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The motive to Care About Others: The Actualization of the Public Sector

Lundsten, Jonas LU (2008)
Abstract
The general aim of this dissertation was to reveal how employees in Swedish municipalities were motivated in their job. Three purposes were settled on to meet the aim of the dissertation:

1) investigate whether there were differences concerning motivation between employees who

had client-related jobs and employees who did not have client-related jobs,

2) investigate how the employees experienced the municipal activity as meaningful for them personally,

3)investigate the presumptions behind the experiences that made organizational goals personally meaningful for the employees. To meet the purposes three main studies and two complementary studies were made.

To meet the first purpose a... (More)
The general aim of this dissertation was to reveal how employees in Swedish municipalities were motivated in their job. Three purposes were settled on to meet the aim of the dissertation:

1) investigate whether there were differences concerning motivation between employees who

had client-related jobs and employees who did not have client-related jobs,

2) investigate how the employees experienced the municipal activity as meaningful for them personally,

3)investigate the presumptions behind the experiences that made organizational goals personally meaningful for the employees. To meet the purposes three main studies and two complementary studies were made.

To meet the first purpose a questionnaire was developed and distributed to 1271 employees in 10 municipalities. The number of employees answering the questionnaire was 883. A factor analysis resulted in six factors: Intrinsic motivation, Extrinsic motivation, Social motivation,

Hierarchical organizational values, Client-related motivation, and Amotivation. The factor Social motivation concerned motivation to cooperate with others. The factor Client-related motivation concerned motivation to help others. Hypotheses were set according to which Intrinsic motivation was higher and Extrinsic motivation and Amotivation were lower among employees with client-related jobs than among employees with non client-related jobs. These hypotheses were not confirmed. However, employees with client-related jobs had higher Social motivation and Client-related motivation than had employees with non client-related jobs. The study also showed that managers had higher Intrinsic motivation than subordinates. To reveal how the employees experienced the municipal activity as meaningful for them personally, a second study and two complementary studies were made. In the second study, employees with high Intrinsic motivation, Extrinsic motivation, and Amotivation were chosen. Descriptions of their experiences of their job situation were analysed. The second study revealed that employees with high Intrinsic motivation experienced their job related to themselves

personally, employees with high Extrinsic motivation placed importance on interactions in their job, and employees with high Amotivation experienced themselves as separated from the job. In the first complementary study, employees with high Social motivation, low Social motivation, high Client-related motivation, and low Client-related motivation were chosen for analyses. The study showed that employees with high Social motivation experienced themselves as active in relation to the activity at the job, in contrast to employees with low Social motivation who experienced themselves as passive and the effect the activity had on them as low. Employees with high Client-related motivation reasoned about conditions for their performance in the job. Employees with low Client-related motivation reasoned about conditions in the performance of the job and about valuation of their performance.

The purpose with the third study was to investigate the presumptions that made the activity in the job personally meaningful for the employees. Eight employees were interviewed in a third study. Two of them worked at a ward for geriatric care and had been municipally employed during their whole working life. Two employees worked at a ward for geriatric care and had been employed in the private sector before their municipal employment. Two employees worked at an institutional kitchen and had been municipally employed during their whole working life. Finally, two employees worked at an institutional kitchen and had been employed in the private sector. The analyses of the interviews made in the third study revealed that the employees at the former ward experienced satisfaction in helping the elderly people. They got confirmation for

their performances from the clients, which made them feel motivated in the job. The employees in the latter ward and the employees at the institutional kitchens talked about economic conditions for performance in the job. For these employees there was a presumption about the necessity of specific resources to make it possible to reach goals in the job activity. For the employees at the first ward the presumption was that the goals were reached in a mutual relationship between the employees and the clients. All employees talked about social relationships, and said that they had opportunities to interact with others in the job. Opportunities for social relationships made them feel motivated to be involved in the job. According to their

presumptions, the context of the job gave opportunities for social relationships. After the third study a second complementary study was made. In the study, interviews were

made with 37 employees. The result indicated that employees with client-related jobs experienced interactions with receivers of the services as personally meaningful. The employees got feedback from the receivers of services, which was a confirmation of the employee's competence.

When the employees felt competent, they felt satisfied. (Less)
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author
opponent
  • Professor Westlander, Gunnela, Link√∂ping University
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
defense location
Kulturens auditorium
defense date
2008-09-05 13:15
ISBN
978-90-628-75404
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2d557c53-34c7-4dcb-9bb3-843a6d62272c (old id 1153046)
date added to LUP
2008-08-19 16:02:44
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:18
@phdthesis{2d557c53-34c7-4dcb-9bb3-843a6d62272c,
  abstract     = {The general aim of this dissertation was to reveal how employees in Swedish municipalities were motivated in their job. Three purposes were settled on to meet the aim of the dissertation:<br/><br>
1) investigate whether there were differences concerning motivation between employees who<br/><br>
had client-related jobs and employees who did not have client-related jobs, <br/><br>
2) investigate how the employees experienced the municipal activity as meaningful for them personally, <br/><br>
3)investigate the presumptions behind the experiences that made organizational goals personally meaningful for the employees. To meet the purposes three main studies and two complementary studies were made.<br/><br>
To meet the first purpose a questionnaire was developed and distributed to 1271 employees in 10 municipalities. The number of employees answering the questionnaire was 883. A factor analysis resulted in six factors: Intrinsic motivation, Extrinsic motivation, Social motivation,<br/><br>
Hierarchical organizational values, Client-related motivation, and Amotivation. The factor Social motivation concerned motivation to cooperate with others. The factor Client-related motivation concerned motivation to help others. Hypotheses were set according to which Intrinsic motivation was higher and Extrinsic motivation and Amotivation were lower among employees with client-related jobs than among employees with non client-related jobs. These hypotheses were not confirmed. However, employees with client-related jobs had higher Social motivation and Client-related motivation than had employees with non client-related jobs. The study also showed that managers had higher Intrinsic motivation than subordinates. To reveal how the employees experienced the municipal activity as meaningful for them personally, a second study and two complementary studies were made. In the second study, employees with high Intrinsic motivation, Extrinsic motivation, and Amotivation were chosen. Descriptions of their experiences of their job situation were analysed. The second study revealed that employees with high Intrinsic motivation experienced their job related to themselves<br/><br>
personally, employees with high Extrinsic motivation placed importance on interactions in their job, and employees with high Amotivation experienced themselves as separated from the job. In the first complementary study, employees with high Social motivation, low Social motivation, high Client-related motivation, and low Client-related motivation were chosen for analyses. The study showed that employees with high Social motivation experienced themselves as active in relation to the activity at the job, in contrast to employees with low Social motivation who experienced themselves as passive and the effect the activity had on them as low. Employees with high Client-related motivation reasoned about conditions for their performance in the job. Employees with low Client-related motivation reasoned about conditions in the performance of the job and about valuation of their performance.<br/><br>
The purpose with the third study was to investigate the presumptions that made the activity in the job personally meaningful for the employees. Eight employees were interviewed in a third study. Two of them worked at a ward for geriatric care and had been municipally employed during their whole working life. Two employees worked at a ward for geriatric care and had been employed in the private sector before their municipal employment. Two employees worked at an institutional kitchen and had been municipally employed during their whole working life. Finally, two employees worked at an institutional kitchen and had been employed in the private sector. The analyses of the interviews made in the third study revealed that the employees at the former ward experienced satisfaction in helping the elderly people. They got confirmation for<br/><br>
their performances from the clients, which made them feel motivated in the job. The employees in the latter ward and the employees at the institutional kitchens talked about economic conditions for performance in the job. For these employees there was a presumption about the necessity of specific resources to make it possible to reach goals in the job activity. For the employees at the first ward the presumption was that the goals were reached in a mutual relationship between the employees and the clients. All employees talked about social relationships, and said that they had opportunities to interact with others in the job. Opportunities for social relationships made them feel motivated to be involved in the job. According to their<br/><br>
presumptions, the context of the job gave opportunities for social relationships. After the third study a second complementary study was made. In the study, interviews were<br/><br>
made with 37 employees. The result indicated that employees with client-related jobs experienced interactions with receivers of the services as personally meaningful. The employees got feedback from the receivers of services, which was a confirmation of the employee's competence.<br/><br>
When the employees felt competent, they felt satisfied.},
  author       = {Lundsten, Jonas},
  isbn         = {978-90-628-75404},
  language     = {eng},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {The motive to Care About Others: The Actualization of the Public Sector},
  year         = {2008},
}