Research & Enquiry – Assignment Two

Research & Enquiry - Assignment Two

In what ways can an organisation increase an employee’s work motivation?

1.0 Introduction

The main objective of human resource management is to ensure long term organisational performance by aiming for optimal employee productivity (Hanaysha & Majid, 2018). Employees are an organisation’s most valuable assets and managers are always looking for ways to create, harness and sustain employee motivation towards this goal. Put AMO here?

Motivation can be defined as the degree to which an individual wants and chooses to engage in a behaviour (Kim et al., 2015). Studying motivation shines a light on what moves people to act, and why people think and do what they do (Wigfield et al., 2015). Understanding this within a workplace setting is of importance to managers as there is a strong relation between higher employee motivation and positive outcomes on an organisational level (Deci et al., 2017). This is because increased motivation leads to things like improved employee performance, lower sickness absence, and more innovation (Gagné & Deci, 2005, Schaufeli et al., 2009).

The AMO framework by Appelbaum et al. (2000) describes how the interplay of three elements make up the core of an employee’s performance and indicate how it can be enhanced. To do well in their work an employee needs to have the ability (i.e. the necessary capabilities) and adequate motivation, and their employer has to provide them with opportunities to participate. RELEVANT? Or just refer to later in the body and conclusion?

(3) the opportunity to perform, or how the involvement and job design may reduce turnover and absenteeism (Appelbaum, Bailey, Berg, & Kalleberg, 2000; Katou & Budhwar, 2010)

Employee performance improves because when an employee is well motivated it increases their productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency (Hanaysha & Majid, 2018). In turn increased employee performance affects the overall organisational performance (ref).

Motivation generates a desire within an employee to dedicate their abilities to performance. Thus, a motivated employee will try to accomplish a work-related goal. It is essential for employers to understand the importance of employee motivation, as the success of any organisation depends on employees’ performance (Govindarajulu and Daily, 2004). (Mahmoud et al 2020).

There are many benefits of having motivated employees, including workforce stability (e.g. Imran et al., 2017), better team coordination (e.g. Gagne et al., 2014), increases in employee efficiency (e.g. Tudorache, 2013) and employee satisfaction (e.g. Mahmoud and Reisel, 2014), (Mahmoud et al 2020).

Mayo (2019) conceptualised four drivers that combine to affect a workers motivation level. They highlighted how the influencing elements within these are very individualistic, and this individualism needs to be considered by managers when they look at how to get the best from their workforce. The first driver, intrinsic motivation, can be understood as deriving internally from within an individual’s interests and values, such as finding a job enjoyable, interesting, or satisfying. This is in contrast to extrinsic motivation, which comes from a source externally that provides a desire 


control) the nature of the work itself, communication, listening to ideas, training and development, creating team spirit, recognition, feedback, setting targets, availability of resources and the working environment.

whereas the latter entails engaging in activities that are satisfying as a result of their extrinsic consequences

The third, the absence of dissatisfaction or irritation factors, (no significant issue or event that is causing an individual upset – such as a new policy, or ongoing dispute with colleague),

These are

Many motivational efforts fail because of an assumed commonality in what motivates people. The reality is that different personalities and different personal goals and values require individual approaches.

personal wellbeing (physical & psychological) -even if all other three positive – fourth affecting the current moment)

The various factors that can have an effect on these drivers, and in particular be influenced by employers are the focus of this review. Although factors affecting extrinsic motivation are the most implicated by Mayo (2019) as ways in which employers can most readily affect workers motivation, however all four drivers will be considered during the analysis as they are known to be interrelated – for example, a lack of any extrinsic motivators can affect a workers intrinsic motivation (Bos-Nehles et al., 2013).

This literature review will analyse the question “In what ways can an organisation increase employee’s work motivation?”

having direct and indirect impact on motivation techniques.

This literature review is structured as follows; after this introduction section two describes the process used to undertake the literature review. Section three highlights commonalities and differences found within the literature and section four analyses the methodology used by the literature. Section five summarises the gaps found, and section six highlights the limitations of this review. A conclusion and recommendations for future research in section seven are followed by a list of references.

Keywords – employee motivation, workplace motivation, job motivation, employee engagement, job satisfaction, work engagement, work motivators

2.0 Process of the literature review

Following the process for quality systematic literature review set out by Xiao & Watson (2017) a total of 14 articles were used for this stand-alone literature review.

To identify literature for review, chosen keywords were searched within Google Scholar and OPAIC Robertson Library catalogue, the keywords were further expanded and refined after initial searches determined related keywords and concepts. Any articles without full-text access via either of these were dismissed.

Initial inclusion and exclusion criteria involved only articles that had the keyword ‘motivation’ and ‘employee’ or ‘work’ within the title, abstract or keyword tags. Only articles written in English within peer-reviewed academic journals were included to ensure quality. Initially selecting the past two decades only, preliminary relevance was determined by reading the title and abstract. Articles deemed relevant were then quality and eligibility assessed by skim reading the full-text article to ensure that they matched the chosen criteria, and studies from all scholarly disciplines were included as long as relevancy to the question was established in full-text perusal. Additional articles were discovered through forward and backward search by finding articles that had referenced articles already discovered to be of high quality and within the inclusion criteria range. The initial search returned an unmanageable number of results so a publication date of 2017 onwards was selected as a further parameter.

The remaining literature content was analysed based on the following questions: What are the main factors that affect an employee’s motivation in the workplace? In what ways can an organisation contribute to an employee’s work motivation? Which are the most effective ways for an organisation to increase its employee’s motivation at work?

The results of this analysis were then interpreted, compared and synthesized into themed commonalities, differences and gaps. The methodology of each article was also analysed to review limitations via credibility, replicability, trustworthiness, generalisability, and appropriateness.

Only original research included not narratives or lit reviews??

Definitions?/? Above? Need to talk about choice of ‘motivation’ and how it relates interchangeably to ‘engagement’? and commitment?

X were excluded because they reviewed a specific topic. ?

3.0 Analysis of the literature commonalities and differences

Within the literature there were many commonalities of types of motivators identified that could be utilised by managers to improve staff motivation. There were also many differences in the relative ascribed importance or usefulness of these identified motivators, as either direct incentives or as elements of overall strategies, and these will be discussed below.

direct and indirect impact on motivation techniques.

3.1 Material incentives

Much of the literature identifies that pecuniary incentives can be beneficial to motivate workers, although not all of the literature found had financial elements included within their scope of research. Staff that were paid at a salary level that they felt was fair for their job role and responsibilities was raised (ref), as was the potential for this to be increased overtime (ref).

Much of these were conducted in western cultures, although Alam et al. (2020) whose study was conducted with impoverished Bangladeshi garment industry workers also agreed that ‘sufficient’ or fair wages were critical, his research demonstrated a significant effect for higher wages on both motivation levels and worker productivity. From a fundamental needs perspective he hypothesized the link was due to increased health and well-being compared to their lesser paid peers who cannot afford better nutrition, as well as financial security. He inferred that better fulfilment of these needs allows them to be motivated by intrinsic factors that would be otherwise be in conflict from the distraction of trying to fulfil the needs he attributed as more important using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model. Although this model is now considered basic & outdated, for workers in poverty with a considerable daily struggle for basic needs, it may considered valid that they attribute to financial motivators in this way.

Performance related financial incentives such as bonus were rated highly in those that …

Although Ghaffari et al. (2017) found that clerical university staff were motivated by financial incentives, they did not place them at the top of the self-identified list, and fringe benefits such as performance related bonus payment was considered more motivating than an enhanced salary. Fringe benefits were also identified as the second most effective motivator at enhancing performance behind increased responsibility. Ghaffari et al (2020) also pointed out that material fringe benefits such as insurance, pension, and extra paid leave were also motivators alongside salary.

This differs from Tovmasyan and Minasyan (2020) whose research across many sectors found that 80% of staff identified salary as an important material motivation, and only 43% for material reward, with 34% for health insurance. They found no significant relationship between income size and motivation factors.

The big differences found in how important material incentives are weighted indicate that there may be motivational differences that can be ascribed to other group factors such as geographic area, nationality or type of work. It is possible individual differences could be the reason but the significant difference implies…

Tovmasyan and Minasyan (2020) found that free transport, extra paid leave, and the opportunity to use the employers resources were all identified as important by more than a fifth of employees. Additionally in reverse they also identified low salary as the main motivator to leave a job.

Mahmoud et al. (2020) discovered whilst Generation Z are much more likely to be intrinsically motivated, they are also more likely to value material rewards than Generation Z or Y. They concluded that with a younger workforce it was particularly important to try to offer material rewards such as pay raises and non-monetary benefits if the job type was identified as not very intrinsically motivating.

3.2 Recognition & Review

A number of researchers indicate that non-monetary rewards and recognition for their contribution can motivate an employee. Informal and formal praise were highlighted by …

Verbal rewards were demonstrated as (Andersen, L. B., Boye, S., & Laursen, R. (2018).

Non-monetary rewards like recognition schemes and achievement awards were highlighted as especially useful as motivators for remote teams, and teleworkers (Mefi & Asoba, 2021).

Idowu (2017) found mixed attitudes regarding whether monetary rewards or recognition were more motivating and Mahmoud et al. (2020) found generational differences in the preference for reward types, Generation X employees were more likely to be motivated by external social rewards such as praise or respect shown from a supervisor, compared to later generations.

Use of performance appraisal was demonstrated as having a significant positive effect on motivation level and job performance (Idowu, 2017, Al-Jedaia & Mehrez, 2020). Idowu (2017) found several key aspects that contributed to this relationship, the two most significant for motivation were the use of performance appraisal for identifying employee strengths and weaknesses, and use as a tool for promotion of staff. A positive relationship was also found for the linking of performance with rewards; use of job description as performance benchmarks, and use of appraisal to assess ability against set objectives.

Al-Jedaia & Mehrez (2020) agreed that recognition and reward via appraisal affected motivation, but their findings disagreed that goal achievements and competencies had an important effect on motivation or performance. Their findings indicated that the appraisal evaluation method impacted motivation levels, however they did not measure which evaluation methods were considered most impactful, they did however highlight 360° appraisal as an example. Idowu (2017) had a similar finding that use of multiple appraisal techniques helped yield greater satisfaction and higher motivational levels than just one technique.

Additionally, Idowu (2017) also found that inclusion of self-assessment at appraisal increased motivation, and importantly that badly utilised appraisal systems could decrease employees motivation. They also found 27% of respondents did not consider their current supervisor as doing a good job at appraising – this is a clear area for managers to target for improvement with training and measurement to raise employee’s motivations levels.

Constructive feedback was highlighted by Korlén et al. (2017) as having a twofold positive effect on motivation by being a vehicle to show supervisors support and praise, and by reflecting upon and aiding task and goal achievement. The latter is something they highlight as especially important in augmenting the high level intrinsic motivation of their healthcare based respondent, this can be seen in their results that goal measurement relating patient outcomes and patient satisfaction were the highest motivators.

3.3 Training & Development 150

relate to Ability & Opportunity elemet of AMO framework?

Tovmasyan and Minasyan (2020)

Career advancement 78

Healthy moral and psychological atmosphere of the organization 67

Flexible work schedule 50

Fair and equal conditions 49

Training courses 34

Security at workplace 26

Making responsible decisions 24

Leadership style 25

Diplomas and certificates 5

International business trips 1

The main reasons why employees leave the job may be the low salary 49%, conflicts in the team 45%, and the impossibility of career advancement 40%

Ghaffari et al., (2017). training and development

Enhanced salary, fringe benefits, supervisor, promotion, responsibility and training, the results showed the clerical employees had moderate levels of motivational factors. These mean values indicate the areas that employees were most likely to be motivated by. Thus, the employees in the sample are most likely to be motivated by their training and development, responsibility and fringe benefits, enhanced salary and supervision more than promotion dimension as determined by the research questionnaire.

However, there is no significant impact of salary on job performance, supervision on job performance, promotion on job performance, and training and development on job performance

3.4 Leadership & Organisational Culture

Leadership style was mentioned in passing by several researchers but often not directly measured. Tovmasyan and Minasyan (2020) found that only a quarter of respondents selected ‘leadership style’ as an important non-material incentive for motivation and performance, and Al-Jedaia & Mehrez (2020) did not find leadership style as an important factor in motivation within a performance appraisal. Orsini et al. (2020) found that a perceived supporting relationship with supervisors increased motivation level, as did a transformational leadsership style focusing on ‘teamwork, a shared vision and collegiate decision-making’. Transactional leadership including micromanaging and reward setting was negatively associated with motivation levels. Nielsen et al. (2019) also found that transformational leadership was associated with increased employee motivation, interestingly however this increased motivation was discovered to disappear when combined with contingent material rewards, but not with contingent verbal rewards. These findings suggest that leadership style compatibility should be carefully considered before implementing rewards.

Ghaffari et al., (2017). Supervision?

Mikkelsen, et al. (2017) managers’ enforcement actions, ?

(Korlén et al., 2017) – managers mediating effect


Mefi, N. P., & Asoba, S. N. (2021).  = Motivation through social support

Thokozani, S. B. M. (2017). Strong vs. weak organizational culture:

Yusof, H. et al. (2017)

Workplace culture was found to be mentioned as having a significant impact by several researchers. A ‘healthy moral and psychological atmosphere’ was the second most selected as an important non-material incentive, and ‘conflicts in the team’ as a main reason to leave a job for Tovmasyan and Minasyan (2020). Setiyani et al (2019) found that a good work environment positively affecting millennials motivation and engagement at work, this included the cultural values, peer relationships, as well as the workplace aesthetics and facilities.

The physical environment of the workplace was also noted as having a potential to affect motivation levels by a small number of researchers. Tovmasyan and Minasyan (2020) found that a quarter of respondents selected ‘security at workplace’ as an important non-material incentive. Alam et al. (2020) found a significant positive effect on motivation when an employee felt they were provided with sufficient welfare facilities, such as canteen facilities, prayer rooms, transport, and childcare.

Opportunities for a good work life balance were found to be motivating by some researchers, flexible working hours (Setiyani et al., 2019) and relatedly ‘flexible work schedule’ (Tovmasyan & Minasyan, 2020) were highlighted. This could be seen as being linked to the ‘sustainable work environment’ listed as motivating by healthcare workers (Korlén et al., 2017)


3.5? Other Factors

Personalisation/ Motivation Crowding – 200

Mikkelsen et al., (2017).

Nielsen,. (2019)

(Korlén et al., 2017) The literature on motivation suggests that although external rewards, such as financial incentives, may crowd out staff motivation (Benabou and Tirole, 2003; Gneezy et al., 2011), they may also “crowd in” motivation if they are aligned with the underlying values of the individual (Frey and Jegen, 2001). The results presented here confirm the role of managers in linking and aligning internal and external sources of motivation (Deci and Ryan, 2000), as outlined in the tentative conceptual model we provide (Figure 1). The empirical data adds to this by showing how managers use different alignment strategies to make this happen (see Figure 2). The strategy of personalizing rewards refers to managers’ efforts to complement the model with additional rewards adjusted to the motivational preferences of each individual. This strategy highlights an awareness of the variability of individual preferences and managers’ intuitive understanding of the important role of intrinsic motivators, such as enabling competence development, to maintain a satisfactory level of motivation over time.

(Korlén et al., 2017)

. The respondents, across provider types, emphasized that non-monetary personal rewards could also be highly motivating – if the individual valued them. Externally imposed incentives do not automatically motivate healthcare staff.

Managers in healthcare play key roles as intermediaries by aligning external rewards with professional values. When devising strategies to achieve these ambitions, the managers’ understanding about what was needed to engage and motivate staff was key.

 Professional pride in one’s expertise was also perceived as being central to staff, as was a sustainable work environment.

Personalising rewards. Across provider types, the respondents described a strategy of personalizing rewards to make them relevant at the individual level. They believed that rewards had to be suited to personal preferences and gave examples of how financial incentives could be rewarding for some individuals,

Idowu, (2017).

Performance appraisal systems should be designed in such a way that they create perceptions of fair treatment relative to other employees as well as the employee‘s own expectations. This can contribute significantly towards positive attitudes, which have been shown in this study to be a significant determinant of employee‘s level of motivation and consequently work performance.

The study also shows that employees differ in their preference for rewards following a performance appraisal. Organisations should therefore adapt a more personal approach in linking performance appraisal results to rewards and incentives. This could contribute significantly towards boosting of employee motivation as a result of improved levels of satisfaction.

In addition, the use of performance appraisals to identify employee strengthens and weaknesses is considered as an effective way of motivating employees through supervisory support (Jong et al., 2009).

Generations  / age 150

The research by Mahmoud et al. (2020)

Setiyani et al., (2019) – Millennials

There are people who were born around 1980-2000, which we often call Millenials. It is this young group that has brought about major changes in the organizations that employ them. Because it means the current conditions there are 3 generations working in the organization, the millennial Y generation that almost dominates the workers, Generation X who has occupied strategic positions and the baby boomer generation who are almost at retirement age. With this composition, all companies must of course have their own tricks on how to deal with millenials to engage with companies, moreover the different generations certainly have far different behaviors as well, with the rapidly developing technology, inevitably organizations have to think hard about getting candidates best and maintain high-performing workers so that organizational productivity increases rapidly. This productivity increase will increase the competitiveness of companies in the increasingly competitive of business.

Work environment have an influence on employee motivation and employee engagement. This means that good work environment can improve employee motivation and employee engagement for Y millenials generations. 2. Employee motivation have the effect of mediating the relationship between work environment on employee engagement. 3. Flexible working hours have an influence on employee motivation and employee engagement. This means that if the company applies flexible working hours, can improve employee motivation and employee engagement for Y millenials generations. 4. Employee motivations has an effect of mediating the relationship between flexible working hours on employee engagement.

This research uses quantitative approach with survey method conducted on Y milenials Generations of Supervisor up in Java, Indonesia, with total sample of 110 people. All variables in the study were measured using a Likert scale of 1-5.

The respondents of this study focus on millenials supervisor up from manufacture and service company in Java Island, Indonesia. The type of research used is quantitative with survey method. Research respondents were 110 people and the data were analyzed using Structural Equation Model -Analysis of Moment Structures. T

Mahmoud, et al. (2020).

Schullery (2013) highlighted that each generational group has different values and characteristics that exert a direct impact on attitudes and behaviours.

intragenerational cooperation

three newest generations commonly identified in demographic literature – Generation X (1965–1981), Generation Y (1982–1999) and Generation Z (2000–2012)

contributes to the literature by demonstrating that there are generational differences regarding what each generation values in the workplace as a source of employee work motivation between Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z.  

First, as more Generation Y and Generation Z enter the workforce, human resource departments must reflect their understanding of workplace motivators for candidates from both generations.

Generation Z employees tended to be more sensitive and reactive to off-putting situations than Generation X and Generation Y. This possibly explains the escalating levels of amotivation and the plummeting scores of overall work motivation amongst this age group compared to its ancestors  

Unlike Generation X and Generation Y, Generation Z employees value extrinsic regulation-material as a source of their overall work motivation. This finding is in line with the literature.

Our findings further reveal that Generation Z workers do not value identified regulation as a source of motivation. Subsequently, Generation Zers are more motivated to work on activities that are out of inherited satisfaction (Gagne et al., 2014) and thus value intrinsic motivation more than their older peers.

However, with Generation Yers valuing introjected regulation as a source of overall work motivation, their behaviours seem to be more internally regulated than Generation Xers but less than Generation Zers. The latter top the age groups at having most of their behaviours in the workplace intrinsically triggered. Our finding suggests that service organisations are advised to give more weight to material rewards, for example, pay raises and non-monetary benefits, as well as, identify regulated approaches, for instance, internalisation of the task value, since many jobs are not intrinsically motivating, when they attempt to motivate employees from younger generations, especially Generation Z.

An interesting finding in our study is that Generation X employees appear to be out of tune with their peers of the later generations regarding valuing extrinsic regulation-social as a source of motivation. This result indicates that Generation Xers’ behaviours in the workplace are more likely to be prompted by social rewards (e.g. praise) and punishments (e.g. job loss). Older workers are a vulnerable group of workers to social exclusion (Hennekam, 2015). Thus, Generation Xers are more effectively motivated through external social rewards, for example, when a supervisor shows respect and recognition to their subordinates. 

Practical implications 

resulting in staff turnover, especially amongst Generation Yers (Pontefract, 2018), who have been labelled as “job hoppers” (Seemiller and Grace, 2019). Therefore, a right work–life balance (Twenge et al., 2010), meaningful and innovative work (Bannon et al., 2011) and adequate recognition (Murphy, 2018) are required by employers to improve Generation Yer’s loyalty and retention.

Boumas et al. (2012) explored the impact of age on the relationship between work attributes and employees’ work motivation and job satisfaction. The results showed that to remain inspired and motivated, older employees appear to be more in need of intrinsic challenging and fulfilling jobs. Also, the positive relationship between career opportunities and motivation was much stronger for younger workers than for older ones. It shows that, particularly, the motivation of younger employees’ increases as they are offered more career opportunities. Another study was carried out to examine generational differences in valuing the sources of motivation in workplace behavior between millennials and older generations. The results showed that both extrinsic regulation–material and identified regulation are valued more by millennials compared to older generations, while extrinsic regulation-social and introjected regulation are valued less by millennials compared to older generations (Mahmoud et al., 2020). (Tovmasyan & Minasyan, 2020).

Idowu, A. (2017).: A correlation coefficient of 0.466 as indicated in the table above shows the presence of a strong positive relationship between the age and the preference for a performance appraisal system that is based on explicit goals. The above findings on the importance of a PAS to be based on explicit goals are largely supported by extant literature. The goal setting theory for instance posits that employees will perform at a higher level in the presence of specific and challenging goals (Bipp & Dam, 2014).

Ordinary conditions vs Crisis 100

Mefi, N. P., & Asoba, S. N. (2021).  Covid 19 pandemic/lockdown

– There were also fears of losing jobs, unemployment and pay cuts

The results of this study have shown that crisis situations have significant implications on both the structural organization of work as well as on the human element. Employee motivation therefore had to fit the changes in the nature of work presented by the organizational crisis. In other words, organizations should practice adapted employee motivation techniques. In respect of the Covid-19, it was found that there was need to adapt both work and motivation techniques to the digital imperatives induced by the pandemic. As such techniques such as digital employee Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal Volume 27, Issue 2, 2021 7 1528-2686-27-2-491 recognition and involvement as well as goal setting were implemented. There was also need to ensure the empowerment of the employees as well as the provision of social support. The Covid19 pandemic also called for the removal of organizational hierarchies to ensure direct communication between the employees and top management. This study has been essential in attending to the research niche related to motivational techniques for crisis situations. The literature on motivation has often focused on normal situations and context but this study has addressed a key research agenda of crisis situations. It should be noted that the frequency of crises that affect organizations seems to have been increasing over the years. Therefore this study makes essential contribution and inspires further studies. Future studies can adopt other methodologies such as surveys and structural modelling to analysis motivation in crisis situations

Adaptable motivation techniques involving strong reliance on communication and social links to support employees were adopted (Závadský, 2015)

Motivation during crisis situations represents a special niche within motivation studies (Gigauri, 2020). During crisis situations, employees are faced with challenging situations that demand special consideration from normal case situations. Wang and Hutchins (2008) observed that the term ‘crisis’ attract different definitions from different stakeholders. It is often unexpected and significantly affects organizations both internally and externally and they are triggered by a wide array of events. Gagauri (2020) observed that Covid-19 induced notable internal failures in organizations as it affected both the psychological and the physical aspects of people in organizations.

The evidence gathered in this study suggests that organizations should improve their capacity to adapt to crisis situations. It is recommended that organizations should have a crisis management procedure that considers employee motivation. Employee motivation cannot be ignored in crisis situations and adaptability mechanisms should be strengthened to avoid collapse of organizations or loosing talent.

Tovmasyan & Minasyan,  (2020)

. The results show that 45% of participants work remotely, 31% − in the workplace. However, 52% mentioned that they are more motivated when they are in the workplace, and only 12% of respondents working remotely is motivating.

no significant relationship between working mode (remotely or in the office) and motivational stimuli.

Mahmoud – diverse generational composition, adopt new measures of workplace agility to survive interminable disruptions. For example, COVID-19 lockdown ,  work from home. – in light of our results, organisations might struggle to keep Generation X employees motivated because social rewards are an integral part of their valued sources of motivation. 

Alam – Bangladeshi garment industry workers are impoverished, they are in a vulnerable situation. Therefore, the wage payment is the most significant financial support for them, which motivates them to work. If the workers receive fair or at least minimum wages, that can function as a great motivator

Nielsen, P (2019).

We examine the combined and interactive effects of transformational and three types of transactional leadership (contingent verbal rewards, material rewards, and sanctions) on employee work motivation, conceptualized as work engagement and intrinsic motivation. show that transformational leadership and contingent verbal rewards increased employee motivation. However, simultaneous use of contingent material rewards undermined the benefits of transformational leadership. Thus, the motivational potential of service- or community-oriented visions was undercut, when leaders also appealed to extrinsic material motives. This could help explain why financial incentives do not always have the expected benefits in public organisations. We therefore argue that research and practice should pay more attention to how different leadership strategies work in combination.

4.0 Methods 600

There is great variability in the depth of information given regarding research design methodology and analysis amongst the literature selected. Some were also far more forthcoming in demonstrating the recruitment methods, demographic breakdown of subjects/respondents and in discussing how they have considered validity and applicability of their findings pre and post research.

There is a question here as to whether the methods are measuring work motivation or actually measuring a interrelated concept such as work satisfaction or engagement, not all of the studies show how they have distinguished these in their analysis. Some of the quantitative studies have used a distinct measurement tool such as

Orsini, C. A., Tricio, J. A., Segura, C., & Tapia, D. (2020). Exploring teachers’ motivation to teach: A multisite study on the associations with the work climate, students’ motivation, and teaching approaches. Journal of dental education, 84(4), 429-437.

Mahmoud, A. B., Fuxman, L., Mohr, I., Reisel, W. D., & Grigoriou, N. (2020). “We aren’t your reincarnation!” workplace motivation across X, Y and Z generations. International Journal of Manpower. 42 (1), 193-209. 

Tovmasyan & Minasyan,  (2020)

Qualitative Research Methods

Ghaffari et al., (2017).:

Mefi, N. P., & Asoba, S. N. (2021). 

Quantitative Research Methods

Setiyani et al., (2019) –

Nielsen, P (2019).

Alam et al.,. (2020).

Andersen, L. B., Boye, S., & Laursen, R. (2018). Building Support? The Importance of Verbal Rewards for Employee Perceptions of Governance Initiatives. International Public Management Journal, 21(1), 1-32.

5.0 Gaps in the literature 300

Cultural differences

Western vs 3rd world

Types of motivation considered? Task, job, goal vs performance motivation? (Cafferkey et al., 2020 quote)


Able bodied/Disability


Idowu, (2017). – Despite a high mean of 4.3, further analysis showed coefficient correlation of -0.155 between Gender and the view on whether the organisation‘s PAS helped identify strengths and weaknesses. Though the relationship is relatively weak, a number of the female respondents have the view that the PAS is relatively inefficient in this aspect. The importance accorded to the role of performance appraisal in helping identify strengths and weaknesses is consistent with the review of literature which indicates that performance appraisals can be used to provide supervisory support (Sutton & Watson, 2013).

Sparks, William L., and John Repede. “GENDER DIFFERENCES IN HUMAN MOTIVATION AND LEADERSHIP: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY.” International Journal of Management and Human Resources 7.1 (2019): 53+. Business Insights: Global. Web. 20 June 2021.

The present study finds that there are significant gender differences related to how we are motivated internally. Male leaders are more frequently motivated by achievement than are female leaders, and female leaders are more frequently motivated by affiliation and power than are male leaders. 

Limitations of sampling regarding demographics could be found in the selected studies. A more representative sampling is needed to draw more general conclusions of the behaviours of whole population.

Interplay – ). Intrinsic motivation is usually linked with employee’s long-term commitment (Schimansky, 2014). However, some authors point out that, sometimes, a lack of extrinsic factors can affect the intrinsic motivation (Bos-Nehles et al., 2013) Marvin Garcia 2016

Motivation is one of the key areas of study in organisational behaviour. All well known classic theories of motivation come from, the US, they may not apply to the same extent in other cultural environments (Minkov, 2013)

Ghulam, A. A., Bukhari, S., Abdul, K. K., & Hameed, I. (2020). The impact of abusive supervision on employees’ feedback avoidance and subsequent help-seeking behaviour: A moderated mediation model. Journal of Management and Organization, 26(5), 850-865.

Reference to discuss gaps/limitations – research needed on ‘re-motivating’ people in dysfunctional teams or employees in difficulty periods, post bullying etc. rather than generic methods or treating employees as a homogenous group for interventions/initiatives, RECOMMENDATION

Francis, H., & Keegan, A. (2020). The ethics of engagement in an age of austerity: A paradox perspective: JBE. Journal of Business Ethics, 162(3), 593-607.

Another reference for limitations – considering political climate and current affairs

Cafferkey, K., Dundon, T., Winterton, J., & Townsend, K. (2020). Different strokes for different folks: Group variation in employee outcomes to human resource management. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness, 7(1), 1-19.

Reactions to HRM – Third, in relation to employee outcomes, the two groups deemed most critical to the functioning of the organisation according to management – supervisors and technicians – reported the lowest levels of commitment, satisfaction and motivation. Both groups displayed a detachment and a lack of meaningful involvement and identification with the organisation (Rees et al., 2013). Professionals reported the lowest levels of commitment and motivation and the second lowest levels of satisfaction. One explanation, articulated by Kinnie and Swart (2012), is that professionals can be more committed to their professional body than their employer. Operations staff share a similar position to professionals in relation to employee outcomes. It is possible that the mundane nature of their work may explain why operatives feel isolated or lack a coherent voice to exercise their views. Pass (2005) suggests it is reasonable to assume that operators may feel undervalued in an organisation and any semblance of involvement should potentially increase their self-esteem and perceptions of organisational value.

Rasool, S. F., Wang, M., Zhang, Y., & Samma, M. (2020). Sustainable work performance: the roles of workplace violence and occupational stress. International journal of environmental research and public health17(3), 912.

Dryselius, A., & Pettersson, J. (2021). Motivation in the Remote Workplace: Understanding the Threats and Opportunities to Motivation During Enforced Remote Work. THESIS

Gigauri. I. (2020). Effects of Covid-19 on Human Resource Management from the Perspective of Digitalization and Work-life-balance. International Journal of Innovative Technologies in Economy, 4(31), 1-10

Leaving out non original research –

Orsini, C., & Rodrigues, V. (2020). Supporting motivation in teams working remotely: The role of basic psychological needs. Medical teacher42(7), 828-829.

Shu, C. Y. (2015). The impact of intrinsic motivation on the effectiveness of leadership style towards on work engagement. Contemporary Management Research11(4). BICULTURAL VIEW – CHANGING CULTURES

Mahmoud, A. B., Fuxman, L., Mohr, I., Reisel, W. D., & Grigoriou, N. (2020). “We aren’t your reincarnation!” workplace motivation across X, Y and Z generations. International Journal of Manpower. 42 (1), 193-209. 

Research limitations/implications – Further work needs to be done to establish whether variations in valuing the sources of motivation may also be spawned by age or status of the respective groups. Future investigations can expand the authors’ focal theme to include additional organisational outcomes, alternative geographical settings and/or include country’s economic development as an additional variable. Moreover, further research can address the implications of national culture on shaping generational differences in employee’s motivation as well as aiding companies to redesign work tasks considering today’s uncertainty as well as increasingly competitive, global environment (e.g. the rise of artificial intelligence).

Zdonek, I., Hysa, B., & Zdonek, D. (2021). Academic Staff in the Context of Known Theories of Motivation. European Research Studies24, 906-935.

Comparing the list of motivators that are used in universities and those that are most important for academic staff, one can identify a group of motivators that are significant to employees and are not yet used. This is a very important group of motivators that university decision-makers should pay attention to. These are, for example, awards in the form of bonuses/allowances for issued publications or disclosure rules of pay of employees for their work. The importance of awards among academic staff is emphasized in their research by Jindal-Snape and Snape (2006) and Gallus and Fray, (2016), awards significantly affect the internal motivation of employees and have a connection with meeting the ‘need for achievement’. Therefore, the system of material incentives for scientists should be as simple as possible and should not focus the researcher’s attention on pay, but should be worthy, meet their expectations and boost their internal motivation (Maletko, 2018).

n another important motivating group for academic staff, there were motivators related to funding scientific research and access to knowledge.

Gallus, J., Frey, B.S. 2016. Awards as Strategic Signals. Journal of Management Inquiry, 110. DOI: 10.1177/1056492616658127.

And so, Deci and Ryan have proved in their research that controlling individual motivation by typically financial factors as well as a system of awards and punishments destroys internal motivation. In this way, external motivation becomes a short-term impact, because individuals need a strong turn towards competence, autonomy, and purpose.

6.0 Limitations of this review 200 words

A key limitation of this review was the choice to restrict literature to the term ‘motivation’ and this narrow view will have potentially missed other studies that also measured motivational techniques but used other terms and definitions. From the literature studied there is clearly an overlap with related constructs such as ‘work engagement’ ‘job satisfaction’ ‘work commitment’ and no clear consensus on how these concepts relate to one another (ref). Mention example of who places engagement above or below motivation?

A wider search to include all these terms would have yielded a richer base that may have found different motivational factors, perhaps resulted in a different emphasis on type of techniques, or may have produced studies with better validity, reliability or measurement to demonstrate relative value of techniques.

The research reviewed spans many different work disciplines, sectors, and countries, as well as methodology and is too broad to make generalised statements regarding most useful techniques for employers to adopt to increase motivation, and can only give

Too broad? –  Mixed work disciplines and countries/cultures, harder to generalise, focus on only specific extrinsic motivation factors over a longer period? Hard to identify ?

Job satisfaction? – (team or personal satisfaction is listed as an intrinsic motivator – by Marin-Garcia, (2016) but some studies that increase satisfaction may have been missed in lit search

Leaving out non original research –

7.0 Conclusion and recommendations for further research (one third of marks here!)

The conclusion offers an insightful summarise the content of the literature review and provides a perceptive assessment of the key ideas/themes found through the evaluation of the articles. Insightful recommendations for further research are suggested.

Conducting a systematic literature review to explore this topic via all the interrelated work terms of ‘motivation’ ‘engagement’ ‘satisfaction’ and ‘commitment’ would be beneficial, as would an attempt to find a consensus on how these terms interrelate to avoid confusion.

Cultural differences

Emphasise multidimensionality

Although not a direct technique that can be adjusted at an individual level it was demonstrated how the type of leadership and organisational culture in an organisation can affect motivation, and thus should be considered as a factor when trying to increase motivation levels of employees.

(Marin-Garcia & Tomas, 2016).AMO framework link back Also, motivation can also be affected by employee’s ability, because employees with lack of skill may become demotivated if they consider that the task is too difficult (Bos-Nehles et al., 2013). In HRM context, motivation-enhancing practices foster employee’s efforts for accomplishing the objectives and deliver high levels of performance. Therefore, motivation bundle comprises practices such as performance appraisal usually linked to financial or non-financial incentives (Demortier et al., 2014).

Reference to discuss gaps/limitations – research needed on ‘re-motivating’ people in dysfunctional teams or employees in difficulty periods, post bullying etc. rather than generic methods or treating employees as a homogenous group for interventions/initiatives, RECOMMENDATION

In conclusion, this paper, using a systematic literature review, structurally and methodically explored the synergies between

(Ghulam et al., 2020). Reference to discuss gaps/limitations – research needed on ‘re-motivating’ people in dysfunctional teams or employees in difficulty periods, post bullying etc. rather than generic methods or treating employees as a homogenous group for interventions/initiatives, RECOMMENDATION TOO

Overall, the results of this paper reveal that human resource managers should put prime emphasis towards increasing work motivation of employees and ensuring their job satisfaction (Farouk, Abu Elanain, Obeidat, & Al-Nahyan, 2016). (Hanaysha & Majid, 2018)

8.0 References

Alam, M. N., Hassan, M. M., Bowyer, D., & Reaz, M. (2020). The Effects of Wages and Welfare Facilities on Employee Productivity: Mediating Role of Employee Work Motivation. Australasian Accounting, Business and Finance Journal14(4), 38-60.

Al-Jedaia, Y., & Mehrez, A. (2020). The effect of performance appraisal on job performance in governmental sector: The mediating role of motivation. Management Science Letters, 10(9), 2077-2088.

Andersen, L. B., Boye, S., & Laursen, R. (2018). Building Support? The Importance of Verbal Rewards for Employee Perceptions of Governance Initiatives. International Public Management Journal, 21(1), 1-32.

Appelbaum, E., Bailey, T., Berg, P., & Kalleberg, A.L. (2000). Manufacturing advantage: Why high-performance work systems pay off. London: ILR Press.

Bakker AB, Demerouti E. The job demands–resources model: state of the art. J Manag Psychol. 2007;22:309–28.

Cafferkey, K., Dundon, T., Winterton, J., & Townsend, K. (2020). Different strokes for different folks: Group variation in employee outcomes to human resource management. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness, 7(1), 1-19.

Ghaffari, S., Shah, I., Burgoyne, J., Nazri, M., & Salleh, J. (2017). The influence of motivation on job performance: A case study at Universiti Teknoligi Malaysia.  Aust. J. Basic & Appl. Sci, 11(4), 92-99.

Ghulam, A. A., Bukhari, S., Abdul, K. K., & Hameed, I. (2020). The impact of abusive supervision on employees’ feedback avoidance and subsequent help-seeking behaviour: A moderated mediation model. Journal of Management and Organization, 26(5), 850-865.

Green Jr, P. I., Finkel, E. J., Fitzsimons, G. M., & Gino, F. (2017). The energizing nature of work engagement: Toward a new need-based theory of work motivation. Research in Organizational Behavior37, 1-18. Narrative literature review/ conceptual model / opnion

Hanaysha, J. R., & Majid, M. (2018). Employee motivation and its role in improving the productivity and organizational commitment at higher education institutions. Journal of Entrepreneurship and Business6(1), 17-28.

Idowu, A. (2017). Effectiveness of performance appraisal system and its effect on employee motivation. Nile Journal of Business and Economics, 3(5), 15-39.

Korlén, S., Essén, A., Lindgren, P., Amer-Wahlin, I., & von Thiele Schwarz, U. (2017). Managerial strategies to make incentives meaningful and motivating. Journal of health organization and management. 31 (2), 126-141

Marin-Garcia, J. A., & Tomas, J. M. (2016). Deconstructing AMO framework: A systematic review. Intangible Capital12(4), 1040-1087.

Mahmoud, A. B., Fuxman, L., Mohr, I., Reisel, W. D., & Grigoriou, N. (2020). “We aren’t your reincarnation!” workplace motivation across X, Y and Z generations. International Journal of Manpower. 42 (1), 193-209.

Mayo, A. (2019). The individualism of motivation. Strategic HR Review, 18(3), 96-103.


Mikkelsen, M. F., Jacobsen, C. B., & Andersen, L. B. (2017). Managing employee motivation: Exploring the connections between managers’ enforcement actions, employee perceptions, and employee intrinsic motivation. International Public Management Journal20(2), 183-205.

Nielsen, P. A., Boye, S., Holten, A. L., Jacobsen, C. B., & Andersen, L. B. (2019). Are transformational and transactional types of leadership compatible? A two‐wave study of employee motivation. Public Administration, 97(2), 413-428.

Orsini, C. A., Tricio, J. A., Segura, C., & Tapia, D. (2020). Exploring teachers’ motivation to teach: A multisite study on the associations with the work climate, students’ motivation, and teaching approaches. Journal of dental education, 84(4), 429-437.

Sekhar, C., Patwardhan, M., & Singh, R. K. (2013). A literature review on motivation. Global business perspectives1(4), 471-487.

Setiyani, A., Djumarno, D., Riyanto, S., & Nawangsari, L. (2019). The effect of work environment on flexible working hours, employee engagement and employee motivation. International Review of Management and Marketing, 9(3), 112

Thokozani, S. B. M. (2017). Strong vs. weak organizational culture: Assessing the impact on employee motivation. Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review7(1), 2-5.

Tovmasyan, G., Minasyan, D. (2020). The Impact of Motivation on Work Efficiency for Both Employers and Employees also During COVID-19 Pandemic: Case Study from Armenia. Business Ethics and Leadership, 4(3), 25-35.

van der Kolk, B., van Veen-Dirks, P. M., & ter Bogt, H. J. (2019). The impact of management control on employee motivation and performance in the public sector. European Accounting Review28(5), 901-928.

van Tuin, L., Schaufeli, W. B., Van den Broeck, A., & van Rhenen, W. (2020). A Corporate purpose as an antecedent to employee motivation and work engagement. Frontiers in Psychology11, 2402.

Wigfield, A., Eccles, J.S., Fredricks, J.A., Simpkins, S., Roeser, R.W. and Schiefele, U. (2015). Development of Achievement Motivation and Engagement. In R.M. Lerner (Ed.). Handbook of Child Psychology and Developmental Science John Wiley & Sons

Xiao, Y. & Watson, M. 2017. Guidance on conducting a systematic literature review. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 39(1) pp. 1-20.

Yusof, H. S. M., Munap, R., Badrillah, M. I. M., Ab Hamid, N. R., & Khir, R. M. (2017). The relationship between organizational culture and employee motivation as moderated by work attitude. Journal of Administrative and Business Studies, 3(1), 21-25.

Rasool, S. F., Wang, M., Zhang, Y., & Samma, M. (2020). Sustainable work performance: the roles of workplace violence and occupational stress. International journal of environmental research and public health17(3), 912.

Eweje, G.; Bentley, T. (2006). CSR and staff retention in New Zealand companies: A literature review. (Department of Management and International Business Research Working Paper Series 2006, no. 6). Auckland, NZ: Massey University. Department of Management and International Business

Dryselius, A., & Pettersson, J. (2021). Motivation in the Remote Workplace: Understanding the Threats and Opportunities to Motivation During Enforced Remote Work. THESIS

Bos-Nehles, A.C., Van Riemsdijk, M.J., & Kees Looise, J. (2013). Employee perceptions of line management performance: Applying the AMO theory to explain the effectiveness of line managers’ HRM implementation. Human Resource Management, 52(6), 861-877.

Kim, K.Y., Pathak, S., & Werner, S. (2015). When do international human capital enhancing practices benefit the bottom line? An ability, motivation, and opportunity perspective. Journal of International Business Studies, 46(7), 784-805.

Deci, E. L., Olafsen, A. H., & Ryan, R. M. (2017). Self-determination theory in work organizations: The state of a science. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior4, 19-43.

Gagné, M., & Deci, E. L. (2005). Self-determination theory and work motivation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, 331–362.

Schaufeli, W. B., Bakker, A. B., & Van Rhenen, W. (2009). How changes in job demands and resources predict burnout, work engagement, and sickness absenteeism. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30, 893–917.

Noble, H., & Smith, J. (2015). Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research. Evidence-based nursing18(2), 34-35.

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