How Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Motivation Affect Organizational Commitment and Job Satisfaction: A Cross-cultural Study in the United States and China



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This dissertation research is designed to identify how an individual’s work motivation affects his/her organizational commitment and job satisfaction. Work motivation is divided into intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The three components of organizational commitment proposed by Meyer and Allen are examined separately. This study is a cross-cultural study based on data collected from the United States and China. The data are analyzed using partial least square (PLS) based structural equation modeling (SEM). The results of the SEM analysis are compared between the US and the China sample. The results of this study show that intrinsic motivation is positively associated with affective commitment and normative commitment in both the US and China. Intrinsic motivation is positively associated with continuance commitment in the US, but the China sample shows a non-significant path coefficient between the two variables. Extrinsic motivation does not affect organizational commitment in the US, but in China, extrinsic motivation is highly associated with all components of organizational commitment. Intrinsic motivation is found to be highly associated with job satisfaction in both countries. Extrinsic motivation is related with job satisfaction in China but not in the US. The comparison of the SEM path coefficients also shows that the path coefficient between work motivation and organizational commitment is significantly different between the US and China; however, the path coefficient between work motivation and job satisfaction is not significantly different. In addition, the PLS regression shows that many of the relations between the variables are nonlinear. It has been concluded that the OB findings developed in the US are not directly applicable to China. Generally, employees motivated by the enjoyment of their job will have high levels of commitment to their organization and higher job satisfaction. Unlike employees in the US, employees in China do not regard the loss of enjoyment of their job as a consequence associated with leaving an organization. The most important finding of this research is that monetary reward is much more useful in China than in the US in terms of affecting an employee’s organizational commitment.