Insights into the Relationships between Personnel Control, Action Control, and Intrinsic Motivation

53 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2018

See all articles by Amy Donnelly

Amy Donnelly

Clemson University

Frances A. Kennedy

Clemson University - School of Accountancy & Legal Studies

Sally K. Widener

Clemson University

Date Written: June 30, 2018

Abstract

While literature is clear on the relationship between results control, incentives, and extrinsic motivation, there is little evidence on how (or whether) management controls are associated with intrinsic motivation. The purpose of this study is to provide evidence on this relationship since intrinsic motivation is critical to the persistence of long-term performance effects and desirable behaviors, such as learning and creativity. Using survey data from 196 employees, we examine whether personnel and action controls positively influence intrinsic motivation by increasing individuals’ perceptions of autonomy. We find that both of the personnel controls, feedback and training, and one of the action controls, visual management, influence performance through perceptions of autonomy and the extent to which respondents find work activities to be challenge motivating. The results show that the second type of action control, standard operating procedures, is not associated with autonomy but instead has a direct positive association with the extent to which respondents find their work activities enjoyment motivating, and, in turn, with performance. We also find that our results depend on length of tenure with the organization.

Keywords: incentives, motivation, management controls, autonomy

JEL Classification: M

Suggested Citation

Donnelly, Amy and Kennedy, Frances A. and Widener, Sally K., Insights into the Relationships between Personnel Control, Action Control, and Intrinsic Motivation (June 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3233064 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3233064

Amy Donnelly

Clemson University

101 Sikes Ave
Clemson, SC 29634
United States

Frances A. Kennedy (Contact Author)

Clemson University - School of Accountancy & Legal Studies ( email )

Clemson, SC 29634
United States

Sally K. Widener

Clemson University ( email )

Clemson, SC 29634
United States

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