Academic Staff in the Context of Known Theories of Motivation

Iwona Zdonek, Beata Hysa, Dariusz Zdonek
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIV, Special Issue 1, 906-935, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/2080


Purpose: The main goal of the research is to identify the motivators used in the work of public university employees in relation to known theories of motivation, and to determine the importance of individual motivators for their involvement in work. Design/methodology/approach: The article uses qualitative research with the participation of experts and quantitative research using a survey among academic staff. Data analysis was made in the context of three theories of motivation and a simplified structure of the studied motivators was established during the analysis of factors. Findings: The research results indicated that motivators connected with the theory of self-determination (SDT) and Herzberg's theory (HT) are of the greatest importance for the involvement of academic staff in Polish universities. Motivators that result from the internal motivation of an academic staff member should be most often used in universities. The most important for scientists are motivators regarding mutual internal relations (superiors, colleagues, administration) or organization of working time and job security. In another important motivating group for academic staff, there were motivators related to funding scientific research and access to knowledge. Practical Implications: Applying an appropriate motivation system in universities is not possible without knowledge of the theory of motivating people. A properly applied motivator can improve the effectiveness of scientists' work, which in turn increases the ranking of universities in terms of competitiveness with others. Therefore, it is important to construct an appropriate incentive system, adequate to the needs and capabilities of employers, and at the same time meeting the expectations of employees. Originality/value: The article presents an attempt to match the identified motivators to individual motivation theories. In addition, the importance of individual motivators in relation to these theories and their application was determined.

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