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Shedding new light on intrinsic motivation to work: evidence from a discrete choice experiment

Listed author(s):
  • Joseph Lanfranchi
  • Mathieu Narcy
  • Makram Larguem

In this paper, we evaluated the determinants of the decision utility of workers from the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. In our setting, decision utility is the weight assigned by workers to the expected benefits of different job offers. We used a conjoint analysis method based on experimental data on workers' stated preferences towards hypothetical job offers that were characterised by ten attributes. The intrinsic motivation of nonprofit workers was investigated by specifically analysing the influence of three of these attributes, specifically wages, working time, and loyalty of the employer, on decision utility. The results showed evidence of motivational differences between the for-profit and nonprofit groups. First, nonprofit workers attained their maximum decision utility after a longer working time, showing superior intrinsic motivation for work. Furthermore, they were ready to give up a higher percentage of their wages in order to work for another extra hour than were for-profit workers, as long as the working week was less than 33 hours. Finally, our findings show that for-profit workers placed more value on job offers with a labour contract including an explicit clause stating that higher effort will be exchanged for the employer's loyalty. In contrast, nonprofit workers did not obtain higher utility from such a deal. We interpret this result as evidence for the intrinsic motivation of people employed in the nonprofit sector. As the nature of the implicit goals pursued in the nonprofit sector provides employees with high work morale, nonprofit workers do not obtain any gain in utility from an explicit clause regarding the employer's loyalty. Copyright © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Kyklos.

Volume (Year): 63 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 75-93

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Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:63:y:2010:i:1:p:75-93
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