Kathleen Olen


This mixed methods research was designed to explore the factors that most impact the job satisfaction of contemporary Administrative and Executive Assistants in the United States. As part of a convergent parallel analysis, quantitative survey data and qualitative interviews were collected to correlate cognitive and affective results for an in-depth analysis. The Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) was used to examine 20 different factors of job satisfaction. Three sets of data were collected: current levels of job satisfaction for each factor, self-ranked lists of the factors indicating which factors are most-to-least important to respondents, and frequency with which factors were discussed by participants in the interviews. Anecdotal information from the interviews provided context to the data sets. The most impactful factors for this employee group were intrinsic factors, identified to be: Co-Workers, Ability Utilization, Achievement, and Responsibility. It was also reported that Responsibility acts as an antecedent factor to both Ability Utilization and Achievement. The least impactful factor was an extrinsic one: Working Conditions, while other factors that were identified to be low-impact require more research to validate. Three actionable recommendations were proposed for organizations as they seek to hire and retain administrative talent, and several related research topics were proposed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (MA) -- Organization Development; White collar workers -- Interviews; Job satisfaction -- Case studies; Employee motivation -- Testing

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Chesley, Julie;