COMMAND AND MOTIVATION: HOW THE PERCEPTION OF EXTERNAL INTERVENTIONS RELATES TO INTRINSIC MOTIVATION AND PUBLIC SERVICE MOTIVATION

Authors

  • CHRISTIAN BØTCHER JACOBSEN,

    1. Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Government at Aarhus University, Denmark
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  • JOHAN HVITVED,

    1. Johan Hvitved is a scientific assistant at the Danish Institute for Local and Regional Government Research, the Danish Institute for Local and Regional Government Research, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • LOTTE BØGH ANDERSEN

    1. Lotte Bøgh Andersen is Professor in the Department of Political Science and Government at Aarhus University, and Danish Institute for Local and Regional Government Research, Copenhagen, Denmark
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Abstract

Motivated employees are crucial to organizations, but external interventions such as command systems and financial incentives may decrease motivation. If these external interventions are perceived to be controlling, they are expected to crowd out intrinsic motivation. This may also apply to other types of autonomous motivation such as public service motivation. The perception of external interventions is thus expected to be pivotal. This article investigates how the perception of a specific command system (obligatory student plans) is associated with intrinsic motivation and public service motivation. Using a dataset consisting of 3230 schoolteachers in Denmark, a structural equation model shows that the perception of obligatory student plans as controlling is negatively associated with all of the investigated types of employee motivation, supporting the idea that motivation crowding can occur.

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