Referent Selection: How the Women in Sport Journalism Shape Their Perceptions of Job Satisfaction

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 University of Houston
  • | 2 Palm Beach Atlantic University
  • | 3 Texas Tech University
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Job satisfaction is an essential construct explaining human behavior in organizations. To fully understand the construct, however, it is necessary to recognize how employees establish satisfaction levels. One method has been to explore who employees use as a basis of comparison—referent others—when establishing their perceptions of equity, which influence satisfaction. This study expanded the body of knowledge associated with satisfaction and sport organizations by using nontraditional participants—members of the Association for Women in Sports Media. The referent-selection processes used by these women in determining their level of satisfaction in five specific areas of job satisfaction were compared. The Job Descriptive Index was used to establish satisfaction levels, and a Referent Selection Instrument identified whom the participants used as a basis of comparison. The findings indicate the extent to which the participants made referent comparisons, what comparisons were made, and the relationship between satisfaction and their referent comparisons.

Whisenant is with the University of Houston, COE-HHP, Houston, TX 77204-6321. Pedersen is with Palm Beach Atlantic University, Rinker School of Business, P.O. Box 24708, West Palm Beach, FL 33416. Smucker is with Texas Tech University, HESS, P.O. Box 41121, Lubbock, TX 79409.

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