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When midway won't do: the curvilinear relationship between intrinsic motivation and willingness to be flexible

When midway won't do: the curvilinear relationship between intrinsic motivation and willingness... Intrinsic motivation is held as critical for employees' willingness to be flexible (WTBF). Yet empirical research suggests that employees who find work intrinsically satisfying could resist work changes. In this study, the authors examine if a curvilinear relationship exists between these variables.Design/methodology/approachThe authors predict that the relationship between intrinsic motivation and employees' WTBF will become more positive as intrinsic motivation advances beyond moderate levels. They examine the role developmental supervisor support plays in generating the critical threshold of intrinsic motivation needed for it to be positively related with WTBF. They test their hypotheses with survey data collected in three substantially different employee samples.FindingsData support the hypothesized curvilinear relationship between intrinsic motivation and WTBF. Developmental supervisor support is found to influence employee flexibility indirectly through its linear effect on intrinsic motivation and, in turn, the quadratic effect of intrinsic motivation on WTBF.Practical implicationsThe study provides insight into how and when intrinsic motivation increases employees' WTBF and into the degree of developmental support needed to facilitate a positive relationship between these variables.Originality/valueThis is the first study to the author’s knowledge that empirically examines the relationship between intrinsic motivation and employees' WTBF. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Managerial Psychology Emerald Publishing

When midway won't do: the curvilinear relationship between intrinsic motivation and willingness to be flexible

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0268-3946
DOI
10.1108/jmp-02-2020-0107
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Intrinsic motivation is held as critical for employees' willingness to be flexible (WTBF). Yet empirical research suggests that employees who find work intrinsically satisfying could resist work changes. In this study, the authors examine if a curvilinear relationship exists between these variables.Design/methodology/approachThe authors predict that the relationship between intrinsic motivation and employees' WTBF will become more positive as intrinsic motivation advances beyond moderate levels. They examine the role developmental supervisor support plays in generating the critical threshold of intrinsic motivation needed for it to be positively related with WTBF. They test their hypotheses with survey data collected in three substantially different employee samples.FindingsData support the hypothesized curvilinear relationship between intrinsic motivation and WTBF. Developmental supervisor support is found to influence employee flexibility indirectly through its linear effect on intrinsic motivation and, in turn, the quadratic effect of intrinsic motivation on WTBF.Practical implicationsThe study provides insight into how and when intrinsic motivation increases employees' WTBF and into the degree of developmental support needed to facilitate a positive relationship between these variables.Originality/valueThis is the first study to the author’s knowledge that empirically examines the relationship between intrinsic motivation and employees' WTBF.

Journal

Journal of Managerial PsychologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 25, 2021

Keywords: Willingness to be flexible; Intrinsic motivation; Developmental supervisor support; Self-determination theory; Curvilinear mediation

References