Financial rewards and intrinsic motivation: a self-determination perspective

Corduneanu, Roxana - Iuliana (2020) Financial rewards and intrinsic motivation: a self-determination perspective. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The relationship between work motivation and rewards has long been considered in organisational studies, and yet literature examining the impact of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation has remained largely inconclusive, showing evidence for both positive (crowding in) effects and negative (crowding out) effects. The aim of this research is to reconcile these important debates in the literature by considering the influence of several factors that can help explain the divergent findings. Drawing on self-determination theory, this study considers the role of autonomy, competence and relatedness need satisfaction in mediating the relationship between performance-continent rewards and intrinsic motivation. In addition, it further examines the role of two contextual factors (intrinsically-motivating job characteristics and managerial support) and one person-specific factor (individual causality orientations reflecting specific approaches to behaviour regulation) in moderating this relationship.

Quantitative survey data was collected from more than 800 participants working across a range of different industries in the UK, and several hypotheses were tested through structural equation modelling (SEM). Results show that performance-contingent pay is negatively related to employees’ satisfaction with each of the three basic needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness, which, in turn, leads to decreased intrinsic motivation. In addition, results show that intrinsically-motivating job characteristics and individual causality orientations significantly moderate this relationship. These findings, therefore, deepen our understanding of the conditions in which intrinsic motivation is supported vs hindered by performance-contingent rewards, and suggest a means of reconciling key debates in the motivation literature. Furthermore, these results provide important implications for organisations relying on reward contingencies to motivate staff, drawing attention to alternative means of compensation that can effectively sustain intrinsic motivation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: performance-contingent rewards, motivation, intrinsic motivation, self-determination theory, crowding in, crowding out.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Funder's Name: ESRC
Supervisor's Name: Dudau, Dr. Adina
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Roxana-Iuliana Corduneanu
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81285
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2020 05:43
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 08:11
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81285

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