Research motivation, job satisfaction, productivity, job satisfaction, commitment

Research Proposal


The impact of
employee motivation on organizational productivity among knowledge workers in



Researchers and academicians in psychology have over the years
contributed significantly to research and scholarship on human motivation and
the advancement of motivational theories. 
Motivational theories have been useful in defining key constructs that have
come to be applied to variety of different domains by practitioners, which
include industrial psychology, human resource management and human resource
development among others. These include: motivation, job satisfaction,
productivity, job satisfaction, commitment and so on. Motivation is largely
viewed in extant literature as a psychological process that strongly impacts employee
behavior among individuals, teams and organizations. The management of people
at work is an integral part of the management process. This proposal examines
the impact of motivation on productivity and job performance among knowledge
workers in large head count organizations such as information technology
organizations and technology-based workplaces.


Research question


Does motivation as a psychological process significantly impact productivity
and job performance among knowledge workers in new age companies in India?


Statement of the research problem


The impact of motivation on employee commitment
and job satisfaction among knowledge workers in India is a relatively
unexplored area of research. The proposed perception study
seeks to understand the role of motivational drivers that impact the incidence of
employee productivity and job performance among knowledge workers in India.


Purpose of the

The purpose of this
research is to study the impact of motivational drivers on the commitment of knowledge
worker and their roles as predictors of job performance.



This study is based
on the following objectives:

To examine the influence of motivation
on employee job performance.

To study the impact of commitment
on employee job performance.

To investigate the relationship
between motivation and commitment among employees.

To understand the influence of stress variables on employees’ performance.


of the study

The findings of the study will help
develop a better insight on motivation and commitment as determinants of job performance
among knowledge workers in India. The research will also recommend to the
management of organizations, on how to educate and provide ways of preventing
problem that might be associated with motivation and job performance. The study
will also be a valuable contribution to knowledge and prove useful researchers,
who want to carry out further research in this area.


Scope of the study

The scope of this study is test and measure basic propositions from
motivation theories (Maslow, Herzberg, Vroom and so on) that can help in
fostering an understanding of this study on motivation and commitment as
predictors of job performance. Furthermore, a finer evaluation of research
antecedents offers two different approaches on motivation – theories on factors
of motivation and general-process theories on motivation. Recent literature
based on empirical findings of knowledge workers points to the number of
qualitative factors that appear to determine the psychometric dimensions of
knowledge worker behavior at the workplace.


Review of Literature

to Maslow, employees demonstrate five levels of needs (Maslow, 1943):
physiological, safety, social, ego, and self- actualizing. Maslow argued that
lower level needs had to be satisfied before the next higher-level need would
motivate employees.


work explained motivation resulting in job satisfaction into terms of two
factors: motivators and hygiene (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959).
Motivator or intrinsic factors, such as achievement and recognition, produce
job satisfaction. Hygiene or extrinsic factors, such as pay and job security,
produce job dissatisfaction.


theory is based on the premise that employee effort will lead to performance
and performance will lead to rewards (Vroom, 1964). Rewards may be either
positive or negative. Positive rewards will result in a highly motivated
employee. Conversely, a negative is less likely to ensure that the employee
will be motivated.


Two major theoretical approaches
have been employed in the literature on organizational commitment: (a) the
exchange approach, and (b) the investment approach. The exchange theory seeks
to explains the individual’s organizational commitment depends on his or her
perceived balance of reward utilities over input utilities (March and Simon,
1958; Homans, 1958; Gouldner, 1960). The investment approach focuses on the
time element and states that the longer a person has been with an organization,
the more that person wants to stay (Salancik, 1977). According to Sheldon
(1971), “investments” refer to participation in an organization to
the extent that possible participation in another organization is decreased.


In the organizational, vocational
and industrial relations literature, the concept of organizational commitment
of employees has been researched as aa better predictor of turnover than is job
satisfaction (Porter, Mowday and Boulian, 1974), and the role of organizational
commitment as an indicator of the effectiveness of an organization (Schein,
1970; Steers, 1975).


Other empirical studies and findings
conclude that a sound financial rewards to individual performance, can be
expected to result in higher productivity. It has been found that highly
involved employees who were more intrinsically oriented towards their job did
not manifest satisfaction commensurate with company evaluations of performance.
They depended more on intrinsic rewards as compared to those who were more
extrinsic in orientation (Wood, 1974).


Specifically, extant literature on
the behavioral dimensions of knowledge workers in at the workplace is an
evolving area of research study. Empirical studies using extensive sample
surveys of respondents are few and fragmentary. From the available evidence, the
most conceptual work in the field of motivation of knowledge workers was done
by Buckingham and Coffman (2005). The authors based their findings on the field
data gathered by researches conducted at Gallup Organization on motivation and management
using the inclusion parameter such as ‘talented employees’.


Analysis of the talented employees
(understood as knowledge workers) based on extensive amount   the primary data collected from respondents
across a very large sample of organisations helped the authors to develop a
standardized psychometric scale to measure behavior. This scale identified twelve
key motivating factors that influence the behavior of a knowledge worker in an
organization. These factors determine the explicit dimension of labor
productivity such as: needed to attract, focus and keep knowledge workers in
the company. Researchers developed the hypotheses that the major factor
influencing productivity and the loyalty of employees is the employee’s direct
manager and how he manages and motivates his subordinates.

The psychometric items included the
following twelve questions: 


Do I know what is expected of
me at work?

Do I have the materials and
equipment I need to do my work correctly?

At work, do I have the
opportunity to do what I do best every day?

In the last seven days, have I
received recognition or praise for good work?

Does my supervisor, or someone
at work, seem to care about me as a person?

Is there someone at work who
encourages my development?

At work, do my opinions seem to

Does the mission and purpose of
my company make me feel like my work is important?

Are my co-workers committed to
doing quality work?

10)  Do I have a best friend at work?

11)  In the last six months, have I talked with someone about my

12)  At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow? (Buckingham
& Coffman, 2005).




1.   Employees
who experience high motivation will significantly perform better than those
with low motivation.


2.   Employees
who experience high commitment will significantly perform better than those
with low commitment.


3.   There will
be significant interactive effects of motivation and commitment employees’
performance among staff.



The proposal attempts to understand the relationship between
employee motivation and (the independent variable) and employee productivity
(the dependent variable) among knowledge workers in India. The proposal has presented
the review of literature which focuses on important research papers that
examine the relationship between the independent and dependent variable.
Several recent research studies have also been explored to highlight the
application of motivational theories as well as general process theories in the
context of knowledge workers.




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Buckingham, M, Coffman, C.
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