Discretionary effort of higher education sector employees: Motivators and inhibitors
Studies in Higher Education
School of Business and Law
This research examines the impact of non-monetary work environment factors on employee discretionary effort within the higher education sector in Australia. There is limited qualitative research that examines the factors that drive and inhibit employee discretionary effort especially in the higher education sector. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 higher education institution academics and support staff using a purposive sampling method. The findings of this research suggest that professional commitment has important implications for discretionary effort within the higher education sector and needs to be explored. The findings also support job design, job characteristics and organisational factors (e.g. excessive workload) as having a direct influence on discretionary behaviour. However, two previously identified factors, organisational culture and leadership and management factors, did not have the expected influence on discretionary effort by the participants due to their negative perception of the current culture within all institutions in the Higher Education Sector.