Facet Importance and Job Satisfaction: Two Experimental Tests of Locke's Range of Affect Hypothesis



Two 2×2 (Facet Importance × Facet Amount) factorial experiments tested Locke's (1969, 1976) hypothesis that facet importance moderates the range of affective reactions. Written excerpts from letters, interview transcripts, and employee handbooks were used to create scenarios which manipulated the importance and current amount of two target job facets: freedom to do things one's own way on the job, and amount of face-to-face contact with customers/clients. As predicted, significant Facet Importance × Facet Amount interactions showed that facet satisfaction was influenced more strongly by differences in facet amount when the facet was high in importance than when it was low in importance. Subjects in the high-importance condition, relative to subjects in the low-importance condition, were more satisfied with high facet amounts and more dissatisfied with low facet amounts. Discussion focused on the convergence of results from research using different methods to test the range of affect hypothesis.