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‘That’s exciting’ A research on how employees of Icco experience changes, related to their motivation.

By G. Vredeveld


This is a research on the motivation of employees of a Dutch development organisation: ICCO, and how these employees deal with changes in and outside the organization. The basic motivation of employees is a stable and important motivation, which refers to the 'higher' goals of people. The daily motivation is more fluid and exists of intrinsic as well as extrinsic factors. The employees of Icco have to deal with many internal changes, ranging from 'departing colleagues' to 'changes in daily activities' to ‘changes in identity of the organization’ and an ‘insecure future of the organization’. Changes in the environment of the organization are the growing criticism on the sector, a threat of a diminishing budget and a growing focus on visible results. This research describes how these different changes influence the motivation of the employees of Icco, with sometimes surprising outcomes. People experience many different types of commitment at the same time, something that helps them to cope with these changes by shifting in focus and commitment. Furthermore, people manoeuvre through change, by using simultaneously different types of coping mechanisms, such as ' searching for understanding', 'putting things in perspective' or 'expressing one's frustration'. The different interpretations of people and the way they give meaning to change are very important issues for analysing and understanding the experiences of the employees of this research. Furthermore, this research brings the attention on shared norms in the organization that influence people's thoughts and behaviour

Topics: motivation, coping, commitment, NGDO, organizational change, criticism, pressure, development sector, culture, norm.
Year: 2010
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