Amani, a second-semester undergraduate member of the lab, successfully presented her topic of job satisfaction and its role in turnover in the workplace. Industrial-organizational psychology, also known as IO psychology, focuses on the functions of the workplace, the workplace environment’s effects on a worker, and the mental states of said workers. IO psychology is Amani’s main focus which is what inspired her research interest.
Jobs offer an opportunity for individuals to put their skills to the test and earn rewards for their work. However, what happens when a worker is dissatisfied with their job. In some cases, people quit their job to find a new ones. Another all too familiar scenario to some is when someone complains about their job frequently and yet stays with the job regardless. Why do some people stay in one unfavorable work environment and others leave? How can job satisfaction serve as a tipping point for a change in someone’s work status? Job status is not limited to employed and unemployed, as some individuals may be retired, non-working/disabled. These are just some of the phenomena Amani is set on addressing. While Amani’s focus is on job satisfaction, other factors are acknowledged as potential influential factors in changes in employment status. Such as, but not limited to, organizational change, workplace incivility, job performance, inefficacy, organizational justice, and job insecurity.
Organizations, like everything, can experience changes. Whether that be changes in leadership, policies, or even the type of work conducted organizations must adjust to accommodate for this change. In some instances, change can cause unintended consequences. For example, if a company hires a new CEO who elects to make cut-offs, this can cause job insecurity, which is the feeling of anxiety experienced when your job is at risk. Organizations in a sense have to enact justice or make things fair. If the new CEO is laying off people to increase his own salary, this can be viewed as unjust. In scenarios like this workers may begin to engage in deviant behavior or those that go against the organization. These behaviors could be a response to the leadership’s decision, but it is not limited to this scenario. Individuals are capable of going against the policy at any point, whether it is stealing money, smoking on the job, being rude to customers, or anything else. Each of these factors can influence the satisfaction one may feel in their work environment which inevitably can affect one’s job satisfaction.
The literature review Amani conducted on the topic of tipping points in employment status lacked not a general consensus on a consistent tipping point. In addition, the literature on this topic was very limited. Only a handful of articles addressing the topic and some were unrelated entirely. Her future research will focus on finding that tipping points; believing job satisfaction is the main influence on job status changes. In her search for answers, the data collected will not only go towards her lab project for the FF-PTG lab but also her Honors College thesis. We are excited to see what the future has in store for your research Amani!