Discretionary effort and performance in Korean bank branches : the impact of identification and norms
This thesis seeks to explain the phenomenon of discretionary effort in Korean bank branches in terms of its antecedents and outcomes. Specifically, it has the following main objectives: First, it seeks to test whether or not discretionary effort in Korea can be explained in terms of the five motivation mechanisms identified by Benkhoff (1994)- need theories, positive work disposition, intrinsic motivation, behavioural commitment and social exchange theory by replicating her model, which originally functioned in the German context. The statistical results confirm that some of the motivation mechanisms function in the Korean context, such as the need for achievement, the need for esteem, and behavioural commitment, but others, such as work disposition, intrinsic motivation and social exchange theory, do not apply to the Korean context. This implies that the universality of motivation theories can be affected by national culture. Secondly, the thesis investigates the impact of group motivation mechanisms, in particular group norms and identification, on employees' discretionary effort and performance in Korean bank branches. This is because group motivation is not the same as individual motivation, since there is more to a group than the sum of the individuals who comprise it, although norms and identification as group motivation mechanisms can partly be explained by the individual motivation theories identified by Benkhoff (1994). For this reason, group motivation mechanisms are here treated as having an alternative and independent explanatory power for discretionary effort. Statistical results confirm that group motivation mechanisms are indeed independent of the five individual motivation theories. With regards to the relationship with discretionary effort, multiple-regression analysis demonstrates that employees' identification with their work organisation and some discretionary effort-promoting norms have a significant impact on discretionary effort of employees in Korea. Thirdly, the thesis examines the relationship between discretionary effort and financial performance in the service context. It is shown that there is a significant link in the Korean context. Finally, this thesis seeks to investigate the similarities and differences between motivation mechanisms to ensure whether or not they have their own explanatory power. It is concluded that employees' discretionary effort and performance in Korean bank branches are strongly affected not only by individual motivation mechanisms, but also by group motivation mechanisms such as norms and identification.