Job Satisfaction among UAE Employee


Human resources are considered the cornerstone of the development and improvement of any organization. Job satisfaction should be one of the important priorities of these organizations, to attract and retain qualified staff. Due to this reason, we conducted a survey in UAE to investigate different factors that affected job satisfaction in UAE. The paper aims to investigate the relationship between job satisfaction and different factors by surveying employees in UAE from different positions and gender. It is important to measure job satisfaction level in UAE to improve the experience of the employee that UAE is considered as one of the important countries with a diverse workforce, also to guide the organizations in UAE to attract talented people from both genders and to improve their system.

Job satisfaction is the overall constructive method that an employee has toward his own tasks and also toward the general environment of the organization (Al Shaer, 2009). Job satisfaction makes staff more helpful and satisfied with others in the organization, which may improve teamwork and a safer environment.

This survey is conducted to investigate three factors that affected job satisfaction, first one is to find if there is a significant difference between males and females in terms of perceived level of opportunities for advancement, and this is an important issue in the Arab countries considered as a male culture. According to Towers Watson’s Global Workforce study a survey conducted and they found that the percentage of women working in UAE and don’t feel that they have adequate opportunity to advance in their career is (49%), compared with (31%) of men, and the global average of 50% of women. The second issue is to investigate the relationship between job satisfaction and tenure, but most research found that job satisfaction is slightly related to tenure (Crossman & Abou-Zaki, 2003).

The third issue is the effect of job satisfaction on organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Organizational behavior (OCB is a term that encompasses anything positive and constructive that employees do, of their own volition, which supports co-workers and benefits the company (Zhang, 2011). Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is more important than encouraging the employee to engage in the organizational citizenship behavior helps to increase employee’s productivity, efficiency and reducing cost in organizations (Podsakoff, Whiting, Podsakoff & Blume, 2009).

Organ et al. (2006), suggest that OCB may have a positive effect on employees due to many reasons like enhancing the productivity of the employee, for example, helping colleagues to meet deadlines, also by attracting the best staff, and by creating social capital and better communication.

Literature Review

An article written by (Al-Waqfi & Abdalla Al-faki, 2015) about the differences in employment conditions of local and expatriate workers in the GCC using gender base comparison, explains why there might be a higher focus in males in human capital, and that is due to females being more committed to family than work and other cultural and religious reasons that limit their enrollment in the labor market in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other gulf countries. This study used Dubai Labor Market Survey 2007 to get their results, which stated that women in UAE – local, Arab or Asian- have lower access to the management position as well as they are paid less than men. Add to that, they got a lower opportunity to promotion compared to men in all levels of nationalities. Another Article was done by (Lopes & Curado, 2013) about gender bias when it comes to promotion in different sectors in Portugal, their second hypothesis wasn’t rejected and it stated that the rate of men’s promotions is higher than women’s. And minor levels of females are positioned in managerial positions although they have higher educational levels than males. Article titled “Gender influences on career success outcomes” was conducted on a sample of people having managerial positions to assess how gender factors do affect success outcome, and the result was positive in regards to having a difference in outcomes based on gender (Orser & Leck, 2010).

Even though numerous studies have been carried out to look into the causes and the outcomes of job satisfaction in establishments, very little have been done regarding the topic in the Middle East. The findings obtained from Western countries are not applicable to the Middle East due to differences in the cultures and way of life in the two regions. A review of the available information reveals that job satisfaction varies tremendously depending on the culture. Sing (2012) determined the demographic factors that influenced job satisfaction among expatriates in the United Arab Emirates. In his study, he found out that more factors influence the level of job satisfaction as the tenure increases. A different study by Shallal (2011) aimed at determining the level of job satisfaction among women in the UAE. In this study, there was a positive correlation between age, education and income and job satisfaction. The positive association could be attributed to increased job security and confidence that came with long work tenures. A different study carried out by Al Mazrouei, Al Faisal, Hussein, El Sawaf, and Wasfy (2015) indicated that the extent of job gratification among doctors in the United Arab Emirates increased with years of experience, which came as a result of longer tenures. Therefore, the three studies indicated that tenure had a substantial influence on job satisfaction.

Regarding the relationship between job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behavior a study done by Mehboob and Bhutto (2012). where they tried to examine if the job is a strong predictor of Organizational citizenship behavior, they conducted a study on the team members in 3 business organizations, where they measured the job satisfaction based on f Extrinsic and Intrinsic elements, they concluded that job satisfaction has a connection to organizational citizenship behavior.

Swaminathan, Jawahar (2013), conduct a study and they found that Organizational citizenship behavior has been a major construct in the fields of management; it is an important factor that can contribute to the survival of an organization. Therefore, various studies have demonstrated that OCB has a positive influence on improving the performance in the Organization. OCB is crucial in organizations because of the downsizing and rightsizing in response to the economic pressures. It has contributed positively to Organizational outcomes such as service quality Organizational Commitment. Thus, employees who engage in citizenship Behaviour are expected to have higher levels of job motivation and job satisfaction than employees who do not. Furthermore, it is suggested that these higher levels of OCB may lead to increased productivity and consequently, higher profitability. The study showed that there is considerable evidence that OCB and job satisfaction are positively related, and they found a strong and positive relationship between overall OCB and contextual job satisfaction.


H1: Males have a higher perceived level of opportunities for advancement than females.

H2: There is a significant relationship between job satisfaction and tenure.

H3: There is a positive relationship between Job satisfaction and Organization citizenship behavior.


The data was collected through a survey by using online questionnaire. The total number of participant is 422, those 184 males and 238 females. The survey was collected randomly from participants in different sectors that 60% of them were from the government sector, 23.5% from private and 16.1% from semi-public sectors. And those organizations are located in different emirates like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, and Fujairah. The employees are from different fields for example manufacturing, finance, services, transportation, healthcare sector and construction.

The type of questionnaires was a closed questionnaire used to measure the relationship between employee satisfaction and three different factors: job tenure, organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and if Males have a higher perceived level of opportunities for advancement than females. For analysis, SPSS was used to find the independent t-test, regression and correlation and frequency statistics.


For the first hypothesis: Males have a higher perceived level of opportunities for advancement than females, the result was:

Group Statistics: table 1.

Opportunities for advancement N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Male 184 3.49 0.941 0.069
Female 238 3.06 1.019 0.066

Independent Samples Test: table 2.

Levene’s Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of
F Sig t df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Opportunities for advancement Equal variances assumed
Equal variances have not assumed
.081 .776 4.460














According to table 1 &2 the independent t-test was conducted and it shows the scores for males (M=3.49, SD=0.941) and for females (M=3.06, SD=1.019) conditions; t-test (420) =4.460, p= 0.000 with a mean difference of 0.432.

Group statistics: (table: 3).

Mean Standard deviation N
Job satisfaction 4.87 1.673 422
Tenure 4.81 4.523 418

Correlations: (table: 4).

Job satisfaction Pearson correlation -0.053
Sig. 2 tailed 0.275
N 418

For the second hypothesis, Pearson correlation using SPSS was used to determine the correlation between tenure and job satisfaction. From tables 3 &4, job satisfaction and tenure had a Pearson correlation of (r = -0.053), which is a negative correlation correspondence. Additionally, since the P-value for the correlation coefficient was greater than the alpha value of 0.05 (P=0.275) which means that the correlation is not statistically significant, then it is concluded that there was no correlation between job satisfaction and tenure with correlation correspondence of (-0.053)and that the relationship was not statistically significant with P level of (0.275 > 0.05), in sample size of 418 individuals.

Job Satisfaction among UAE Employee

About the third hypothesis, if there is a positive relationship between Job satisfaction and Organization citizenship behavior, also regression analysis was done by using SPSS and the result was the mean value is.299, the T value is 5.399, the significant value is.000, and this means there is a significant positive effect between job satisfaction and OCBO.


In this paper first we examined the first hypothesis to investigate if males have a higher perceived level of opportunities for advancement than females. An Independent T-test was conducted and we found that; t (420) =4.460, p= 0.000 with a mean difference of 0.432. So we can conclude that the level of opportunity of advancement for male is higher than for female and that the hypothesis is positive.

For the relationship between job satisfaction and tenure, the findings of the questionnaire did not corroborate the hypothesis that there was a significant correlation between job satisfaction and tenure. These findings were contrary to the expected outcomes based on the review of existing literature. The differences could be attributed to the categories followed when analyzing the findings of the questionnaire. However, the questionnaire results were in line with the findings of El-Salibi (2012) who observed that attributes such as age, working hours, residency, marital status, nursing position and the number of children did not affect job satisfaction among nurses in UAE. Therefore, there is the likelihood that the relationship between job satisfaction and tenure was influenced by the interplay of various factors such as demographic factors and type of job (Wright & Davis, 2003).

About the third hypothesis if there is a relationship between job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behavior, based on that job satisfaction has a significant positive effect on OCBO, the significant value is.000. the dependent value is OCB; the independent value is job satisfaction. This result is matching the literature and the studies done by Swaminathan, Jawahar (2013), and by Mehboob and Bhutto (2012).

When measuring job satisfaction, there are some limitations that faced the survey, like people may not tell the truth regarding the satisfaction, and some employees have privilege more than others for example due to their job nature or opportunities.

Future research, qualitative studies could be conducted in a specific sector like only in a government sector or private to find if organization type could affect employee satisfaction, also qualitative studies are recommended in these types of studies that it helps to deepen the understanding of the factors contributing in job satisfaction in different sectors. Also, job satisfaction can be measured in a non-profit organization.


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