This study deals with the job satisfaction of women workers and managerial policies of garment companies in Bangladesh. The garment industry is the fast growing export sector of Bangladesh. More than three fourths of total foreign earnings of the country come from this sector. This sector has a low labor cost advantage in producing garments. The manufacturing technology of garment production has been changing from labor-intensive to more sophisticated and capital-intensive production. This change creates dissatisfaction for the lower skilled workers because of their inability to adapt to the new manufacturing process. Work dissatisfaction reduces the performance of workers and, in turn, company performance is negatively affected. Hence, the strategies related to the use of sophisticated technology and to manage human resources for the production of garments for the international markets are crucial. Therefore, this study evaluates the impact of technological change on job satisfaction of women garment workers in Bangladesh. It also explores the strategies for decreasing dissatisfaction of lower skilled workers. The study identifies the relationship between job satisfaction and the overall impact of the change. A set of job satisfaction variables was developed from the Technological Change Survey (Slem and Levi, 1995). The overall impact is defined as how workers see the impact of change on income and benefits to the family, and the identity they have as a wage earner. The specific relationship between job satisfaction and the overall impact shows that fair pay, task significance, bureaucracy, conflicts, and sharing information are significantly related. Task significance and information sharing are positively related to the overall impact. Fair pay, bureaucracy, and conflicts are negatively and significantly related to the overall impact. Less fair pay, high bureaucracy, and more conflicts cause a limited positive overall impact on women workers. The positive relationships to technological change include improvement of task significance, salary increase, improvement of the quality of supervision, improved co-workers relations and increase benefits. The negative consequences are unfair pay, work dissatisfaction, bureaucracy, conflicts between management and workers, decreased information sharing, and decreased promotions for workers. Managers, in such a situation, may not be able to resist the increasing change required because of the new technologies but they can do more to manage the change through reducing the level of unfairness in all respects, the level of bureaucracy, the level of conflicts between workers and management, and increasing information sharing with workers. This could be achieved through appropriate human resource policies such as, fair pay, rewards for work, attention to the subordinates' feelings, work redesign, communicating company goals to workers, sharing information, increasing benefits, increasing promotions, and above all providing more skill training to women garment workers.
Management and Labour Studies