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Running head: THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 1

The Role of Job Satisfaction, Work Motivation and Occupational Stress in Organizational
Performance: A Study of Google Inc.s Innovative Behavioral Initiatives
Anthony M. Da Silva
Saint Leo University









THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 2

Table of Contents
Abstract ..................................................................................................................................4
Introduction ............................................................................................................................5
Literature Review...................................................................................................................5
Job Satisfaction, Work Motivation and Occupational Stress ............................................6
Job Satisfaction ............................................................................................................6
Work Motivation ..........................................................................................................7
Occupational Stress ......................................................................................................7
The Organizational Benefits of Psychological Wellbeing ................................................8
Organizational Citizenship Behavior ...........................................................................9
Increased Trust .............................................................................................................9
Heightened Ethical Behavior........................................................................................9
Reduced Turnover ........................................................................................................10
Decreased Absenteeism ................................................................................................11
Biopsychosocial Determinant Variables ...........................................................................12
Personality ....................................................................................................................12
Values ...........................................................................................................................13
The Work Situation ......................................................................................................13
Social Influence ............................................................................................................15
Organization Behavioral Theories ....................................................................................15
Herzbergs Motivational-Hygiene Theory ...................................................................16
Job Design and Job Facet Models of Job Satisfaction .................................................16
Maslows Theory on Human Motivation .....................................................................16
THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 3

Physiological Needs ................................................................................................16
Safety Needs ............................................................................................................17
Love Needs ..............................................................................................................17
Esteem Needs ..........................................................................................................17
Self-Actualization ....................................................................................................17
Need Theory .................................................................................................................18
McClellands Need Theory ..........................................................................................18
Expectancy Theory .......................................................................................................19
Equity Theory ...............................................................................................................19
Occupational Stress Control-Demand Model...............................................................19
The Organization Behavior Initiatives of Google Inc. ...........................................................19
Company Background .......................................................................................................20
Meeting the Needs of the Employees................................................................................20
Placing a Focus on People and the Work Environment ....................................................22
Corporate Social Responsibility ............................................................................................23
Employee Volunteering ....................................................................................................23
Giving Back to the Community ........................................................................................24
Considerations for the Future.................................................................................................24
Addressing High Turn-Over Rates....................................................................................24
Current Ethical and CSR Challenges ................................................................................25
Conclusion .............................................................................................................................26
Areas for Future Organization Behavior Research ................................................................26
References ..............................................................................................................................27

THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 4

Abstract
Job satisfaction, work motivation, and occupational stress have long been formidable
organization behavior challenges for managers throughout the ages. Research indicates that the
psychological wellbeing of workers is directly correlated to performance (Abel, 2013; Fernet,
2013). Organizations that invest in maintaining employees satisfied, motivated, and stress
resilient reap the benefits of a fit and committed workforce (Abel, 2013; Fernet, 2013).
Organizations also benefit from increased organizational citizenship behavior, trust, ethical
conduct, reduced turnover, and decreased absenteeism (Abel, 2013; Jahanian, Tabatabaei, &
Behdad, 2012; Kessler, 2014). In order to gain a better understanding of the above mentioned
organizational behavioral issues, this paper provides a literature review with a synthesis of
relevant organizational behavioral theories along with recent research and studies on the topics
of job satisfaction, work motivation, and occupational stress. It also highlights the industry best
practices of Google Inc. and its award winning approach in addressing the needs of its employees
along with its corporate social responsibility and considerations for the future. Additional
research is also recommended to gain a better understanding on how to adequately motivate
employees from different generations working alongside.






THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 5

The Role of Job Satisfaction, Work Motivation and Occupational Stress in Organizational
Performance: A Study of Google Inc.s Innovative Behavioral Initiatives
In todays highly competitive global market, the importance of taking care of employees
cannot be understated. More and more top companies are starting to realize the value of keeping
employees satisfied with their job, motivated and stress resilient. Employees who are
psychologically fit at work are less absent from work and less likely to voluntarily depart from
the organization (Arms, 2010). The fact is that motivated and satisfied employees are more
willing to go above and beyond, without any additional incentive or pay, to contribute to the
betterment of the organization that they belong to (Arms, 2010). It is not enough to simply
recruit the best possible workforce; organizations must continue to find ways to adequately
motivate employees to work at optimum levels (Fernet, 2013).
Employee psychological wellness is a critical factor in organizational performance
(Fernet, 2013). Employees who are overstressed are unable to perform at productive levels,
suffer from increased illnesses, and essentially become a liability for the organization (Fernet,
2013; Ramsey, 2014). This paper discusses the role and importance job satisfaction, work
motivation, and stress management in organizational performance; it provides a literature review
with a synthesis of organizational behavior theories, and offers an analysis of Google Inc. and its
industry leading behavioral initiatives along with the companys corporate social responsibility.
Literature Review
The literature on the importance of job satisfaction, workplace motivation and stress
management indicates that in order for organizations to maintain a committed, effective and
engaged workforce they must invest in their employees psychological well-being (Abel, 2013;
Fernet, 2013; Robertson & Cooper, 2010). Research indicates that performance is directly linked
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with the psychological well-being of employees (Robertson & Cooper, 2010). This literature
review is organized in four sections. The first section discusses existing literature on the
organizational behavior topics of job satisfaction, work motivation, and occupational stress. The
second section uncovers the organizational benefits of a psychologically fit workforce. The third
section introduces biopsychosocial determinant variables that most organizational behavioral
theories originate from. The fourth and final section provides a review of applicable theories in
existence that attempt to explain peoples behavioral and cognitive processes on the
aforementioned issues.

Job Satisfaction, Work Motivation and Occupational Stress
The first section of this literature review defines and explores the organizational
behavioral issues derived from job satisfaction, work motivation and occupational stress. This
section also provides literature and research on how these issues are related to organizational
productivity and performance.
Job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is defined as the employees positive or negative
feelings and attitudes towards the organization where they are employed along with his or her
level of involvement in the organization (Abel, 2013; Bakotic & Babic, 2013; Saif, Nawaz, Jan,
& Khan, 2012). The level of employee job satisfaction is dependent on working conditions,
perceived fairness, relationship with co-workers, working hours, work demands, along with any
other variables presented in the workplace (Bakotic & Babic, 2013; Mozes, Josman, & Yaniv,
2011). Job satisfaction can affect how employees behave at work and the organization as a
whole (Bakotic & Babic, 2013). Literature indicates that workers who are satisfied with their
employment are more efficient, committed, motivated and as a result, generate less labor costs
for the organization (Abel, 2013; Kessler, 2014).
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Job satisfaction can be achieved when employees feel that they are adequately
compensated for their contributions to the organization and recognized for going the extra mile
(Abel, 2013). Satisfied employees are more committed, willing to volunteer additional efforts,
able to develop strong inter-personal relationships based on trust (Abel, 2013). In addition,
employees also are more likely to behave ethically, and act as advocates and leaders in the
organization (Abel, 2013). Employee satisfaction is a crucial component to the holistic success
of an organization (Abel, 2013, p. 84).
Work motivation. In addition to keeping employees satisfied with their jobs, employers
also have the challenge of maintaining employees motivated at work. Originating from the Latin
word to move, the word motivation has been defined as, according to Teck-Hong and Waheed
(2011, p. 75), that internal force that drives an individual to want to accomplish something.
Mozes et al. (2011), outlines motivation as a cognitive process that regulates exertion of effort.
Motivation explains what drives one employee with similar capacity to perform at a high level
from another that is content with a mediocre work ethic (George & Jones, 2012, p. 156). The
benefits of a motivated workforce are undeniable. Employees who are highly motivated are the
most productive in the organization; they are able to produce high-quality work on a consistent
basis (Fernet, 2013).
Occupational stress. Stress is defined a reaction to a stressor; it is viewed as normal
human emotion, a psychological state or phenomenon (Mortillaro & Scherer, 2014). Stress
features negative physiological, psychological, and behavioral consequences if not properly
managed (George & Jones, 2012; Mortillaro & Scherer, 2014). Unhealthy stress is a reaction to
a real or imaginary threat that is perceived as unbearable to an individual (Giacalone & Promislo,
2010; Jahanian et al., 2012). Occupational stress are features in the work setting which can
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generate stressors (Beehr, Glaser, Canali, & Wallwey, 2001; Jahanian et al., 2012). Some
organizational stressors originate from job requirements, physical requirements, role
requirements, and interpersonal relationships (Beehr et al., 2001; Jahanian et al., 2012).
Job requirements: stressors that originate from the work itself (Jahanian et al., 2012;
Rehman, Khan, Jadoon, & Khan, 2010). Difficult working hours, multitasking
responsibilities, and working in hazardous environments are some examples of stressors
form the requirements of the job.
Physical requirements: stressors that derive from the physical demands of the job
(Jahanian et al., 2012; Rehman et al., 2010). Extreme temperatures, constant lifting and
office design (Jahanian et al., 2012).
Role requirements: stressors that originate from role ambiguity, unclear expectations, or
from simultaneously fulfilling multiple roles (Jahanian et al., 2012).
Interpersonal relationships: difficulties with working in cohesion with others,
communication, and resolving conflict (Jahanian et al., 2012; Rehman et al., 2010).
Organizations must continue to find ways to mitigate the effects of stress overload and
workplace burnout. A healthy level of stress is necessary for optimum levels of performance in
the workforce; healthy stress motivates and challenges workers, and as a result, produces high
levels of job enrichment and satisfaction (Mortillaro & Scherer, 2014).
The Organizational Benefits of Psychological Wellbeing
Maintaining the psychological health of employees is essential for organizational
cohesiveness. In order for organizations to maximize worker productivity they must be able to
find ways to promote the psychological wellbeing of workers. The following studies indicate
that organizations that invest on maintaining employees satisfied, motivated and stress resilient
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are able to capitalize on organizational citizenship behavior, increased trust, heightened ethical
behavior, reduced turnover, and decreased absenteeism (Arms, 2010; Fernet, 2013).
Organizational citizenship behavior. Organizational citizenship behavior is defined as
acts of obedience, participation and loyalty that transcends the self-interests of employees (Abel,
2013). Employees who are satisfied, properly motivated, and stress resilient at work are more
likely to volunteer to engage in behaviors to benefit the organization even when there are no
incentives or requirements to do so (Abel, 2013; Dekas, Bauer, Welle, Kurkoski, & Sullivan,
2013; Fernet, 2013). According to Grant and Mayer (2009), organization citizenship behaviors
are considered to be a critical concern for both scholars and practitioners (p. 900). In difficult
economic times, organizations must continue to find ways to remain more efficient and keep
employee satisfied. According to Dekas et al. (2013), the literature indicates that organization
citizenship behavior leads to higher morale among employees, decreased voluntary turnover,
higher profitability, and client satisfaction (p. 220).
Increased trust. Trust and communication is also a benefit of job satisfaction. Satisfied
employees are more willing to voice concerns with co-workers and managers (Abel, 2013). As a
result, workplace conflict is resolved quickly and efficiently (Abel, 2013). In addition, stress and
anxiety levels from miscommunication are also lessened (Abel, 2013). As trust is increased,
employees feel connected with the organization and are less likely to withdraw from
organizational activities (Abel, 2013).
Heightened ethical behavior. Employees who are satisfied also behave ethically to the
point where they even surpass legal obligations to do so (Abel, 2013, p. 85). For instance, if
there are no rules in a particular organization on choosing the least expensive air fare for travel, a
satisfied employee is more likely to choose a flight that is the least expensive in the spirit of
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saving the organization additional unnecessary travel expenses. On the other hand, unsatisfied
employees who are not properly motivated to behave ethically, can directly affect the wellbeing
of others in the organization (Giacalone & Promislo, 2010). Unhealthy workplace norms can
diminish an individuals trust in the organization and as a result create additional stress
(Giacalone & Promislo, 2010). For instance, if a work center features an unhealthy stress coping
norm that involves peer pressure to drink heavily after work in order to cope with workplace
stressors, a newcomer might, as a result, have difficulty adjusting to this unhealthy environment.
Reduced turnover. According to research, the average organization loses over $1
million with every 10 managers who voluntarily exit the organization (Ramlall, 2012, p. 189).
The expenses associated with losing star performers can be difficult to calculate. In addition to
the obvious costs in recruiting and retraining replacements, and the productivity gap in-between
replacements, organizations must also bear the burden of potentially losing their talented star
performer to the competition (Arms, 2010).
Profitability on the intellectual investment made by the organization is only achieved if
employees remains in the organization long enough to off-set the cost associated with the
training and experience gained from the organization (Abel, 2013). The American Society of
Training and Development reported in its 2010 industry report, as cited in Fortune Magazine,
that businesses in the United States incur an expense of approximately $125.9 billion in
employee learning and development in 2009 (Stern, 2011, para. 2). With so much money
invested in employee training and growth, consideration must also be placed on retaining
employees in order to capitalize on this investment. Employee voluntary turnover is an issue that
cannot be ignored as companies suffer the costs of losing valuable corporate knowledge with that
lost employee (Kessler, 2014). Research suggests that a good predictor of retention is job
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satisfaction (Kessler, 2014). Satisfied and motivated employees who are not under unhealthy
levels of stress are less likely to exit the organization voluntarily (Fernet, 2013; Jahanian et al.,
2012; Kessler, 2014).
Decreased absenteeism. According to Prater and Smith (2011), organizations suffered
an expense of $118 billion from absenteeism in 2012. According to Abel (2013), Kessler
(2014), and Fernet (2013), employees who are satisfied and motivated with their job are: (1)
more likely to be present to work even when during illnesses, (2) work overtime and produce
quality work without receiving the extra pay or any other incentive, (3) less likely to call in sick
or take vacation during crucial company times.
In contrast, employees who are experiencing too much stress from work can experience
fatigue, exhaustion, anxiety, panic, anger, and as a result, burn-out and breakdown from
prolonged exposure to acute levels of stress (Mortillaro & Scherer, 2014; Rehman et al., 2010).
Employees who are distressed experience high blood pressure, fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders,
and sleep issues; prolonged exposure to stress leads to cardiovascular disease and a premature
death (Rehman et al., 2010). In order to recover from workplace burnout and stress,
organizations must develop ways to mitigate stress including allowing employees adequate rest
periods away from work (Prater & Smith, 2011).
Absenteeism is not the only problem faced by modern organizations. With so much
emphasis on maintaining employees satisfied and motivated at work, employees often feel
compelled to continue working even when they need a break (Abel, 2013). The result, this
behavior is not always positive for organizations. Recent research uncovered that employees
who choose to continue to work in spite of being overstressed can cause great harm the
organization (Prater & Smith, 2011). Presenteeism is defined as the habitual failure to appear,
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especially for work or other duty; it is the practice of coming to work despite illness, injury,
anxiety, etc., often resulting in reduced productivity (Prater & Smith, 2011). In 2010, it has
been estimated that presenteeism cost organizations approximately $180 billion in expenses from
workplace accidents and decreased productivity (Prater & Smith, 2011).
In the end, employees who are experiencing burn-out can choose to either continue to
attend work or to be absent from duty (Prater & Smith, 2011). The employees who choose to
continue working are likely to create stress and affect other employees in the organization (Prater
& Smith, 2011). For instance, if a manager is extremely stressed, he or she will not likely be
able to communicate as effectively with subordinates and be productive on the job. In order for
the organization to have an effective and productive workforce, managers must ensure that they
not only address job satisfaction and motivation, they must also effectively manage stress in the
organization to avoid unhealthy levels of absenteeism and presenteeism.
Biopsychosocial Determinant Variables
There have been numerous studies and theories developed to demystify the variables and
inner workings of job satisfaction, work motivation, and occupational stress. According to
George and Jones (2012), theories and models that conceptualize job satisfaction are based on
the determinants of personality, values, the work situation and social influence. This paper
extends this model to include the topics of work motivation and occupational stress. A synopsis
of the extended four biopsychosocial determinant variables is offered below with a synthesis of
the current research.
Personality. This variable is defined as peoples long-term patterns of feeling, thinking,
and behaving (George and Jones, 2012, p. 76). Research was conducted on the relationship
between the level of job satisfaction and personality of high school teachers (Ayan & Kocacik,
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2010). A total of 482 teachers completed both a personality assessment and a job satisfaction
instrument. The results of this study determined that variances in personality characteristics
significantly attributed to differences in levels of competency, controlling emotions, and
occupational ambiguity (Ayan & Kocacik, 2010).
In addition, peoples personality can also have an impact on occupational stress levels
and work motivation. According to George and Jones (2012), workers who are extraverts are
more likely to be less stressed when faced with task that requires public speaking, for instance (p.
247). Since extroverts enjoy interacting with others, according to George and Jones (2013), they
are more likely to be more motivated to engage in social opportunities in the workplace (247).
Likewise, introverts will most likely find public speaking, teaching and similar tasks extremely
stressful and thus will not be motivated to volunteer for such duties.
Values. Differences in values can also have an influence on the employees level of job
satisfaction (George & Jones, 2012, p. 78). Employees bring their own unique intrinsic and
extrinsic values to the organization; while some employees enjoy what they do from the activity
in itself, others find satisfaction from receiving adequate payment and recognition (George &
Jones, 2012, p. 78). The results of a study conducted in 300 working adults in Taiwan found that
overall job satisfaction was positively related to intrinsic motivation while instances of
depression were positively related to extrinsic motivation (Lu, 1999). In addition, research
indicated that autonomous motivation decreased negative stressors related to job demands such
as work overload and interpersonal conflict (Fernet, 2013).
The work situation. The work situation is defined as the working conditions, how the
work is structured, the level of employee compensation, the organization in itself, and all other
components of the work involved (George & Jones, 2012, p. 78). According to Bakotic and
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Babic (2013), job satisfaction must take into consideration all situational factors including type
of work, compensation, level of stress, working conditions, interactions with co-workers and
superiors, and the hours spend at work (p. 206). Empirical research was conducted on
comparing the levels of job satisfaction between employees who worked in an office setting and
workers who were exposed to harsh working conditions of a Croatian shipbuilding company. A
sample of 60 workers assessed; 30 were office workers and the remaining group was composed
of workers in the shipbuilding factory environment who were exposed to dangerous factory
conditions (Bakotic & Babic, 2013). The instrument used to assess the relationship between
working conditions and the level of job satisfaction was a Likert-style scale (Bakotic & Babic,
2013). The finding of this research indicated that although employees value safety and security,
it does not significantly affect in overall job satisfaction (Bakotic & Babic, 2013).
Although the aforementioned study provided insight into the area of job satisfaction, it
does not, however, address the multiple dimensions of work motivation. According to Fernet
(2013), workers motivated to participate in their work for a variety of reasons, and these reasons
vary across different tasks (p. 73). For instance, a college instructor might be highly driven to
lecture, but have little motivation to perform administrative tasks. Based on this research, it can
be concluded that levels of occupational stress not only vary between workers, they also vary
between task performed by the individual worker (Fernet, 2013; George & Jones, 2012, p. 247).
Although addressing the working conditions of employees has long been the focus of
stress management initiatives, modern research reveals that occupational stress issues must be
mitigated in a holistic fashion (Sidle, 2008). Research proposes primary, secondary and tertiary
stress management prophylaxis and intervention initiatives (Sidle, 2008). Primary initiatives
address the actual stressors in the working situation (Sidle, 2008). Secondary initiatives target
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the employees themselves by focusing on prevention measures and the development of the
employees resiliency to workplace stressors (Sidle, 2008). An example would be a stress
management course delivered to all employees. Tertiary initiatives are no longer preventative;
the focus instead is on intervention for employees who have become victim to workplace burnout
by providing them with support services such as professional counseling (Sidle, 2008).
Social influence. The workers family upbringing, immediate social working
environment, group affiliation and general individual influences are also determinants of job
satisfaction (George and Jones, 2012, p. 78). For instance, if the general attitude of the majority
of employees in a telemarketing selling capacity is negative, newcomers are likely to become
influenced by this negative view of the organization (George and Jones, 2012).
The four determinants of job satisfaction: personality, values, the work situation, and
social influence, according to George and Jones (2012), are factors to consider when evaluating
theories that attempt to demystify job satisfaction. These components are also applicable in
addressing the topics of work motivation and occupational stress.
Organization Behavioral Theories
The following section extends on the above mentioned biopsychosocial determinants
with the introduction of organizational behavioral theories that attempt to explain the cognitive
and behavioral processes of employees in an organization. Below are descriptions of theories
accompanied with rational on their relevance in maintaining a satisfied, motivated and stress
resilient workforce. The theories of motivation discussed in this literature review are:
Herzbergs Motivational-Hygiene theory, Job Design and Job Facet models, Maslows theory on
human motivation, the Needs theory, McClellands needs theory, Expectancy theory, and Equity
theory.
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Herzbergs motivational-hygiene theory. This theoretical approach states that
variables that lead to employee job satisfaction are separate from those that bring dissatisfaction
(Ramlall, 2012). In other words, if the conditions that keep employees dissatisfied are removed,
it will not necessarily result in employee job satisfaction (Ramlall, 2012). In order for
employees to be satisfied, managers must work on providing employees with factors that bring
satisfaction such as creating an opportunities for achievement, providing recognition, adding
responsibility, and offering opportunities for promotion (Ramlall, 2012).
Job design and job facet models of job satisfaction. The Job Design model states that
in order to achieve job satisfaction and motivation, organizations must work on adding challenge
and variety of the job itself (Ramlall, 2012, p. 193). The three ways in which organizations can
add healthy challenge to the work is through variety, autonomy, and empowerment (Ramlall,
2012, p. 193). Managers are able to add variety and challenge through job rotation and job
enrichment (Ramlall, 2012, p. 193).
The Job Facet model also focuses on evaluating the employees job satisfaction against
the elements of the work situation or facets (George & Jones, 2012, 80). Examples of Job
facets are: achievement, authority, creativity, recognition, security, etc. (George & Jones, 2012)
Maslows theory on human motivation. Abraham Maslows research on human
motivation set the stage for modern studies. Maslows hierarchy of needs is based on the
assumption people must satisfy a certain need in order to advance to a higher need (Maslow,
1943). The hierarchy of needs is organized from basic human needs to more complex needs in
an order of prepotency (Maslow, 1943). The hierarchy is describes as follows:
Physiological needs. Maslow advocated that basic human needs for survival take
precedence over anything else, until these needs are satisfied all other needs stay dormant
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(Maslow, 1943). Physiological needs include needs such as food, air, water and sleep (Maslow,
1943). Organizations can meet the physiological needs of workers by ensuring that they are
provided with proper work conditions and adequate compensation to meet lifes necessities.
Safety needs. Humans will develop the need for safety and security only after the
physiological needs have been met (Maslow, 1943). The need for safety and to feel security is
also essential for survival (Maslow, 1943). Employers can meet this need by ensuring that
employees feel that they have a future with the organization and will be treated with dignity even
if laid off.
Love needs. These needs include the desire to belong, love, feel affection, and social
interaction (Maslow, 1943). George and Jones (2012), describes this need in an organization
being satisfied when co-workers and managers work in a cohesive unit and are included in
organization activities.
Esteem needs. The esteem needs include the need for achievement, self-confidence,
respect, peer recognition, status, competence, and prestige (Maslow, 1943). This need is
satisfied in an organization setting when employees are distinguished with duty titles, formal and
informal recognition, and prestigious office space.
Self-Actualization. According to Maslow (1943), reaching this level is only possible
when all preceding needs have been met. This stage is about realizing personal potential and
self-fulfillment (Maslow, 1943). Maslow (1943), explained it as becoming what a person was
meant to become. An artist, for instance, who works in a Nike shoe factory, might never be able
to reach self-actualization while employed this capacity. In order for organization to assist its
employees on achieving the level of self-actualization, they must provide employees with
opportunities and the necessary autonomy to engage in activities that employees are passionate
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about (Ramlall, 2012, p. 191). For instance, an employee who is gifted artistically can reach
self-actualization if allowed to volunteer in the community to practice his or her craft. After all,
research evidence indicates that employee volunteering has been credited with enhancing work
motivation, morale and job satisfaction (de Gilder, Schuyt, & Breedijk, 2005; Pajo & Lee, 2011).
It is vital that managers are able to identify the needs of employees and develop
initiatives to address them. Concepts from the contingency theory of leadership are also
applicable in a sense that employee incentive programs must be contingent with needs. In other
words, according to Maslows theory of motivation, an employee who is having a severe stress
from not being able to pay loans will most likely be motivated to receive a bonus instead of a
recognition trophy from his peers. Organizations that are able to understand employee needs and
make efforts to address them appropriately are able to not only motivate employees effectively,
but also keep them satisfied and stress free.
Need theory. The need theory is a straightforward approach of determining what
outcomes are desired by employees in order to use them as motivators (George & Jones, 2012,
160; Ramlall, 2012, 191). It is not a specific theory, but a holistic collection of approaches that
focuses on motivating employee with the utilization of needs to achieve the desired outcomes
(George & Jones, 2012, 161; Ramlall, 2012, 191). This approach places the responsibility on the
supervisor to determine what motivates employees and to communicate with the employees on
exactly what behaviors are needed to achieve specific outcomes (George & Jones, 2012, 160).
McClellands need theory. This theory states that employees are motivated by the need
for achievement, power, and affiliation (Ramlall, 2012, p. 192). Achievement is defined the
motivation to succeed, reach goals, and excel in relation to standards (Ramlall, 2012, p. 192)
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Power is defined as having the authority to dictate how others should behave (Ramlall, 2012, p.
192). Affiliation is the need for interpersonal relationships and belonging to a group.
Expectancy theory. The expectancy theory is based on the premise that employees are
motivated to make choices based on their perception of the outcome. The expectancy theory
states that in order for employees to be motivated three conditions must exist. First, employees
must believe that they possess the capability of achieving the outcome. Second, employees must
believe that the outcome is a realistic goal. Third, employees must also value the outcome
offered (George & Jones, 2012, p. 163). This theory addresses the many issues in organizations
that derive from blanket awards and recognition programs that do not take into consideration
what employees really want, if the programs are perceived as achievable to all, and if employees
feel that they possess the capability to obtain the outcomes offered.
Equity theory. The Equity theory states that workers are motivated based on their
perception on how outcomes are distributed within the organization (Ramlall, 2012, p. 192). A
comparison is made between employees based on inputs such as education level, experience, and
effort as they relate to outputs such as promotion, recognition and bonuses (Ramlall, 2012, p.
192). Based on this comparison, employees will be motivated to either decrease or increase
workload (Ramlall, 2012, p. 192).
Occupational stress control-demand model. This model evaluates the relationship
between job demands, perceived control and stressors (Rehman et al., 2010). It states that job
dissatisfaction is the result of a mixture of low job control and high job demands (Rehman et al.,
2010). Low strain jobs in this model are defined as occupations that feature low demands and
high job control (Rehman et al., 2010). Passive jobs are those with low demands and low job
control (Rehman et al., 2010). Active jobs are jobs that feature high demands and high job
THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 20

control (Rehman et al., 2010). This model states that stressful jobs only create negative reactions
when there is low control from the employee (Rehman et al., 2010).
The Organization Behavior Initiatives of Google Inc.
Based on the aforementioned literature review and theories on organizational behavior, it
can be summarized that in order to effectively manage job satisfaction, work motivation, and
occupational stress, organizations must have an understanding of employees needs, perceptions,
and emotions. This section of the paper showcases the award-winning initiatives of Google Inc.
and how this company has been able to achieve success by overcoming the organizational
behavioral challenges of job satisfaction, work motivation, and occupational stress.
Company Background
Google Inc. was founded in 1998 by Stanford University alumni Larry Page and Sergey
Brin (Company Overview, 2014). Today, Google Inc. is the worlds leading internet search
engine and the worlds first 100 billion dollar valued brand; its mission is to organize the
worlds information and make it universally accessible and useful (About Google, 2014;
George & Jones, 2012, p. 516; Marimala & Wasdani, 2013). The company provides internet
browsing services in over 120 languages, features a rich portfolio of internet products, and is
able to produce 97% of its revenue through advertisements (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013).
Meeting the Needs of the Employees
Recognized by Fortune Magazine as the leading place to work from all companies in the
United States on five occasions, Google Inc. has proved to the world that profitability and
success can be achieved by addressing the psychological wellbeing of its 42,162 employees
("Google," 2014; Larson & Lauer, 2007; Life at Google, 2014, para.1). With so much
emphasis on meeting the needs of its internal customers, it is no mystery that the company
THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 21

receives over a million job applications annually in pursuit of only 4,000 available positions
(Larson & Lauer, 2007).
Google Inc. is able to meet the physiological and safety needs of its employees by
meticulously addressing various quality of life issues. To meet physiological needs, for instance,
the company provides 11 gourmet restaurants, fitness center, indoor pools, and five on-site
doctors at no charge (Larson & Lauer, 2007). Google Inc. meets the safety needs of its
employees by providing travel insurance, free legal assistance, and emergency aid (Benefits:
Google Careers, 2014).
Google Inc.s features an innovative approach of addressing the love needs of its
employees by allowing them bring their pets to work and bond with other co-workers in places
such as Googles Funky Lobby and Google Caf; this adds a new dimension of social interaction
and connectedness to the organization and strengthen interpersonal relationships (George &
Jones, 2012, p. 517; Larson & Lauer, 2007). New parents are also afforded time-off and a
stipend for newborn expenses (Benefits: Google Careers, 2014; Larson & Lauer, 2007).
Google meets the esteem needs of employees recognizing and promoting top performers
in an equitable manner (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013). Rewards range from financial bonuses
and stock options, to dinners with the CEO (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013). Staying true to the
equity theory, in order to ensure that awards are distributed justly, Googles Executive Chairman,
Eric Schmidt, has all performance reports reviewed by impartial and objective members of the
organization (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013).
Google Inc. is able to meet self-actualization needs of its employees by providing them
with opportunities to continue personal growth through a cost-free education program;
THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 22

employees also sponsored and encouraged to engage in community volunteering on company
time (Benefits: Google Careers, 2014).
Google Inc.s Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Pichette, encouraged companies during a
speech, to invest into benefits for employees; he stated that it does not cost much to have a
washing machine and the climbing wall in our Montreal office didn't cost a lot; its just
Plexiglas (Magder, 2012). By meeting the needs of its employees in accordance with the above
mentioned theories on need, Google Inc. is able to generate tremendous job satisfaction and
motivation while reducing stress.
Placing a Focus on People and the Work Environment
Google Inc.s success can be attributed to its people-centered approach and superior
leadership (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013). Google focused on creating a work environment that
is free of lifes stressors so that people can focus on being creative (Manimala & Wasdani,
2013). For instance, the company features numerous benefits including a massage parlor,
volleyball courts, nap areas, car wash while on duty, and allowing employees to wear anything
they want at work (Larson & Lauer, 2007; Manimala & Wasdani, 2013). According to a survey,
84 percent of Google Inc.s employees report high levels of job satisfaction (Bershidsky, 2013,
para. 4). The environment at Google Inc. is designed to keep employees both satisfied and stress
free which, according to studies, happiness increases the effectiveness of employees by 12
percent ("To keep employees happy and productive, Google it," 2014).
The company has a policy of empowering its employees with 10% of company time to
work on individual projects and ideas (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013). The company strives for a
70 percent success goal on all of its projects in order to encourage people to take the initiatives
without fear of failure (Google's lessons for employers: Put your employees first, 2008). By
THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 23

granting employees with autonomy and control, and removing cumulative daily stressors,
Google Inc. meets the criteria of the theories on Job Facet and Job Design.
Corporate Social Responsibility
According to Mozes et al. (2011) corporate social responsibility is strongly related to
high levels of job satisfaction and work motivation. As a brand that is currently valued at $100
billion, Google Inc. is viewed by many as having a tremendous corporate social responsibly to
society (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013). Google Inc. is able to meet this responsibility by
directing its highly satisfied, motivated, and stress resilient workforce to engage in community
volunteering programs around the world in addition to partaking in several causes.
Employee Volunteering
In order to meet the demands of social corporate responsibility, more and more
companies are investing in employee volunteering programs (Mozes et al., 2011). There are
many benefits to employee volunteering programs. Employees who volunteer are able to bond
with one another outside the work setting, develop new skills, and fulfill personal self-
actualization needs that they might not otherwise be able to in a work setting (Mozes et al.,
2011).
Google Inc. contributes to society by donating $50 for every five hours one of its
employees volunteers; Google Inc. has been able to sponsor approximately 60,000 volunteer
hours per year ("A Better World, Faster," 2014; "Google," 2014). Google Inc. has also been
known to support employee volunteering projects overseas ("Google," 2014). In 2013, the
company participated in community projects in Ghana and India by sending its employees to
volunteer ("Google," 2014). In addition to company sponsored volunteering events, Google Inc.
THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 24

also awards its employees with $5,000 towards the purchase of a hybrid vehicle, thus helping
reduce environmental carbon footprint (Larson & Lauer, 2007).
Giving Back to the Community
In addition to employee volunteering programs, Google Inc. gives back to the community
each year by donating $100 million in grants and $1 billion in products, making it one of Forbes
top ranked companies with the best CSR reputation ("A Better World, Faster," 2014; Smith,
2013). Google Inc.s Google Giving initiative donated $40 million to advance the education of
two million women and minorities, more than $21 million towards the fight against human
trafficking and child abuse, and $9 million towards preserving threatened wildlife.
Considerations for the Future
In order for Google Inc. to continue to remain profitable in the future, research indicates
that it must find ways to address and manage its high turnover rate (Bershidsky, 2013; Ramlall,
2012, p. 189). In addition, Google Inc. also continues to face ethical dilemmas regarding its
privacy practices, overseas market acquisitions, and upcoming technology.
Addressing High Turn-over Rates
Google Inc.s record high turn-over rate comes as a surprise from a company that has
been regarded as one of the best places to work in 2014 (Bershidsky, 2013; Google, 2013).
According to a survey that ranked and assessed the job satisfaction, occupational stress and
turnover rates among top Fortune 500 companies, Google Inc. ranked at the bottom earning the
spot of #462 on the list with an average of only 1.1 years of employee tenure ("Full List of
Employee Tenure at Fortune 500 Companies," 2014). As mentioned on the literature section of
this paper, current research suggests job satisfaction is highly correlated with turnover. With
such a high reported job satisfaction rate, Google Inc.s high turnover rate could simply be a
THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 25

result of the unique challenges of retaining IT employees and hiring a younger generation of
already highly driven and successful workers. Additional research is recommended on
addressing the specific needs of this unique group.
Current Ethical and CSR Challenges
Google Inc. has long received criticism for ethical privacy issues related to the disclosure
of private data. Googles Street View map service technology gained negative attention from
bloggers who reported visibly identifiable people being arrested, sunbathing, and public
urinating (Knight, 2007). Googles most recent initiative in development, the Google Glass
device, has sparked public concern due to its ability to record video and take pictures without
warning (Streitfeld, 2013). The devise has the ability to capture any encounter and broadcast it
to millions within moments (Streitfeld, 2013). According to Bradley Shear, a social media
expert, the Google Glass will test the right to privacy versus the First Amendment (Streitfeld,
2013).
According to Tan and Tan (2012), Google Inc.s challenges in maintaining stability in the
Chinese market proposed various CSR and ethical implications (p. 478). First, the Chinese
market, although profitable, presented a formidable profit-ethics challenge against Googles
motto of Dont be evil with potential missed opportunities (Tan & Tan, 2012, p. 478). Second,
the Chinese governments authoritarian and oppressive system of social regulation, unique
cultural ways of doing business that involves a complex exchange of personal favors, goes
against Google Inc.s norms and values (Tan & Tan, 2012, p. 478). Third, and most importantly,
Google Inc.s decision to expand its empire in the growing Chinese market could trigger
diplomatic and political tensions for all U.S. businesses due to the turbulent trade relationships
that exists between the U.S. and China (Tan & Tan, 2012, p. 478).
THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 26

Conclusion
The literature on the importance of job satisfaction, workplace motivation and stress
management is clear; organizations who invest in their employees psychological wellbeing are
rewarded with a quality and productive workforce (Abel, 2013; Fernet, 2013). In order for
organization to maintain employees satisfied, motivated and stress resilient, they must: (1)
understand employee needs and know which outputs to offer employees, (2) understand how
employees are motivated and any barriers that might prevent employees from working towards
achieving outputs, and (3) understand the employees potential perception of others in the
organization receiving outputs (Maslow, 1943; Ramlall, 2012).
Google Inc.s industry leading, people-centered distributive leadership approach has led
to massive growth for the company. Employee empowerment has proven to be lucrative for
Google Inc. as it is estimated that 50% of all of its new initiatives come from the employees
allotted independent time (Manimala & Wasdani, 2013). As organizations continue to
experience difficult economic times, the decision on whether or not to invest in the psychological
wellness of employees is nonnegotiable.
Areas for Future Organization Behavior Research
Theories and studies on the topics of job satisfaction, work motivation, and stress
management mentioned above do not take into consideration the individuals generational
differences; more specifically, the unique challenges, aspirations, and perceptions of the young
and old. In todays work environment and tough economic times, there could quite possibly be
as many as four generations working alongside. The proposed hypothesis is that different
generations are satisfied and motivated by different set of needs, have unique occupational
stressors, and must be engaged separately in order to promote the highest levels of workplace
THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 27

efficiency and productivity. As previously mentioned, Google Inc.s failure to successfully
engage with its young entrepreneur-minded workforce could account for its high turnover rate.
Additional research is recommended on addressing these unique generational factors.




















THE ROLE OF JOB SATISFACTION, MOTIVATION & STESS 28

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