What Influences Passion for One’s Work, the Job or the Social Support?

As discussed in our textbook, job characteristics may influence job satisfaction negatively or positively (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012). A job characteristic may be understood as what an occupational task contains, as well as its “nature”. An individual’s view of his or her occupation and the features of the job may be considered the degree of satisfaction with his or her job. Now, Schneider, Gruman, and Coutts (2012) did not directly mention work passion, which may feature similarities to job satisfaction. According to Lautongmeesakun and Wichian’s (2016) research, work passion involves 5 aspects (with 4 aspects listed in their research) which include passion for: organization (desiring to remain for the longest possible time and eagerness to work with optimal potential), duty (displaying responsibility, eagerness to work with optimal potential, effectiveness, and carefulness), growth (developing new methods in order to expand career, participating in behaviors that will benefit the growth of their occupation and occupational environment), and profession (pride, confidence, and gratefulness for career).

Moreover, work passion may be related to job satisfaction in that passion for one’s occupation may be a form of satisfaction with one’s job. Additionally, while job characteristics may impact job satisfaction, the aspects of a job may also influence work passion, as indicated in some studies (Zigarmi et al., 2009; Zigarmi et al., 2011; Joubert, 2005; Obi-Nwosu et al., 2013; Kangure et al., 2014; Lee, 2010; Ozturka et al., 2014). On the other hand, Lautongmeesakun and Wichian (2016) found contrastive results in their examination of the impact of work resilience, social support, and job characteristics on Thai teachers’ work passion. Self-report questionnaires were utilized to evaluate the participant Thai teachers’ work passion, work resilience, social support, and job characteristics. In addition, a 4-point Likert scale asked the participating teachers questions that may or may not have applied to them (from “absolutely true” to “absolutely not true”).

As a result of Lautongmeesakun and Wichian’s (2016) study, job characteristics showed no significant influence on Thai teachers’ work passion. This finding differs from the studies mentioned in the previous paragraph, which displayed that job characteristics may impact work passion (e.g. Zigarmi et al., 2009). Instead, Lautongmeesakun and Wichian (2016) found that with work resilience, social support indirectly influenced Thai teachers’ work passion. According to the researchers, this may suggest that the participant teachers’ perceptions of school associate support was a more powerful influence on work passion compared to job characteristics. With increasing support from other school associates, the more the teachers’ resilience and passion for work would increase. Lautongmeesakun and Wichian (2016) concluded that with their findings, programs may be developed to train and encourage work passion in teachers.

Conclusively, job characteristics may or may not affect work passion, possibly depending on culture, cultural values, and how certain studies are conducted. For example, Lautongmeesakun and Wichian’s (2016) research found no effect from job characteristics on work passion, however, this study was limited to Thai teachers. Other studies such as Ozturka et al. (2014) and Kangure et al. (2014) may have discovered results that differed from Lautongmeesakun and Wichian’s (2016) findings due to potential contrasts in who was studied (e.g. hotel workers in Turkey or employees in Kenya) and how variables were studied. More research is needed to explore the possible effects of job characteristics on work passion in different cultures and areas.


A. B., Ozturka, M., Hancerb, & J. Y., Im, “Job characteristics, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment for hotel workers in Turkey,” Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 291-313, 2014.

D. Zigarmi, K. Nimon, D. Houson, D. Witt, and J. Diehl. (2009). From engagement to work passion. [Online]. pp. 1-11 Available: http://www.kenblanchard.com/img/pub/Blanchard_From_Engagement_to_Work_Passion.pdf

D. Zigarmi, K. Nimon, D. Houson, D. Witt, and J. Diehl. (2011). Employee work passion. [Online]. pp. 1-3. Available: www.kenblanchard.com/img/pub/Blanchard_Employee_Passion_Vol_4.pdf 

F. M. Kangure, W. Guyo, and R. Odhiambo, “Relationship between job characteristics and employee engagement among state corporations in Kenya,” International Journal of Innovative Research
& Studies
, vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 326-350, 2014.

H. Obi–Nwosu, J. A. O. Chiamaka, and O. M. Tochukwu, “Job characteristics as predictors of organizational commitment among private sector workers in Anambra State, Nigeria,” International
Journal of Asian Social Science
, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 482-491, 2013.

J. H. M. Joubert, “Job characteristics, engagement, burnout and organizational commitment of management staff at a platinum mine in the North-West Province,” M.Com, thesis. Dept. Industrial Psychology, North-West Univ., Potchefstroom, South Africa, 2005. 

Lautongmeesakun, S., & Wichian, S. N. (2016). Path Analysis of Work Passion Model of Thai Teachers in Municipal Schools. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 6, 949-953. doi:10.7763/IJIET.2016.V6.823 

Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., & Coutts, L. M. (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

W. S. Lee, “The relationship between job characteristics and job satisfaction toward affective commitment: The case of engineers in Sapakat Setia Perunding SDN BHD,” MBA thesis, School of management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, George Town, Malaysia,



  1. This is an interesting topic. It seems that job satisfaction relies on a few different variables that interact to make a positive outlook. As you suggested, the content of the job plays an important role as does social support from others. Another variable may play a part in this, effectively making a trio that affects job satisfaction. Personal traits may be this third variable. The fact is, everyone is different so individual differences may be the make or break when it comes to being satisfied with a job.
    A study I found shows that the ‘big five’ traits may play an important role in “how individuals interpret characteristics of their jobs. (Gilbert, 1995) So, the interpretation of the job may play an important role in how people feel about it. A person with a strong personality may think of one job differently than a person with a less aggressive personality, so individual characteristics may be an important part of job satisfaction.
    This is an interesting post and I think all the factors you mentioned play a part in job satisfaction. Individual differences seem to play a big role, and would be good to look into. Good post.

    Gilbert, D. T., & Malone, P. S. (1995). The correspondence bias.Psychological Bulletin, 117(1), 21-38.

  2. This is interesting. It seems like both job characteristics and social support are important to job satisfaction. It is necessary to be in a job where you are satisfied with the company you are working for in order to be willing to stay with the company for the long term. Knowing what the job entails and being willing to work with those details is important for daily happiness in a job. For example, I knew going into working with special needs kids part of my job would be changing diapers at least twice a day and that does not bother me but for another person that part may make the job unbearable for them even if they like the rest of the responsibilities. Growth in the company is needed in order to keep from feeling stuck in a position which could lead to boredom and unhappiness. Knowing that there are other positions to work towards keeps people willing to do their best in hopes of obtaining an even better position. Respect for what you do is important, especially in the social aspect of the day. When I worked in jobs that did not have respect I often felt embarrassed when the question would come up, “So what do you do?” and this inevitably led me to feeling unhappy in my job.
    However, even if you have all of these things but do not get along with your co-workers or have social support within the job each day can feel miserable.I agree with Lautongmeesakun and Wichian that social support is important but I disagree with the idea that it affects the worker indirectly. Not having a person to talk to, work out problems with or just get a smile and “hello” from directly affects you since it can make you feel alienated by the other workers and unhappy in what you do. The frustration in this feeling can lead to poor work ethics because you no longer care about the position and just want to find somewhere better. So, no matter how great a company is, how much respect the position has, how much you enjoy most of the duties and the amount of growth is possible if the social support is not there nothing else matters. It can quickly change a great job into a miserable one where the days seem to last forever.

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