chapter  7
30 Pages

The Dispositional Approach to Job Attitudes: An Empirical and Conceptual Review

WithBarry M. Staw

Many scholars now believe that job satisfaction is as much a product of the person as the situation. Yet this was not always the case. Like many areas of the behavioral sciences, the study of job attitudes has undergone several shifts in emphasis regarding dispositional versus situational causes. I will outline some of these shifts in thinking over the past three decades, showing how dispositional approaches to satisfaction moved from relative obscurity to widespread acceptance. I will also outline some of the current weaknesses with the dispositional approach, showing how contemporary formulations can be limited theoretically. Finally, I will propose a new model for understanding the mechanisms underlying dispositional influence, illustrating how individual differences in affect translate into differing levels of job satisfaction.