Job Performance – Term Paper


The objective of this literature review is to discuss the factors that are associated with job performance. The paper will also discuss views regarding job performance. 


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It is impossible to talk about organizations without mentioning people. Organizations cannot exist without people, and therefore it is difficult to isolate organizations from people. It has often been said that people are the face of the organizations. That is, people are as good as the organizations in which they work for. Organizations always strive for success, and that is why they formulate strategies that drive them from where they are to a more successful position. Often, organizational success has been measured using various parameters. The most successful organizations always understand that to be successful, their people must first become successful in everything they are doing in the company. Their collective success will eventually add up to the overall organizational success.  For example, those working in the manufacturing must be successful by increasing productivity and minimizing production costs while those who are in sales department must be successful in advertising and selling the products. Similarly, those working in the HR department must be successful in the management of the company’s employees. The people are the asset to the organizations and him organizational performance can be enhanced by involving people in the framework of strategic structure, processes, directions, and systems.  To enhance organizational performance, organizations should focus on people’s performance or job performance. Job performance in the workplace is a broad subject, and it is associated with various factors in the organizational context. Researchers have sought to link job performance with aspects such as motivation, profitability, personality, and so forth. 

Relationship between Job Performance and Motivation

Job performance has been defined as the degree to which a person performs his job well. Performance is one of the fundamental criteria for measuring organizational performance and success. Previous studies about job performance suggest that it is an individual variable rather than an outcome. Outcomes have been described as products of collective individual performance. Employee performance and motivation is a subject that has been studied by various researchers. There has been an attempt establish the relationship between job performance and motivation. Researchers have attempted to answer questions such as why are employees highly performing in some organizations while they perform poorly in other organizations. Studies have been carried out in both public, non-governmental, and profit-making organizations. Public sector organizations do not usually pay well when compared with profit-making or non-governmental organizations. However, there has been questions as to why some public sector employees are performing well in their jobs. Previous studies suggest that there is a positive correlation between job performance in public service and motivation (Perry & Wise, 2010; Perry & Wise, 1990). Highly motivated public service employees were found to record higher levels of job performance. In his investigation, Belle (2012) sought to establish a link between job performance and public service motivation mediated by two factors: self-persuasion interventions and contact with the beneficiary. Using a sample of 90 nurses working in a public hospital, Belle (2012) confirmed the findings from the previous studies. The results of his investigation revealed that both contacts with beneficiary as well as self-persuasion interventions had positive impacts on the participants’ vigilance, output, persistence, and productivity with public service motivation playing a key role in influencing the positive impacts. Furthermore, his finds showed that self-persuasion interventions and contact with beneficiary caused an increase in the public service motivation. 

Motivation is a broad concept. However, motivation is usually classified as intrinsic or extrinsic. In the context of job performance, there have been questions as to which of the two motivational strategies works best for performance. Cerasoli, Nicklin, & Ford (2014) argued that intrinsic motivation ought to predict performance, but the authors pointed out that it depends on the definition of performance as well as the contingency of incentives given. The authors further went ahead to examine the relative contribution of both extrinsic incentives and intrinsic motivation to performance and sought to answer why it have been evaded in previous research. To the authors (Cerasoli, Nicklin, & Ford (2014), one of the major reasons why there has been little research on incentives, motivation, and performance is attributed to logical issues. Further, the authors contend that past researchers have been unable to reconcile the three true but incompatible premises that intrinsic motivation enhances performance, incentives enhance performance, and incentives have an effect of reducing intrinsic motivation. According to them, intrinsic performance must be linked with lower performance if incentives are capable of boosting performance but reducing intrinsic motivation. Research on the impact of extrinsic motivation on the intrinsic motivation has been carried out by Olafsen, Halvari, Forest, and Deci (2015). The authors carried out their research using 166 employees of a bank who responded n questions about their basic psychological need satisfaction as well as intrinsic motivation. Their research findings were consistent with Cerasoli, Nicklin, & Ford (2014) arguments that extrinsic motivation did not have any positive impact on intrinsic motivation. It is known that common sense, as well as scientific investigations, support the view that employees who are not only happy but also engaged record higher levels of job performance but whose employees who lack energy and other critical resources record dismal performance. Demerouti, Bakker, and Leiter (2014) argued that employees who exhibit burnout do not necessary record low performance. To them, employees employ adaptive strategies to maintain their high performance even when they are experiencing burnout. Their findings suggest that even when employees are experiencing burnout, they have individual ways of handling it so that they can record satisfactory job performance.