The quality of healthcare jobs: can intrinsic rewards compensate for low extrinsic rewards?

Source: Jennifer Craft Morgan, Janette Dill, Arne L Kalleberg, Work Employment & Society, Vol. 27 no. 5, October 2013

From the abstract:
Frontline healthcare worker jobs are among the fastest growing occupations in the USA. While many of these are ‘bad jobs’ with low pay and few benefits, the intrinsic nature of frontline work can also be very rewarding. This article examines the influence of extrinsic job characteristics (e.g. wages and benefits) versus intrinsic characteristics (e.g. meaningful tasks) on job satisfaction and intent to stay with one’s current employer. This article uses a mixed-methods approach, drawing on survey data collected from frontline workers and organizations in a variety of healthcare settings, as well as interview and focus group data from frontline workers to contextualize and interpret the findings in the multi-level models. The results indicate that both intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics are significant predictors of job satisfaction, but only extrinsic characteristics help explain intent to stay with the employer.