Motivating Information Technology Professionals: The case of New Zealand

Shoaib Ahmed, Nazim Taskin, David J. Pauleen, Jane Parker

Abstract


IT professionals play a critical role in organizations. Research indicates that they may be unique in their attitudes toward motivation and job satisfaction. In New Zealand, a shortage of skilled professionals may contribute to or impact on motivation. Using a modified model of Herzberg’s two-factor theory by Smerek and Peterson (2007), this research seeks to answer the question: what motivates New Zealand IT professionals? In response, an online questionnaire was distributed to a population of New Zealand IT professionals and the data analysed using Partial Least Squares to understand the relationship between the various dimensions of job satisfaction, the impact of personal and job characteristics, and turnover intention. The findings show that the New Zealand IT professional is primarily motivated by the nature of his or her work, followed by perceptions of responsibility, and how supervisors encourage an environment for such. Satisfaction with salary is a predictor to a lesser degree. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, professional growth opportunities, career advancement, and recognition do not have a statistically-significant positive association with motivation. We conclude that, to motivate their IT workforce, organizations should: 1) focus on the nature of the jobs that IT professionals undertake; 2) train supervisors to provide an empowering environment; 3) offer competitive salaries to retain top talent; 4) not hesitate to employ IT professionals born outside New Zealand; and 5) take account of the singularities of the New Zealand labour market in seeking to attract, recruit and retain IT professionals. Implications for policy, practice and theory are discussed.

Keywords


IT Professionals; Motivation; Career Advancement; Job Satisfaction; Turnover

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v21i0.1421

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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