The Meaning of Money among Mental Health Workers: The Endorsement of Money Ethic as Related to Organizational Citizenship Behavior, Job Satisfaction, and Commitment

By Tang, Thomas Li-Ping; Kim, Jwa K. | Public Personnel Management, Spring 1999 | Go to article overview
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The Meaning of Money among Mental Health Workers: The Endorsement of Money Ethic as Related to Organizational Citizenship Behavior, Job Satisfaction, and Commitment


Tang, Thomas Li-Ping, Kim, Jwa K., Public Personnel Management


Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to examine the measurement and dimensions of the 6-item Money Ethic Scale (MES) using a sample of mental health workers. Results showed that the items of the new Money Ethic Scale had very low and negligible cross-loadings and the inter-factor correlations were small. Thus, the three factors (Budget, Evil, and Success) measured fairly independent constructs. Further, the results of a multivariate multiple regression showed that the linear combination of the Factors Budget, Evil, and Success was a significant predictor of the linear combination of organizational citizenship behavior, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment.

Money is recognized as an important factor to attract, retain, and motivate employees and has significant impact on behavior, performance, and effectiveness in organizations.[1] Attitudes toward money are established fairly early in one's childhood and are maintained in professional life. Money attitudes are also known to be correlated with the economic development of the nation and related to the motive to outperform others.[2] There is also much literature on materialism, which is highly related to a person's attitude toward money.[3] Money can be considered either a powerful motivator to increase productivity for some people or just a hygiene factor for others. The meaning of money is in the eye of the beholder.

The Money Ethic Scale

One of the main purposes of this study is to investigate the measurement and dimensions of the Money Ethic Scale (MES).[4] There are several measures of money attitudes.[5] In 1992, Tang's 30-item Money Ethic Scale (MES) examined (1) positive and negative attitudes toward money, an affective component, (2) different ideas and beliefs about money, a cognitive component, and (3) money usage, a behavioral component.[6] In that study, Tang applied the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to a sample of 249 full-time employees in the United States. The scale was developed specifically for measuring money attitudes in organizational and work-related settings and several other work-related variables were investigated.

Using varimax rotation, Tang identified six factors of money attitudes, which can be grouped into three major components: an affective component (good and evil), a cognitive component (achievement, respect, and power), and a behavioral component (budget).[7] The selection of specific items and the empirical documentation of Cronbach's alphas, test-retest reliabilities, discriminant validity, and nomological network of the MES were very well documented in Tang's 1992 and 1993 studies.

A Short Money Ethic Scale

Two items with the highest item-total correlations from each of the six factors were selected for a short 12-item Money Ethic Scale (Short-MES).[8] Using the exploratory factor analysis (EFA), Tang identified three factors of money attitudes: Success (8 items, a cognitive component), budget (2 items, a behavioral component), and evil (2 items, an affective component). Further, "the Short-MES score," which was calculated by adding all 12 items with the two evil items reverse scored, was correlated with the original MES scale and was related to high economic values, low religious values, and low pay satisfaction.

There are several limitations regarding these studies. First, the studies used EFA, which reflects that the analysis is data driven rather than theory driven. Second, the factors of the Money Ethic Scale were not independent. For example, factor good was highly related to other factors. All cognitive factors (achievement, respect, and power) were highly related to each other.[9] Third, some items had high cross-loadings. When the factors are conceptually related, one would expect some degree of cross-loadings. Finally, EFA results suggested six factors (30 items) in Tang's 1992 study and three factors (12 items) in Tang's 1995 study.

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The Meaning of Money among Mental Health Workers: The Endorsement of Money Ethic as Related to Organizational Citizenship Behavior, Job Satisfaction, and Commitment
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