How to Motivate Management Accountants

29 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2008

See all articles by Christian Pfennig

Christian Pfennig

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Matthias D. Mahlendorf

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Erik R. Strauss

University of Witten/Herdecke

Pascal Nevries

University of Witten/Herdecke

Date Written: August 3, 2008

Abstract

Monetary incentive systems are a common instrument to control employees' behavior and motivate them. However, in many cases these incentive systems fail to achieve their target. Using the example of management accountants we show, why monetary incentive systems fail to motivate employees. Therefore, we take a step back and analyzed the different dimensions of overall job satisfaction. Only be knowing which dimensions really influence the overall job satisfaction it is possible to chose the right incentive systems for motivating employees. We conducted an exploratory pre-study to find the relevant dimensions of overall job satisfaction. The results show that job design, salary, relationship with colleagues, superior relationship, and - which is a new dimension - image of the department are the most important dimensions of overall job satisfaction. The following analysis of overall job satisfaction of management accountants suggests that the salary is only of subordinate importance to satisfy management accountants' needs. Other aspects of the job are more crucial for management accountants, which should be acknowledged and leveraged by superiors in motivating their employees. These results also indicate why monetary incentive systems don't work. Furthermore, the results offer new options for motivating employees. The relationship to the superior is an important dimension of overall job satisfaction. Accordingly, superiors should use this knowledge and try to invest in the relationship with their employees, e.g. by regular praise. Another and the most important dimension of overall job satisfaction is the job design. This means that the job itself has to by designed in an adequate manner for motivating employees. Therefore, superiors should use their time to design the job as interestingly as possible instead of developing monetary incentive systems.

Keywords: management accountants, incentive systems, job satisfaction, motivation

Suggested Citation

Pfennig, Christian and Mahlendorf, Matthias D. and Strauss, Erik R. and Nevries, Pascal, How to Motivate Management Accountants (August 3, 2008). AAA 2009 Management Accounting Section (MAS) Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1199222 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1199222

Christian Pfennig

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179
Germany

Matthias D. Mahlendorf

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management ( email )

Adickesallee 34
Frankfurt, DE RLP 60322
Germany

Erik R. Strauss (Contact Author)

University of Witten/Herdecke ( email )

Alfred-Herrhausen-Straße 50
Witten, 58448
Germany
+492302926567 (Phone)
+492302926587 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uni-wh.de/wirtscha

Pascal Nevries

University of Witten/Herdecke ( email )

Alfred-Herrhausen-Straße 50
Witten, 58448
Germany

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