Academy of Management Meeting location:Chicago (USA) date:7-11 August 2009
Previous research in work and organizational psychology has paid little attention to the role of the employment sector and has, in this regard, largely ignored sector-related motivational issues (Goulet & Frank, 2002; Schepers et al., 2005). In this study differences in four motivation-related concepts (work values, person-organization fit, motivational type, and work effort) between employees in nonprofit and profit sector service organizations are examined. Using regression analyses, 630 Belgian knowledge workers from both sectors were compared. The majority of the hypotheses were supported by the data. Even after the impact of gender, age, seniority, educational level, and job content were controlled for, employees from both sectors differed significantly. Nonprofit workers valued more social service, perceived a better person-organization fit, and were more motivated by identified and integrated regulation. Their profit counterparts valued more advancement, and were more motivated by external regulation. Contrary to our expectations, we found no significant difference in work effort between profit and nonprofit workers. These conclusions account for a broad range of activities within the service industry because a wide variety of organizations were included in the study.