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1 CHAPTER 1: BACKGROUND TO AND OVERVIEW OF THE RESEARCH

1.1 INTRODUCTION

This study focuses on the influence of job satisfaction on burnout among pharmaceutical sales representatives. Chapter 1 deals with the background to the research, the problem statement and the research questions, the aims of the study, the paradigm perspectives of the research, the research design, the research methodology and the layout of the chapters.

1.2 BACKGROUND TO THE RESEARCH

People are a vital component of the production factors of an organisation (Storey, 1995). A variety of factors influence their work lives. These factors affect their performance and ultimate productivity (George, 2000). Job

satisfaction is a key factor in productivity.
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Cockburn and Haydn (2004) suggest that the main problem might be that employees within organisations do not discuss the level of their job satisfaction, nor do they admit that their jobs might not be satisfying. Hence managers also find it difficult to determine whether job satisfaction is experienced in the workplace.

Cockburn and Haydn (2004) further contends that some employees might not even notice that they have a job satisfaction problem. Research (Weallens, 2000) suggests that most employees know when they have a satisfaction problem. A number of employees may feel that acknowledging the existence of a satisfaction problem is tantamount to admitting failure. Hence many employees do not want to appear weak or incompetent to their sales managers. According to Fletcher (1993), a salespersons need to be extroverts with high self-esteem and generally domineering personalities. Toloposky (2000) suggests that people with high self- esteem and domineering personalities might have difficulty admitting defeat. This conclusion further serves to highlight the fact that it may be difficult to uncover the issues related to job satisfaction or the establishment of job satisfaction levels in an organisation hence the need for a scientific study (Carrell, Elbert, Hatfieed, Grobler, Marx & Van der Schyft, 1998).

The above-mentioned fears intensify during times of change. That is, whenever organisations attempt to change, inter alia employees

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