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«Work Motivation in the Private and Public Educational Institutions» - Great Essay Sample

«Work Motivation in the Private and Public Educational Institutions»


Each company has to deal with a number of challenges related to its employees, such as cutting recruitment costs, lowering employee retention, ensuring staff training, their competency growth, etc. On the other hand, employees also face different issues related to their working experience. Researchers and business owners believe that employees’ motivation plays a major role in creating and enabling the best business performance, thereby helping organization deal with its challenges.

These days, there are many motivational approaches that focus on various motivation and personal incentives of employees. The topic of motivation is especially important in the case of educational institutions since the performance of their staff, i.e. teachers, professors, researchers, etc., determines the quality of student experience and has a significant impact on their learning process. Moreover, while assessing the motivation approaches in educational institutions, it is necessary to take into account the difference between private and public organizations. Hence, the efficiency of both private and public educational institutions is highly dependent on the motivation of their employees, and these institutions need to implement various motivation techniques in order to improve their overall business performance.

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Motivation Definition and Benefits

Motivation Definition

Before exploring motivation tools and approaches, it is necessary to define motivation itself. However, there is no common definition in academic literature. For instance, Sougui et al. (2017) define motivation as a process conducted by individual in order to achieve a certain goal. The authors also add that motivation acts as a force expressed by both the external environment and internal individual perceptions and needs. Nabi et al. (2017) also add that motivation is a mix of guidance, direction, resources, and rewards, which form a necessary component of the HR policy. Apart from that, researchers state that motivation provides employees with inspiration and encourages them to work the way the company needs them to (Kuchava & Buchashvili, 2016) – furthermore, it is useful in achieving their personal goals (Fen Ng & Kiat Ng, 2015). As a component of the HR policy, work motivation can be evaluated by the degree of attachment, obligations, and rewards attained while working within organization.

Benefits of Staff Motivation

Motivation and job performance. Multiple researchers have shown that motivation is a critical component of successful business performance. For instance, while assessing motivation process in the universities, Kuchava and Buchashvili (2016) found that it has the highest impact on the working process. Next, in their research among educational institutions, Sohail and colleagues (2014) have also shown that motivation leads staff to improving their performance and makes them more committed to the company. Therefore, institutions are constantly trying to motivate their employees for achieving organizational goals. Similarly, according to other researchers, there is a direct impact of work motivation and organizational commitment on job performance, not only in education sector, but also in other industries. For instance, Sharma and Sharma (2017) discovered a direct relationship between the career advancement and performance of the employees working at the retail sector. The authors believe that the fact of staff motivation’s maximization of performance in their field is a consequence of the increased creativity and opportunities for advances in their work (Osabiya, 2015). For instance, motivation increases creativity and initiative expressed by the employees, which in turn leads to high quality performance.

Apart from that, Sharma and Sharma (2017) have shown that increased staff motivation causes several improvements in the companies’ business process. For instance, after enhancing the process of building the relationship with their employees and making them feel more valued by their employer, the companies were able to reduce staff turnover and create loyalty among the employees, thus maintaining positive attitudes of their working process and boosting their business performance. The results of the study conducted by Kalhoro et al. (2017) for the banking sector also confirm this hypothesis. Findings of their research allowed suggesting that well-motivated employees are more committed, efficient, and effective for organization. Similarly, the research conducted by Octaviannand et al. (2017) resulted in affirming the positive influence of motivation on employee work performance. Their study indicated the need for efforts taken by the company’s managers to satisfy the employees’ job needs, provide challenging work environment, and adjust the existing awards. Therefore, it could be concluded that in case of ignoring motivation improvement, the companies might face poor employees’ performance, non-commitment, high staff turnover, and absenteeism.

Motivation and job satisfaction. Similarly, researchers have shown a direct relationship between job satisfaction and work motivation. Raziq and Maulabakhsh (2015) define job satisfaction as the employees’ positive perception of their performance and recognition at the work place. Akwuole (2017) also adds that job satisfaction illustrates the attitude and feelings of the employees about working environment in the organization.

In their research that investigated educational institutions, banking sector, and telecommunication industry, Raziq and Maulabakhsh (2015) highlighted the need to ensure the employees’ job satisfaction since according to their study, dissatisfied employees usually perform worse, failing to correspond to the expected standards. In this case, firms have to fire them, which results in excessive expenses for recruiting new staff. Furthermore, according to Akwuole (2017), the employees’ job satisfaction is based on individual perceptions of the following variables: working conditions, benefits, compensations, opportunities for growth, leadership, company’s commitment to diverse and inclusive workplace, co-workers, supervisor-subordinate relationships, and organization policies and procedures. Therefore, it is beneficial for firms to provide working conditions that will improve the employees’ job satisfaction because the employees with higher morale are more likely to make efforts to improve their performance.

Motivation Types

Work motivation can be enhanced in a number of ways. Researchers distinguish them depending on the vector of employees’ motivation, dividing it into two types – extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is derived from the external benefits, salary, HR policies, work conditions, job security (Kalhoro et al., 2017). The sources of intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, include internal rewards, such as appreciations, good behavior, friendly environment, recognition, responsibility, and they all have positive and significant impact on the employees’ performance (Kuranchie-Mensah & Amponsah-Tawiah, 2016). Traditionally, researchers consider intrinsic motivation as more desirable as compared to the intrinsic motivation (Li, 2011). The following paragraphs will provide an overview of the most useful external and internal motivation tool that could be implemented in the education industry.

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Extrinsic Motivation

Financial reward. Financial rewards are the most common method of employees’ motivation – they are considered as the most functional tool for managers to motivate employees to perform effectively influencing their behavior and encouraging them to achieve the company’s greater goals. Financial rewards refer to the provision of salary, monetary incentives, and compensation packages (Rashid & Rashid, 2012). Some researchers have proved that they are a dominating factor for increasing staff’s morale (Nabi et al., 2017). The popularity of financial rewards is based on the fact that they can help to determine the level of the employees’ productivity and their overall performance (Seng & Arumugam, 2017). On the other hand, failure in providing appropriate financial rewards might contribute to the limitation of motivation of the skilled employees. Furthermore, it should be noted that other authors doubt the high significance of financial rewards. For instance, Sharma and Sharma (2017) support the fact that money is a major motivator. However, the authors also add that financial rewards cannot provide equal happiness to employees as other intrinsic motivators, which will be discussed further. Similarly, Kuchava and Buchashvili (2016) have shown that increased salary is highly appreciated by the employees. However, this conclusion is not suitable for higher educational institutions. Similar results were discovered by Seng and Arumugam (2017) in the case of hospitality industry. These authors have shown a dual role of the salary and other financial rewards in motivating the employees in regard to their job performance. On the one hand, their research demonstrated direct relationship between the level of financial reward and job motivation. However, on the other hand, at a certain level of financial rewards, they stopped resulting in higher productivity.

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Indirect and non-compensation tools. Indirect motivators and non-compensation are the next type of extrinsic motivation. A number of authors argue that they should be used in addition to financial rewards in order to avoid reduction of creativity and innovation (Casebourne, 2014). Indirect rewards include pension, vacation, wellness plans, dependent care, paid holidays, and disability income. Next, non-compensations extrinsic rewards are presented in such forms as certificates, commendations, prizes, and peer recognitions (Sleimi & Davut, 2015). Additionally to positive motivators, the leaders can implement negative ones, such as sanctions. External sanctions are the opposite of bonuses, and they are used with the purpose to restrict inappropriate behavior (Akwuole, 2017). However, they can be used only to a certain degree.

Intrinsic Motivation

Promotion. Promotion is related to career development opportunities within the company or field the person is working at (Rashid & Rashid, 2012). In case of educational institutions, promotions and career advancement seem to be very useful and encouraging factors (Kuchava & Buchashvili, 2016) since hardworking employees expect to rise above the ranks of their current positions. Promotion also takes a form of recognition, appreciation, and desirable job features, and for the absolute majority of universities, it appears to be one of the most important factors of motivation (Rashid & Rashid, 2012).

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Working environment. Working environment is also considered an intrinsic motivation factor. It is evident that inappropriate working conditions diminish the application of full staff potential – this way, the researchers have realized the importance of developing a positive working environment. It consists of two broad dimensions: employees’ work and job context. The first dimension includes different characteristics of the job, such as the way the job is carried out and completed (Raziq & Maulabakhsh, 2015). It involves multiple activities and tasks – namely, training, a sense of achievement from work, the level of control during job-related activities, etc.

Furthermore, the second dimension known as job context is based on physical and social working conditions (Raziq & Maulabakhsh, 2015). Researchers have proved that it is necessary to develop positive working conditions since it will result in improvement of the employees’ perceptions of their work (Sleimi & Davut, 2015). Thereby, after implementing free and friendly working environment for each employee, the organization will prevent any decline in the staff performance. Ganta (2014) also shows that workforce stability and cooperative relationship in the working environment allow the employees to easily adapt to any changes, which makes them beneficial for the overall company’s performance.

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Apart from that, in order to ensure high work motivation, working conditions should include a teamwork approach, flexible working hours, supportive top management, and less workload. In addition, it is vital to involve every employee in the decision-making process since it will lead to a high level of staff’s job satisfaction, making them more committed to their organization, more motivated to work hard, and more inclined to provide high productivity results for their companies, thus benefiting the businesses in the long run. Additionally, Rashid and Rashid (2012) recommend providing supportive and social atmosphere via implementing cooperative working environment that consists of good relations with co-workers, safety to employees, job security, and respect for private life.

Leadership Styles and Employee Motivation

Leadership style plays an important role in motivating staff. Its aim can be defined as a need to influence people in order to achieve the overall organizational goals. Hence, a major determinant of success of the company is the efficiency of its leadership style. Findings of multiple studies prove that leadership styles and employee motivation are directly related (Al Haj, 2017), and the process of obtaining high-level productivity from the employees is highly dependent on them. The traditional classification of leadership styles ranges from them being passive-avoidant, through transactional, to transformational leadership styles.

Passive-Avoidant Leadership Style

The passive-avoidant leadership style comprises two forms – the laissez-fare management and passive management-by-exception. In general, these types refer to the leaders whose purpose is to offer comfortable and healthy working environment for employees by letting them learn how to make correct decisions on their own (Munaf, 2011). However, regarding the positive assumptions, researchers believe that this leadership style has the worst impact on work motivation due to the lack of organizational support and the absence of management interference (Chaudhry & Javed, 2012).

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership can be defined as a leadership style where company’s leaders constantly consult with employees about the rewards and punishments system, which is aimed to motivate staff to meet organizational objectives efficiently (Aunjum et al., 2017). Unlike the passive-avoidant leadership style, managers implementing transactional leadership do not simply announce their decisions to the employees. Instead of doing it as passive-avoidant managers do, transactional managers make decisions on the basis of their analyses of the employees’ requests. Managers implementing this style use both rewards and punishments (Odumeru & Ifeanyi, 2013). Furthermore, they are focused on maintaining stability and are not looking to changes in the future (McCleskey, 2014). Therefore, these days, much attention has been given to transformational leadership that offers more benefits than the previous two leadership styles, and it will be discussed further.

Transformational Leadership

The main difference of the transformational leadership from the previous two leadership styles is that instead of concentrating on the role of supervision, it encourages employees to share organizational goals (Aziz & Abdullah, 2013). Due to its features, transformational leadership style allows leaders to motivate their employees to become more creative in dealing with organizational challenges (Chaudhry & Javed, 2012). This leadership style is based on motivating staff to share the company’s goals, which is ensured by close contact between supervisors and employees, wide advancement opportunities, and large social and co-worker support. Aunjum et al. (2017) have discovered a positive relationship between the transformational leadership and employees’ performance, job satisfaction, commitment, and motivation. Similarly, Sougui et al. (2017) prove that transformational leadership style is more preferable that transactional leadership style because of a significant motivating effect expressed by the former. Moreover, according to their research, transformational leaders are able to motivate employees to perform well even in a situation when there are little chances to receive any recognition, i.e. in case of economic downturn.

Motivation Differences in the Public and Private Sector

It has been widely assumed in the literature that organizations in public and private sectors have several differences in implemented motivating approaches. For instance, according to Kuranchie-Mensah and Amponsah-Tawiah (2016), the employees working in the private sector are more likely to be motivated by financial rewards as compared to the workers from public sector. Other researchers have also shown that private institutions are more focused on extrinsic motivation as compared to public ones, and in most cases, they ignore intrinsic motivation factors, which might cause poor performance (Kalhoro et al., 2017). At the same time, such motivation factors as promotion, prestige, co-worker friendship, and opportunities for public service do not significantly differ between two sectors (Dan, 2015).

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Researchers have also discovered that the employees engaged in the public sector are more motivated by supportive working and social environment. Indeed, Paracha et al. (2012) mentioned that transformational leadership style is most suitable for private educational institutions. It was also discovered that the type of sector is related to the overall employees’ job satisfaction level. Thus, in their research that covered private and public financial institutions, Rashid and Rashid (2012) have shown that the employees in the private sector were satisfied more than those from public sector institutions. Moreover, Bunchoowong (2015) has also proved that in the case of using similar motivation methods, the employees working in the public sector still have lower work expectations and motivation level as compared to those in the private sector. This difference can be explained by better financial rewards, quality supervision, good co-worker relationship, external benefits, and advancement opportunities provided by private firms. Moreover, it should be noted that private sector institutions pay more attention to ensuring the appropriate correspondence between the employee’s achievements and received post-motivational bonuses. For instance, there is a usual practice for public organizations to provide inadequate benefits and facilities to their employees, which usually results in comparatively lower level of workplace motivation (Rashid & Rashid, 2012). On the other hand, Casebourne (2014) stated that intrinsically motivated employees who are working in the public sector tend to have greater productivity and higher levels of organizational commitment.


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At the same time, some researchers prove that as compared to public sector staff, the employees working in the privately owned institutions tend to put more effort in their work (Aguiar do Monte, 2017). For instance, according to the research that observed different companies from public and private sectors, the employees in the public sector have a higher absence rate as compared to those in the private sector. Such difference can be explained by the fact that people in the public sector have higher job security (Aguiar do Monte, 2017) while private sector employees are more committed to the organization (Dan, 2015). Thus, they are more motivated to stay at work and contribute to their companies’ development.


Consequently, the efficiency of both private and public educational institutions is highly dependent on the motivation of their employees, and educational institutions need to implement various motivation techniques in order to improve their overall business performance. Clear description of different employees’ motives and their appropriate incorporation will allow educational organizations to ensure a high level of efficiency of developing productive workforce, including its identification, recruitment, employment, training, and retaining.

Application of different motivating factors is challenging to the companies since it highly depends on the sector, either private or public, where the organization operates. All motivating tools can be divided into two types – namely, extrinsic and intrinsic motivational factors. Extrinsic tools use external motivation, such as financial rewards, pension, vacation, wellness plans, paid holidays, certificates, prizes, etc., while intrinsic factors of motivation are based on intangible benefits, such as appreciation, friendly working environment, recognition, and others.



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