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Job satisfaction of South Africa quantity surveyors: Are employers happier than employees?

Paul Bowen (Department of Construction Economics and Management, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Keith Cattell (Department of Construction Economics and Management, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Kathy Michell (Department of Construction Economics and Management, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Peter Edwards (School of Property and Construction, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 11 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The main objective of this paper is to report the findings of a comparative study examining levels of job satisfaction of employees and employers in the quantity surveying profession in South Africa. Factors that have an impact on job satisfaction are explored. In addition, issues relating to gender at work and harassment and discrimination in the workplace are examined.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were obtained via a web‐based, national questionnaire survey of the registered quantity surveyors. A response rate of 10 per cent was achieved. Of the 146 respondents, 43 per cent are salaried employees whilst 57 per cent are employers. Likert scales were used to measure respondent perceptions regarding factors influencing their job satisfaction, and to explore gender‐related issues at work and perceived instances of harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

Findings

Contrary to the published literature, employers and employees do not differ significantly in levels of job satisfaction, although twice as many employers than employees claim to “love it”. Employers report a greater presence at work of motivating factors than do employees, namely; salary; promotion prospects; personal satisfaction; recognition, autonomy, team participation, and social interaction. Gender and race issues at work are a problem, with more employers than employees claiming instances of racial harassment and discrimination at work. Employees report significantly more instances of discrimination on the basis of gender than employers.

Originality/value

Little is known about the job satisfaction of design team professionals, particularly quantity surveyors. The results provide valuable insight into the job satisfaction experienced by employers and employees in quantity surveying practices.

Keywords

Citation

Bowen, P., Cattell, K., Michell, K. and Edwards, P. (2008), "Job satisfaction of South Africa quantity surveyors: Are employers happier than employees?", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 124-144. https://doi.org/10.1108/17260530810891270

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited