Understanding Public Sector Employees’ Motivation: What Makes Them Inspired?

Carole Serhan, Eliane Al Achy, Eva Nicolas


This article examines the ranked importance of employment motivational factors within the Lebanese public sector. A qualitative interview with employers and employees of the Lebanese public sector is carried out to get their responses on what they consider the best factors that motivate them at work. In this light, the article sets to identify the most ranked factors out of ten motivational factors deemed to affect employees’ motivation in public sector organizations. The analysis from the empirical findings (using NVivo software) showed that remuneration and working conditions are key to higher employee motivation. Promotion, autonomy, participation in decisions, work social relationships and communication should be considered as well. Finally, guidelines and recommendations for implementing research findings with respect to remuneration and suggestions for assessing working conditions are provided.

Full Text:



Alderfer, C. P. (1969). An Empirical Test of a New Theory of Human Needs. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 4(2), 142-175. https://doi.org/10.1016/0030-5073(69)90004-X

Crozier , M. (1987). The Problems of Public Management. Les Cahiers French, 233, 53-55.

Crozier, M. (1987). Public Management of the Problems Facing the Transformation of the Environment. Policies and Public Management Review, 3(1), 9-23.

Dagemais, B. (2005). The Job of Public Relations. The Press of Laval University, 5th edition.

Dagher, A. (2010). The Lebanese Administration after 1990. The Press Laval University, 3.

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic Motivation and Self-determination in Human Behavior. New York, NY: Plenum. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-2271-7

Dizgah, M. R., Chegini, M. G., & Bisokhan, R. (2012). Relationship between Job Satisfaction and Job Performance in Guilan Public Sector. Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research, 2(2), 1735 – 1741.

Ghaziani, F. G., Safania, A., & Tayebi, S. M. (2012). Impact of Organizational Justice Perceptions on Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment: The Iran’s Ministry of Sport Perspective. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 6(7), 179 – 188.

Gradišar, N. (2009). Primerjava orodij za merjenje organizacijske klime in zadovoljstva zaposlenih v javnem in zasebnem sektorju (Comparison of tools for measuring organizational climate and employee satisfaction in the public and private sectors). Undergraduate thesis. Ljubljana: Faculty of Social Sciences.

Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1976). Motivation through the Design of Work: Test of a Theory. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 16, 250-279. https://doi.org/10.1016/0030-5073(76)90016-7

Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1980). Work Redesign. Addison-Wesley.

Hemming, K., Girling, A. J., Stieh, A., Marsh, J., & Lilford, R. J. (2011). Sample Size Calculations for Cluster Randomized Controlled Trials with a Fixed Number of Clusters. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 11, 102. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-11-102

Herzberg, F., Mausner, B., & Snyderman, B. B. (1959). The Motivation to Work. New York, John Wiley.

Hofstede, G., Hofstede, J. G., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. Revised and Expanded 3rd Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill USA.

Hsu, M., & Chen, K. (2012). A Study of the Relationship among Self-Motivation, Organizational Commitment and Job Satisfaction of University Faculty Members in Taiwan. International Journal on New Trends in Education and their Implications, 3(3), 7.

Jex, S. M., & Britt, T. W. (2008). Organizational Psychology. Hoboke. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons Inc.

Kosteas, V. D. (2010). Job Satisfaction and Promotions. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, 50(1), 174 – 194. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-232X.2010.00630.x

Laufer, R. (1985). Governability and Management of Complex Administrative Systems. Policies and Public Management Review, 3(1), 25 - 48.

Lee, C., & Lee, J. (2012). Analysis of the Relationships between the Hospitality Workforce and Job-Satisfaction Factors according to Age, Gender, Native Language and Racial Ethnicity. Tourism and Hospitality, 1(5). https://doi.org/10.4172/2167-0269.1000104

Levy, L. C. (1998). The motivation in the Company. Ed. Organization, Paris.

Locke, E. A. (1968). Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 3(2), 157-189. https://doi.org/10.1016/0030-5073(68)90004-4

Maslow, A. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. The Psychological Review, 50(4), 370-396. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0054346

McClelland, D. C. (1961). The Achieving Society. Princeton, Van Nostrand. https://doi.org/10.1037/14359-000

Mercier, E. (2000). The Effects of Modernization on Human Resources Management Practices in Public Utility Companies. A Conventionalist Reading of the Evolutionary Process to RATP and EDF-Lorraine. PhD in Management Science, Thesis Direction G. Schmidt.

Mokaya, S. O., Musau, J. L., Wagoki, J., & Karanja, K. (2013). Effects of Organizational Work Conditions on Employee Job Satisfaction in the Hotel Industry in Kenya. International Journal of Arts and Commerce, 2(2).

Naveed, A., Usman, A., & Bushra, F. (2011). Promotion: A Predictor of Job Satisfaction A Study of Glass Industry of Lahore (Pakistan). International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(16), 301 – 305.

Reix, R. (2000). Information System and Organization Management. Third Edition, Vuibert, Paris.

Roussel, P. (2000). The Motivation to Work - Concepts and Theories. Notes LIRHE, 326.

Roussel, P. (2001). Work Motivation: Concepts and Theories. Ed. EMS, Paris.

Sehgal, M. S. (2012). Job Satisfaction of Bank Employees in Shimla: A Comparative Study of Private and Public Sector Bank (Axis Bank and UCO Bank). International Journal of Marketing, Financial Services and Management Research, 1(7).

Serhan, C., & Tsangari, H. (2015). Retention of fresh graduates: Identification of determinant factors through a modified job characteristics model. Proceedings of the Global Business Conference (CBC 2015), Sibenik, Croatia, 200-202.

Serhan, C., & Tsangari, H. (2016a). The Inclusion of Labor Market Conditions in a Proposed Modeling Framework for Fresh Graduates’ Retention. Journal of Research in Business Economics and Management, 7(3), 1107 – 1121.

Serhan, C., & Tsangari, H. (2016b). Modeling the Effect of Core Job Dimensions and Labor Market Conditions on Fresh Graduates’ Retention. International Journal of Recent Advances in Organizational Behaviour and Decision Sciences, 2(2), 763 – 771.

Serhan, C., & Tsangari, H. (2017). Development of a Theoretical Framework for Retaining Fresh Graduates through Job Satisfaction. Proceedings of the 23rd Scientific International Conference: Research and Science in the Service of Humanity, Beirut, Lebanon, 28-30.

Serhan, C., Tsangari, H., Sanchez, B. D., & Mekdessi, S. (2016). Fresh graduates’ retention: A review of literature. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 18(2), 51 – 64.

Tourani, A., & Rast, S. (2012). Effect of Employees’ Communication and Participation on Employees Job Satisfaction: An Empirical Study on Airline Companies in Iran. International Conference on Economics, Trade and Development. IPEDR. 36. IACSIT Press, Singapore.

Vallerand, R. J., & Thill, E. E. (1993). Introduction to the Concept of Motivation. Introduction to the Psychology of Motivation, Laval (Quebec) Editions living studies, 18.

Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and Motivation. Wiley, New York.

Zakaria, S. (2012). Ways to Make Fresh Graduates Employable. Gulf News, June 30. Downloaded on 13 February 2014 from: http://gulfnews.com/business/my-career/ways-to-make-fresh-graduates-employable-1.1041978

Zeytinoglu, I. U., & Denton, M. (2005). Satisfied workers, retained workers: Effects of work and work environment on homecare workers’ job satisfaction, stress, physical health, and retention. (CHSRF FCRSS: Canadian Health Services Research Foundation), 210 - 245.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijhrs.v8i1.12758

Copyright (c) 2018 Carole Serhan, Eliane Al Achy, Eva Nicolas

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

International Journal of Human Resource Studies  ISSN 2162-3058

Email: ijhrs@macrothink.org

Copyright © Macrothink Institute  

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'macrothink.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.