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Posted on: 16/04/2011

47
Effect of Perceived Work Environment on Employees’ Job
Behaviour and Organizational Effectiveness
A.K. Srivastava
Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
The study examined the effect of two constituents of work environment (i.e. physical
and psychosocial on employees’ job satisfaction and performance, and
organizational effectiveness in a sample of 360 technical supervisors and operating
core personnel. The analyses revealed that participants who perceived their work
environment as to be adequate and favourable scored comparatively higher on
the measures of job satisfaction, performance, and perceived organizational
effectiveness. The two constituents of work environment were also found causing
significant variance in employees’ job behaviour and their perception of
organizational effectiveness. Regression analyses revealed that among the various
components of work environment, working condition, welfare provisions,
interpersonal relations, and trust and support predominantly contribute to employees’
job behaviour and organizational effectiveness. The results also specified that
psycho-social environment in work-place exert more impact on employees’ job
behaviour and organizational effectiveness than the physical environment does.
Keywords: Work Environment, Organizational Effectiveness, Job Behaviour
The effect of organizational structure and
its environment on the behaviour of its
members has been an important issue of
discussion and analysis since long back. In
industrial context, the problem of increasing
production and making the work environment
more pleasant have been approached through
the introduction of durable changes in working
environment. The environment in work
organizations comprises several components
of two major categories, namely, physical and
psycho-social. During early days of
development of industrial psychology only
physical environment in work place was given
importance and was considered as a
predominant determinant of employees’
productivity. Numerous earlier studies
examined the effect of illumination,
temperature, noise, and atmospheric
conditions on productivity of the workers
(Bennett, Chitlangia, & Pangnekar, 1977;
Berrien, 1940; Ferree & Rand, 1940; Ford,
1929; Leithead & Lind, 1964; McCormic &
Sanders, 1982; Moreland & Barnes, 1970;
Morgan, 1916; Peterson & Gross, 1978;
Sleight & Tiffin, 1948; Vickroy, Shaw, & Fisher,
1982). However, no consistent relationship
could be noted between these components
of physical work environment and
performance. After Hawthorne studies
industrial psychologists started shifting their
attention to the study of social and
psychological environment and its effects on
employees’ job behaviour. The recognition of
the significant role of psycho-social
environment led to the emergence of
organizational psychology, and further the
concept of ‘quality of work life’. The
importance of physical work environment has
now been again realized. The modern
organizations are making all possible efforts
to make work environment more comfortable,
© Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology,
January 2008, Vol. 34, No.1, 47-55.
48
safe and healthy, which resulted in emergence
of a new branch of industrial/organizational
psychology, namely ‘occupational health
psychology’. It is psychological method of
looking holistically at the work environment
and the health of the workers. Occupational
health psychology looks at the health of the
workers as well as the health of organization
in a synergistic relationship, and tries to
understand the dynamic interaction between
the two.
Numerous studies have been done to
examine the effect of physical work
environment and organizational climate on
workers’ job satisfaction, performance, and
health. The earlier studies in this regard
examined the effect of objective magnitudes
of illumination, noise, temperature and
atmospheric conditions on workers’
productivity (Barnaby, 1980; Fine & Kabrick,
1978; Finkleman & Glass, 1970; Leithead &
Lind, 1964; McCormic & Sanders, 1982).
Scott, Jusanne and Steven (2000) reported
that working conditions associates with
employees’ job involvement and job
satisfaction. Strong, Jeannerert, Blackley and
McPhail (1999) in a study observed that social,
organizational and physical context serve as
the impetus for tasks and activities, and
considerably influence workers’ performance
and work output. Researches on quality of
work life have also established the importance
of safe and healthy working conditions in
determining employees’ job behaviour
(Ahmad & Mehta, 1999; Patnayak, 1997).
The influence of organizational climate,
which is mostly composed of several
organizational, social and psychological
factors, has been extensively examined in
past two decades. In a number of studies
employees’ motivation, job satisfaction, job
involvement, job performance, and health
have been found to be markedly influenced
by psycho-social environment of work
organization (Anantharaman & Subha, 1980;
Benjamin, 1975; Dugdill, 2000; Jean &
Randall, 1975; Lenuart, 1978; Mehta, 1977;
Mishra, 1986; Muchinsky, 1977; Schneider &
Syder, 1975; Tetric & Larocoo, 1987; Tumuly,
Jernigan & Kohut, 1994).
Most of the above mentioned studies
examined the molecular effect of different
components of two constituents of work
environment on employees’ job behaviour.
But, in fact, the various components of work
environment influence workers’ job behaviour
as a whole made out of dynamic interactions
among them. Taking this fact into
consideration, the present study aimed at
examining independent as well as
interactional effect of perceived physical and
psycho-social work environment on job
satisfaction, job performance, and perceived
organizational effectiveness in a sample of
industrial personnel.
Method
Participants:
The sample for the present study
comprised 360 technical supervisors and
operating core personnel randomly selected
from 4 industrial organizations. The
participants, all males, were in the age range
of 28 to 50 years, having work experience from
8 to 24 years.
Measures:
Physico-Legal Work Environment
Questionnaire (Mohapatra & Srivastava,
2003) was administered to assess the extent
of perceived adequacy and favourability of the
various components of physical work
environment. The questionnaire consisting of
27 items, to be rated on 5-point scale, includes
the items relating to working conditions, safety
and security, legally prescribed provisions of
employees’ welfare, external atmospheric
condition and employees’ awareness about
these prescribed provisions. Validity of the tool
was established by computing correlation
between the score on this questionnaire and
on the measures of job involvement (r=.221,
Job Behaviour and Organizational Effectiveness
49
N=350) and job satisfaction (r=.272, N=350).
Retest reliability of the tool was found to be
0.91 (N=88). High score on the measure
indicates the adequacy of the work
environment.
Motivational Aspect of Organization
(Climate) (Pareek, 1975) was employed to
assess the extent of motivational orientation
in various dimensions of psycho-social climate
of the organizations. The five dimensions
taken up for the present investigation were
orientation of the organization, interpersonal
relationships, modes of managing conflicts,
reward system and trust and support. The
items in the questionnaire were to be rated
on 4-point scale to indicate the extent of
adequacy and congeniality of the psychosocial
climate in the organization.
Validity of measure was established by
running factor analysis. Test-retest reliability
of the tool have been psychometrically
established, and has been widely used by the
researchers in the area of organizational
behaviour and management.
Performance Appraisal Scale
(Srivastava, 1997) The measure consists of
20 items to be rated on 5-point scale by the
subject himself about the extent of objective
and psychological characteristics of efficient
performance of their own. The validity of the
scale was established by examining its
correlation with the measures of job
involvement (r=0.78), job satisfaction
(r=0.602), and organizational effectiveness (r
= 0.43).
Job Attitude Scale (Srivastava, 1997).
The scale comprising 15 items, to be rated
by the respondent on 4-points, assess the
extent of employees’ positive attitudes and
liking for various aspects of their job, such as
job activities, working conditions,
interpersonal relations, job security,
compensation system, etc. Homogeneity
index of the items ranged from .38 to .58. the
score on the scale significantly correlated with
job performance (r=.201, N=300) and
occupational stress (r = – .42, N=300). Split-
Half of the scale was found to be .72.
Organizational Effectiveness Scale
(Srivastava & Banerjee, 1997). A short version
of the scale of the original scale was
employed. The 11 items, to be rated by the
respondent on 5-point scale, assess the
efficacy and effectiveness of the organization.
Homogeneity index of the items ranged from
0.4 to 0.67. Retest reliability of the test was
found to be 0.95.
Results
The obtained data were analyzed in terms
of t-ratio, F-ratio (ANOVA), and F-ratio (Step-
Wise Multiple Regression) in order to examine
the effect of perceived work-environment on
employees’ job satisfaction and performance,
and organizational effectiveness. The
obtained results are recorded in the following
tables (1 to 5).
The results (Table 1) showing the
comparisons of high and low scorers on the
measures of perceived work environment
(physico-legal, psycho-social) with regard to
their job behaviour make it apparent that the
participants who reported to perceive their
physical and psycho-social work environment
as more (Mdn+) adequate, favourable,
healthy, and congenial scored markedly
higher on the measures of job satisfaction and
job performance in comparison to those who
rated the two dimensions of their work
environment as to be less adequate and
favourable. The results also indicate that the
employees who scored higher (positive) on
the measure of two dimensions of work
environment, scored higher also on the
measure of organizational effectiveness in
comparison to those who scored lower
(negative) on the measures of work
environment.
A.K. Srivastava
50
Table 1. Comparison of Job Satisfaction, Job Performance and Perceived
Organizational Effectiveness of High and Low Raters of Work Environment
Work Environment Job Satisfaction Job Performance Orgl. Effectiveness
Mean t Mean t Mean t
Physico-Legal
Work-Environment High+ 43.87 3.29** 57.48 2.79** 44.56 2.00*
(n=174) (􀁖=5.45) (􀁖=7.67) (􀁖=5.32)
Low- 41.92 55.45 43.32
(n=186) (􀁖=6.43) (􀁖=8.16) (􀁖=6.56)
Psycho-Social
Work- Environment High+ 43.54 3.70** 57.24 3.31** 47.55 10.59**
(n=182) (􀁖=5.51) (􀁖=7.99) (􀁖=4.66)
Low- 41.24 54.46 41.09
(n=178) (􀁖=6.25) (􀁖=7.90) (􀁖=6.62)
+Adequate/Favourable (Mdn+); -Inadequate/unfavoruable (Mdn-)
**p < 0.01, *p < 0.05
Table 2. Results of 2´2 ANOVA in Job Satisfaction, Job Performance and
Perceived Organizational Effectiveness Caused from Physical and Psycho-
Social Work Environment
Work-Environment Job Satisfaction Job Performance Org. Effectiveness
df F F F
Physico-Legal 1 1.54* 3.68** 2.91**
Psycho-Social 1 2.28** 3.08** 7.62**
Physical ´ Psycho-Social 357 1.58* 2.27** 3.27**
Error 25.004 30.525 12.949
**p < 0.01, *p < 0.05
In order to further confirm the effect of
perceived work environment on employees’
job behaviour and organizational
effectiveness analysis of variance was done.
The obtained results are depicted in Table2.
The analyses revealed that the extent of
perceived adequacy and congeniality of
physical and psycho-social work environment
independently and as well as in interaction
with each other caused significant variance
in the levels of job satisfaction and job
performance of the participants of the study.
The results also indicate that physical and
psycho-social constituents of work
environment independently as well as jointly
caused noticeable variance in participants’
perception of organizational effectiveness.
The results further confirm the significant
effect of perceived work environment on
employees’ job behaviour and appraisal of
organizational effectiveness.
Finally, to analyze the independent and
combined contributions of various
components of the two major constituents of
work environment to employees’ job
satisfaction, job performance and
organizational effectiveness multiple
regression analyses was run (Table 3 to 5).
Job Behaviour and Organizational Effectiveness
51
Table 3. Regression of Job Satisfaction onto Physical and Psycho-Social
Work Environment
Predictors R R2 R2(Step-wise) F
Physico-Legal Environment
Working Conditions .187 .035 .035 3.28**
Welfare Provisions .241 .058 .023 2.74**
Psycho-Social Environment
Interpersonal Relations .158 .025 .025 3.03**
Reward System .206 .042 .017 2.55**
Trust & Support .245 .060 .018 2.57**
**p < 0.01
Regression of job satisfaction (criterion)
onto physical and psycho-social work
environment (predictors) revealed that among
the components of physico-legal environment
taken into consideration herein ‘working
conditions’ and ‘welfare provisions’
significantly predicted the employees’ job
satisfaction level. Rest of the components of
physico-legal work environment, such as
safety and security, employees’ awareness,
and external atmospheric conditions, were
found to be ineffective in predicting
participants’ job satisfaction to a noticeably
extent. While ‘interpersonal relations’, ‘reward
system’ and ‘trust and support’ components
of psycho-social work environment were found
significantly predicting (2.5%, 1.7%, and 1.8%,
respectively) employees’ job satisfaction. The
results also specify that working conditions
and interpersonal relations at work were
dominant predictors of employees’ job
satisfaction.
Table 4. Regression of Job Performance onto Physical and Psycho-Social
Work Environment
Predictors R R2 R2(Step-wise) F
Physico-Legal Environment
Welfare Provisions .149 .022 .022 2.85**
Psycho-Social Environment
Trust & Support .120 .015 .015 2.31**
Interpersonal Relations .192 .037 .022 3.33**
Specified Orientation .234 .055 .018 2.04**
**p < 0.01
The results presented in Table 4 indicate
that only one component of physical
environment, i.e. welfare provisions,
significantly predicted (2.2%) participants’ job
performance. On the other hand, trust and
support, interpersonal relationships, specified
orientation of the organization representing
psycho-social climate of work-place were
found to markedly contribute (1.5%, 2.2%, and
1.8% respectively) to participants’ job
performance. The results also enable us to
A.K. Srivastava
conclude that psycho-social environment
predicts employees’ performance relatively
larger than the physical work environment
does.
The analysis of prediction of
organizational effectiveness by two
dimensions of work environment revealed that
work environment largely determines
organizational effectiveness. The results of
the multiple regression analysis are presented
in Table 5.
52
Table 5. Regression of Perceived Organizational Effectiveness onto
Physical and Psycho-Social Work Environment
Predictors R R2 R2(Step-wise) F
Physico-Legal Environment
Working Condit. .167 .028 .028 3.23**
Welfare Provisions .268 .072 .043 4.07**
Safety .288 .083 .011 2.10*
Psycho-Social Environment
Specified Orientation .467 .218 .218 10.04**
Trust & Support .500 .250 .032 3.86**
Reward System .542 .293 .043 4.62**
Interpersonal Relations .551 .303 .010 2.25**
**p < 0.01, * p < 0.05
The obtained results make it apparent
that ‘welfare-provisions’, ‘working conditions’,
and ‘safety’ in physical work environment
significantly predicted (4.3%, 2.8%, and 1.1%,
respectively) employees’ perception of
organizational effectiveness. The three
components altogether contributed 8.30% to
perceived organizational effectiveness. On the
other hand, the four components of psychosocial
environment of work place, namely,
‘specified orientation’, ‘reward system’, ‘trust
and support’, and ‘interpersonal relations’
significantly predicted (21.8%, 4.3%, 3.2%,
and 1.0%, respectively) organizational
effectiveness as perceived by the participants.
These dimensions of work environment
altogether were found predicting 30.30% of
the perceived organizational effectiveness.
The results also made it apparent that psychosocial
environment has been more effective
in predicting organizational effectiveness in
comparison to physical environment at work.
Discussion
The results of the study enable us to
conclude that physico-legal as well as psychosocial
environment of work organizations
extend significant effect on job satisfaction and
job performance of its members and also on
effectiveness of the organization perceived by
the employees. The results also specified that
among other components of two constituents
of work environment, working conditions,
welfare provisions, interpersonal relations,
and trust and support prevailing in the work
organizations play dominant role in
determining the level of employees’ job
satisfaction and performance, and the extent
of organizational effectiveness. The results
also specify that psycho-social environment,
in comparison to physical environment of
workplace, exert greater impact on
employees’ job behaviour and organizational
effectiveness.
The results of study demonstrated that
perceived adequacy or inadequacy of work
environment, both physical and psycho-social,
extends noticeable effect on employees’ job
satisfaction and performance, and perception
of effectiveness of an organization. The effect
of work environment on job satisfaction may
be attributed to the employees’ job attitudes
formed out of cognitive appraisal of various
components of work environment. Job
satisfaction is considered as the feeling
resulted from employees’ positive attitude
towards various components or factors of job
life. The employees who perceive and feel the
work environment as to be adequate, safe and
congenial, develop positive attitude towards
various job components, which ultimately
results in higher job satisfaction and job
involvement among these employees. Some
earlier studies also reported positive
Job Behaviour and Organizational Effectiveness
53
relationship between adequate and
comfortable work environment and job
satisfaction, though the relationship between
the two has not been extensively investigated.
Most of the studies examined the effect of
inadequate environment on job performance.
However, certain correlates of job satisfaction,
such as job involvement, job performance,
absenteeism and turnover have been found
to be affected by physical work environment.
In “two-factor” theory of job satisfaction
propounded by Hertzberg and his colleagues
(1959), working condition was identified as
‘hygiene’ factor, which leads to job
dissatisfaction only, if it is inadequate. But
adequate and comfortable working condition
does not significantly enhance employees’ job
satisfaction. The findings of the present study
disaccord the Hertzberg’s theory of job
satisfaction. In the present study the effect of
physical work environment was found to be
bi-directional in its effect on employees’ job
satisfaction and performance. The study
concluded that adequate work environment
(physical) enhances employees’ job
satisfaction, while perceived inadequacy in
work environment adversely affect job
satisfaction of the employees. Significant
difference was noted in job satisfaction level
of the two groups of participants perceiving
work environment differently (as to be
adequate and inadequate). A recent HRDconcept,
“Quality of Work Life”, also
emphasizes the role of physical and psychosocial
environment of workplace in
determining employees’ job satisfaction
morale, job performance and organizational
commitment. Sayeed and Mehta (1981)
reported positive correlation between Q.W.L.
and employees’ job satisfaction. Improvement
in Q.W.L. has been found resulting in
increased production. In his two studies De
(1984a, 1984b) noted that high Q.W.L.
improves productivity and affective state of
the employees.
The positive relationship between
adequate and favorable work environment
and performance noted in the present study
may be attributed to the physical convenience,
facilities and comfort, feeling of safety and
security, and congenial and motivating climate
prevailing in the work environment. The
employees’ job satisfaction which is generated
from these desirable features of work
environment also might have resulted in
improvement in job performance of the
participants. Moreover, in inadequate and
unsafe work environment the employees
spend considerable amount of their time and
energy in adapting to or coping with the stress
caused from inadequate and unfavourable
factors in work environment. This job stress
adversely affects employees’ performance.
After pioneer formulations of Frederik Taylor
in second decade of twentieth century
numerous empirical investigations revealed
that adequacy or appropriateness of various
features of physical condition at work, such
as, illumination, temperature, noise and
atmospheric conditions help in enhancing
industrial productivity. Fine and Kobrik (1978)
noted negative effect of high temperature on
performance of mental as well as physical
task. Increasing illumination level has also
been found to result in some improvement in
performance (Barnaby, 1980; McCormic &
Sanders, 1982). The findings of the present
study are also in conformity with the
observations of earlier studies on the
relationship between psycho-social
environment (organizational climate) and
employees’ job satisfaction (Pratap &
Srivastava, 1983; Padaki, 1983a). The study
has also demonstrated positive relationship
between perceived work environment and
organizational effectiveness. The observation
may be attributed to the fact that adequate
and favourable features of physical and social
environment of the organization are major
constituents and as well as determinants of
overall effectiveness of the organization.
A.K. Srivastava
54
Conclusion
In contrast to earlier findings of
inconsistent relationship between physical
features of work environment and
performance, the present study, wherein work
environment was taken as a whole, revealed
clear-cut and significant relationship between
two sets of variables. On the other hand, the
molecular contribution of the components of
work environment to employees’ job
behaviour was found to be statistically
significant but not markedly large. In fact, the
work environment affects employees’ job
attitudes and job behaviour as an integrated
whole, not through its different components
independently. The evaluation of the extent
of adequacy and favourability of a component
of work environment and its effect on
employees’ job behaviour is determined by
the state of other components and their
interaction with each other and other personal
and contextual factors. The present study,
instead of analyzing molecular, examined the
molar effect of work environment on
employees’ job behaviour and organizational
effectiveness, which may be considered as a
distinct feature of the study.
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Received: February 22, 2006
Accepted: October 26, 2007
A.K. Srivastava
A.K. Srivastava, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, Banaras Hindu
University, Varanasi – 221 005
56
12th International and
43rd National Conference of the IAAP
on
Challenges of Applied Psychology for
Societal Transformation
7 – 9 February, 2008 at Kolkata
will be organised by the
Department of Applied Psychology, Calcutta University
in collaboration with
Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata and NITTTR, Kolkata
Further details if any contact:
Dr. Jayanthi Basu
Reader and Head, Department of Applied Psychology,
Calcutta University, 92, APC Road, Kolkata – 700 009
Prof. Anjali Ghosh
Prof and Head, Psychological Research Unit,
Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata
and
Prof. Manoj Das
Department of Civil Engineering
National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR),
Kolkata

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  • Listiana Advokat: Terima kasih sudah hadir di blog saya, dan terima kasih juga karena ternyata tulisan saya mendapat respon yang baik dari anda. Semoga bermanfaat ya...
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