UBC Theses and Dissertations
Job satisfaction in child welfare : a study of line social workers Gorrie, Ernest David
The general issue of defining job satisfaction and the adverse implications of low job satisfaction are discussed. This is followed by an application of the research to the specific problem of job satisfaction among child welfare line social workers in a provincial government agency. The needs satisfaction and values satisfaction model of job satisfaction theory are described and a rationale is provided for the selection of the needs satisfaction model for this research. A variety of research instruments are reviewed, including the Job Satisfaction Survey Questionnaire, the Job Descriptive Index, the Quality of Work Life Survey, and the Professional Satisfaction Inventory. A new quantitative measures questionnaire is introduced for use specifically among social workers. It was hypothesized that job-specific variables will be stronger correlates of a facet-free measure of job satisfaction than will variables not specifically related to social work. It was hypothesized that specific differences will exist between the importance attributed to variables between less experienced and more experienced workers. It was further hypothesized that specific differences will exist between the satisfaction with variables as reported by less experienced workers and more experienced workers. Finally, hypotheses were presented regarding specific differences in job related correlates of job satisfaction, between less experience and more experienced workers. The research proceded by way of questionnaire among child welfare line social workers in the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia. Extensive efforts were made to ensure confidentiality while allowing the opportunity for followup research. The methodology of this confidentiality plan is explained. A sample of 60 social workers resulted in 49 questionnaires being returned. Support was found for the hypothesis that job specific variables were better correlates of job satisfaction than were variables not specific to social work. There was neither confirmation nor disconfirmation for the hypothesis that there would be differences in the importance of variables between less experienced and more experienced workers. Satisfaction was higher for those variables under the control or influence at the local level than for variables which were controlled centrally. The few significant differences between less experienced and more experienced workers in satisfaction with variables were explainable by objective influences rather than subjective experiences. Only one variable, getting a sense of accomplishment from the job, was a significant correlate for both less experienced and more experienced workers. Less experienced workers also demonstrated correlations between job satisfaction and satisfaction with professional identification, while more experienced workers demonstrated correlations between job satisfaction and control of their work. Recommendations are made for the government which employs social workers, the agency which administers programs, supervisors of social workers, and the union which bargains on behalf of social workers.
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