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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-16

Relationship between quality of work life and psychological empowerment by employees' productivity (structural equations modeling)

1 Administration Shahid Chamran Ahvaz University, Ahvaz, Iran
2 Islamic Azad University of Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran

Date of Web Publication19-Dec-2014

Correspondence Address:
Samaneh Salimi
Shahid Chamran Ahvaz University, Ahvaz, Khuzestan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2395-2296.147451

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Aim: The purpose of this study was determining causal relationships and modeling structural equations of relationships between quality of work life, psychological empowerment and employees' productivity of Municipal Administration of Zahedan. Methods: The method of the study is descriptive-causal - correlative. Statistical population of the study included administrative employees in municipality of center, district 1, 2, 3 of Zahedan in number of 257 people. Result: Findings of the study showed that the relationship of each variable, quality of work life and psychological empowerment, and employees' productivity and also relationship between quality of work life and psychological empowerment were significant (P ≥ 0.01). Discussion: Findings related to structural equations model showed that quality of work life had a direct effect on boosting employees' productivity, but its indirect effect on employees' productivity was more than its direct one which has played this role by boosting employees' psychological empowerment as an intermediate variable. Psychological empowerment also influences on employees' productivity.

Keywords: Employees′ productivity, psychological empowerment, quality of work life, structural equations modeling

How to cite this article:
Salimi S, Saeidian N. Relationship between quality of work life and psychological empowerment by employees' productivity (structural equations modeling). Int J Educ Psychol Res 2015;1:10-6

How to cite this URL:
Salimi S, Saeidian N. Relationship between quality of work life and psychological empowerment by employees' productivity (structural equations modeling). Int J Educ Psychol Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Jul 31];1:10-6. Available from: https://www.ijeprjournal.org/text.asp?2015/1/1/10/147451

  Introduction Top

Until early 1950s, it was believed that the main factor and the root of backwardness in developing countries is lack of physical and financial funds, due to such cogitation, these countries tried to inflow funds by different ways, which had additional side effects on increasing dependency in such countries. Today, however, the importance of human capital and improving the quality of workforce is recognized as one of the main grounds in increasing productivity and expediting economical growth in the society. [1]

Today's world, on one hand, is the world of evolutions and transformations, a world full of changes, changes are not completely but are created as the result of people's demands and determinations. Demands that result from different and extended needs of people complicated nature. In this age, these changes and transformations constantly create threats and opportunities for different organizations.

In the meantime, organizations are successful, which adjust themselves with the resulting conditions and changes. Organizations whose employees constantly increase their abilities to gain desired results can do such Skillful and expert manpower training is the most important factor in any organization success facing with environmental changes and this is the human who can utilize tools and facilities to achieve organizations' objectives and that is the productivity in workplace. [2] Productivity is one of the factors which guarantees the durability and performance of organizations in today's world of highly competitive.

Dominance of productivity etiquette will result in desired use of all financial and intellectual facilities of an organization that constantly flourish the talent and potential possibilities in the organization. The best productivity could be gained through reproductive and creative properties in achieving goals of the organization without increasing existing technology and manpower. Desired productivity will not be gained through change in structure, increasing technology and preparing a compilation of instructions. Human is the center of every kind of personal social or organizational productivity. Productivity is a word that is discussed both in macro and micro level and it covers a range of personal to worldwide productivity. [3]

Productivity is a word on executive scale that is meaningful in all economic levels from shops to move toward skills in national economic level. Without concerning the importance of productivity whether extensively or in a limited level there are a few studies which have analyzed this word practically. [4]

From a specialized point of view, productivity means measurement of received output from a fixed amount of input. Furthermore, productivity can be interpreted as the use of different resources in organizations to acquire desired or planned (output) result. [5] Europe Productivity Institution defines productivity as the degree and intensity of effective use of every factor in productions and claims that productivity is a kind of attitude by which everyone can do his duty or job better than before. Believing in improving productivity means to have a firm belief in human progress. Productivity is defined by Davis as acquired changes in the amount of production in lieu of consumed resources. Quality and productivity center in the United States of America defined productivity as the equation below:

Price recycling × productivity = profitability. [6] Since the key factor in productivity in organizations, and at the most, in the society is manpower, undoubtedly every society's progress is closely connected to improving and nurturing the human resources. And by this reason, head of organizations supporting by experts of behavioral science and human resources pay careful attention to nurturing of the employees.

One concept that is brought up towards growth of human resources is to empower employees. [7] Empowering employees is one of the most effective techniques for increasing employees` productivity and the optimal use of individual and group abilities and capabilities toward organizations objectives. [1]  Spreitzer (1995) believes that empowering focus on employees' belief on their roles and its relation with their organization. [8] From Graw's point of view, empowering is one of the concepts that each person feels he understands it but the truth is that you would get different responses when you ask them what the empowerment is. Most authors including Gandz (1990) Kanger and Cango (1988) pointed out that the empowerment means that heads of the organization give decision control and authority to employees. [9] Watson (2003) believes that the empowerment make employees feel they have more control and responsibility toward their jobs. In this respect, the role of managers is to transfer full control to flexibility and coordination in working process. [10] Esperits (1992) believes that the psychological empowerment is a motivational structure which is explained in four-dimension:

  • Competency
  • Meaning
  • Impact
  • Self-determining.

Mishra (1992) then added another dimension and called it trust. [9] Gist and Bendora (1989) believed that the competency means to do the job and responsibilities skillfully and successfully. Hakman (1980) points out that meaning in the job means opportunities which make an individual feel they are following valuable and important objectives. [11] Spreitzer (1995) suggest that the impact is individual`s beliefs on their abilities to change toward desired direction at a point of time. [12]

Bell and Store define self-determining as to have sufficient authority to start and go on a job and its process and be responsible for its consequences. Weton and Cameron (1998) define trust as to be confident about being treated honestly and fairly. [13]

In the empowerment, we are not just dealing with motivational issues, but it will influence on manger`s performance and effectiveness. [14] And employees' impact and productivity. [15] Creating psychological empowerment in employees demands some conditions and principles in an organization. One of these conditions is grounds for quality of work life in organization.

Quality of work life is a process by which all members of the organization are involved in all decision, which is particularly made on their job and generally made on their workplace environment through means of communication and as a result they develop more cooperation and satisfaction. Furthermore, they feel less workplace stress.

Quality of work life is the degree at which employees feel comfortable and enjoy their work life. This degree points to the desired situation, which is in an organization. By work situation we mean satisfaction, motivation, cooperation and commitment of people in work regarding their life. In fact, it means a degree at which people are able to satisfy their needs while they're working in an organization.

Walton (1973) believes that the quality of work life is a kind of culture that creates a high level of commitment between people and organizations. And as an objective, it provides improvement in the organization's performance through job creation and a more satisfactory workplace in all levels of organizations. [16] He took eight variables into account as objectives for the promotion in quality of work life. An important point which should be considered is that these variables are related to each other and are as follow:

  • Adequate and fair compensation
  • Safe and healthy work conditions
  • Development of human capabilities
  • Opportunities for continued growth and security
  • Unity and social life work
  • Constitutionalism in the work of organization
  • Total life setting
  • The social relevance of work life. [17]

If work life is viewed from instrumental perspective one could say the quality of work life is one of the major instruments for increasing the social responsibilities of co-workers. [18] Also, quality of work life is one of progress techniques in an organizations which tries to provide trilateral factors of motivation and satisfaction, taking responsibility, and commitment toward work get together and that means quality of work life is one of the progress techniques in an organization, which is applied as important performance of organization through more democratic work place and direct involvement of employees in decision making. [19] Quality of work life will influence on most of the organization's variable, but its main impact in previous studies is productivity. Productivity is the essence of organization's development and cannot merely be achieved through a salary increase, benefits and other facilities. However, satisfaction and increase in quality of work life is a major factor in increasing levels of productivity.

High level of productivity and usefulness is a key factor to increase the quality of work life. [20] Patanyak (2005), based on research results, suggests that there is a meaningful and positive correlation between the quality of work life and quality of life.

Dolan Sholer assumes a correlation and a meaningful relation among quality of work life plans, productivity and other management activities on employees' affair and human resource such as finding an employee, selection, job analysis, training, growth and planning on manpower sanction and security and work relation. As it is stated, quality of life relates to other employees' work life dimensions. Nonetheless the effect of quality of life on empowerment can be investigated through different dimensions, when employees have a good quality of work life, they will be able to set realistic goals and relate them with organization's objectives. In these conditions, they would share their experiences and would become successful. In addition to a good workplace condition, the potential talent of the employee will be flourished, and they could achieve higher levels of performance. In other words, through quality of work life enhancement we could provide prerequisite and foundation necessary for psychological empowerment. [21] Koberg (1990) also suggested that understanding psychological empowerment will provide an increase in job satisfaction, decrease in leaving a job and productivity. In this respect Fedriko (2004) admits that the goal of quality of work life is application of abilities and capabilities. He declares that the mission of quality of life is to create job satisfaction and productivity for employees and assistance to the organization for selection and confirming, which are key factors in workplace.

If empowered employees believe that they have decision control and authority they will try their best to do their job and this will provide productivity in an organization, therefore one of the most important methods to enhance productivity is empowerment in employee. [22] Results gained by Moradain's study (2003) who investigated the effect of quality of work life on employee performance is in line with the mentioned points, since his results showed that every eight factors in quality of work life influence productivity, which means to stress the importance of quality of work life in order to enhance the employee performance.

Results by Sozaneh (1997), which investigated the relationship between levels of empowerment and quality of work life also proved that all variables in quality of work life are related to psychological empowerment.

Based on what we discussed, the following premises in research theoretical framework are shown in [Figure 1]. Concerning the role and importance of modeling in organizations' progress, the present study aims to investigate the relationship between quality of work life and psychological empowerment in Zahedan municipality's employee based on structural equation modeling.
Figure 1: Conceptual model of research

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  Methods Top

In the present study, a survey methodology of the correlation type is used. Based on the topic and research design it can be called a causal research which is based on the analysis of the relationship among variables and understanding of the causal relation as well. [23] In these relations in addition to finding positive and negative coefficients, the effect of variable on each other, and power and structure of the model based on some of the model indexes through structural equation modeling have been shown.

From this population, 155 people were chosen randomly according to the total number which was based on Krejcie and Morgan sample size calculator equation. 155 questionnaires were distributed, and 144 of them were given back and dropout rate was 10%.


For data collection, the present study used standard questionnaires like:

Quality of work life questionnaires

In order to measure quality of work life, Walton's quality of work life questionnaire was applied. The reliability of the questionnaire was calculated and based on Cronbach's alpha, it was 0.75.

Psychological empowerment questionnaires

In order to measure psychological empowerment, spreitzer (1996) questionnaire was applied. The reliability of the questionnaire was calculated and based on Cronbach's alpha, it was 0.85.

Productivity questionnaires

In order to measure productivity, Hrsy and Goldsmith (1980) questionnaire was applied. The reliability of the questionnaire was calculated and based on Cronbach's alpha, it was 0.74.

Anaiyzing data

In this study, statistics was used in two descriptive (Frequency, percentage and mean) and Inferential levels of Pierson's correlation test, step by step regression and structural equations model to analyze data. Furthermore, all analysis was performed using  SPSS 16.5 and Lisrel 8.5 software.

  Results Top

Hypothesis 1

There is a relationship between quality of work life, psychological empowerment and employees' productivity of Zahedan Municipal Administration.

Pierson's correlation coefficient has been used to answer to the above hypothesis. The results show that there is a positive relationship between the variables of work life, psychological empowerment and employees' productivity of Zahedan Municipal Administration. This correlation value is significant on the alpha level of 0.01. On the other hand, the better staff's work life is, the more psychological empowerment increase within them. Also, the calculated coefficient of determination (r2 = 0.36, r2 = 0.70) shows that 70% of staff's productivity can be explained through the components quality of work life and 36% of staff's productivity can be explained through psychological empowerment.

As it is seen from [Table 1], there is a positive and significant relationship between quality of work life, psychological empowerment and staff's productivity. It means that staff's productivity increases by increasing their quality of work life and psychological empowerment.
Table 1: The results of correlation test between quality of work life, psychological empowerment and staff's productivity

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Question 1

What and how is the causal model between quality of work life and psychological empowerment with productivity of employees?

Based on the results from [Table 2]. Quality of work life has a direct effect on psychological empowerment (0.79). Also according to the results, the effect of quality of work life on psychological empowerment is meaningful (t = 9.05). Results from the table also suggest that psychological empowerment has a direct effect on productivity (0.76) and the effect of psychological empowerment on productivity is meaningful (t = 5.82). But based on [Figure 2]. Quality of work life has some effects on productivity through psychological empowerment. And psychological empowerment is a mediator between quality of work life and productivity. In fact, quality of work, life has direct (0.27) and indirect (0.60) effect on productivity through psychological empowerment.
Table 2: The relationship between components of quality of work life, psychological empowerment and productivity based on structural equation modeling

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Figure 2: The relationship between quality of work life, psychological empowerment and employees' productivity (based on path coefficient)

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Relationship between quality of work life and productivity is meaningful as well (t = 2.62). According to [Table 3] model indexes, show that the model has an acceptable fit. It means Chi-square is the indicator of value 173.56. The other criterion is root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA).
Table 3: Evaluation of structural equation modeling fit index

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And the value < 0.1 is considered as fair and acceptable fit. In this study, the value of RMSEA was 0.017, which indicates fair fit. The other value criterion is χ2 /df and value < 2 implies acceptable model fit and as it is shown this value is 0.1 and indicates fair model fit.

  Discussion Top

This study was designed to investigate the relationship (causal and direct) between quality of work life and psychological empowerment and employees' productivity. Based on our findings from the first hypothesis, a meaningful relationship between quality of work life and employees` productivity was confirmed. In this respect, it can be said that productivity will not achieve merely through salary and benefit and facility increase but productivity is closely connected to providing ground for professional improvement secure and hygienic work condition and acceptance of job as a social responsibility and increase in self-esteem in work place.

These findings are in line with that of  Salamzade (2008), Sabookro et al., Farniya and Shojaei, and Mahdizadeashrafi and Ilika. Based on research findings from the second hypothesis, a meaningful relationship between psychological empowerment and productivity was recognized. [24],[25],[26],[27]

There is a firm belief that the human can influence the outcomes by their activities. When in an organization, conditions are such that employees feel they can control the results and consequences of their work and feel that they can make the consequences change by having effect on the workplace, then they are empowered and have strong motive to work in the organization and this could increase productivity automatically. Based on this, the results are in line with the findings of Etebarian et al., Chang, Beginia et al., Sharifzade and Mohammadi Moghdam, and Ahmadiyan and Shekari. [2],[4],[28],[29],[30]

Based on the findings, the third hypothesis supports the meaningful relationship between quality of work life and psychological empowerment which indicates employees' potential talents and capabilities will flourish and they can achieve higher levels of performance in their work if adequate condition in workplace be supported. In other words, through quality of work life improvement necessary grounds and prerequisites for psychological empowerment will be provided, and through raising the feeling of job meaning, feeling of impact, trust, self-sufficiency and sense of authority, significant accomplishment will be gained. These findings support those of Suzanne and Mokhtarian et al. [21],[31]

Based on the fourth hypothesis, among variables under study in regression, the best predictive of employees' productivity are continual opportunity for security and improvement, unity and cohesion in work life, social dependency of work life, capability development and constitutionalism in organization, respectively.

Obviously as quality of work life increases, especially through components like continual opportunities for security and improvement, unity and cohesion in workplace, social dependency of work life, capability development and constitutionalism, and if the organizations can make plans to achieve them, by the same token productivity will increase. Moreover, results from the fifth hypotheses indicate that among all variables in the regression, the best predictive of productivity is impact, trust, meaning, and self-determining, respectively.

Generally findings prove that conceptual model fits data in an acceptable way so that quality of work life directly has effect on employees' empowerment (0.27) and quality of work life indirectly influences productivity through psychological empowerment (0.60). Psychological empowerment has a direct effect on employees' productivity as well (0.76). The total effect of quality of work life on productivity was (0.87). It can be implied that the direct effect of quality of work life on productivity is less than the indirect and total effect of it on productivity.

These findings suggest that in order to increase productivity in organizations, the first priority is to increase quality of work life in organizations, by doing so not only productivity will increase but also psychological empowerment in employees will be provided. And this will be a great help for increasing productivity. Therefore, to have employees' productivity it is necessary to have high quality of work life since employees spend more than one-third of their life in workplace. Productivity will increase providing that high quality of work life be there.

  References Top

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]

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