The role of need level and/or need salience as moderators of the relationship between need satisfaction and work alienation-involvement

Joel Lefkowitz, Mark John Somers, Karen Weinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Contrary to previous findings documenting the importance of higher-order need satisfaction, a recent study by G. J. Gorn and R. N. Kanungo (Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 1980, 26, 265-277) has indicated that satisfaction of lower-order needs may lead to job involvement if such needs are salient. Data from a heterogeneous sample of 632 employees from six organizations were used to test six hypotheses concerning the effects of need level (higher vs lower order) and need salience as moderators of the relationship between need satisfaction and alienation-involvement. Three different ways of operationalizing need saliency were used, including a replication of Gorn and Kanungo's procedure. Higherorder need satisfaction was correlated with alienation-involvement scores to a significantly greater degree than was lower-order need satisfaction, even for those for whom lower-order needs were most salient. Need saliency was not found to moderate the need satisfaction-involvement relationship when need level was controlled. Issues regarding the operationalization of "need salience" were discussed and a new measure of alienation-involvement (the A-I Scale) was introduced. Implications for further empirical investigations of the need saliency issue were noted, as was the universal application of job enrichment programs aimed at promoting higher-order need satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-158
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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