Accueil » 29-1 ( 1974) » La satisfaction à l’égard de la tâche et la satisfaction à l’égard de la carrière

La satisfaction à l’égard de la tâche et la satisfaction à l’égard de la carrière

Jean-Marie Rainville


Les variables de la satisfaction à l'égard du travail et de la satisfaction à regard de la carrière sont souvent associées ensemble dans la constitution d'indices globaux de satisfaction. L'auteur démontre en se servant d'un groupe d'enseignants que ce procédé méthodologique doit être évité dans une recherche car les deux variables sont spécifiquement distinctes entre elles. En l'occurrence, la satisfaction à l'égard du travail— comme jugement général— se réfère au domaine de la décision de l'organisation du travail, et la satisfaction à l'égard de la carrière se réfère, elle, au désir d'avancement dans l'école.


Job Satisfaction and Career Satisfaction

The separate phenomena of job satisfaction (in the form of a general judgment by individual about his job) and career satisfaction are often combined along with others to construct general indexes either of job satisfaction per se or alienation form work. According to the author, this methodological procedure contains a conceptual pitfall which must be avoided in empirical research because the two variables do not measure the same sociological reality. Indeed, individuals do not necessarily seek the same goals in their work or the same types of career. Some brief remarks concerning these two concepts will be used for a hypothesis of our analysis to show that the two variables under examination are two specific measures of adaptations of individuals to organization.

Firstly, with regard to the concept of work, it can be stated that the judgment individuals place on it might refer to the decision-making aspect of work organization, as some authors have observed that this judgment is related to social stratification. Secondly, with regard to the concept of career, two types can bedistinguished: one, in which individuals are oriented toward promotion; another type in which they are dedicated to their profession, and use their professional association as a basis for social reference. Thus, if there is a positive relationship between job satisfaction and career satisfaction, this should occur only in the case of professionals where the degree of autonomy provided them by the organization will affect both sources of satisfaction in the same way. In the case of any other group where the desire of advancement is especially valued by individuals, the two variables will always be specific. In short, if research reveals both kinds of aspirations amongst individuals, the two variables srould be separated.

With this conceptual clarification in mind, the author has analyzed both job satisfaction and career satisfaction among secondary school teachers employed by a Regional School Board in the Greater Montréal area.

As expected, for teachers with fifteen years of schooling or more, there is a negative relationship between their desire for administrative co-decision in the school or school system and job satisfaction. This relationship does not appear for less educated teachers 1 However, there is no relationship between career satisfaction and desire for co-decision for anyone of both groups.

By contrast there exists a positive relationship between career satisfaction and desire for promotion in the school organization, but not between job satisfaction and the same desire.

Thus, knowing the meaning of the two variables, it appeared interesting to use them to analyze the teachers' behavior and attitudes with respect to relations in the school and their degree of union activism.

The teachers' job satisfaction is negatively related to the degree of acceptance of administrative competence of the school principal and the amount of conflict between them tand their immediate superior. But there is no relationship at all between career satisfaction and these same dependant variables.

Job satisfaction can be used to analyze teachers' desire not only for professionnal autonomy but also for greater power. The author finds support for this view in the negative relationship between job satisfaction and attitudes favoring the right to strike for teachers and a type of unionism which "expresses political ideas" .

The main result for the less educated teachers — which also holds for the other — is a weak relationship between career satisfaction and frequency of attendance at union meetings.

Then, the same group of teachers — the more educated ones — show two distinct sets of attitudes, the first oriented toward advancement, the other toward greater professional autonomy or power.

This observation should be emphasized because the teachers represent an occupational group that can only aspire to a fully professional status, but do not possess it.

The combination of the two types or dimensions of satisfaction (job; career) tends to mask the strength of this aspiration.

1 Unless otherwise specified, the results presented in this summary refer only to the 15 years' schooling or more group.