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All work intensity is not created equal: Effort motives, job satisfaction, and quit intentions at a grocery chain

Avgoustaki, A. & Frankort, H. T. W. ORCID: 0000-0002-0022-1570 (2022). All work intensity is not created equal: Effort motives, job satisfaction, and quit intentions at a grocery chain. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 61(4), pp. 869-894. doi: 10.1111/bjir.12724


Prior research has shown that the well-being of employees engaged in intensive work can vary with the discretion their jobs afford regarding how and when to carry out the work. This paper explores a different avenue. It argues that well-being also varies with employees’ individual motives for working intensively. The paper introduces self-determination theory to the domain of work intensity and focuses on two hypotheses. The first is whether intensive work driven by explicit or implicit incentives is more positively associated with an employee’s job satisfaction than intensive work driven by job demands. The second is whether intensive work driven by intrinsic motives is more positively associated with job satisfaction than that driven by explicit or implicit incentives. In both these cases, the paper also examines whether equivalent effects exist on (reduced) quit intentions. Original data from a major Greek grocery chain provide corroborative evidence that is robust to a rich set of covariates, including increasingly demanding adjustments for job discretion. The findings contribute to a more complete understanding of why differences in well-being exist among employees performing intensive work, with implications for workers and employers.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of theCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivsLicense, which permitsuse and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications oradaptations are made.
Publisher Keywords: work intensity, self-determination theory, extrinsic motives, intrinsic motives, well-being, job satisfaction, quit intentions
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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