Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

First Advisor

Elwood F. Holton, III

Abstract

The development and success of employee training programs necessitates employer awareness of the individual differences of their employees that contribute to their motivation to improve work through learning. And, because of the potential benefits associated with employees who are highly trained, employee motivation to improve work through learning should be a chief concern within organizations. Therefore, a better understanding of the relationship between personality type, affectivity, values, level of work commitment and motivation will provide organizations with valuable insights that will enhance training efforts and contribute to the competitiveness and success of organizations. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a model of dispositional effects on motivation to improve work through learning. More specifically, this study examined the degree to which the dimensions from the Five Factor Model of personality, affectivity, values (work ethic) and work commitment facets presented in Morrow's taxonomy (1983, 1993) (job involvement, affective commitment, continuance commitment) influence motivation to improve work through learning. The broad research hypothesis was that individual differences in personality, affectivity, values, and attitudes will influence employees' motivation to improve work through learning. Data was obtained from a nonrandom sample of 239 private sector employees who were participants of in-house training programs. Causal relationships were tested using a two-step approach (Anderson & Gerbing, 1984) to structural equation modeling. Findings indicated that dispositional effects were significant antecedents of motivation to improve work through learning. Four dispositional traits affected this dependent variable---two directly and two indirectly through work commitment attitudes. Results indicated that extraversion, positive affectivity and work commitment attitudes directly affected motivation to improve work through learning. In addition, conscientiousness and agreeableness directly affected work commitment, which mediated the effect of conscientiousness on the dependent construct. More specifically, 59% of the variance in motivation to improve work through learning was explained by positive affectivity (beta = .42), work commitment (beta = .40), and extraversion (beta = .14). Fifty-two percent of the variance in the mediator construct, work commitment, was explained by conscientiousness (beta = .54) and agreeableness (beta = .25). This says that these dispositional effects are, in fact, important considerations in predicting motivation to improve work through learning.

ISBN

9780599262287

Pages

411

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