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Correlates of work-alienation and positive job attitudes in high- and low-status workers

Angela Fedi (Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Torino, Italy)
Letizia Pucci (Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Torino, Italy)
Stefano Tartaglia (Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Torino, Italy)
Chiara Rollero (Faculty of Psychology, University eCampus, Novedrate, Italy)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 14 November 2016




The concept of alienation boasts a long history in the academic literature. However, their empirical relations are not clear. The purpose of this paper is to test a model of predictors and outcomes of alienation. Since occupational status plays a key role in alienation processes, such model was tested with high- and low-status workers.


Participants were 340 workers holding high-status (n=98) and low-status (n=242) positions. Data were collected through a self-report questionnaire. The authors verified the hypothesized relationships by means of a structural equation modelling, simultaneously tested on high- and low-status workers.


Results showed that individual determinants of alienation, i.e. locus of control, appear to play a more relevant role for high-status professionals, whereas organizational dimensions, i.e. perception of decision making, have an impact only for low-status workers. Relational variables, i.e. work-family conflict, fostered alienation, regardless the status. Concerning outcomes, alienation decreased both job satisfaction and job involvement.

Research limitations/implications

The specificities of the cultural context have to be considered. Generalizing the results to other cultural contexts requires caution.

Practical implications

Work alienation has a negative influence on work attitudes that can be better managed by the knowledge of alienation’s correlates and peculiarities.


The study confirms the relevance of alienation for workers’ satisfaction and involvement highlighting the difference between high- and low-status workers.



Fedi, A., Pucci, L., Tartaglia, S. and Rollero, C. (2016), "Correlates of work-alienation and positive job attitudes in high- and low-status workers", Career Development International, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 713-725.



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