Employee Motivation: What Factors Motivate Employees to Work in Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO) in Sri Lanka: A Study According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Model

By Chatura Pulasinghage.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Apart from the government and the private sector, The Non-Government Organizations (NGO) is the next best alternative employment sector in Sri Lanka. After the Tsunami 2004, there were more than 200 NGO’s in Sri Lanka implementing Tsunami relief projects. Many of the graduates and professionals were hired by these NGO’s as project staff and consultants in addition to casual labor and clerical positions. This paper sets out to find out the factors that motivated the majority of the work force in Sri Lanka to jobs in the nongovernment sector after the Tsunami 2004.
This research looked at five nongovernmental organization categories and five occupational categories within them. The study was aimed to find out how the motivator factors differ among the occupational categories and nongovernmental organization categories. According to the “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” model, employees of United Nations, international organizations and international nongovernmental organizations were at higher motivational levels. Expatriates, national consultants, executives and managerial staff were also highly motivated to work in their respective nongovernmental organizations. Executives and managerial staff mostly represent fresh graduates and mid professional, that were employed in government and privates sector organizations prior to the Tsunami 2004. Most NGO’s left Sri Lanka by the end of year 2007. The Unemployment rate went up and most of the executives and managerial staff that were working in NGO’s were left unemployed. Since these two occupational categories were highly motivated to work in NGO’s and specially to work in United Nations, international organizations and international nongovernmental organizations, the study recommends that private and the government sector jobs should be upgraded to suite this unemployed workforce.

Keywords: Non Government Organizations (NGO), Motivation, Maslow’s Hierarchy

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.197-212. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 704.540KB).

Chatura Pulasinghage

Research Associate, Department of Food Agriculture and Resource Economics, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

I am Graduate from Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. I have a Bachelors degree in Agriculture from University of Peradeniya and a Masters Degree in Environment Economics from Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya. I am also a MSc candidate in University of Guelph and starting my studies in January 2009. My research interests are Environment Economics, Land Resource Economics and Food Economics. I am very interested in doing research which involves economics, environment and livelihoods. I like to find out the linkage between the poor environment resource management and the poverty and then to find out the policy implications to improve the situation. Currently I am working on two researches. First is to identify the implications of Anti-commons on the land resources of Sri Lanka, and the second is to identify the relationship of poverty, land use practices and the land ownership in Sri Lanka.


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