Motivating Information Technology Professionals: The case of New Zealand


  • Shoaib Ahmed Eagle Technology
  • Nazim Taskin Massey University
  • David J. Pauleen Massey University
  • Jane Parker Massey University



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


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.

Author Biographies

Shoaib Ahmed, Eagle Technology

Shoaib Ahmed is an IT management professional with a background in software development and Geospatial Information Systems (GIS). He manages the Consulting practice at Eagle Technology Group in Wellington, New Zealand. Shoaib is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and a committee member of the Prince2 User Group. His shift from technical to management roles has led to interest in the role of people in technology outcomes. Shoaib has an Executive MBA with Distinction from the Massey University.

Nazim Taskin, Massey University

Nazim Taskin is a Senior Lecturer at School of Management, Massey University, New Zealand. He holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Canada. Nazim has published in various journals, conferences including Australasian Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Knowledge Management, Journal of Electronic Commerce, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Business Strategy and the Environment, Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS), Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), and European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS). He has co-authored a book chapter as well.

David J. Pauleen, Massey University

David J. Pauleen (PhD) is an associate professor in the School of Management at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand. Current areas of research interest include personal knowledge management, knowledge management, emerging work practices, and management wisdom. His work has appeared in numerous journals including: Journal of Knowledge Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Behavior and Information Technology, Communications of the AIS, Sloan Management Review, Journal of Management Information Systems, and Journal of Information Technology. He is also editor of the books, Virtual Teams: Projects, Protocols and Processes and Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Knowledge Management and co-editor of Personal Knowledge Management: Individual, Organizational and Social Perspectives and Handbook of Practical Wisdom: Leadership, Organization and Integral Business Practice He is co-authoring the book, Wisdom, Analytics and Wicked Problems: integral decision-making in the information age (2017) and is the co-editor of the Routledge’s Practical Wisdom in Leadership and Organization Series. 

Jane Parker, Massey University

Jane Parker (PhD, Industrial Relations) is Professor of HRM and Employment Relations at Massey University. She has published on equality and diversity, employee consultation and state regulation. Jane has led various ILO research projects, including empirical studies of labour law and child labour in Papua New Guinea, and social dialogue and gender equity in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Jane is Co-Director of the MPOWER research group, Associate Fellow of Warwick University’s Industrial Relations Research Unit and an Editor-in-Chief of the journal Labour and Industry. She edited Big Issues in Employment: HRM and Employment Relations in New Zealand (CCH, 2013), a role that she has reprised for a 2017 Australasian text. Jane was named HR Researcher of the Year at the annual New Zealand HR Awards in 2017.




How to Cite

Ahmed, S., Taskin, N., Pauleen, D. J., & Parker, J. (2017). Motivating Information Technology Professionals: The case of New Zealand. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 21.



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