Job satisfaction amongst employees at a public health institution in the Western Cape

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Abstract of the thesis

Job satisfaction among public sector employees within South Africa, specifically the health environment is becoming an area of major concern as highlighted by recent research studies and media reports. An exodus of professional staff and a lack of resources have exacerbated the current problem impeding on effective and efficient service delivery. Literature validates that factors such as poor working conditions, staff shortages, below competitive salaries, a lack of promotional opportunities are some of the major factors contributing to employee dissatisfaction within the sector (Ellickson & Logsdon, 2002; Herman, 2005; Ting, 1997).

Job satisfaction amongst employees at a public health institution in the Western Cape
Job satisfaction amongst employees at a public health institution in the Western Cape
As the ultimate goal in the health environment is service delivery, it is imperative that employees perform optimally and maintain acceptable levels of job satisfaction, hence, contributing to the vision and mission of providing better care and health to individuals (Department of Health Provincial Government: Western Cape’s annual report, 2003/2004).
The primary objective of this study is to ascertain the levels of job satisfaction experienced amongst employees at a public health institution in the Western Cape region. For the purpose of this study a quantitative, non-probability convenience sampling design was used to assess job satisfaction. The sample group (N = 203) consisted of permanent and contract male and female staff members on salary levels 2 to 13, extending across the following occupational classes: Pharmacist, Pharmacist Assistant, Auxiliary Service Officer, Administrative Clerk, Director, Personnel Officer, Administrative Officer, State Accountant and Personnel Practitioner. A biographical questionnaire and the Job Descriptive Index questionnaire (JDI) were administered to gather the data. The JDI measures job satisfaction on five job facets,  namely, pay, promotions, supervision, co-workers and the work itself. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data.
Results indicate that employees at the public health institution in the Western Cape expressed satisfaction with their co-workers, followed by the nature of the work and the supervision they receive. Opportunities for promotion and pay emerged as major sources of dissatisfaction. With the exception of marital status, the relationship between occupational class, race, gender, educational level, tenure, age, income and job status with job satisfaction was found to be significant. Although the research indicates that job satisfaction is significantly related to variables such as work, remuneration, supervision, promotion, and co-workers, ongoing research is required in this domain. However, the role of other potentially confounding extraneous variables on job satisfaction needs to be contemplated for future research. Lastly, due to the composition of the sample, the results of this study cannot be inferred to other similar occupational classes in other public institutions. Therefore, it is recommended that a proportionate stratified random sample be utilised for future research.


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