Good jobs and effective HR practices in civil society organisations: the role of intrinsic work goals
Self-determination theory (SDT) differentiates between intrinsic and extrinsic goals, where the former are associated with psychological wellbeing, and the latter with ill-being and lower wellbeing, a process mediated by basic need satisfaction. However, within the work context (work) goals have not yet received much attention from an SDT perspective. The relations of work goals with job characteristics also remain unclear (direct relation, mediation). In addition, work goals have not been addressed as factor in the process through which HR practices can contribute to more effective organisations. This doctoral project aims to gain understanding of the (a) relation between intrinsic versus extrinsic work goals and outcomes for the employee and organisation, (b) the interrelations between work goals and job resources, job challenges and job hindrances, and (c) how and which HR practices can play a role in enhancing these relations.
This doctoral proposal consists of five studies. In study 1 we investigate whether we can distinguish two types of HR practices: commitment-oriented HR practices and productivity-oriented HR practices and if these types are associated with different outcomes for the employee and organisation. The second study examines whether intrinsic work goals are associated with more positive outcomes compared to extrinsic work goals. In study 3 we explore the relation between work goals and different job characteristics. We assume that job resources and job challenges are positively related to intrinsic work goals, and negatively to extrinsic work goals; whereas we expect the reverse associations for job hindrances. In study 4 we look into the relation between HR practices and work goals, expecting to find commitment-oriented HR practices positively related to intrinsic work goals, and negatively to extrinsic work goals. For productivity-oriented HR practices the opposite relations are expected. Next, the mediating role of work goals is tested, expecting intrinsic work goals to mediate between commitment-oriented HR practices and outcomes, and extrinsic work goals to mediate between productivity-oriented HR practices and these outcomes. In the fifth study we test the hypotheses that commitment-oriented HR practices are related with job resources and job challenges, and productivity-oriented HR practices with job challenges and job hindrances. We also test the mediating role of these job characteristics between HR practices and outcomes. We gather cross-sectional data among Flemish civil society employees in 15 organisations. We plan to use different techniques to analyse the data, including confirmatory factor analysis, structural equation modelling and mediation analysis.