Sources and consequences of intrinsic task motivation in engineers at the Naval Avionics Center
Sutz, Steven S.
Thomas, Kenneth W.
Thomas, Gail F.
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This thesis examines the sources and consequences of intrinsic task motivation in civilian engineers. Using Thomas/Velthouse's model, intrinsic task motivation is measured in terms of four rewards that workers get directly from their work tasks: 1) impact or the sense that one is accomplishing task goals, 2) competence or performing task activities skillfully, 3) meaningfulness or the value of the task purpose to the individual, and 4) choice or one's ability to choose how to do the task. The analysis is based on data from 372 engineers at the Naval Avionics Center in Indianapolis. Results of the analysis show that the amount of intrinsic task motivation that an engineer feels is strongly related to variables with significant financial implications for the organization, including professional development, stress symptoms, and incentive to leave the job. Further, an engineer's "interpretive styles," his/her manager's behavior, and aspects of work group climate were shown to influence the engineer's intrinsic task motivation. Implications regarding management development programs, performance appraisals, and other activities are discussed.
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