Intrinsic work value–reward dissonance and work satisfaction during young adulthood

Erik J. Porfeli, Jeylan T. Mortimer
2010 Journal of Vocational Behavior  
Previous research suggests that discrepancies between work values and rewards are indicators of dissonance that induce change in both to reduce such dissonance over time. The present study elaborates this model to suggest parallels with the first phase of the extension-and-strain curve. Small discrepancies or small increases in extension are presumed to be almost unnoticeable, while increasingly large discrepancies are thought to yield exponentially increasing strain. Work satisfaction is a
more » ... cipal outcome of dissonance; hence, work value-reward discrepancies are predicted to diminish work satisfaction in an exponential fashion. Findings from the work and family literature, however, lead to the prediction that this curvilinear association will be moderated by gender and family roles. Using longitudinal data spanning the third decade of life, the results suggest that intrinsic work value-reward discrepancies, as predicted, are increasingly associated, in a negative curvilinear fashion, with work satisfaction. This pattern, however, differs as a function of gender and family roles. Females who established family roles exhibited the expected pattern while other gender by family status groups did not. The results suggest that gender and family roles moderate the association between intrinsic work value-reward dissonance and satisfaction. In addition, women who remained unmarried and childless exhibited the strongest associations between occupational rewards and satisfaction. This paper elaborates a model of the work value system, which posits that the discrepancy between work values and work rewards influences the salience of both values and behavior over time (Porfeli & Vondracek, 2007) . In this paper, the relationship between intrinsic work value-reward discrepancies and work satisfaction is tested using longitudinal data at two occasions spanning the third decade of life. During this period of life, families are typically formed and careers are established. Intrinsic work value-reward discrepancies are presumed to become increasingly detectable and aversive in a curvilinear manner; hence, the association between these discrepancies and work satisfaction are predicted to be curvilinear as well. Once the nature of the relationship between intrinsic work value-reward discrepancy and satisfaction
doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2010.01.004 pmid:20526434 pmcid:PMC2880543 fatcat:vbydpqnjdrb25d3togqiejulgq