There are many factors which motivate workers to perform: standard benefits such as health care, employer engagement, active feedback, open communication and certainly salary. In particular, information technology professionals possess a different mindset and their average marketable skill sets are limited based on the rapid changes in global technology. As such, one has to ask, in a profession where individuals were more transient and would take a job offered by the highest bidder, what is the main motivator for these professionals? Through a mixed methodology research effort incorporating a self designed online questionnaire completed by 129 HR managers or their designees as well as a series of 10 personal interviews conducted with a mix of varied IT professionals this dissertation sought to examine the role salary plays as an employment motivator for IT professionals.
Table of Contents
Do monetary benefits motivate the workforce?
A study in the UK of the Information Technology Industry
Chapter One – Introduction
General info on employee motivation, pay, compensation packages, etc.
Chapter Two – Literature Review
Literature review purpose
Literature review search methodology
Lit rev inclusion and exclusion criteria
Chapter Three – Methodology
Structured methodology approach
Chapter Four – Results
Chapter Five – Discussion
Recommendations for future research
Chapter Six – Conclusion
Appendix A: Letter to HR Departments
Appendix B: Waiver for Questionnaire
Appendix C: Questionnaire for HR Departments
Appendix D: Posting for IT Department employees on Community Boards
Appendix E: Waiver for Interviewees
Appendix F: Interview Questions
Appendix G: Raw Data – Questionnaire
Appendix H: Interview Transcripts
“Having employees who are thoroughly motivated and truly engaged with what they are doing is the most powerful competitive weapon any organisation can enjoy.” Charles Woodruffe, 2005.
Chapter One – Introduction 简介
When determining what motivates an employee to perform, to engage with a specific employer for employment or to take on a contract for services as an independent contractor or self employed individual, the usual and customary response is “money talks.” But does it really?
According to Schramm (2007), citing the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2006 Job Satisfaction Survey, the most important factor associated with employee job satisfaction was compensation, with the top reason cited for switching jobs was to fund increased compensation with a different organisation. As of 2001, the average US salary for seasoned information technology (IT) professionals was in excess of $100,000 (Miller 2001). Statistically speaking, IT salaries are increasing, for example, as of 2004, the base salary for information architects increased 1.4%, data security analyst salaries increased 2.1%, system auditors increased 1.8%, quality assurance testers increased 1.2%, and disaster recovery specialists increased 1.2% (Starting IT salaries 2003). The increase is consistent in executive IT management, as Miller (2001) points out IT executives’ salaries range from $434,416 - $490,559 per year, with salary increases for middle management positions increasing 21% for very large organisations and 49% in those organisations considered medium sized firms. Nerenberg (2008) confirmed despite the economic downturn, IT salaries are still higher than most other professional salaries, such that the average programmer is compensated in excess of $100,000 per year.
While the 2003 survey (Starting IT salaries 2003) highlighted minimal increases, Miller (2001) points out that to attract or retain exceptional IT staff, salary is a key motivating factor, such that requirements range between 10 and 40% increases in salary rather than promises of stock or bonus structures. The trend is global, as represented by India. For example, dramatic salary increases are creating a sense of pay inequity as higher salary requirements are yielding greater benefits to new younger employees right out of school than those hired even one year prior (India Times InfoTech as cited by Indian tech salaries growing 2006). To offset the inequity, bonuses ranging from 15 – 35% are being offered to retain employees (India Times InfoTech as cited by Indian tech salaries growing 2006). Similarly, a 2004 report by the META Group noted IT salaries continue to escalate, stating that IT employees tend to move from one job to the highest bidder, such that IT staff are the most difficult for organisations to retain purely based on salary (IT salaries to escalate 2004).#p#分页标题#e#
MacLeod and Parent (1999) provide comparative industry standard rates of pay for information technology professionals, highlighting historically 27.94% were paid hourly wages, the largest bulk at 72.06% were paid salary based employees. Additionally, .43% were noted as being paid additional piece rates, 1.99% were on commission, 15.46% received bonuses and 13.76% were noted as considering their promotions sources of compensation/pay methods (MacLeod & Parent 1999).
While the debate of what motivates employees continues, researchers tells us that salary is the most frequently cited search request by the Society for Human Resource Management (Heathfield 2008a). However, researchers believe that money only motivates as long as monetary based needs are present. For example, if one’s salary is insufficient to pay one’s mortgage or rent, taxes, credit card or loan debt and utilities while also providing for food, shelter, clothing, etc., then there is sufficient motivation to seek a higher paying position and money is a primary motivator (Memmott & Growers 2002; Heathfield 2008b; Heathfield 2008e). A worker may express “I can put up with anything as long as I know the purpose behind my being here it to pay off my debts.”
Additionally, workers who believe they are underpaid feel underappreciated and are more likely to seek employment elsewhere. For example, if an employee only receives a standard 1- 4% cost of living increase, researchers believe this is counterproductive to employee motivation (Heathfield 2008f). One can ask in that situation, what will happen to Fujitsu Corporation who is cutting salaries in order to motivate their management teams and respective staff to increase work effort (Fujitsu to cut salaries 2004). On the other hand, a significant yearly increase can still serve to demotivate other staff members who feel that if they received such a large bonus, surely someone else received even more (Heathfield 2008f). If this is motivating, why do 58% of organisations surveyed believe monetary forms of reward are the most effective motivating technique (Put your motivation dollars 1999)?
Memmott and Growers (2002) tell us that morale is a factor that motivates employees; including taking care of employees who have fallen on hard times through employee sponsored fund raising events. Similarly, Memmott and Growers (2002) express employee’s needs for flexibility, participation in organisational goals and outcomes and open communication. But would these factors motivate the IT employee the same as it would an administrative assistant working in marketing? Gaffin (2001) believes workers need to be engaged in their jobs in order to stay motivated and perform optimally, staying motivated, while only 45% of those interviewed reported this was the case. Wiley (1997) noted that compared to 1946, 1980, 1986 and 1992, motivating factors have changed with the times. For example, salary is now the primary motivator in that although it is considered an external source of validation and motivation, it also makes a statement on how the company values the employee and affects the overall sense of wellbeing the employee feels (Wiley 1997). This was not always the case, as prior to the 1990s; research indicates motivating factors were more intrinsic in nature (Wiley 1997).#p#分页标题#e#
Organisationally, Heathfield (2008c) tells us that that pay structures within a firm are a direct representation of the organisation’s strategy and compensation philosophy. Money is a mechanism that combines with other employee benefits to paint a corporate picture for motivating and retaining staff as well as recruiting others (Heathfield 2008e). For example, Heathfield (2008c) tells us if an organisation pays salaries considered below industry standards, they can alienate and loose valuable employees, gain a reputation in the industry as a substandard employer and fail to secure excellent staff during hiring practices. Watson Wyatt Worldwide states in their document “The Human Capital Edge: 21 People Management Practices Your Company Must Implement (or Avoid) to Maximize Shareholder Value” (2008 as cited by Heathfield 2008e) in order to remain competitive in today’s market, organisation need to pay more than those organisations who pay average industry wages. Given the plethora of information available online, research is easier than ever before to seek out salary information for positions based on education, years of work in the industry, years of work in the same position, size of the organisation and location of the organisation such that when an individual seeks employment, they come to the interview with a preset level of salary expectations – especially given the standard salary increase one expects above and beyond in order to change positions/organisations (Heathfield 2008f).
Another organisational issue related to pay and salary is the unstated communication salary and compensation sent to a prospective or current employee the organisation and their level of expectations (Heathfield 2008e). While salaries for top performers can run an average of 7 – 8% above industry standards, Heathfield (2008a) cautions that overpaying for labour can be seen as a sign of excessive capital spending.
Finally, as organisations are becoming global in nature, there are cultural and economic differences in what salaries will and won’t motivate and employee and in particular, what other factors may be more motivating than salary to individuals from a different country (Rehu, Lusk & Wolff 2005). For example, Rehu, Lusk and Wolff (2005) determined that German employees differ in their incentive preferences in such a way that incentive programmes offered to Germans failed to motivate them as they did US employees; with similar findings that incentive programmes offered to US employees in their research failed to motivate them as they did their German counterparts. Similarly, Fisher and Yuan (1998) note that cultural differences are important, in that salary was considered the most important motivator to Chinese employees whereas their counterparts in other countries such as Russia, the United States and Taiwan.
It is therefore considered that this research will be of great value and interest to HR managers and staff, executives and business owners as well as IT department level managers and recruiters.#p#分页标题#e#
Human resource and other business managers require insight into the prospective and current employee when determining their hiring techniques and salary reviews. Gerhart and Rynes (2000) remind us that employee motivation reflected by salary or pay level is of little consequence to those organisations unless the organisation and managers have their own discretion in establishing salaries and/or using salary as a motivator. This dissertation will proceed with the assumption that it is directed at HR and managers of organisations that allow for salary discretion. Therefore, this author believes that the information contained in this document can be adapted to the real-world environment as a management aide. The author will look at length of employment relative to salary and other increases in remuneration such as bonuses, health plans, pensions, cars and so on. The aim of this dissertation is to research and critically assess the assertion that salary and other benefits are the main motivators for employees. By viewing the research from the perspective of both employees and employer, it is believed that valuable insight for management will be provided as to whether salary alone or other motivating factors are appropriate for consideration in their remuneration considerations.
In light of the conflicting research uncovered coupled with the level of reliance on information technology in the global marketplace, the following research questions must be asked:
What is the role of salary when viewed within the scope of overall compensation?
Is salary the main motivator for IT personnel?
What does length of service or employment in IT have to do with motivation to perform at work?
Do HR and IT employees believe that motivators are the same?
Seeking the answers to these questions will guide this research effort.
This dissertation makes the assumption that IT professionals are a unique class of employee. Further, for purposes of this dissertation, only IT professionals such as programmers, network administrators, system or data architects, analysts, project managers, etc. are considered within the scope of this research effort regarding IT employee motivation.
Issues dealing with salary structures, bonus structures or benefit structures within the organisation are considered beyond the scope of this dissertation and as such will be explicitly excluded. Additionally, issues dealing with the differences between pay levels for IT professionals working for professional IT contracting firms such as Cap Gemini or IT contracting professionals working directly for software manufacturers such as Oracle rather than for varied industry based organisations, such as automotive manufacturers are considered beyond the scope of this dissertation. Finally, issues related to gender, such as whether female IT professionals are motivated by pay or are affected by pay equity to a greater or lesser extent than their male counterparts is considered beyond the scope of this dissertation.#p#分页标题#e#
Following a series of operational definitions, this dissertation will present a comprehensive literature review followed by a detailed section explaining the research methodology used for this effort. Following said methodology, results will be presented. A detailed discussion section, drawing inference from current literature to explain, contrast and confirm study results will be presented along with highlights of future research recommendations and current study limitations. Finally, a brief conclusion will provide a review of study objectives and assess how this research effort satisfied questions raised.
In order to provide a common level of understanding of industry specific terms, the following words or phrases are operatively defined specifically for purposes of this dissertation.
Compensation: According to Entrepreneur magazine, compensation can be defined as the salary and wages, inclusive of benefits, that employees receive in exchange for their performance of satisfactory work (Compensation 2008).
Salary: Salary is defined as the “agreed upon and regular” payment made in exchange for employment paid at regular intervals (Salary 2008). MacLeod and Parent (1999) further define salary as inclusive of a potential variance of number of hours worked per pay period with no corresponding modification of salary.
Bonus: Entrepreneur magazine defines bonus as the usually monetary payment provided to an employee in excess of their compensation package or regular salary (Bonus 2008). MacLeod and Parent (2008) note that traditionally a bonus is not based on a contractual association with employment performance, and is considered tendered solely at the employer’s discretion.
Employment: The status of being an employee and/or having a job.
Contractor. The definitions for contractor and self-employed individuals are quite similar. Therefore, for purposes of this dissertation, the definition used for contractor shall refer to those individuals who enter into a contract fixed in nature, such as per portion of a project or time period, in exchange for a specific rate of remuneration that excludes those benefits traditionally associated with employment. A contractor may be self employed or work as the employee of another firm yet be placed on a job site as a third party contractor and therefore be ineligible for benefits afforded employees of client. For example, an Oracle Database Analyst is frequently an employee of Oracle Corporation but will be placed as a contractor at client sites. The Oracle DBA is not considered an employee of the client.
Employee. According to legal sources, the statutory and accepted definition of employee in the UK is “an individual who has entered into or works under (or, where the employment has ceased, worked under) a contract of employment" (Definitions and interpretation 2007).#p#分页标题#e#
Employer: Based upon the previous definition of employee, an employer then, is one who engages employees under a contract of employment, exercises control over where the employee performs their work, sets standards of expectations and in exchange for employment, compensates an employee accordingly with salary and or salary and benefits (Employer 2008). Additionally, employers are generally responsible for paying various taxes associated with providing insurance or other benefit oriented coverage for their employees.
Motivation: The word motivation is derived from the Latin ‘movere’ which means ‘to move’ (Rehu, Lusk & Wolff 2005). Researchers generally view motivation as a need based force that directs an individual to a specific behaviour or behavioural pattern, the result of which decreases the need. (Snowman, McGown & Biehler 2008; Buford, Gedeian & Lindner 1995; Higgins 1994). Memmott and Growers (2002) believe motivation is the direction of one’s energies towards the alignment of specific goals and the commitment to achieving them. Robbins (1996, 212 as cited by Rehu, Lusk & Wolff 2005) define employee motivation as “the willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organizational goals, conditioned by the efforts’ ability to satisfy some individual need.” For purposes of this dissertation, this researcher defines motivation as the level of happiness in the workplace and a willingness to work towards the company’s aims and objectives.
Chapter Two – Literature Review
Literature review purpose
With a goal of finding, critically assessing and summarising existing knowledge on a problem, identifying relevant and current existing literature enables the researcher to clarify which problems have been investigated, which require further replication, and isolate those issues which have yet to be investigated due to the lack of information. Additionally, the literature review helps to further formulate the current research effort by directing the researcher in designing the study and interpreting the outcomes (Burns and Grove 1997). Playle (2000) adds the comprehensive literature review focuses the researcher’s thinking, helps to define key terms and examines previous research methodologies. Parahoo (1997) believes the literature review serves to focus the mass of literature available into an organised presentation of existing knowledge.
Literature review search methodology
Multiple academic and professional databases were searched including Google Scholar and Highbeam.com online databases. These databases were searched simultaneously using a selection of key words and phrases including: “pay satisfaction,” “salary + Information Technology,” “salary + employee motivation,” “pay + employee motivation,” and “compensation + employee motivation.” The following is a breakdown of hits per search:#p#分页标题#e#
Salary + employee compensation = 2,570
Compensation + employee motivation = 4,170
Pay satisfaction = 2,380
Salary + Information Technology = 30,700
Highbeam Professional and Academic Database
Salary + Information Technology = 5,871 for all sources,
= 990 when limited to magazines and journals
Compensation + employee motivation = 133 from all sources.
= 58 when limited to magazines and journals
Pay + employee motivation = 208 from all sources
= 101 when limited to magazines and journals
Citations and abstracts retrieved were evaluated for relevance to the research questions or hypotheses, at which point the full text of each article designated as applicable was retrieved, either electronically, through the University library, through inter-library loan or from subscription based professional databases where proprietary articles were located. Each of these articles was then evaluated for their research credibility.
Literature review inclusion and exclusion criteria
Inclusion criteria were identified which limited available documentation to those studies which provided value and offered new insights. Based on the large number of search hits retrieved, many dealt with extraneous topics considered beyond the scope of this dissertation and/or search strings were mentioned once in an article but used in a different context. As such, the number of articles used for the literature was limited to those directly applicable to the various themes presented below. Additional inclusion criteria held that all research obtained must be in English, be original papers and be published in peer review journals within the last 20 years (with the potential for exception based on relevancy. Type of research conducted was not a criteria allowing for a variety of methodologies as both quantitative and qualitative studies have their own positive uniqueness.
A vast amount of literature was identified initially; therefore an initial appraisal of retrieved literature was necessary to identify relevant and appropriate papers for inclusion in the review. Cormack (2000) suggests that not all published research papers are of the same quality and that all research papers have both strengths and weaknesses, therefore it is imperative that all material is critically appraised with regard to appropriateness, reliability and validity of conclusions drawn and applicability of recommendations made. Through a process of briefly reviewing article abstracts, recommendations and conclusions from selected research accomplished a review according to Cormack’s (2000) suggestion articles were chosen for inclusion in this literature review. Subsequently, articles were either accessed in hard copy directly from bound journals or retrieved online.#p#分页标题#e#
The research retrieved is based on a wide range of topics; therefore a thematic approach to this literature review was employed in order to offer structure. A topical approach will include sections on motivation, motivational theory, employee motivation, compensation and employee motivation and finally IT compensation and motivation.
Researchers tell us that motivation is either considered intrinsic, such that the drive to satisfy originates from within the individual or it is extrinsic, defines as externally driven (Rehu, Lusk & Wolff 2005). Snowman, McGown and Biehler (2008) believe that extrinsic sources of motivation are invalid, however, as their precept is that motivation must come from within an individual. In particular, Bentley (2006) differentiates between the motivators we can see and the motivators we cannot see, thus the difference between the physical state and the psychological state, with motivators operating at the psychological level.
Lindner (1998) studied the role of various key motivators in relation to traditional motivation theory in the business environment. Literature focuses extensively on Maslow’s hierarchy (1943; Barnet 2006) as a key theory in motivational psychology. In a proposal of escalating needs which required a step-wise satisfaction, Maslow (1943) proposed a continuum of physiological needs, security needs, belongingness needs, esteem needs and self-actualisation needs. Starting with the lowest ranking physiological needs, Maslow (1943) stated these must be satisfied before needs at the next level, security, could be dealt with or become motivating factors for an individual. In other words, if basic food and shelter needs were not satisfied, the need for security based motivators would not even present themselves (Barnet 2006).
If one relates Maslow’s (1943) hierarchy of needs to the business realm, as Lindner (1998) did, prior to an employee being motivated, his lower level, or physiological and safety needs, which are satisfied through salary must be satisfied before other potentially motivating factors that might motivate another individual would motivate the one lacking physiological satisfaction. This essentially translates into safe working conditions on the job and for one’s family (Barnet 2006).
Lindner (1998) and Barnet (2006) tell us Alderfer’s ERG theory (Alderfer 1969) is a refinement of Maslow’s (1943) hierarchy, highlighting only three categories: growth, relatedness and existence. Therefore, from a business perspective, Alderfer’s (1969) theory implies managers should attempt to satisfy all three categorical motivating concepts however, Barnet (2006) adds that they must still be met in the appropriate hierarchical format: existence, relatedness and finally growth.#p#分页标题#e#
When Lindner (1998) introduced the impact of Herzberg’s (1964; 1966) 2 Factor Theory, Herzberg proposed the same internal and external sources of motivation as later by Rehu, Lusk and Wolff (2005) and Snowman, McGown and Biehler (2008). Relating them to the business world, Herzberg (1964; 1966) believed that intrinsic motivators were those related to recognition and achievement and recognition as a prelude to job satisfaction. Herzberg’s (1964, 1966; Herzberg, Mausner & Snyderman 1959) other factor in his two factor theory was the hygiene motivator, essentially extrinsic motivators including salary and issues related to job security levels. In particular, Herzberg (1964, 1966; Herzberg, Mausner & Snyderman 1959) determined that it was the hygiene motivators that lead to greater sources of job dissatisfaction and reduced motivation rather than unmet intrinsic motivators. As related specifically to compensation, Barnet (2006) tells us satisfying those needs considered lower level for appropriate pay and industry standard benefits can prevent dissatisfaction with one’s job, but only to the time they are satisfied. Once lower level needs are satisfied, internal, or intrinsic motivating factors become motivators seeking satisfaction (Barnet 1006).
Consistent with Herzberg’s intrinsic motivators (1964, 1966; Herzberg, Mausner & Snyderman 1959), research tells us that employees seek to perform if they are motivated based on social factors, such as a sense of belonging or the opportunity to grow and achieve in a position or organisation (Bentley 2006). Bentley (2006) conducted a research study which concluded when supervisors and co-workers provide an individual with appropriate levels of respect, that individual is more than willing to contribute extra work effort to meet a challenge or solve a problem. Huling (2003) concurred with the finding that although a strong management directive “good kick in the, er, pants” is initially motivating, it was found to quickly become a demotivating factor. This is consistent with Herzberg’s theories which tell us that rewards as well as negative feedback from a manager are extrinsic forces that produce short term motivation among employees, but fail to modify long-term patterns of behaviour within the employee (Huling 2003). Similarly, Huling (2003) determined that although a manager may eliminate job dissatisfaction, the lack of job dissatisfaction does not lead to job satisfaction, whereas intrinsic sources are more likely to motivate an employee. This is consistent with research by Rantz, Scott and Porter (2007) who studied 38 staff and/or managers from various industrial genres, such as healthcare, academia and private enterprise and determined that interpersonal relations in the work environment, particularly between staff and manager, were regarded as the primary motivating factor by participants to improve both motivation to perform and job satisfaction. In a study Byrne (2006), research noted while enhanced levels of job performance are motivators, the work load increase that often accompanies a high performer can rapidly lead to decreased motivation to perform and decreased levels of job satisfaction. Similarly, it was noted, as an external motivator, salary and bonuses or other incentives based on work performance are known to ultimately become entitlements rather than motivators, for example, if the same bonus structure is used yearly and individuals believe it is just a normal part of their compensation they have to wait for (Byrne 2006).#p#分页标题#e#
Vroom’s Expectancy Theory (1964 as cited by Lindner 1998) alleges the combined level of work effort plus performance will produce reward, much like an equation. Vroom (1964; Lindner 1998) however, noted that rewards can be positive or negative with mediating factors being level of performance (positive or negative) and level of effort (extra or reduced). Therefore, according to Vroom’s Expectancy Theory (1964; Lindner 1998) there are three variables one can consider as motivating: expectancy, instrumentality and valence. Barnet (2006) tells us that expectancy is the association between work level and type of performance; instrumentality is associated with the correlation between work effort and reward; and finally, valance, is type of outcome, whether negative or positive as it is associated with the specific work. In particular, Vroom (1964) determined that positive rewards were motivating whereas negative rewards decreased level of motivation. As related to the work environment, Vroom (1964) determined strategies to motivate workers needed to be based on the individual the supervisor is trying to motivate. Vroom (1964) cautioned that managers cannot attempt to motivate everyone the same way, as what is motivating to one is not necessarily motivating to another (Vroom 1964, Employee motivation 2008). Research determined individuals will willingly increase their work effort if value is perceived and at the same time if a need will be satisfied (Barnet 2006; Vroom 1964).
Arvey and Neel (1978) studied 98 engineers in relation to expectancy theory and motivation, putting Vroom’s theory to the test, and determined that participants were more likely to perform or excel in their performance through extra work effort if a reward was anticipated for the increased effort. Researchers also noted that older engineers with more seniority were more likely to be motivated by their need to demonstrate an accomplishment and use their own creativity to solve a problem (Arvey & Neel 1978).
Porter and Lawler added to Vroom’s Expectancy Theory adding greater complexity by stating increased work effort is variable from one individual to the next; therefore, an increase in work effort may decrease the level of performance if the individual does not have the necessary skill (Barnet 2006).
Relating to the need for social motivating factors, Rensis Likert (as cited by Employee motivation 2008) determined those who participated in a group setting were more likely to be success oriented. Similarly, when individuals are goal oriented Barnet (2006) cite Lock and Latham’s (1990) research by reflecting individuals are more likely to be motivated to perform at a higher level. Consistent with goal orientation, Atkinson (1964) highlights the differences between individuals in their need to achieve; stating those who are more achievement oriented will be more goal-driven and more highly motivated to succeed than others.#p#分页标题#e#
According to Lock and Latham (1990), quantitative rather than qualitative goals are stronger motivators as the individual can interpret the goal with little room for judgement; goals are concrete. Barnet (2006) reminds us, irrespective of the goal, levels of individual competency influences performance. Therefore it is essential that an individual have the specific abilities/level of competency in order to satisfy one’s job requirements otherwise the work will be seen as demotivating. This is also critical for the personal life of the worker, such that the individual must be competent to deal effectively with personal situations, for example parenting, otherwise their perceived failure in their personal realm will spill over and negatively impact work competency (Bentley 2006). Locke and Latham (2006) created a data-based theory of work motivation as correlated with job satisfaction and determined that those who are high performers are more likely to have an increased sense of job satisfaction. Islam (2006) states there are three elements that determine employee performance: job skills, level of motivation and work environment, such that while the other two areas are easily modified or taught, motivation must come from within the worker rather than from externally.
When motivating employees, one has to pay particular attention to equity theory throughout the marketplace. For example, if one employee at an organisation receives one type of reward and another at a different organisation or even a different department receives another, equity or inequity is evaluated either on a conscious or unconscious level by the employee (Barnet 2006). If inequity levels or disparity is perceived, a strong demotivating mechanism will occur regardless of who has received the greater level of reward (Barnet 2006). In an effort to balance the perceived inequity, Barnet (2006) believes individuals will modify their work effort either up or down according to the level of disparity perceived.
Consistent with McClelland’s Learning Theory (as cited by Barnet 2006), Barnet (2006) alleges society teaches us those factors which are perceived as motivating. McClelland’s Learning Theory (as cited by Barnet 2006) suggests three societal motivators: the need for power, the need for affiliation and the need for achievement.
Ultimately, no matter what motivation theory seems to dominate the work environment or that dominates a supervisor’s interpersonal style, the supervisor has to be able to assess which are the primary motivators for each individual worker and help each individual work towards satisfying their individual needs rather than treating an entire department the same (Barnet 2006).
While the works of Maslow (1943), Herzberg (1966), McClelland (1953) as well as Vroom (1964) are well known in and cited within the field of motivational psychology, Rehu, Lusk and Wolff (2005) explain that such theorists fail to integrate the specific institutional frameworks which will affect the unmet needs employees face, thus affecting their performance, as well as preference and level of motivation by specific incentives. This is consistent with findings by Snowman, McGown and Biehler (2008) who state that the cognitive view of motivation integrates the environment the individual is in as well as the manner in an individual’s self-concept.#p#分页标题#e#
The field of motivation and motivational psychology originated in the early 1900s with Frederick Winslow Taylor’s (1911) Theory of Scientific Management which alleges pay is the primary motivator for any worker. Taylor’s (1911) widely publicised beliefs of the time led to many business changes, including the rise of the autocratic manager and ultimately increased worker productivity. Taylor (1911) is thought to be closely tied to Theory X (McGregor 1960) sensing workers as lazy and in need of close supervision – what we would consider micromanagement today.
Elton Mayo followed and stressed that social factors also impact the worker’s motivation, that money is not the primary or only factor as concluded by the famous Hawthorne Study (1924 as cited by Gale 2004, Dickenson 1973, Bedeian, 1993). Mayo determined that productivity changes if people believe they are being watched (Mayo 1924 as cited by Gale 2004). In relation to what motivates a worker, however, Mayo (1924 as cited by Gale 2004) determined there were three primary factors: increased worker/supervisor communication, in particular related to feedback, increased levels of involvement from a supervisor in the worker’s personal life and increased productivity found when individuals were placed in teams .
In a study of 23 middle-class workers in a Midwestern US city, Lindner (1998) asked participants to rate the relative importance of 10 various motivators: “(a) job security, (b) sympathetic help with personal problems, (c) personal loyalty to employees, (d) interesting work, (e) good working conditions, (f) tactful discipline, (g) good wages, (h) promotions and growth in the organization, (i) feeling of being in on things, and (j) full appreciation of work done. Results concluded that “interesting work” was the main motivator, followed salary and appreciation of work effort (Lindner 1998). Lindner (1998) points out that interesting work is related to self-actualising motivation, salary is related to physiological motivating factors and appreciation of work performed is an esteem based or intrinsic motivator.
Sparrow (1998) and Claire, Kickul and Lester (2001) believe the key to worker motivation is based in the psychological contract between employee and employer. Researchers tell us that the psychological contract is an unwritten contract based on mutual reciprocity: essentially consisting of those entitlement beliefs on the part of the employee in exchange for the performance and loyalty of the employee towards the organisation (Hallier & James 1997, Robinson 1996, Rousseau 1989, 1990, 1995, Rousseau & Aguenzo 1993, Rousseau & Wade-Benozi 1994 as cited by Edwards & Karau 2007). In particular, Sparrow (1998) states that the psychological contract differs from one employee to the next, making it a personal entity. Claire, Kickul and Lester (2001) add that the psychological contract is one that is completely based on employee perception. However it is exactly this perception that researchers believe shed light on the worker’s attitudes and priorities in relation to their personal motivators (The Psychological Contract 2007). If the psychological contract is breached by the employer, negative results can be seen as the breach is considered significantly demotivating (Cable, Edwards & Lambert 2003).#p#分页标题#e#
In keep with fostering the psychological contract, researchers believe there are core factors to motivate that all managers can use that are not associated with any one motivational theory (Employee motivation 2008). Supervisor based motivational factors focus on meeting social needs, an include providing external validation for a job well done, respecting their employees, trusting the employee and fostering a sense of trust in return, creating a sense of loyalty in the employee, assuring opportunities for growth exist, offering appropriate levels of compensation based on work effort required and practicing strong interpersonal communication skills (Employee motivation 2008).
When pointing out the common myths surrounding employee motivation, Nelson (1994, 2008) posits the primary motivator for employees is praise, offering this is seen as having greater value to the employee than financial incentives or job status/prestige and is viewed as a powerful employee. In light of the increased level of technology in the workplace, particularly when working with individuals in an information technology setting where the environment is primarily system dominated, Nelson (1994, 2008) stresses the need for managers to be increasingly cognisant of the human factor such that supervisors need to go out of their way to praise their employees and foster open and frequent methods of face-to-face communication rather than corresponding through automated sources such as intranets or email.
In a study of 427 manufacturers, Imberman (2008) identified both economic and non-economic motivators. Non-economic motivators that worked to improve productivity and reduce turnover included symbols that employees were valued, such as recognition based t-shirts or other paraphernalia with corporate logos, catalogue selection options and special service lunches (Imberman 2008). These were found to create a sense of personal caring on the part of management (Imberman 2008). Another major finding by Imberman (2008) was the enhanced role of profit sharing as a motivator, stating that economic motivators are considered easily understood by workers and management alike (Imberman 2008). Imberman (2008) determined that the relatively new practice of gain sharing includes elements of both economic and non-economic motivators.
In a study by Wayne et al. (1999) of 245 supervisor-subordinate relationships, it was determined that when supervisors mentored individuals, they felt a strong sense of motivation, but only if the individual was career oriented and sought promotions within the given company. Otherwise, while the more open and attentive relationship was related to job satisfaction, it was not associated with long term career satisfaction or salary progression.
Just as researchers have noted individual differences lay between people on what is most motivating to them in the workplace, Nelson (1994, 2008) adds that these differences occur between staff and supervisors as well. Research by Lindahl (1940, 1980, 1990 as cited by Nelson 2008) highlights the difference as staff in Lindahl’s research ranked supervisor’s appreciation for work performance as the number one motivator whereas supervisors in the study ranked the motivating factor as eighth.#p#分页标题#e#
Differences in motivators exist between levels of employment as well. For example, Sanzotta (1977) determined that white collar employees, such as IT professionals ranked challenging and interesting work as the most important motivator for them whereas blue collar workers rated salary as the most important work motivator.
Umiker (1992) determined that managers and supervisors cannot directly change what does and does not motivate a specific employee, but efforts to improve work conditions, encourage positive leadership traits, open communication and when appropriate realign work load or job responsibilities as methods of motivation enhancement. Umiker (1992) also highlighted the importance of being proactive when motivating workers in order to foster a motivating environment which enhances employee retention and discourages low morale or other demotivating factors. Umiker (2008) found such tactics as expanding training provided in-house, recognising and rewarding employees, using praise appropriately, delegating appropriately, encouraging teambuilding and team work and allowing for bi-directional feedback are strong non-economic motivators.
In an experiment with the Pulaski Police Department, White (2001) determined that for many individuals who are intrinsically motivated, the work itself is the primary motivator, as was the case for the police department employees. This finding was consistent with McGregor’s X and Y Theory, such that Theory Y identified those employees who are self-directed (White 2001). As an outgrowth of White’s (2001) finding, the Pulaski Police Department created a motivational video consisting strictly of police in the department performing their regular jobs as a way to recognise employee contributions and serve as a motivating reminder of the service they perform to the city. Clifton (1998) likens this to the Protestant work ethic wherein individuals are more likely to be motivated in their work environment because they believe it is a moral responsibility to be productive and is consistent with an internal drive to feel good about themselves as productive members of a society. These findings are consistent with Alderfer’s (1969) ERG Theory which emphasises the workers need for self-esteem as a motivating factor. Arnolds and Boshoff (2002) studied the link between job performance and self-esteem and determined that esteem was a type of personality based variable that was found to bear significantly on job performance – when esteem was enhanced, job performance improved; when esteem was decreased, job performance suffered.
When viewing intrinsic modes of motivation, similar to that of the police department highlighted above, when working for a non-profit organisation, motivating factors are primarily found to be intrinsic as well (Leete 2000). As such, in a study of non-profit organisations compared to for-profit organisations, Leete (2000) determined that wage equity is still a motivating factor for all workers irrespective of non- or for-profit sectors; however, wage equity was more likely to be associated with for-profit organisations.#p#分页标题#e#
Having employers confirm the employee is valued, is consistent with research by Baker, Jensen and Murphy (1998) who determined that moral, trust, culture, a sense of fairness and equity among all workers and a sense of social responsibility were methods of increasing the intrinsic motivation of an employee. If one is made to feel valued, they are more likely to express great job satisfaction, have an associated feeling of pay equity and an overall increased sense of motivation to perform (Baker, Jensen & Murphy 1998).
Consistent with the overall literature findings on the importance to employees of intrinsic modes of motivation, Neumayer (2005) determined that “85% of an employee’s motivation is internal” such that strong employees will motivate each other if the work and environment themselves allow for intrinsic motivation. Neumayer (2005) highlights employees are more likely to be self-motivated when presented with a challenge; especially those who are goal oriented in the IT industry.
Although frustrating, Bowen and Radhakrishna (1991) noted that just as motivators vary from individual to individual, research indicates that motivating factors are in a frequent state of flux, such that what the primary motivator is for an individual at one time may or may not be the same primary motivating factor the next day, week, month or year.
Compensation and employee motivation
Terpestra and Honoree (2004) studied the role of pay satisfaction in relation to job satisfaction in a group of university professors at 219 four+ year universities in the United States, resulting in 490 individual participants. While they determined job satisfaction was related to job performance, consistent with Ostroff 1992), pay satisfaction had a stronger level of influence regarding overall level of pay satisfaction as well as job satisfaction. Further, researchers evidence the mounting costs of employee turnover in relation to the minimal costs associated with salary increases in order to retain staff and improve job and pay satisfaction levels (Terpestra & Honoree 2004). This was consistent with findings by Wubbolding (2007) who stated that salary is a given in today’s society, therefore motivation is likely to be associated with other issues such as job satisfaction and needs fulfilment.
On the other hand, Heneman, Greenberger and Strasser (2006) studied 104 employees in the healthcare industry and determined that pay level satisfaction and pay for performance were positively correlated. Employee perceptions of pay equity based on industry and co-worker parity, job satisfaction, promotion and performance ratings were all factors related to pay equity and pay satisfaction (Heneman, Greenberger & Strasser 2006).
Weiss (1987) found that wage incentives are strongly related to work effort; however only in so far as the individual is in control of the outcome. When incentives are group based, Weiss (1987) determined work performance decreases, employee turnover increases and motivation overall decreases in a downward spiral due to these two consequences of the group incentive programme. This is consistent with research by Weiner (2006) who focused on Lawler and Dyer and Theriault (as cited by Weiner 2006)’s research on determinants of pay satisfaction. Weiner’s study determined that when pay administration protocol that are deemed equitable by the employee, increased pay satisfaction and thus employee motivation result. Although gender differences were explicitly excluded from this dissertation, it is important to cite Loscocco and Spitze’s (1991) research that determined gender has a role in the pay satisfaction and pay equity, as females are more accepting of lower salaries as they use other women rather than industry standards as a pay referent. This is inconsistent; however, with findings by Gray (2007) who notes UK salary statistics (www.statistics.gov.uk) highlights the narrowing gender salary disparity. In an article in The Economist, it was further noted that employees feel demotivated in many instances due to the lack of connection between their work effort and subsequent pay raises (The power of people 1988).#p#分页标题#e#
While researchers indicate salary is not always a motivator, the perception of a lack of financial support and recognition was found to be a demotivating factor (Amar 1994). Amar (1994) believes that the perception of what financial reward translates into is more important than the actual financial reward itself, citing examples of Olympic gold medals, which were valued at approximately $75 translated into significant promotional and job opportunities valued at hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Similarly, the CEO converts salary into appreciable assets, such as fine jewellery, luxury cars and property, all of which appreciate in value. Curry (2005) believes that money should not be the only motivator, even though he states that money will “never be frowned upon” when offered to a potential or current employee.
Of primary interest were the findings of Rynes, Gerhart and Minette (2004) who determined that while HR professionals believe participants in research studies are more likely to overrate the importance they place on salary, the opposite is true. Researchers highlight the importance individuals place on salaries and the consistent underestimating of such by management (Rynes, Gerhart & Minette 2004). Consistent with the uniqueness of individuals, Rynes, Gerhart and Minette (2004) also state that salary is more important to some than to others and managers must know who they are dealing with in order to appropriately motivate the employee through financial modes of compensation.
The uniqueness of IT employees
Verespej (1999) tells us that IT personnel can write their own ticket – in other words, they can demand a particular salary and expect to get it. And, it is this belief that fosters the short term mentality of many IT professionals. As noted by Verespej (1999), “IT people do not look at a company as a long term career opportunity... They look at an employer as a place for one or two projects and as a place to build their portfolio of types of assignments.” Verespej (1999) emphasises this belief requires employers to offer interesting projects as a motivator for IT employees. According to research cited by Verespej (1999), the primary motivator for IT staff is the ability for a job to enhance and advance specific IT related skills to further a career, followed by the ability for a job to allow the individual to live the type of life they seek – such as including telecommuting or other forms of job flexibility. Third was salary (Verespej 1999).
IT compensation and motivation
McLean, Smits and Tanner (1996) studied several hundred IT graduates in a quantitative study taking place over several years duration with regard to how important their newfound “above average salaries” were to the new employees, relating money to Herzberg’s hygiene factor. Researchers concluded that while money was the originating motivator for participants, it rapidly lost its primary importance and became another hygiene factor subordinate to training and interesting work (McLean, Smits & Tanner 1996).#p#分页标题#e#
Based on the plethora of information available on motivation, motivational theories and employee motivation, with a growing limitation of literature as one narrows the topic to compensation, especially in attempting to find agreement among researchers, the significantly limited availability of information specific to IT employees is interesting from several standpoints. First of all, as technology is increasing, even management literature evidences the promotion of managers throughout an organisation based on their technical ability rather than their soft people skills (Laff 2006). Secondly, as business has rapidly become a global environment, literally limited only by technology, networks and advanced systems technology are requirements for virtually all organisations, thus increasing the demand to hire and retain IT staff. Thus, the lack of available information specific to what motivates IT employees and the specific role salary plays as a motivator to IT staff was surprising. The multiple findings of the literature review support the need for additional research in this area, thus supporting the current research effort.
Chapter Three – Methodology 方法论
Structured methodology approach
Sogunro (2002) tells us that the guiding methodology principle is to design the study based on the overall goals of the research, assessing which types of methodologies and their respective approaches to research will be the most likely to result in useful data. Additionally, the methodology must be appropriate for the specific project with respect to the provision of both external and internal validity, objectivity and result reliability (Devers 1999).
By combining the best of qualitative and quantitative approaches, a researcher can take advantage of the complimentary nature each respective methodology embraces (Devers 1999. For example, a mixed methodology allows the researcher to generate a specific research theory that is both scientifically credible and grounded that also provides results which are transferable and generalisable as well as reflective (Devers 1999). Schollhammer (1994) tells us the descriptive study using a mixed methodology approach is being used with increasing frequency for business and management; thus the added appropriateness for this dissertation effort focusing on the IT industry with relation to business and management. In fact, it is Schollhammer’s (1994) belief that business management research efforts using the mixed research methodology approach provide the most valuable information sources. This is further corroborated by research into methodology appropriateness by Cunningham’s (2000 as cited by Hurmerinta-Peltomaki & Nummela 2006) who states a mixed methodology approach allows the researcher much more colourful view of all potential data structures and relationships.
Further, if one looks at research methodologies as mutually exclusive, such as the qualitative approach discussed by Karami, Analoui and Rowley, (2006) while the benefits allow one to obtain greater personal insights and levels of understanding into a specific problem or area of concern rather than merely utilising statistics off a survey or other comparative instrument, one misses out on a potential for scientific statistical corroboration to explain an event under study. Finally, Cross et al. (1996) tell us the choice of methodologies determine the reader’s ability to apply said research to practice; thus if follows that a mixed methodology provides the answers of who, how and why where a single methodology fails to provide a complete frame of reference.#p#分页标题#e#
For purposes of this dissertation, a mixed qualitative and quantitative methodological approach will be utilised incorporating both surveys and personal interviews.
Participants will be gleaned from a variety of sources. Original proposed plans called for culling information, with permission already granted, from the Managing Directors of three of this researcher’s prior employers. Said Managing Directors allocated carte blanch access to whatever data required for purposes of this dissertation. However, as plans formalised for the final research effort and the decision was made to utilise a larger response base for the survey instrument and only limited participation for interviews, additional HR sources were required beyond the confines of three organisations. Thus, in order to secure a large enough participant base (ideally seeking a minimum of 200 respondents), a postal invitation to HR managers working for Fortune 500 organisations that also had in-house information technology departments was sent (See Appendix A). It is important to note that the sample solicited were standard organisations rather than specifically IT Contracting Services. The invitation contained directions to a secured website questionnaire (See Appendix B).
The participant base was to be limited to 5 respondents as interview based studies usually study phenomenon from a smaller participant base. In addition to the postal invitations sent to the HR managers, a one page poster soliciting volunteers was included (See Appendix C) for posting in the dedicated IT Break Room or community board if there was one, otherwise it was requested that it be posted in the corporate lunch/break room. The poster contained brief information on the study with directions to contact this researcher by email at the dedicated email address provided in the poster. Although participation was limited to the first 5 respondents who were able to schedule interview times within the confines of this dissertation schedule; 4 alternates were also scheduled in case any one or more of the first 5 scheduled participants were called out of town, had timing conflicts or simply forgot to attend the scheduled interview. Due to the privacy and anonymity constraints assured for all interviewees, interviews were held at local Starbuck’s.