Job Satisfaction and UAE Employee Performance

An investigation into a relationship between job satisfaction and employee performance in the organizations in the United Arab Emirates.

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Introduction

Today, more and more researchers show interest in understanding the main factors that define the financial performance and success of the organization. The hypothesis that there is a vehement connection between job satisfaction and employee performance is gaining popularity. The primary reason for that was the fact that some studies showed that factors such as integrity, engagement, and possibilities for future development motivated the employees (Shmailan, 2016). Simultaneously, severe working conditions not only had an adverse effect on corporate revenues but also on the well-being of the workers. Today, many employees have to consult doctors and seek psychological support to overcome stress. Figure 1 portrays that stress is one of the threats to the prosperity of the organization, and discovering a relationship between job satisfaction and performance can diminish it.

Stress at the workplace.
Figure 1. Stress at the workplace (Armstrong, 2016).

Thus, in Arab countries, management tends to underestimate this concept while disregarding the ideas of employee engagement and satisfaction (Shmailan, 2016). It is unclear whether it pertains to the specifics of culture or selected leadership style, but this issue is worth discovering in the United Arab Emirates. Simultaneously, there are not many studies conducted in this area that consider the specifics of the UAE, and this issue simultaneously while using a mixed approach will help collect and analyze information within several months. Overall, the lack of research and a link to the mental and physical health of the workers underlines the need to study these concepts and propose relevant strategies to minimize these adverse outcomes and targets at financial prosperity.

The research problem

Based on the information presented above, the main problem addressed in this research study is the lack of understanding of the relationship between job satisfaction and employee performance in the United Arab Emirates. Revealing a connection between these aspects will not only cause an upward shift in the revenues but also help reduce burnout and stress.

The purpose of the study

As it was mentioned previously, this study would unveil important insights about a relationship between job satisfaction and employee performance. The discovered findings can help modify the company’s culture, improve employee satisfaction, well-being, and avoid burnout. Consequently, this research can provide valuable information to management, leaders, and policymakers, as it will design strategies to enhance performance with the help of job satisfaction components.

The objectives of the study

The major objectives can be formulated as:

  1. Discover a relationship between job satisfaction and employee performance in the organizations in the UAE;
    • Hypothesis: A high level of job satisfaction affects employee performance positively in the companies in the UAE;
  2. Develop strategies that can be used by any organization to enhance overall performance while relying on the principles of job satisfaction.

The research questions

The research questions can be formulated as:

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  1. What kind of relationship is there between job satisfaction and employee performance in the organizations in the UAE?
    • Does a high level of job satisfaction affect employee performance positively in the companies in the UAE?
  2. What strategies can be introduced to enhance overall performance while relying on the principles of job satisfaction?

Literature Review

As it was mentioned in the chapter “Introduction”, management of the companies in different countries discovered a relationship between job satisfaction and employee performance of paramount importance. For example, Shmailan (2016) in his article The Relationship between Job Satisfaction, Job Performance, and Employee Engagement: An Explorative Study stated that there was a clear connection between the level of integrity, satisfaction, and performance. With the help of the literature review, this publication revealed that employee engagement was one of the key definers of organizational success and its profitability while recognition, rewards, safety, and inspiring leaders would help encourage its development (Shmailan, 2016). Apart from being highly explorative, this study is generalized since it does not use any primary data and relies on secondary findings solely.

Alternatively, Khan, Nawaz, Aleem, and Hamed (2012) also attempted to discover a correlation between job satisfaction and employee performance, but the authors reviewed the topic in the context of the medical sphere in Pakistan. Acquiring results from 200 participants helped discover that factors such as rewards, atmosphere, security, and a possibility for learning and career development had a critical impact on job satisfaction (Khan et al., 2012). Meanwhile, a link between satisfaction and performance was evident.

Bakotic (2016) also conducted a study to determine the influence of job satisfaction on organizational performance. To discover this dependence, the author relied on the quantitative method and collected results from 5806 workers in Croatia (Bakotic, 2016). The primary peculiarity of this study was the fact that it examined a connection between satisfaction and performance and vice versa. The first relationship was stronger than the second one. Apart from the beneficial intentions of the studies conducted by Bakotic (2016) and Khan et al. (2012), limited geographical scope and focus on the specific sphere could be considered as the main drawbacks. These matters may make the findings of these articles not applicable in the context of the UAE and other countries.

When discovering this topic from a perspective of the UAE, the article by AbdelRahman, Elanin, and Aboelmaged (2012) described different factors that affected employee satisfaction. The study showed that the workers employed in the banking sector considered payment, rewards, promotion, and sufficient supervision as significant (AbdelRahman et al., 2012). These findings are valuable, but the study does not discover any relationship between job satisfaction and performance.

Nevertheless, the article Links between Justice, Satisfaction, and Performance in the Workplace: The Survey in the UAE and Arabic Context by Suliman (2007) filled the gaps of the publication mentioned above. It not only discovered the links but also measured their strengths and intensity. Consequently, the study revealed that the employees’ understanding of justice and motivation had a critical impact on their performance while job satisfaction was also one of the influencers (Suliman, 2007). Apart from discovering valuable findings, the study is outdated. This aspect questions the validity and reliability of the stated information.

Overall, the literature review helped reveal that a relationship between job satisfaction and performance was an interesting topic to discover. The generalization of the findings and using a literature review as a method questioned the applicability of the outcomes in different situations and contexts. At the same time, there is a lack of research in the UAE, and a combination of these gaps underlines the need to discover it in this country.

The Proposed Methodology

This section will focus on the methodology that is applicable in the context of the study A Relationship between Job Satisfaction and Employee Performance in the Organizations in the United Arab Emirates. It will describe research design, data collection techniques, sampling approaches, variables, analysis, and issues with reliability and validity.

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Research design

In the context of this paper, the research will consist of two parts. With the help of causal research and quantitative approach, it will be essential to collect statistical data about employee satisfaction and performance. This part of the study will be hypothesis testing, and it will reveal whether this statement “A high level of job satisfaction affects employee performance positively in the companies in the UAE” is relevant. Meanwhile, the second part of the study will focus on the development of the potential strategies that can be created to improve financial performance and avoid burnout in the companies in the UAE. Relying on the qualitative method and exploratory study is the most applicable approach in this instance. Due to the need to discover the topic from different angles, a mixed research design can be viewed as the most rational one, as it will supply the researcher with both qualitative and quantitative instruments.

Data Sources

The information concerning employee satisfaction will be collected with the help of designing and distributing questionnaires. Meanwhile, acquiring financial information about the company’s recent performance can be considered as another source (financial reports or different questionnaires for the accountants and financial authorities). The information about the strategies will be collected with the help of interviews with industry professionals and executives.

Data collection techniques

For measuring employee satisfaction, I will distribute quantitative questionnaires that use Likert-scale where one stands for strongly dissatisfied and five for highly satisfied. It will take several days (15-30 April 2017) to complete the survey, as it will be present online with the links given to the employees. The information for financial reports will be collected at the same time. It will be easy for me to distribute questionnaires online since I actively practiced this type of method. Analyzing financial information and collecting it from executives will be challenging, as I do not have enough experience in this area.

As for interviews, they will be semi-structured and will cover topics such as a link between job satisfaction and performance, specifics of culture in the UAE, and recommendations. The appointments will be scheduled in April 2017. This step will be difficult for me, as I have never conducted these types of interviews. However, I hope that my advanced communication skills can help me overcome these difficulties.

Issues of reliability and validity

In the quantitative part of the study, I will have to face the challenges related to equivalence, consistency, and stability. For example, the researcher may not have sufficient access to financial information, design confusing questionnaires, misinterpret the findings, and generalize them. To deal with these issues, the researcher will rely on re-testing, check the measures with equitation, use different statistical approaches, and design sufficient questionnaires. As for content, criterion, and construct, the questions and variables will be selected carefully and reviewed to avoid bias.

As for qualitative research and interviews, the studies will take into account credibility, dependability, transferability, and confirmability (researcher bias, generalization, misinterpretation, and communication problems). In this case, the outcomes will be discovered from the perspective of participants and can be actively implemented in different case scenarios. To ensure a high degree of conformability, the researcher has to investigate different negative consequences continuously.

Sampling techniques

For the quantitative method, voluntarily sampling will be used, and it is expected to involve 100 participants from one of the companies in the UAE while only ten individuals will participate in pilot research. This technique will be the most appropriate one since the participants will have a choice to select whether they will take part in the discussion or not, and it will increase the quality of the results.

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As for the qualitative method, purposive sampling will be used, and it will include interviews with five experts. This method will be utilized since it will focus on a group of industry professionals. Meanwhile, only one of them will participate in the preliminary research.

Definitions of key terms, concepts, and variables

Job satisfaction is the level of fulfillment that employee experiences at work while being dependent on various factors such as motivation, supervision, management, payment, and pressure (AbdelRahman et al., 2012). It will be measured with the help of a Likert-scale from one (dissatisfied) to five (highly dissatisfied).

Employee performance is the ability of the worker to meet the goals and expectations of the management and his/her contribution to the overall company’s productivity (Khan et al., 2012). Similar ideas are applicable at the organizational level, and in the context of this paper, it is reviewed in terms of finances. The dependence between job satisfaction (independent variable) and performance (dependent variable) will be assessed with the help of linear regression analysis.

Data analysis and interpretation

The results of the questionnaires will be evaluated with statistical methods, and some of them will be used to test the validity and reliability of the findings. Linear regression is the most suitable approach since it will discover a relationship between job satisfaction and performance. Thus, the findings will be generalized by calculating mean values.

As for the interviews, the information will be recorded while taking the notes to highlight important aspects. After that, it will be transcribed and interpreted by describing data, classifying it (typology), finding connections, and generalizing it. The principles of content analysis can be actively used. A combination of these factors will help describe the strategies in detail.

Ethical considerations

One of the ethical issues is confidentiality, as the majority of the participants will not be eager to share their answers. In this instance, the study has to ensure the safety of confidential information by stating that the results will be generalized and used anonymously. As for informed consent, it will be presented before completing a questionnaire or participating in the interviews, as, otherwise, it may lead to the development of various conflicts and issues.

As for debriefing and counseling, these matters have to be provisioned. For example, the participants may not want to damage the company’s image and respond only positively to the statements of the questionnaire. In this case, anonymous participation will encourage information sharing and avoid this issue. Simultaneously, the questions may offend some participants, and testing them can eliminate this problem.

Pretest or pilot study

Ten employees found it easy to respond to the questionnaire by using Likert-scale and answering to 5 statements (1) I am satisfied with the level of supervision provided; 2) my colleagues are friendly and comfortable to work with; 3) I am happy with the supervision; 4) I am pleased with career opportunities; and 5) I am satisfied with my job). It took only several hours to collect the responses, so scheduling was logical. Obtaining financial results was the most difficult part, but they were acquired promptly. A positive correlation between job satisfaction and performance was revealed. As for interviews, the schedule was relevant, and it was possible to interview one professional. The most appropriate strategies suggested were focusing on motivation, enhancing leadership, and providing opportunities for career development.

My Personal Work Plan

Steps in the Research Plan Deadline for Completion
Submission of the proposal 30 March
Design of a research plan 30 March – 2 April
Gaining access/getting permission to work in a particular area/have access to data, etc. 2-3 April
Literature review 4-15 April
Defining of a universe, a sample frame, sampling OR setting up of selection criteria, etc. 4-5 April
Design and testing of the questionnaire, if appropriate 10 April
Design of a final questionnaire/schedules, etc. 15 April
Interviews/posting of questionnaires, etc. 15-30 April 2017 (questionnaires and interview appointments)
Editing of completed questionnaires, grouping and coding of data, entering data into a computer 1-2 May
Design and testing of a computer program 3 May
Raw tabulations/draft analysis of qualitative data 4 May
Analysis of data 4-10 May
Report up of findings 10-15 May
Presentation of final research product(s) 17 May

Please complete the following by ticking the appropriate box or writing a comment

  1. Did you select the best methods to allow you to answer your research question(s)?
Yes No Don’t Know
1 ✓ 2 3
  1. Did you fully describe your study population, sampling procedures, and methods of data-gathering?
Yes No Don’t Know
1 ✓ 2 3
  1. Have you considered the problems of gaining access to your data sources?
Yes No Don’t Know
1 ✓ 2 3
  1. Do you need a letter of introduction (or a consent letter) from your study-leader(s)?
Yes No
1 ✓ 2
  1. Will you have to design a data-gathering/recording tool (e.g., a questionnaire, an interview schedule, an observation checklist, etc.)?
Yes No
1 ✓ 2
  1. Did you select and describe the most appropriate analysis procedures?
Yes No Don’t Know
1 ✓ 2 3
  1. Will you need help with any analysis?
If “Yes” describe the type of help you’ll need If “No”, tell us why not
Explanation and Help with analytical tools (linear regression) and other equation
  1. Have you considered the ethical implications of your study?
Yes No Don’t Know
1 ✓ 2 3
  1. What are the MAIN problems you foresee in successfully completing this study?

Problems with interpreting statistical information, issues with using statistical instruments, and misinterpretation of the data acquired from interviews

List of Sources

AbdelRahman, A., Elanin, A., & Aboelmaged, M. (2012). Job satisfaction among expatriate and national employees in an Arabian Gulf context. International Journal of Business Research and Development, 1(1), 1-16.

Armstrong, M. (2016). Stress is biggest threat to workplace health [image]. Web.

Bakotic, D. (2016). Relationship between job satisfaction and organizational performance. Economic Research, 29(1), 118-130.

Khan, A., Nawaz, M., Aleem, M., & Hamed, W. (2012). Impact of job satisfaction on employee performance: An empirical study of autonomous medical institutions of Pakistan. African Journal of Business Management, 6(7), 2697-2709.

Shmailan, A. (2016). The relationship between job satisfaction, job performance and employee engagement: An explorative study. Issues in Business Management and Economics, 4(1), 1-8.

Suliman, A. (2007). Links between justice, satisfaction, and performance in the workplace: A survey in the UAE and Arabic context. Journal of Management Development, 26(4), 294-311.

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