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Critical Analysis of Job Satisfaction in Generation X

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Job satisfaction means good feelings or a positive attitude towards work, due to the work that the person has been responding to the level of expectations that a person has both their own internal needs, such as the need for acceptance, self-esteem proved ability and meet external needs, such as receiving compensation from work and have more stable's life (Spector, 1997). To further explain 'Job satisfaction', 'level of job satisfaction for two different categories: X and Y generations will be the question for the survey, this research will use an online questionnaire as survey sends to 27 people in different ages, gender, type of work and years’ experience and collect the data then analyses the question. The purpose of this research was to show differences in job satisfaction of each generation, which of course must be different. This report will discuss the research questions and hypotheses and also show the findings.

Literature review

As a legal term, job satisfaction requires job attributes and career-related environment features. As found on (Zhu, 2013) Churchill et al. gave a functional description of job satisfaction, i.e. work-related affection states covering five dimensions, namely bosses, employment, work colleagues, rewards, and advancement opportunities describing job satisfaction with far-reaching effects, i.e. Employment satisfaction is some kind of good or optimistic state of love that develops in the course of assessing the work experience of a person. Job satisfaction is progressively considered to be a cognitive expression of the work at this stage. Employment satisfaction is commonly defined as an appreciation of the psychological process of acceptance, including comprehension, interpretation, reasoning, judgment, and other aspects. The assessment of job satisfaction focuses primarily on cognition. Generation X-ers often rebel against authority and they demand immediate acknowledgment through a title, praise, promotion, and pay. They also desire a life outside the work environment — they most likely would not compromise their personal life for the firm. The Millennial Generation trusts in group action, with potential hope and faith in a central authority. They prefer interacting around each other, displaying a clear desire in performing tasks. Each generation has distinctive features which somehow influence different work habits and relations, how the transition is managed, and awareness of the hierarchical structure of the entity. Any life event or situation that occurred between the ages of 5 to 18, the developmental years, defines events in the lives of each generation. The diverse backgrounds and personal experiences result in five fields of possible labor disputes involving their different preferences and choices, different work habits, deep-seated behaviors, conflicting viewpoints, and various motivators. So, the main question is what Gen X and Gen Y employees’ thoughts are and take on job satisfaction and what truly satisfies their physical and mental needs and wants. According to the questionaries’ that were conducted it seems that it is clear that there are many differences between Gen X and Gen Y. Firstly, due to the generation gap. Generation X is mostly experienced in more traditional jobs while the Millennial Generation is more engaged in technological-related jobs, so their needs and wants are definitely going to be different. Not to mention, as well as the age gap.


An online questionnaire was conducted to determine the level of job satisfaction for two different categories: X and Y generations. According to (Harvard Business Review, 2019) the X generation refers to the age group who were born before the 1980s. Generation Y (the millennial generation) refers to those who were born between 1984 and 1996. Such generations were chosen for two main reasons. First, the majority of jobs in modern business are filled by these two generations. Second, there are many differences between these two generations by which their job satisfaction are affected. For example, generation Y is known as the generation of modern technology and has greater leadership ambitions. On the other hand, the X generation is known to be more experienced and skilled (Harvard Business Review, 2019).

This questionnaire was completed by 27 employees. 19 of whom were males and 8 were females. Most of the answers were from the millennial generation, with 24 people, and only 3 people from the X generation.

As shown in Figure 1, 59.3% of the employees who completed the questionnaire were employed in the private sector (16 employees) and 40.7% of them were employed in the public sector (11 employees). In addition, Figure 2 shows that 40.7% are part-time workers, and 59.3% have full working time. The questionnaire was sent online to participants who completed this questionnaire, and the average time it took to complete this questionnaire by each participant was approximately 3 minutes.

This study used the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) Weiss (2019) to collect data along with demographic variables such as sex, age, and sector types. The short MSQ model has 20 questions. This questionnaire uses the Likert scale with five alternatives to responses for all 20 factors ranging from “very satisfied” (weighted 5) to “very dissatisfied” (weighted 1). This form can be registered at three levels: internal satisfaction, external satisfaction, and overall satisfaction (, 2019).


According to all the responses collected by the questionnaire, in addition, ‘very dissatisfied’ is assumed to be 1 point, ‘dissatisfied’ is 2 points, ‘Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied’ is considered to be 3 points, and the option of giving ‘satisfied’ is 4 points and ‘very satisfied’ is given 5 points, we have obtained the following results through a series of calculation, and we will analyze these data to find the differences between generation X and generation Y.

According to the table above, the average score of general job satisfaction is 3.07, this point is slightly more than the score that means ‘neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, which means that people show a stable but not extreme attitude towards the overall job satisfaction. However, there is a big difference between individual satisfaction, the table illustrates that the highest value is 4.7, the lowest value is 1.25, and the difference is 3.45. Moreover, intrinsic job satisfaction refers to people’s satisfaction when they only consider the work itself. From the table, the average intrinsic job satisfaction is 3.19, it is slightly higher than the mean of general job satisfaction, but it still presents a stable attitude towards satisfaction. However, there is still a big difference between the maximum and the minimum value, which is 3.25. Furthermore, extrinsic job satisfaction occurs when people consider the work environment, and its average value is 2.85. Although it is slightly lower than 3 points, it is still relatively stable. However, the difference between the maximum value and the minimum value is still relatively large, which is 3.83.

In addition, this paragraph will reveal the job satisfaction in generation X which means 40 to 54 years old. According to the table, whether the average of general job satisfaction, intrinsic job satisfaction or extrinsic job satisfaction, it is slightly higher than 3 points, which means that people show a stable attitude towards the work itself or the working environment, namely, they are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied but tend to be satisfied overall. Moreover, the difference between the maximum value and the minimum value of each kind of satisfaction is relatively small, and the maximum difference is only the difference in extrinsic job satisfaction (1), which means that people’s opinions on job satisfaction are relatively uniform.

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Furthermore, this section will use the data in the above chart to analyze the job satisfaction of people aged 25 to 39. According to this table, the general job satisfaction, intrinsic job satisfaction, and extrinsic job satisfaction are slightly higher than 3 points. However, the maximum and minimum values of each satisfaction are quite different. For instance, the difference of general job satisfaction is 3.35, the difference of intrinsic job satisfaction is 3.08, and the difference of extrinsic job satisfaction is 3.66, which means that people at this stage have a great difference in job satisfaction.

Through the comparison of generation x and generation y, although the overall job satisfaction, intrinsic job satisfaction, and extrinsic job satisfaction of generation y are slightly higher than generation x, the differences between the two generations are not very big. However, the difference between the maximum value and the minimum value of each satisfaction of generation x is not very large, but the difference of each satisfaction of generation y is much larger than that of generation y, which means that generation x has a relatively consistent view on job satisfaction, but generation y has a more diverse view on job satisfaction. Moreover, this is also verified by the t-test (the table above), because the variance of generation x is 0.125, but the variance of generation y is 1.55. there is a big difference between these two values.


Based on the collected data, there is no doubt that there are noticeable differences between generations X and Y when it comes to their job satisfaction level. It can be emphasized that the level of general and intrinsic job satisfaction for generation Y is slightly higher than for generation X. This means that Millennials like their occupation, and workload and value their work more than Gen-Xers. On the other hand, as for the extrinsic job satisfaction level Gen-Xers are noticeably more satisfied with their workplace environment and conditions. Generally, from the research found and made through the survey, it shows that Gen X’s general job satisfaction is 3.15 while Gen Y’s general job satisfaction is 3.21. As stated in the research, the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction is not that far off. Gen Y taking the higher place due to a diversified view on job satisfaction meanwhile Gen X in this research has more of a consistent view, which basically suggests that they have quite similar thoughts and feelings towards job satisfaction and what practically satisfies them. Both generations’ job satisfaction levels tend to be marked as “Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied” with a positive attitude toward the “Satisfied” mark.

When comparing the information from the Literature review section and the survey data, it can be assumed that the interviewed representatives of Generation Y mostly experience a certain lack of cooperation, recognition, and opportunities to show their potential at their workplace, since their extrinsic job satisfaction level is lower than the Gen-Xer’s one. Furthermore, it can be noticed that the range of job satisfaction level marks among the representatives of generation Y is much wider than that of generation X. It means that Gen-Xers are way more stable, patient, and generally less demanding, when it comes to work.

As for the limitations in this question, quantitative data from a comparatively small sample was used. It follows that data cannot be generalized. Furthermore, personal explanations for this question also cannot be mentioned for the same reason.

As for the further investigation of the question of the difference in the level of job satisfaction between different generations, a wider quantitative experiment with many participants should be conducted in the future.


To conclude, the findings show that generation X seems has more precious in job satisfaction, way more stable, patient, and generally less demanding, In the other hand, of generation Y mostly experiences a definite lack of teamwork, appreciation, and opportunities to show their potential at their workplace

however, the data collected from only 27 people cannot clarify reliability or can state that this is the perfect researching.

The research results also can show managerial practice and attitudes theories that generation X is likely to has the Best Practices in Business Management which means if firms want to choose someone to become a leader with healthy attitudes to work people in generation X would be a great business leader.


  1. De Witte, H., & Buitendach, J. H. (2005). Job insecurity, extrinsic and intrinsic job satisfaction, and affective organizational commitment of maintenance workers in a parastatal. South African Journal of Business Management, 36(2), 27-37. Available at: (Accessed 2nd November 2019)
  2. Gursoy, D., Maier, T.A., Chi, C.G. (2008) ‘Generational differences: An examination of work values and generational gaps in the hospitality workforce.’ International Journal of Hospitality Management Vol.27(3), September 2008, pp. 448-458
  3. Harvard Business Review. (2019). A Survey of 19 Countries Shows How Generations X, Y, and Z Are — and Aren’t — Different. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Nov. 2019].
  4. (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Nov. 2019].
  5. McLeod, S. A. (2019, July 30). Qualitative vs. quantitative research. Simply Psychology. Available at: (06.11.2019)
  6. Spector, P. (1997). Job satisfaction: application, assessment, cause, and consequences. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.
  7. Zhu, Y. (2013). ‘ A Review of Job Satisfaction ‘. Available from: http:// doi= [ Accessed 1st Nov 2019]
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