Job Involvement:
A Theoretical Interpretation in different work Settings


Dr. Zaki Akhtar
Deptt. Of Psychology
Karim City College

Udham Singh
Research Scholar
Ranchi University


Job involvement has emerged an important variable in organizational research. It has drawn the attention of management scientist and organizational psychologists. This variable is being studied with different prospective in the organization. It has great importance and significance in organizational development. Large numbers of studies have been conducted to see the job involvement among organizational employees. Lodhal and Kejner(1965) defined job involvement as  "the degree to which a person identified psychologically with his/her work or the importance of work in his/her  total self image". A person psychological identification with his work may be outcome of his early socialization process during which the individual may internalized the values about the goodness of work. Kanungo (1982) describe job involvement as a cognitive state of uni-dimensional psychological identification from a motivational approach. Kanungo (1982) defined job involvement as individual as individual as individual's perception or belief that he is identified with his/her job. He further clears the difference between job and work. He stated " a job means an individual's present work, while work means work in genera". Similar job involvement definition of kanungo were presented by Guion (1958), Dubin(1956,1968) and Siegel (1969). Saleh and Hosek (1976) have proposed four definitions for job involvement. These were "the job is of  critical importance in personal life", "the individual  will be actively  involved in his/her own job", "the individual will be cognis the influence of personal performance into self esteem and , "the congruence between work performance and self concept". They further suggest that whenever these four definitions are satisfied, the individual will be involved in his/her own job. According Lawler and Hall,1970, and Blau,1985 Job involvement  involves only a single aspect, namely the three degree to which a person perceives the total work situation to be an important part of life, and to be central to their identity, because of the opportunity to satisfy important needs.

Relevant Theoretical Models For Understanding Job Involvement

Relevant models for understanding the relationship between job involvement and its antecedent and outcome variables include Expectancy Theory (Vroom. 1964), Integrated Theory (Rabinowitz & Hall, 1977), the Motivational Approach (Kanungo, 1982) and Causality Theory (Brown, 1996), Multidimensional model Yoshimura(1996) .

5. Multidimensional model

Expectancy Theory

Expectancy Theory suggests that administrators should make good use of personal expectancy to inspire employees. This is based on the rudimentary concept that inclination for an individual's action is determined by possible expected results and the relationship between the results and the action adopted. To take a different approach, job involvement for an employee is determined by his/her expectancy level, which results in incentives for action. The results of this interaction are displayed in Figure 1. If expectations are lower than the inducement provided by the organization, job Involvement will increase. On the other hand, when expectations are higher than the inducement provided by the organization then job involvement will decrease.

Figure 1:

The Expectancy Theory Model of Vroom (1964).

Integrated Theory Model

Rabinowitz and Hall (1977) reviewed and integrated previous research in this field and used this basis to develop three major conceptualizations. For Rabinowitz and Hall (1977), job involvement is related to three classes of working variables, the dispositional, approach held by the individual, the situational determined approach held and the influence of the interaction between these approaches. In this model no single class of variables shows a stronger relationship to job involvement than any other. That is, dispositional and situational variables are abutting equally important in explaining job involvement (Rebinowitz & Hall, 1977). The integrated theory model of job involvement is depicted in Figure 2.

Figure 2:

Figure 2:The Job Involvement Theory Model of Rabinowitz and Hall (1977).

In the dispositional approach, job involvement in viewed as dependent on individual personalities. The influence Exerted by some stable personal characteristics such as age, gender, marital status, external and internal control features, job seniority, dwelling locations, the intensity of high-level work demands in terms of time and responsibility, and the Protestant work ethic will ensure individuals hold different work attitudes and behaviors. Two such work attitudes are job involvement and job satisfaction. The individual is thought to own a certain amount of desire or value, and the demand or value will drive them to work harder or impede them from job involvement (Sekaran & Mowday, 1981).

Job involvement is also a personal characteristic, and thus it is never changed easily within an organization (Rabinowitz & hall, 1977). In a situation-determined approach (Rabinowitz & Hall, 1977, job involvement can be viewed as the personal attitude towards the particular job. In this conceptualization, job involvement will be affected by leadership style, the opportunities the individual has to be involved in decision-making, social factors, job features and other conditional influences. Values are thus internalized with job attitude.

The interaction between disposition and situational approaches is labeled the dispositional situation. In this approach, personal characteristics and the environment in interaction are used to explain personal work attitudes and behaviors. When personal characteristics and the situation reach congruence, the individual will develop high job involvement.

Motivational Approach

The motivational approach of Kanungo (1979,1982) integrates the different approaches to job involvement, including both psychological and sociological factors, using the basic concept that job involvement is affected by the potential for personal socialization experience and the likelihood that the work environment can satisfy personal demand.

Kanungo (1979, 1982) hypothesizes that employee perceptions concerning a job's potential to satisfy their needs their needs represents a more proximal influence on job involvement. Kanungo contends that individuals develop beliefs that a job's context potentially provides an opportunity for them to satisfy their most important future needs. Consequently, job involvement depends on employees' needs (both extrinsic and intrinsic), as well as their perceptions of the job's potential to satisfy those needs.

Causality Theory Model

The causality theory of  job involvement theory proposed by brown (1996) incorporates the findings of previous research . This model includes antecedents (i.e., personality variables-concept of work ethic), the pivotal mediator role of job involvement, and its consequences such as organizational commitment. This model also depicts the relationships between job involvement and organizational commitment. In addition, work ethic is shown to play a significant role in job involvement.

In summary, the antecedents and products of job involvement have been extensively studied. Available evidence supports the argument that personal and situational factors and strong influences on job involvement. Job involvement is also an important factor in other work related attitudes, and is linked to work behaviors.

Multidimensional model of job involvement:

Yoshimura (1996) presented a multidimensional model of job involvement in his conceptual model he stated that the job involvement  is not uni-dimensional concept, job involvement concept consist of three dimension viz., emotional job involvement, cognitive job involvement and behavioral job involvement. Emotional job involvement indicate how strongly the worker is interested in his/her job or how much the worker likes his/her job. Cognitive job involvement indicates how strongly the worker wants to participate in his/her job related decision making or how important the job is in his/her whole life. And behavioral job involvement indicates how often the worker usually takes extra-role behavior such as taking an evening class to enhance job related skills or thinking about the job after leaving the office. As shown in the figure below.

The multidimensional job involvement model.


Emotional job involvement


Cognitive job involvement

Psychological state
Self esteem
Active participation

Behavioral job involvement

Behavioral intention
Extra-role behavior
Voluntary learning

This multidimensional model of job involvement helps us to understand how job involvement has evolved and how the concept has changed over the time. Yoshimura (1996) further in his multi-dimension model of job involvement classified the antecedents of job involvement into three categories namely; individual personality variables, organizational variables and non-organizational variables.

According to this model the individual variable which affect the job involvement are classified as individual personality such as locus of control, growth needs, working values and the way of being socialized, and individual career such as career stage and successful job experience. Organizational variables are those variables which affect job involvement are work related variables such as job type, job characteristics and human resource management and organizational attitude variable such as job satisfaction, organizational satisfaction, and organizational commitment. And the non organizational includes non-organizational involvement and family involvement. These antecedents of job involvement are shown in the figure below.

Figure 4: Hypothetical process model of job involvement.

Review of the literature:

Singh and Pestonjee (1990) explored the effect of job involvement and sense of participation on job satisfaction of bank employees. Study revealed that job involvement and participation where positively to job satisfaction.

Singh and Nath (1991) explored the effect of organizational role stress on job involvement on the bank employees. They found employees high on role stress, exhibited lower job involvement than those low on role stress. Study further revealed that organizational role stress was found to be the most powerful predictor of job involvement.

Srivastava and Krishna (1992) compared the level of job involvement and mental health on employees in the private and public sector organization. They found that employees of private sector organization. They found that employees of private sector organizations where significantly more involved in their jobs as compared to public sector organizations.

Gandhi (1992) assessed the impact of job enrichment characteristics on identification and involvement among junior and middle level managers of textile mills. Result showed that job characteristics and task identify were significant predictors of organizational involvement. Furthermore autonomy and skill variety were significant predictor of total organization identification. Task identify was the most significant predictor of organizational involvement.

Mishra and Gupta (1995) investigated that the predicting effect of motivation, alienation and job involvement on performance of blue collar industrial workers. The result showed that motivation and alienation emerged as significant predictors of work performance but motivation was found strongest predictors of performance.

Chhokar (1995) assessed the role and organizational correlates of job satisfaction, job involvement , organizational commitment and psychological strain among bank employees,  Role ambiguity and role conflict were low, Role overload, participation in decision making hierarchy of authority and the subject of organizational values representing consideration of employees were moderate, and formalization and the subset of organizational values representing contribution to the organization were fairly low. Job satisfaction, job involvement and organizational commitment were higher. The subset organizational values representing consideration for employees was the only variable that consistently predicted all four criterion variables they contributed to increased job.

Aminabhavi (1996) found in his study that the professionals with high job involvement have significantly higher quality of life in comparison to the low job involvement.

Venakatachalam and Reddy (1996) conducted a study to find out the impact of job level, Job tenure and type of organization on job involvement, And job satisfaction among employees working in three organization Viz., banks, school, and government officers. The data obtained on these scale were analyzed by means of analysis of variance. The results showed that the significant influence on job level, work involvement and job involvement and not job level work involvement and job involvement and not job on job satisfaction. The type of organizations in which the employees are working significantly influenced the job satisfaction but not on work and job involvement. The result further revealed that the job tenure do not show significant impact on job involvement, work involvement and job satisfaction.

Dauftuar and Anjali (1997) explored the influence of occupational stress, organizational commitment and job involvement and personality of lower and middle level managers working in electrical manufacturing company in western India. Result revealed significant positive correlation between job involvement and several areas of occupational stress, organizational commitment and personality types.

Aminabhavi  etal (1997) conducted a study to identify the factors that contribute to job involvement among doctors, engineers, lawyers and teachers. The age group of the subjects varied between 30-60 years. Results showed that the selection of occupation expressed with regard to job satisfaction and socio- cultural background that contributed significantly job involvement of the professionals. The results was interpreted that the professional who choose their occupation and expressed higher job satisfaction and the professional who came from upper middle stratum of socio- cultural background showed higher job involvement than their counter parts.

Jaswant and Naveen (1997) conducted a study to examine the interactive effects of age, gender and type A behavior pattern of job stress and job involvement of bank employees the results indicated that the two independent variable is gender and type-A behavior also significantly influenced the job involvement of bank employees. The results also showed significant interaction effect of age and gender, type A behaviors and gender for job stress.

Bhatt (1997) studied the job stress, job involvement, job satisfaction of male and female primary school teachers the sample were selected from public and private schools. The results indicated that the public school teacher's job stress was high and significantly negatively associated with job involvement. Job involvement and job satisfaction were highly significantly negative partial correlation between private and public school teachers on job involvement.

Nair (1997) examined the relationship of the of job involvement as a personal out came variable in the job characteristics model of hack man and old man. The sample of the study was consisted of non- supervisory level of employees engaged in technical and administrative work. It was hypothesized that job involvement should be positively and significantly correlated with the relevant care job dimensions the results yielded that predicted relationship indicating that the job involvement may be considered of personal outcome variable.

Venakatachalam etal. (1998) carried out study banks, schools and government offices subordinates. The study was aimed to find out the effect of job level, organizational identity on job involvement and job satisfaction. The results showed that supervisors were more job involved and more satisfied from their job in comparison to their subordinates. Results also revealed that the employees working in banks were more job involved show greater level of job satisfaction than those working in schools and government officers. They also reported that the significant effect of job level on job involvement and job satisfaction and the organizational identity significantly influenced job satisfaction but not the job involvement.

Biswas (1998) studied the influence of life style stressors- performance, frustration, threat and physical damage on organizational commitment and job involvement of managers, supervisors and workers of large and medium public and private sector organization. The subjects were asked to complete the discography information schedule, life style stressors questionnaire, job involvement questionnaire and the perceived organizational questionnaire. The results revealed that the performance, threat and frustration emerged significant predictors of organizational commitment. Whereas none of the stressors emerged as predictor of job involvement the result also indicated that managers scored high on job involvement as compared to the supervisors and workers. The workers showed greater performance stress.

Joshi (1998) compared the private and public Job involvement and work. Involvement of job Satisfaction, consisted of publish and private sector employees. On whom Job satisfaction scale, Job Involvement scale and work Involvement scale were administration. Personal data sheets were also used to collect information regarding sex, age, length of result indicate that the public and private sector employees differ significant in term of their Job satisfaction, Job involvement and work involvement.

Yadav etal (1999) studied job involvement and family involvement as determinants of job satisfaction and marital satisfaction. The result showed that psychological identification with the job involvement and family involvement found positively correlated.

Naaz (1999) studied the job involvement of textile mill workers in relation to job characteristics and demographic variable. Result indicated that the skill variety in one of the component. The result also indicated that the task identity and skills variety were found predictors of job involvement.

Joshi (1999) studied the job satisfaction, job involvement and work involvement of industrial employees. The data obtained on their scale were analyzed by means of product moment correlation. The result revealed that the employee's age, job experience and monthly income were significantly related to job involvement and work involvement, It was also find out that the monthly income to be significant associated. The result did not yield significant relationship between employees work involvement and job satisfaction.

Patel (1999) conducted a study to find out the influence of age, Organization commitment on job involvement of nationalized and co-operative bank employees. The sample consisted of 200 employees (100 in each group).  Monday's Organizational commitment scale was administered on the sample. The result revealed that the younger employees both nationalized and co-operative bank employees differ significant with their middle age group employees. The younger employees were found less job involved and showed less organizational commitment than middle and elderly age group of employees belonging to some age did not differ significant from each other on job involvement. But organizational commitment when some age group of employees were compared the significant difference user found between the employees of middle age group and the employees from nationalized bank showed higher commitment then those of the employees of co-operative bank.

Joshi (1999) studied the relationship between the age, job experience, monthly income and education level of industrial employees of public and private sector with their job 2 nd involvement and work involvement. The study also investigated reputed the relationship between job satisfaction, job involvement and work involvement. The result revealed that employees age, job experience and monthly income were significant associated with their job, Job involvement and work involvement, Employees monthly income was found to be significant correlated with job satisfaction. The result further revealed that employees job satisfaction and job involvement are significant associated. Further the results revealed that work involvement and job satisfaction were not significantly related but have inverse relationship.

Barkat, Shah and Praveen (1999) examined the Interrelationship between skill, job involvement and work performance in a sample of 100 weavers employed in various carpet manufacturing enterprises. Correction analysis revealed positive but insignificant inters correlation between skills job performance were found to be inversely but not significant related.

Ahman and Ansari (2000) conducted a study on craftsman from various small scale industries and noted that job involvement was influenced by the interaction between income and job tenure.

Srivastava (2001) Conducted a study to examine job involvement and mental health among 60 executive and 15 Supervisor with work experience ranging from 8 to 30 years result revealed that executives felt more involved in the job than the supervisor. There was a significant association between job involvement and mental health.

Ashok (2002) found that when involvement is low. The relationship one has with the company cannot by really strong. On the other hand when involvement is high the relationship stays strong even at low level of satisfaction. Further more while establishing the relationship between committed and involvement he observed that on committed employees in marketing were low the involvement factors.

Allam (2002) examined job involvement of bank employees in relation to job anxiety, Personality Characteristics, job burnout, age and tender. The result revealed that the job anxiety. Job burnout, age and tender were significant related to job involvement.

Srivastava (2003) conducted a study to investigate the relationship between job involvements among high and low achieving person. The sample consisted of 150workers from Bharat heavy Electrical limited. Haridwar division text of achievement motivation scale by Mishra and Srivastava and job involvement scale by Singh were administered on each worker. Result indicate that there is significant relationship between job involvement and need for achievement motivation and high achieving person feel more involvement with their job as compared o low achieving person.

Mishra and Wagh (2004) conducted a study and public and private sector executive on job involvement dimension. Two groups of executives differ significant on mean score. Further they pointed out that reward. Work culture & environment, Challenging job delegation of authority & responsibility were found to be potential factors for job involvement.

Mishra and shyam (2005) conducted a study to find out the relationship of social support and job involvement in prison officers. Job involvement scale developed by Kappor and Singh and serial support scale developed by Cohen ital. were administered on a sample of 200 prison officers. The results showed that serial support, and belonging support have significant positive relationship with job involvement. stepwise multiple regression analysis suggest that overall serial support is a significant predictor of job involvement his prison officers. The other predictors are belonging, support, appraisal support and tangible support.

Allam (2007) conducted a study on bank employees and observed that personal accomplishment one of the facets of job burnout was found significant related to job involvement among the bank managers.

Ouyang (2009) conducted a study to explore the caused relationship among the job uncertainty. Job involvement, job stress and job performance of banking service personal under the economic depression. The empirical result of his study found that job instability of banking service personnel has negative influence on job performance and job involvement. Furthermore job instability has a significant positive influence on job stress; job stress has a positive influence on job involvement and job performance. The mediating effect of job stress and job involvement can positively influence job performance the result further revealed that the most important factor is job performance is job involvement and second factor is job stress.


After reviewing the literature of job involvement in Indian context it may be concluded that job involvement is positively correlated with organizational climate, job satisfaction, sense of participation, occupational stress, organizational commitment, personality type, family involvement, task identity, skill variety , job characteristics, job anxiety, job burnout, age turnover, mental health, social support, belonging support and need for achievement motivation. In one study job involvement is partial correlated with job satisfaction. Job involvement is influence by income, tenure, gender, job level and type- A behavior pattern. In one study job stress is highly negatively correlated with job involvement. Organizational role stress, alienation, performance, social support has emerged as a strong predictor of job involvement. Reward, work culture and environment, challenging job, delegation to authority and responsibility were found as potential factors of job involvement. Furthermore younger employees were fewer jobs involved as compared to middle and elder age employees. Private sector employees were found more job involved as compared to public sector employees. Bank employees were highly job involved as compared to school teachers and government offices. Executives were more job involved as compared to their supervisors. Thus, job involvement must be studied in all organizations. There must be job involvement training programs in all organizations. Such programs not only enhance the level of job involvement, these increase efficiency of the employees. Future researches must be done in highlighting job involvement by comparing national and multinational companies in Indian context.


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Dr. Zaki Akhtar
Deptt. Of Psychology
Karim City College

Udham Singh
Research Scholar
Ranchi University

Source: E-mail July 14, 2010


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