Role of work ethic in the work–life satisfaction relationship: a longitudinal moderation model. By: Jing, E.L. and Yan, N. 2024. Journal of Managerial Psychology. Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 52-66.

The authors examine the longitudinal relationship between work satisfaction and life satisfaction, and the moderating role of work ethic.
The authors use a nationally representative sample of Dutch working adults (N = 1020; three waves over five years) and take a model comparison approach to identify the longitudinal relationship between work satisfaction and life satisfaction. To test the moderating effects of work ethic, the authors use conditional process analyses.

The authors find more evidence as to how work satisfaction and life satisfaction are positively and reciprocally linked over time using longitudinal data. More importantly, work ethic strengthens the positive effect of work satisfaction on life satisfaction, but no such moderating role is observed as to the effect from life satisfaction to work satisfaction.
Practical implications
The findings raise awareness that employees’ overall happiness in life matters to workplace satisfaction. More importantly, one effective strategy to promote work satisfaction is to design work that nurtures strong work ethic – measures that help employees see more value in their work.
The findings regarding the role of work ethic show that the conservation of resources theory can be an informative lens to understand the work–life satisfaction relationship. For individuals with strong work ethic, work satisfaction constitutes a more salient form of psychological resources benefiting their overall life satisfaction.