For this assignment, you will be collecting your own data via interviews/surveys. Though you are trying to obtain responses on 5 different occupations, I ask that you interview at least two people. Depending on the number of occupations your respondents had, more respondents may be necessary to obtain enough information. But if you find that there are 5 different occupations between the initial two respondents, then there is no need to seek out more. To help the data collection process along, I suggest interviewing friends and family members.
The textbook defines alienation as “the separation of self and experience”, and is used in the context of employment (or labor) to refer to the degree of control one has over their work, and whether or not the work is considered dull, monotonous, and having little-to-no personal reward (beyond compensation). Research has shown that their is a relationship between the level of personal control (or autonomy) within an occupation and the level of job satisfaction experienced. You will attempt to test this association by collecting data on five (5) different occupations. Use the attached worksheet to collect and calculate your data by following the steps below:
Fill out the title of each occupation in the appropriate location on the sheet. You do not need to record any personal information from the respondent.
For each occupation listed, have the respondent answer the following question and note it in the appropriate field: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your overall level of job satisfaction?”
Under each occupation, ask the respondent to list the top 5 most common job-related tasks associated with that occupation. Describe each task in 1-2 sentences.
Once the respondent has finished their descriptions and you have taken note of them, read aloud each task description back to the respondent and ask them the following question: “On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being lowest and 5 being the highest, how much autonomy did you have in completing this task at work? By autonomy, I am referring to whether or not you were able to approach the task as you saw fit”. Repeat this process until you have obtained scores for all 5 tasks. Note: it will likely be unnecessary to completely repeat this question after reading each job description. Record their answers next to each task description.
After you have finished collecting your interview data, calculate an autonomy score for each occupation. This is done by adding up the total value for the tasks listed under each occupation. The autonomy index will then range from 5 to 25, with higher scores representing more autonomy.
Now that you have collected your data, compare the job satisfaction scores with the autonomy scores. Do they appear to be related (greater autonomy = higher satisfaction)? Discuss your results in 1-2 paragraphs. Then go to the following website: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm. Here you will find the median income broken down by occupation. You will have to do a little searching, but locate each of the occupations included in your data set and record the associated median hourly wage. Now examine the three pieces of data for each occupation: Job Satisfaction; Autonomy Score; Median Hourly Wage. Which variable appears to have the greater association with job satisfaction, the Autonomy Score or the Median Hourly Wage? Discuss your results in 1-2 paragraphs. Keep in mind that occupation (and it’s level of autonomy) is considered a socio-structural characteristic, while job satisfaction is considered an attitude. Median Hourly Income, on the other hand, is an individual-level characteristic.