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California State University, Long Beach
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Lisa Eshbaugh, MA

August 1993

The Effect of the 1990s Recession on the Reward Preferences of Southern California Aerospace Engineers

This study examined the effect of the current recession on Southern California aerospace engineers’ reward preferences. Past research shows that engineers typically value intrinsic rewards, including achievement. Hypothesis 1 predicted that, due to the current recession, engineers would now value job security significantly more than either the opportunity to make use of one’s abilities or accomplishment. Hypotheses 2, 3, and 4 predicted a significant negative relationship among value for job security and level of trust in management, level of satisfaction in communication with management, and level of self-esteem.
A survey, administered to 76 Southern California aerospace engineers, was composed of a combination of the Organizational Communication Questionnaire, the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, and the Job Diagnostic Survey.
T-tests for Hypothesis 1 found a significant relationship, but opposite to the predicted direction. Hypothesis 2 was not supported. Hypotheses 3 and 4 were supported.