An empirical test of some of the hypotheses generated by Wolf's Need Gratification Theory
Lassoff, Saul Zelic
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This study was an attempt to test some of the hypotheses generated by Wolf's Need Gratification Theory of Job Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction. The four hypotheses tested were: 1. Persons whose lower level needs are as yet ungratified obtain both their satisfaction and their dissatisfaction solely from fluctuations in the degree of gratification of their lower level needs (primarily context elements). 2. Persons whose lower level needs are unconditionally gratified obtain both their satisfaction and their dissatisfaction solely from fluctuations in the degree of gratification of their higher level needs. 3. Dissatisfaction results from an interruption or threatened interruption to the continued gratification of previously gratified (lower level) needs. 4. Satisfaction is greater when a previously ungratified need is gratified then when a previously gratified need is gratified on an on-going basis. The hypotheses were tested by having three hundred and seventy-six subjects in the industrial setting respond to a Need Gratification Questionnaire concerning their higher needs (achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility and advancement), lower needs (company policy and administration, technical supervision, salary, interpersonal relations with supervisor and working conditions), and their degree of job satisfaction in general (Brayfield-Rothe Job Questionnaire) on two testing occasions. A two-dimensional design based on higher and lower standard scores within similar occupations was utilized, resulting in sixteen sets of subjects. Hypotheses 1 and 3 were tested by using a model I analysis of variance. Hypothesis 1 was not supported but hypothesis 3 was supported by the data. Hypotheses 2 and 4 were tested by model I analysis of variance followed by Tukey (a) a posteriori analysis. Hypothesis was not supported by the data but hypothesis 2 was supported. Since two of the four hypotheses were not supported, an alternative hypothesis was proposed: general satisfaction varies as a function of present lower and higher need gratification, with the higher needs making a slightly greater contribution. This hypothesis was tested on the pretest and posttest data by regression analysis of variance followed by Tukey (a) a posteriori analysis. It was found that general satisfaction levels could be accurately predicted from present levels of need gratification without referring to changes from previous levels.