A new measure of QWL was developed based on need satisfaction and spillover theories. The measure was designed to capture the extent to which the work environment, job requirements, supervisory behavior, and ancillary programs in an organization are perceived to meet the needs of an employee. We identified seven major needs, each having several dimensions. These are: (a) health and safety needs (protection from ill health and injury at work and outside of work, and enhancement of good health), (b) economic and family needs (pay, job security, and other family needs), (c) social needs (collegiality at work and leisure time off work), (d) esteem needs (recognition and appreciation of work within the organization and outside the organization), (e) actualization needs (realization of one's potential within the organization and as a professional), (f) knowledge needs (learning to enhance job and professional skills), and (g) aesthetic needs (creativity at work as well as personal creativity and general aesthetics). The measure's convergent and discriminant validities were tested and the data provided support to the construct validity of the QWL measure. Furthermore, the measure's nomological (predictive) validity was tested through hypotheses deduced from spillover theory. Three studies were conducted – two studies using university employees and the third using accounting firms. The results from the pooled sample provided support for the hypotheses and thus lent some support to the nomological validity to the new measure.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Ackoff, R.L.: 1994, The democratic Organization: A Radical Prescription for Recreating Corporate America and Rediscovering Success (Oxford University Press, New York).
Adelmann, P.K.: 1987, ‘Occupational complexity, control, and personal income: Their relation to psychological well-being in men and women’ Journal of Applied Psychology 72, pp. 529-537.
Alderfer, C.P.: 1972, Existence, Relatedness, and Growth: Human Needs in Organizational Settings (Free Press, New York).
Andrews, F.M. and S.B. Withey: 1976, Social Indicators of Well-being (Plenum Press, New York).
Andrisani, P. and M. Shapiro: 1978, ‘Women's attitudes towards their jobs: Some longitudinal data on a national sample’ Personnel Psychology 31, pp. 15-34.
Aranya, N. and KR. Ferris: 1984, ‘A reexamination of accountants' organizational-professional conflict’ The Accounting Review 59(1), pp. 1-15.
Bacharach, S.B., P. Bamberger and S.C. Conley: 1990, ‘Work processes, role conflict and role overload: The case of nurses and engineers in the public sector'Work and Occupations 17, pp. 199-228.
Breger-Gross, V.: 1982, ‘Difference score measures of social perceptions revisited: A comparison of alternatives’ Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 29, pp. 279-285.
Bromet, E.J., A. Dew and D.K. Parkinson: 1990, ‘Spillover between work and family: A study of blue-collar working wives’ in J. Eckenrode and S. Gore (eds.), Stress betweenWork and Family (Plenum, New York/London), pp. 133-151.
Caplan, R.D., S. Cobb, J.R. French, R. Van Harrison and S.R. Pinneau: 1980, Job Demands and Worker Health: Main Effects and Occupational Differences (Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, Ann Arbor,MI).
Carter, C.G., D.G. Pounder, F.G. Lawrence and P.J. Wozniak: 1990, ‘Factors related to organizational turnover intentions of Louisiana extension service agents’ in H.L. Meadow and M.J. Sirgy (eds.), Quality-of-life Studies in Marketing and Management (International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, Blacksburg, Virginia), pp. 170-181.
Champoux, J.E.: 1981, ‘A sociological perspective on work involvement’ International Review of Applied Psychology 30, pp. 65-86.
Cohen, S.G., L. Chang and G.E. Ledford, Jr.: 1997, ‘A hierarchical construct of self-management leadership and its relationship to quality of work life and perceived work group effectiveness’ Personnel Psychology 50, pp. 275-308.
Cooper, J. and G. Davis: 1997, ‘Improving management-labor relations and employee and patient well being through quality-of-work-life programs’ in H.L. Meadow (ed.), Developments in Quality-of-Life Studies vol. 1 (International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, Blacksburg, Virginia), p. 15.
Crohan, S.E., T.C. Antonucci, P.K. Adelmann and L.M. Coleman: 1989, ‘Job characteristics and well being at midlife: Ethnic and gender comparisons’ Psychology of Women Quarterly 13, pp. 223-235.
Cronbach, L.J. and L. Furby: 1970, ‘How we should measure ‘change’-or should we?’ Psychological Bulletin 74(1), pp. 68-80.
Crouter, A.C.: 1984, ‘Spillover from family to work: The neglected side of the work-family interface’ Human Relations 37, pp. 425-442.
Cummings, T.G. and E.S. Malloy: 1977, Improving Productivity and the Quality of Work Life (Praeger, New York).
Danna, K. and R.W. Griffin: 1999, ‘Health and well-being in the workplace: A review and synthesis of the literature’ Journal of Management 25(3), pp. 357-384.
Davis, L.E. and A.B. Cherns: 1975, The Quality of Working Life: Problems, Prospects, and the State of the Art (Free Press, New York).
Duxbury, L. and G. Haines Jr.: 1990, ‘Predicting alternative work arrangements from salient attitudes: A study of decision makers in the public sector’ in H.L. Meadow and M.J. Sirgy (eds.), Quality-of-Life Studies in Marketing and Management (International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, Blacksburg, Virginia), pp. 583-596.
Duxbury, L. and G. Haines Jr.: 1991, ‘Predicting alternative work arrangements from salient attitudes: A study of decision makers in the public sector’ Journal of Business Research 23, pp. 83-97.
Efraty, D. and M.J. Sirgy: 1990, ‘The effects of quality of working life (QWL) on employee behavioral responses’ Social Indicators Research 22(1), pp. 31-47.
Efraty, D. and M.J. Sirgy: 1990, ‘Job satisfaction and life satisfaction among professionals and paraprofessionals’ in H.L. Meadow and M.J. Sirgy (eds.), Quality-of-Life Studies in Marketing and Management (International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, Blacksburg, Virginia), pp. 157-169.
Efraty, D. and M.J. Sirgy: 1992, ‘Occupational prestige and bureaucratization effects on the spillover between job satisfaction and life satisfaction’ in M.J. Sirgy, H.L. Meadow, D. Rahtz and A.C. Samli (eds.), Developments in Quality-of-Life Studies in arketing, vol. 4 (Academy of Marketing Science and International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, Blacksburg, Virginia), pp. 115-119.
Efraty, D., M.J. Sirgy and C.B. Claiborne: 1991, ‘The effects of personal alienation on organizational identification: A quality-of-work life model’ Journal of Business and Psychology 6 (Fall), pp. 57-78.
Efraty, D., M.J. Sirgy and P.H. Siegel: 1997, ‘The job satisfaction/life satisfaction relationship for professional accountants: The moderating effect of organizational commitment’ in H.L. Meadow (eds.), Developments in Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 1 (International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, Blacksburg, Virginia), p. 25.
George, J.M. and A.P. Brief: 1990, ‘The economic instrumentality of work: An examination of the moderating effects of financial requirements and sex on the pay-life satisfaction relationship’ Journal of Vocational Behavior 37, pp. 357-368.
Golembiewski, R.T. and B.C. Sun: 1988, ‘QWL, one more time’ Healthcare Human Resource Forum 1, pp. 1-2.
Golembiewski, R.T. and B.C. Sun: 1989, ‘QWL improves worksite quality’ Human Resource Development Quarterly 1, pp. 35-44.
Golembiewski, R.T. and B.C. Sun: 1990, ‘Positive-findings bias in QWL studies: Rigor and outcomes in a large sample’ Journal ofManagement 16(3), pp. 665-674.
Greenhaus, J.H., A.G. Bedian and K.W. Mossholder: 1987, ‘Work experiences, job performances, and feelings of personal and family well being’ Journal of Vocational Behavior 31, pp. 200-215.
Hackman, J.R. and G. Oldham: 1980,Work Redesign (Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA).
Hackman, J.R. and J.L. Suttle: 1977, Improving Life at Work (Scott, Foresman, Glenview, IL).
Hall, D.H., B. Schneider and H.T. Nygren: 1970, Personal factors in organizational identification, Administrative Science Quarterly 15, pp. 176-190.
Herzberg, F.: 1966,Work and the Nature of Man (World, Cleveland).
House, J.S., A.J. McMichael, J.A. Wells, B.H. Kaplan and L.R. Landerman: 1979, Occupational stress and health among factory workers, Journal of Health and Social Behavior 20, pp. 139-160.
Johns, G.: 1981, ‘Difference score measures of organizational behavior variables: A critique’ Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 27, pp. 443-463.
Kabanoff, B.: 1980, ‘Work and nonwork: A review of models, methods, and findings’ Psychological Bulletin 88, pp. 60-77.
Kahn, R.: 1981,Work and Health (Wiley, New York).
Kavanagh, M.J. and M. Halpern: 1977, ‘The impact of job level sex differences on the relationship between life and job satisfaction’ Academy ofManagement Journal 20, pp. 66-73.
Lawler, E.E., III.: 1982, ‘Strategies for improving the quality of work life', American Psychologist 37, pp. 486-493.
Leiter, M.P. and M.J. Durup: 1996, ‘Work, home, and in-between: A longitudinal study of spillover’ Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 32(1), pp. 29-47.
Levitin, T.E. and R.P. Quinn: 1974, Changes in sex roles and attitude toward work. Paper presented at the 1974 Conference of the American Association for Public Research.
Lewellyn, P.A. and E.A. Wibker: 1990, ‘Significance of quality of life on turnover intentions of certified public accountants’ in H.L. Meadow and M.J. Sirgy (eds.), Quality-of-Life Studies in Marketing and Management (International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, Blacksburg, Virginia), pp. 182-193.
Liu, K.T., R.D. Sylvia and D. Brunk: 1990, ‘Non-work factors and job-satisfaction revisited’ Human Relations 43(1), pp. 77-86.
Loscocco, K.A.: 1989, ‘The interplay of personal and job characteristics in determining work commitment’ Social Science Research 18, pp. 370-394.
Loscocco, K.A. and A.R. Roschelle: 1991, ‘Influences on the quality of work and nonwork life: Two decades in review’ Journal of Vocational Behavior 39, pp. 182-225.
Loscocco, K.A. and G. Spitze: 1990, ‘Working-conditions, social support, and the well-being of female and male factory-workers’ Journal of Health and Social Behavior 31(4), pp. 313-327.
Loscocco, K.A. and G. Spitze: 1991, ‘The organizational context of women's pay satisfaction’ Social Science Quarterly 72, pp. 3-19.
Lowe, G.S. and H.C. Northcott: 1988, ‘The impact of working conditions, social roles, and personal characteristics on gender differences in distress’ Work and Occupations 15, pp. 55-77.
Maslow, A.H.: 1954, Motivation and Personality (Harper, New York).
McClelland, D.C.: 1961, The Achieving Society (The Free Press, New York).
McFarlin, D.B. and R.W. Rice: 1991, ‘Determinants of satisfaction with specific job facets: A test of Locke's model’ Journal of Business and Psychology 6 (Fall), pp. 25-38.
Menaghan, E.G. and E.S. Merves: 1984, ‘Coping with occupational problems: The limits of individual efforts’ Journal of Health and Social Behavior 25, pp. 406-423.
Mowday, R.T., L.W. Porter and R.M. Steers: 1982, Employee-Organization Linkages: The Psychology of Commitment, Absenteeism, and Turnover (Academic Press, New York).
Mowday, R.T., L.W. Porter and R. Dubin: 1974, ‘Unit performance, situation factors, and employee attitudes in spatially separated work units’ Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 12, pp. 231-248.
Mowday, R.T., R.M. Steers and L.W. Porter: 1979, The measurement of organizational commitment, Journal of Vocational Behavior 14, pp. 224-247.
Nandan, S. and M. Nandan: 1995, ‘Improving quality of care and quality of work life through interdisciplinary health care teams’ in Developments in qualityof-life studies in marketing, vol. 5 (Academy of Marketing Science and the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, DeKalb, Illinois), pp. 80-86.
Near, J.P., R.W. Rice and R.G. Hunt: 1980, ‘The relationship between work and nonwork domains: A review of empirical research’ Academy of Management Review 5, pp. 415-429.
O'Brien, G.E.: 1986, Psychology of Work and Unemployment (Wiley, New York).
Orpen, C.: 1978, ‘Work and nonwork satisfaction: A causal correlational analysis’ Journal of Applied Psychology 63, pp. 530-532.
Peter, J.P., G.A. Churchill Jr. and T.J. Brown: 1993, ‘Caution in the use of difference scores in consumer research’ Journal of Consumer Research 19 (March), pp. 655-662.
Porter, L.W.: 1961, ‘A study of perceived need satisfaction in bottom and middle management jobs’ Journal of Applied Psychology 45, pp. 1-10.
Porter, L.W., R.M. Steers, R.T. Mowday and P.V. Boulian: 1974, ‘Organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and turnover among psychiatric technicians’ Journal of Applied Psychology 59, pp. 603-609.
Qvale, T.U. and J. Hanssen-Bauer: 1990, ‘Implementing QWL in large scale project organizations: 'Blue Water' site design in the Norwegian offshore oil industry’ in H.L. Meadow and M.J. Sirgy (eds.), Quality-of-Life Studies in Marketing and Management (International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, Blacksburg, Virginia, pp. 529-535).
Quinn, R.P. and L.G. Shephard: 1974, The 1972-1973 Quality of Employment Survey (Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor).
Quinn, R.P. and G.L. Staines: 1979, The 1977 Quality of Employment Survey (Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor,MI).
Rain, J.S., I.M. Lane and D.D. Steiner: 1991, ‘A current look at the job satisfaction/ life satisfaction relationship: Review and future considerations’ Human Relations 44 (March), pp. 287-307.
Rice, R.W., P.N. Janet and R.G. Hunt: 1980, ‘The job-satisfaction/life-satisfaction relationship:A review of empirical research’ Basic and Applied Social Psychology 1, pp. 37-64.
Rice, R.W., R.S. Pierce, R.P. Moyer and D.B. McFarlin: 1991, ‘Using discrepancies to predict the perceived quality of work life’ Journal of Business and Psychology 6 (Fall), pp. 39-56.
Roberts, K.H. and W. Glick: 1981, ‘The job characteristics approach to task design: A critical review’ Journal of Applied Psychology 66, pp. 193-217.
Ronen, S.: 1981, Flexible Working Hours: An Innovation in the Quality of Work Life (McGraw-Hill, New York).
Salancik, G.R. and J. Pfeffer: 1977, ‘An examination of need-satisfaction models of job attitudes’ Administrative Science Quarterly 23, pp. 224-253.
Salancik, G.R. and J. Pfeffer: 1978, ‘A social information processing approach to job attitudes and task design’ Administrative Science Quarterly 23, pp. 224-253.
Schmitt, N. and A.G. Bedian: 1982, ‘A comparison of LISREL and two-stage least squares analysis of a hypothesized life-job satisfaction reciprocal relationship’ Journal of Applied Psychology 67, pp. 806-817.
Schmitt, N. and P.A. Mellon: 1980, ‘Life and job satisfaction: Is the job central?'Journal of Vocational Behavior 16, pp. 51-58.
Sheppard, H.L. and N.O. Herrick: 1972, Where Have All the Robots Gone? Worker Dissatisfaction in the 70's (The Free Press, New York).
Simmons, J. and W. Mares: 1985, Working together: Employee Participation in Action(New York University Press, New York).
Smith, P.C., L.M. Kendall and C.L. Hulin: 1969, TheMeasurement of Satisfaction in Work and Retirement (Rand-McNally, Chicago).
Staines, G.: 1980, ‘Spillover versus compensation: A review of the literature on the relationship between work and nonwork’ Human Relations 33, pp. 111-129.
Steers, R.M.: 1977, ‘Antecedents and outcomes of organizational commitment’ Administrative Science Quarterly 22, pp. 46-56.
Steiner, D.D. and D.M. Truxillo: 1989, ‘An improved test of the disaggregation hypothesis of job and life satisfaction’ Journal of Occupational Psychology 62, pp. 33-39.
Susman, G.I.: 1976, Autonomy at Work: A Socio-Technical Analysis of Participative Management (Praeger, New York).
Tait, M., M.Y. Padgett and T.T. Baldwin: 1989, ‘Job and life satisfaction: A reevaluation of the strength of the relationship and gender effects as a function of the date of the study’ Journal of Applied Psychology 74 (June), pp. 502-507.
Teas, R.K., J.G. Wacker and E. Hughes: 1979, ‘A path analysis of causes and consequences of salespeople's perception of role clarity’ Journal of Marketing Research 16 (August), pp. 355-369.
Tse, E.C. and G.A. Jackson: 1990, ‘Alcohol abuse in the workplace: Challenges and strategic implications for the hospitality industry’ in H.L. Meadow and M.J. Sirgy (eds.), Quality-of-Life Studies in Marketing and Management (International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, Blacksburg, Virginia), pp. 215-226.
Wall, T.D. and R. Payne: 1973, ‘Are deficiency scores deficient?’ Journal of Applied Psychology 58(3), pp. 322-326.
Wilensky, H.: 1960, ‘Work, careers, and social integration’ International Social Science 12, pp. 543-560.
About this article
Cite this article
Sirgy, M.J., Efraty, D., Siegel, P. et al. A New Measure of Quality of Work Life (QWL) Based on Need Satisfaction and Spillover Theories. Social Indicators Research 55, 241–302 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010986923468