American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 2013, 3, 719-724
Published Online December 2013 (
Open Access AJIBM
The Differences of Factors Influencing Employees’
—Comparison Based on Enterprise Ownership
Shu Zhou, Ling Qiu
Shanghai University of Engineering Science, Shanghai, China.
Received October 29th, 2013; revised November 29th, 2013; accepted December 6th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Shu Zhou, Ling Qiu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. In accor-
dance of the Creative Commons Attribution License all Copyrights © 2013 are reserved for SCIRP and the owner of the intellectual
property Shu Zhou, Ling Qiu. All Copyright © 2013 are guarded by law and by SCIRP as a guardian.
As a measure of enterprise development, affecting an important indicator of business performance, employee happi-
ness’s affecting factors have drawn more and more widespread attention. However, are the factors affecting their hap-
piness in enterprises of different ownership in the same way? This paper selects four dimensions: total compensation,
organizational commitment, self-realization and health concerns from the degree of influence on employees by a sub-
jective and psychological comprehensive measure of well-being; We build a theoretical model of comprehensive hap-
piness for employees. We also use the correlation analysis and regression analysis under different ownership forms to
find out the factors affecting their well-being. The results showed that factors about employees’ happiness are different
under different ownershi p o f ent e rprises.
Keywords: Employee Happiness; Total Compensation; Organizational Commitment; Enterprise Ownership
1. Introduction
After entering the 21st century, the global economy con-
tinues to develop fast and people’s material life has
greatly expanded. Meanwhile there is an increasing call
for the satisfaction of spiritual world. Tal Ben-Shahar,
who taught Harvard’s most popular elective course
“Happiness Course”, also firmly believes that: “Happi-
ness is the sole criterion for measuring life as well as the
ultimate goal of all life goals.” Li Ning (2010) believes
that in order to implement people-oriented management
in the enterprise, we must first focus on grass-roots
staff’s happiness and activate employee’s enthusiasm,
initiative and creativity [1]. As to the studies on happi-
ness, the maturer view is to divide it into two orientation s:
one is subjective well-being (SWB) represented by Die-
ner and the other is psychological well-being (PWB)
represented by Ryff’s. SWB happiness is named after the
people’s subjective feelings while PWB puts more em-
phasis on the psychological experience brought by
self-realization. Research on the former has become a
priority area of positive ps ychology; h owever, SWB does
not directly mean employee’s happiness. The more ex-
tensively used meaning of employee’s happiness is pro-
posed by Warr (1987): staff’s overall quality assessment
is about experience and responsibilities for their own
work [2].
2. Literature Review
This paper tries to review the literature from two angles:
the structural dimensions of employee’s well-being and
factors that affect employee’s happiness. There are still
controversial opinions on employee’s well-being dimen-
sion problem. Huhtala (2007) selected job burnout and
work engagement as the two extreme perspectives of
employee’s well-being [3]. Hans (2010) divided the
work-related well-being into two asp ects: job satisfaction
and job burnout [4]. Domestic scholar Wen Feng (2006)
concluded through empirical research that in mainland
China cultura l backgroun d, work happ iness is a structural
model of seven factors, including the value of work, en-
vironmental controlling, benefits, autonomy, self-accep-
tance, interpersonal relations and development outlook
The Differences of Factors Influencing Employees’ Happiness
[5]. Miao Yuanjiang (2009) incorporated nine dimensions
of subjective well-being and psychological well-being
in his book and established a local and integrated tool for
assessing happiness—“Multiple Happiness Question-
naire” (MHQ) [6]. Feng Dongdong, etc. (2008) pointed
out that job satisfaction, physical health and mental
health described staff’s work and the physical and mental
state which can collectively called work happiness [7].
Some scholars have studied the different effective
factors of employees’ happiness. Hans (2010) d iscovered
that job insecurity has a significant negative impact on
happiness while respectively researching on job insecu-
rity and happiness relationship at the quantity an d quality
level [4]. Wegge (2006) found that organizational iden-
tity is an independent predictor of job satisfaction, turn-
over intention, organizational citizenship behavior and
employee’s well-being, and employee with high organ-
izational identity showed higher work motivation and
employee well-being [8]. Domestic scholar Teng Qingan
(2007) used economic income, social status, relationships,
health, education and leisure these 6 indicators as social
indicators for researching staff well-being when compare
employees’ happiness in different ownership enterprises
[9]. Deng Bo and Ma Zhanjie (2008) divided these factors
into four elements: organizational commitment, psycho-
logical ownership, full pay and job security through
building staff’s SWB formation mechanism model, indi-
cating that the theoretical model can effectively improve
employee well-being and the organizational cohesion
[10]. Based on previous studies, this paper attempts to
build a more comprehensive employee happiness index
system, considering both the subjective and psychologi-
cal dimensions and explore the different factors that af-
fect their well-being based on the different ownership
3. The Putting Forward of Hypotheses
The questionnaire major integrated Deng Bo and Ma
Zhanjie’s formation mechanism model on employee’s
SWB and the psychological well-being dimensions used
in Miao Yuanjiang’s comprehensive happiness ques-
tionnaire, selecting total compensation, organizational
commitment, self-realization and health concerns these
four indicators to comprehensively consider employees’
happiness and building a theoretical model of staff’s
comprehensive happiness (see Figure 1).
3.1. Total Compensation
Total Compensation contains 16 dimensions, of which
there are 12 significantly correlated with employees’
SWB [11]. Wang Lingyun and Liu Hong (2007) con-
cluded that although the pay system in all kinds of own-
ership are biased to mechanical compensation system,
but foreign companies attach the most importance to po-
sition payment and external equity, while state-owned
enterprises put the most emphasis on internal equity and
private enterprises see the highest degree of attention to
performance based on empirical analysis of different
ownership enterprises’ pay system [12]. Wang Wen
(2009) proved that state-owned enterprises’ return rate on
employees’ education and work experience is much lower
than that in non-state-owned enterprises, resulting state-
owned enterprises’ deteriorating technical talent through
empirical and commentary study from home and abroad
Accordingly, we propose Hypothesis 1: the perfection
degree of total compensation significantly affects happi-
ness of employees.
3.2. Organizational Commitment
The higher organizational commitment of employees can
enhance employees’ organizational loyalty and depend-
ence, increase their sense of ownership and thus increase
the employee’s subjective well-being [10]. Liu Xiaoping
(2003) found throu gh a compar ative study that managers
and general staff’s level of emotional commitment in
state-owned enterprises and foreign invested enterprises
are on the contrary. Organizational culture under the for-
eign background sees heavily on economic exchange,
which is closely associated with the continued commit-
ment. Organizational culture under the state-owned en-
terprises sees heavily on social exchange, which is
closely associated with the emotional commitment [14].
Xin Xun (2006) explored the interrelation between total
compensation and organizational commitment targeted
groups of knowledge workers, which found that overall
satisfaction with the total compensation has a significant
positive correlation with organizational commitment,
emotional commitment, continuous commitment and
normative commitment and the overall pay satisfaction
affects organizational citizenship behavior, performance,
and turnover rates by influencing organizational com-
mitment [15].
Accordingly, we propose Hypothesis 2: the validity
level of organizational commitment significantly affects
employ ees ’ happiness.
3.3. Self-Realization
Self-realization need is the highest requirement of
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Aristotle’s Realization
Theory considers the true meaning of happiness is not
joy and self-realization is the only source of happiness.
Zhang Lu and Zuo Bin (2007) indicated through re-
searches that self-realization is the theoretical basis of
psychological well-being and philosophical roots and
hey also affirmed the importance of self-realization for t
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The Differences of Factors Influencing Employees’ Happiness
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Sense of success
Sense of value
Enterprise performance
Emot i onal com mitment
Normative commitment
Continued commitment
Ideal commitment
Total compensation:
Intrinsi c com pe nsa t ion
External compensation
Employees’ happiness
Health concerns:
Car e about health
Treasure life
Good lifestyle
Figure 1. Theoretical model of staff’s comprehensive happiness.
happiness [16]. Miao Yuanjiang (2011), etc. studied the
new perspective of realizing happiness based on identity
theory, theory of self-determination and self-purpose
theory and believed that it constitute the overall frame-
work of individual happiness with subjective well-being
and psychological well-being [17].
Accordingly, we propose Hypothesis 3: self-fulfilling
satisfaction significantly affects employees’ well-being.
3.4. Health Concerns
“The body is the capital for revolution.” Enterprises
should focus on employee health and leisure, increase
investment in employee health and let them really feel
satisfied. Teng Qingan (2007) pointed out that in enter-
prises of different ownership, employee’s health and lei-
sure are different in the study of factors affecting em-
ployee well-being. The correlation value between leisure
activities satisfaction and people’s life satisfaction is 0.42
[9]. Miao Yuanjian g also put h ealth and leisu re as an im-
portant dimension into the comprehensive happiness
questionnaire in his book “Psychology’s Perspective of
Accordingly, we propose Hypothesis 4: the degree of
concern for their own health significantly affects em-
ployees’ well-being.
3.5. The Impact of Different Enterprises
Many companies have seen enhancing employee well-
being as one of important organizational goals. However,
under different ownership enterprises, corporate culture,
remuneration system, and organizational management all
have different characteristics. Zhang Xinggui (2011)
showed through empirical research that employees’ sat-
isfaction in different ownership enterprises is signifi-
cantly different. The well-being of employees from pri-
vate enterprises was significantly lower than that of em-
ployees from state-owned enterprises and joint-stock
enterprise [18].
Therefore, we propose Hypothesis 5: the factors of
employee well-being are significantly different in enter-
prises of different ownership.
4. Research Design
4.1. Sample Selection and Data Sources
This questionnaire is design ed by using a combination of
Yang Yuanjiang’s comprehensive Happiness Question-
naire and Yang Xinxin’s (2009) happiness questionnaire
[19]. It is more prominent in the integration of subjective
well-being and psychology well-being, selecting com-
prehensive compensation, organizational commitment,
self-fulfillment and health concerns these four dimen-
sions. And we use 5 Likert scale for positive rating,
which means “1” represents strongly disagree and “5”
represents very consistent. We also use SPSS16.0 as the
statistical analysis tools.
The Survey’s data is collected through questionnaires
to enterprises and institutions mainly for the Yangtze
River Delta region. We received a total of 150 question-
naires, among which are 110 valid questionnaires and th e
effective rate was 73%. And th e number of samples from
private enterprises is 60, foreign-funded enterprises 15
samples and state-owned enterprises 35.
4.2. Measurement of Study Variables
The total compensation dimension set 10 test items, us-
ing individual level measurement and allowing respon-
dents to describe the degree of realization of their ex-
pected job return from compensation and benefits, train-
ing opportunities, working conditions, relationships and
other aspects.
The Differences of Factors Influencing Employees’ Happiness
Organizational commitment is designed to allow each
respondent to describe their identity, sense of belonging
and loyalty to the organization from their own perspec-
tive. These aspects clearly reflect the degree of realize-
tion of organizational commitments to employees, which
determines the psychological distance between employee
and organization. Th is part has a total of nine test items.
Self-realization dimension focuses on reflecting re-
spondents’ subjective feelings of self-evaluation, invest-
tigating their satisfaction of their own value, quality and
working conditions and these aspects have a great influ-
ence on employees’ psychological well-being. This part
has a total of eight test items.
Health concern is also an important dimension which
affects employees’ psychological well-being. This part
has a total of four test items, focusing on reflecting re-
spondents’ satisfaction of physical fitness and lifestyle.
Sample’s reliability and validity. Through the Cron-
bach’s α value test of staff happiness factors’ dimensions,
we measured the internal consistency between the ques-
tions. The results showed the Cronbach’s α value of em-
ployees’ happiness, total compensation, organizational
commitment, self-realization, and health concern were
0.821, 0.887, 0.760, 0.860 and 0.762, which are all over
the recommended 0.7; therefore, the sample has a high
5. Empirical Analysis
This paper focuses on the research of what are the exist-
ing different factors about staff’s happiness under differ-
ent ownership. Therefore, we first discuss whether there
are some differences on employees’ happiness in dif-
ferent ownership enterprises. Then we use correlation
analysis to examine the correlation between the inde-
pendent variables and the dependent variable and regres-
sion analysis to test factors of employees’ happiness in
different ownership enterprises.
5.1. Variance Analysis of Employees’ Happiness
in Different Enterprises Ownership
In contrast, there do exist differences among employees
from different ownership enterprises. Private enterprises’
employee has the strongest happiness with an average
score of 3.37; foreign enterprises scored 3.29; while as
the weakest, state-owned enterprises scored 2.93. Mean-
while, the single-factor analysis of variance showed that
employees’ happiness of different ownership enterprises
differs at the 0.05 level.
5.2. Correlation Analysis
Through correlation analysis of the overall sample, Ta-
ble 1 can be obtained from which we know that total
compensation and organizational commitment are posi-
tive correlated with employees’ happiness at the level of
0.01 and correlation coefficient are 0.910,0.637, sup-
porting the Hypothesis 1,2. And the accompanied prob-
ability Sig. of self-realization and health concerns are
0.02, 0.04, both less than the significant level of 0.05.
This describes a significant correlation between self-
realization, health concern and employees’ happiness,
and the correlation coefficients are 0.503, 0.453, and thus
support Hypothesis 3, 4.
5.3. Regression Analysis
To further verify the hypothesis, we use the regression
analysis for the multiple linear regr ession about the over-
all sample, state-owned enterprises, foreign-funded enter-
prises and private enterprises samples. The results are
shown in Table 2.
From Table 2 we can see, there are differences on the
impact factors of employees’ happiness in state-owned
enterprises, foreign-funded enterprises and private enter-
prises. In state-owned enterprises, the significance level
of total compensation and organizational commitment
are over 0.01, and self-realization’s significance level is
more than 0.05 while health concern has little effect on
its employees’ happiness. In foreign-funded enterprises,
the total compensation affects employees’ well-being at
the significant level of 0.01; organizational commitment
and health concerns are at the 0.05 significance level and
self-realization is not played a significant influence. For
private enterprises, total compensation, organizational
commitment and self-realization all have reached a sig-
nificant level of 0.01, indicating that the three variables
has a significant effect on staff well-being. Thus, it can
be seen that in different ownership enterprises, the fac-
tors that affect employees’ well-be ing are d iffered, wh ich
supporting Hypothesis 5.
6. Conclusions and Discussion
The empirical results show that total compensation, or-
ganizational commitment, self-realization, and health
concerns have a significant impact on happiness of em-
ployees and in different ownership of enterprises, the
factors that affect employees’ well-being are different,
mainly in the follo wing asp e cts:
First, for state-owned enterprises, the total compensa-
tion and organizational commitment are major factors
that affect their employees’ happiness. This is due to a
better welfare and because the overall salary level is high
in state-owned enterprises and state-owned enterprises
have more strengthen caste system, making employees
feel strong emotional commitment, normative commit-
ment and ideal commitment. Self-realization signifi-
cantly affects happiness of employees from state-owned
nterprises, indicating that the fair and equitable devel- e
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The Differences of Factors Influencing Employees’ Happiness
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Table 1. Correlation analysis of employees’ happiness in sample companies.
Happiness Health
concerns Total
compensation Organizational
commitment Self-realization
Pearson correlation 1
Happiness Significance (two tails)
Pearson correlation 0.453* 1
Health concerns Significance (two tails) 0.004
Pearson correlation 0.910** 0.365** 1
Total compensation Significance (two tails) 0.000 0.000
Pearson correlation 0.637** 0.264* 0.373** 1
commitment Significance (two tails) 0.000 0.012 0.000
Pearson correlation 0.503* 0.605** 0.352** 0.298* 1
Self-realization Significance (two tails) 0.002 0.000 0.001 0.004
Notes: **significantly related at the 0.01 level (two tails), *significantly related at the 0.05 level (two tails).
Table 2. Different samples’ regression analysis comparison.
Total samples State-owned enterprisesForeign-founded enterprises Private enterprises
Variables Standardized coefficient Standardized coefficientStandardized coefficient Standardized coefficient
Total compensation 0.287** 0.148** 0.246** 0.609**
Organizational commitment 0.499** 0.914** 0.203* 0.305**
Self-realization 0.099 0.134* - 0.368**
Health concerns - - 0.123* -
R 0.708 0.836 0.548 0.867
R2 0.501 0.698 0.300 0.752
Adjusted R2 0.477 0.638 0.285 0.731
Notes: **Significant at 0.01 level, *Significant at 0.05 level.
opment space and the affirmation of employees’ value
are closely linked with the employees’ happiness. While
the health concerns of SOE employees’ happiness are not
significant, possibly because employees bear more psy-
chological pressure and the pressure on the body is rela-
tively small, so the degree of concern for health is not
Second, for foreign-funded enterprises, total compen-
sation has the greatest impact on employees’ well-being.
In these enterprises, human resource management poli-
cies are more comprehensive, and training, performance
and compensation systems are relatively mature. Foreign
companies employ more humane management so staff’s
intrinsic and extrinsic salaries have got a great incentive.
The results show that organizational commitment and health
concerns also have a significant influence on staff’s
well-being. On the one hand, since the foreign enter-
prise has a mature management system, its organizational
promotion and employees’ career development are rela-
tively clear. On the other hand, employees in the for-
eign-founded companies are under the heavy load of
tasks and they are in urgent need to strengthen the health
training and better enjoy life. While the self-realization’s
effect on the happiness of employees is not significant
under the foreign work environment, the importance and
influence of teamwork is far greater than the individual,
and personal values are often ignored.
Third, as to the private enterprise, its main factors of
employees’ well-being are comprehensive compensation
and self-realization. Private enterprises have more re-
laxed working atmosphere for employees and give full
play to their talents to provide a space for development;
and in recent years, China’s increasing support for pri-
vate enterprises, makes employees’ work very satisfying.
The Differences of Factors Influencing Employees’ Happiness
Organizational commitment also significantly affects
employees’ happiness. When employees feel no reward,
their happiness will be greatly reduced. Health concern s’
influence on staff’s well-being is not significant, ind icat-
ing that many employees in private enterprises are com-
mitted to seeking better career development; although
they are facing the heavy work pressure, health factors
can not significan tly increas e their happiness.
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