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Motivation has long been one of management's most difficult and important duties. Success in this subject is becoming more challenging in organizational trends because business environment changes quickly and becomes more competitive. Researches on employee motivation especially highlight two types of factors: intrinsic and extrinsic. The purpose of this study it is to find out the effectiveness of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on employee motivation, which one is more effective and compare them according to demographic characteristics of employees. Using descriptive survey design, the sample of the study was 41 employees of an electricity delivery company located in the province of Ağrı, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. As a result of the study it is found out that both intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect employees while they achieve their tasks. Another result is that intrinsic factors are more motivating than extrinsic factors. Being the first one in the province of Ağrı, this study is meaningful and valuable.
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A MOTIVATION STUDY ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF INTRINSIC
AND EXTRINSIC FACTORS
Orhan Çınar1, Çetin Bektaş2, Imran Aslan3
1The University of Erzincan, Turkey, orhanar@gmail.com
2 The University of Erzincan, Turkey, cbektas@erzincan.edu.tr
3The University of Erzincan, Turkey, iaslan@erzincan.edu.tr, imranaslan@gmail.com
Abstract
Motivation has long been one of management’s most difficult and important duties. Success in this
subject is becoming more challenging in organizational trends because business environment changes quickly
and becomes more competitive. Researches on employee motivation especially highlight two types of factors:
intrinsic and extrinsic.
The purpose of this study it is to find out the effectiveness of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on
employee motivation, which one is more effective and compare them according to demographic
characteristics of employees. Using descriptive survey design, the sample of the study was 41 employees of
an electricity delivery company located in the province of Ağrı, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey.
As a result of the study it is found out that both intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect employees while
they achieve their tasks. Another result is that intrinsic factors are more motivating than extrinsic factors.
Being the first one in the province of Ağrı, this study is meaningful and valuable.
Keywords: Motivation, Intrinsic Factors, Extrinsic Factors.
JEL Classification: D23.
Introduction
In order to be successful or even more successful, today’s both private and public work organizations
need to maximize the use of their employees’ skills. Human resource is the most critical resource for any
organization in today’s highly competitive business environment. The primary task of any manager is to
have an organization that functions effectively. To do so, subordinates must work efficiently and produce
results that are beneficial to the organization.
It is obvious that motivation is one of the main factors that determine the work performance of
employees and highly motivated employees are crucial to an organization's success. But what does
motivation really represent or why people behave as they do? Motivation theories have aimed to answer this
question. If we know what drives the people then we are able to make them to do what we want (Owens,
2004; Eren, 2007; Koçel, 2010).
The term motivation derives from the Latin word movere, meaning “to move” (Tansky, 2003). In the
present context, motivation represents the process that arouses, energizes, directs, and sustains behaviour and
performance (Luthans, 1998). That is, it is the process of stimulating people to action and to achieve a
desired task. In brief, it can be said that a person is motivated when he/she wants to do something.
Motivation is a tool with which managers can use in organizations. If managers know what drives the people
working for them, they can set job assignments and rewards to what stimulates these people.
Motivation is a multidimensional framework because people are usually motivated by a combination
of different factors. Being a complex topic of research motivation has been studied from many different
approaches. Reinholt (2006) argue that the organizational science literature on motivation has for long been
polarized into two main positions; the organizational economic position focusing on extrinsic motivation and
the organizational behaviour position emphasizing intrinsic motivation. She continued that the organizational
economic approach and the organizational behaviour approach to human motivation and behaviour, hence
both intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation, are needed to analyze and understand motivation and
behaviour in organizations.
Motivation Theories
Employees were considered as solely one of the inputs of the production system in the initial stages of
the industrial revolution. It was the Hawthorne Studies conducted by Elton Mayo from 1924 to 1932 that
revealed the shift in the perception about employees by organizations. These studies concluded that
employees are not motivated merely by money and that employee behaviour is linked to their attitudes. The
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Hawthorne Studies began the human relations approach to management, and then the needs and motivation
of employees become an important topic for managers (Kulkarni and Chiniwar, 2009).
The most influent theory is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow (1943) advanced the following
important prepositions about human behaviour: humans want beings (they always want, and they want
more), a satisfied need is not a motivator of behaviour and human needs are arranged in a series of levels-a
hierarchy of importance. Maslow classified people needs in 5 categories: physiological, safety, social (sense
of belonging), esteem and self-realization needs. Maslow said that, when an inferior rank need is satisfied
(for example, assuring food, clothing, the need of breathing, etc), the next level need becomes dominant, and
the attention of the person is dedicated to the accomplishment of this higher rank need. He mentioned that
only an unsatisfied need can motivate the behaviour, the dominant need being the primary factor for
behaviour motivation.
In his research into human motivation, McClelland (Hicks and Gullett, 1981) identified three motives:
affiliation, power and achievement. According to achievement theory individuals behave by one or
combinations of those needs. These needs correspond to the social, esteem and self-realization needs of
Maslow’s hierarchy.
Another motivation theory is Frederick Herzberg's Two Factors Theory. Herzberg (1964) interviewed
“white collar” employees and managers to determine those things that caused them to be satisfied and
dissatisfied. He identified five factors that most often contributed to employee dissatisfaction: perceived
fairness of company policy, pay, working conditions, relations with one’s supervisor, and relations with co-
workers. He stated that to satisfy or motivate employees a different set of factors were needed. These
satisfiers included achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, and advancement. He labelled
the factors that produce satisfaction motivators and the factors that produce dissatisfaction hygiene factors.
He meant that motivation factors resulted from internal generators in employees and motivators produced
satisfaction, arising from intrinsic conditions of the job itself. Motivation and the increase of work
performance could be only obtained through the action of the motivational factors, which directly reflect the
content of the executed work by the employee on his position. The contextual factors represent only the
conditions necessary for the execution of work processes. This theory implies that in order to advance job
attitudes and productivity, managers should identify and concentrate to both sets of characteristics.
Those are three of the content theories. Content theories emphasize the specific factors that motivate
the employees, while the process theories underlined the psychological forces that have an effect on
motivation. Below are some of process theories.
The expectancy theory was initially elaborated by Vroom (1964) and then developed by Porter and
Lawler (1968). This theory establishes a connection between the employees’ motivation and their
expectancies. The motivation is possible only when there is a clear relation between the work performance
and its results and the results are means to satisfy a certain need. Porter and Lawler advocated structuring the
work environment so that effective performance would lead to both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, which
would in turn produce total job satisfaction. Intrinsic motivation involves people doing an activity because
they find it interesting and derive spontaneous satisfaction from the activity itself. Extrinsic motivation, in
contrast, requires an instrumentality between the activity and some separable consequences such as tangible
or verbal rewards, so satisfaction comes not from the activity itself but rather from the extrinsic
consequences to which the activity leads.
Skinner’s (Davis, 1987) operant conditioning is based on a fundamental concept of learning theory. In
this theory behaviour that is appropriately reinforced tends to be repeated while not reinforced or punished
tends not to be repeated. Individuals will take those actions that lead to the rewards that they want and will
stop doing those things that result in result in no rewards or punishment. Behaviour is thus a function of the
reinforcements supplied by the environment.
The goal setting theory states that the level of motivation and performance is higher when the
individual has specific objectives established and when these objectives, even with a high level of difficulty,
are accepted and are offered a performance feedback (Lantham and Locke, 1979).
The equity theory, developed by Adams (1975) explains about the people perceptions regarding the
way they are treated in comparison with others. Actually, the theory states that the people are higher
motivated when they are fairly treated and less motivated when there is no equity between employees.
A theory called “Self-Determination Theory” claimed that human behaviour can be driven both by
internal and external sources of the individual (Ryan and Deci, 2000). In Self-Determination Theory there
are different types of motivation based on the different reasons or goals that give rise to an action. The most
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basic distinction is between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation refers to doing
something because it is inherently interesting or enjoyable and extrinsic motivation refers to doing something
because it leads to a separable outcome. Figure-1 graphically illustrates the various forms of intrinsic and
extrinsic motivation.
Figure 1. A taxonomy of human motivation. (Ryan and Deci, 2000)
It can be seen that there are two common perspectives on motivation in the organizational science
literature: extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. In a review of the literature on work motivation,
Ambrose and Kulik (1999) stated that intrinsic motivation still is perceived to be highly dominant. On the
other hand it is said that both intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation are needed to analyze and
understand motivation and behaviour in organizations (Reinholt, 2006).
Objective of the Study
This study firstly aimed to understand the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors and then
what factor was more effective on employee motivation. Secondly, this study investigated the differences
between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors’ effectiveness according to demographic characteristics.
The following research questions were developed to guide the study.
What degree motivation factors affect on employee motivation?
What factors are more effective on employee motivation?
Is there any difference between effectiveness of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on employee motivation
when comparing to demographic characteristics accordingly?
Methodology
This study used a descriptive survey design.
The target population of the study was personnel of an electricity delivery company located in the
province of Ağrı, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. There were 41 participants of 60 personnel of the company.
Instrument
A modified questionnaire tagged intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors was used for the collection
of data on the study. The questionnaire was specifically designed to accomplish the objectives of the study
using five-point Likert Scale with responses ranging from highly motivates to never motivates. The first
section collected information such as age, gender, experience, professional status, position, and so on. The
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second section contained the items, and was divided into two parts. First part measures the effects of intrinsic
motivation factors while second part measures that of extrinsic motivation factors. First part yielded an
r=0.80 and second part yielded an r =0.86 Cronbach Alpha. The overall reliability co-efficient of the
instrument yielded an r = 0.87 Cronbach Alpha. To evaluate means, a range table established. It is shown in
Table 1.
Table 1. Ranges to evaluate means
Range Answers
1.00-1.80 Never motivates
1.81-2.60 Rarely motivates
2.61-3.40 Middle motivates
3.41-4.20 Motivates
4.21-5.00 Highly motivates
Data Analysis
Descriptive statistics such as frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation and for classification
t-test and one-way Anova were applied to analyze the collected data.
Results
The results of the analysis on the study are below.
Demographic characteristics of participants are shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Demographic characteristics of participants
Number Percentage (%)
Gender
Female
Male
Total
9
32
41
22
78
100
Position
Manager
Employee
Total
10
31
41
24
76
100
Academic Qualification
Secondary School
Vocational High School
Faculty
Total
15
14
12
41
37
34
29
100
Seniority
To 10 years
10-15 years
More than 15 years
Total
14
13
14
41
34
32
34
100
Age
To 25 years
25-35years
35-45years
More than 45 years
Total
4
18
12
7
41
10
44
29
17
100
Research Question 1: What degree motivation factors affect on employee motivation?
Table 3. Effects of motivation factors
Number Mean Range
Intrinsic Factors 41 4,44 Highly motivates
Extrinsic Factors 41 3,71 Motivates
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The result in Table 3 above reveals both intrinsic and extrinsic factors are effective on employee
motivation.
Research Question 2: What factor is more effective on employee motivation?
Table 4. Effectiveness of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on employee motivation
Number Mean Std. Dev. t p
Intrinsic Factors 41 4,44 0,743
Extrinsic Factors 41 3,71 0,901
4,80 0,000
The result in Table 4 above shows that a significant difference observed between the effectiveness of
intrinsic and extrinsic factors on employee motivation as p<0.05. It can be seen that intrinsic factors are more
effective on employee motivation.
Research Question 3: Is there any difference between effectiveness of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on
employee motivation when comparing to demographic characteristics accordingly?
T test was used while comparing to two groups (gender and position of participants) and one-way
anova was used while comparing more than two groups (academic qualification, seniority and age of
participants).
Table 5. Comparisons according to demographic characteristics
t p
Intrinsic Factors 1,041 0,304
Gender Extrinsic Factors 0,262 0,794
Intrinsic Factors 0,189 0,851
Position Extrinsic Factors 0,833 0,410
F p
Intrinsic Factors 1,524 0,231
Academic Qualification Extrinsic Factors 0,437 0,649
Intrinsic Factors 0,195 0,824
Seniority Extrinsic Factors 0,565 0,573
Intrinsic Factors 0,154 0,927
Age Extrinsic Factors 2,791 0,054
The result in table 5 shows that no difference exists between the effectiveness of intrinsic and extrinsic
factors on employee motivation when comparing to demographic characteristics of participants as p>0.05 for
all comparisons.
Conclusion
An organization is effective to the degree to which it achieves its goals. In this sense, human element
has a critical importance for organizations in today’s competitive business environment. In order to make
employees work efficiently and produce beneficial results to the organization, managers have to understand
human behaviour. Motivation is an important part of understanding behaviour and is a tool with which
managers can use in organizations to make people do what they want. The subject of this study is to
investigate the effectiveness of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on employee motivation.
The findings of the study reveal that both intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect workers while they
achieve their tasks. Another result is that intrinsic factors are more motivating than extrinsic factors. This
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result agrees with motivation theories and researches. When results compared according to demographic
characteristics, no differences was observed.
The data was collected only in one company, so this is the main limitation of the study. Therefore one
cannot generalize findings to other companies or provinces of the country. On the other hand being the first
one in the province of Ağrı, this study is meaningful and valuable. Future researchers may focus on the other
companies and provinces and then it would be possible to generalize the results.
References
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Management, 25(3):231-292.
3. Davis, K. (1987). Human Behavior at Work: Organizational Behaviour, McGraw Hill.
4. Eren, E. (2007). Örgütsel Davranış ve Yönetim Psikolojisi, Beta, İstanbul.
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10. Luthans, F. (1998). Organizational Behaviour, 8th ed., Irwin McGraw-Hill.
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12. Owens, R. G. (2004). Organizational Behaviour in Education, Pearson Education, Inc.
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17. Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and Motivation, John Wiley, New York.
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Intrinsic and extrinsic types of motivation have been widely studied, and the distinction between them has shed important light on both developmental and educational practices. In this review we revisit the classic definitions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in light of contemporary research and theory. Intrinsic motivation remains an important construct, reflecting the natural human propensity to learn and assimilate. However, extrinsic motivation is argued to vary considerably in its relative autonomy and thus can either reflect external control or true self-regulation. The relations of both classes of motives to basic human needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness are discussed.
  • H G Hicks
  • C R Gullett
Hicks, H. G. and Gullett, C. R. (1981). Management, McGraw Hill, Inc.