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The Impact of Job Satisfaction on Employee Theft among College Students

The Impact of Job Satisfaction on Employee Theft among College Students

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  • ISBN-13: 9781514882177
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: Aug 31, 2012
  • Pages: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.37 x 11.0 x 8.5 inches


A focal employee attitude is job satisfaction. When employees become dissatisfied, their attitudes may change, leading to negative behaviors, including theft. This study focused on employee theft with particular emphasis on college students. College students represent a significant proportion of the labor market, and research has shown that college students' propensity toward theft is on the rise. Among this population, factors such as lifestyle, integrity, and ethical norms have received more attention compared to job satisfaction in relation to employee theft. The purpose of this nonexperimental quantitative study was to investigate the impact of job satisfaction on specific types of employee theft among college students. Employee theft in forms of time theft, employee deviance, theft of property, embezzlement, pilferage, and data and trade secret theft were examined as these types of theft are costly and pervasive problems for businesses. Survey responses from 92 undergraduate students attending a local community college in Pennsylvania constituted the primary data for this study. The survey consisted of the Brayfield-Rothe Job Satisfaction scale to capture the students' attitudes toward their job and Spencer's employee theft questionnaire to capture the rate of theft. Spearman correlation coefficients and ordinal regression analysis were used to test seven null hypotheses corresponding to each type of theft. Spearman correlation results revealed that job satisfaction was related to college students' rate of time theft (rs(86) = -.24,p = .025), but not the overall theft, employee deviance, theft of property, embezzlement, pilferage, or data and trade secret theft. Ordinal regression results indicated that job satisfaction predicted the rate of time theft (p = .012) and embezzlement (p = .043), but not the remaining types of theft. It was confirmed that job satisfaction has an impact on one type of theft—time theft, among college students. Given the inconsistent findings from the current study, no firm conclusions can be drawn regarding the relationship between job satisfaction and embezzlement. Future research is recommended to include a qualitative component, explore other variables contributing to employee theft, and use more specific industry or organizational settings.

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