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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

versão On-line ISSN 2071-0763
versão impressa ISSN 0258-5200


RENARD, Michelle  e  SNELGAR, Robin J.. How can work be designed to be intrinsically rewarding? Qualitative insights from South African non-profit employees. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2016, vol.42, n.1, pp.1-12. ISSN 2071-0763.

ORIENTATION: Intrinsic rewards are personal, psychological responses to the work that employees perform, which stem from the manner in which their work is designed. RESEARCH PURPOSE: This study sought to discover in what ways non-profit employees are psychologically rewarded by the nature of their work tasks. The use of a qualitative approach to data collection and analysis ensured that in-depth responses from participants were gained. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Intrinsic rewards are of particular importance to non-profit employees, who tend to earn below-market salaries. This implies that their motivation originates predominantly from intrinsic as opposed to extrinsic rewards; yet, research into this area of rewards is lacking. RESEARCH APPROACH, DESIGN AND METHOD: In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted using a sample of 15 extrinsically rewarded non-profit employees working within South Africa. Thematic analysis was utilised in order to generate codes which led to the formation of five intrinsic rewards categories. MAIN FINDINGS: Intrinsic rewards were classified into five categories, namely (1) Meaningful Work, (2) Flexible Work, (3) Challenging Work, (4) Varied Work and (5) Enjoyable Work. These rewards each comprise of various subcategories, which provide insight into why such work is rewarding to non-profit employees PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Traditional performance management systems should be re-evaluated in the non-profit sector to shift focus towards intrinsic rewards, as opposed to focusing only on the use of extrinsic rewards such as incentives to motivate employees. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The study provides a qualitative understanding of how extrinsically rewarded non-profit employees perceive their work to be intrinsically rewarding, which bridges the empirical gap pertaining to intrinsic rewards within this sector.

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