Many managers in Kenya and around the world are faced with the problem of determining if employees are satisfied with their jobs. There is need to determine if the way a job is designed has an impact on an employee’s satisfaction level.

The purpose of this study was to determine the role of job design on employee satisfaction levels in private universities in Kenya, using Mount Kenya University as a case. The study used a case study research design to allow detailed examination of a single subject group and make conclusions.

The study covered a sample of 89 respondents drawn from a total population of 176 employees of Mount Kenya University, Thika Campus. The sample was selected through stratified sampling techniques. Primary data was collected through the use of questionnaires. A pilot study was undertaken on nine employees to test the reliability and validity of the questionnaire. The qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis. Qualitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistical tool namely frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviation while inferential statistical tools such as correlation and regression were used to determine and explain relationships between variables.

From the findings of the regression analysis, The R square value is 0.627 which clearly    suggests that there is a strong relationship between Job Satisfaction and Job Enlargement, Job Enrichment and Job Rotation. This indicates that the Job Enlargement, Job Enrichment and Job Rotation share a variation of 62.7 % of Job Satisfaction. The remaining 37% implies that there are other factors that have not been studied in this research that affect employee Job Satisfaction levels at Mount Kenya University. The results of the ANOVA test show that the mean square is 1.618 and the F-test result was 32.514 with a p-value of 0.000 < 0.05 level of significance. Therefore a significant relationship was present between the independent variables (Job Enlargement, Job Enrichment and Job Rotation) and the dependent variable (Job Satisfaction). The most important independent variable in the regression model was Job Enlargement as it had the highest Beta value of 0.474, followed by Job Enrichment with a Beta value of 0.467 and lastly Job Rotation with a beta of 0.395.

The study found out that job design affects employee satisfaction levels in Mount Kenya University, both variables move in the same direction, good job design brings more job satisfaction and bad job design brings job dissatisfaction for the employee. The study recommends that employees should be optimally utilized at the workplace though employers should be careful not to overwork their employees. It also recommends that job rotation should be done as a routine and employers should consider giving employees some sort of control over their work and more discretion over how it gets done.

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