Basic Human Needs and Organizational Justice Explain Job Satisfaction, but Do They Predict Individual Performance?
34 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 25, 2019
The self-determination literature is inconclusive about how basic need fulfillment affects job satisfaction and how needs-based models compare with models based on desires, i.e., organizational justice which forms the basis of popular employee engagement surveys. It is unclear also how individual performance is affected by job satisfaction that results either from basic needs or from organizational justice. Based on survey data, we compare needs-based and desire-based models. We assess how well such models explain and predict job satisfaction directly and indirectly predict individual performance through job satisfaction. This paper shows that, in lean management contexts, job satisfaction due to the fulfillment of basic human needs better predicts in-role performance than does job satisfaction due to organizational justice. We also find that (i) the need for relatedness is more important than previously theorized and (ii) the effect of fulfilling basic needs depends on constraints that reflect how well other needs are satisfied. In general, basic human needs have much greater explanatory power with respect to job satisfaction than does organizational justice. Finally, our paper highlights the need to distinguish clearly between explanatory and predictive models, because our results show that a given model's performance varies considerably as a function of the particular application.
Keywords: Job satisfaction, Explanatory modeling, Prediction modeling, In-role performance, Constraining factor model
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