Original Research

Do wage and wage satisfaction compensate for the effects of a dissatisfying job on life satisfaction?

Jacob A. de Coning, Sebastiaan Rothmann, Marius W. Stander
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 45 | a1552 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v45i0.1552 | © 2019 Jacob de Coning, Sebastiaan Rothmann, Marius W. Stander | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 May 2018 | Published: 10 January 2019

About the author(s)

Jacob A. de Coning, Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University, South Africa
Sebastiaan Rothmann, Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University, South Africa
Marius W. Stander, School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, North-West University, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Research regarding subjective well-being (including life satisfaction and domain-specific satisfaction) is necessary, given the effects thereof on health, work performance, social relationships and ethical behaviour of employees.

Research purpose: This study aimed to investigate the relationships among life satisfaction, job satisfaction and wage satisfaction, as well as how these relationships related to gross wage category in a South African sample.

Motivation for the study: While research has shown that wage level and wage satisfaction are positively associated with both job and life satisfaction, the question arises whether wage level and satisfaction would compensate for the negative effect of a dissatisfying job on life satisfaction.

Research approach/design and method: A cross-sectional design was used. A non-probability convenience sample (N = 763) in the form of the WageIndicator data set was obtained. Hierarchical log-linear analyses and cross-tabulations were carried out to determine the relationships that existed among the constructs.

Main findings: Although job satisfaction and wage satisfaction were strongly related at a low level of wage satisfaction, fewer people were satisfied with their jobs at a high level of wage satisfaction level. Moreover, while job and life satisfaction were strongly related at a low level of job satisfaction level, relatively fewer people were satisfied with their lives at a high level of job satisfaction level. Wage dissatisfaction was associated with dissatisfaction with life but was more strongly associated with life satisfaction at a high level of wage satisfaction. Wage category and wage satisfaction did not interact with the job satisfaction level in affecting life satisfaction.

Practical/managerial implications: Managers should attend to the perceptions of wage dissatisfaction at low wage and wage satisfaction levels. Such dissatisfaction may have a negative impact on the job and life satisfaction of employees and result in detrimental effects on employees and organisations.

Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to scientific knowledge regarding the relationships between wage, wage satisfaction, job dissatisfaction and life satisfaction.


Keywords

life satisfaction; job satisfaction; wage satisfaction; gross wage; wage indicator; South Africa

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