Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Society

Rewards and Motivation among Administrators of Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (Unisza): An Empirical Study

Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Society

Rewards and Motivation among Administrators of Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (Unisza): An Empirical Study

Article excerpt


The aim of this paper is to examine effect of rewards and employees' motivation among administrators of Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA). Reward and motivation are relying upon in many countries to induce changes in higher education. One of the ways to heighten the motivation is through effective reward system. Reward prescribes two important dimensions consist of extrinsic and intrinsic. The target population was nonacademic administrative management group of UniSZA. Data was drawn from a sample of 86 administrators in UniSZA. The regression result shows that reward generally have a positive effect on motivation. Specifically, the findings indicate that extrinsic reward was positively related to motivation. Intrinsic reward also found to have a positive effect on motivation. A discussion of the findings, limitations, and future research are provided.

Keywords: Rewards, Intrinsic Rewards, Extrinsic Rewards, Motivation and Administrators


Motivation refers to a basic psychological process (Tella, Ayeni & Popoola, 2007). It was a factor that became driving force on work action. According to Luthans (1998), motivation is the management process influencing behavior of knowledge on what make people think. It contributes to the process of stimulating people to act and achieve specific goals. As motivation concern, reward system is an important tool for management use as the channel of employees' motivation. Currently, the reward programs are implementing either in public or private sectors. It was clearly stated that employees' effort is increased when rewards are offered (Vroom, 1964). In reward program, large amount of money are spent. The reason behind these, hopefully it will increase employees' motivation. As pointed by Cameron and Pierce (2006), an effective reward system requires i) an experimental attitude; ii) continual fine-tuning of the system; iii) input from people within the system and iv) ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the system. Danish and Usman (2010) suggested that effective reward system leads to i) increased satisfaction for employees; ii) recognition of accomplishments; iii) a desire to attain high standards; iv) a means to achieve personal and social goals; v) high productivity and vi) feeling of competence and freedom.

Motivation, then, is a pillar in the establishment and further improvement of quality in higher education. In Malaysia, university plays a very significant and supportive role in the development of the country. Strong university administrators have enabled to propel the country to increase the development level and earned the admiration of countries around the world. The university is a large component of the national education transformation. The effectiveness of university in Malaysia is determined by the capacity, motivation, and integrity of the civil service and the quality of its leadership (National Economic Advisory Council, 2010). It shows that the government is concerned with the motivation and performance quality of its employee especially from the public sector and the higher education institution as part of the government body. In order to achieve greater success, there must be a transformation in the way things are done and the need to refocus on key strategic area (Yusof, 2007).

Encouraged by governments, higher education institutions have increasingly performance in the hope to achieve an efficiency gains. In the mean time, lack of accountability of university management to represent university boards may not be conducive to universities' fulfilling the needs of stakeholders. In this context, good management can help reduce the barriers of managerial uncertainty such as lack of institutional identity of vision and strategy, high resistance to change and absence of management staff (Conraths, 2007). For instance, in Republic of Korea, Pohang University of Science and Technology is a private university that achieved world class status over the past decade, which focuses in science and technology area. …

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