The relationship between job satisfaction and demographic variables for healthcare professionals

Joe Kavanaugh (Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, USA)
Jo Ann Duffy (Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, USA)
Juliana Lilly (Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, USA)

Management Research News

ISSN: 0140-9174

Publication date: 1 June 2006



The study aims to examine the association between job satisfaction and demographic variables, such as years in profession, of healthcare professionals in an in‐patient rehabilitation hospital setting.


A total of 128 employees were surveyed using a 47‐item opinion survey to assess demographic variables and overall job satisfaction, as well as nine facets of job satisfaction.


The findings indicate that years in profession (professional experience) is associated with job satisfaction in a defined pattern.

Research limitations/implications

These findings need to be tested in other professional groups where plateauing is common. The results are limited by the use of a convenience sample, relatively small sample size, some categorical data that restricted the forms of analysis, and the fact that only demographic variables were examined. The use of continuous measures and broadening the study to include other organizational variables and personal variables would provide more robust results.

Practical implications

The paper suggests a two‐tier program of coaching and mentoring to address issues in job motivation, which may lead to increased job satisfaction and retention of health care professionals.


Drawing from earlier literature, strategies such as mentoring and coaching are proposed for moderating the negative effect of plateauing on satisfaction. The value of the paper is the identification of a pattern in the motivation of plateaued employees and the application of previous findings about coaching and mentoring that may address issues of employee motivation and retention.



Kavanaugh, J., Duffy, J. and Lilly, J. (2006), "The relationship between job satisfaction and demographic variables for healthcare professionals", Management Research News, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 304-325.

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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