Incentives Through Empirical Studies In Contexts


In any organization, every stakeholder plays a crucial role in the overall productivity. Employees, for example, remain a vital asset that drives the operations of the business. Therefore, making the working conditions conducive for the workers has a direct impact on employee satisfaction and performance which translate to either growth/productivity or losses in the firm. How motivated workers are, contributes to how an enterprise experiences loss or profitability. There exist many ways of motivating employees in the organization either in monetary or non-monetary incentives.

The best method to motivate the workers is a debate that attracts different opinions around the globe; each proponent offers advantages and disadvantages over the methods. Likewise, various scholars provide empirical studies about the two employee motivation approaches. This paper is a critical analysis of ways to motivate workers. It will use two contrasting empirical studies namely ‘Impact of Non-monetary Rewards on Employees’ Motivation: a Study of Commercial Banks in Karachi’ by Cheema, Shujaat and Alam (2013), and ‘Financial reward and motivation toward employee job performance in the hospitality industry in Klang Valley’ by Seng and Arumugam (2017). The analysis will explore the research approaches applied, the research problems and sampling frame. Besides, it will evaluate whether the researchers used secondary or primary data, the method of data collection, data analysis, and presentation. The paper will provide a comparative approach of the two articles at each stage of this analysis.


Research Approaches

The two journal articles took a quantitative approach to conduct a research study. In a quantitative research approach, researchers conduct an empirical investigation of the topic under review. There is the use of mathematical and statistical computation of acquired data to draw inferences as the quantitative measurement provides the significant connection between mathematical expression as well as empirical observation obtained.

The first journal article concerns the evaluation of the impacts of non-monetary reward which usually affects employees’ motivation; it was a descriptive analysis technique. The researchers conducted a study of several commercial banks in Karachi where they gathered relevant information according to the two independent variables under analysis. On the other hand, the researchers evaluated the financial reward and motivation of employees in the hospitality industry in Klang Valley, Malaysia. Likewise, the study sampled numerous firms undertaking hospitality operations; this was an explanatory study explaining the efficiency of financial reward.

A quantitative approach is fundamental when researchers try to experiment with theory. It offers firsthand information from observation, making conclusions more comprehensive (Choy, 2014). Similarly, it provides insight which informs suggestion for future research proposals. However, a quantitative approach has limitations like an inadequate representation of the target population as well as difficulty in data analysis as it requires various statistical methods (Choy, 2014).

Research Problems

Both the journal articles have clear aims. The research problems are indicated in the title of the articles where the first article states to investigate the ‘Impact of Non-monetary Rewards on Employees’ Motivation by conducting a Study of Commercial Banks in Karachi. The research aims at highlighting the importance of non-monetary rewards based on their effectiveness and efficiency. In addition, it looks at how banks take care of this source of motivation to ensure that their employees remain satisfied. It gives the hypothesis by looking at how training, career growth, fair recognition, effective internal communication and job security impacts workers’ motivation. The second article title is ‘Financial reward and motivation toward employee job performance in the hospitality industry in Klang Valley.’ It aims to identify how the financial reward contributes to job performance as well as a discussion of the importance of motivation in employees’ performance.

Polit and Beck (2006) indicated that the research aim should be at least broadly shows what the reader expect in the study which the two articles clearly outlines. In most cases, a study without clear objectives makes the readers confused as substantiating the motives of the research is difficult when researchers discuss a range of issues. A good article should have a definite aim in its title to directs readers’ expectations in the paper (Bell, 2014).

Data Source

The research studies utilized primary data to acquire facts and figures. As an empirical study, taking observation and experimentation helps obtain raw data that is later analyzed and tested according to set limits. The first articles examined data from managers in commercial banks in Karachi. The managers have firsthand information about the employee reaction when presented with non-financial incentives. Managers act as supervisors to employees’ behavior in their areas of interest.

On the other hand, researchers approached the hospitality industry in Klang Valley. The aims were to achieve primary information about the monetary impacts like higher pay to workers in the hospitality business. In both cases, researchers went to the population without considering other previously published articles as a source of information.

There are advantages attached to the use of a primary source of information. First, the data is not biased or altered as the researchers can evaluate individuals included in the survey or questionnaires (Hair Jr et al., 2015). Besides, level of accuracy and reliability are high. When compared with a secondary source, primary data is up-to-date as researchers acquire it from those directly related to the current situation under study. Furthermore, only relevant information comes in for evaluation in addition to offering insights for future research (Hair Jr et al., 2015). The limitation of primary source includes being time-consuming when compared to the secondary data source (Hair Jr et al., 2015).

Data Collection

As stated above, both the articles used a primary source of data. Researchers employed different techniques to acquire needed information from the sample population. The study of commercial banks in Karachi to evaluate the non-monetary incentives used a survey method to collect data from numerous banks. The sample population comprised of 384 participants holding levels like branch managers, credit officers, operation managers as well as finance and trade officers. A well-structured and standardized questionnaire was used using the Likert Scale which ranged from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Distributing all the questionnaires occurred through printed form and e-mail.

While evaluating the hospitality industry in Klang Valley, researchers used a structured questionnaire. The sample population comprised of 104 respondents where the sampling frame included entire employees working in the hospitality industry in Klang Valley. Notably, only those working personnel were selected. The participants aged below 30 and above 31 were chosen accordingly. A random sampling happened where the list of organizations in the hospitality industry came from the Malaysian Employers’ Federation. Later, the researcher employed a systematic sampling to select firms for the inclusion. 100 questionnaires were distributed across the firms. Researchers applied a five-point Likert scale in the questionnaire also ranging from strongly agree (5), Agree (4), Neutral (3), Disagree (2), and Strongly Disagree (1).

Utilizing questionnaires was the right choice given the distribution of the sample population. Besides, sending structured questionnaires through the email or in print forms was easier than performing interviews which are time-consuming (Krosnick, 2018). The Likert scale was suitable for measuring only the required information for the research.

Data Analysis

Analyzing the acquired data is vital to draw a broad conclusion together with substantiating what information is crucial over the other. Data analyses involve the use of statistical software and system for later presentation. Statistical Package explored the data acquired from the study of commercial banks in Karachi for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The researchers also used the Pearson’s product moment chi-square tests to analyze the descriptive statistics. Specifically, Chi-square test occurred during evaluation of banks offering training to employees to develop their job-related skills and knowledge.
Oppositely, the study of the hospitality industry in Klang Valley utilized different methods. Similar to the other research, the researchers used SPSS for data analyzing. Multiple regression analysis employed determined the relation between the dependent variable and the independent variables. Likewise, a stepwise regression analysis occurred to help determine which predictor variable had most contributions to the job performance.

Data Presentation

After data collection and analysis, researchers need to present the data to show the results of the study. Different modes of data presentation occur where individuals use graphs, tables, histograms and pie charts among others. Tables and pie charts are the most prevalent as they are easily understandable (Chambers, 2017). Cheema, Shujaat, and Alam (2013) presented their result in table forms. After conducting a Chi-square test for the relationship between skill training and motivation, Cheema, Shujaat, and Alam (2013) summarized the result in a table which shows a probability of Chi-square p=0.120 which was greater than the alpha level 0.05 significance hence supporting the null hypothesis that non-monetary reward has no significant impacts on employee motivation. Others tables in the articles shows p= 0.000, p= 0.533, p= 0.013 and p= 0.000 for career advancement opportunity, fair recognition, internal communication and job security respectively. For any p-value greater than the alpha level 0.05 like fair recognition insinuates no significant impacts on

employee motivation while that lower like job security and other mention above showed a statistically significant relationship between the variable and employee’s motivational level. On the other hand, the hospitality industry study for financial reward was presented in excels computer programmed tables. The tables gave the frequencies and percentages distribution of sample population according to their age, gender, and marital status, nature of the job, education qualification, job department, and monthly salary. The results from regression showed a positive relationship between both financial reward and job motivation with job performance.

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Summarily, employee motivation is fundamental to any organization. As mention above, there are two ways of employee motivation either monetary or non-monetary incentives. There is no better mode of motivation than the other as the two analyzed journals present agreeable method of incentives. A non-monetary incentive like job security motivates employee the same way monetary incentive like pay rise would stimulate workers’ productivity. Basing the discussion from the two schools of thought, managers in any firm can use either way.


  • Bell, J., 2014. Doing Your Research Project: A guide for first-time researchers. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
  • Chambers, J.M., 2017. Graphical Methods for Data Analysis: 0. Chapman and Hall/CRC.
  • Cheema, F., Shujaat, S. and Alam, R., 2013. Impact of non-monetary rewards on employee’s motivation: a study of commercial banks in Karachi. Journal of Management and Social Sciences, 9(2), pp.23-30. Retrieved from
  • Choy, L.T., 2014. The strengths and weaknesses of research methodology: Comparison and complimentary between qualitative and quantitative approaches. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 19(4), pp.99-104.
  • Hair Jr, J.F., Wolfinbarger, M., Money, A.H., Samouel, P. and Page, M.J., 2015. Essentials of business research methods. Routledge. Krosnick, J.A., 2018. Questionnaire design. In The Palgrave Handbook of Survey Research (pp. 439-455). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
  • Polit, D.F. and Beck, C.T., 2006. The content validity index: are you sure you know what's being reported? Critique and recommendations. Research in nursing & health, 29(5), pp.489-497.
  • Seng, N. and Arumugam, T. 2017. Financial reward and motivation toward employee job performance in the hospitality industry in Klang Valley. Electronic Journal of Business & Management, 2(1), pp. 51 - 60.

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