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Are More Competent Workers More Satisfied?


  • Andries de Grip
  • Inge Sieben
  • Fred Stevens


In this paper, we analyse the relationship between workers' competencies and their job satisfaction in the context of dual (i.e. vocational versus communicative) skill demands. We analyse the effects of workers' competencies on their overall, intrinsic, and extrinsic job satisfaction. We focus on pharmacy assistants who need both pharmaceutical and communicative competencies in their work. Results from a linked employer-employee survey show that assistants with more communicative competencies are more satisfied with their job, whereas assistants with more pharmaceutical competencies are not more satisfied than the less competent assistants. In addition, workers who perform tasks below their level of competence are more dissatisfied with both their remuneration and career prospects and the content of their job as such, than were other workers. Our results indicate that the demand shift from vocational towards communication skills, which occurs in many professions, can affect the job satisfaction of the most competent workers. Copyright 2009 CEIS, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Andries de Grip & Inge Sieben & Fred Stevens, 2009. "Are More Competent Workers More Satisfied?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(4), pages 589-607, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:23:y:2009:i:4:p:589-607

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Rose, 2003. "Good Deal, Bad Deal? Job Satisfaction in Occupations," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 17(3), pages 503-530, September.
    2. Shields, Michael A. & Ward, Melanie, 2001. "Improving nurse retention in the National Health Service in England: the impact of job satisfaction on intentions to quit," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 677-701, September.
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    4. Duncan Gallie & Alan Felstead & Francis Green, 2004. "Changing Patterns of Task Discretion in Britain," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 18(2), pages 243-266, June.
    5. P. J. Sloane & H. Williams, 2000. "Job Satisfaction, Comparison Earnings, and Gender," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 14(3), pages 473-502, September.
    6. Giorgio Di Pietro & Peter Urwin, 2006. "Education and skills mismatch in the Italian graduate labour market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 79-93.
    7. Michael Demoussis & Nicholas Giannakopoulos, 2007. "Exploring Job Satisfaction in Private and Public Employment: Empirical Evidence from Greece," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(2), pages 333-359, June.
    8. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Sousa-Poza, Andres A, 2000. "Taking Another Look at the Gender/Job-Satisfaction Paradox," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 135-152.
    9. Andrew E. Clark, 1996. "Job Satisfaction in Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 189-217, June.
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    11. Liu, Chi-Ming & Chien, Ching-Wen & Chou, Pesus & Liu, Jorn-Hon & Chen, Victor Tze-Kai & Wei, Jeng & Kuo, Ying-Yu & Lang, Hui-Chu, 2005. "An analysis of job satisfaction among physician assistants in Taiwan," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 66-77, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zaid Alfayad & Lily Suriani Mohd Arif, 2017. "Employee Voice and Job Satisfaction: An Application of Herzberg's Two-factor Theory," International Review of Management and Marketing, Econjournals, vol. 7(1), pages 150-156.
    2. Lukasz Wiechetek & Nada Trunk Sirca, 2014. "Entrepreneurs’ Expectations and Students’ Competencies According to the First Stage of the Synergy Project Evaluation," International Journal of Management, Knowledge and Learning, International School for Social and Business Studies, Celje, Slovenia, vol. 3(1), pages 101-123.
    3. Romina Gambacorta & Maria Iannario, 2012. "Statistical models for measuring job satisfaction," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 852, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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