Insights into the Relationships between Personnel Control, Action Control, and Intrinsic Motivation
53 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2018
Date Written: June 30, 2018
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: Suggested Citation