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Self Motivation for achievement and its impact on the employees Performance and

Shanthakumary Milroy Christy Mahenthiran Aloysius


The present study investigated the influence of employees self motivation for achievement on their job
performance and satisfaction. The sample employees for the study were randomly selected from primary
schools in Jaffna. The sample covered sixty- two schoolteachers from six primary schools. Pearsons
correlation- co-efficient, correlation determinant and simple regression were calculated to find out the
relationship between independent and dependent variables and their significance. Two hypotheses were
tested. H1 - There is a positive relationship between self motivation for achievement and job satisfaction
and job performance. It was accepted. The second hypothesis (H2) was the relationship between self
motivation for achievement and performance is stronger than the relationship between self motivation
for achievement and satisfaction. This was also accepted.

Key Words: Self Motivation, Performance, Satisfaction, School teachers, challengeable job

1 Introduction

Self motivation for achievement or achievement motivation of employees is generally assumed to have
important impact on their performance and satisfaction. It is deep rooted in human nature. Some
individuals appear to have an intrinsically high level of self motivation for achievement while others
have low in the same job. The first category people typically do not require the use of external incentives
to prompt them to work towards their goals because they already have the desire to do so. People
who are motivated mainly by a high self motivation for achievement will seek out challenging tasks and
work hard to succeed at them. People low in self motivation for achievement tends to pursue very easy
tasks or where the chances of success are high. But people who are in the other extreme choose tasks
that are extremely difficult, where no reasonable person could be expected to succeed. Therefore, the
employees who posses higher self motivation for achievement will tend to great satisfaction in the job.
Due to this nature, selection of the right persons for a job is decisive for the success of a business, as it
determines the working performance of the employees and largely their job satisfaction, motivation and
commitment. Education is the major sector employed large number of human resource among the all
government sectors as well as private sector organizations in Sri Lanka. Job satisfaction of
schoolteachers affects not only smooth running of the schools but the entire society as well. At the same
time teachers are criticized various parties in the society not for their job performance, and for the
performance of the students and their discipline. Therefore people who have the responsibility for
selecting school teachers should be able to understand the need for achievement/ achievement
motivation possess by the school teachers and to know the ways to improve and capitalize that. If future
policy makers consider this important factor in the selection phase, there is no doubt that the schools will
show greater productivity.

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2 Problem Statement

Less number of researches carried out in Sri Lanka to find out self motivation for achievement of
employees and its relationship with performance and satisfaction. According to Hackman and Oldham
(1976) strong growth need of the employees works as significant moderator in the relationship between
job characteristics and job satisfaction. At the same time, De Zoysa (1983), Kumarasinhe (1994/1995)
found teachers were dissatisfied and less motivated in their job. But Shanthakumary (1998& 2010)
found after the implementation of teacher service the level of job satisfaction was increased among
school teachers. The present study addressed the following question:

Is there any relationship between employees self motivation for achievement and performance and
satisfaction of primary school teachers?

3 Objectives of the study

The following objectives were set out to achieve through this study
To identify the relationship between self motivation for achievement of the employees and
To identify the relationship between self motivation for achievement of the employees and job

4 Significance of the Study

Selecting the highest performing employees is a very important goal for many organizations. By
selecting high performing employees, organizations increase the likelihood of operating efficiency and
producing high quality goods and services. Selecting the highest performing applicants is most important
because it associated with cost. Generally, recruitment system of the public sector is based on the open
competitive examinations. These examinations have questions related to subject matters, general
aptitude and intelligence. The result may show the learning ability of the employees, but not show the
willingness to do the job and their work psychology especially, the achievement motivation.
Achievement motivation/ self motivation for achievement is the real driving force encourages the
employees to do challengeable jobs. Every teacher in the schools interacts with different types of
students with different learning style. Teachers are criticized for their unwillingness to teach pupil who
have poor knowledge and background. Distribution of school teachers among village and town schools
is one of the major obvious problems faced by the ministry of education. Therefore this study will be
significant in understanding the impact of the self motivation on performance of school teachers and
further helps the authorities to remove the obstacles which are hindering the performance of the primary
teachers. No study carried out in this topic about schoolteachers in Jaffna district. Therefore the study
will fulfill the research gap.

5 Literature Review

Self-motivation is the force that keeps pushing us to go on it's our internal drive to achieve, produce,
develop, and keep moving forward (Mind tools Ltd,2012). Less number of literature is available with
regard to the self motivation to achieve and performance and satisfaction. Among them, majority of

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researchers such as (Hackman and Oldham (1976) Shanthakumary,(1998), Singh and
Shrivastava,(1983), Abdel-Halim(1980), Shanthakumary,(2011) analyzed moderating effect of need for
achievement on the relationship between Job characteristics and satisfaction while very few others
(Hasanath Ali (1998) treated need for achievement as independent variable. Ziegler, Atzert, Bhner &
Krumm (2007) stated in their research about the starting point of research on self motivation for
achievement / achievement motivation that ---one of the first researchers who displayed an interest in
achievement motivation was Henry Murray (1938). His definition of need for achievement was: To
accomplish something difficult. While this definition was broad and covered a wide range of human
behaviour, newer definitions are smaller. Cassidy and Lynn (1989) define self motivation for
achievement in general as the personal striving of individuals to attain goals within their social
environment. According to Spinath (2001) it comprises such dimensions as need for or pursuit of
excellence, work ethic, setting and meeting goals, competitiveness, and status aspiration. McClelland,
Koestner, and Weinberger (1989) differentiated between implicit and explicit motives. Implicit motives
can only be assessed using projective or objective tests and supposedly predict spontaneous.

Self motivation for achievement has to do with how inspired people are to pursue and accomplish their
goals. When an individual does accomplish a desired goal, it typically results in a sense of positive self-
worth, which contributes to personal and professional growth and development. The motivation for
achievement may be affected both by dispositional characteristics, such as individuals perceptions of
their abilities and potential to succeed; and by external forces, such as the promise of rewards for success
or threat of punishment for failure. According to Singh and Sharivastava (1983), need for achievement
decides the relationship between performance and job satisfaction. Abdel-Halim (1980) analyzed the
moderating effect of employees higher order need on job performance and job satisfaction relationship.
He found the relationship between job performance and job satisfaction positively related the employees
who are strong in higher order need. But at the same time Hoque and Hasanath Ali (1998) analysed the
relationship between achievement motivation and job performance of bank employees in Bangaladesh,
and they concluded that the achievement motivation has positive relationship with employees

6 Methodology

A survey research design was used in this study to investigate Self motivation for achievement,
performance and satisfaction of school teachers in Jaffna zone. The population of the study consisted of
sixty two teachers in six schools of the Zone. The Zone is home to 18 schools, which are different in size
and type. The sample was comprised of male and female teachers from those schools, they have teaching
staff strength of more than 10 in each. A questionnaire was used to gather data for the study. Section
A of the research questionnaire describes respondents background information include: gender, age,
status, education level, and length of service. Section B,C and D, on the other hand describes self
motivation for achievement, job satisfaction and performance variables. The questionnaire was made 20
items in section B .related to self motivation for achievement, Section C contains 20 items of job
related sources of satisfaction and section D contains 15 items related to performance. Section B, C, and
D were constructed along a five-point Likert-type scale.

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7 Validity and Reliability

Reliability means accuracy of measurement tool. This research adopts Cronbach's to verify the
internal consistency. Roberts & Wortzel (1979) state that Cronbach's lying in 0.79 to 0.96 means high
reliability. In this research, Cronbach's of need for achievement 0.812, of which Cronbach's for
performance 0.865, Cronbachs for Job satisfaction 0.833

Table 1 Cronbach's of Constructs

Construct No. of Cronbach's


Need for 20 .812


Performance 20 .865

Job 15 .833

8 Conceptual Model

Need for
Achievement Performance
Confidence in


Goal setting

Commitment Job satisfaction

Preference for difficult


The above model shows the relationship between independent and dependent variables. Self motivation
for achievement of the employees was considered as independent variable. Employees job satisfaction
and performance were dependent variables.

9 Hypotheses

To provide focus and direction, two research hypotheses were formulated for the study. They are:
H1- There is a positive relationship between self motivation for achievement and job satisfaction and
need for achievement and job performance.
H2- The relationship between self motivation for achievement and performance is stronger than the
relationship between need for achievement and satisfaction.

10 Data Analysis and Results

Data were analyzed through the SPSS 13.0 program. Pearson Correlation Coefficient was used to assess
the relationship between Self motivation for achievement (S March) (and factors of S March) and
Performance and Job satisfaction. Simple regression analysis was used to find out the percentage of Job
satisfaction that can be attributed to self motivation for achievement.

The sample comprised of 29(46.7%) males and 33 (53.2%) females. Of the total participants, 33
(53.2%) were married and 29(46.8%) were singles. Their age ranged from 28-55, with a mean of 33.2
and a standard deviation of 5.6. With regard to educational qualification,2 (3.2%)with GCE(A/L), 29
(46.7%) have Training college and College of Education certificates 22(35.5%) have Bachelor Degree
certificates, 6 (9.8%)have postgraduate degree and remaining3(4.8%) have Master degree in Education.
As far as Grade of Teachers is concerned 1 (1.6%) is in 3II, 13 (21%) teachers are under the category of
3 I, 20(32.3%). belongs to 2 II, 18 (29%) in 2 I, 10 (16.1%) is under the category of I. Further 3 (4.8%)
has less than five years of experience,17 (27.4%) has 5-8 years of service,16(25.8%) has 9-14 years of
experience, 15(24.2%)has 15-20 years of experience and remaining 11 (17.8%)has more than 20 years
of experience.

Table 2 Self Motivation for achievement factors among respondents

Need for Achievement(Narch) Factors Percentage

Confidence in success 71.2

Persistence 70.2

Goal setting 66.3

Commitment 67.3

Preference for difficult tasks 76.2

Source : Survey Data

This section presents participants self motivation for achievement(S March) and S March component
scores, as obtained from the questionnaire. According to the results, the mean Self Motivation for
achievement score for the sample was 68.29 out of a possible 100. The scores for each of these
components run in a scale from one to five. Among the Self Motivation for achievement factors the
highest score obtained for preference for difficult tasks (76.2percentage) while low number of
respondents (66.3%) has goal setting.

Relationship between Self Motivation for Achievement and Performance

The following SPSS output confirmed the relationship between Self Motivation for achievement and
Performance. Value of R=0.702 indicate there is positive high relationship exist between both variables.
49% of variation in performance is explained by employees need for achievement. Therefore, H1 was

Cor relatio ns

Totalnarc To.per
Totaln Pearson Correlation 1 .702**
arc Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 62 62
To.per Pearson Correlation .702** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 62 62
**. Correlation is s ignif icant at the 0.01 level
. (2-tailed).


Sum of
Model Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
1 Regression 1234.057 1 1234.057 73.027 .000 a
Residual 1267.397 60 16.899
Total 2501.455 61
a. Predictors: (Constant), Totalnarc
b. Dependent Variable: Toper

The above tables clearly show the relationship between self motivation for achievement and
performance is at 1% significant level. If self motivation for achievement increase by 1%, the
performance will increase8.56%

Relationship between Self Motivation for achievement and Job satisfaction

The following table clearly shows the relationship between need for achievement and job satisfaction.
The both variables have a positive moderate correlation between them. 29.2% of variation (F value
=30.976 which is significance at 1% level) in Job satisfaction is explained by employees self motivation
for achievement. Therefore the r-value of the first table is 0.702 is greater than 0.541, H2 was also

Cor relations

Toself ad Jobsad
Toself ad Pearson Correlation 1 .553**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 62 62
Jobsad Pearson Correlation .553** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 62 62
**. Correlation is s ignif icant at the 0.01 lev el (2-tailed).

M o d el Su m m ary

A djusted Std. Error of

Model R R Square R Square the Estimate
1 .553 a .305 .294 2.41752
a. Predictors: (Constant), Toself ad


Sum of
Model Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
1 Regression 154.175 1 154.175 26.380 .000 a
Residual 350.664 60 5.844
Total 504.839 61
a. Predictors: (Constant), Toself ad
b. Dependent Variable: Jobs ad

The above tables clearly show the relationship between need for achievement and job satisfaction is at
1% significant level. If need for achievement increase by 1%, the performance will increase5.5%

11 Findings

1. Even though 69.3% employees have high self motivation, 53% of them are highly satisfied on their
job. They reported factors other than self motivation kill their happiness at job, 64.4% said school
environment and its grade, 66% reason out leadership style of the principal, highly affect their

2. 72% of graduate teachers said teaching was not their career ambition, due to the unemployment or the
time gap between graduation and getting the first job was too long, they forced to accept teaching as
their career.

3. There is no performance appraisal system in education especially in teaching, teachers said

measuring their work performance sole on the basis of students pass rate or criticizing them for
achievement of the students is unfair.

4. Teachers who possess higher level of self motivation for achievement are willingly do additional
work, have high commitment and accept difficult task than people possess lower self motivation for

12 Conclusion
Findings of this study indicated that self motivation for achievement of school teachers plays a vital role
in deciding their job performance and job satisfaction. The results revealed the employees who have
higher level of self motivation for achievement perform well than the teachers who posses lower level of
it. Finally the study suggests the related authorities to consider self motivation for achievement as one of
the importance factors in recruiting and training them.


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