Organizational motivation, employee job satisfaction and organizational performance: An empirical study of container shipping companies in Taiwan

Kelvin Pang (Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Chin-Shan Lu (Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

ISSN: 2397-3757

Publication date: 19 March 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of motivation on job satisfaction and organizational performance in the context of container shipping companies in Taiwan. Four motivation dimensions were identified based on an exploratory factor analysis, including remuneration, job achievement, job security and job environment. In addition, five job satisfaction dimensions were identified, namely: job policy, job autonomy, job workload, job performance and job status. Organizational performance dimensions included financial and non-financial performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Factor analysis was used to summarize a large number of motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance attributes to identify the crucial factors. Reliability tests based on Cronbach’s alpha and corrected item-total correlation coefficients was used to test the internal consistency of questionnaire responses. ANOVA tests were subsequently used to test for differences in respondents’ perception of these factors according to selected demographics. Finally, a multiple regression model analysis was conducted to examine the relationships between motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance.

Findings

Results indicated that remuneration and job performance had a positive effect on financial performance dimensions such as return on assets, turnover growth rate and profitability while job environment and job autonomy had a positive effect on non-financial performance dimensions, such as customer service, employee productivity and service quality.

Originality/value

This study has drawn attention to the importance of the relationships between motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance in the container shipping context. The findings have significant implications for researchers and shipping practitioners. Despite the existence of research on the inter-relationships between motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance in other disciplines, no empirical study was discussed in previous shipping or transportation-related research.

Keywords

Citation

Pang, K. and Lu, C. (2018), "Organizational motivation, employee job satisfaction and organizational performance", Maritime Business Review, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 36-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/MABR-03-2018-0007

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

1. Introduction

The container shipping industry plays a vital role in the world’s economy. World container throughput reached 171 million TEUs in 2014 accounting for more than 85 per cent of total world trade output (UNCTAD, 2015). It helps to facilitate the seamless movement of containerized cargoes on regularly scheduled service routes connecting countries, markets, businesses and people on a global scale. As nations become more interdependent on each other for goods and services, the container shipping industry is a crucial link generating choices, improving economies and creating employment. However, container shipping companies compete aggressively to survive in a highly volatile environment through a low-cost pricing structure with good service quality with little distinction in the types of services it provides (Lu et al., 2009). As a result, companies constantly look for ways to differentiate itself from their competitors through operations management and strategy, organizational management and human resources management. Developing a well-structured motivation system is crucial for organizations to retain talent and to enable employees to produce the maximum benefits for the organizations (Al-Alawi, 2005). An organization’s motivation system will directly affect employees’ efficiency, morale and job satisfaction (Parsons and Broadbridge, 2006). In addition, a developed motivation system to improve employees’ job satisfaction has a positive impact on organizational performance (Analoui, 1999).

In container shipping, shore-based personnel perform a variety of important functions, especially sales and marketing, which contributes to overall organizational performance. These tasks require employees to be motivated to achieve intended targets. To the author’s knowledge, few empirical studies have discussed the relationships between organizational motivation on job satisfaction and organizational performance in the shipping industry. Talley (2013) summarized the different topics that has been research in the maritime academic field. Much focused has been placed on shipping performance/management with a growing emphasis on environmental protection. Accordingly, the objectives of this research are to examine the effect of organizational motivation on job satisfaction and their effects on organizational performance in container shipping firms in Taiwan.

The following section provides a theoretical background on, organizational motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance and suggests three hypotheses. It then describes the methodological approach to the research issues. The fourth section presents the results and findings of the survey. Conclusions are drawn from the analyses and strategic implications for container shipping companies are discussed in the final section.

2. Theoretical background and hypotheses

2.1 Definition of organizational motivation

The word motivation is derived from the Latin word “movere”, which means to “transfer” or “push”. Robbins and Coulter (2014) describe motivation as a process by which a person’s efforts are energized, directed and sustained toward attaining a goal. Sansone and Harackiewicz (2000) define motivation as an internal mechanism that guides behavior. This can be referred to the catalyzer for individual employees to enhance their working performance to achieve organizational performance (Sekhar et al., 2013). Steer (1994) also argues that the goal of motivation is to enable employees to improve productivity, increase efficiency and improve overall organizational performance. It is important for organizations to find the factors to motivate employees to perform to their maximum ability. Employees are assumed to value intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Both form of rewards contribute significantly to the levels of employees’ motivation to work (Herzberg et al., 1959).

Different motivation theories (e.g. content theories and process theories) describe why and how human behavior is activated and directed (Seiler et al., 2012). These motivation theories have been discussed extensively in prior literature (Latham and Ernst, 2006; Sekhar et al., 2013). Organizations utilize various motivation and reward system to motivate employees. Organizational motivation can be divided into financial or non-financial and intrinsic and extrinsic systems. The majority of the research on motivation studies tends to use Herzberg’s model of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Parsons and Broadbridge (2006) investigated the role of job characteristics and communication in relation to job motivation and satisfaction among UK charity shop managers. Their study found that managers exhibit low levels of satisfaction in relation to pay, job status and working conditions. Islam and Ismail (2008) identified high wages, job security, promotion and good working conditions as the top motivators among Malaysian employees. Kubo and Saka (2002) concluded that monetary incentives, human resource development and job autonomy act as motivators to knowledge workers in the Japanese financial industry. Al-Alawi (2005) explored the motivating factors of information technology employees in the Bahrain hotel industry. They found that supervisor’s appreciation, prizes, salary increase and bonus as important factors.

2.2 Definition of job satisfaction

Job satisfaction describes how contented an individual is with his or her job (Parvin and Kabir, 2011). Job satisfaction is often assumed to be a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from evaluation or appraisal of one’s job or job experience (Locke, 1975). Spector (1997) referred to job satisfaction in terms of how people feel about their jobs and different aspects of their jobs. Job satisfaction is closely related with many organizational phenomena such as motivation, performance, leadership, attitude, conflict, etc. (Parvin and Kabir, 2011). Saari and Judge (2004) concluded through their research on numerous studies that intrinsic job characteristics are the most notable factor affecting job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is said to be complex phenomenon with multiple facets (Parvin and Kabir, 2011). The factors include salary, working environment, autonomy, communication and organizational commitment (Sansone and Harackiewicz, 2000; Vidal et al., 2007; Lane et al., 2010).

2.3 Definition of organizational performance

For organizations, performance is one of the ways to measure the extent of its effectiveness. The need for the ability to set goals and objectives to achieve its performance and how to improve the overall organizational performance is undoubtedly the most important organizational goals and objectives. Definition and measurement of performance is a challenge for researchers because organizations have many, frequently conflicting, goals (Chow et al., 1994). Sarah and Tricia (2005) indicated that performance is often used to measure the overall status of the organization and its related policies. Organizational performance can be measured by both financial and non-financial performance (Yang et al., 2009). Venkatraman and Ramanujam (1986) considered three factors to corporate performance measurement, namely, financial performance (i.e. return on investment, earnings per share, etc.), operational performance (i.e. market share, product quality, etc.) and organizational effectiveness (i.e. employee’s morale, work atmosphere, etc.). Stella (1987) explored the relationship between human resource planning and organizational performance. From a human resources viewpoint, six financial factors were found to be the main determinants of organizational performance – turnover growth rate, profitability, earnings per share, return on assets, average annual profitability per employee and proportion of company assets per employee.

2.4 Organizational motivation and job satisfaction

Many organizations will use appropriate reward systems to improve the incentives to improve employees’ job satisfaction. Literature discusses the relationship between motivation and job satisfaction (Springer, 2011). Igalens and Roussel (1999) argued that employees’ behavior and feelings are affected by motivation and job satisfaction. When organizations place more emphasis on implementing the incentive system with a high level of equity, employees’ job satisfaction will increase. Parsons and Broadbridge (2006) revealed that organizations, in the development of incentives, need to consider the differences in nature of each industry and background of each organization. They concluded that there is a positive effect of organizational motivation on employee job satisfaction. According to the literature, this study proposes the following hypothesis:

H1.

Organizational motivation is positively related to job satisfaction.

2.5 Organizational motivation and organizational performance

According to Lawler (2005), the relationship between organizations and employees should not only focus on the task itself. Organizations should take initiative to develop an effective motivation system to increase employees’ motivation towards their work. This in turn will help to improve the efficiency and quality of work, enabling organizations to meet their performance outcomes. Urbanski (1986) used salary increment as a motivation tool, found that it effectively motivates employees and increase organizational performance. The flexibility in salary increment was also found to have a positive effect. Bhatti et al. (2011) studied the effect of motivation on individuals and how it contributes towards organizational performance with the conclusion that organizations should define clear strategy to link performance with rewards. Aguinis et al. (2013) established that monetary incentives were important factors of employee motivation and achievement which contributes significantly to organizational-level performance returns. This study proposes the second hypothesis:

H2.

Organizational motivation is positively related to organizational performance.

2.6 Job satisfaction and organizational performance

The relationship between job satisfaction and organizational performance has attracted considerable attention and discussion. When organizations review its performances, it uses job satisfaction as one of the measures. An employee who has a positive attitude toward his or her job will have job satisfaction and a willingness to commit to his or her organization, thus increasing organizational performance (Wu et al., 2013). Under reasonable conditions, managers will meet employees’ needs to enhance their job satisfaction so that employees will increase their efforts to attain a good organizational performance (Pettit et al., 1997). According to Shiu and Yu’s (2010), job satisfaction has a significant positive relationship on organizational performance, which includes financial performance, service performance and behavior performance. From the above literature, this study proposes the third hypothesis:

H3.

Job satisfaction is positively related to organizational performance.

3. Methodology

3.1 Sample

The sample of container shipping firms was selected from employees working for companies from the Directory of the National Association of Shipping Agencies and Companies in Taiwan. The sample included container shipping companies and container shipping agencies. A total of 96 questionnaires were sent to shipping firms and 40 usable questionnaires were returned. A follow-up mailing was sent three weeks after the initial mailing and 19 usable responses. The total number of usable questionnaires was 59 with a response rate of 61.5 per cent.

To test for non-response bias (Armstrong and Overton, 1977), this study compared the first (40 respondents) and second data (19 respondents) set. T-tests were performed on the two groups’ responses across 48 measurement items and the results indicated that, at the 5 per cent significance level, there were three items showing significant differences. Results of the non-response bias test suggested that it was appropriate to combine both data sets.

With regards to the respondent profiles, more than 73 per cent of respondents were classified according to the title of being either general manager or above or manager/assistant manager, reinforcing the reliability of the survey findings. In all, 64 per cent of the respondents had worked in the liner shipping industry for more than 10 years, suggesting that they had abundant practical experience to answer the questions. Table I shows that 15 per cent of the respondents employed over 500 employees, whereas 30 per cent had less than 20 employees. In terms of ownership pattern, local firm was 68 per cent followed by foreign-owned firm which was 17 per cent. 74.5 per cent of the respondents reported their company’s turnover was less than NT$1bn, while 15.3 per cent respondents’ company turnover was more than NT$10bn.

3.2 Measures

The measurement items for this study were mainly adapted from extensive review of published literature on organizational motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance. Organizational motivation dimensions consisted of 19 items, namely, bonus (Urbanski, 1986), dividend (Greenberg and Liebman, 1990), promotion opportunity (Analoui, 1999), salary increment (Al-Alawi, 2005), education and job training (Smyth, 1986), job recognition (Robbins and Coulter, 2014), staff travel allowance (Hemsi et al., 2003), allowance (Urbanski, 1986), job autonomy (Robbins and Coulter, 2014), personal development (Parsons and Broadbridge, 2006), workplace (Urbanski, 1986), annual leave (Al-Alawi, 2005), prize (Urbanski, 1986), job diversification (Robbins and Coulter, 2014), job rotation (Al-Alawi,2005), job responsibility (Al-Alawi, 2005), job safety (Hemsi et al., 2003), employee insurance (Robbins and Coulter, 2014) and stock allocation (Al-Alawi, 2005). These items were measured using a five-point Likert scale with “1 = Least Important” to “5 = Most Important”.

Job satisfaction dimensions used the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) developed by Weiss et al. (1967) with 20 short questions. This questionnaire is well-developed and tested in other studies (Hancer and George, 2003; Martins and Proenca, 2012; Abugre, 2014). For each job satisfaction item, respondents were asked to indicate the extent to indicate their implementation for each item using five-point scale, where “1 = strongly dissatisfied” and “5 = strongly satisfied”.

Organizational performance consisted of nine items, namely, service quality (Hax and Majluf, 1984), customer satisfaction (Youndt et al., 1996), employee productivity (Youndt et al., 1996), competitive position (Venkatraman and Ramanujam, 1986), return on assets (Venkatraman and Ramanujam, 1986), market share (Venkatraman and Ramanujam, 1986), operating expenses (Stella, 1987), profitability (Ghalayini et al., 1997) and turnover growth rate (Stella, 1987). Respondents were asked to rate their firm’s performance by indicating their choices of the items on a five-point Likert scale, where “1 = strongly dissatisfied” and “5 = strongly satisfied”.

The items were tested for their accuracy and content validity through interviews conducted with five academic experts and ten experienced shipping practitioners to obtain their valuable feedback for questionnaire improvement. In addition, the resulting items were validated with a pilot field study to further ascertain their content validity as well as construct reliability and validity.

3.3 Data analysis method

Factor analysis was employed to summarize a large number of organizational motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance attributes to identify the crucial factors. Reliability tests based on Cronbach’s alpha and corrected item-total correlation coefficients was used to test the internal consistency of questionnaire responses. ANOVA tests were subsequently used to test for differences in respondents’ perception of these factors according to selected demographics. Finally, a multiple regression model analysis was conducted to examine the relationships between organizational motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance.

4. Results and analysis

4.1 Exploratory factor analysis (EFA)

Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify the dimensions of organizational motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance. The results of the exploratory factor analysis are provided in Tables II, III and IV. Principal component analysis with VARIMAX rotation was used to extract the factors with eigenvalues greater than 1.0. According to Hair et al. (2009), when factor loadings are 0.50 or greater, they can be considered significant.

As shown in Table II, the results revealed four factors accounted for 67.96 per cent of the total variance and were, thus, considered to represent all the motivation attributes. They are labelled and described as follows:

1. Factor 1 is “remuneration” factor composed of five items. “Prize” had the highest factor loading on this factor. The other four items include “stock allocation”, “dividend”, “staff travel allowance” and “bonus”. This factor was identified as “remuneration” factor which accounted for 37.78 per cent of the total variance.

2. Factor 2, termed “job achievement”, consisted of five item, namely, “salary increment”, “promotion opportunity”, “job autonomy”, “job recognition” and “job responsibility”. This factor was identified as “job achievement” and it accounted for 12.91 per cent of the total variance.

3. Factor 3, designated “job security”, composed of two items. “Job safety” and “employee insurance” accounted for 9.82 per cent of the total variance.

4. Factor 4, termed “job environment”, consisted of four items. “Job variety” had the highest factor loading on this factor. The other three items include “job rotation”, “workplace environment” and “personal development”. This factor was referred to as “job environment” and accounted for 7.46 per cent of the total variance.

Table III showed the results of exploratory factor analysis of job satisfaction dimensions indicated five factors which accounted for 71.49 per cent of the total variance. They are labelled and described as follows:

1. Factor 1, named “reward policy”, comprised four items. “The way company policies are put into practice” had the highest factor loading on this factor. The other three items include “the praise I get for doing a good job”, “the competence of my supervisor in making decisions” and “the chances of advancement on this job”. This factor was designated “job achievement” and accounted for 39.27 per cent of the total variance.

2. Factor 2 consisted of five items. “The chance to do something that makes use of my own ability” had the highest factor loading on this factor. The other factors include “the freedom to use my own judgement”, “the way my co-workers get along with each other” and “the feeling of accomplishment I get from the job”. This factor was identified as “work itself” factor which accounted for 12.27 per cent of the total variance.

3. Factor 3 designated “job workload” consisted of three items. “Being able to keep busy all the time” had the highest factor loading on this factor. The other two items include “my pay and the amount of work I do” and “the way my boss handles his/her workers”. This factor was named “job workload” and accounted for 7.28 per cent of the total variance.

4. Factor 4, namely, “skill variety”, consisted of two items. “The chance to work alone on the job” and “the chance to do different things from time to time” accounted for 6.50 per cent of the total variance.

5. Factor 5 is “job status” composed of four items, namely, “the chance to do things for other people”, “the chance to be “somebody” in the community”, “the way my job provides for steady employment” and “the working conditions”. This factor termed as “job status” accounted for 6.17 per cent of the total variance.

Table IV shows the results of exploratory factor analysis of organizational performance dimensions indicated two factors accounted for approximately 64.26 per cent of the total variance and were thus considered to represent all the organizational performance. Factor 1, named “financial performance” dimension, comprised four items and accounted for 44.27 per cent of the total variance. Factor 2, termed “non-financial performance”, consisted of four items, which accounted for 19.99 per cent of the total variance.

4.2 Reliability test

Cronbach’s alpha statistics and corrected item-total-correlation coefficients were conducted to examine the consistency and reliability of the measurement items. The high level of item reliability indicated the items are strongly affected by each measure construct and implied set of items are unidimensional (Hair et al., 2009). Table V reveals the Cronbach’s alpha values and corrected item-total correlation coefficients of each measurement scale are all above the suggested threshold of 0.8 and 0.5, respectively (Nunnally, 1978).

4.3 ANOVA result

Table VI shows the results of the ANOVA test of the differences in the level of satisfactory assigned to organizational motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance according to firm size. A comparison of the factor mean scores showed that all three firm size segments had their highest centroid scores on “job security” with no significant difference between these three segments. Differences were found among four dimensions including “remuneration”, “job workload”, “skill variety” and “financial performance”. Overall, the level of satisfaction accorded to organizational motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance by large firms (with more than 500 employees) was greater than that indicated by small size firms (with less than 50 employees) and medium size firms (between 51 and 500 employees).

Table VII presents differences between the three ownership segments. Similar to the findings in Table VI, “job security” consists of the highest centroid scores with no significant differences. Two dimensions were found to be significantly differ, that is, “job achievement” and “job environment”. In general, the level of satisfaction indicated by foreign firms was higher than expressed by local firms and foreign-local jointly operated firms.

4.4 Correlation analysis result

Table VIII presents the descriptive statistics and correlations of the study variables. The means of the four organizational motivation dimensions were obtained from the respondents based on their perceptions in terms of importance. Comparisons of the mean scores show that respondents have their highest mean scores on job security (mean = 4.13), followed by job achievement, job environment and remuneration. Respondents display their highest mean scored of job satisfaction on job status (mean = 3.87), whereas job performance receives (mean = 3.50) the lowest mean scored. High bivariate correlation coefficients between the dimensions of job satisfaction indicate high potential of multicollinearity among them, which is hardly surprising given that previous research has reported closer relationships among the dimensions of job satisfaction (Shore and Martin, 1989; Wanous et al., 1997).

4.5 Multiple regression and hypotheses test results

Table IX presents the results of the multiple regression analysis of the relationships between organizational motivation dimensions on job satisfaction factors. Results indicate that there is a positive relationship between organizational motivation dimensions and job satisfaction in the container shipping industry in Taiwan. In the models, organizational motivation factors were the independent variables with job satisfaction factors as dependent variables to ascertain the impact of organizational motivation on job satisfaction. The Durbin–Watson statistic fell in the range of 1.565-2.220 which indicates that autocorrelation problem did not exist in this study. Results indicated that “job environment” was significant at the 0.01 level, which provide evidence of a positive influence on reward policy, job workload and skill variety. Results also indicated that “remuneration” had a positive influence on skill variety.

Table X presents the results of the multiple regression analysis of the influence of organizational motivation and job satisfaction dimensions on financial and non-financial performance. Durbin–Watson results for both models indicate that no autocorrelation between variables. Results also indicated that “remuneration” as well as “job autonomy”, were significant at the 0.01 level, which is evidence of a positive influence on financial and non-financial performance, respectively.

H1 was partially supported by the multiple regression results indicating that significant relationship existed between organizational motivation dimension, “job environment” and job satisfaction dimensions. This is consistent with the findings of Igalens and Roussel (1999) when organizations pay more attention to implantation of an effective system, especially in the areas of job variety and clear career path, employees’ job satisfaction will be higher.

The findings also partially validated H2 and H3. There was a significant positive effect between organizational motivation and financial performance and job satisfaction and non-financial performance. The results indicated that an effective motivation system using remuneration and job environment increases organization’s profitability and productivity. This is consistent with previous studies (Waldrop, 1987; Al-Alawi, 2005). The results also revealed that job satisfaction dimensions have differing impacts on organization performance. Employees’ satisfaction of skill variety impacts financial performance, while work itself helps to improve employee’s productivity and provides better customer satisfaction and service quality. This is consistent with the finding of Shore and Martin (1989), where it was found that when employees experienced a higher level of job satisfaction, their work attitudes improved and are able to complete more tasks, thus improving organizational performance.

5. Discussions and conclusion

Within the shipping industry, a dedicated and motivated workforce is needed to provide excellent services and maintain a competitive advantage. This study has aimed to investigate the effects of organizational motivation factors on job satisfaction and their effects on organizational performance using multiple regression analysis. The main findings, derived from a survey conducted into the container shipping industry in Taiwan, are summarized below.

Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to derive four critical factors of the organizational motivation dimension, namely, “remuneration”, “job achievement”, “job security” and “job environment”. Five job satisfaction dimensions was derived, namely, “reward policy”, “work itself”, “job workload”, “skill variety” and “job status”. Two organizational performance dimensions were identified, namely, “financial performance” and “non-financial performance”. The findings are consistent with those reported in previous studies (Parsons and Broadbridge, 2006; Yang et al., 2009; Robbins and Coulter, 2014).

Variation in perceived differences of organizational motivation, job satisfaction and performance in terms of years of tenure, firm size and ownership types were analyzed. Results showed that organizational motivation and job satisfaction ratings between different years of tenure differed significantly in “remuneration”, “job achievement”, “job autonomy” and “skill variety”. In terms of firm size, large shipping companies perceived job workload and financial performance as significantly higher than smaller firms. Larger firms are able to achieve greater economies of scale and efficiently utilize their resources to increase their return on assets and experience higher turnover growth rate. Findings showed that foreign-owned firms differ significantly from others in terms of job achievement and job environment, focusing more on employees’ recognition and personal development.

Multiple regression analysis was carried out to assess the influence of organizational motivation dimensions on job satisfaction as well as their relationship on organizational performance. Results indicated that “remuneration” and “job environment” had a positive effect on employees’ job satisfaction in terms of skill variety. This would imply that employees’ value monetary incentives as well as a positive workplace with job variety and rotation and personal development. Furthermore, “remuneration” and “job variety” had a positive effect on financial performance, while “job environment” and “job autonomy” had a positive effect on non-financial performance.

The findings imply that employees’ in container shipping companies perceive that providing incentives, such as more bonuses, dividends and stock allocation, as well as the chance to work alone could improve organizational performance in terms of turnover growth rate, return on assets, profitability and market share. This is might be application to employees working in sales department who normally work independently to achieve sales targets. Findings also suggest that the degree of freedom afforded to employees to use their own ability to make their own decisions and methods could improve customer satisfaction, service quality and employee productivity.

This study has drawn attention to the importance of the relationships between organizational motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance in the container shipping context. The findings have significant implications for researchers and shipping practitioners. First, despite the existence of research on the inter-relationships between organizational motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance in other disciplines, no empirical study was discussed in previous shipping or transportation-related research. Second, the understanding of relationships between the dimensions will encourage container shipping companies to develop a career development-oriented motivation system to increase job satisfaction and a sound financial-based motivation system to improve organizational performance. Finally, this study specifically focused on the container shipping industry. This study’s insights into shipping managers’ perceived organizational motivation and job satisfaction factors may also be of interest to other service industries including airlines, forwarders and logistics services providers by providing a useful approach to evaluate their organizational performance.

This research was limited to an evaluation of organizational motivation factors on job satisfaction and organizational performance in the shipping industry. Future research can focus on analyzing individual departments to understand the perceptions of organizational motivation and job satisfaction factors in different departments. In addition, the research was limited to a particular industry in the Taiwan area. The container shipping industry is an international business and future research could include other nations in the study. Finally, this research only used job satisfaction as a variable in analyzing organizational performance. In future, other constructs such as leadership patterns or organizational communication could be added to strengthen the integrity of the research.

Table I.

Profile of respondents

Characteristics No. of respondents Percentage of respondents
Job title
General manager 11 18.6
Manager/Assistant manager 32 54.2
Supervisor 9 15.3
General employee 4 6.8
Sales representative 3 5.1
Years of tenure in company
<5 years 7 11.9
6-10 years 13 22.0
11-15 years 9 13.5
16-20 years 14 23.7
>20 years 16 27.1
Number of employees
<20 18 30.6
21-50 12 22.0
51-100 12 22.0
101-500 8 13.6
>500 9 15.3
Ownership
Local firm 40 67.8
Foreign-local firm 9 15.3
Branches of foreign firm 10 16.9
Type of company
Shipping company 8 13.6
Shipping agency 51 86.4
Revenue (Million NT$) <10 9 15.3 10-50 18 30.5 50-100 7 11.9 100-1,000 10 16.9 1,000-5,000 3 5.1 5,000-10,000 3 5.1 10,000-50,000 4 6.8 >50,000 5 8.5 Note: One USD = NT$31

Table II.

Results of factor analysis of organizational motivation

Motivator factor F1 F2 F3 F4
Prize 0.777 −0.077 0.017 0.234
Stock allocation 0.768 −0.086 0.024 0.164
Dividend 0.701 0.278 0.078 −0.345
Staff travel allowance 0.595 0.176 0.388 0.353
Bonus 0.556 0.442 0.183 0.047
Salary increment 0.300 0.747 0.133 0.134
Promotion opportunity 0.442 0.695 0.224 0.181
Job autonomy −0.104 0.663 0.064 0.316
Job recognition 0.398 0.555 0.276 0.236
Job responsibility −0.042 0.506 0.337 0.433
Job safety 0.072 0.021 0.934 −0.028
Employee insurance 0.098 0.162 0.918 −0.092
Job variety 0.163 0.159 −0.075 0.775
Job rotation 0.150 0.196 −0.078 0.739
Workplace environment −0.041 0.245 0.487 0.576
Personal development 0.145 0.301 0.377 0.558
Eigenvalues 6.42 2.02 1.84 1.08
Percentage variance 37.78 12.91 9.82 7.46
Cumulative variance 37.78 50.68 60.50 67.97

Table III.

Results of factor analysis of job satisfaction

Job satisfaction measures F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
The way company policies are put into practice 0.802 0.098 0.350 0.010 0.122
The praise I get for doing a good job 0.713 0.361 −0.022 0.161 0.251
The competence of my supervisor in making decisions 0.705 0.398 0.254 0.118 0.089
The chances of advancement on this job 0.695 0.043 0.236 0.325 0.281
The chance to do something that makes use of my own ability 0.136 0.769 0.414 0.252 0.061
The freedom to use my own judgment 0.088 0.703 0.217 0.277 0.234
The chance to try my own methods of doing the job 0.350 0.688 −0.057 0.068 −0.173
The way my co-workers get along with each other 0.091 0.641 0.293 −0.072 0.277
The feeling of accomplishment I get from the job 0.444 0.506 −0.011 0.373 0.149
Being able to keep busy all the time 0.027 0.060 0.868 0.126 0.284
My pay and the amount of work I do 0.405 0.077 0.686 0.005 −0.044
The way my boss handles his/her workers 0.783 0.323 0.622 −0.001 0.207
The chance to work alone on the job 0.195 0.132 −0.048 0.989 0.046
The chance to do different things from time to time 0.091 0.161 0.159 0.863 0.020
The chance to do things for other people 0.054 0.144 0.019 0.250 0.774
The chance to be “somebody” in the community 0.450 0.086 0.385 −0.108 0.645
The way my job provides for steady employment 0.227 0.045 0.328 −0.323 0.572
The working conditions 0.423 0.356 0.088 0.109 0.528
Eigenvalues 7.07 2.21 1.31 1.17 1.11
Percentage variance 39.27 12.27 7.28 6.50 6.17
Cumulative variance 39.27 51.54 58.81 65.32 71.49

Table IV.

Results of factor analysis of organizational performance

Organizational performance factors F1 F2
Turnover growth rate 0.865 −0.031
Return on assets 0.837 0.085
Profitability 0.823 0.173
Market share 0.630 0.550
Customer satisfaction 0.055 0.849
Service quality −0.374 0.728
Competitive position 0.488 0.725
Employee productivity 0.365 0.646
Eigenvalues 3.71 1.85
Percentage variance 46.95 23.18
Cumulative variance 46.95 69.63

Table V.

Results of reliability testing

Measurements Items Mean SD Cronbach’s alpha Range of corrected item-total-correction
Organizational motivation
Remuneration 5 3.44 0.92 0.79 0.508-0.626
Job achievement 5 3.76 0.74 0.78 0.480-0.668
Job security 2 4.13 0.80 0.92 0.860
Job environment 4 3.61 0.77 0.73 0.519-0.543
Job satisfaction
Reward policy 4 3.58 0.74 0.84 0.643-0.716
Work itself 5 3.82 0.61 0.80 0.499-0.759
Job workload 3 3.50 0.72 0.77 0.578-0.618
Skill variety 2 3.88 0.59 0.76 0.616
Job status 4 3.87 0.63 0.75 0.477-0.670
Organizational performance
Financial performance 4 3.51 0.61 0.83 0.567-0.718
Non-financial performance 4 3.68 0.62 0.77 0.457-0.705

Table VI.

ANOVA analysis of organizational motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance between firm size

Firm size (No. of employees)
<50 (a) 51-500 (b) >500 (c)
Dimensions (n = 30) (n = 20) (n = 9) F-ratio p-value Duncan test
Organizational motivation
Remuneration 3.40 3.71 3.97 3.573 0.035* (a,c)
Job achievement 3.66 3.84 3.97 1.523 0.227 NA
Job security 3.92 4.33 4.41 2.800 0.069 NA
Job environment 3.53 3.61 3.86 1.262 0.291 NA
Job satisfaction
Reward policy 3.54 3.61 3.66 0.168 0.845 NA
Work itself 3.77 3.78 3.92 0.680 0.511 NA
Job workload 2.92 3.59 3.62 5.771 0.005** (a,b) (b,c)
Skill variety 3.30 3.55 4.00 3.086 0.049* (a,c)
Job status 3.79 3.92 4.02 1.092 0.343 NA
Organizational performance
Financial performance 3.34 3.57 3.97 6.715 0.002** (a,c)
Non-financial performance 3.66 3.88 3.92 1.157 0.322 NA

Notes:

*

Significant at level p < 0.05;

**

Significant at level p < 0.01

Table VII.

ANOVA analysis of organizational motivation, job satisfaction and organizational performance between ownership types

Ownership types
Local firm (a) Foreign-local firm (b) Branches of foreign firm (c)
Dimensions (n = 40) (n = 9) (n = 10) F-ratio p-value Duncan test
Organizational motivation
Remuneration 3.46 3.64 4.02 3.013 0.057 NA
Job achievement 3.65 3.86 4.15 3.697 0.031* (a, c)
Job security 3.98 4.25 4.61 2.722 0.074 NA
Job environment 3.48 3.80 3.94 3.553 0.035* (a, c)
Job satisfaction
Reward policy 3.42 3.54 3.94 2.060 0.137 NA
Work itself 3.60 3.82 4.04 2.381 0.102 NA
Job workload 3.45 3.46 3.77 1.130 0.330 NA
Skill variety 3.36 3.5 4.00 2.537 0.088 NA
Job status 3.79 4.02 4.03 1.682 0.195 NA
Organizational performance
Financial performance 3.43 3.55 3.75 1.616 0.208 NA
Non-financial performance 3.70 3.86 4.05 1.627 0.206 NA

Notes:

*

Significant at level p < 0.05;

**

Significant at level p < 0.01

Table VIII.

Means, standard deviations, and correlation analysis

Measures Mean SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
1. Tenurea 3.68 1.76
2. Number of employeesb 2.54 1.47 0.149
3. Revenuec 3.51 2.18 0.214 **0.768
4. Remuneration 3.58 0.65 −0.146 *0.278 0.201
5. Job achievement 3.76 0.54 −0.158 0.169 0.045 0.644
6. Job security 4.13 0.77 0.229 0.205 0.182 *0.321 *0.293
7. Job environment 3.61 0.56 −0.017 0.087 0.082 **0.424 **0.586 0.224
8. Job policy 3.58 0.61 0.026 0.001 −0.055 0.251 0.412** 0.073 0.589**
9. Job autonomy 3.82 0.45 −0.061 0.019 −0.146 0.236 0.448** 0.259** 0.461** 0.595**
10. Job workload 3.50 0.60 0.086 −0.323* −0.287* 0.099 0.236 0.102 0.424** 0.584** 0.431**
11. Job performance 3.48 0.79 −0.203 0.232 0.110 0.789** 0.708** 0.352** 0.510** 0.370** 0.396** 0.201
12. Job status 3.87 0.46 0.197 0.152 0.166 0.264* 0.363** 0.298* 0.500** 0.607** 0.404** 0.567** 0.315*
13. Financial performance 3.51 0.50 −0.128 0.402** 0.497** 0.446** 0.200 0.036 0.242 0.239 0.056 0.009 0.337** 0.218
14. Non-financial performance 3.86 0.43 0.089 −0.167 −0.244 0.240 0.451** 0.317* 0.475** 0.564** 0.819** 0.505** 0.302* 0.524** −0.083

Notes:

a

Measures for years of tenure in company are based on questions using an ordinal scale: 1 represents respondents less than 5 years old; 2 represents 6-10 years, 3 represents 11-15 years, 4 represents 16-20 year, whereas 5 represents more than 20 years old.

b

Measures for the number of employees are based on questions using an ordinal scale: 1 represents less than 20 people, 2 represents 21-50 people, 3 represents 51-100 people; 4 represents 101-500 people, whereas 5 represents more than 500 people.

c

Measures for the revenue in terms of million are based on questions using an ordinal scale: 1 represents less than NT$10mn, 2 represents 10-50 NT$mn, 3 represents 50-100 NT$mn, 4 represents 100-1,000 NT$mn, 5 represent NT $1,000-5,000mn, 6 represents NT$5,000-10,000mn, 7 represents NT$10,000-50,000 NT$mn, whereas 8 represents more than NT\$50,000mn. One US dollar is equal 31 NT dollar.

**

Significant at p ≦0.01;

*

Significant at p ≦0.05

Table IX.

Results of the influence of organizational motivation on employee job satisfaction

Employee job satisfaction
Organizational motivation Reward policy Job autonomy Job workload Skill variety Job status
Remuneration 0.251 0.236 0.099 0.789** 0.264
Job achievement 0.412 0.448 0.236 0.708* 0.363
Job security 0.073 0.259 0.102 0.352 0.298
Job environment 0.589** 0.461* 0.424** 0.510** 0.500*
Durbin–Watson 1.753 2.220 1.565 1.929 1.806
F-ratio 4.363 4.357 5.128 20.340 5.489
Adjusted R2 0.289 0.288 0.333 0.700 0.236

Notes:

*Significant at level p < 0.05;

**Significant at level p < 0.01

Table X.

Results of the effects of organizational motivation and job satisfaction on organizational performance

Variables Financial performance Non-financial performance
Organizational motivation
Remuneration 0.464** 0.240
Job achievement 0.200 0.451
Job security 0.360 0.317
Job environment 0.242 0.475**
Job satisfaction
Reward policy 0.239 0.564
Work itself 0.056 0.819**
Skill variety 0.337** 0.302
Job status 0.218 0.524
Durbin–Watson 1.534 1.670 1.999 2.016
F-ratio 4.234 2.501 6.239 28.021
Adjusted R2 0.182 0.115 0.265 0.700

Notes:

*

Significant at level p < 0.05;

**

Significant at level p < 0.01

References

Abugre, J.B. (2014), “Job satisfaction of public sector employees in Sub-saharan Africa: testing the minnesota satisfaction questionnaire in Ghana”, International Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 37 No. 10, pp. 655-665.

Aguinis, H., Joo, H. and Gottfredson, R.K. (2013), “What monetary rewards can and cannot do: how to show employees the money”, Business Horizons, Vol. 56 No. 2, pp. 241-249.

Al-Alawi, A.I. (2005), “Motivating factors on information technology employees in Bahrain hotel industry”, Issues in Information Systems, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 112-115.

Analoui, F. (1999), “What motivates senior managers? The case of Romania”, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 324-340.

Armstrong, S.J. and Overton, T.S. (1977), “Estimating non-response bias in mail survey”, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 396-402.

Bhatti, W.A., Waris, S., Zaheer, A. and Rehman, K.U. (2011), “The effect of commitment and motivation on human talents and its contribution to organizational performance”, Management and Marketing, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 471-482.

Chow, G., Heaver, T.D. and Henricksson, L.E. (1994), “Logistics performance: definition and measurement”, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 17-28.

Ghalayini, A.M., Noble, J.S. and Crowe, T.J. (1997), “An integrated dynamic performance measurement system for improving manufacturing competitiveness”, International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 48 No. 3, pp. 207-225.

Greenberg, J. and Liebman, M. (1990), “Incentives: the missing piece in strategic performance”, The Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 11 No. 4, p. 8

Hair, J.F., Black, W.C., Baban, B.J. and Anderson, R.E. (2009), Multivariate Data Analysis, 7th ed., Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Hancer, M. and George, R.T. (2003), “Job satisfaction of restaurant employees: an empirical investigation using the Minnesota satisfaction questionnaire”, Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 85-100.

Hax, A.C. and Majluf, N.S. (1984), Strategic Management: An Integrative Perspective, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Hemsi, M.A., Nasurdin, A.M. and Ramayah, T. (2003), “Motivational preferences of hotel employees: implications for managers”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 25-29.

Herzberg, F., Mausner, B. and Syndermann, B.B. (1959), The Motivation to Work, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY.

Igalens, J. and Roussel, P. (1999), “A study of relationships between compensation package, work motivation and job satisfaction”, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 20 No. 7, pp. 1003-1025.

Islam, R. and Ismail, A.Z.H. (2008), “Employee motivation: Malaysian perspective”, International Journal of Commerce and Management, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 344-362.

Kubo, I. and Saka, A. (2002), “An inquiry into the motivation of knowledge workers in the Japanese financial industry”, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 262-271.

Lane, K.A., Esser, J., Holte, B. and McCusker, M.A. (2010), “A study of nurse faculty job satisfaction in community colleges in Florida”, Teaching and Learning in Nursing, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 16-26.

Latham, G.P. and Ernst, C.T. (2006), “Keys to motivating tomorrow’s workforce”, Human Resource Management Review, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 181-198.

Lawler, E.E. (2005), “Creating high performance organizations”, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 55-71.

Locke, E.A. (1975), “Personnel attitudes and motivation”, Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 457-480.

Lu, C.S., Lin, C.C. and Tu, C.J. (2009), “Corporate social responsibility and organizational performance in container shipping”, International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 119-132.

Martins, H. and Proenca, T. (2012), “Minnesota satisfaction questionnaire – psychometric properties and validation in a population of Portuguese hospitals”, FEP Working Papers N.471 Universidade de Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

Nunnally, J.C. (1978), Psychometric Theory, 2nd Ed, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.

Parsons, E. and Broadbridge, A. (2006), “Job motivation and satisfaction: unpacking the key factors for charity shop managers”, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 121-131.

Parvin, M.M. and Kabir, M.M. (2011), “Factors affecting employee job satisfaction of pharmaceutical sector”, Australian Journal of Business and Management Research, Vol. 1 No. 9, pp. 113-123.

Pettit, J.D., Jr, Goris, J.R. and Vaught, B.C. (1997), “An examinational of organizational commitment as a moderator of the relationship between job performance and satisfaction”, Journal of Business Communication, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 81-98.

Robbins, S.P. and Coulter, M. (2014), Management, 12th ed., Pearson, Boston.

Saari, L.M. and Judge, T.A. (2004), “Employees attitudes and job satisfaction”, Human Resource Management, Vol. 43 No. 4, pp. 395-407.

Sansone, C. and Harackiewicz, J. (2000), Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation – The Search for Optimal Motivation and Performance, Academic Press, San Diego, C.A.

Sarah, H. and Tricia, V. (2005), “Determining the impact of an organization’s performance management system”, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 76-97.

Seiler, S., Lent, B., Pinkowska, M. and Pinazza, M. (2012), “An integrated model of factors influencing project managers’ motivation – findings from a swiss survey”, International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 60-72.

Sekhar, C., Patwardhan, M. and Singh, R.K. (2013), “A literature review on motivation”, Global Business Perspectives, Vol. 1 No. 4, pp. 471-487.

Shiu, Y.M. and Yu, T.W. (2010), “Internal marketing, organizational culture, job satisfaction, and organizational performance in non-life insurance”, The Services Industries Journal, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 793-809.

Shore, L.M. and Martin, H.J. (1989), “Job satisfaction and organizational commitment in relation to work performance and turnover intentions”, Human Relations, Vol. 42 No. 7, pp. 625-638.

Smyth, J.C. (1986), “Science and technology education and future human needs”, The Environmentalist, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 145-151.

Spector, P.E. (1997), Job Satisfaction – Application, Assessment, Causes and Consequences, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oak, CA.

Springer, G.J. (2011), “A study of job motivation, satisfaction and performance among bank employees”, The Journal of Global Business Issues, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 29-42.

Steer, R.M. (1994), Introduction to Organizational Behavior, 4th ed., Harper Collins Publisher, New York, NY.

Stella, M.N. (1987), “Research notes and communications, human resource planning and organizational performance: an exploratory analysis”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 8, pp. 387-392.

Talley, W. (2013), “Maritime transportation research: topics and methodologies”, Maritime Policy & Management, Vol. 40 No. 7, pp. 709-725.

UNCTAD (2015), Review of Maritime Transport 2015, United Nations Publication, Geneva.

Urbanski, A. (1986), “Incentives get specific”, Sales and Marketing Management, pp. 98-102.

Venkatraman, N. and Ramanujam, V. (1986), “Measurement of business performance in strategy research: a comparison of approaches”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 801-814.

Vidal, M.E.S., Valle, R.S. and Aragon, B.M.I. (2007), “Antecedents of repatriates’ job satisafaction and its influence on turnover intentions: evidence from Spanish repatriates managers”, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 60 No. 12, pp. 1272-1281.

Waldrop, H.A. (1987), “The rewards of non-cash incentives”, Sales and Marketing Management, pp. 110-112.

Wanous, J., Reichers, P., Arnon, E. and Hudy, M.J. (1997), “Overall job satisfaction: how good are single-item measures?”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 82 No. 2, pp. 247-252.

Weiss, D.J., Davis, R.V., English, G.W. and Lofquist, L.H. (1967), Manual for the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire, Minnesota Studies in Vocational Rehabilitation, University of Minnesota, Industrial Relations Center, Minneapolis, Vol. 22.

Wu, W.Y., Tsai, C.C. and Fu, C.S. (2013), “The relationships among internal marketing, job satisfaction, relationship marketing, customer orientation, and organizational performance: an empirical study of TFT-LCD companies in Taiwan”, Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 436-449.

Yang, C.C., Marlow, P.B. and Lu, C.S. (2009), “Knowledge management enablers in liner shipping”, Transportation Research Part E, Vol. 45 No. 6, pp. 893-903.

Lirn, T.C., Lin, H.W. and Shang, K.C. (2014), “Green shipping management capability and firm performance in the container shipping industry”, Maritime Policy & Management, Vol. 41 No. 2, pp. 159-175.

Lun, Y.H.V., Pang, K.W. and Panayides, P.M. (2010), “Organizational growth and firm performance in the international container shipping industry”, International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 206-223.

Ng, M.M.H., Lun, Y.H.V., Lai, K.H. and Cheng, T.C.E. (2013), “Research on shipping studies”, International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 1-12.

Shang, K.C., Lu, C.S. and Li, S. (2010), “A taxonomy of green supply chain management capability among electronics-related manufacturing firms in Taiwan”, Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 91 No. 5, pp. 1218-1226.

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Ms. Ai-Ting Chung, an Employee at the Maersk Line Taiwan Ltd, for her assistance in data collection.

Corresponding author

Kelvin Pang can be contacted at: kkpang@polyu.edu.hk