Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Patricia H. Duncan


Post-industrial society in the United States is characterized by a knowledge explosion which has been accompanied by an increase in occupational complexity and specialization and the ongoing need to upgrade knowledge and higher education at the master’s level, especially in professional programs. Research supports a consensus about the positive outcomes of master’s education in general, however, conflicting data exist regarding master’s degree programs in business, including criticisms of graduates, declining application and enrollment patterns, and concerns on the part of graduates with the major organizational changes which are occurring in the workplace as post-industrial society moves from a goods-producing to an information- or knowledge-producing society.

The study examined the relationship among job satisfaction, educational satisfaction, and post-industrial change for a randomized, stratified sample of 1,000 graduates of master’s degree programs in business, 1970 to 1990. Data were collected from a mailed survey questionnaire (N=314) which included questions developed by the investigator to obtain demographic, educational, and employment information and the 1967 Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (long-form) to obtain an overall measure of current job satisfaction and measures of individual job satisfaction factors.

The study’s findings suggest (1) that graduates of master’s degree programs in business are moderately satisfied with their current jobs; (2) that the intrinsic factors of moral values, activity, responsibility, creativity, and achievement are the most satisfying components of job satisfaction; (3) that security and the extrinsic factors of compensation, supervision-technical, company policies and practices, and advancement are the least satisfying components of job satisfaction; (4) that graduates are moderately to highly satisfied with their master’s degree education in business; (5) that they appear to have been involved to a high degree in some form of post-industrial change; and (6) that overall job satisfaction, educational satisfaction, and involvement in post-industrial change appear to be related (p ≤ .05). Statistical significance was observed, as well, between involvement in positive or negative post-industrial change and gender, ethnicity, age, master’s degree program, master's degree date, undergraduate degree discipline, current job function, current industry type, salary, current job tenure, and current job industry.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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