Racial Differences in Job Satisfaction: An Explanatory Model



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Using meta-analysis, the current paper reveals a modest difference between Black and White employees in terms of job satisfaction (d = -0.13; k = 65; N = 29,560). Several potential moderators of this relationship were investigated, but only two were supported: the proportion of Black employees in the organization and historical time period (i.e., year of publication and year of data collection). Specifically, Black employees tend to be relatively more satisfied when their proportional representation is larger and White employees have tended to be relatively more satisfied than Black employees over the years, with maximal White advantage occurring at the present day. This study further attempts to investigate race effects on job satisfaction through mediational analysis, with job complexity as the mediator. This analysis at the individual level does not support job complexity as a mediator. Further analyses involving race and job complexity at the job level of analysis show promise but are not fleshed out in detail. Results are discussed in light of both the job characteristics model and frame-of-reference (Cornell model) explanations for the origin of job satisfaction.