Abstract This paper presents a theoretical rationale for understanding the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance. It is argued that job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are properly conceived of as outcomes of action. The effect of performance on satisfaction is viewed as a function of the degree to which performance entails or leads to the attainment of the individual's important job values. It is acknowledged that emotions such as satisfaction and dissatisfaction are important incentives to action in that they entail action tendencies (i.e., approach and avoidance). Emotions, however, are not seen as determining action. It is argued that performance is the direct result of the individual's specific task or work goals and that these goals are, in turn, determined by the individual's values, knowledge, and beliefs in the context of the situation as he understands it.