Employee Motivation

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Expectancy theory Pages: 110 (32404 words) Published: March 1, 2013


CATHERINE R. JOHNSON B.M. Rider University, 1997

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida

Fall Term 2005

© 2005 Catherine R. Johnson


Employee motivation shall be defined by Robbins (as cited in Ramlall, 2004) as: “the willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organizational goals, conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy some individual need.” To engage in the practice of motivating employees, employers must understand the unsatisfied needs of each of the employee groups. This study desires to provide practitioners in the restaurant industry the ability to recognize motivators for these different employment groups and their relationship to organizational commitment. The restaurant industry consists of two types of employees: salaried and hourly. This study focuses on hourly employees, and their subdivision: tipped employees. For the purpose of this research hourly employees shall be defined as employees that depend on their hourly wage as their main source of income and tipped employees shall be defined as employees that depend on the receipt of tips as their main source of income. The purpose of this study desires to provide practitioners in the restaurant industry a comparison and analysis of employee motivation between the two employment groups and their level of organizational commitment. After formulating a thorough research review, a questionnaire instrument was assembled. The sample for this study was a convenience sample consisting of 104 restaurant hourly tipped and non-tipped, front of the house personnel employed in a single branded, national restaurant chain located in the metropolitan area of Orlando, Florida. The research instrument was a survey questionnaire instrument comprised of three sections: 1.) twelve motivational factors derived from Kovach (1995), 2.) nine questions from the reduced OCQ from Mowday, Steers, and Porter (1979), and a section


concerning demographic information of gender, age, race, education level, marital status, job type and tenure in the industry. Results from the study revealed that firstly, all of the employees in this thesis study felt that management loyalty was the most important motivating factor; secondly, intrinsic motivation factors were more important to non-tipped hourly employees; thirdly, gender had a strong influence in half of the motivating factors; fourthly, promotion and career development was found to be more important to non-tipped employees; lastly, overall mostly medium positive relationships were found between employee motivation and organizational commitment. Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed in the final chapter.


To Shane.


I would like to express my gratitude to the people that guided and encouraged me through this study. First, I would like to thank my thesis committee chair and advisor, Dr. Randall Upchurch, for always taking time with me on a daily basis for my questions and guiding me through the thesis process. It was a pleasure to work with you this past year academically, allowing me to lead a project as a graduate research assistant, and planning the joint activities with the faculty and the Graduate Hospitality Association. It is nice to know that others also thrive while being busy. I would like to thank Dr. Po-Ju Chen, who served on my committee for the encouragement and knowledge. You encouraged my passion for research and made sure that my questions and answers were in order. I would also like to thank Dr. Denver Severt, who encouraged my ideas before the process ever started and helped me bring it to fruition. I would also like to express my gratitude to Dr. Dana...
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