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Do Preferences for Job Attributes Provide Evidence of 'Hierarchy of Needs'

Cem Baslevent and Hasan Kirmanoğlu
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Cem Baslevent: Department of Economics, Istanbul Bilgi University
Hasan Kirmanoğlu: Department of Economics, Istanbul Bilgi University

No 201201, Working Papers from Murat Sertel Center for Advanced Economic Studies, Istanbul Bilgi University

Abstract: We examine whether employees’ preferences for various job attributes are associated with their individual characteristics in ways that are in line with ‘hierarchy of needs’ theories. Using data from the fifth round of the European Social Survey, we observe the influence of socio-demographic and dispositional characteristics as well as socialization experiences on opinions regarding the importance of five different desirable job attributes. An item-by-item examination of the attributes (including ‘security’ and ‘offering a high income’) reveals that dispositional factors (measured using the battery of items in Schwartz’s theory of basic personal values) influence job attitudes in expected ways, but employees also tend to place more importance on attributes that concern them more directly. For example, while female employees care more about being able to combine work and family responsibilities, younger workers value training opportunities more highly than older ones. Regarding socialization experiences, we find that job security is more important for those who have been unemployed in the past. We interpret our findings to mean that hierarchy of needs theories are valid in the context of job attitudes in the sense that the ranking of preferred job attributes is quite predictable once individual characteristics are accounted for.

Keywords: preferred job attributes; hierarchy of needs; basic personal values; European Social Survey (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C25 J28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 14 pages
Date: 2012-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-dcm, nep-hme, nep-hrm and nep-lma
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