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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200


JACOBS, Sara; RENARD, Michelle  and  SNELGAR, Robin J.. Intrinsic rewards and work engagement in the South African retail industry. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2014, vol.40, n.2, pp.1-13. ISSN 2071-0763.

ORIENTATION: There is a lack of South African research relating to the provision of intrinsic rewards to retail employees. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The purpose of this research was to determine whether there is a relationship between intrinsic rewards and work engagement in the South African retail industry. Furthermore, it sought to validate an instrument to measure intrinsic rewards within the South African context. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: There is currently a paucity of research exploring intrinsic rewards, specifically their importance for work engagement. Furthermore, there is a lack of instruments validated in South Africa that can be used to measure intrinsic rewards. RESEARCH APPROACH, DESIGN AND METHOD: This quantitative study was conducted using a cross-sectional design and non-probability sampling of 181 employees from a South African retail organisation. The questionnaire included a demographic section, the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale and the Work Engagement Profile. MAIN FINDINGS: Statistically significant, positive relationships were found between all subscales of the two instruments. There were significant differences in the means for intrinsic rewards and work engagement for gender and age. Notably, the exploratory factor analysis for both instruments did not support the factor structure indicated in the literature. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: South African retail organisations should create work environments that provide intrinsic rewards as part of their reward package, to encourage work engagement. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: These findings add to the current body of literature regarding intrinsic rewards and work engagement and provide insight into variables that promote work engagement within the South African retail context.

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