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Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review
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A Study on Perception of Quality of Work Life and Job Satisfaction: Evidence from Saudi Arabia

Abdulmonem Hamdan Alzalabani*

Yanbu University College, Saudi Arabia

*Corresponding Author:
Alzalabani AH
Yanbu University College
Saudi Arabia
Tel: 966504695951

Received Date: March 10, 2017; Accepted Date: March 31, 2017; Published Date: April 10, 2017

Citation: Alzalabani AH (2017) A Study on Perception of Quality of Work Life and Job Satisfaction: Evidence from Saudi Arabia. Arabian J Bus Manag Review 7: 294. doi: 10.4172/2223-5833.1000294

Copyright: © 2017 Alzalabani AH. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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The study of work environments is very important because it may differentiate between high and low performers among organizations. However, there is a huge gap in studies on exploring the quality of such work life in Saudi Arabia. This study aims to explore the level of Quality of Work Life in the industry situated in the Yanbu Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. It also examines the relationships between environmental factors and job satisfaction. The result reveals that the level of Quality of Work Life of the population is high. The majority of employees have adequate confidence regarding their skills, their job characteristics, opportunity to participate in decision making and relationships. However, some of them complained about their wage levels. Further, the study finds a significant relationship between environmental factors and job satisfaction. This study contributes to the understanding of quality of work life and job satisfaction in a significant area in Saudi Arabia, that is, among employees of organizations in Yanbu Industrial City.


Quality of Work Life; Job satisfaction; Saudi Arabia


It is not enough for organizations to have good leaders with visions; rather, organizations need to create a distinguished work environment in order to achieve their strategic goals [1]. Quality of work life (QWL) has become an important issue recently [2,3]. In fact, many researchers have agreed upon the importance of QWL for organizations seeking to improve levels of job satisfaction and commitment among their employees [4,5]. Moreover, Narehan et al., [2] argued that to improve product or service quality, we should start with improvement of QWL. The authors highlighted the linkage between work environment and QWL. Actually, some authors consider QWL as “an indicator for paying attention to human beings’ needs and placing them in the job content” [3]. This means that management should give high priority to the needs of the most important component of their organization, namely, human resources, if they want to survive and sustain in the current competitive market.

Almaghrabi [6] mentioned that this terminology was first used in 1972 during an international industrial relations conference. Since then, it has developed approaches like the Re-engineering HR technique, which appeared during 1990s. This technique was created to cope with organizational changes and development policies in order to alleviate the cases of tension and anxiety that spread among workers in western countries from being fired by employers. Thus, it aims to provide workers with a pleasant and secured work environment in which they can achieve a professional growth and receive their due rights.

Based on conclusions by Bagtasos [7] and Narehan et al., [2], there has been less focus and limited studies from Asian countries regarding QWL compared to North American and European countries. Saudi Arabia is not exceptional. According to Almarshad [8], the QWL research in Saudi Arabia is limited and mostly focuses on the healthcare industry work environment. In fact, the country faces a unique issue with regard to participation of women in the workforce; this aspect requires special consideration related to work environment in order to enforce organizations to accommodate to these women workers’ needs [9], such as adjusting working schedules and providing child care [2].

Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the level of QWL in the industry situated in the Yanbu Industrial City. It also examines the relationships between environmental factors and job satisfaction.

Quality of work life in Saudi Arabia

In addition to raising the importance of development of QWL in general, Saudi Arabia is witnessing some transformation regarding its workforce, since women’s participation in the labor market is increasing. This means that some special arrangements, which are imposed by the social and religious norms, are required.

Almalki et al., [10], in a study to assess the QWL among nurses in the Jazan region, Saudi Arabia, found a high level of dissatisfaction regarding QWL. Among other factors that influence QWL, they mentioned inflexible working hours, lack of work-family balance, management behavior, short vacation, and lack of facilities (e.g., recreational equipment). However, in a comparison study, Saudi nurses were found to be less satisfied than non-Saudi nurses. Almarshad [8] pinpointed five aspects that affect the perceptions of faculty members in Saudi Arabia towards work life. These included compensation and reward, good opportunity for growth, work load, job security, and clarity of policies.

On 31 August 2014, Aleqtesadiah Newspaper announced a list of 15 organizations operating in Saudi Arabia as the prize winners of the best work environment (Table 1). The competition was managed with cooperation with the company of “Great Place to Work”, which uses an international standard to measure the quality of work environment in 50 countries throughout the world. It is noticeable that only one public organization was among the winners. It is the “Capital Market Authority”, which achieved 7th place. The remaining winners are small and medium organizations in private sectors. Some of them were multinational companies like Ericsson and Cisco [1].

Order Name of organizations
2 Saudi Ericsson
3 Cisco
4 Abbvie Company
5 The Centennial Fund
6 Panda
7 Capital Market Authority
8 McDonald
9 The Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB)
10 Arabian Bupa for medical insurance
12 Bin-Saedan Company
13 Alkhabeer Capital
14 Al-Nahdi Medical
15 Tamer Group

Table 1: Organizations with the best work environment in Saudi Arabia in 2014.

Purpose of the Study

1. To determine the level of quality of work life of employees in Saudi Arabia.

2. To examine the relationship between QWL and job satisfaction.

This study investigates the perception of QWL issues among employees in industry. This will enable management to create certain programs in order to improve organizational productivity.

Literature Review

The concept of Quality of Work Life (QWL) focuses on studying and analyzing the contents and processes that management implement to provide employees with the best of career life in order to improve organizational performance and satisfy workers’ needs and wants. According to several researchers [4,11-13], QWL is a comprehensive program that focuses on work conditions and environment in a given organization to improve job satisfaction among employees. It looks at employees as assets rather than a cost to the organizations. Thus, its main purpose is to “develop work environment that are excellent for employees as well as for organization” [14].

Horst et al., [12] and Almaghrabi [6] mentioned that this terminology was first used in 1972 during an international industrial relations conference. However, Tabassum et al., [15] said it was introduced at the Forty-Third American Assembly on the Changing World of Work at Columbia University’s Arden House. Since then, it has developed approaches like the Re-engineering HR technique, which appeared during 1990s. The authors related the growth of QWL importance to the prosperity of the community, suggesting that greater worker prosperity corresponded to greater expectations to have satisfied and meaningful jobs. QWL contains provision of workers with the opportunities to take any decisions related to their jobs, workplace designs, and materials they need to produce their final products or services. Therefore, Almaghrabi [6] stated that Quality of Work Life referred to securing good work environment and supervision, salary, wages, fringe benefits and compensations, appropriate job importance and challenges, and supporting good relationships among employees in order to provide workers with enough opportunities to influence their jobs and participate effectively at the organization. On the other hand, low levels of QWL create problems for organizations since they affect all employees in different positions [3,16]. Furthermore, some authors [11,17] believed that QWL affects not only work life but several social life domains as well. Also, Horst et al., [12] found that both work and non-work factors influence QWL.

Definition of QWL

Several authors have stated several different definitions of QWL. For example, Gupta et al., [14] said it “can be defined as the satisfaction of an employee develops for his or her career; allowing them to enhance their personal lives through their work and work environment”. Zare and Janani [3] highlighted the QWL definition and described it as “the employees’ reaction to work, especially its necessary outcomes and meeting the job needs and mental health needs”. In addition, Tabassum et al., [15] agreed with the opinion to define QWL “as the favorable condition and environment of employees benefit, employees’ welfare and management attitudes towards operational workers as well as employees in general”. While the first definition focuses on attitudes of employees towards the work and workers, which may differ from time to time, the second one focuses on describing a sustainable condition and environment of the work. Furthermore, Sirgy et al., [18] agreed with Tabassum et al., [15] as they defined QWL as “employee satisfaction with a variety of needs through resources, activities, and outcomes stemming from participation in the workplace”. The latter, indeed, is a kind of merging between the previous definitions. In general, these definitions confirm that QWL is a multi-dimensional construct [4,7,8]. Moreover, Nowrouzi et al., [11] defined QWL as “a way of thinking about people, work, and organizations”. Similarly, Almalki et al., [10] defined QWL as “the extent to which an employee is satisfied with personal and working needs through participating in the workplace while achieving the goals of the organization”.

Marta et al., [19] and Narehan et al., [2] discussed the similarity between QWL and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and stated that QWL has two levels of needs. The lower level contains health/safety needs and economic needs, while the higher level is comprised of social, self-actualization and knowledge needs. They also explained the relationship between QWL and Quality of Life (QOL) and concluded that QWL is significantly and positively correlated with QOL. The authors urged organizations to enforce the QWL programs to improve QOL among workers.

Anderson et al., [20] and Zare and Janani [3] argued that QWL could be a result of well job designs. In other words, if the jobs are challenging and enjoyable, the employees will perceive high QWL. Moreover, establishing QWL, according to Bagtasos [7], requires an interaction among the worker, job content, and job context. Measuring its level requires understanding employees’ satisfactions towards certain factors through assessing employees’ perceptions of these factors. Almarshad [8] stated that employees, usually, build their attitudes basing on several aspects. However, some authors have noted that this approach might be subjective processes in one way or another [17,21].

Factors influencing QWL

Belwal and Belwal [9] argued that perceived QWL differed from person to person, thereby, the factors that contribute to QWL may also differ from person to person; however, some researchers have agreed on several factors that lead to a higher QWL if they are improved. In general, QWL programs include paying attention to the factors related to work environment like safety and health of employees, reducing job stress, and opportunity for promotion [3]. Nayak et al., [22] identified four predictors of perceived QWL, including communication, empowerment, teamwork, and work life balance. Further, Teryima et al., [23] found that “employee attitude, working environment, opportunities for growth and advancement, nature of work, stress, job challenges, development and career potentials amongst others” are the challenging factors that influence QWL attainment. Gupta et al., [14] added organizational commitment to this list as well as team work and management relations.

Moreover, some researchers suggested other aspects by which QWL can be determined. These included fair compensation, job security, working conditions, health issues, management behavior, working time, and participation in decision-making [4,5,7,15,24]. In addition, Sirgy et al. [18], in an attempt to create a new measure of QWL based on theories of need satisfaction and spillover, identified seven major needs, including health and safety needs, economic and family needs, social needs, esteem needs, actualization needs, knowledge needs, and aesthetic needs. Each need has several subdimensions. Further, Almarshad [8], in an attempt to create a comprehensive model to evaluate QWL in Saudi Arabia, came up with four dimensions, including job stress, work occupy, job satisfaction, and working conditions.

On the other hand, Zare and Janani [3] believe that the reason behind low quality of product is shortages of QWL. For example, workers usually prefer to have a word in their work issue and participation in decision making in order to perform well. In fact, good QWL contributes not only to improvement of human outcomes but also to improve job satisfaction, employee morale, organizational effectiveness, and thereby accomplishment of the strategic objectives. At the same time, if QWL is high, it reduces employees’ grievances, absenteeism, and leave intention [15]. Horst et al., [12] agreed with the previous opinions, and they recommended a good management of QWL as a successful approach to improve employees’ commitment, health, life, productivity, and thereby reduce organizational expenses.

Therefore, Almarshad [8] argued that managers should establish priorities, and these priorities should be reflected in their strategies and plans when dealing with improvement of QWL factors.

Relationships between QWL and organizational factors

Authors agree that QWL is the aspect that deals with the wellbeing of employees. Indeed, high QWL is an important feature of firms with good growth and profitability. Those companies usually enjoy an adequate ability to attract and retain employees [5,9,11,21]. Therefore, Mirkamali and Thani [4] recommended that “organizational climate should be designed in a way that provides the essential conditions for the creation of collaboration and morale of collective work in all levels of the organizational structure.

Many studies have highlighted the existence of a relationship between QWL and organizational factors. For example, Singh [24] and Zhaoe et al., [13] found a negative relationship between QWL and turnover intention and absenteeism, and Zare and Janani [3] found a significant positive relationship between QWL and efficiency of managers of sports clubs. The last authors stated that “QWL is considered as an important and necessary factor for increasing the efficiency”. Other studies acknowledged the existence of a significant relationship between QWL and productivity [7,24].

Furthermore, several studies confirmed the existence of a relationship between QWL and organizational commitment [5,13,25-27]. In fact, Almarshad [8] concluded that QWL is a significant antecedent of workers’ commitment. Marta et al., [19] also believed that employees with high QWL perceptions tend to show a high level of association with their organizations. Zhao et al., [13] carried out a study about QWL among clinical nurses in China and concluded that those nurses who had a high level of QWL have more job embeddedness and affective commitment than others.

A significant relationship between QWL and job satisfaction has been found by many studies [4,25,28,29]. Thus, Mirkamali and Thani [4] suggested that to improve job satisfaction, management should control or, if necessary, manipulate QWL factors. They believed that this would lead to organizational development.

Heidarie et al., [25], Sirgy et al., [18] and Bagtasos [7] differentiated between QWL and job satisfaction, and they considered the latter as one of the QWL outcomes.

Tabassum et al., [15], from a study of QWL among male and female employees, found a significant difference between the two groups in aspects such as flexible work schedule, fair compensation, and employee relations.

Finally, George et al., [30] found a positive relationship between provision of good opportunities for skill development and the level of extra role behaviors.


This study is descriptive in nature. The population included the employees of public and private sectors with more emphasis on organizations working in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.

QWL is measured by the perceptions of employees towards their organization and its content [5]. The study used a cross-sectional survey through self-administered questionnaires. A series of 5-point Likert scales (1-strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree) were used to assess the level of QWL and job satisfaction.

This study has adapted the “Quality of Work Life Questionnaire” developed by Almaghrabi [6] to measure the level of QWL in industry. It consists of 6 parts: work moral environment, job characteristics, wages and remuneration, work group, supervision style, and participation in decision making. These aspects were selected because of their appropriateness to the Saudi work environment, and they have good reliability and validity. The alpha reliability of the scales is stated in Table 2.

Questionnaire response Frequency Rate
No. of questionnaire sent 500 100%
No. of questionnaire returned 410 82%
No. of questionnaires excluded 20 4%
No. of questionnaires included in the study 390 78%

Table 2: Sample study response rate (n=390).

The items used to measure job satisfaction were those developed by Roche [31].

These organizations were selected with the goal of including all sectors in the region to avoid the possible bias that might arise from focusing on only one sector and to increase the ability to make comparisons among sectors.

Sample size

A structured questionnaire has been designed to acquire data from the participants of the industry situated in the Yanbu Industrial City. There were 500 questionnaires given to 10 different industries operating in Yanbu Industrial City. Table 2 shows that 8 firms completed and returned the questionnaires. Each industry did not provide the completed questionnaire as given to them, but overall, 410 questionnaires were received, and 390 of these were usable for this study, which is about 78%. This is a very good response rate.

Reliability analysis

Cronbach’s Alpha was used as a reliability test to each section of the data: Moral Environment, Job Characteristics, wages and Remuneration, Working in Group, Supervision Style, Participation in Decision Making, and Job Satisfaction. Sufficient reliability was found among the variables. Table 3 shows their respective values.

Research factors
Cronbach's alpha Cronbach's alpha based on standardized items
Moral environment 0.893 0.896
Job characteristics 0.753 0.824
Wages and remuneration 0.800 0.861
Work group 0.871 0.871
Supervision style 0.942 0.942
Participation in dm 0.912 0.912
Job satisfaction 0.842 0.843

Table 3: Cronbach’s Alpha Value of research factors.

Demographic analysis

The questionnaire has 8 sections: Demographic, Moral environment, Job Characteristics, Wages and Remuneration, Work group, Supervision style, Participation in Decision making, and Job Satisfaction. The demographic information of the participants presented in Table 4 shows the percentage of various demographic factors.

Demographic item Classification Frequency Percentage
Nationality Saudi 336 86%
  Non-Saudi 54 14%
Marital status Married 275 71%
  Single 115 29%
Age 20-30 years 151 39%
  31-40 years 141 36%
  41-50 years 77 20%
  51-60 years 21 5%
Educational level High school 102 26%
  Associate degree 89 23%
  Bachelor’s degree 167 43%
  Higher education 32 8%
Overall work experience Up to 5 year 72 18%
  6 - 10 years 54 14%
  11 - 15 years 28 7%
  16 - 20 years 25 6%
  21 - 25 years 13 3%
  26-30 years 6 2%
  31-35 years 8 2%
  Missing values 184 47%

Table 4: Respondents Demographic Information (n=390).

The study included participants from all levels of age, marital status, education, and work experience. Table 4 shows that 86% of the respondents were Saudi nationals, and 70% were married. The participants were of mixed age, i.e., 39% of the belonged to 20-30 years’ age bracket, 36% were from 31-40, 20% fell under 41-50 years, and 5% fell into the last age group, i.e., 51-60 years. Most of the respondents belong to quite matured group of ages (56%), and only 25% were of age above 40 years. Quite a large number of the respondents were educated with either associate’s or bachelor’s degrees (56%). Only 8% of the respondents held higher education degrees. Regarding work experience, the study faced a problem of missing values: 47% did not report values; however, in the remaining 53%, 35% of the total sample size is well experienced and fall in the categories from 6-10 years to 31-35 years of work experience. Only 18% of the respondents had work experience less than 5 years (Table 5).

S.No. Factors Mean SD
1 Moral environment 3.65 .8466
2 Job characteristics 3.579 .906
3 Wages and remuneration 2.92 1.05
4 Team work 3.47 .813
5 Supervision style 3.52 .968
6 Participation in decision making process 3.45 .85
7 Job satisfaction 3.32 .87

Table 5: Dimensions of WQL with the factor mean and standard deviation.

Moral environment factors

In the environmental factors, many of the variables present a positive notion about the working environment of the organization. They responded that they felt that there was a mutual trust (58%), freedom of doing job (55%), a friendly environment (66%), mutual respect (74%), satisfaction of achievement (70%), and interpersonal relationship (66%) at their workplace. This suggests that a large number of respondents are satisfied with the moral environment at work.

On the other hand, we computed the mean value of each variable, and this confirms the above results of Table 6: the mean values are quite high, and most of them are very close to 4 on a scale of 5. The overall mean value of the moral environmental factors is 3.65 on a scale of 5, which is quite reasonable to support the argument that most of the respondents at work are satisfied with their workplace (Table 6).

Moral environment Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree Mean
I work in a working environment featuring mutual trust among all parties 24 56 84 160 66  
6% 14% 22% 41% 17% 3.48
I enjoy the freedom to work at my job 33 72 71 157 57  
8% 18% 18% 40% 15% 3.34
There are intimate friendships between me and my colleagues at work 13 38 87 163 89  
3% 10% 22% 42% 23% 3.71
I feel I am respected by others in my organization 10 31 60 190 99  
3% 8% 15% 49% 25% 3.86
I feel good about that accomplishment I achieve in my work 10 35 73 187 85  
3% 9% 19% 48% 22% 3.77
I feel the quality of dealing with my colleagues in the organization 10 40 84 168 88  
3% 10% 22% 43% 23% 3.73
Overall mean value 3.65

Table 6: Percentage response and frequency of Moral Environmental factors (n=390).

Job characteristics

The study included 6 variables relating to job characteristics: Job Dimension, Job responsibility, Job required skills, Freedom in Job, Volume of work, and Task Challenge. Table 7 displays the percentage response for these variables and the mean value of the responses for each of the variables in the Job Characteristics factor. 68% of the respondents either strongly agree or agree that there should be a defined job dimension, 71% either strongly agree or agree about that Job responsibility should be defined, 70% were in favor of the necessary skills required by the job, 57% tended to agree for the freedom of action during the job to be accomplished, 52% agreed that the volume of work was be appropriate, and 55% assumed that tasks assigned at the job should be taken as challenges and fun. The overall mean value (3.58) of the responses displayed that most of the respondents either strongly agreed or agreed to the variables related to Job Characteristics.

Job characteristics Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree Mean
My job dimensions and practical tasks are characterized by importance 15 34 77 179 85  
4% 9% 20% 46% 22% 3.73
I feel responsible for everything that I'm doing 14 37 62 170 106  
4% 9% 16% 44% 27% 3.92
I possess the necessary skills to perform the job 17 31 70 180 92  
4% 8% 18% 46% 24% 3.77
I have the freedom to act in deciding everything in the job 28 64 117 135 46  
7% 16% 30% 35% 12% 3.27
The volume of work in my job is suitable 22 67 98 149 54  
6% 17% 25% 38% 14% 3.37
My tasks are challenging and fun 24 66 88 151 61  
6% 17% 23% 39% 16% 3.41
Overall Mean Value           3.58

Table 7: Percentage response of the Job Characteristics variable (n=390).

Mean values of the variables associated with Job Characteristics are quite high, ranging from 3.27 to 3.92 on a scale of 5. The overall mean value for this factor is 3.58, which is positively skewed on the normal curve.

Wages and remuneration

One of the important factors of this study has been Wages and Remuneration, which has six variables: 1- Income Level, 2 -Income matches with job, 3-understanding of wages system, 4-fairness of wages, 5-wages matches with skill level, and 6-performance evaluation. Table 8 presents the opinion of the respondents about these variables and shows the percentage responses.

Wages and remuneration Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree Mean
I am quite happy with my income in work 60 75 87 125 43  
15% 19% 22% 32 % 11% 3.04
My income depends on the amount of my work 82 83 106 85 33  
21 % 21 % 27 % 22 % 8 % 2.86
I understand fully the system of wages and bonuses in my organization 57 63 103 128 39  
15 % 16 % 26 % 33 % 10 % 3.07
My wage is fair comparing with those of my colleagues 64 71 123 101 31  
16 % 18 % 32 % 26 % 8 % 2.91
My wage is fair comparing with my skills and efforts 63 80 120 96 31  
16 % 21 % 31 % 25 % 8 % 2.88
My performance determines the amount of my rewards and compensations 73 90 110 87 30  
19 % 23 % 28 % 22% 8 % 2.77
Overall Mean Value           2.92

Table 8: Percentage response of Wages and Remuneration variables (n=390).

It seems that in all the six variables, the respondents either remained neutral to responses or strongly agreed and agreed to the notion. 22% of the participants remained neutral, and 43% either strongly agreed or agreed to level of the income that they receive. Only 30% agreed that the income depended on the assigned work, and 27% remained neutral. About 43% of the respondents assumed that they understood the wages system and agreed to the statement, whereas 26% remained neutral. When asked about the fairness of wages compared to other colleagues, just 34% agreed with the statement, whereas 32% remained neutral. Similarly, 33% of the respondents agreed to the fairness of the wages based on the efforts applied by them; however, 31% remained neutral. Finally, only 30% of the participants agreed or strongly agreed that the performance determines the rewards and compensation for them (Table 7).

Table 8 shows that most of the respondents were not very satisfied with their wages and earnings. The overall mean value (2.92) is an average response value. One of the reasons for this low value could be that a large number of the respondents remained neutral to the responses of the variables of Wages and Remuneration. The mean value for these variables lies between 2.77 and 3.07 on a scale of 5.

Team work (working in group)

This factor of this research study consists of 6 variables: 1-Important team member, 2-Freedom of expression as team member, 3-Understanding of Objectives, 4-Freedom of exchange of ideas, 5-Participation in decision making process, and 6-Different experience. Most participants believed in team work or working as group rather than as individuals.

62% of the respondents favored the idea of the importance of the team and working as group, and 22% did not respond or remained neutral. A large number of the respondents agreed the notion that there was freedom of expression in the group (55%), whereas 24% remained silent. Then, we sought the opinion about the understanding about the business objectives within a team by the member, and we found that 56% were aware of it, but 25% remained neutral. Similarly, we asked about their freedom of exchanging the ideas among the team members, and a similar response was found, i.e., 52% agreed and about 27% remained neutral. Another opinion sought information regarding the participation in the decision-making process; the results depicted that 55% of the responded positively, and 26% remained neutral. Finally, we asked whether participants had team members with different experience, and the respondents very strongly replied positively (64%); only 22% remained neutral. Table 9 presents the percentage response of the participants, and the mean values of the responses.

The respondents felt very comfortable working in the group, and most of the variables’ mean values lie between 3.33 and 3.65, which is very high on a scale of 5. The overall mean value to this factor is 3.47 and is positively skewed on a normal curve. Table 9 presents the mean value response of the variables of the Team Work factor.

Work group factors Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree Mean
I feel that I am an important part of my work group 15 41 86 173 75  
4% 11% 22% 44% 19% 3.65
My team members express their opinions freely 27 53 94 165 51  
7% 14% 24% 42% 13% 3.41
Everyone in my team has a full understanding of business objectives 19 56 98 179 38  
5% 14% 25% 46% 10% 3.41
Work team members exchange their feelings freely 27 56 104 169 34  
7% 14% 27% 43% 9% 3.33
Team members participate in decisions that affect them 29 48 102 166 45  
7% 12% 26% 43% 12% 3.38
My team members have different experiences and practical integrated 16 39 84 189 62  
4% 10% 22% 48% 16% 3.62
Overall Mean Value           3.47

Table 9: Percentage response of the Team Work variables (n=390).

Supervision style

The fifth factor for this study is the supervision style, which also consists of 6 variables: (1) Encourage to participate, (2) Has ability to plan, (3) Information Sharing, (4) Fair treatment, (5) Explaining objectives, and (6) Encourage to deliver maximum. Overall, the response to this factor is very encouraging, and most of the participants responded positively. Table 10 presents the response rate for all the variables: 59%, 60%, 59%, 60%, 58%, and 56%, respectively.

The mean value responses of each of the variables is also a little higher. Table 10 displays the mean value ranges from 3.49 to 3.52. Overall, the mean value of this factor is 3.50 on a scale of 5, which is skewed positively.

Supervision style factors Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree Mean
My supervisor encourages me to participate in key decision-making 25 50 86 162 67  
6% 13% 22% 42% 17% 3.50
My boss possesses a great ability to key pre-planning work 24 47 86 170 63  
6% 12% 22% 44% 16% 3.52
My boss gives complete information for his subordinates 26 45 90 164 65  
7% 12% 23% 42% 17% 3.51
Our boss treats us fairly and equitably 21 49 87 155 78  
5% 13% 22% 40% 20% 3.56
Our boss explains for us the work objectives with motivational way 23 44 96 171 56  
6% 11% 25% 44% 14% 3.49
Our president has a high capacity for instigation of his subordinates to make the maximum possible effort 25 47 100 140 78  
6% 12% 26% 36% 20% 3.51
Overall Mean Value           3.52

Table 10: Percentage response of Supervision Style variables (n=390).

Participation in decision-making process

One of the factors in the employees’ performance measurement is participation in decision-making process. This factor considered six variables: (1) Influence on work by decision making, (2) Participation in problem solving, (3) Get full information, (4) Get Information for achieved objectives, (5) Enjoy working with Co-workers, and (6) Freedom to work. A large number of the participants either agreed or strongly agreed with these variables and responded with 50%, 57%, 53%, 56%, 64%, and 53%, respectively. The participants between 25% and 29% remained neutral in all of these variables. Table 11 presents the number of responses with their corresponding percentage values. On the other end, the mean value of these variables is higher, ranging from 3.29 to 3.67 on a scale of 5. The overall mean value for this factor is 3.45. The table also presents the mean value of participation in the decision-making factor’s variable.

Decision making factors Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree Mean
I have the opportunity to influence the decisions that affect my work 22 76 97 155 40  
6% 19% 25% 40% 10% 3.29
I can participate in solving the problems of my work 18 51 102 170 49  
5% 13% 26% 44% 13% 3.46
I get complete information about the objectives of my work 18 51 114 164 43  
5% 13% 29% 42% 11% 3.42
I get the appropriate information about my achievements at work 15 58 99 169 49  
4% 15% 25% 43% 13% 3.46
I enjoy participation and collaboration with coworkers 15 31 94 177 73  
4% 8% 24% 45% 19% 3.67
I have an appropriate degree of freedom in the performance of my work 17 58 109 157 49  
4% 15% 28% 40% 13% 3.42
Overall Mean Value           3.45

Table 11: Percentage response of Decision Making Participation variables (n=390).

Job satisfaction

The last of these factors is Job Satisfaction, which consists of five variables: (1) Satisfied with Current Job, (2) Physical Environment, (3) Working Hours, (4) Earnings and (5) Critical Work. Table 12 presents the number of responses with corresponding percentage values. The results show that most of the variables’ percentage values are 50% or more, and 25% or a little higher remained neutral. This means that the majority of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the variables of this factor. The percentage values for these variables are 49%, 48%, 51%, 45%, and 64%, respectively (Table 12).

Job satisfaction factors Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree Mean
In general I am satisfied with my current job 26 72 102 145 45  
7% 18% 26% 37% 12% 3.28
I am satisfied with my physical working conditions. 26 76 99 153 36  
7% 19% 25% 39% 9% 3.25
I am satisfied with my hours of work 35 61 97 155 42  
9% 16% 25% 40% 11% 3.28
I am satisfied with my earnings from my current job. 51 72 93 139 35  
13% 18% 24% 36% 9% 3.09
I find my work is critical 16 35 88 159 92  
4% 9% 23% 41% 24% 3.71
Overall Mean Value           3.32

Table 12: Percentage response value for Job Satisfaction variables (n=390).

Table 12 shows the mean value response of each of the variables of the Job satisfaction factor, and it reveals that the overall mean value for this factor is quite reasonable, i.e., 3.32, whereas all other variables value ranged from 3.09 to 3.71 on a scale of 5. This depicts that most of the participants are highly satisfied with the job satisfaction factor’s variables, but only variable 5 is not critical, since its mean value was 3.71, where respondents suggested that they found their work critical.

Analysis of the Results of Correlation

The correlations among variables are presented in Table 13. The analysis results show that there are positive and significant relationships among the variables. It also reveals that there are significant positive correlations between job satisfaction and the selected QWL variables. The maximum correlation (r=0.690) is found between participation in decision making and job satisfaction. Among the variables, the relationship (r=0.681) between team work and participation in decision making is the highest. Age indicates a significant positive relationship with supervision style. It is interesting that the nationality makes a difference with regard to employee perceptions towards the tested variables, and those married employees are more satisfied than single individuals. Factors 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
1 Age 1                    
2 Experience .593 1                  
3 Nationality -0.009 -0.013 1                
4 Marital status .24 .44 0.054 1              
5 Qualification 0.02 -0.054 0.079 0.069 1            
6 Moral environment 0.063 0.095 .15 .104 0.041 1          
7 Job characteristics 0.036 .148 .19 .148 0.096 .621 1        
8 Wages and remuneration 0.089 0.045 .15 0.093 0.074 .372 .461 1      
9 Team work 0.057 0.084 .13 0.073 0.091 .628 .556 .489 1    
10 Supervision style .111 0.066 0.074 0.097 0.069 .519 .426 .291 .587 1  
11 Participation in d.m. 0.079 0.089 .15 0.08 0.081 .592 .530 .528 .681 .665 1
12 Job satisfaction 0.096 0.123 .16 .138 0.071 .525 .532 .586 .578 .499 .690

Table 13: Correlation matrix and descriptive statistics.

Discussion and Conclusion

Today, all organizations must continuously improve QWL if they want to exist and compete in the market. In particular, organizations in Saudi Arabia face more challenges with regards to QWL due to the Saudi vision 2030, which calls for the private sector to play a great role in attracting talent and hiring young people. This challenge has also increased since the number of women participating in workforce has increased, and they require some particular considerations like flexible working hours and special structures or separation men from women during working hours [17].

The above stated findings reveal that the overall level of QWL of respondents is high. The majority of employees perceived a positive notion about working environmental factors. They thought their job dimension and responsibilities were clearly defined and emphasized by organizations. They also thought that they possessed the necessary skills to carry out their jobs. However, participants’ perceptions were varied regarding wage and remuneration, as most employees were not very happy with their income. This scattered opinion may be related to the fact that this survey covered both private and public sectors and small and large firms. Employees said that they found their job to be critical. This is not surprising since Yanbu contains the most technological advanced plants on which the economy of the country depends heavily.

Teamwork and supervision were identified by Nayak et al., [22] as clear predictors of QWL. The results of this study confirmed this finding, as the majority of respondents believed in teamwork rather than working individually. They thought that their team members had enough freedom to participate in decision making and to exchange ideas. They were also happy about management. In other words, they thought that they had a good supervisory relationship in their workplace. This is in agreement with the statement by Lewis et al., [32] that “supervisor style – play the major role in determining QWL satisfaction”.

Moreover, participation in decision making was identified by researchers as one of the main determinants of QWL [4,5,7,15,24]. The current study showed that employees at Yanbu feel that they have a good opportunity to participate in the decision-making process. This may be related to the introduction of workers’ committees by many companies in recent years. Note that the Saudi government approved the establishment of employees’ committees in any company with more than 100 Saudi workers. The purpose of this committee, which may be considered a foundation of collective bargaining, is to find a means of dialogue between employees and employers in order to improve the level of work performance and eliminate technical and material obstacles that impede work performance. This will provide company management with its recommendations with regard to the working conditions, products, and any work-related matters that may help to improve production and the work environment [33].

This study also reveals that all elements of QWL, namely, work moral environment, job characteristics, wages and remuneration, work group, supervision style, and participation in decision making are significantly correlated with job satisfaction. Almost all of the variables reported a positive correlation between each other. The finding of significant relationships between job satisfaction and QWL factors confirmed the definitions of QWL mentioned above by many scholars.

To create a good QWL, management should take into consideration the employees’ needs and grievances and improve working conditions. The author supports a recommendation by Almarshad [8] that frequent surveys should be done by management to evaluate and analyze employees’ perceptions about QWL. This will help organizations to cope up with workers’ needs and improve job satisfaction, employee commitment, and organizational performance.


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