The relationship between job and life satisfaction: Evidence from a remote mining community

The relationship between job and life satisfaction: Evidence from a remote mining community Journal Article

Human Relations

  • Author(s): Iverson, R.D., MaGuire, C.
  • Published: 2000
  • Volume: 53

Abstract: Although the relationship between job and life satisfaction has attracted much attention, little research has been undertaken in geographically remote settings. This study addresses this deficiency by testing a causal model that incorporates job-related, personal, environmental and community-related variables. The LISREL results, based on a sample of 286 male employees from an open-cut coal mine in remote central Queensland, Australia, indicate that the community variables of family isolation and kinship support have the largest total (direct and indirect) effects on life satisfaction. Job satisfaction is found to be the next most important factor, and mediates the impact of routinization, industrial relations (IR) climate, promotional productivity, work overload, family isolation, kinship support, positive affectivity, community participation, and negative affectivity on life satisfaction. In addition, job satisfaction is observed to have a stronger effect on life satisfaction than vice versa. The implications of these findings for organisations operating in remote regions are discussed.

Notes: This pape provides a connection between mining employees and social implications, through the author's analysis of mining employees' satisfaction with their lives and their work. Research Aims: The aim of the research was to make a theoretical contribution to the job-life satisfaction literature by including community-related variables, as well as considering the nature of the sample (that is coal miners) and the remote context of the setting. The results suggested that job satisfaction had a positive and direct impact on life satisfaction. The effect of job satisfaction on life satisfaction was significantly larger than that for life satisfaction on job satisfaction. It clearly indicated that they are mutually reinforcing and suggested the need for organisations operating in isolated regions to be aware of both work and non-work environments. Job satisfaction was also found to mediate the impact of other job-related, personal and environmental variables. As expected, community variables were most important in predicting life satisfaction in this isolated setting. Community characteristics: The paper discusses some community characteristics associated with remoteness, with family isolation being the most important determinant of life satisfaction. This was considered to be a non-work cost of living in such a location. Isolation is discussed further in relation to physical and social dimensions; reporting that social and emotional isolation have been associated with many problems including stress, a sense of confinement (eg lack of transportation, or available child-care), a perceived inability to escape and even depression. The authors comment on (a) a 'hardship' allowance provided by the mining organisation (2) the fact that prospective employees and their families receive little to no cultural training on the town and the community that they will encounter. It is reported that this raises a major issue associated with isolated settings - the role of social support. Discussion: Part of the discussion outlines the following (a) that the study contributes to the understanding of life satisfaction (b) that community characteristics of family isolation and kinship support should be given greater attention by researchers and practitioners (c) that the social well-being of employees is directly linked to work activities (d) that the research serves to highlight the economic, social, and psychological factors encountered by employees working and living in remote geographical regions.

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Suggested Citation
Iverson, R.D., MaGuire, C., 2000, The relationship between job and life satisfaction: Evidence from a remote mining community, Volume:53, Journal Article, viewed 18 August 2022,

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