Employee Satisfaction At ETAP


Job satisfaction is used to describe a feeling or attitude that individuals have about their job. Job satisfaction means that a person is happy with their job and feels a sense of engagement and loyalty towards it. A person with high job satisfaction is a valuable employee because they are likely to be concerned about doing quality work and are likely to want to stay with the company for a long period of time. A satisfied employee is an asset to the company because they gain years of valuable experience to the organization. Job Satisfaction is a topic that has garnered extensive attention from the academic community. This research will explore employee job satisfaction at one of Tunisia’s biggest oil producing companies.

Background of the Study

Oil production is one of the biggest industries in Tunisia. On a global basis, Tunisian oil production is small, compared to the big producers such as Saudi Arabia. However, it has been recently discovered that Tunisia’s oil basin holds more than was originally thought. As a result, the Tunisian oil industry has become a major target for large investment. This potential for growth means major opportunities for Tunisia’s major oil producers. It is important that they are ready to meet the challenges of the future with a staff that is committed and ready to offer the highest quality possible.

Employee satisfaction will play an important role in assuring that Tunisian oil companies are ready to meet the challenges of the future. For this reason, this research study will explore the level of employee satisfaction at one of the biggest oil producing companies in Tunisia, Entreprise Tunisienne d'Activités Pétrolières (ETAP). This state-owned company is expected to lead the way in oil exploration and in tapping the potential of undiscovered oil in Tunisia’s oil fields.

About ETAP

ETAP, is a state-owned oil exploration and production company in Tunisia. It operates domestically, as well as in partnership with foreign investors. The company was established in 1972 as a means to attract foreign investors to explore the funding of Tunisia’s basins, particularly the smaller oil fields. As of 2012, the company had 60 working partnerships, with 32 new opportunities that could be funded by investors. ETAP has approximately 750 employees that are with the core organization, an even more if one considers the number of companies that they manage.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to explore the level of employee satisfaction at this state-owned enterprise. This study will provide insights as to the quality of the staff and their ability to drive the company into the future as it prepares for the upcoming expansion in the oil and gas industry. It is imperative to have a staff that not only has the technical qualifications, but that also has the commitment to perform quality work in the most efficient manner possible. Employees are the most important elements in the success of this industry.

The purpose of this research is to determine the level of employee satisfaction at ETAP and to determine how they could improve their levels of employee satisfaction. The study will result in actions that can be taken to improve the efficiency of their work staff. Even if the study results reveal that employee satisfaction levels are high, there is always room for improvement. This research will result in a course of action that can be taken to improve employee satisfaction.

Significance of Study

The importance of the oil industry in Tunisia cannot be overestimated, particularly in light of the expected growth in the future. The results of this study will help the largest oil and gas industry oversight organization in the nation by providing insight into how it might improve its ability to serve the oil and gas industry more effectively in the future. The study is of interest to several different groups. The first is that it will help ETAP improve its operations and to improve employee retention. This research will help ETAP develop a more experienced and consistent staff. This improved employee retention and experience will result a staff that is better prepared to take on the growth of the industry in the future.

The study will be of direct benefit to ETAP, but it will also be of benefit to other companies in the industry as well. The working conditions in the oil and gas industry are similar, regardless of the company that one works for in the industry. The results of this study will be able to be applied to other companies in the Tunisian oil and gas industry as well. This study will help to transform the Tunisian oil and gas industry into a state of readiness for growth.


The research study will be driven by a central hypothesis that will serve as guidance for the conduct of this study. The hypothesis is that, “definitive actions can be identified that will lead to overall improved performance at ETAP.” This hypothesis is directly related to the purpose of the research in developing a plan to improve employee performance at ETAP, and that can be applied to other companies in the Tunisian oil and gas industry.

Research Questions

Aside from the central hypothesis, the following research questions will help to provide deeper insight into the underlying issues of the Tunisian oil and gas industry. The research will consider the following research questions in the analysis.

  1. What factors are important to employee satisfaction among ETAP employees?
  2. What are the major issues concerning employee satisfaction?
  3. How stable is the workforce at ETAP in terms of future plans to leave the company?
  4. What actions can ETAP take to improve employee satisfaction in the future?

Definition of Terms

The topic of employee satisfaction has been around for some time. As study of the topic developed, it began to branch out into several related areas. This resulted in the development of different terminology to describe the employee satisfaction, but not all of them have the same definition. Yet, the literature often uses these terms interchangeably. The following will examine the definition of key terminology, as it applies to this research study.

Employee Empowerment – The terms employee empowerment signifies a sense of control or autonomy on the job. The empowered employee will feel a sense of ownership in the company. They will feel responsible for the overall outcomes of their work on the company. They are often conscientious workers who want to do their best job out of a sense of responsibility to the company.

Employee Engagement – This is a term that has surface recently in literature. Employee engagement and employee satisfaction are often used interchangeably in the literature, but they are not the same. Employee engagement is an employee that has an emotional attachment to the workplace, but may or may not have a sense of happiness. It is possible for an employee to be engaged, but not entirely happy. There are many different reasons why an employee may feel a sense of engagement.

Employee Satisfaction – This term refers a certain emotional state of peace about the employee’s job. There are certain factors that could affect their level of satisfaction with their job. Some of these factors are things that the employer can change. Others are outside their level of control and influence. A satisfied employee has an air of overall peace and contentment about their job.

The definitions of these three terms are abstract and because they lack concrete criteria, their definitions often drift or blend, but they are three different terms for three different concepts. These three terms could be called the 3Es of job retention. All three of these factors have an impact on employee turnover and the quality of work that workers perform. This research will use the above definitions and distinctions when referring to the level of employee satisfaction at ETAP.


The oil and gas industry in Tunisia is poised for rapid growth and expansion in the near future. In order to meet the challenges that lie ahead, the industry must be ready to provide employees that are ready for these challenges. ETAP is the largest oil company in the nation. It is a government owned entity that provides oversight and licensing for the other smaller companies operating in Tunisia. A quality staff will be even more important in the future than it is today. This is the purpose behind this research study.

This research explored the need for this study in relation to the anticipated future growth of the oil and gas industry in Tunisia. In order to meet the demands of its customers, Tunisian oil and gas companies will need to develop the best staff possible. Employees that are happy with their work and who feel a sense of commitment will provide the best chance for successful growth in the future.

The results of this study will result in an assessment of the most important factors that will affect the level of job empowerment, engagement, and satisfaction at ETAP and other companies in the Tunisian oil and gas industry. This will lead to an overall improvement of employee performance. The study will use a quantitative survey that will explore factors that will help employees at ETAP to become more empowered, engaged, and satisfied with their work environment.

This research will take a different approach to the topic than previous research studies. Previous research only focused on one of the elements of a successful employee relationship. This research will examine employee empowerment, engagement, and satisfaction as all important elements of building the type of employee that will be loyal and committed to the company for many years to come. This research will develop a survey that will examine all three of these elements in combination. This research takes the stance that all three of these elements are equally important in the ability to meet the challenges of the future.

The research will be divided into five chapters. Chapter One outlines the purpose of the research and the significance of the research study. It provides an overview of the research. Chapter Two consists of a literature review of relevant academic literature on employee empowerment, employee engagement, and employee satisfaction. It will serve as background for the development of the survey. It will also place the research within its place in the academic literature. Chapter Three will outline the survey instrument and research procedures. It will provide information on how the study was conducted. Chapter Four will present the results of the survey. Chapter Five will provide a discussion of the findings of the study will draw the research conclusions.

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