Impact of Employee Intrinsic Motivation on Performance in E-learning Courses in the Workplace



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Many organizations use formal training to improve employee performance and it is common for organizations to deliver this training using e-learning technologies (Aguinis & Kraiger, 2009; Buxton & DeMuth, 2012). Whether the instruction is through e-learning technologies or traditional methods, employees that are not intrinsically motivated are less likely to perform to their potential. When learning activities are interesting and allow for employee choice, intrinsic motivation is enhanced, which results in more engaged, and higher performing employees (Cordova & Lepper, 1996; Coutts, Gilleard & Baglin, 2011). This study evaluated the relationship between dimensions of intrinsic motivation and the impact on employee performance in self-directed, e-learning courses using a web-based survey, adapted from the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI), and archival performance data. Sixty-nine employees of Futurestep were asked to complete this 21-question web-based survey that asked questions about their experience as they completed activities in the e-learning courses. This study found that there was no significant relationship between intrinsic motivation and performance; however, there were significant relationships found between the dimensions of intrinsic motivation. The more pressure an employee felt to perform, the lower interest s/he had in that activity and the less perceived choice s/he felt. The results of this study benefit organizations that use e-learning training programs. Having a better understanding of how different dimensions of intrinsic motivation can influence employee motivation to participate and perform on workplace training activities can result in higher performing employees.



Motivation, Self-determination, E-learning, Interest, Perceived choice, Pressure