Government geeks: A quantitative study of motivators of civil service technologists

by Marlowe, Kevin L., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2015, 142 pages; 3684956


This study mapped the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) to Hackman and Oldham's (1974) Job Description Survey (JDS) as a way to quantify employees' affinities for certain key job characteristics, including skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback. A rotated structure matrix for Varimax rotation was developed to ensure maximum correlation between the FEVS and JDS questions. Pairwise comparisons between the survey responses from information technologists and all other employees were performed and differences evaluated. Although the calculated differences were small, there was a clear statistical preference by information technologists for motivation based on the job constructs of feedback and task significance, and against autonomy and skill variety. There was no difference for the task identity construct. This research implies that supervisors of U.S. government technologists should consider emphasizing the key public service aspects of their projects while maintaining open communication with staff in order to maximize the productivity of these key employees. Information technologists in this population are slightly less amenable than non-technologists to motivation driven by independence of work efforts or appeals to leverage their non-technical skills. These differences are slight, however, and are probably most valuable as validation that IT employees have verifiable sociological differences that distinguish them from the general workforce. None of the various motivational approaches discussed would have negative effect in either of the tested populations.

AdviserRichard Livingood
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Occupational psychology; Information science
Publication Number3684956

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