Does social support moderate between job autonomy and job satisfaction?
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The success of the future for South African organisations relies heavily on its leadership, rather than on its management. Transformational leadership is critical to modem business, especially within the South African context. Transformational leadership is essentially about instilling a sense of purpose. in those who are led, and encouraging commitment by empowering employees through growth and development. This enables employees the opportunity to adapt and grow within organizations. The leader promotes change by creating a motivational climate which enhances growth, development, commitment, goal achievement and enjoyment. In order to facilitate the requirements of such an environment the employee needs social support that would enable job autonomy and ultimately job satisfaction. The objective of this study was to investigate the moderating effect of social support between job autonomy and job satisfaction, and to see if job satisfaction of employees in a large banking group can be predicted by their experience of job autonomy and social support in the workplace. The study was conducted within one of South Africa's leading financial institutions. In order to achieve the study objectives, data was collected from a sample (n=178) which consisted of employees ranging from junior management (CIT levels) to middle management (MIP levels). Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. Stepwise multiple regression analyses were carried out to determine whether the independent variables hold any predictive value regarding the dependent variable (job satisfaction). The results of the multiple regression revealed that gender had no effect in predicting participants' job satisfaction, indicating that effects for the other variables may operate similarly for males and females. It was found that participants' experience of autonomy, and the support they receive from colleagues are important in predicting their experiences of job satisfaction. However, the moderating effect of social support (from either colleagues or supervisor), was not supported in this research. This finding indicates that social support does not play a role in the translation of the experience of autonomy in job satisfaction. Further research into the moderating effects of social support between job autonomy and job satisfaction is warranted.