Good Organizational Design for Bad Motivational Dispositions?

34 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2007

See all articles by Katja Rost

Katja Rost

University of Zurich - Institute for Organization and Administrative Science

Antoinette Weibel

University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology

Margit Osterloh

University of Basel; Professor (em.) University of Zurich

Date Written: January 1, 2007

Abstract

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

Rost, Katja and Weibel, Antoinette A. and Osterloh, Margit, Good Organizational Design for Bad Motivational Dispositions? (January 1, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1019765 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1019765

Katja Rost (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Institute for Organization and Administrative Science ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
CH-8032 Zurich
Switzerland

Antoinette A. Weibel

University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zürich, 8032
Switzerland

Margit Osterloh

University of Basel ( email )

Petersplatz 1
Basel, CH-4003
Switzerland

Professor (em.) University of Zurich ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zürich, CH-8008
Switzerland

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