Extrinsic and Intrinsic Workplace Values in Education

By Donna-Louise McGrath.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper reports on a 'workplace behaviours and attitudes’ study in which teachers rated the self-importance of seven workplace domains, including; competence, qualifications, achievement, reputation, popularity, admiration and recognition. Psychometric analysis revealed that these domains were comprised of extrinsic and intrinsic values. Results showed that teachers rated the intrinsic value of ‘achievement in their field of work’ to be the most self-important domain. Popularity, being extrinsically derived from the opinions and evaluations of others, was deemed to be the least important value. While teachers placed greater importance on intrinsic values such as achievement, many also rated being recognised for their work as ‘highly important’. Interestingly, ‘recognition for one’s work’ appeared to be both an extrinsic and an intrinsic value. Hence although motivation has frequently been studied as a dichotomous construct, the co-existence and possible interdependence of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in the domain of ‘recognition for one’s work’ deserves future research attention in the education sector. It is possible that for teachers, being recognised for one’s work may be uplifting and inspirational. The findings of the study thus have important implications for educational leadership and management.

Keywords: Intrinsic Values, Extrinsic Values, Workplace Values, Workplace Recognition

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp.191-202. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 819.369KB).

Dr. Donna-Louise McGrath

The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Donna-Louise McGrath has conducted research on workplace emotions, behaviour, educational motivation, goal setting and goal achievement. She has previously taught for over fifteen years in international schools where she was a sociology, social studies and learning skills teacher/coordinator and in Australia where she developed a holistic vocational training model and curricula. More recently, Dr. McGrath has published and presented her research at international and national conferences on education and training, workplace emotions and behaviour and industrial relations. Her current research interests are the tall poppy syndrome, workplace rumours, gossip and envy. She thus also has a keen interest in giftedness and talent management in the organisational context.


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