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Journal cover: International Journal of Manpower

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Online from: 1980

Subject Area: Economics

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What motivates employees according to over 40 years of motivation surveys

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Title:What motivates employees according to over 40 years of motivation surveys
Author(s):Carolyn Wiley, (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA)
Citation:Carolyn Wiley, (1997) "What motivates employees according to over 40 years of motivation surveys", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 18 Iss: 3, pp.263 - 280
Keywords:Corporate culture, Motivation, Personal needs, Personnel psychology, Recognition, USA
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/01437729710169373 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:Explores past and present attitudes of employees concerning work-related motivational factors. Understanding the factors that employees consider motivating lends insight to the rewards to which they more positively respond. Compares the results of four motivation surveys conducted in 1946, 1980, 1986 and 1992. The comparisons reveal that employees’ motivational preferences vary over time. In addition, the results of the 1992 survey indicate that the factors that motivate today’s workers are more extrinsic than they used to be. Although employees differ on how they rank these factors, they overwhelmingly selected “good wages” as the top motivator. A good wage is an extrinsic reward with intrinsic potency. On the surface “good wages” seem to be purely extrinsic. Yet, at a deeper level, monetary rewards communicate what the company values and affect employees’ emotional and familial wellbeing.

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