Good Organizational Design for Bad Motivational Dispositions?
34 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2007
Date Written: January 1, 2007
Helping and sharing behaviors - the essence of team work and organizational success - are to a great part intrinsically motivated. How can organizations influence intrinsic motivation in a predictable way? Different research approaches give different answers: The situationist approach suggests designing a good organizational context. The individual difference approach concentrates on the selection of employees with good motivational dispositions. We follow an interactionist approach which has been rarely applied in the field of helping and sharing behaviors. It combines organizational design with personnel selection. We draw on self-determination theory to specify the determinants of interaction between organizational design and motivational dispositions. Our propositions are tested with a vignette study. The results show that the organizational context is the strongest predictor of helping and sharing behaviors. Nevertheless, motivational dispositions play an important role by acting as perceptual filters. In a good organizational setting even individuals with a "bad motivational disposition" can be motivated to cooperate in a good-spirited way.
Keywords: Volunteering, intrinsic motivation, organizational design
JEL Classification: D21, D23, M52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation