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SOCIALBEHAVIORANDPERSONALITY, 2009, 37(3), 321-328 Society for PersonalityResearch (Inc.) DOI 10.2224/sbp.2009.37.3.

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THE RELATIONSHIP AMONG ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATION, PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT AND WORK ATTITUDES
HUNG-WEN LEE National Chia-Yi University, Taiwan, ROC ChING-HSIANG LIU National Formosa University, Taiwan, ROC
Recently the business environment has changed greatly. Banks must increase operational efficiency and service quality to build competitive advantages. The priority for upgrading service quality is to improve employees work attitude. Staff of banks were selected as subjects to explore the influences of achievement motivation, psychological contracts, and work attitudes. Results were: 1) Achievement motivation significantly influences psychological contract. 2) Psychological contract significantly influences work attitude. 3) Achievement motivation significantly influences work attitude. 4) Achievement motivation significantly influences work attitude through psychological contracts. It is recommended that when managers select staff, they should consider individuals with more achievement motivation, and who are willing to fulfill psychological contracts since they have a better work attitude. Keywords: achievement motivation, psychological contracts, work attitude.

According to the literature, the psychological contract is regarded as the key factor influencing employees attitudes (Raja, Johns, & Ntalianis, 2004). When employees are treated well by organizations, they are willing to contribute to the organizations in return. A psychological contract refers to the items and ideals in a reciprocal exchange agreement between employees and organizations (Rousseau, 1989). In other words, the employees have faith in the commitment of their organizations with regard to future returns and therefore they carry out their duties according to a psychological contract, which is significantly
Hung-Wen Lee, PhD, National Chia-Yi University, Taiwan, ROC; Ching-Hsiang Liu, PhD, Department of Business Administration, National Formosa University, Taiwan, ROC. Appreciation is due to anonymous reviewers. Please address correspondence and reprint requests to: Hung-Wen Lee, PhD, Department of Business Administration, National Chia-Yi University, No. 580 Hsing-Ming Rd., Chia-Yi City 600, Taiwan, ROC. Phone: +886 52732832; Fax: +886 52732826; Email: wayne@mai.ncyu.edu.tw

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subjective. Thus, in this research we tried to find the correlation between the achievement motivation and psychological contract of staff and the relationship of both of these with work attitude. It is suggested that when managers evaluate or try to improve the work attitude of staff, they should consider their employees achievement motivation and the extent of their fulfillment of the duties of their psychological contract. Based on these purposes, the literatures reviewed in this research includes studies on achievement motivation, psychological contracts, and work attitude for pair correlation. ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVaTION Motivation is regarded as the drive and persistence required to fulfill targets. It is an important base to achieve planning, organizational and policy-making skills, and learning and assessment in cognitive behaviors (Pintrich & Schunk, 1996). Spence and Helmreich (1983) demonstrated that achievement tends to be more competitive and positively related to traditional outcomes. Atkinson and Feather (1966) suggested that achievement motivation combined two kinds of personality constructs: tendency to approach success and tendency to approach failure. Helmreich and Spence (1978) reviewed past theories on achievement motivation and constructed the Work and Family Orientation Questionnaire (WOFO). Through factor analysis, they suggested that achievement motivation consisted of mastery needs, work orientation, competition, and personal unconcern. PSYCHOLOGICaL CONTRaCT Argyris (1960) was the first scholar to introduce the concept of contract in psychology by analyzing the interviews of employees and managers in two plants and describing the relationship between the employees and managers by the term psychological work contract, which would influence their behavior and relationship. Guest (2004) suggested that a psychological contract was originally defined as the mutual expectation of two parties. Rousseau (2004) indicated that a psychological contract includes various unique personal details. A relational contract includes loyalty and stability. Employees with relational contracts are more willing to work, to help coworkers at work, and to support changes in the organization. In addition, the term transactional contract refers to short-term duties or a single situation. Employees with transactional contracts would persist only in definite conditions. WORK ATTITUDE Yu (2006) suggested that work attitude consists of the employees identification with the organization, their devotion to work, and work satisfaction. Thus, the employees organizational identification, devotion to work, and work satisfaction are described below.

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Organizational identification Miller, Allen, Casey, and Johnson (2000) suggested that organizational identification occurs when employees consider themselves as part of the organization, identify with the mission, values, and objectives of the organization and include organizational benefits in managerial decisions. Work devotion Kanungo (1982) defined work devotion as an individuals psychological identification and participation at work. Marshall, Lassk, and Moncrief (2004) suggested that work devotion is defined as employees psychological identification with the work. Work satisfaction Hoppock (1935) initially defined work satisfaction as employees psychological, emotional, and physical feelings as well as their natural reaction to their work environment. Robbins (1992) described work satisfaction as employees overall feelings and evaluation of work, including internal and external returns, work attributes, and overall work satisfaction. Method According to the motivations and purposes of this research and the foregoing literature review, the framework proposed is shown in Figure 1.
Achievement motivation H1 Mastery of needs Work orientation Competition Transactional and relational contracts H4 Psychological contract H2 Work attitude

Organizational identification Work devotion Work satisfaction

H3 Figure 1. Research framework.

In terms of the framework of this research, hypotheses are proposed below: H1 Achievement motivation has a significant influence on psychological contract. H1.1 There is significant influence between mastery needs and psychological contract. H1.2 There is significant influence between work orientation and psychological contract. H1.3 There is significant influence between competition and psychological contract.

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H2 Psychological contract has a significant influence on work attitude. H2.1 There is significant influence between transactional contract and work attitude. H2.2 There is significant influence between relational contract and work attitude. H3 Achievement motivation has a significant influence on work attitude. H3.1 There is significant influence between mastery needs and work attitude. H3.2 There is significant influence between work orientation and work attitude. H3.3 There is significant influence between competition and work attitude. H4 Through psychological contract achievement motivation has a significant influence on work attitude. OpERaTIONaL DEFINITION OF RESEaRCH VaRIaBLES aND SCaLE DESIGN Achievement motivation The Work and Family Orientation Questionnaire (WOFO) was constructed initially by Helmreich and Spence in 1978 and included 32 items; items 1 to 23 measured personal achievement motivation, whereas, items 24 to 32 measured an individuals attitude toward family and marriage. In 1983 it was modified into 19 items. Psychological contract The scale was based on that of employee psychological contract, as developed by Millward and Hopkins (1998) and further modified by Raja et al. (2004). There were 18 items, based on a Likert 5-point scale. There were two factors: transactional and relational contracts. Work attitude Based on Yus (2006) scale, there were 22 items scored on a Likert 5-point scale. It included three factors: organizational identification, work devotion, and work satisfaction. QUESTIONNaIRE DISTRIBUTION aND SaMpLING DESIGN The questionnaire was given to the staff of ABC Bank in Taiwan. There were 1000 questionnaires distributed and 362 returned. After eliminating 22 invalid questionnaires, there were 340 valid samples. The valid return rate was 34%. RESULTS CORRELaTION ANaLYSIS There is a moderate correlation between the factors of achievement motivation and psychological contract. The correlation coefficients are between 0.405 (p < 0.01) and 0.454 (p < 0.01). H1.1, H1.2 and H1.3 are supported; there is a moderate correlation between the factors of achievement motivation and work attitude. Correlation coefficients are between 0.487 (p < 0.01) and 0.564. H3.1, H3.2 and H3.3 are supported; there is a moderate correlation between the factors

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of psychological contract and work attitude. Correlation coefficients are between 0.571 (p < 0.01) and 0.624 (p < 0.01). H2.1 and H2.2 are, therefore, supported.
TABLE 1 CORRELaTION ANaLYSIS Constructs Achievement motivation Psychological contract Note: ** p < 0.01 Psychological contract Work attitude 0.564** 0.487** 0.584** 0.571** 0.624**

Mastery needs 0.454** Work orientation 0.405** Competition 0.425** Transactional Relational

SEM Through SEM, the cause-and-effect relationship among achievement motivation, psychological contract, and work attitude was explored and the overall model fit was validated. The analytical results are shown in Figure 2 and Table 2. With regard to the indices of overall model fit, the chi-square is 65.62 (df = 17) and chi-square df is 4.12; however, chi-square and chi-square/df do not meet the criteria (2 significance level > 0.1, chi-square/df < 3). This might be because they are affected by the number of samples. GFI = 0.94 (> 0.9), AGFI = 0.91 (= 0.9), RMR = 0.017 (< 0.05), SRMR = 0.05, NFI = 0.92 (> 0.9), NNFI = 0.93 (> 0.9), CFI = 0.93 (> 0.9). Most of these indices reach acceptable criteria with good fit.
TABLE 2 EVaLUaTION RESULT OF OVERaLL LISREL MODEL FIT Overall GFI 2 (Chi-square P) chi-square/df GFI AGFI RMR SRMR NFI NNFI CFI Results p = 0.000 means significance 3.86 0.94 0.91 0.017 0.050 0.92 0.93 0.94 Model acceptance Acceptable Acceptable High High High High High High High

According to the analytical results of SEM (Figure 2), the following conclusions are proposed: (1) The path coefficient between achievement motivation and psychological contract is 0.91 (p < 0.01), therefore H1 is supported. (2) The path coefficient

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Mastery

Work

Competition

Needs Organizational Identication Devotion Work Work Satisfaction

Orientation

Figure 2: Analysis of LISREL results. 0.35** Work Attitude 0.64** Relational Contract Note: ** means t value reaches 0.01 levels Correlation of the first item in each factor is 1, thus, t value test will be conducted.

Achievement

Motivation

0.91**

Psychological

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Contract

Transactional

Contract

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between psychological contract and work attitude is 0.64 (p < 0.01), therefore, H2 is supported. (3) The path coefficient between achievement motivation and work attitude is 0.35 (p < 0.01), therefore, H3 is supported. (4) The direct effect between achievement motivation and work attitude is 0.35 (p < 0.01); through psychological contract, the indirect effect on work attitude is 0.45; the path coefficient between achievement motivation and psychological contract is 0.91 (p < 0.01); the path coefficient between psychological contract and work attitude is 0.64 (p < 0.01); which is more than the direct effect. Thus, in this research psychological contract is treated as a mediating variable and SEM reaches significance levels which demonstrate that, without psychological contract, achievement motivation reveals significant and positive effects on work attitudes. The most significant influence, however, is through psychological contract. Therefore, H4 is supported. CONCLUSIONS AND Recommendations CONCLUSIONS The study of overall model fit demonstrates good fit of the model in this research. In other words, the bank staffs achievement motivation has a significant influence on their performance of duties in their psychological contract with their bank; the staffs performance of duties in their psychological contract significantly influences their work attitude. In addition, the staffs achievement motivation affects their work attitude through their psychological contract. This indirect effect is more significant than the direct effect of achievement motivation on work attitude. This conclusion combines the views of many scholars, further validates the cause-and-effect relationship among the three variables studied, and also demonstrates that achievement motivation plays a critical role in the performance of a psychological contract. In addition, the results indicate that when employees have active attitudes and thoughts, they will have positive work attitudes. RECOMMENDaTIONS FOR BaNKS Reinforcing the recognition and fulfillment of psychological contracts Results demonstrate that achievement motivation has an indirect influence on work attitude through psychological contract. The effect is more significant than the direct effect without a psychological contract. Changes in relationships between managers and staff mean that a formal contract is no longer a guarantee of long-term welfare. Conversely, satisfaction with a psychological contract and mutual trust are, in fact, important keys which maintain the relationship between managers and staff. When the administrative staff trust, and are loyal to, the banks policies and methods, they will fulfill mutual expectation. Staff will surely wish to continue to work in those banks that increase their service quality then enhance their competitive advantage.

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Applying the achievement motivation of staff as the criterion for selection It is suggested that when selecting staff, management should give some consideration to achievement motivation as one of the employees personal criteria, related to the work attributes of staff, which affect the employees work attitude and thoughts regarding work content. In addition, when employees have an active work attitude, enjoy their work, and feel satisfied (work orientation) during the practice and process of work, they will identify with and enjoy the job, which generates positive feeling. Their work attitude will tend to be positive and active and the employees desire to outdo the performance of other banks leads to greater efficiency and better performance. Thus, it is recommended that bank management should consider the level of achievement motivation as a criterion for future selection of staff in the context of their work attitude. REFERENCEs
Argyris, C. (1960). Understanding organizational behavior. Homewood, IL: Dorsey Press. Atkinson, J. W., & Feather, N. T. (1966). A theory of achievement motivation. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Guest, D. (2004). The psychology of employment relationship: An analysis based on the psychological contract. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 53(4), 541-555. Helmreich, R. L., & Spence, J. T. (1978). The Work and Family Orientation Questionnaire: An objective instrument to assess components of achievement motivation and attitudes toward family and career. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 8(35), 21-35. Hoppock, R. (1935). Job satisfaction. New York: Harper. Kanungo, R. N. (1982). Measurement of job and work involvement. Journal of Applied Psychology, 67(3), 341-349. Marshall, G. W., Lassk, F. G., & Moncrief, W. C. (2004). Salesperson job involvement: Do demographic, job situational, and market variables matter? The Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 19(5), 337-343. Miller, V. D., Allen, M., Casey, M. K., & Johnson, J. R. (2000). Reconsidering the Organizational Identification Questionnaire. Management Communication Quarterly, 13(4), 626-658. Millward, L. J., & Hopkins, L. J. (1998). Organizational commitment and the psychological contract. Journal of Social and Applied Psychology, 28, 16-31. Pintrich, P. R., & Schunk, D. H. (1996). Motivation in education: Theory, research and applications. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Raja, U., Johns, G., & Ntalianis, F. (2004). The impact of personality on psychological contracts. Academy of Management Journal, 47(3), 350-367. Robbins, S. P. (1992). Essentials of organizational behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Rousseau, D. M. (1989). Psychological and implied contracts in organizations. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 2, 121-139. Rousseau, D. M. (2004). Research briefs. Academy of Management Executive, 18(2), 120-127. Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. L. (1983). Achievement-related motives and behaviors. In J. Spence (Ed.), Achievement and achievement motives: Psychological and sociological approaches (pp. 10-74). San Francisco: Freeman. Yu, M. C. (2006). Uncertainty and work attitude. Journal of Human Resources Management, 6(2), 89-110.