In employees passion and desire to do something more

In contemporary dynamic workplace we can recognize a big change in the
work process also shifting the workers’ (and also managers’) position and
attitude towards work itself. The previous social system was recognized by one
typical moment in the work organizations where worker vs. manager positions
were clearly defined and structured, thus the worker had the role of simple
administrating the previously given tasks, without having the necessity to be
included in other parts of the work process and decision making. With changing
the companies’ core structure, communicational and electronic system
development and globalization, Macedonian companies felt these changes altering
the managing process and the work itself. Nowadays, the worker is confronted
with many challenges, essential for successfully completing the job. From a
passive task performer he is transferred into proactive problem solver who must
adapt and coordinate with other team members, must innovate and create changes.
This can’t be done without active self-management and high level of motivation.

Motivating the workers with a bonus slowly starts to get another
dimension, in which the worker starts to feel controlled over by the company
for the sake of the bonus he gets. On its own merits, we can assume that the
worker would not give his maximum effort or use his best potential, but he will
work optimally, only till he meets the employers’ basic requests. On the other
side, constant fear of sentence, increasing the pressure on daily basis and
enlarging the work demands, mostly have inhibitory and destructive effect in
workers’ productivity and ability for innovation, also in workers core

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Logically, we can put the following question: What could bring the
employee to give his maximum effort (and bend) while working, in era when
material rewards and bonuses or punishment and penalties do not work positively
to his engagement? How can we develop employees passion and desire to do
something more than the tasks given on daily basis?

Persons’ intrinsic motivation is a requisite for someone doing the task
for the sake of the pleasure of working itself. For intrinsic motivated
workers, work itself becomes motivator, inspiration that challenges them to
give their maximum effort in completing the task, using their best personal
qualities. Despite working conditions and other environmental factors that
influence the working process, employees are guided by their own emotions and
feelings, which are significantly related to elevating (or in some cases
destroying) their dedication and vigourness towards work.

Employees’ personal feelings are a core condition for his work engagement
and intrinsic motivation, bringing him to be intrinsically aroused in
completing the job. Feelings of personal importance, also work importance, as
well as feeling of progress while working are considered instigators that can
bring maximum engagement as well as high level of work satisfaction. The
management team creates strategies that are essential in creating condition for
the employee to feel like he can choose his own ways of completing the tasks
and by that he is confident in his own abilities and competences. High level of
work engagement can be seen in the way employee refers to his job, his
vigourness, dedication and absorption from the work itself. But prime condition
for high work engagement is the high level of work engagement, which is the
main subject of research in this study.


Defining main
theoretical views

Toward designing this research we used several terms that would be
defined in operation level in this section. Various authors define these terms
and ideas in different ways.

Intrinsic motivation as
part of motivation in general can be defined as motivation of employee in
completing the task for the pleasure of working itself. According to Alan
Carr in her book positive
Psychology, intrinsically motivated employee, compared to the
extrinsically rewarded employee, shows greater interest, excitement and
self-confidence in completing the task1.
They also show high performance, dedication, commitment and creativity at
work. In a study made among workers to address pay for individual
performance (PFIP) researches argue that it may undermine intrinsic
interest, thus having little or no positive net to performance. They found
that PFIP was associated with higher perceived autonomy and higher
perceived competence, which, in turn, were associated with more intrinsic
Work engagement. Arnold
Bakker and associates in their continuous research in the field of work
engagement define the term in psychological manner stating that it’s a
positively fulfilling mental state featuring with vigor, dedication, and
Engagement refers to more than a specific state in the moment, but it is
more long-lasting, permanent and strong affective-cognitive state that
it’s not solely focused on a specific object, event or a task. These
authors it their attempt in developing a metric scale for work engagement
define its’ three core elements: vigor – includes high levels of
energy, perseverance, resistance and desire to give extra effort in the
task; dedication- refers to high level of involvement and
experiencing feelings of importance, enthusiasm, inspiration, elation and
challenge while working on given task; absorption – can be
defined as maximum concentration while doing the task and taking over with
work, thus the employee loses track of time in most occasions.
Feeling of personal
importance – the employee possesses personal feeling that has the
opportunity to complete a significant, special task that stands up its
value from the ordinary work activity scheme. In the work of Kenneth
Thomas, Intrinsic motivation at
work, the author refers to this feeling presenting the worker who
consider himself meaningful while completing a task that is worth his time
and energy spent, giving him a strong feeling of advisability4.
Sense of personal choice- includes
the freedom of choosing the way of completing the task. It is closely
related to the term of autonomy, reflected in the work of Ryan and Deci in
developing their theory of self-determination. According to these authors,
autonomy is of central import for personality functioning and wellness,
thus supporting autonomy is beneficial for all aspects of human
functioning,  enhancing human
potential reflected in behavioral, relational, and experiential outcomes5.
Having a sense of personal choice, employee feels free to use his best
judgments and competencies for choosing work tasks that are highly
meaningful for him and completing them in his best abilities. The employee
feels like he owns the work he performs, approaching the task, strongly
believes in his choices and has strong feeling of personal responsibility
for work results6.

Personal competence- refers to the
knowledge as well as personal judgment that own work performance is good,
optimal for the given task. Employee feels like his task performance satisfies
or Exceeds personal standards, thus the task is well completed and with high
quality. According to Deci and Ryan, having a sense of personal competence
makes the employee to feel certain dose of satisfaction, but also
responsibility for outstanding results, but also for the way he handles the
activities while completing the task7.Other
findings claim that pay for individual performance has positive effect on
workers’ perceived sense of competence, as stated previously8.

Personal development – expresses the
sense of encouragement felt when the employee values that his effort is
meaningful and thoroughly accomplishes the given task. He feels that the work
is well set and moves into proper direction. Describing the sense of personal
development, Kenneth Thomas refers to an employee who recognizes true signs for
his work well done, thus giving him increased feeling of self confidence and
sense of knowledge that he made good choices and will continue to make good
choices in the future9.



Defining the
research problem


Regarding the present economic and political state in our country, the
vast amount of people we meet every day will say that work only for the salary
they take at the end of the month. If we could ask the employees what is the
key element that is missing in their jobs, so they can feel happy when leaving
to work in the morning, we would getter answers referring to factors that
reflect their personal well being and intrinsic emotional state, factors that
otherwise will initiate their internal feeling of meaningfulness, competence,
satisfaction and enthusiasm. Learning the lesson from the global business
society, our management teams are trying to reward their workers by giving
various perquisites and bonuses, thus embodying their motivation. These
external motivators are being considered as sub efficient on a global level,
thus controlling and destroying persons’ innovativeness and creativity10.

Global market companies are oriented towards building
strategies for most adequate approach to employees’ motivation in gaining their
maximum level of work engagement. Unluckily,
in most of domestic companies we could not find well developed strategies that
embody and nurture workers’ intrinsic motivation. Mangers are faced with
employees’ lack of engagement and productivity at work due to bad management and
motivational strategies. Furthermore, they embrace the mostly adopted
motivational strategy – treat, penalties and other forms of punishing their
employees, which has a counter effect by itself, destroying the intrinsic
motivation and desire for maximum engagement11.

Thus, the problem that we tend to address with this
research is reflected in the following question:

Does employees’ intrinsic motivation has
direct impact on their work engagement?

The scientific field where this problem is situated is
human resource management, underlining that human resources are the key moving
part for the companies’ success and productivity. Managing human resources in
condition where any worker can estimate his own progress has a sense of
personal choice and growth, leads directly to increasing worker’ engagement and

Direct subject of interest in this study is to
show the influence that intrinsic motivation has on employees work engagement.


goals and expected results.
We  can define two main goals stated in
this study:

Scientific goal-
refers to gaining new or additional knowledge in the research area where our
problem is located. The research is aimed to fully understand and deepen the theoretical
knowledge in the field of intrinsic motivation and its influence on work
engagement. We expect our research findings to be congruent with other research
finding in this area, taken on a global level.

Practical goal – implying to demonstration of research findings to work
organizations and companies, thus can be used in elevating the engagement level
among their employees. Furthermore, the qualitative analysis can imply
practical recommendations towards promotion of different ways and condition for
elevating workers intrinsic motivation, leading to increasing their work

What we mainly expect to find with this study is the
correlation between intrinsic motivation and work engagement. Proving the
existence of a strong correlation we expect to define the way and level of
influence intrinsic motivation has on work engagement. By including qualitative
research methods, we are aiming to reveal other factors that influence on
increasing the work engagement and also intrinsic motivation. With this study
we aim to address the answers of the following questions:

positive correlation between intrinsic motivation and
work engagement exist?

On what level
intrinsic motivation influences employees’ vigourness, dedication and

Does work
engagement increase when the employees sense of importance increase?

Does work
engagement increases increase when employees sense of personal choice increase?

Does work
engagement increases increase when employees sense of personal competence increase?

Does work
engagement increases increase when employees sense of personal growth increase?

Which other
external and internal factors influence intrinsic motivation? What is lacing
for employees to feel intrinsically motivated at work?

Which factors influence
vigourness, dedication and absorption? What is lacing for employees to be fully
engaged in their work?


design, dynamics, sample and methodology to be used.

In conducting this research we
tend to have a sample of approximately 70 respondents that work in public and
private sector. This would be a random sample, but also thinking about
respondents to differ in age, gender, level of education, as well as work

plan to organize the research in two basic phases, excluding the phase of data
analysis and making conclusions. In the first stage of conducting the research,
respondents will show their attitudes towards survey questions, thus
quantitative data can be gained. In the second stage, we plan to randomly
choose 6 from these respondents, where 3 of them work in private and 3 in
public sector. Together they combine a focus group, where, through an open
discussion, we expect to collect qualitative research data. By basic evaluation
of qualitative date we can evaluate if we need more focus groups, and if yes,
we will form them by combining participants in identical manner. 

the research subject, we plan to use several qualitative and quantitative
techniques in data collecting and data analysis. For collecting the research
data we are going to use closed written interview and focus groups, thus the
instrument s to be use will be custom made surveys and open-ended
semi-structured questionnaire. In data analysis we plan to use several
quantitative statistic techniques like correlation coefficient and continuum
scale but also qualitative data analysis.

expect to conduct this research in a logical timeframe of approximately 2
months, regarding all procedures and consents needed for conducting the survey
among employees in their companies. Additionally, we do not expect to collect
all survey data in one day, regarding the employees free time and will towards
answering the questions. The focus group would be conducted in one day, but we
may experience difficulties in organizing all participants in that particular
day. The big extend of collected quantitative and qualitative data would also
be organized and analyzed during this time frame.


the hypothesis


The main hyphotesis for in this study is :

If high level of intrinsic motivation
exists among employees, then they show high levels of work engagement.

variable: intrinsic motivation among employees

                        Indicators: Survey questions that refer on employees sense of
meaningfulness, personal choice, personal competence and growth

            Dependent variable: employees
work engagement

                        Indicators: Survey questions referring to employees’ level of
vigourness, dedication and absorption whole performing the job.


hypothesis 1: When the sense of meaningfulness for performed job increases, employees work engagement increases.

            Independent variable: The
sense of meaningfulness for performed job

            Dependent variable: Employees
work engagement

Sub hypothesis 2: When the sense
of personal choice while working increases,
employees work engagement increases.

            Independent variable: The
sense of personal choice while working

            Dependent variable: Employees
work engagement

hypothesis 3: In conditions where employees have strong feeling of personal competence for performed job, his work
engagement increases.

            Independent variable: Feeling
of personal competence for performed job

            Dependent variable: Employees
work engagement

Sub hypothesis 4: When the sense
of personal growth while working increases,
employees work engagement increases.

            Independent variable: The
sense of personal growth while working

            Dependent variable: Employees
work engagement


















1 Carr, Positive psychology, 125

2 Fanga, M.
and Gerhart, B. (March, 2012) Does pay for performance diminish intrinsic
interest? The International Journal of
Human Resource Management. Vol. 23, No. 6, March 2012, 1176–1196

3 Bakker, Arnold and William Shaufeli, The Measurement of Work Engagement With aShort
Questionnaire. Educational and
Psychological Measurement. Vol 66 No.4 August 2006 701-716


4 Kenneth,
Intrinsic motivation at work

5 Ryan, M. R.  and
Deci. L. E., (December, 2006) Self-Regulation and the Problem of Human

Autonomy: Does Psychology Need
Choice,Self-Determination, and Will?. Journal
of Personality 74:6, 1557-1585

6 Kenneth,
Intrinsic motivation at work

7 Deci, L.
E. & Ryan,R. (2000) The “What” and “Why” of Goal Pursuits, Human Needs and Self-Determination of
Behavior. Psychological Inquiry 11: 4.

8 Fanga
Meiyu and Barry Gerhart, Does pay for performance diminish intrinsic interest? The International Journal of Human Resource
Management. Vol. 23, No. 6, March 2012, 1176–1196

9 Kenneth,
Intrinsic motivation at work

10 Deci
(1999) A meta-analytic rewiev of experiments examing the effects of extrinsic
rewards on intrinsic motivation,  Psychological Bulletin 125. 627-668

11 Carr,
Alan. Positive Psychology