Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Patrick D. Converse

Second Advisor

Richard L. Griffith

Third Advisor

Youngju Sohn

Fourth Advisor

Robert A. Taylor


Decent work (DW) has important implications for several aspects of people's lives. There is significant research on the societal implications of DW, but there is scant research on th e individual outcomes that are associated with DW. Using the psychology of working theory (PWT) as a theoretical framework, I explore d how access to DW can impact meaningful work ( and life satisfaction through satisfaction of different work needs as well as whether work orientation moderates the relationship s between work needs and these two outcome variables. More specifically, this thesis contribute s to our understanding of the implications of DW by (a) exploring the extent to which different aspects of DW differentially impact each of the work needs outlined in the PWT, (b) examining whether work or ientation acts as a moderator within the PWT framework, and (c) testing the entire mediation model outlined within the latter half of the PWT. To examine this, I developed two surveys to assess employed individuals. Survey one measured dispositional charac teristics, and survey two measured the focal outcome The hypotheses and research questions were examined using path analyses and relative weights analyses. Results indicated that DW was positively related to each of the work needs, MW , and life satisfaction . In addition, s ocial contribution and autonomy need satisfaction were positively related to MW , and survival, autonomy , and relatedness need satisfaction were positively related to life satisfaction Also, the indirect effects involving these need satisfacti on variables were significant Results related to the work orientation dimensions as moderat ors were mixed. Finally, o ut of the DW dimensions, complementary values accounted for the most explained variance for three out of the five work needs access to health care and safe working conditions each acc ounted for the most explained variance in one of the work needs Theoretically, this research add s to our understanding of DW and its implications at the individual level by extend ing the PWT framework to include work orientations as a relevant individual difference variable, and test ing the mediation model using the five mediators proposed in the PWT . Practically, this research may help inform organizations and decision makers regarding what aspects of DW to focus on to promote work need satisfaction and ultimately increase MW and life satisfaction outcomes of the employees wit hin their organization


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