Establishing and maintaining employee motivation from recruitment through Induction, transition and retirement

Ungemah, Joseph Michael (2010) Establishing and maintaining employee motivation from recruitment through Induction, transition and retirement. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


This dissertation explores how motivation changes across the employee life cycle, from recruitment through induction, transition, and retirement. After a short prologue about why motivation is of personal interest, a literature review is conducted that identifies the key theoretical traditions of motivation, which fall into the broad categories of needs, traits, and values. By investigating how each of the three types of motivation are affected by ageing and generational cohorts, a theoretical contribution is made by identifying how motivational change occurs and where gaps in knowledge exist. Chapter 2 focuses on how employee motivators can be assessed at the time of hiring. Through a series of quantitative studies performed on a trainee population within an international merchant of building materials, a new motivation measure based upon person-environment fit is proven as a reliable and valid predictor of performance and engagement. The studies make both a practitioner contribution to the assessment of motivation and an empirical contribution with insight into the key motivators of early career employees. The third chapter investigates the management of employee expectations following a career transition. A case study of two employees from an international Human Resources consultancy illustrates how a breakdown in the psychological contract can lead to attrition, with implications for professional practice in recording employee and organisational perspectives, identifying key motivators, and fulfilling unmet obligations. Chapter 4 explores how development programmes can be used for renewing the psychological contract of long-term employees when organisational change occurs. An intervention is presented, wherein a national electric grid operator required support in establishing a new corporate culture amongst employees. The intervention makes a contribution to professional practice by demonstrating the strengths and limitations of development programmes based upon selfawareness for encouraging behavioural change. Throughout the dissertation, research implications are noted for practitioners, researchers, participating organisations, and the development of my own professional practice.

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