Creative Education
2012. Vol.3, No.3, 309-314
Published Online June 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 309
Relationship between Motivation and Job
Performance at the University of Mines and
Technology, Tarkwa, Ghana:
Leadership Lessons
Anthony Afful-Broni
Faculty of Educational Studies, Unive rsity of Education, Winneba, Ghana
Received April 17th, 2012; revised May 18th, 2012; accepted May 31st, 2012
This study examined the relationship between motivation and job performance of staff at the University of
Mines and Technology, Tarkwa and the leadership lessons to be derived. A sample of 200 respondents
comprising 40 senior members, 60 senior staff and 100 junior staff was employed using the purposive and
simple random sampling methods. The study was guided by four research questions, and a self-developed
four-point Likert structured questionnaire was the main instrument used in collecting data. The question-
naire had reliability co-efficient of 0.785, 0.765, 0.626 and 0.855 respectively. Data collected was ana-
lysed with descriptive and inferential statistics. Low monthly salaries and the general lack of motivation
were the major factors that reduce morale for high performance at the University. Recommendations in-
cluded the need to encourage the University Council and other stakeholders to support management in
developing income generating programs internally to help provide adequate incentives and allowances for
the staff of the University.
Keywords: Motivation; Job Performance; Employee-Employer Relationship
One of the most important factors that move every human
being to achieve his or her goal is motivation. Indeed, motiva-
tion is that guiding principle that enables people to stay focused
on the path of success regardless of the challenges that may be
encountered. This includes personal as well as professional
goals and targets (Baumeister & Voh, 2004). Some scholars in
the field believe that if this driving force did not exist, people
would live in the rut of monotony and no great discoveries or
interventions would have happened. According to Cory (2006),
early conceptions assumed that work was an intrinsically unde-
sirable pursuit and that workers naturally sought to do as little
as possible which then translated into a sort of carrot-and-stick
managerial policy.
According to Vroom (1964), motivation refers to a process
governing individual choices among different forms of volun-
tary activities. Robbins and Judge (2008) posited that motiva-
tion is the process that accounts for an individual’s intensity,
direction and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal. This
means that motivation determines how much efforts a person
puts in his or her work, the direction to which those efforts are
geared and a measure of how long a person can maintain effort.
Motivation, therefore, may answer the question of why the
workers of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) do
what they do.
Motivation could be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motiva-
tion derives from within the person. It refers to the direct rela-
tionship between a worker and the task, and is usually self-
applied. Examples of intrinsic motivation are achievement,
accomplishment, challenge and competence which are derived
from performing one’s job well (Afful-Broni, 2004). Extrinsic
motivation comes from the work environment, external to the
person and his or her work. Good salary, fringe benefits, ena-
bling policies and various forms of supervisions are good ex-
amples of this type of motivation (Mankoe, 2006).
Current notions of employee motivation started to take roots
in the 1960s and sought to tailor the work environment and
incentive structures to harness as much as possible workers’
untapped reserves of skills, ideas and other potential benefits to
an organization (Bobbins & Judge, 2008). Turner and Lawrence
(1965) suggested that a motivating job must allow a worker to
feel personally responsible for a meaningful portion of the work
accomplished. It must also provide outcomes which have in-
trinsic meaning to the individual and finally it must provide the
employee feedback about his or her accomplishment.
Organizational psychologists have been wrestling with the
question of the relationship between motivation and job per-
formance for at least 50 years (Buchanan, 2006). Some resear-
chers have however put a considerable amount of effort into
attempts to demonstrate that the two are positively related in a
particular fashion: a happy worker is a good worker (Katzell &
Thompson, 1990). Motivation is critically important for wor-
kers. Among other things, it puts staff into action. It also im-
proves the level of efficiency of employees. Apart from that, it
leads to the achievement of organizational goals; it builds
friendly relationship and finally it leads to stability of work-
force. Since individuals are unique in their own ways, it is es-
sential that management at UMaT identify the individual needs
of their employees and motivate them accordingly so as to
bring out the best in them.
Objectives of the Study
The study was conducted to identify problems associated
with work performance at UMaT; to identify, assess and ana-
lyse motivation interventions for employees at UMaT; to ap-
praise the constraints faced by UMaT authorities in providing
motivation to staff; and to determine the effects of motivation
on job performance at the University. In short, the study sought
to understand the relationship between motivation and job per-
formance at UMaT and derive findings that can inform leader-
ship and especially impact positively on employee-employer
relationship for high job performance in the attainment of the
goals of the University.
Related Literature
According to Davidoff (1987) individual performance is
generally determined by three factors namely; Ability—the
capability to do the job; Work environment—the tools, materi-
als and information needed to do the job; and Motivation—the
desire to do the job. Maslow (1943) and Alderfer (1972) be-
lieve that human beings have needs which must be satisfied if
high performance is to be achieved. These are basic or exis-
tence needs such as food, water, shelter, clothing; safety needs,
love needs, esteem and self actualization. According to Herz-
berg (1966), in order for the employee to perform, the work
itself must be interesting; it must also provide opportunity for
extra responsibili ty, recognition and promotion. Newstron (199 3)
and Fisher (2005) on the other hand consider money to be the
key motivator for employees. Studies have however shown that
money does not necessarily improve performance (Whitley,
2002; Afful-Broni, 2004).
In the view of Mayo (1880-1949), the social contacts which a
worker has at the workplace are very important and that bore-
dom and repetitiveness of tasks lead to reduced motivation.
Supporting this, Vroom (1964) states that in places where work
is monotonous and unchallenging, employees become easily
bored as well as annoyed and demand that their work be more
humanized. According to Boldman and Deal (2003), by en-
couraging employees to work in teams, they become more
competent, motivated and flexible enough to undertake multiple
tasks as well as deliver outstanding products and services re-
quired by the customers. Fayol (1949), believes in team spirit
as he labels one of his fourteen management principles as “es-
prit de corps” (p. 40) and is convinced that when there is team
spirit, work absenteeism is minimized, since employees are
more loyal to their work and have no intention to deceive their
team members (Afful-Broni, 2004).
To Fairweather (2005), employees will feel happier and work
better if they perceive their employer as reasonable and fair.
Cory (2006) contends that when workers perceive inequity,
they will try to re-establish equitable changes. Leaders who
develop and communicate a compelling vision of their organi-
zation can make a profound impact on employee motivation
(Afful-Broni, 2004).
Employees crave for a job well done including being noticed
and acknowledged when they do something well (Blanchard &
Witts, 2009). Yet what typically happens is nothing or worse
yet, the assignment of more work. Blanchard and Witts (2009)
posit that when firms do not take the time to actively reward the
recognized good performance, the passion for the job dimin-
ishes with every unrecognized accomplishment. Employees are
motivated by performance feedback with the desire to do well.
Haizlip (2008) believes that involving employees in deci-
sions that affect them not only increases their personal com-
mitment, but also motivates them to be advocates for their deci-
sions. Supporting this assertion, Agarwal (2008) contends that
when employees are involved in making decisions and planning
the implementation of changes that affect them, they implement
changes faster with higher performance than employees who
are merely communicated to about the change. According to
Blanchard and Witts (2009), employees greatly desire to have
the tools, training, support and authority to make decisions and
perform their jobs correctly.
In agreement, Across (2005) states that employees do not
perform well in situations where they lack autonomy, especially
after they have gained the skills to work independently. Camp-
bell and Campbell (1998) contend that in order to ensure job
and career security, it is important for employees to continually
update and expand their work experiences and job skills.
Growth, according to Boldman and Deal (2003) is not a fringe
benefit, but rather a necessity for successful employment.
This study is informed by previous observations of misgiv-
ings observed among some staff regarding motivation interven-
tions at UMaT. Many staff members seem despondent and do
not appear to be motivated to deliver on the job, and this situa-
tion can undermine the achievement of the set goals of UMaT
as Ghana’s latest public university with the reenergized mission
to become a centre of excellence for the training of mining and
mineral related professionals for Ghana and the sub-region.
Since Ghana continues to be a strong mineral producing nation
in Africa, one would appreciate the need to lay emphasis on
ensuring worker satisfaction in its university specially tasked to
train efficient human resource base for this important sector.
In order to better appreciate the relationship between motiva-
tion and job performance among staff of UMaT, the following
research questions were formulated to guide the study:
1) What are the problems associated with workers’ job sche-
dules at UMaT?
2) What motivation interventions are in place for employees
at UMaT?
3) What challenges do the authorities in UMaT face in their
attempts at providing motivation to their staff?
4) What are the effects of the motivation on job performance
at the University?
Significance of the Study
The study would be of immense benefit to the University
Council, Academic Board, Unionized Bodies and other stake-
holders in that it will highlight how the concept of motivation
and job performance are valued and understood and the need
for all to pay attention to a variety of motivation issues or fi-
nancial incentives for employees. Furthermore, the study will
bring to light the different forms of motivation which will in-
form the design of appropriate measures aimed at bringing out
the best in employees with regard to job performance. Again,
the factors leading to high performance as well as causes of low
performance will inform management and policy makers in
their decision making. Administrators will be helped through
this study to be able to use motivation not just for the sake of it
but to know how, when and what type of motivation to use so
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s.
as to achieve maximum performance of staff.
Also, the findings would assist in the development of effec-
tive managerial strategies and policies that can help in improv-
ing the administration and realization of organizational goals.
The findings of this study should engender ideas that can lead
to the provision of quality teaching, research and service deliv-
ery at UMaT.
Study Design and Procedure
Descriptive survey design was deemed most appropriate for
the study (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe, & Lowe, 2002). This was
also due to the large sample size of 200 respondents out of a
population of 361; and for the fact that descriptive survey is
most appropriate when a lot of information is needed from quite
a large sample of respondents (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2000). The
descriptive survey has the potential to provide a more accurate
and meaningful picture of events, and seeks to explain people’s
perception and behavior on the basis of data gathered at a par-
ticular time. This methodological approach aided the researcher
to collect data on senior members, senior staff and junior staff,
both academic and non-academic staff of UMaT on variables
underlying the study for conclusions to be made.
The respondents were randomly selected from the University
of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa in the Western Re-
gion of Ghana. In all, a sample of two hundred (200) respon-
dents comprising forty (40) senior members, sixty (60) senior
staff and one hundred (100) junior staff took part in the study.
This constitutes about 55% of the total population of three hun-
dred and sixty one (361) staff at the University.
Self-developed Likert structured questionnaire was the main
instrument used for collecting data for the study. The question-
naire was developed using the Likert Scale format with few
open-ended items, precisely, the four-point Likert Scale.
The questionnaire consisted of 5 sub-scales namely A, B, C,
D and E. The f irst part (A) dealt with biographic data. B deter-
mined motivation interventions at UMaT whiles C looked at
problems with job performance at UMaT. Section D considered
problems which management face in motivating employees and
Section E the impact of motivation on job performance. The
questionnaire items for Sections B, C, D and E were developed
from the general research question posed for the study. To de-
termine which questions would actually measure the relevant
variables, item analysis was done. This was followed by
pre-testing of the items of the questionnaire on a population of
25 staffs at the University of Education, Winneba. Items found
to be irrelevant were deleted, and those not specific enough
were modified before the final administration.
This scale had score values for positive statements as: Strong-
ly Agree (SA), Agree (A), Disagree (D) and Strongly Disagree
(SD). The scoring was reversed for negative statements
The reliability of the instruments was established using the
Cronbach’s Alpha measure of internal consistency which states
that reliability co-efficient of 0.7 is an indication of the pres-
ence of a high reliability. In the view of Hoy and Miskel (1991),
the Cronbach Alpha measure of internal consistency is useful
when measures have multiple scored items such as attitudinal
scale. The reliability co-efficient for the four main sections of
the instrument were determined after correlating the results
from the data collected for the study and were as follows. 0.785,
0.765, 0.626 and 0.855. The Statistical Package for Social Sci-
ence (Version 17.0) was used for the calculations.
Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used for the
analyses and discussion of data collected from the field. Re-
spondents to Sections B, C, D and E of the questionnaire were
scored using a four-point Likert scale for positive statements as
Strongly Agree (SA) = 4, Agree (A) = 3, Disagree (D) = 2 and
Strongly Disagree (SD) = 1. The scoring was reversed for
negative statements.
Biographical Information
Two hundred people participated in the study; a hundred and
fifty one (151) were males and 49 were females. These workers
consisted of 40 senior members, 60 senior staff, and 100 junior
staff of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT). Their
ages ranged from 30 to 51. Sixty two of them had a working
experience of 5 years or below. Forty seven (47) of them had
working experience of between 6 to 10 years; twenty one (21)
had 11 to 15 years; seventy (70) had 15 years and above of
working experience. With regard to education background, nine
(9) had Doctorate degrees, 35 had Masters degrees, 30 had
Bachelor’s degrees, 21 had HND/Diploma; three had 3-year
Post-secondary and 34 had O/A level while 23 had JHS/SHS.
Forty five of the workers had other lower qualifications. On
marital status, 33 were single; 158 were married; three (3) were
divorced; while six (6) were widowed.
Analysis of Responses to Problems with Job
Performance at UMaT
The study indicated that all three categories of staff agreed
that there are problems with job performance at the University.
One hundred and forty-nine (149) employees representing
74.5% of the total respondents agreed that low monthly salary
reduces morale for high performance. Further, lack of motiva-
tion was identified as being the main contributory factor for
poor work performance. A considerable number of respondents,
to be precise, one hundred and forty-one (141) representing
70.5% attested to this. Again, majority of the total respondents,
that is, one hundred and thirty-two (132) representing 66%
noted that lack of clear career progression reduces morale for
high performance.
Added to the above, one hundred and twenty-nine (129) em-
ployees representing 64.5% and one hundred and twenty-six
(126) employees representing 64.5% of the total respondents
also attributed poor performance to inadequate facilities and
being given wrong responsibility for one’s skill respectively.
Analysis of Responses to Motivation Interventions at
The study found that though there are motivation interven-
tions at UMaT, they are either inadequate or not being imple-
mented equitably as most respondents disagreed to most state-
ments. For example, one hundred and thirty-four (134) respon-
dents representing 67% agreed that there is no periodic increase
in salaries that takes care of inflation. Besides, one hundred and
thirty (130) respondents representing 65% of the total respon-
dents also stated that there is no opportunity for career devel-
opment for all categories of staff.
The majority of respondents who agreed to this statement
were the senior staff with 71.7% and junior staff with 69%
respectively. A hundred and twenty-nine (129) respondents re-
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 311
presenting 64.5% said management does not meet employees to
discuss the objectives of the University. These respondents
consisted of 70% of senior staff and 71% of junior staff. Also, a
hundred and twenty-eight (128) respondents representing 64%
also consented that incentives, allowances and rewards are not
given for special efforts.
More so, 61.5% of the total respondents agreed that employ-
ees were not involved in decisions which were connected to
their departments. Of the respondents, 60% were senior staff
and 68% junior staff.
Analysis of Responses to Problems Which
Management Might Face in Motivating
Employees at UMaT
The study found that inadequate government funding limits
the provision of good salaries and facilities. Twenty-seven (27)
senior members representing 67.5%, thirty-seven (37) senior
members representing 67.5%, thirty-seven (37) senior staff
representing 61.7% and forty-two junior staff (42 or 42%) ex-
pressed the sentiment that government subvention to the Uni-
versity is woefully inadequate. Again, twenty-one (21) senior
members representing 52.5%, thirty-six (36) senior staff repre-
senting 60% and forty-one (41 or 41%) junior staff believe that
inadequate internally generated funds limit the provision of
incentives and allowances. It could thus be deduced that the
University lacks funds to provide good salaries and facilities as
well as incentives and allowances. Haizlip (2008) posits that
lack of good salaries, facilities, incentives and allowances
breeds dissatisfied employees who in turn will be unproductive.
Management therefore needs to explore possible avenues to
mobilize enough funds so as to be in a better position to reward
deserving employees accordingly.
In responding to the statement “it is difficult to attract and
retain qualified staff” only nineteen (19) senior members rep-
resenting 47.5% and thirty-nine (39 or 39%) junior staff agreed.
Thirty-three (33) senior staff representing 55% however be-
lieved that attracting and retaining qualified staff is a problem
for management. Senior staff believed that being a young Uni-
versity, management would find it difficult to attract and retain
hardworking staff due to lack of funds. Fair benefits and pay
are key to successful organisations that recruit and retain com-
mitted workers. In support, Fisher (2005) is of the view that
without a fair, living wage an organization risks losing her best
employees to a bette r-paying empl oyer.
Analysis of Responses to Effects of Motivation on Job
Performance at UMaT
A greater percentage of the respondents agreed that employ-
ees are keen to achieve high performance. Thirty-one (31) sen-
ior members representing 77.5%; fifty-five (55) senior staff
representing 91.7% and sixty-seven (67) junior staff supported
the statement with only nine (9) senior members representing
22%, five (5) senior staff representing 8% and thirty-three (33)
junior staff disagreed. They stated among other things that mo-
tivation is rewarding and it leads to initiation and innovation
and that its presence at UMaT will go a long way to boost mo-
rale of workers to bring out the best in them.
There was a 75.5% agreement to the statement “employees
are prepared to take on challenging assignment for career pro-
gression”. It was observed that, employees want to progress and
so they are prepared to do well on their jobs. Therefore, if ca-
reer progression is absent due to lack of funds, it will breed
dissatisfaction and consequently low output. On the issue of
whether employees are enthusiastic to take on responsibilities,
twenty-six (26) senior members representing 65%, fifty-four
(54) senior staff representing 90% and sixty-two (62) junior
staff affirmed positively while fourteen (14) senior members
representing 35%, six (6) senior staff representing 10% and
thirty-eight (38) junior staff objected.
A total of seventy-one percent (71%) of the total respondents
agreed with twenty-nine percent (29%) objecting. Those who
disagreed stated that discrimination during promotion is actu-
ally retiring their zeal to high output. They believe that when
there is fairness, they would work enthusiastically to improve
performance and standards.
Conclusion and Recommendations
In conclusion, the following significant findings of the study
can be highl ighted:
From the data, it was noted that the staff of UMaT is domi-
nated by males. In many ways, this is no surprise as in many
developing nations there are a greater number of males than
females among staff at tertiary institutions.
It was also observed that low monthly salary or income and
the general lack of motivation reduce morale for high perform-
ance at the University. Even though providing higher pay does
not automatically result in higher productivity, it is important to
note that generally speaking, staff is quick to point to low mo-
tivation as major cause of their lack of enthusiasm at work.
Also, the lack of clear career progression and delays in pro-
motion can reduce morale for job performance at the University.
If the majority of workers believe that management is not in-
terested in providing a more serious and clear career progres-
sion; and if there is the perception that promotion is unduly
delayed, morale at work will be negatively affected.
Another major reality is that if there are inadequate facilities
to enhance one’s effectiveness and efficiency at work and if
workers are usually given responsibilities which do not match
their skills, they would more likely perform poorly in their
various fields. Senior staff and junior staff reacted strongly to
issues bothering on motivation interventions at the University.
They seem dissatisfied and not content with the disparities be-
tween themselves and the senior members.
Finally, it was observed that inadequate government funding
is the major problem for management in motivating employees.
As a state institution, it was expected that there would be
greater financial support from Central Government to enhance
greater productivity.
The study findings point to some important recommenda-
Firstly, the study revealed that the staff of UMaT is domi-
nated by males. Hence, it is recommended that management,
with the backing of the University Council and the Academic
Board, considers employing more females to balance the gen-
der inequality that exists there. A well developed set of pro-
grams which could eventually develop into a Gender Main-
streaming Desk as instituted in her admission of students
should be developed for the workforce at UMaT.
Secondly, paramount among the problems of job perform-
ance at the University is low monthly salary as well as lack of
motivation. It is believed that the University authorities do not
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s.
control salaries but then they could adjust their salary structures
with regard to the various levels attached to each grade so that
employees can enjoy better salaries. In this regard, it is being
recommended that the University Council throw its weight
behind UMaT’s management in ensuring that the University
follows regulations that enable it to be more proactive and staff
Thirdly and specifically, employees could also be cushioned
by being provided with incentives, some of which are financed
by internally generated funds. It is being recommended that the
necessary atmosphere should continue to be created where the
Unionized Bodies are welcome and empowered to work in the
interest of staff motivation for greater productivity. The re-
searcher is suggesting that situations where Unionized Bodies
are wrongly perceived as foes ought to give way for a more
healthy staff force.
Fourthly, it is recommended that the management of UMaT
should be more innovative and proactive in creating and strate-
gizing new measures that would ensure a fairer, logical and
adequate motivation for all categories of staff. For example,
there should be forums in which management would provide
opportunities for staff to ask questions and be provided with
candid responses aimed at showing interest in workers’ needs.
To further demonstrate greater commitment, promises made
should be followed up and implemented so as to strengthen
staff trust, morale and corresponding greater productivity.
Fifthly, lack of clear career progression and delays in promo-
tion were also found to reduce morale for job performance at
the University. In view of this, the University needs to have in
place a clearly delineated framework for learning and training
for all categories of staff. Promotion criteria should be clear cut
and well communicated to employees so as to avoid unneces-
sary delays in promotion as this causes dissatisfaction and leads
to low morale for performance. Concretely, the University
leadership sector should develop documentation, expanding the
Statutes and Conditions of Service for staff and ensuring that
these documents are readily available to all. It should even be
possible to upload some of these documents at the University’s
website for greater visibility and more staff accessibility.
Sixthly, it was established from the study that Senior Staff as
well as Junior Staff are dissatisfied. The University is made up
of three categories of staff. If any group of staff is dissatisfied,
the University is bound to encounter needless problems. In the
light of this, it is recommended that management should inter-
pret and communicate the University’s objectives and visions to
all staff on a continuous basis. Channels of communication and
feedback within departments as well as the entire University
must be strengthened, with the prime aim of facilitating the free
flow of information. Measures that would ensure the inclusion
of as much as possible the views of all staff can help as this
would foster a feeling of collective ownership of decisions and
encourage commitment to execution. The leadership of the
University should consider discussing some of these issues at
Academic Board deliberations. It should be possible, from time
to time, for the leadership to share information at Faculty Board
or departmental meetings; this way, as many of the staff as
possible would have access to the leadership and communicate
more effectively. By so doing, employees would be more like ly
to feel as working together towards a common goal and in a
common mission .
It is further recommended that the necessary facilities such as
personal protective equipment for junior staff as well as office
and classroom facilities for senior staff and senior members be
adequately provided to better equip employees. Deliberate ef-
forts should also be made to provide a congenial work envi-
ronment by encouraging healthy superior-subordinate relation-
ships. Faculty and Departmental festivals could be organized
periodically to more concretely help provide the forum for
bringing this about.
Also, it is suggested that since inadequate government fund-
ing was a major problem for management in motivating em-
ployees, internally generated funds should be sourced for to
enable management deal more efficiently with motivational
issues. This could be done by encouraging senior members to
undertake more consultancy services, organising short courses
for the mining companies and undertaking commercial activi-
ties. Such activities could be so organized as to attract stipu-
lated taxes or commissions which can go into the internally
generated funds.
Finally, efforts should be made by management to invest
some of UMaT’s profits from consultancies, short courses,
tuition fees and academic facility user fees which could be used
to support staff incentive packages.
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