Finding An Association Between Values And Work Motives

Brooke Bernstein

Authors:  Brooke L. Bernstein, Thomas J. Bussen, Dr. Joyce E. Bono

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Joyce E. Bono

College:  Warrington College of Business


Employees are motivated by different values to work: seeking communion, rising in status, and accomplishing goals (Barrick et al.). This project sought to find an association between Shalom H. Schwartz’s Theory of Basic Values and and Barrick et al.’s values from the Motivational Orientation Inventory in the context of a work environment. By finding a correlation, our research could help guide companies in their process of selecting the best employees based on an applicants’ values or for employers to learn more about motivations of their current employees. It was hypothesized that a work motive of communion is associated with the value of benevolence and universalism (transcendental values) (H1), a work motive of status is associated with the value of power (H2), and a work motive of accomplishment is associated with the value of achievement (H3). It was also hypothesized that women are more motivated by communion at work than men are (H4). A survey was taken by 68 Gator Management and MTurk participants. The survey gathered participants’ responses on values, personality traits, and work motivation. We found that H2 was supported, whereas H1 and H3 were not. Additionally, we found that women are motivated by communion more than men.

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