The effects of managerial behavioral characteristics on subordinate job satisfaction

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Virginia Tech


With an average employee turnover rate of nearly 250% in the food service industry, operators agree that this problem is probably the most pervasive in the industry. An estimation of seven to ten percent of revenue is spent on turnover.

This study addresses an approach to diminish this figure by enhancing employee job satisfaction which the literature reveals is a precursor to the decision or intent to leave. One of the major influences of satisfaction is the quality of the manager/subordinate relationship. Therefore, the current research investigates the potential of managerial behavioral characteristics and their effects on subordinate job satisfaction.

Through a set of three surveys, respondents were asked to identify how important 77 behaviors were to them in their manager, their personal level of job satisfaction and the level of competency their immediate supervisor displays on the importance behaviors. Through correlation analysis 51 behaviors were identified as having significant relationships to the composite job satisfaction score. Seventeen variables saw higher correlation values for respondents who indicated the behavior is "Very Important" to them in a manager they work for. This supports one of the hypotheses which states that the level of importance an employee designates to a particular behavior influences whether or not the level of competency can affect job satisfaction.

The results of this study can be immediately operationalized through training and development programs provided to managers. By increasing the level of satisfaction through these programs, management could transfer turnover dollars into profit dollars, an advantage to any organization.