Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Business Administration



First Advisor

Daniel W. Kemper

Second Advisor

Jan R. Kniffen

Third Advisor

Lisa Boling


Corporate America has seen a multitude of changes in the last century, but the change with the greatest impact is that of the employees. In the 'old' days, it was an employer's market. Employees felt lucky just to have a job. Companies did not spend time or money worrying about whether or not their employees were happy or motivated. The majority of jobs required manual labor and little or no education. This made replacing an unhappy or unmotivated worker much easier. In addition, there weren't as many U.S. or foreign companies competing for employees.

In today's competitive market, hiring and retaining the best employees is vital to a company's success. Therefore, keeping one's employees happy and motivated has become a hot topic over the last 25 years. This thesis will focus on the study of motivation, more specifically, employee motivation. However, before focusing on employee motivation, the theories of human intrinsic motivation must be understood and discussed at great length. Unless managers understand the basics of human motivation, they will not be able to apply techniques to motivate their employees.

The purpose of this study is to determine not only what influences a person's intrinsic motivation, but extrinsic motivators as well. It will attempt to identify what works and what doesn't, so that managers will have the tools they need to develop effective motivational programs and techniques.