Instrumentality-expectancy theory of work motivation : a modification and empirical test of its implications for disadvantaged black females in job training programs

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1975

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The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between work motivation and employment success. The subjects were 118 disadvantaged black females who participated in four federally supported job training programs in Houston, Texas. A modified version of Graen's instrumentality-expectancy model of work motivation provided the theoretical foundation. The present motivational model included personal efficacy and the perceived supportiveness of the organizational climate. All motivational variables except perceived supportiveness of the organizational climate were measured with questionnaires completed while subjects were in training. Five aspects of posttraining employment success were examined: training program completion, actions taken to obtain a job, success in obtaining a job, success in maintaining a given job, and success in maintaining employment. Employment success and the perceived supportiveness of the organizational climate were measured by telephone interviews conducted at least three months after the completion of training. Test-retest reliability data were collected for all independent variables. Three hypotheses concerning the relationship between work motivation and employment success were investigated through standard multiple regression procedures. The results showed the modified model of work motivation was unrelated to all five aspects of employment success. However, the perceived supportiveness of the organizational climate was significantly related (_p<.01) to success in maintaining a given job. The present research results are consistent with prior research examining the relationship of work motivation variables with employment success, and with studies examining the relationship of work climate supportiveness with job performance and retention. It was concluded that the general lack of relationship between work motivation and employment success could be attributed to the inadequacy of instrumentality-expectancy theory for explaining the work motivation of the disadvantaged black female. The present research findings were also discussed in terms of their implications for the training and work motivation of the disadvantaged employee.

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