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Testing the “holy grail” of industrial psychology as a non-recursive bow pattern model in higher education using the PLSe2 method

Majid Ghasemy (National Higher Education Research Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia)
James Eric Gaskin (BYU Marriott School of Business, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA)
James A. Elwood (Faculty of Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences, Meiji University, Chiyoda-ku, Japan)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 20 April 2023

Issue publication date: 5 March 2024

136

Abstract

Purpose

The direction of causality between job satisfaction and job performance (known as the holy grail of industrial psychologists) is undetermined and related research findings in different organizational contexts are mixed. Based on the ample literature, mainly from Western countries, on the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance, a non-recursive bow pattern model was utilized to investigate the direct relationship between these two variables in an Asia–Pacific higher education system.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is quantitative in approach and survey in design. Additionally, to meet the statistical requirements of non-recursive bow pattern analysis, the authors added welfare as a theory-driven instrumental variable to introduce exogenous variability. Using the efficient partial least squares (PLSe2) estimator, the authors fitted the model to the data collected from 2008 academics affiliated with Malaysian public universities and polytechnics.

Findings

The results showed that while job satisfaction is considerably influenced by welfare, it is not a significant predictor of job performance directly. In addition, a meaningful positive correlation between the disturbance terms of job satisfaction and job performance was observed, suggesting the existence of other factors that could increase both job satisfaction and job performance. The findings' theoretical and practical implications are discussed, and a list of theory-driven evidenced-based policies in this regard is provided.

Originality/value

This is the first study to test a non-recursive bow pattern model and examine the holy grail of industrial psychology based on the PLSe2 methodology, as a parametric approach to partial least squares (PLS), in a higher education context. This study also provides higher education researchers with the advantages of the PLSe2 method, especially in causal-predictive modeling, in the context of applied higher education research.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The corresponding author dedicates this paper to Hamed, Mahmood, Davood, Mehdi, Mohsen, and Gholam Hosein, in appreciation of their 30 years of friendship.

Citation

Ghasemy, M., Gaskin, J.E. and Elwood, J.A. (2024), "Testing the “holy grail” of industrial psychology as a non-recursive bow pattern model in higher education using the PLSe2 method", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 302-314. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-10-2022-0333

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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