Job demands, job control, psychological climate, and job satisfaction: A cognitive dissonance perspective

Maria Karanika-Murray, George Michaelides, Stephen J. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Research into job design and employee outcomes has tended to examine job design in isolation of the wider organizational context, leading to calls to attend to the context in which work is embedded. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of the interaction between job design and psychological climate on job satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach: Cognitive dissonance theory was used to explore the nature of this relationship and its effect on job satisfaction. The authors hypothesized that psychological climate (autonomy, competence, relatedness dimensions) augments favorable perceptions of job demands and control when there is consistency between them (augmentation effect) and compensates for unfavorable perceptions when they are inconsistent (compensation effect). Findings: Analysis of data from 3,587 individuals partially supported the hypotheses. Compensation effects were observed for job demands under a high autonomy and competence climate and for job control under a low competence climate. Augmentation effects were observed for job demands under a high relatedness climate. Practical implications: When designing jobs managers should take into account the effects of psychological climate on employee outcomes. Originality/value: This study has offered a way to bridge the job design and psychological climate fields and demonstrated that the call for more attention to the context in which jobs are embedded is worth heeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-255
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Organizational Effectiveness
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive dissonance theory
  • Job control
  • Job demands
  • Job satisfaction
  • Psychological climate
  • Workplace characteristics model

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