Letter from the Editors
On behalf of the current and future authors and editors, we would like to welcome you to the Faculty Research Spotlight for the University of South Florida – Sarasota-Manatee!
The purpose of the Spotlight is simple – provide the Sarasota and Manatee communities and university stakeholders with regular updates on the breakthrough research conducted and published by the faculty of the University of South Florida – Sarasota-Manatee, frequently in collaboration with our students, in addition to national and international collaborators. Each Spotlight post will include a brief, reader-friendly summary, and a description of potential applications for the research within our community. In addition, if you would like more details on the research, we will provide links to the published paper and author’s USFSM webpage. Although we are unlikely to be able to “spotlight” all of the research being conducted at USFSM – in 2016 alone the faculty had over 70 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and books and cited over 1400 times – we hope you find these posts a valuable resource that you will share with your colleagues, friends, and family. Remember, Breakthrough Research Starts at USFSM.
In an article recently published in the Journal of Management entitled, “Dual Commitments to Organizations and Professions: Different Motivational Pathways to Productivity,” Dr. Tom Becker and colleagues found that the rewards provided by professions (rather than a specific employer) are often internal. For example, attending a professional conference allows attendees to build new skills and to learn about interesting topics. Such rewards are thus “intrinsically motivating.” In contrast, rewards provided by employers are often external. For instance, organizations often reward high performing employees by increasing their pay and promoting them. These rewards are “extrinsically motivating.”
Therefore, we predicted that commitment (psychological attachment) to professions influences productivity through a positive effect on intrinsic motivation and a negative effect on extrinsic motivation, while commitment to organizations is likely to have a negative effect on intrinsic motivation and a positive effect on extrinsic motivation. We tested this idea with a sample of 237 college professors and found that commitment to the profession was positively related to intrinsic motivation to engage in research and, through this effect, resulted in more challenging research goals, increased commitment to those goals, more hours spent on research, and greater research productivity. Commitment to the organization (university) was positively related to extrinsic motivation and negatively related to intrinsic motivation and was unrelated to goal level, goal commitment, hours spent on research, and research productivity.
These findings have several implications for organizations in the Sarasota-Manatee community. First, companies should fan the flames of commitment to professions for their professional employees. In our study, there was no indication that higher commitment to the profession decreased loyalty to the organization, so it appears that organizations that provide more opportunities for involvement in employees’ professions are likely to have better performing workers. In addition, anything that organizations can do to enhance intrinsic motivation in jobs will probably foster greater productivity. For example, enriching jobs through skill variety, greater autonomy in decision making, and providing meaningful feedback should boost intrinsic motivation.
Link to Paper: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0149206315602532