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Expectation gaps, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment of fresh graduates: Roles of graduates, higher learning institutions and employers

Mazuki Jusoh (Asian Institute of Finance, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Maimun Simun (Faculty of Business and Law, Multimedia University, Melaka, Malaysia)
Siong Choy Chong (Asian Institute of Finance, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 16 August 2011




The aim of this research is to attempt to reveal the difference between what fresh graduates expect and their actual experiences pertaining to the working environment.


Using a set of self‐administered questionnaires, data were collected from 128 graduates. They were asked to indicate their preferences on organizational culture, leadership, communication, decision making, team working, motivation, and development. Using the same dimensions, the respondents then reported their actual experiences, thus enabling gaps to be determined.


The results from paired‐sample t‐tests suggest that significant expectation gaps exist in all the areas surveyed. While communication, decision making and motivation are found to be significantly related to job satisfaction, none of the seven variables is found to be significantly correlated to organizational commitment.

Research limitations/implications

The study focuses only on a rather limited sample size of Malaysian graduates; therefore it cannot ensure generalization of results obtained.

Practical implications

The resulting expectation gaps, and their influence on the graduates' job satisfaction and organizational commitment, have implications for the important roles played by employers, higher learning institutions, and graduate themselves.


This study makes significant contributions in three key areas. First, it is perhaps one of the earliest studies to comprehensively address the issue of expectation gaps using a myriad factors. Second, it is also one of the few that examines the influence of the expectation gaps on job satisfaction and commitment. Third, instead of focusing on employees as a whole, which has been the practice of prior research, this study concentrates only on fresh graduates who have been in the workforce for less than two years.



Jusoh, M., Simun, M. and Choy Chong, S. (2011), "Expectation gaps, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment of fresh graduates: Roles of graduates, higher learning institutions and employers", Education + Training, Vol. 53 No. 6, pp. 515-530.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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