Employee Satisfaction At ETAP

Chapter 3: Methodology

This study will explore the issue of employee retention at ETAP. The study will use a quantitative method using a survey as the research instrument. The study will provide insight into the level of job satisfaction at ETAP and employee intention to remain with the company long term. The following methodology was used in conduct of the survey.

Sample Population

ETAP has approximately 750 employees. In order to provide a sufficient sample population it was determined that a sample population of approximately 10% of the employees would be obtained. The target was to survey approximately 75 employees at the firm. Not all ETAP employees work from a central location. Some of them work at remote location at various exploration and research location in the various oil fields in Tunisia. The intention was to survey a sampling of the employee population that represented the entire employee population working in a variety of job descriptions and locations. Sampling only office workers or only field personnel might skew the results of the study. The sample population was drawn from all levels of the organization.

Recruitment for the study was on a voluntary basis. Due to the diverse locations of the employees, the survey was conducted via computer. Employees were informed of the study and then asked to participate using the computer. There were no exclusionary criteria, other than that the employee was an employee at ETAP. Employees were informed that their personal information would not be compromised and that demographic information would be used in aggregate only.

Research Procedure

The research procedure for this study involved conduct of a survey that was designed by the researcher to measure the satisfaction level of the employee. After permission was obtained to conduct the survey, the survey was emailed to the secretary of the company. The survey used checkboxes to make taking the survey fast and easy to evaluate. The secretarial staff sent out a memo recruiting for the study. Those that responded that they wished to participate were provided a copy of the survey that they could fill out and return via email. The secretary returned the surveys to the researcher at the end of the survey period for analysis.

Research Instrument

The research instrument for this study consisted of a Likert-scale type survey of 15 questions. The survey asked about various aspects of the employee’s job satisfaction. The survey asked the employees to rate their level of satisfaction with various aspects of the work environment. First part of the survey consisted of demographic information. The survey asked about the employee’s satisfaction with their work environment, communication within the company, level of autonomy, and whether they intended to remain with the company long term. It also asked them to rate their overall level of job satisfaction. This survey technique will allow the company to understand which areas of the company need to be improved upon to increase job satisfaction, employee engagement and overall commitment to the organization.


The survey questions are general in nature and were inspired by factors that were found to affect job satisfaction in the literature review. The questions did not address specific issues at ETAP because it was felt that this would reduce employee response. The answers to the survey are subjective and it is not known what factors influenced the employee’s responses. However, the sample size is sufficient to generalize the results to the population of ETAP employee.

The sampling technique of this survey was random; in as far as the researcher did not have control over the sample population. In order to keep the survey brief and to encourage responses, the survey did not go into detail about the reasons for the answers. It is not known if the survey population is representative of the employee population in other oil and gas companies in Tunisia. It is believed that the results of the study will be able to be generalized to other companies in the oil and gas industry, but there is no way to be certain.

It was felt that due to the power distance of the organization and in the ETAP organizational culture that if too much information were asked for in the survey, it would significantly cut the number of respondents due to the fear that the employee might be identified. Although this is detrimental in the ability to compare results between groups, it was felt that this would help to mask clues to the identity of the employee. It was thought that this would reduce the fears of the employee of being identified. This technique was meant to increase the honesty of the answers provided by the respondents.

Several factors limited the ability to collect data for this survey study. The first was that even though the survey was short, many employees felt that they were too busy. In addition, some were reluctant to take the survey; even though they were assured that their supervisors would not be able to identify them. Gaining access to distributing the survey at remote locations was not possible do to communication limitations at the site. It is not known if the absence of results from these sites would have skewed the results. However, it is felt that the sample population size was sufficient to overcome these difficulties.