the work behavior types of
medical technologists is nonexistent, the existing literature suggests
that certain traits and types are related to success and satisfaction
in this occupation.
French and Rezler (1976) found a higher proportion of sensing
people among medical technologists who were in clinical practice but a
higher percentage of intuitive types among educators and administrators.
In an earlier study, Rezler and French (1975) found more intuitive,
feeling, and perceiving types among medical technology students. The
authors hypothesized these types of students left medical technology
before entering practice or shortly thereafter because they were
disappointed with the actual work situation.
Williams (1975) stated that "the prospective medical technology
student should possess manual and finger dexterity, must be able to
accept responsibility, and have intellectual integrity, a high degree
of persistence, and a high capacity for patient, thorough effort"
(p. 36). She added they should also like people.
Oliver (1978) determined that medical technologists who valued
independence and recognition were least satisfied with their jobs.
Those interested in doing things for others and valuing conformity were
In conclusion, medical technologists, like other workers, bring
expectations, needs, values, goals, skills, abilities, interests,
motivation, and personality traits to the work setting. These factors
determine the work behavior type of the individual technologist. When
the work behavior type is consistent with the demands and requirements
of the job, the individual is more likely to experience job satisfaction
and remain in the profession. Students, educators, and employers need
more information on work behavior types to make adequate career,
selection, and placement decisions.
DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
This chapter includes the design and methodology of the study.
In it are the research design, population, description, data
collection, instrumentation, and data analysis procedures.
The investigator used a descriptive research design to investigate
job satisfaction, work behavior type, attrition, and demographic
characteristics of practicing and former medical technologists in the
state of Florida. Specifically, she sought answers to the following
1. What are the work behavior types of medical technologists
2. Does a relationship exist between the work behavior type
of the technologist and overall job satisfaction?
3. Does a relationship exist between work behavior type and
specific aspects of job satisfaction?
4. Do participants' work behavior types relate to attrition
or the intention to leave medical technology?
5. Do medical technologists working in hospital laboratories
differ from those working in nonhospital laboratories or
other fields in overall job satisfaction?
6. Do medical technologists working in hospital laboratories
differ on specific aspects of job satisfaction from those
working in nonhospital laboratories or other fields?
7. Does a relationship exist between the sex of the participant
and job satisfaction?
8. Does a relationship exist between the sex of the participant
and attrition or the intention to leave medical technology?
9. Can some combination of demographic variables, work
behavior type, and job satisfaction predict attrition
among medical technologists.
The sample population consisted of two groups of medical
technologists. Practicing medical technologists employed in various
laboratory settings (hospitals, clinics, private laboratories, blood
banks, reference laboratories) located in a Florida community comprised
the first group. These were bench-level technologists, primarily
responsible for performing the technical work in the laboratory. All
technologists holding a bachelor's degree were invited to participate.
Supervisory technologists, educators, and medical technicians were
excluded to assure homogeneity of the sample.
The second group included former medical technologists, currently
employed in occupations other than medical technology. The investigator
selected these participants from business contacts, former employees,
and lists of University of Florida medical technology graduates from
the past 5 years who lived in the community.
The researchers mailed a letter to the chief technologist, or
administrator at each facility (see Appendix A). The letter contained
an explanation of the purpose of the project and a request for
participation by the staff of the facility. Willingness to participate
in the study was determined by a followup telephone call. At that time,
the researcher also ascertained the number of technologists employed at
the facility and made an appointment to deliver questionnaires to a
contact person. The contact person served as a coordinator to
distribute and collect the materials. The investigator returned on a
specified date to collect the completed packets. When it was more
convenient to mail materials to a participating facility, the
researcher enclosed a stamped, addressed envelope with a request that
subjects return completed packets by a specified date. She telephoned
nonrespondents after 7 days.
The investigator gave volunteers a packet of instruments (see
Appendix B) to complete and a cover letter (see Appendix C) explaining
the purpose and importance of the study. Instruments were numerically
coded to eliminate personal identification but to permit correlation
of responses. Participants were instructed, however, to put their
names on the MPPP if they wanted an assessment of their work behavior
The investigator sent a copy of the instruments and a cover letter
(see Appendix D) to former medical technologists. She instructed them
to return the completed questionnaires in the enclosed stamped,
addressed envelope by December 15, 1983. After 7 days, she telephoned
nonrespondents or individuals who did not complete all instruments.
Of the seven hospitals and nine nonhospital laboratories the
investigator contacted, six hospitals and eight nonhospital facilities
agreed to participate. Table 1 shows the number of questionnaires
distributed to each group of technologists. Hospitals are listed
individually. Responses for nonhospital technologists are pooled
because each facility only employed up to three technologists. The
Table 1. Response rate on questionnaire by group of respondents.
No. No. Useable
Questionnaires Questionnaires Percent
Group Distributed Returned Returned
1 13 8 62
2 20 10 50
3 48 12 25
4 28 26 93
5 15 14 93
6 10 10 100
TOTAL 134 80 60
Technologists 20 12 60
Technologists 29 19 66
TOTAL 183 111 61
table also contains the number of useable questionnaires returned by
each group of technologists and the percentage returned.
The percentage of questionnaires returned by hospital respondents
ranged from 25% to 100% for an overall response of 60%. Nonhospital
respondents returned 60% of the questionnaires and former medical
technologists contacted returned 66% of the questionnaires. Nonuseable
packets returned from all groups totaled 19. These respondents either
failed to meet the education requirements for inclusion in the study or
did not complete all instruments. Efforts to retrieve missing data were
unsuccessful. The final population consisted of 111 technologists--
80 from hospitals, 12 from nonhospital facilities, and 19 former
technologists. The overall response rate was 61%.
Job Descriptive Index
Job satisfaction was assessed by the Job Description Index (JDI)
developed by Smith, Kendall, and Hulin (1969). The JDI is the most
reliable and valid measure of job satisfaction currently available
(Bass & Barrett, 1974; Crites, 1969; Gruneberg, 1979; Vroom, 1964).
The JDI contains 72 items measuring satisfaction with five facets of
the job: the work itself (18 items), supervision (18 items), pay
(9 items), promotion (9 items), and co-workers (18 items). Smith and
co-workers derived these items by performing factor analyses on
numerous job satisfaction inventories available at the time of their
The items are descriptive adjectives or short phrases arranged in
a checklist form. The 72 items are approximately half favorable and
half unfavorable items. The JDI does not directly ask respondents how
satisfied they are with their work. The instrument contains a provision
for respondents to describe their work. However, in describing their
jobs, they provide information that may be used to infer satisfaction.
Some items include evaluative words and others describe objective
features of the job.
Respondents mark a "Y" for yes next to the item if it describes
their job, "N" for no if it does not describe their job, and "?" if they
are undecided. Smith et al. selected the checklist format with short
descriptive phrases to permit administration of the questionnaire across
a variety of educational levels and jobs.
Values are assigned to responses and scores are derived from a
scoring key by adding the values for items in each subscale. A yes
response to a negative item and a no response to a positive item
receive a zero. A yes response to a positive item and a no response
to a negative item receive three points. An indecision receives one
point. Smith et al. found that the "?" response was more indicative
of dissatisfaction than satisfaction and assigned the "?" response a
weight of one instead of two. The maximum score for each JDI subscale
is 54. Scores for the nine-item scales are doubled to achieve an
equivalence of total points and ranges. In addition to subscale scores,
the JDI also generates an overall index of job satisfaction by adding
the subscale scores for a total score. A score of 18 on a subscale
signifies indifference (all items answered with a question mark) and a
score of 27 indicates a balanced attitude toward a job facet.
The JDI has internal consistency coefficients, corrected by the
Spearman-Brown formula, in the .80s. The coefficients of reliability
for the five subscales are: work (a = .79), supervision (a = .85),
co-workers (a = .88), pay (a = .81), and promotion (a = .79) (Smith
et al., 1969). Crites (1969) determined that scale ordering did not
affect scores. Schneider and Dachler (1978) stated that the JDI had
retest reliability of .57 after a 16-month interval.
Marcus Paul Placement Profile
The Marcus Paul Placement Profile (MPPP) describes work behavior
patterns of people under normal working conditions. These patterns are
stable over time as long as the work environment is stable. Although
individuals exhibit all patterns to some degree, one pattern of behavior
A computer program developed to score the instrument analyzes the
subject's responses and designates the predominant work behavior type.
The program will also generate a subtype based on the strength and
interaction of responses on the other work dimensions. The subject's
scores on each work behavior dimension are printed on a graph. Scores
range from -15 to 15. The major work behavior type will have the
highest score. The historical background and other details of the MPPP
were described in Chapter II.
In order to obtain validity data on the MPPP, Gene Wiggington
(personal communication, February 10, 1984) administered a questionnaire
to 96 students who had taken the MPPP as part of a career education
course. The single-item questionnaire follows:
Please check the statement that is most accurate for you.
1. Both paragraphs of the Placement Profile are a fairly
accurate description of my work behavior.
2. The first paragraph of the Placement Profile is a fairly
accurate description of my work behavior; the second
paragraph is not.
3. The second paragraph of the Placement Profile is a fairly
accurate description of my work behavior; the first is not.
4. My Placement Profile is not a very accurate description of
my work behavior.
A total of 85 students (88.6%) indicated that both paragraphs of
the MPPP accurately described their work behavior. Seven (7.3%)
responded to the second choice, 3 (3.1%) to the third choice, and only
one student (1%) indicated the MPPP was not an accurate description of
that person's work behavior.
The MPPP requires less than 10 minutes to complete. The items are
written to make the instrument useful for a variety of educational
backgrounds. Test-retest reliability is about 98% (J. Nickens, personal
communication, November, 1983).
Questionnaires for Practicing and Former Medical Technologists
The investigator developed two closed-form questionnaires to
collect demographic data and career information from practicing and
former medical technologists. Based on previous research, the
questionnaire for practicing technologists included items to measure
perceived existence of alternative careers (Mobley et al., 1978;
Mobley et al., 1979; Steers & Mowday, 1981), intention to search for
alternative careers (Mobley, 1977; Mobley et al., 1978), met
expectations (Muchinsky & Tuttle, 1979; Porter & Steers, 1973), and
intention to leave (Mobley, 1982; Mobley et al., 1979). Behavioral
intention to leave is the immediate precursor to turnover and may be
assessed by a single-item measure of intention (Kraut, 1975; Waters
et al., 1976).
Data Treatment and Analysis
The researcher scored the JDI manually according to the key
described by Smith et al. (1969). She derived five subscores and a
total score for each participant.
A computer program developed by Marcus Paul Computer Systems was
used to score the MPPP. Subjects' responses to the 24 frames are
entered into the computer. The program generated a score for each work
behavior type and denoted the major work behavior type and subtype for
each subject. Scores were rounded off to the nearest half-point for
The researcher entered data from the Profile, index, and demographic
questionnaire directly into the computer terminal. After printing and
checking these entries for accuracy, she used the Statistical Analysis
System (SAS) with appropriate subprograms to answer the research questions.
The program generated frequencies and means to determine the work
behavior types of medical technologists. Analysis of variance (ANOVA)
showed the relationships between work behavior type and overall job
satisfaction or specific aspects of job satisfaction. Tukey's test of
Honestly Significant Differences was used to make pairwise comparisons
between groups. This test controls for the Type I error rate. The
relationship between work environment and job satisfaction was also
tested by ANOVA and Tukey's test. The chi-square test assessed the
relationship between intention to leave medical technology, sex, and
work behavior type. Sex differences on total JDI scores were determined
by the t test. Stepwise discriminant analysis was performed to see
which combinations of variables, if any, would be the best predictors
of attrition. Significance for all tests was determined at the .05
This section contains results of the study and provides answers to
the research questions posed in Chapter III. The first section
describes the sample population and contains analyses of data relevant
to each question.
Description of Population
Practicing Medical Technologists
Table 2 summarizes the data on practicing technologists obtained
from the demographic questionnaire. The majority of the subjects were
females (N = 72, 78.3%). More than 60% had practiced medical technology
for more than 5 years and most (56.5%) worked in large (more than 400
beds), teaching hospitals.
When asked about their future in medical technology, 32.6% of the
respondents expected to leave and 22.8% were uncertain. Furthermore,
22.8% indicated they would most likely leave within the next year.
More than three fourths of the subjects (77.2%) felt it would be easy
for them to find other jobs.
Medical technology met the professional expectations of three
fourths (76.1%) of the sample. However, only one third indicated that,
if they had it to do again, they would select medical technology as a
Fewer than one half (48.9%) of those surveyed felt they had
received adequate career information to make an informed choice about
Table 2. Characteristics of practicing medical technologists.
Characteristics N Percent
1. Male 20 21.7
2. Female 72 78.3
1. Under 25 years 9 9.8
2. 25-35 59 64.2
3. 36-45 15 16.3
4. 46-55 5 5.4
5. Over 55 years 4 4.3
C. Years at current job
1. Less than 1 year 20 21.7
2. Between 1 and 3 years 22 23.9
3. Between 3 and 5 years 26 28.3
4. Between 5 and 10 years 15 16.3
5. More than 10 years 9 9.8
D. Total years of experience
1. Less than 1 year 3 3.3
2. Between 1 and 3 years 15 16.3
3. Between 3 and 5 years 13 14.1
4. Between 5 and 10 years 25 27.2
5. More than 10 years 36 39.1
E. Work setting
a) small (fewer than 200 beds) 8 8.7
b) medium (200-400 beds) 20 21.7
c) large (more than 400 beds) 52 56.5
2. Private laboratory 3 3.3
3. Blood bank 3 3.3
4. Research laboratory 1 1.1
5. Clinic 5 5.4
F. Future in medical technology
1. Definitely will not leave 14 15.2
2. Probably will not leave 27 29.4
3. Uncertain 21 22.8
4. Probably will leave 23 25.0
5. Definitely will leave 7 7.6
G. Perceived ease of finding an alternative job
1. Very easy 24 26.1
2. Fairly easy 47 51.1
3. Not easy at all 12 13.0
4. Uncertain 9 9.8
Table 2 (continued)
Characteristic N Percent
H. Likelihood of leaving medical
technology within a year
1. Highly likely 12 13.0
2. Most likely 9 9.8
3. Not likely 58 63.0
4. Uncertain 13 14.2
I. Met expectations of the profession
1. Exceeded expectations 2 2.2
2. Met expectations 33 35.9
3. Somewhat met expectations 35 38.0
4. Did not meet expectations 22 23.9
J. Would choose medical technology
again as a career
1. Would choose again 30 33.0
2. Would choose again with reservations 6 6.6
3. Probably would not choose again 35 38.4
4. Definitely would not choose again 20 22.0
K. Adequate career information to choose
1. More than adequate 15 16.3
2. Adequate 30 32.6
3. Some information but more needed 38 41.3
4. Very little 9 9.8
L. Perceived usefulness of work behavior
characteristics in career decision making
1. Very helpful 34 37.4
2. Probably helpful 34 37.4
3. Would not help 15 16.4
4. Uncertain 8 8.8
entering medical technology. A total of 68 technologists (74.8%) felt
that information about work behavior types would have been helpful in
career decision making.
Former Medical Technologists
Table 3 contains the demographic data for former medical
technologists. Of the 19 former technologists surveyed,.10 (52.6%)
Table 3. Characteristics of former medical technologists.
Characteristics N Percent
1. Male 10 52.6
2. Female 9 47.4
1. Under 25 years 1 5.3
2. 25-35 8 42.0
3. 36-45 9 47.4
4. 46-55 1 5.3
5. Over 55 years 0 0
C. Years since practicing medical technology
1. Less than 1 year 1 5.3
2. Between 1 and 3 years 6 31.6
3. Between 3 and 5 years 6 31.6
4. Between 5 and 10 years 5 26.2
5. More than 10 years 1 5.3
D. Total years experience as a medical
1. Less than 1 year 0 0
2. Between 1 and 3 years 4 21.1
3. Between 3 and 5 years 4 21.1
4. Between 5 and 10 years 6 31.6
5. More than 10 years 5 26.2
E. Present profession
1. Physician's assistant 2 10.5
2. Sales representative (health related) 9 47.3
3. Biomedical engineer 2 10.5
4. Hospital administrator 1 5.3
5. Chef 1 5.3
6. Small business owner (electronics) 1 5.3
7. Technical rep. (health related) 2 10.5
8. Pathology resident 1 5.3
F. Would recommend medical technology to others
1. Would strongly recommend it 4 21.1
2. Would recommend it with reservation 4 63.1
3. Would probably recommend it 2 10.5
4. Would strongly advise against it 1 5.3
G. Adequate career information to choose
1. More than adequate 3 15.8
2. Adequate 6 31.6
3. Some information but more needed 8 42.1
4. Very little 2 10.5
Table 3 (continued)
Characteristics N Percent
H. Would return to medical technology
1. Yes 4 21.1
2. No 10 52.6
3. Uncertain 5 26.3
were males. More than half the subjects (52.7%) were over 35 years,
and 57.9% had practiced as medical technologists more than 5 years.
Former technologists worked in a variety of occupations. Only two,
however, worked in nonhealth related fields (chef, electronics
business owner). The majority (68.5%) had left medical technology
less than 5 years ago.
When asked if they would return to medical technology, 52.6% of
the subjects responded "NO" and 26.3% were uncertain. The majority
(63.1%) would recommend the field to others. More than half the
respondents (52.6%) indicated they had received little or insufficient
information about medical technology before making a decision to enter
Table 4 contains a comparison of medical technologists' responses
to items asking them to list, in order of importance,- the five factors
that influenced them to enter medical technology and the five factors
most influential in their decision to leave. Practicing technologists
ranked interest in science and medicine, desire to help the sick, job
opportunities, security, and expected salary as major reasons for
selecting medical technology as a career. Former medical technologists
listed interest in science and medicine, desire to help the sick,
availability of an educational program, job opportunities, and security.
Table 4. Comparison of the five major factors influencing medical
technologists in selecting, leaving, or intending to leave
Group rank Selection factors factors
Technologists 1 Interest in science Lack of career advance-
and medicine ment
2 Desire to help the Inadequate salary
3 Job opportunities Routine nature of work
4 Job security Stressful nature of work
5 Expected salary Lack of status and
Technologists 1 Interest in science Lack of career advance-
and medicine ment
2 Desire to help the Inadequate salary
3 Availability of Lack of status and
educational program recognition
4 Job opportunities Stressful nature of work
5 Job security Routine nature of work
Reasons for leaving or intending to leave the field were the same
for both groups of technologists. In order of importance, former
medical technologists left for the following reasons: lack of career
advancement, inadequate salary, lack of status and recognition,
stressful nature of work, and routine nature of work. Practicing
technologists also ranked lack of career advancement and inadequate
salary as the two major factors for desiring to leave followed by the
routine nature of work, stressful nature of work, and lack of status
Technologists' responses in this study were comparable to those
reported by previous researchers. Showery (1976) reported that only
30.8% of the technologists in his survey would choose medical technology
again if given the choice. Irwin (1983) found that 57% of the
participants in her study definitely planned to leave medical technology
within 5 years and 10% were undecided. Reports of inadequate career
information are consistent with studies by Youse and Clark (1977) and
Holstrom (1975) and Koneman (1982) also reported that medical
technologists chose this field because they desired to help people,
had an interest in science and medicine, saw a potential for
advancement and financial rewards, and felt it offered security.
Technologists in studies by Hajek and Blumberg (1982), Irwin (1983),
Miller (1982), Myers et al. (1982), Rogers (1983), and Showery (1976)
cited the same reasons for leaving or intending to leave medical
technology as the subjects in this study: lack of recognition, poor
pay, no upward mobility, job stress, and boredom (from over
specialization and mechanization).
Question 1: What are the work behavior types of medical
technologists in Florida? Table 5 contains the frequencies and
percentages of work behavior types among practicing and former medical
technologists. Of the 92 practicing technologists, 55 (59.8%) were
Producers. Almost a third (32.6%) were Concentrators. Only four (4.3%)
and three (3.3%) of those surveyed were Energizers and Inducers
The most common work behavior type among former technologists was
the Concentrator type (36.8%). More than one fourth (26.3%) were Inducers.
Table 5. Work behavior types of medical technologists.
Practicing technologists Former technologists Total
Type N Percent N Percent N Percent
Energizer 4 4.3 4 21.1 8 7.2
Inducer 3 3.3 5 26.3 8 7.2
Concentrator 30 32.6 7 36.8 37 33.3
Producer 55 59.8 3 15.8 58 52.3
Of the remaining seven subjects, four (21.1%) were Energizers and three
(15.8%) were Producers.
Overall, the majority (52.3%) of technologists in the study were
Producers. One third (33.3%) were Concentrators and the remaining
subjects were equally divided between Energizer (7.2%) and Inducer
Concentrators and Producers work to maintain the organization in
its present form. They can be counted on to do the job and follow the
rules and regulations of the organization. Energizers and Inducers
seek to alter the system and effect change in the organization. Chapter
II contains detailed descriptions of the types.
Medical technology contains a higher proportion of Producers and
Concentrators than occurs in the general population. Approximately
60% of the general population are either Producers or Concentrators,
with Producers predominating. Energizers and Inducers represent an
additional 20% each (Bauch, 1981). The proportion of work behavior
types among former technologists, however, approximates these figures
more closely than the proportions of work behavior types among practicing
Table 6 contains the means and standard deviations for scores of
work behavior types on each dimension of the Profile. Compared to
Energizers and Inducers, Producers and Concentrators scored high on
their respective scales. Producers had a mean score of 9.68. The
mean score for Concentrators was 8.12. Energizers and Inducers
scored an average of 3.63 and 4.81 respectively. As mentioned in
Chapter III, scores on the MPPP can range from -15 to 15 with zero as
the mean score.
Producers' scores on the other dimensions indicate they also
scored high on the Concentrator scale (x = 4.49) and low on the Inducer
and Energizer scales. Concentrators scored high on the Producer
scale (x = 3.34) and also scored low on the Energizer and Inducer
scales. Although not high, Energizers' second strongest scores were
on the Producer dimension (x = -.75). For Inducers, the Concentrator
dimension had the second highest mean score (x = 1.38).
Table 6. Mean scores and standard deviations for each work behavior
type on each work dimension.
Type Work Behavior Dimension
Energizer Inducer Concentrator Producer
Energizer x 3.63 -2.81 -0.13 .75
SD 1.33 5.49 2.39 3.19
Inducer x .50 4.81 1.38 -2.88
SD 3.89 0.59 3.09 4.50
Concentrator x -5.05 -3.08 8.12 3.34
SD 4.46 4.23 2.82 3.72
Producer x -3.83 -5.41 4.49 9.68
SD 4.64 4.14 3.61 2.74
As discussed in Chapter II, the MPPP generates, in addition to one
of the four major work behavior types, a more detailed description of
an individual's work behavior. This "subtype" is based on the
interactions among all choices and the strength of the individual's
responses on each dimension of work behavior.
Almost two thirds (65%) of practicing technologists fell into
three subtypes. Descriptions of these types are as follows:
Type 9 has characteristics of the worker types who apply
their skills in nonthreatening situations. They will
cautiously follow procedures and rules. They are committed
to doing the job correctly, and try hard to be prepared to
do their best. They like predictable work environments where
their jobs are clearly defined, but will enthusiastically
accept new assignments if the assignments are in their area
of expertise. They will take the time to be sure they
understand exactly what is desired of them, get the facts
relating to the assignment, and if they make a commitment,
they produce accordingly. An important value to the
organization is the precision and quality of their work and
their personal identity with their product. (Bauch, 1981,
Type 11 has traits of perfectionist workers. These
individuals follow directions exactly and strive for
flawless products. When procedures and deadlines are
clear and specific, they attend to all the detail and
quality work. Thus, no backing up or correcting will be
needed. They ask for clarification frequently to make
sure things are being done right. They can explain the
rules and operating procedures to the new employee as
well as the author. They accept the system without great
concern about why and do not require intensive supervision
once the job is described. They are noted for dependability
in completing work when expected and doing their best to
attain quality. (Bauch, 1981, p. 24)
Type 16 has characteristics of the specialist group. These
people are noted for good planning and persistence on the
job over long periods. They are quite accepting of the
varieties of styles of co-workers but will maintain a small
group of good friends. They like consistency in their work
environment as they value the tried and proven methods.
They establish a steady pace and follow it with or without
supervision. They appreciate recognition for their staying
at the job until it is done. (Bauch, 1981, p. 27)
Subtypes of the former medical technologists were heterogeneous.
No one type predominated.
These findings on work behavior types among medical technologists
are consistent with results of personality types reported by other
researchers. Bowling (1973) determined that 57% of the medical
technologists in her sample had a strong preference for the sensing-
judging dimensions on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). They
were predominately introvert-sensing-thinking-judging (ISTJ),
extravert-sensing-thinking-judging (ESTJ), or introvert-sensing-
feeling-judging (ISFJ) types.
Fellers (1974), French and Rezler (1976), Hill (1974), and
Rezler and French (1975) also reported that medical technologists
preferred sensing, thinking, and judging. About 20% of the clinical
practitioners in the French-Rezler (1976) study were ISTJ or ESTJ
Compared to practicing technologists,student technologists were
more intuitive, feeling, and perceiving (Rezler & French, 1975;
Williams, 1974). French and Rezler (1976) speculated these types found
working conditions disappointing and left medical technology before or
shortly after entering the field.
Glenn's (1982) research demonstrated significant relationships
between personality functions measured on the MBTI and work behavior
types measured by the MPPP. She found significant correlations between
the Producer type work behavior and the introvert (r = .35), sensing
(r = .48), and judging (r = -.36) scores on the MBTI. Producers who
are exacting in their work were also introverts, prefering the sensing
and judging modes.
Bauch's description of Producers (presented in Chapter II) and
Myers' (1976) description of the introvert-sensing-judging type are
very similar. According to Myers, the introvert-sensing-judging
types are those who
like quiet for concentration, tend to be careful with
details, and seldom make errors of fact. They tend not
to mind working on one project for a long time
uninterruptedly, and like to think a lot before they act,
sometimes without acting. They are patient with routine
details, and tend to be good at precise work. They are
at their best when they plan their work and follow their
plan. (pp. 17-18)
Glenn also reported that Concentrators were most likely to be
sensing and judging, introverted or extraverted, with a preference for
the feeling function. Energizer scores correlated significantly with
the intuitive and thinking personality functions. Inducer scores, as
expected, correlated with the extravert, intuitive, and perceptive
In light of these studies on personality types among medical
technologists and correlations of personality type to work behavior
type, it is not surprising, then, to find the high proportion of
Producers and low proportion of Energizers and Inducers among medical
technologists. Producers have the qualities required and desired for
medical technology. They carefully follow procedures and strive for
precision. The subtypes of medical technologists also reflect
essential work behavior characteristics for this field. In addition
to producing precise, quality work and following directions, these
subtypes complete the work on time with little supervision.
As a bench-level technologist, the Inducer would not have many
opportunities for contacts with fellow workers or patients.
The Energizer would find few outlets for new ideas, solving
problems, or bringing about change. However, Energizers and Inducers
would probably find avenues for expressing their work behavior traits
as administrative or teaching technologists.
Former technologists work in a variety of occupations. Therefore,
it is reasonable to find that the proportions of work behavior types
among this group approximate those of the general population.
Question 2: Does a relationship exist between the work behavior
type of the technologist and overall job satisfaction? The researcher
used a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to answer this question.
The findings are reported in a summary table (Table 7). A significant
relationship occurred between work behavior type and the overall job
satisfaction score of the subject.
The investigator used Tukey's test of Honestly Significant
Differences (HSD) to determine the source of variance between the work
behavior types. The mean scores of Inducers differed significantly
from scores of Producers and indicated higher levels of overall job
satisfaction. There were no significant differences among the total
JDI scores of the other work behavior types.
Glenn (1982) found no significant relationship between overall job
satisfaction, measured by a Job Satisfaction Questionnaire, and work
behavior types of vocational education administrators. French and
Rezler (1976) could not correlate overall job satisfaction with
personality type among medical technologists. Williams (1976), however,
determined that medical technologists with introvert personality types
as measured by the MBTI were, in general, less satisfied with their
Table 7. Analysis of variance results for JDI scores by work behavior
Total JDI Scores
Source df Sum of squares Mean square F ratio F prob.
Between Groups 3 17,657.32 5,885.77 3.44 .02*
Within Groups 107 182,868.92 1,709.06
145.71 (4) Producer
162.16 (3) Concentrator
166.375 (1) Energizer
190.00* (2) Inducer
(2 was different from 4, but not from 1 or 3)
Work Subscale of JDI
Source df Sum of squares Mean square F ratio F prob.
Between Groups 3 671.30 223.77 2.26 .09
Within Groups 107 10,602.97 99.09
28.79 (4) Producer
32.38 (3) Concentrator
33.88 (1) Energizer
36.63 (2) Inducer
Promotion Subscale of JDI
Source df Sum of squares Mean square F ratio F prob.
Between Groups 3 2,855.11 951.70 5.21 .002*
Within Groups 107 19,557.00 182.78
9.12 (4) Producer
13.97 (3) Concentrator
16.00 (1) Energizer
28.38* (2) Inducer
(2 was different from 3 and 4, but not from 1)
Pay Subscale of JDI
Source df Sum of squares Mean square F ratio F prob.
Between Groups 3 1,832.02 610.67 2.88 .04*
Within Groups 107 22,667.56 211.85
21.47 (4) Producer
25.92 (3) Concentrator
32.12 (2) Inducer
34.25 (1) Energizer