Title page for ETD etd-03252010-132245

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Milne, Gillian
URN etd-03252010-132245
Document Title Motivating the knowledge worker to perform
Degree MBA
Department Gordon Institute of Business Science
Advisor Name Title
Prof M Sutherland Supervisor
  • knowledge workers
Date 2008-04-03
Availability unrestricted

Competitive advantage for any organisation relies on the output of knowledge workers. The more motivated the knowledge worker the more likely they are to perform. This research explores the links between motivation and performance and creates a better understanding of which motivational factors would fall within the ambit of the psychological contract. The secondary portion of the research was to clarify if different types of knowledge workers performed in response to motivation in the same way.

The research was done through in-depth interviews of knowledge workers in the 4 defined clusters. A total of 26 interviews were conducted. A questionnaire using open ended questions was used to guide the interview. The interviews were recorded, and the key themes in the results were captured, transformed and analysed, after which a ranking process was done on the results. The findings were analysed from various perspectives.

The research found that there are differences in the groups studied from a number of perspectives, such as; motivation and performance scores, the motivation factors, the factors that act against performance, the organisational and individual duties as would be ‘held’ in the psychological contract. The research found that most of the factors that motivate are in the psychological contract. The findings strongly recommend that management needs to fully understand and manage the unique motivators of each individual knowledge worker in order to obtain maximum performance and hence competitive advantage.

© 2007 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Milne, G 2007, Motivating the knowledge worker to perform, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-03252010-132245/ >


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