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Knowledge Workers and Job Satisfaction: Evidence from Europe

Abstract

This article analyzes the determinants of job satisfaction among knowledge workers (KWs). Data from a representative sample of 14,096 employed workers from the European Social Survey (2010) are used for an empirical analysis drawing on multiple binary logistic regression models. Job satisfaction among KWs in 21 EU countries is found to be explained better by non-financial characteristics than by monetary rewards. Career advancement opportunities, flexible work schedules, colleague support, and work–family relations, as well as job security, emerge as central in explaining job satisfaction among KWs in our sample. Unlike the case for other workers (OWs), opportunities for further training and career experience are not determinants of job satisfaction among KWs. Management divisions in companies employing KWs would be well-advised to take these points into account.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. We have excluded Finland due to a filter error in the interviewer phase (European Social Survey 2014, p. 76) of one of the relevant variables.

  2. A detailed list of ISCED codes can be found at the UNESCO website: http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Documents/isced-2011-en.pdf [accessed on 3/02/17]

  3. A detailed list of ISCO-88 codes can be found at International Labour Organization website: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/stat/isco/isco88/alpha.htm [accessed on 3/02/17]

  4. Assuming that national differences in institutional regimes may affect the level of job satisfaction, we define a new variable following Esser and Olsen (2012) and Holman’s (2013) classification of five institutional regimes.

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the support of a doctoral grant from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, UOC. The article has also benefited from funding for the project Responsible Innovation and Happiness: A New Approach to the Effects of ICTs, supported by the Research Council of Norway and conducted by the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.

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Correspondence to Clara Viñas-Bardolet.

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Viñas-Bardolet, C., Torrent-Sellens, J. & Guillen-Royo, M. Knowledge Workers and Job Satisfaction: Evidence from Europe. J Knowl Econ 11, 256–280 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13132-018-0541-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13132-018-0541-1

Keywords

  • Job satisfaction
  • Knowledge work
  • Work organization
  • Work–life balance
  • Europe
  • ESS