The poor state of the global economy is hardly breaking news, yet the future still looks bleak. These conditions place significant pressure on organizations to minimize costs, maximize profit, and achieve the same or better results, often while operating using reduced workforces. Several authors have alleged that leaders and workplace factors play critical roles in eliciting employees' commitment and motivation, which can translate into higher performance, productivity, and retention. This study examined the factors that influence employees' motivation and commitment to organizational success within the context of a public corporation during an economic recession.
The research was designed as a mixed-method study with two surveys and one interview. These instruments measured the independent and dependent variables of managerial support; managerial style; tenure; satisfaction; commitment to organizational success; support and resources; goals, purpose, and meaning; workplace relationships; reward and recognition; and motivation. The study sample was drawn from the western division of a large consumer packaged goods company. Of the 145 individuals invited to complete a survey, 58 completed them, yielding a 40% response rate. From this population, 5 executives, 6 managers, and 20 subordinates were randomly selected to be invited for an interview from the survey population. Of these, all the executives and managers and nine subordinates completed an interview for a total of 20. Data analysis consisted of calculating descriptive statistics, performing correlational analyses, and conducting content analysis.
Study findings suggested that managers generally were supportive, innovative, and responsibility focused and that leadership style had an effect on employees' satisfaction and commitment to organizational success. While a great deal of data was gathered regarding participants' workplace factors, the study did not gather data on the impact of these factors on employee motivation, satisfaction, or commitment.
Recommendations for organization development practitioners emerging from this study were to educate managers on the impact of their style towards subordinates, help managers become more supportive of their employees by building relationships, and help managers understand the needs of their employees. Limitations of the study were that a small sample size was used and that the instruments failed to gather critical data that would have made deeper insights possible. Suggestions for future research are to redesign the instruments and to conduct the study on a larger and more diverse sample.