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This paper aims to compare job satisfaction in public and private sectors and the mediating role of several job demands and resources on the relationship between the employment sector and job satisfaction.Design/methodology/approachDrawing on the job demands-resources model, this study argued that differences in job satisfaction were explained largely by the job characteristics provided in each sector. Data comes from the quality of working life survey, a representative sample of 6,024 Spanish public and private employees.FindingsThis study revealed that public employees were more satisfied than private ones. This relationship was partially mediated by job demands and job resources, meaning that the public and private employment sectors provided different working conditions. Public employees, in general, had fewer demands and more job resources than private ones, which resulted in different levels of job satisfaction. Additionally, partial mediation indicated that public employees are more satisfied than private ones, despite accounting for several job demands and job resources.Research limitations/implicationsWhile the findings of this study highlighted the relative importance of job demands and job resources in affecting job satisfaction of public and private employees, the generalizability of the results to other countries should be limited as the study only used data from a single country.Practical implicationsA significant portion of the positive effect on job satisfaction of public employees is channeled through the lower levels of routine work and lower number of required working hours and through better job resources such as higher salary, more telework, greater prospects at work and more training utility. To improve job satisfaction, it is apparent that managers should pay special attention to things such as routine work, working hours, training and telework.Originality/valueThis paper contributes to the comprehension of how several job demands and resources simultaneously play a mediating role in explaining the relationship between the employment sector and job satisfaction.
Management Research: The Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 20, 2021
Keywords: Mediation; Job satisfaction; Job demands; Job resources; Public employees; Demandas laborales; Recursos laborales; Empleados públicos; Mediación; Satisfacción laboral; Procura de emprego; Recursos laborais; Funcionários públicos; Mediação; Satisfação profissional
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